Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Fourteen Pelham teachers, counselors and principals granted tenure by board of education


Fourteen Pelham school district teachers, counselors and administrators were granted tenure Wednesday by the board of education in a unanimous vote.

Tenure appointments include:

  • Amit Quackenbush – PMHS teacher
  • Lori Tortorella – PMHS teacher
  • Sarah Williamson – PMS teacher
  • Michael Katz – Siwanoy teacher
  • Brianna Infante – Siwanoy teacher
  • Amanda Sozio – Siwanoy teacher
  • Margaret Ellis – PMHS counselor
  • Andrea Pellicane – PMHS counselor
  • Aaron Weisner – PMHS teacher
  • Ashley Miranda – Prospect Hill teacher
  • Mary Preston – Colonial and Prospect Hill teacher
  • Margaret-Ann Spagnuolo – Hutchinson teaching assistant
  • Rachael Garcia – Colonial principal
  • Farid Johnson – Siwanoy principal

Various administrators spoke at the meeting about many of the Pelham educators who received tenure.

“The passion Mr. Quackenbush demonstrates for the Bills never exceeds his love for being a teacher,” said Dr. Tom Callahan, director of math and science.

Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ said Garcia “runs a very organized building, and when you walk into Colonial, students are engaged, they know what they need to do and they’re smiling. She’s involved and a very hands-on principle.”

Of Johnson, Champ said, “Farid cares deeply about the culture of his building and belonging. He strives to make Siwanoy a better place for students, staff and families.”

Lori Tortorella “is one of the nicest people you will ever meet,” said Callahan. “She will do anything to help a student, spending countless hours offering tutoring or proofreading an essay. Her positivity is truly contagious, and our students, faculty and staff feel that whenever she is around.”

About Williamson, acting PMS Principal Sean Llewellyn said, “Her teaching style encourages students to embrace their imaginations and learn through hands on experiences, fostering a love not just for technology but for learning.”

Johnson talked about Siwanoy teachers Katz, Sozio and Infante.

“Mr. Katz has always been someone that has wanted to learn and grow every step of the way, and his risk taking mentality has proven to be successful,” said Johnson. “In the classroom he is dynamic, and to this day he still holds the record for the best math lesson I have ever seen in all my days of being an administrator.”

Sozio “is such a bright light at Siwanoy,” said Johnson. “She is extremely respectful and generous. Amanda is an extremely hard worker and is incredibly focused.” Johnson then told how several students dressed up as her for “dress up as your favorite person day” at Siwanoy.

“Flexible and friendly, Brianna (Infante) is a wonderful asset to our Siwanoy team,” said Johnson. “Brianna brings a fresh perspective to the first grade team and is always ready to share the latest tips and tricks.”

Pellicane “has made significant contributions to the school community, which include being a member of the school district wellness committee, a faculty council representative, being the PMHS service learning coordinator, a member of the cultural competence committee and a volunteer leader for the National Honor Society,” said Director of School Counseling Eugene Farrell.

In regards to Weisner, Llewellyn said, “In addition to being an outstanding earth science teacher and an excellent colleague to his partners in the department, Aaron has entered the high stakes world of high school athletics, assisting the varsity and JV volleyball and basketball teams as scorer and clock operator.” Weisner also teaches in the extended academy period.

Prospect Hill Principal Jeannine Carr said Miranda’s “classroom is not just a place of learning, but a place where curiosity, creativity and exploration is celebrated. With a heart as big as her passion for teaching, she has touched the lives of students in ways that extend beyond the walls of her classroom.”

Spagnuolo “is always there to lend a helping hand and make a connection with each student,” said Hutchinson Principal Trisha Fitzgerald. “Her exuberant, easy going and fun personality make Margaret-Ann an absolute pleasure to work with. I am truly lucky to have her part of my team.”

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About the Contributor
Annika Halvorson, Senior Editor
Annika is a junior at Pelham Memorial High School. She is a senator in the student association and a volleyball player. She is the president of the PMHS Chemistry Club, and is interested in coding and computer science. She enjoyed writing for a journalism fellowship at the start of highschool and looks forward to writing with the Pelham Examiner!

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