Presenter Bios

Thank you to all of our talented presenters who made the School’s Out, Make it Count! 2022 Conference possible. Feel free to scroll through and get to know a little bit more about our presenters before you join their sessions on April 8th and 9th!

This is an alphabetical listing of all of the lead presenters you will meet at School’s Out, Make it Count! 2022.

Jonathan Coyle, M.S.

Jonathan Coyle is a youth development professional from Rochester, NY. He is currently a Before & After School Site Coordinator for the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Having grown up in youth programs himself, he obtained a Bachelors in Community Youth Development from Nazareth College, followed by a Masters in Business Organization and Management.

Maggie Dickson

Maggie is a 2021 graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Maggie began work in the Policy/Advocacy space in 2019 with an internship at Prevent Child Abuse New York (PCANY). Her primary role involved work on the Trauma-Informed Legislature initiative by scheduling and performing educational meetings about Adverse Childhood Experiences and Protective Factors with Senators, Assemblymembers, and legislative staff. Maggie applied her knowledge in Psychology to provide a clinical perspective during meetings by speaking about the biological basis of trauma science. Maggie currently holds a full-time position at PCANY as the Policy Assistant and Home Visiting Coordination Initiative (HVCI) Development Coordinator while she pursues graduate school prospects. In these roles, Maggie acts as liaison between State and regional partners and assists with the PCANY policy portfolio, with an emphasis on trauma-informed practice.

Michelle Durante

Michelle Durante received her BFA in Dance Studies with a minor in Non-Profit Arts Management from Long Island University, LIU Post. She has been a leading force in Arts Programming at New York Edge for over 10 years and has been serving as their Director of Arts since 2014. During her tenure with the organization she has created extensive programs, curricula, events, professional development, partnerships and resources for after-school arts programming. Outside of her work with New York Edge she is a dancer and has been performing with Tina Croll + Company since 2007 where she has performed in many venues throughout New York City as well as the prestigious Jacob’s Pillow in Massachusetts. The arts are a passion Michelle holds dear to her heart. Her other greatest life passion is her family. Her husband and three children also help keep her on her toes. Michelle continues to hold the mission of serving youth development through the arts and powerful after-school programming at the forefront of her personal mission and vision to work toward.

Emily Forman

Emily joined the kid-grit ambassador team in 2019 after 4 years, as the Regional Program Director for a national afterschool programming nonprofit and 12 years as a teacher and administrator in New York public and charter schools. She taught in Brooklyn as a tenured DOE math teacher and dance teacher, where her two master’s degrees focused on supporting the development of the whole child.

Emily was instrumental in turnaround initiatives as Director of School Culture in two K-8 schools – the administrator in charge of professional development of new teachers and support staff, school-day and after-school enrichment, school and community culture, and the creation and oversight of student support systems for those with social and emotional lagging skills. In her School Building/District Leadership master’s, Emily focused her research on the areas in which she is most passionate: project-based experiential learning, community empowerment through enrichment and social-skill building, and systems-thinking staff development to build a growth-mindset adult culture. Throughout the Northeast, Regional Program Director Emily led program and operations continuous quality improvement cycles, trained leadership and frontline staff and worked closely with school-building leaders and staff to build strong partnerships in service of community and youth development.

She is now involved in heart-centered transformational work, where she infuses mindfulness, spiritual and somatic practices into life-coaching; and is a professor for CUNY, guiding educators through a self-reflective process to incorporate DEI principles in their teaching methods and materials in support of all learners.

TImothy Fowler, Professional Development Director, New York State Network for Youth Success
Timothy Fowler has worked with children and youth programs for more than 25 years. Since 2002, he has been a trainer, facilitator, coach, and consultant for youth programs in Missouri, Illinois, and New York. His specialty areas are youth development, program development, quality improvement, and organizational change. Currently, Timothy is the Professional Development Director for the NYS Network for Youth Success, and a New York State T-TAP certified trainer and coach. He lives in Troy, NY and loves hockey.

Tibisay Hernandez

Tibisay has over 15 years of experience in the educational environment as well as deep expertise in diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Tibisay is a certified implicit bias facilitator for the National Training Institute for Racial Equity and trains extensively on cultural responsiveness and inequity. Prior to joining Grand River Solutions, Tibisay spent six years working with the University at Albany developing DEI curriculum and measures to address implicit bias at the personal, organizational, and cultural level. She is currently a doctoral candidate in the University at Albany’s Education, Theory, and Practice program. Her research interests include the impact of cultural differences and intercultural communication styles on support structures for first-generation college students.

Jennie L. Knox
Jennie is a career long advocate for youth and families. Living in upstate NY with her husband, 3 sons, 7 cats and one snake; her favorite thing to do is nap. Unapologetically.

Krista Hesdorfer
Krista Hesdorfer serves as a Child Nutrition Programs Specialist at Hunger Solutions New York. She is a resource for organizations, schools, and advocates to increase awareness of and participation in federal nutrition assistance programs. She conducts statewide outreach, provides technical assistance, and conducts administrative and legislative advocacy to protect and strengthen these programs.

Amy Huff

Amy Huff was raised on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation. She grew up learning her culture as a Cayuga, one of the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). Amy attended elementary and high school at a school close to the reservation and was a scholar athlete, competing in NYS competitions for both. After graduation, Amy moved to Buffalo and attended Buffalo State College. She served in student government, was an influential member of the Native American Student Organization and was recently inducted into the Buffalo State College Hall of Fame for rugby.
Amy was connected to Native American Community Services (NACS) in 2005 as the program coordinator for a 21st century after school program. Her time at NACS has been devoted to youth and youth initiatives in various roles and capacities and is the current Educational Achievement Coordinator. Amy is a certified instructor for many evidence-based curricula and holds a train the trainer status for multiple prevention education models. Amy is a certified instructor for Youth Mental Health First Aid. Amy has earned her New York State School-Age Credential, the Endorser’s Credential and is a New York State Program Accreditation Coach. Amy has presented at local, state conferences and national conferences, in addition to facilitating training sessions to other organizations working with young people.
Amy is a member of the National After School Association, the National Indian Education Association, and the New York State Center for Youth Success. Amy truly enjoys working with youth, relies on family to be her support system and believes family is the key to happiness.

Monique Jarvis

Monique Jarvis is a AfroIndigenous (Tuscarora/Pamunkey) queer arts educator and social justice innovator who spent the last decade driving programmatic strategy, development and implementation at LEAP, a leading Creative Youth Development non-profit. In her current role as Director of Communications and Corporate Partnerships she is a leading force in advancing DEI&J practices, driving a sustainable philanthropic vision, and acts as the Board liaison. During her tenure at LEAP and as Deputy Director of Afterschool programs, she secured capacity-building partnerships, developed award-winning culturally responsive curricula, facilitated DEI Learning Labs, spearheaded the DEI Talent Group, and managed cross-functional teams in standardizing SACC compliance policies, procedures, training, and more recently COVID safety. Prior to joining LEAP Monique served as managing editor of a Connecticut-based African American publication, and co-founded a performance arts venue that centered and elevated BIPOC artists. Driven by the unjust decade-long incarceration of a close family member, Monique also became a National Slam Poet, conducting creative writing workshops in maximum security prisons, alternative incarceration centers, and at nonprofits across the country. She is the recipient of multiple proclamations from the City of Hartford for her arts advocacy including the Hartford Hero Award, the Greater Hartford Arts Council Innovation in Arts Grant, and Big Brother Big Sisters Media Mentor Award. Monique earned a MHS from Lincoln University with a focus on Applied Systems Theory, Social Policy, and Counseling Psychology and holds a Cornell University Family Development Credential, NYS School Age Child Care Credential and has extensive DEI&J training. She is a former NYS SACC credential instructor, advisor, and endorser, an active member of The Nonprofit Professionals of Color Collective, and is currently pursuing post-graduate school prospects with a concentration in intersectionality and change agentry.

Sara Kobilka
Sara Kobilka is a national trainer for SciGirls, an NSF-funded program from Twin Cities Public Television, since 2013 and is on the leadership team for the NY STEAM Girls Collaborative.

Sara is the owner and principal consultant for Renaissance Woman Consulting LLC. She is passionate about education, communication, outreach, networking and DEIAA issues. She has spent decades specializing in science communication in TV/radio, education and the non-profit realm, and utilizing her training as a scientist, journalist and educator to bridge gaps between the scientific community and those who consider themselves to be outside of it. Sara is involved nationally in diversity in STEM and STEM engagement initiatives that seek to inspire interest and excitement for STEM broadly. She enjoys a Renaissance woman life-style filled with unusual adventures and intriguing people.

Sherri Lauver

Dr. Sherri Lauver is an Education Services Director at Synergy Enterprises. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in education policy with a focus on evaluation research in social programs. She is committed to improving outcomes for disadvantaged children, families, and neighborhoods through research and technical assistance initiatives that support evidence-based programs and policies. Dr. Lauver has 15 years of experience providing technical assistance on education and youth development issues with a specialization in 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Title I initiatives. Lauver is an experienced program evaluator and has developed strategic implementation sustainability plans for clients.

Hennessey Lustica

Dr. Hennessey Lustica is the Community Schools Mental Health Program Director at Sodus Central School District and an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Medaille College. Dr. Lustica has a Master of Science degree in School Counseling from Long Island University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mental Health Counseling from Alfred University. In 2019, she earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Rochester. Dr. Lustica has permanent certification as a School Counselor and is Licensed as a Mental Health Counselor in New York State. She is also credentialed as an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) by the National Board of Certified Counselors. In addition to 17 years of experience as a school counselor, Dr. Lustica has 9 years of experience in a private practice in Rochester, serving children and families in the greater Rochester community. Dr. Lustica is the Vice President for Counselor Educators of the New York State School Counselor’s Association and was recently selected as an Ambassador Fellow to the US Department of Education.

David McConnell

David McConnell is the Lead Training Specialist for the US Department of Education’s Youth for Youth (Y4Y) Team. David provides training, technical assistance, and out-of-school time (OST) resources for afterschool and summer programs. David has seven years of experience in OST learning, primarily in student activities and youth programming. Prior to joining the Y4Y Team, David worked in educational publishing at Macmillan Learning and focused on developing training materials for educational software and providing training for teachers and administrators. David holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Education from Rowan University, and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Eva Jo Meyers

Eva Jo Meyers is the author of “Raise the Room: A practical guide to participant-centered facilitation.” A seasoned professional facilitator, she provides a wide range of meeting, leadership, and learning support – from workshops, to retreats, to training-of-trainers, conferences, and institutes – for school districts, city agencies, and nonprofits across the country. When she is not facilitating, you can usually find her out and about with her two boys.

Trudy Morgan

Trudy Morgan is the Policy Director at the New York State Network for Youth Success. In her role, she leads the organization’s advocacy and policy efforts around expanded learning opportunities, including afterschool, summer, expanded learning time programs, and community schools. She is responsible for formulating and executing the organization’s statewide and national advocacy and policy efforts to increase funding for expanded learning opportunities, and addressing regulatory and programmatic concerns through legislation.

Trudy comes to the Network with over four years of experience in policy, advocacy, and research. She has held previous positions at the State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration at the Office of Academic Affairs, New York City’s Mayor de Blasio’s office, Generation Citizen, and Capitol Group LLC. Trudy is also a proud alumna of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) fellowship at Princeton University, and the Brown University AmeriCorps VISTA fellowship. She is also a past Women in Government fellow at the Rockefeller College of Public Policy and Affairs.

Scott Prendergast

As a teenager entering high school, Scott knew his life was going to change – everyone goes through changes in high school, right? What he did not expect was that the change would come in the form of depression.

After being cut from his high school basketball team, Scott began to feel worthless and spent his days mentally abusing himself. It was also around this time that Scott developed severe acne that made him extremely self-conscious about his image. Throughout college, Scott struggled to pull himself out of the self-hatred and negativity that filled his mind, but the issues only grew.

Scott was able to turn his world around by incorporating positivity into his life. It was difficult at first, trying to put small points and acts of positivity into every day. Sticking with these efforts, the more Scott implemented different strategies focused on changing his mindset, the more he began to see his life drastically change. Scott learned how to achieve self-security regardless of what life threw his way. By harnessing the power of positive self-talk, Scott realized that thoughts are just as important as actions.

Scott has a passion for helping others; his goal is to help people overcome the everyday mental obstacles that hold them back in life. His story is powerful, relatable, and relevant to students, and will give parents a window into what their children may be thinking and feeling about themselves. Scott works to inspire others to climb out of the darkness and find the light in their lives.

Arlene Rider

Dr. Arlene Rider has been an active member of Network for Youth Success’s statewide workgroup for the School-Age Care Credential since 2007. For nearly two decades, Dr. Rider has been an advisor, instructor, and endorser for the NYS SAC Credential. Her career in education has spanned early childhood to college, during which time she earned her doctorate in psychology with a concentration in educational psychology. She co-authored a book with Tracy Galuski, Ph.D. “Schools Out: Challenges and Solutions for School-Age Programs,” which was published by Gryphon House in 2020.

Maggie Ritter 

As the Educator Success Manager, Maggie works to engage, support, retain and grow Read to Lead’s community of educators across the country. She draws on ten years of experience as a classroom teacher, instructional coach, curriculum developer and school administrator to codify the organization’s educator support systems. Maggie is passionate about empowering educators to address education equity with evidence-based instructional practices and culturally relevant curriculum.

Natalie Scavone

Natalie, a certified T-TAP trainer, is a retired teacher, school administrator, and Executive Director of BASCOL, a school-age child care organization. Currently, she is the owner of OMN Consults, which concentrates on leadership training and coaching.  She has led professional development sessions state-wide for more than 25 years. Her particular interests include communication styles and leadership building.

Diane Shirley

Diane Shirley-Wright is the founder of DS Health and Safety Trainings, Inc, that specializes in offering a holistic approach to wellness through the mind, body, and heart. She is on a mission to reduce the impact of childhood obesity, spread the message of shared power with young people, and support professionals in meeting their personal and professional goals. Diane Shirley-Wright is a School-Age Care Credential Instructor, School-Age Care Credential Advisor, and School-Age Care Credential Endorser, a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Youth Mental Health First Aid instructor, personal trainer, youth fitness trainer, a weight management specialist, and a licensed Zumba instructor for adults and children. She offers programs that consist of health coaching, functional exercise, and Eat to Live resources for children and adults. As an educator, Shirley-Wright is an accomplished and revered trainer with over 15 years in the youth development and child-care field. She has been successfully delivering New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services childcare trainings to various organizations throughout New York City. Throughout her various venues, she aims to inspire and educate all people, especially children about whole-body health, wellness, and relationships.

Carla Stough-Hoffman

Carla Stough Huffman has been working in the youth-serving community in Rochester, NY, for more than 31 years. While she’s played every role from program design and staff development to grant writing and assessment, her favorite gig will always be training. Providing engaging opportunities for joyful learning, exploring sensitive topics with compassion and humor or simply escorting participants down the back roads of their memories to rediscover their own thoughts and feelings around a subject, Carla believes that knowledge is transformative and gathering it can be both fulfilling and fun!
Currently serving as the Coordinator of Professional Development and OST Program Quality for the Greater Rochester Afterschool & Summer Alliance (GRASA), Carla is a trainer, coach, role model, external observer, STEM educator and more. She earned a BA in Developmental Psychology from Bard College, and continues her education every day through reading, conversation, webinars, random Internet searches, media channels like History, Discovery and the Food Network, Ted Talks and following links sent to her by Facebook friends and random strangers.

Michelle Summar 

Michelle Summar is a Program Director with BestSelf Behavioral Health Building Brighter Futures programs. She holds her Master’s degree in Education. She has been working in the field of Education for 13 years. She began her career as a classroom teacher before she found her passion in Out Of School Time in 2014. She feels Out Of School Time allows her to foster her desire help adolescents become active & contributing members of their community. She is a member of the Network for Youth Success and the After- School Network of Western New York. She is also a board member for the Buffalo Peace House.

Kim Viade

Kim Viade is the Vice President of Dignity of Children. She is a seasoned professional with more than 27 years of experience developing, implementing, and supervising innovative education and support programs for children, youth, and adults. She has overseen a wide range of programs for children and youth, including teen, special needs and afterschool programs. Kim was the Director of Youth Services at one of the largest non-profits serving the Bronx and parts of Manhattan. In her tenure Kim has provided ongoing staff support, regular consultation regarding program design, resource coordination, implementation, fiscal coordination, and supervision of data collection and reporting. She has ample experience working with the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) with the different departments and 16 years with the Department of Education (DOE) where she worked in various capacities. Kim is an active advocate for children with special needs and a NYS Network for Youth SAC Credential Advisor and Endorser. 

Kenrick Wagner

Meet Kenrick Wagner, the founder of Project Gametime LLC, a company that provides training and consulting to sleep-away camps and afterschool programs in New York, New Jersey, and beyond. As a kid Kenrick never had afterschool programs available to him, but after doing some work in the field, he realized the importance of said programs. Kenrick believes that today’s youth “needs access to places where they can safely engage in their own creativity and feel empowered to take healthy risks when guided by role models who are there to serve them.

Tinnycua Williams
Tinnycua believes in the power of strength-based programming for children and families through empowerment.  A Professional Development trainer, facilitator, and coach who has worked with youth development professionals, Tinnycua’s current work as the Professional Development Quality Assurance Specialist with New York Works for Children, Aspire Registry focuses on supporting the professional development needs of the early childhood workforce, specifically Early Childhood Directors and Trainers.  With over 16 years of experience, Williams has served in several roles including tutor and School Age Childcare Director with programs throughout New York City.  A certified NYS T-Tap School-Age Professional Development Specialist, Tinnycua is a SAC Credentialed Professional and certified SAC Credential Advisor .

Sarah Zeller-Berkman

Sarah Zeller-Berkman, PhD is the academic director of the Youth Studies Program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies, a Distinguished Professor and Director of The Intergenerational Change Initiative. At CUNY SPS, she oversees the MA and Advanced Certificate in Youth Studies programs and directs the Intergenerational Change Initiative (ICI), a youth participatory action research project involving mobile tech and participatory policy making. Dr. Zeller-Berkman has spent the last two decades as a practitioner, researcher, evaluator, professor and capacity-builder in the field of youth and community development. Trained in Social-Personality Psychology, she has worked in partnership with young people on participatory action research projects about issues that impact their lives such as sexual harassment in schools, incarceration, parental incarceration, and high-stakes testing.