Teacher Profiles

We are excited to share with you the profiles of our incredible NCCS teachers!

 

 

Assistant Principal & Pre-K3 & Pre-K4 (Half & Full Day)

Mrs. Barbara Crossan 

 

Mrs. Crossan began her teaching career in 1990, joining NCCS in 2016 as the PreK3 teacher.

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Provide an environment conducive to learning

  • Teach the children to think for themselves

  • Teach the children all subjects so as to expose them to all aspects of learning

  • Instill the love of learning at this early age

 

Special Highlights:

  • Caldecott Award Study and projects

  • Letter and Month Songs

 

STREAM curriculum is incorporated into even this earliest grade, i.e. performing age-appropriate science experiments, Kindle use for educational games, weekly religion lessons, teaching music and sounds for educational purposes, and reading and discussing literary genres to develop auditory comprehension.

 

Credentials:

  • Buffalo State College

  • Curriculum Instruction Masters Degree, Elementary and Early Childhood Education Bachelors Degree

  • NYS Certified 

In addition to her full time teaching position Mrs. Crossan is also the Assistant Principal.  Called on to oversee many different things, she provides counseling to teachers when they need advice.

 

Substitute Principal

Mr. Roger Pacos

Mr. Pacos began his teaching career in 1986 joining NCCS in 2019

 

Objectives/Goals:

  • Continue the exciting growth at NCCS by assisting Mr. Ludwig, the teachers and students in reaching their goals

  • Sharing my wealth of educational experience with all members of the faculty, staff and student body in order to make NCCS the finest school in the county

 

Credentials:

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree Biology and Nursing

  • Certificate of Advanced Study

 

Why I Love NCCS:

After many years as a teacher in the public school system I am excited to work in a school with smaller class sizes.  Blending academic studies with the teachings of Christ is a very exciting concept to me.

 

School Aid

Rebecca Eckstrom

Start Date at NCCS

Sept. 2012

Currently Teaching:

PreK Aide

Elementary, HS, College(s) attended:

Dunkirk High School

Reasons I love NCCS:

NCCS is a family! Our teachers are amazing and the education our children receive from them is the best! I have 6 children who all graduated from NCCS and now have 3 grandchildren attending. I wouldn't want them anywhere else. Here we learn and live our faith everyday! NCCS will always have a piece of my heart!

Hobbies and Interests:

I love to paint and am ready to share my talent where ever and whenever I can. I love to read and belong to a book club with many of our alumni families.

Favorite Prayer:

Serenity prayer

Awards, acknowledgements, community service, leadership roles, etc...

NCCS-HSA treasurer for the past 17 years.

Kindergarten

Mrs. Elizabeth Privitera

Mrs. Privitera began her teaching career in 2009, joining NCCS in 2012. She provides full-day Kindergarten instruction with individualized student attention.

 

STREAM is interwoven throughout Kindergarten classroom activities.  Technology is used in the Kindergarten classroom when they take "brain breaks" using the Go Noodle website and when they use the Teach Me Kindergarten and ABC Mouse apps weekly on the iPads.  Our BOCES science kits provide experience with both science and technology with topics on force and motion, sunshine and shadows, growing plants, building structures, conservation, shapes and colors, and plant and animal needs.

Students begin each day with prayer and then a Religion lesson.  Religious values and Bible stories are discussed throughout all subject areas each day.  Every day, students begin Morning Circle by singing songs.  They have songs that they sing with some of their Religion lessons, and every week they learn a new song with their Reading lessons.  They are create at least one classroom craft each week, and one of the daily play centers is Arts and Crafts (painting, stamping, stencils, coloring, etc.)

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Provide a Christ-centered classroom community encouraging prayer and diversity

  • Provide multiple real life experiences through play (math, science, reading, writing, art)

  • Prepare children with the social and emotional skills needed to solve real world problems and problems with peers.

 

Special Highlights:

  • May Crowning- A special ceremony in which we crown Mary and receive rosaries

  • Saints- Every month, Kindergarten focuses on a patron saint for that month and makes statues for our prayer table

  • BOCES Science Kits- Children explore science and engineering through play based kits, i.e. force and motion

  • TeachMeKindergarten- Kindergartners use the Teach Me Kindergarten App on iPads all year long to practice addition, subtraction, number and letter writing, and sight words while moving at their own pace

  • Dramatic Play- Various dramatic play centers allow children to imitate real life experiences, i.e. restaurant, apple picking, farm

  • Holidays- On Halloween the children trick or treat around the school to different classrooms.  For Christmas, we have a Polar Express party.  The children decorate heart shaped cookies to enjoy for Valentine's Day.

Credentials:

Master's Degree, Literacy Birth-6th Grade

Bachelor's Degree, Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Mathematics

Associate's Degree, Early Childhood Development

Jamestown Community College, State University of New York of Buffalo, State University of New York at Fredonia

NYS Certified

 

1st Grade

Kristine Potter

1st Grade / Middle and High School Math / Substitute for all grade levels pre-k - 8

 

Kristine started her teaching career in 2007.  She joined the staff at NCCS in 2019.

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  •         To have a safe, healthy, engaging learning environment

  • I hope my students come away with a love of math, science, reading and the arts

Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:

  • Made butter

  • Thanksgiving feast

Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Science

  • Certified Middle School math specialist

Why I love NCCS: I feel like I am part of one big family

 

2nd Grade

Ms. Stephanie Kraengel 

 

Ms. Kraengel began her teaching career in 1979, joining NCCS in 2015.  She teaches 2nd Grade.

 

Ms. Kraengel uses years of experience to help students learn and succeed in all subject areas while ensuring that Jesus is a major influence in the STREAM-oriented classroom.  

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Help students learn to the best of their abilities

  • Help students become creative, critical thinkers and problem-solvers

  • Helps students become independent, responsible Catholic Christian citizens

  • Help students develop a love of reading, and a sense of personal pride in their accomplishments

 

Special Highlights:

  • “Conquering cursive”

  • Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

Credentials:

Permanent N.Y. Certification Grades N-6

M.A. Elementary Education

B.A. Psychology, Elementary Education

Canisius College, State University College at Buffalo

 

 

3rd Grade

Ms. Linda Valone

Mrs. Valone began her teaching career in 1972 joining the staff at NCCS in 2018.

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • To make each student all that God has meant them to be

Special Highlights:

  • Hands on experiments in science

  • Activities in Social Studies

  • Research saints sharing facts about their lives

 

Credentials:

  • Permanent NYS Teaching Certificate

  • Permanent T.E. S. O. L Certification

  • Master’s Degree in Education

I love NCCS because it feels like family to me.  I love God and children and especially love teaching children about God.

 

4th Grade

Mrs. Candice Lopez

Mrs. Lopez started her teaching career in 2018 and joined NCCS that same year

 

Objectives/Goals:

  • Prepare students for prep school and future endeavors academically

  • Emphasize making good choices through instruction and modeling 

  • Teach students to enjoy life and live in the moment

 

Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:

  • Brain breaks

  • Go noodles

  • Science mysteries

  • Math codes

  • Longhouse and wigwam building

  • Class Dojo as a way to communicate with parents

 

Credentials:

  • Master’s Degree Science

  • Master’s Degree Education

  • Master’s Degree Childhood Education

 

Why I Love NCCS:

I love the small class sizes allowing be to be a very effective teacher.  The parents and staff are very supportive.  NCCS is like family.

 

What I would like parents to know:

My #1 priority is to keep the children safe while learning.  I feel as if they are my own children.

 

5th Grade

Ms. Deborah Mourer

 

Ms. Mourer began teaching at NCCS in 2007.  She teaches Social Studies Grades 5-8 and Grade 5 Religion.

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Students will learn to love Social Studies through creative projects

  • Students will learn to love God and serve him by providing area Veterans with monthly greetings of thanks

 

Special highlights:

  • Veteran Art given to area Veterans monthly at the VA Clinic

  • Social Studies projects completed for Prep School throughout the year

 

STREAM is a focus, where Religion is incorporated into all Social Studies content along with ELA, Math, Science and Technology at various times throughout the year.  Computers are used for group projects.

In addition to her classroom duties Ms. Mourer is the Religious Education Coordinator for NCCS Liturgies and Paraliturgies.  She also oversees the annual Dunkirk VA Clinic outreach project during the Advent season.

 

Credentials:

Permanent Certification and Masters Degree, Nursery School – Grade 6 (Elementary)

Permanent Certification Social Studies, Grades 7-12

Coaching Athletics- Football, Track & Field, Softball, Basketball

 

 

6th Grade

Mr. Dan Vona

Mr. Vona began his teaching career in 2012 joining the NCCS Staff in 2017.

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Building character through education

Special Highlights:

  • Current events presentations

  • Christmas time carnival

  • Mapping escape room activities

I love the close-knit family atmosphere here at NCCS.  It’s one of the main reasons chose to teach here.

I also love golf, music. My dog and of course a good BBQ.

7th Grade

Mrs. Karen Nalepa

Mrs. Nalepa started her teaching career in 2004.  She joined the staff at NCCS in 2018.

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Has a passion for math and related activities and has a strong desire to share that with her students

Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:

  • Celebrate Pi Day

  • Organizes Service Projects

Credentials:

  • Master’s degree in elementary education

  • Provisional NYS Certification pre-K-12th grade

I love the small class sizes and family atmosphere.

8th Grade

Mr. Pete Howard

Mr. Howard began his teaching career in 1980.  He joined the staff at NCCS in 2018.

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Help students understand and appreciate the arts

  • Teach strategies and ideas to improve communication skills

 

Special Highlights:

  • Mr. Howard is a professional singer/song writer

  • Has traveled the world gathering a wealth of experiences to share with his students

 

Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:

  • Word Games

  • Competitions that contribute to a better understanding of sentence structure and creative writing

 

Credentials:

  • Master’s degrees in ELA, American Studies and African American History

 

Art

Ms. Tina Cooper

 

Ms. Cooper joined NCCS in 2015 as Art teacher for PreK4-8th grades after beginning her teaching career in 2002.  

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Acquire the basic principles of the elements of art

  • Achieve a comprehension of the visual fundamentals of design

  • Begin to discover their own individual vision, voice and creativity

 

Special highlights include the school-wide Annual Art Show and the Empty Bowls Fundraiser.  Students submit their annual art projects to be placed on display for the NCCS family and local community at the Annual Art Show.  The Empty Bowls Fundraiser is a Community Projects where students make pottery bowls for donation to an auction that raises money for the local soup kitchens in Chautauqua County.

Ms. Cooper incorporates STREAM by using general study integration through multiple courses such as: Math, Science, History, Art History and Religion.  Integration provides the students opportunities to make connections between the subject matter and visual examples. The students can then begin to find their creative confidence by using analytical thinking and reasoning through integration of studies, which in turn keeps them engaged to express their own voice.

 

In addition to her teaching duties Ms. Cooper also acts as Chairperson of NCCS’ annual Chautauqua County Fair Art Exhibit.

 

Credentials:

  • Indiana University South East

  • Niagara County Community College

  • Majors/Concentrations: Fine Arts, Art Education, Liberal Arts/Social Science

Music, Band & Chorus

Mr. Cordell Harris

Mr. Harris has been teaching music for the past four years.  He joined the NCCS staff in 2019 as the band director.

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Very simply to spread his love of music to each student

  • Introduce students to a wide variety of musical instruments

  • Encourage participation in band performances and activities

  • Develop an appreciation of music as a lifelong activity

Credentials:

  • Music director for two years

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music education

Nurse

Mrs. Erica Boner

Mrs. Boner began her school nursing career in 2014, joining the NCCS Staff in 2019

 

Objectives/Goals:

  • Maintaining a health student body through proper education and practices

  • Becoming the best nurse I can be through continuing education

 

Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:

  • Health screenings including vision and hearing tests

  • Administer medications as prescribed

  • Communicating with parents and teachers regarding student health issues

Credentials:

  • Registered Nurse

  • Bachelor’s Degree Biology and Nursing

  • CPR Certified

Attended Jamestown Community College, SUNY Fredonia, and St. John Fisher College

 

Why I Love NCCS:

I attended NCCS graduating in 2004. My years at NCCS provided a stellar education allowing me to be where I am today.  It strengthened my faith which has carried over to who I am today.

 

Some of my fondest memories took place here at NCCS, and I cannot wait for my children to share in those memories.  

 

Physical Education & Health

Mr. Vince "Coach" Fogarty

Mr. Fogarty began his teaching career in 1978, joining NCCS in 2018.

 

Classroom Objectives/Goals:

  • Develop and master positive character traits through physical activity and sports.

  • Develop and apply lifelong healthy habits throughout their adult lives.

  • Provide each student with an understanding of the role nutrition and exercise play in leading a healthy lifestyle.

 

Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:

  • Established physical fitness records for grades 2 -8.

  • Spearheaded Santa for Solders and NCCS Kindness projects.

 

Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree Brockport State

  • Master’s Degree Fredonia State

  • Permanent Certification: Physical Education K-12, Health Education K-12,                                 Special Education K-12, Elementary Education K-6

 

Why I Love NCCS:

The students are bright and energetic with a desire to learn.

The staff led by Mr. Ludwig and Father Dan inspire me to inspire others.

Spanish

Mr. Michael Olivia

Grade Level and Subject(s) taught: Pre-K-Grade 8 Spanish

 

Year Started Teaching Career: 2017

 

Year Joined NCCS: 2019

 

Credentials:    Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Arts in History, Masters in Secondary Education-Social Studies, 

 

Certificates:  Teaching Certificates in New York, Arizona and Pennsylvania

 

Classroom Objectives and Goals 

  • To build our youth of today into the leaders of tomorrow

 

 Unique Classroom Activities/Projects:  

·      Monthly Fiestas.  

·      Spanish presentations on all Latino/Hispanic subjects.

 

Why I Iove NCCS:  

  • the whole school is one big family. It felt like home the minute I first walked in the door. This is where I belong; I couldn’t be happier being here. 

Computer Education/Technology

Mr. Vona and Mrs. Nalepa

 

​​Call us:

716-366-0630

Fax:

716-366-5101

​Visit us: 

336 Washington Ave

Dunkirk, NY 14048