Faculty

Maria Clavin

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.

 


Bonnie Dong

World Languages – Language/Math

Bonnie Dong has 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.

 

 


Else Fjerdingstad

Science Department

Dr. Else Fjerdingstad has a PhD. and a master's degree in Evolutionary Ecology and Genetics from Aarhus University, Denmark. Dr. Fjerdingstad has done research around the world including at Duke University’s National Evolutionary Synthesis center in North Carolina, at City University of New York, at the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, at Latrobe University and James Cook University in Australia, and at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.

She has been developing courses and teaching on various topics at New York Institute of Technology, Marymount Manhattan College, and City University of New York. The topics include: Evolution, Social Evolution, Heredity, Environmental Science, Controversies in Environmental Science, Bioethics - the Evolution of Morality and Ethics, and Interdisciplinary Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Paleontology, etc.).

Dr. Fjerdingstad has published her research in leading peer-reviewed scientific journals including American Naturalist, Evolution, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, and BMC Evolutionary Biology. She has also given presentations of her research findings at scientific conferences around the world. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the City University of New York, the European Union (TMR), the Australian Research Council, the Danish Carlsberg Fund, The Danish Natural Sciences Research Council, and the Danish Research Academy.

She is delighted to join NYMA where she will be teaching CCHS Biology (for SUNY Orange) as well as Physics and Chemistry. She will also mentor on research/science fair projects and offer a Wednesday club for cadets on Ethics for Life.

 


Yvette Furnia

Science Department

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 son.

 


Liz Harrell

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

English Department

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 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.

 


John Langan

English Department

John Langan holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from SUNY New Paltz and an M.Phil. in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. Before joining the NYMA faculty, he taught at SUNY New Paltz for the last twenty years. He's a published writer with two novels, three collections of stories, and numerous essays and reviews to his credit. Mr. Langan lives outside Kingston with his wife, younger son, five dogs, three cats, and a hermit crab named Kirby. He also has a black belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do.

 


Mike Lemon

History Department

Mike Lemon served in the U.S.M.C. for five years from 1994 to 1999 and has a bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences and a master’s degree in Education from Dominican College. He is a Social Studies teacher and taught in New York public schools before joining the NYMA faculty.

Mr. Lemon has coached football and is the Land Nav/Outdoors club advisor here. He is also serving as a TAC Officer this year and will be mentoring the 7th and 8th grade cadets in their studies.

 


Sarah Magno

School Counselor

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.

 


Rachel Martinez

Language Department

Rachel Martinez is originally from Rockland County. She has a degree in History from SUNY Empire State and has been teaching in public schools in all types of settings for eleven years. Ms. Martinez is a proud mother of her son, Julian, who attends Cornwall High School. She also enjoys knitting and reading.

 

 


Susan Pasquale

World Languages – ESL

Susan Pasquale has worked at NYMA for over 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

Mathematics Department

Tom Roselli has been teaching Math in independent schools for over 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.

 


David Sargent

Business Department

David Sargent has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in International Business. He comes from a family of teachers and was raised by parents who both taught at the Orme School in Prescott, Arizona. Mr. Sargent taught ESL for nearly 12 years in Asia. During that time he was mainly based out of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia but also spent two years teaching at Beijing Polytechnic College. There he taught a variety of subjects including ESL, IELTS, TOEFL, Hospitality Management, and Social Science.

Over his career he has worked with students from Mongolia, China, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Russia, Japan as well as South and North Korea. He has taught students that range as young as 3 years old to directors of multinational companies. David has also run a transportation company and a restaurant in Mongolia. His transportation company successful completed contracts with the U.S. Marines and Army providing transportation in and around Ulaanbaatar.

Mr. Sargent will be joined by his wife who is from Mongolia and their two young daughters. He is excited about his position at NYMA and hopes to make a positive impact in the lives of students who have struggled in the past.

 


Alicia Simon

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.

 

 


Deborah Tamulis

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.

 


Jena Webb

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.