New staff get to know Herkimer CSD

Teachers stand around a table looking at papers

It’s still summer vacation, but Herkimer CSD’s newest staff members had their first day of school this week as they spent the day getting to know each other and their new district.

Teachers gathered at the Jr./Sr. High School for a day-long orientation, which included team-building activities and a tour of the district by bus. For their first challenge, they broke into two teams to solve a Breakout EDU puzzle that challenged them with clues about the district. Smiles and laughter filled the Media Center as the two teams worked to answer questions and figure out the codes that would unlock their Breakout boxes.

The new staff members ate lunch with their mentors — experienced teachers who will provide them with support and guidance — before going on a bus tour of the district.

Meet the staff

Teachers pose in front of the entrance to the high school

Joining Herkimer CSD for the 2019-20 school year are:

Herkimer Elementary

  • Amberlyn Elinger, grade 4
  • Michaelyn Winkler, grade 3
  • Courtney Crozier, special education

Herkimer Jr./Sr. High School

  • Vanessa Jecko, physical education
  • Zach Steele, social studies
  • Talia Baker, agricultural science
  • Joshua Schneider, math
  • Rachael Witter, science
  • Jillian LaLonde, special education/English
  • Megan Burdick, science
  • Amanda Turnbull, long-term substitute, sixth grade
  • Jessica Carpinetti, social worker


  • Richard Mathy, STEM/science

New for 2019-20

With a couple of exceptions, the new staff joining the district this year are stepping in where there were retirements, or where staff left the district for other employment.

The social worker position at the high school is new this year. This was part of the budget proposal approved by voters in May to enhance the district’s ability to support students’ social, emotional and mental well-being. The social worker will provide instruction, run groups, and provide counseling to students at the Jr./Sr. High School.

The districtwide STEM teacher position is a change from previous years — this position takes the place of services that had previously been provided by BOCES. In addition to teaching STEM/science, Mr. Mathy will provide instructional support to teachers throughout the district.

This position, and the new courses added for 2019-20, are part of an ongoing districtwide effort to build STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) offerings for students.

“The intent is to modernize our programs and enhance our students’ opportunity to be 21st-century college and career ready,” Superintendent Robert J. Miller said.

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