Americorps VISTA Farm to School Coordinator – AuSable Valley Central School District
Shane is assisting local farmers by performing pest control projects. In the spring, he began working on a banker plant initiative, which helps farmers control aphid outbreaks in greenhouses. This effort is still in progress. In the summer, he monitored farms for a tiny, invasive fly, called the swede midge. The leek moth is an emerging problem for allium growers, and Shane helped scout for this pest during the summer and fall. Furthermore, Shane helped a dairy farm apply beneficial nematodes to control the alfalfa snout beetle. These projects are documented on the Cornell Cooperative Extension – Essex County website. Currently, Shane is involved in a comparison of different mouse traps, for controlling rodents in greenhouses.
The community in Essex County has been very supportive. The farmers remain willing to participate in these experiments, which is gracious of them, because Shane has to consistently romp around on their property. Hopefully the results of these projects will promote sustainable agricultural practices, build vegetable-growing capacity, and empower the farming community in their pest control efforts.
Technology and Data Coordinator – AuSable Valley Central School District
Nate is a former student of AuSable Valley, growing up locally outside of Lake Placid, NY. Nate recently graduated from Providence college with a bachelors degree in Finance and plans to attend Law school in the fall of 2021. Nate joined the VISTA program as he saw it as a great opportunity to help the local community as well as grow his professional career. As a Technology and data coordinator, Nate has been responsible for utilizing databases and interactive online forms to collect and organize data to help assist with further research and administrative organization. Nate has enjoyed the various amounts of opportunity the VISTA program offers as he has recently been able to combine his passion for law within his latest project surrounding privacy law for students and teachers under the NYS ED2D compliance law. Nate continues to look forward to learning, helping, and growing through his time as a VISTA.
Marketing & Communications Specialist – AuSable Valley Central School District
Victoria is originally from New Hampshire, and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications & Media Studies from Emmanuel College in Boston. During her time in college, she volunteered locally and went on service trips to Phoenix and New Orleans. During these opportunities, she learned about AmeriCorps and decided to apply to the VISTA program to combine her interest in marketing with her passion for helping others. Victoria chose to become an Adirondack VISTA because she was drawn to the Marketing & Communications Specialist position and wanted to be more immersed in nature after four years of living in Boston. Her projects for the AuSable Valley Central School District include researching marketing best practices, creating marketing guides, branding district materials, making handbooks, creating videos, and creating a new district website. She is extremely grateful for the warm welcome she has received from the AVCS community and looks forward to continuing to streamline and improve communication in the district.
Service Analyst and Development Specialist – Behavioral Health Services North, Plattsburgh, NY
Stephen grew up in the Hudson Valley and earned university degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lafayette College and the University of Arizona. He volunteered twice in the Peace Corps, first in Nepal building foot-bridges, and the other in Botswana supporting community development programs for indigenous San populations. These early experiences helped to increase his awareness of global poverty and social injustice, and are responsible for most of his career being in international development settings. As such, the focus of his work shifted from engineering to public health and he has worked with global communities to build local responses to disease. Later in his career his focus shifted toward strengthening government and NGO health systems. He received an MSc in International Development from Tulane University.
After more than 25 years of designing, implementing and managing health and community development programs in underserved communities in Nepal, Botswana, Bhutan, Myanmar and Liberia, Stephen has returned to New York with a goal to find ways that his work and life experiences might have relevance at home. The VISTA Service Analyst and Development Specialist’s role in helping Behavioral Health Services North better provide services to underserved and low-income populations aligns well with this goal. He appreciates the warm welcome at BHSN and looks forward to learning about health systems in the US and to making meaningful contributions to BHSN’s mission.
VISTA Assistant Athletic Coordinator- AuSable Valley Central School District
Hannah is a recent AuSable Valley graduate (class of 2017) currently in pursuit of a teaching degree from SUNY Empire College in an online program. While she spent some time away during the beginning of her college career, she decided to come home and become more involved in the community that raised her. She was hired to coach at AuSable Valley as the girls modified A basketball coach and began working at the middle/high school through the VISTA program. During her time working thus far, she has assisted Mr. Hulbert with athletic competition set-up and break-down, scheduling, uniform inventory, and various other jobs, and she is currently in the process of bringing a NYSPHSAA Captain’s Club to AVCS for current and upcoming leaders within the student body. She is excited to continue her work at AVCS and is thankful for the opportunity to be working alongside such dedicated faculty and staff.
Social and Emotional Online Coordinator – AuSable Valley Central School District
Brian is grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania and graduated with a BS in Paralegal Studies at Pennsylvania College of Technology. After realizing he wanted to make a career as a writer, Brian joined the anti-bullying organization Sweethearts & Heroes and traveled with them for several months as they toured northeastern school districts bringing with them the message of HOPE and Action. When Sweethearts & Heroes joined the AuSable Valley Adirondack VISTA program, it gave the Sweethearts & Heroes team an opportunity to help transition their message into an online, social and emotional video series that is already reaching hundreds of students. While working in the VISTA program, Sweethearts & Heroes has also begun a professional development series with a brand new novel that is helping teachers transition through these difficult times.
Education Outreach Specialist – AuSable Valley Central School District
Michael Rafferty is currently serving as the Education Outreach Specialist At AuSable Valley Central School. While serving in this position, Michael has redesigned the substitute staff coordinating position to utilize new technology. Michael is a graduate from UAlbany, with a Bachelors’s degree in Political Science, and will graduate in May from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Master of Science in Secondary Education in social studies.
Agriculture, Family, Food and Health VISTA – Families First
Ronnie’s work past and present includes: The Arc, Families First (AmeriCorps) and Adirondack Community Action Programs and Mineville BOCES. She also worked at two pre-schools, one in Elizabethtown and one in Moriah. She worked the past three summers for the town of Moriah Youth Commission. She owns and runs Decker’s Flats Greenhouses in Moriah with her husband Jim.
Her AmeriCorps work focuses on Local Food Outreach and Education, in order to increase local food access in the community. Her first project will be to ensure all local food vendors that take SNAP, WIC and FMP coupons in the Adirondacks are located on the Adirondack Harvest website. They have a search function that makes it easy to find local food venues that take those nutrition dollars. She will also reach out to all county Department of Social Service, Public Health, and related organizations to let them know that this searchable resource is available so they can promote and share it. Additionally, she is reaching out to senior centers, the Office of the Aging, and other community organizations to organize field trips to farmers’ markets, cooking classes and more, in order to help seniors engage with the local food community.
Marketing & Communications Specialist – AuSable Valley Central School District
Usman Muyeeb is a Remote Marketing & Communications Specialist VISTA for AuSable Valley Central School District. For AVCS, his projects are graphic design and website/social media management.
Prior to joining AuSable, Usman was a Systems and Outreach VISTA at the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center in Denver. The work he tackles for CNDC centers around strategic planning and expanding the reach and impact of CNDC through social media and outreach plans. His goals for the year are to create and implement outreach, marketing, capacity building and social media plans and a board outreach and education strategy. Before that, he did Brooklyn AmeriCorps for Reach Out and Read under NYU Langone. Before that he studied Video Arts and Technology at Borough of Manhattan Community College.