World Languages – Spanish
Maria Clavin is a native of Peru. She attended the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics. She served as the CEO and Executive President of the National Trade Enterprise as well as the Permanent Delegate of Peru to UNESCO. Ms. Clavin was the Peruvian representative to the Union Latina and also represented her country as the Ambassador to France. She received the distinguished title of General Brigadier of her high school senior class in Lima and was the recipient of the National Order of Merit, awarded by the President of the French Republic, in 2001. Ms. Clavin has eight years of experience as an adjunct professor of Social Science in the Master’s Program at Catholic University of Peru. She has served as the Development Director of St. Peter’s School in Hyde Park where she also taught Spanish and Title I Math. Ms. Clavin is a lifelong learner with a passion for reading and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She is currently an adjunct professor at Dutchess Community College in the HSE program. Ms. Clavin joined the NYMA Family as a Spanish teacher. She offers rigorous and creative instruction that prepares her students for a leadership role in our global society.
World Languages – Language/Math
Bonnie Dong has recently earned her master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has years of experience teaching Mandarin Chinese to various groups of students. Ms. Dong has also worked in educational program management, cross-cultural communications, and social media marketing. She also has experience with nonprofit organization management, education to employment transition, and research and evaluation.
Yvette Furnia comes from a diverse background of many varied educational disciplines. A local graduate of Minisink Valley High school, she pursued a pre-medical degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Biology from Castletown State University in Vermont. Ms. Furnia graduated Magna Cum Laude ahead of schedule. After being elected as part of the Emerging Leaders Class of 2009, she was sworn into the Sigma Zeta Honor Society for Mathematics and Sciences. While excelling in her academics, Ms. Furnia was also co-president of the Women’s Issues Group. This group fought against assault and gender disparity both on campus and within the small-town community. The group also taught therapeutic water aerobics to those with arthritis and disabilities in the surrounding area. While in college, Ms. Furnia also volunteered her time as part of the orientation staff working with incoming freshmen. She would help the new students to develop college awareness, study skills, organizational and scheduling plans, as well as tutor advanced students for AP exams.
Her greatest passions in education stem from her work as a One-on-One AIDE for autistic students. Ms. Furnia would substitute for RTI and other support staff, help to differentiate materials for all learning styles, and provide home-school tutoring. Her scientific passions are in the fields of Infectious Disease, Neurobiology, and Ecology. Outside of education, Ms. Furnia enjoys snowboarding, writing music, and spending time with her 2-year old son.
Math and Science Departments/Sports Coach
Forrest Gordon teaches Math, Physics, and Computer Science courses at NYMA. He holds a master’s degree in Mathematics from Louisiana State University where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Geometric Topology Group. As an undergraduate he studied Mathematics, Chemistry, and French at Hope College in Holland, MI. Later as a graduate student he participated in research programs abroad at the Laboratoire Jean Leray in Nantes, France and at the Alfred Renyi Institute of Mathematics in Budapest, Hungary.
In addition to his university teaching experience, Mr. Gordon is also an experienced mentor and teacher of middle and high school students. He has taught courses on Cryptology as part of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth Program and has served as a weekly research mentor for high school science projects. Mr. Gordon has also served as a long-term mentor for underprivileged middle school students in Baton Rouge, LA. He is passionate about using his background to positively impact the lives of his students.
In his free time, Mr. Gordon enjoys running, hiking, cooking, reading, and playing music. He was a four-year member of the Track and Field team at Hope College and has competed on the Men’s Ultimate Frisbee team at Louisiana State University.
Math and Technology Departments
Liz Harrell holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a master’s degree in Education from The College of William and Mary in Virginia. She also has a degree in Mathematics from SUNY. Mrs. Harrell has over 15 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. She loves helping students understand challenging math concepts and enjoys using technology in her classroom.
Mrs. Harrell is a published author with articles in AppleSeeds Magazine and The Mailbox. In her spare time, she enjoys tae kwon do, reading, and spending time with her family.
Samantha Hill joined the NYMA faculty in 2013 as an English teacher. She currently holds a Master’s of Education from Brooklyn College. She previously taught English for the Department of Education in NYC before putting her career on hold to raise her young children. While she originally hails from Brooklyn, NY, she has called Cornwall and Cornwall on Hudson her home for the past thirteen years. Looking at the Hudson River and the majestic mountains around her on a daily basis has inspired in her a sense of home and happiness.
While having an immense love of literature and Greek Mythology, she is delighted to teach the new elective “Performance and Drama” to the new seventh graders. Some of her favorite literary works are Twilight, Harry Potter, Speak and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Antigone and The Odyssey.
She lives with her three children, enjoys playing trivia, and loves going to local events and festivals.
Science Department/Sports Coach
After holding multiple positions in the healthcare field, Elissa Larabee chose to return to school as a non-traditional student. She received her bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts in Biological Sciences and Chemistry. Over the course of her studies at Smith, Ms. Larabee took a keen interest in research and its applications in a multitude of areas, particularly in education. As an advisor, Ms. Larabee worked with incoming students interested in pursuing science, mathematics, or engineering degrees. She helped to guide them through social, academic, and networking obstacles during their freshman year.
After graduation, she taught classes in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Psychology, and Sociology as well as many humanities electives at the Buxton School. Ms. Larabee firmly believes that education is a fundamental human right and is truly the way to a life led with conviction and meaning. She seeks to inspire compassion, courage, and stewardship in each student. Ms. Larabee aims to create an educational environment that promotes positive attitudes towards the acquisition of knowledge and encourages character development while maintaining a challenging curriculum.
Sarah Magno joined the NYMA team in 2017 as the School Counselor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Music from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and received her master’s degree in Science in Education in School Counseling from Long Island University here in New York. She assists students in their college and career searches, registers and administers standardized tests, and, most importantly, counsels students to help them navigate through the varied experiences and emotions of grade school.
Philip Mavrikis is a History teacher from Queens, NY. He joined the NYMA faculty in 2014. Mr. Mavrikis graduated from SUNY New Paltz with his bachelor’s degree in both History and English and a master’s degree in Social Studies Secondary Education. He currently serves as an advisor to the 7th grade and teaches American and World History. Mr. Mavrikis is passionate about bringing life to the Social Studies classroom and pushes for all of his students to be prepared for adult citizenship. He focuses on both teaching responsibility and helping students to understand the historical contexts of their lives.
World Languages – ESL
Susan Pasquale has worked at NYMA for thirty years and has been developing the ESL program here for over two decades. Her duties have included curriculum writing, placing students in proper levels, and preparing cadets to take the TOEFL test. She has also served as the tennis coach and the Cooking Club advisor. During her time at the academy, Ms. Pasquale has been both mentor and “mom” to the international student population.
Tom Roselli has been teaching Math in independent schools for twenty-five years. He has taught sixth-grade Math through AP Calculus as well as Statistics during that time. Mr. Roselli has also worked as an Academic Dean, Dean of Students, Math Department Chair, Houseparent, and wrestling coach.
He has two sons, Jon and Ray, who live in the Boston area where he taught for fifteen years. After spending two years in Chattanooga, TN, Mr. Roselli is pleased to be back teaching Math at a school like NYMA.
Art Department – Fine Arts
Alicia Simon has been the Fine Arts Teacher at NYMA since 2015. Ms. Simon previously taught digital photography, crafts, advanced art, portfolio preparation, and computer graphics at schools in the local area. Currently, her classroom is run as a studio where cadets learn to think, plan, create, and reflect as an artist. She is dedicated to providing authentic art-making experiences for her students.
Library Media Specialist / Archivist
Deborah Tamulis is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Granite State College where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Library Science. She earned her master’s in Library Science at Clarion University. Deborah is a member of the Alpha Sigma Lambda and Beta Phi Mu Academic Honor Societies. Before coming to NYMA, Ms. Tamulis was a Library Media Specialist in public and private schools in Maryland and Colorado. She is proud of her many family members who have served in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marines.
English and History Department
Dr. Jena Webb teaches 11th and 12th grade English and History. She holds a doctorate in Medieval Literature and History and a master’s degree in Medieval Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr. Webb received her bachelor’s degree in History and Classical Languages from Marquette University and recently completed a second master’s program in Military History with Norwich University. She taught courses on English literature and linguistics to multicultural freshmen in Ireland for several years.
In addition to her teaching, Dr. Webb works as a freelance editor and writer with a variety of clients. Her personal research centers on the First World War and a plethora of medieval topics. She is also a collector of languages and books and spends the majority of her free time reading or writing.