Nicole Capsello, President
I began my journey in the SCSD as a building sub at Meachem Elementary, where I eventually was hired on as a permanent Special Education Teacher in a second grade inclusion room. I landed over at Salem Hyde about 7 years later continuing to co-teach in multiple grade levels. My involvement in the union began over at Meachem and continued when I moved into Salem Hyde. I served as their Chief Rep for 4 years. I have served on the Executive Board for the last 4 years as a Unit 1 Director and as the 3rd Vice President. Throughout those years I have participated in multiple committees including APPR, Safety Task Force, Coordinating Committee on Professional Development and been a part of our negotiations team. I had the opportunity to participate in the NYSUT Leadership Institute and become a proud graduate that program. I now have the honor of serving as your First Vice President.
William Magnarelli, 1st Vice President
I have been a teacher in SCSD for 16 years, teaching Social Studies and the middle and high school levels and am currently teaching Adult Education. I am passionate about our union and look to make sure all of our members are represented fairly. I have been an STA Rep and Chief Rep at various buildings and am excited to meet the challenge of being your 2ndVP.
David Shuman, 3rd Vice President
I have been an employee of the Syracuse City School District and member of the Syracuse Teacher’s Association for the last eleven years. I have spent my entire career at JT Roberts School in the same classroom teaching fourth graders and find it a very rewarding. I became involved with the STA first as a Representative and then as Chief Representative. I am very proud of the fact that after the Janus ruling Roberts was one of the first schools to have one hundred percent reenrollment in our union. My goal is to serve all of our members to the best of my ability as your 3rdVice President.
“I will talk and act, not on my knees, but with prudence.” Lech Walesa
Unit 7 President & 4th Vice President
Unit 7 President from 2011 – Present
Unit 7 Director from 2005 – Present
PAC Coordinator 2017 to Present
NYSUT Leadership Institute Graduate 2012
NYSUT AFT Health and Safety Trainer
NYSUT AFT Indoor/Outdoor Trainer
CPR, AEO and Basic First Aid Trainer
NCBI Trainer since 1999
I have been Unit 7 President off and on since 2005. I have been involved in the Union since 1988. I am very passionate about the work I do in our Union.
Richard Rogers, Treasurer
Since beginning in the SCSD in 1997, I have learned many lessons, the most important lesson being that we need to listen to each other. I have been fortunate enough to have spent the past twenty years teaching at Edward Smith School where I took on many roles for both my students and colleagues. Listening to what they have to say, and taking action when the need arises, has led me to where I proudly and humbly am today.
I was introduced to union activism by the previous Chief Rep at Ed Smith where I later became the Chief Rep. This led to my further involvement in our union, becoming a Unit 1 Rep five years ago at the encouragement of many colleagues. In addition to being a member of the Executive Board, I am a member of the Finance Committee as well as the School Safety Task Force.
I look forward to serving you over the next three years in my new leadership role. The lessons I have learned in the past will be even more important as we need our union to continue to strengthen as we stand side by side fighting for the same cause, our children. I vow to listen to you and act when the need arises as I always have.
James Smith, Secretary
My name is James Smith, and I am the Recording Secretary of the Syracuse Teachers’ Association. I graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in English and Textual Studies. Teaching English in the Syracuse City School District for thirteen years at T. Aaron Levy Middle School, Edward Smith K-8, and William Nottingham High School has been my passion, but I have been honored to experience many other things. In the Syracuse City School District, I have tutored, taught and mentored students in grades seven through twelve. At the collegiate level, I have also served as an adjunct instructor in writing, literacy, and public presentation courses at Syracuse University and at The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
I was proud to attend the NYSUT Leadership Institute several years ago. I am also thrilled to give back to my union by serving a role on the recent contract negotiations team, and also engaging with the Coordinating Committee for Professional Development.
Kerry Read, Unit 1 Director
I started my teaching career in Syracuse City Schools at Blodgett School when it became K-8 in 2004. I taught English as a Second Language there for 5 years, then at Delaware, Porter, and Seymour. I currently teach English as a New Language at Franklin School for the past 5 years. I built a career being the voice for my students, as many of their parents can't yet. Now, I want to continue being the voice for others- this time teachers. I'm a member of the ENL Subject Area Subcommittee for NYSUT, and look forward to being Unit 1 Director.
Areli Schermerhorn, Unit 1 Director
I am currently the ENL and Bilingual Independent Evaluator and Chief Rep for the Professional Development Center. I began my career as an ESL teacher in 1993 at Fowler High School. I served for 3 years as a PAR consultant, and as an ESL Content Specialist at Nottingham H.S. I am the ER&D coordinator and an AFT National Trainer. I look forward to representing the teachers of the SCSD as a Unit 1 Director.
Patrick Stoner, Unit 1 Director
I, Patrick Stoner, began my teaching career in SCSD at Seymour Dual Language Academy in 2008 as a 2nd grade inclusion teacher. I taught at Seymour for 5 years as a 2nd grade and 1st grade teacher. As the school was transitioning to a Turnaround school I was selected to work at Dr. Weeks Elementary as a 1st grade teacher. I then experienced the Turnaround process at Dr. Weeks and reinterviewed for my position and was selected to continue to work at Dr. Weeks. After completing my 2nd year at Dr. Weeks I interviewed with the Pre-k program and was selected to become a Pre-K teacher at Dr. Weeks, which I have been doing for the last 3 years.
My involvement in the union began at Seymour Dual Language Academy when I saw the importance of what the Chief Rep was doing there. I began to sit with her to learn aspects of the Union and became a Building Rep. After she retired, I became the Chief Rep at Seymour. Once a Chief Rep, I learned of the Executive Board and submitted by application and resume in 2013 and since that time I was elected to serve on the Executive Board as a Unit 1 Director. Throughout my years on the Executive Board, I have participated in many Rallies, NYSUT conventions, and AFT conventions. In this process I have learned how unions continue to develop to be most effective in these changing and challenging times. It has been an Honor and continues to be an Honor to serve on the STA Executive Board as a Unit 1 Director.
Ali Knapp, Unit 7 Vice President and Director
I have been with unit 7 food Service since Sept 2001. I am currently recently voted into the spot if vice president of our unit. I am also on Labor Management, Menu committee, Executive Board, and Contract negotions. I'm very excited to be elected as an SRP delegate for this is something new for me.
Virginline Woodall, Unit 8 President
In my more than 30 years in Syracuse City Schools I’ve held various positions: teacher, teaching assistant sub, and teaching assistant. I am known to be outspoken, dedicated and very passionate when it comes to my family, my coworkers and my union. I put forth the effort to stay involved and keep members informed.
When I started, there was a strong union a force to be reckoned with, because everybody understood that our unity was our strength. To return the STA to the strength and respect it once commanded, I believe we ALL need to be involved.
I’m currently a chief rep for Clary Middle School, representing members in 11 job titles, too many of whom feel underrepresented. I am a delegate to the NYSUT RA and serve on the NYSUT Civil and Human Rights Committee.
If given the chance, I will be committed to making a difference in the lives of our SRPs; to bring back the light that was once present. I have seen many union officers come and go. I have learned what to do and not to do. When to be heard and when to listen. I am ready to stand firm and fight for all members of unit 8.
Unit 8 Vice President
It is an honor to serve as our Unit 8 Vice President. I aim to serve us all with dedication and dignity. For the past 15 years, I have served in the Syracuse City School District in many capacities. I have learned a great deal in these capacities that I will bring to the position to benefit you as a result. I have done extensive work with student discipline and restorative justice. I bring those skills to the position to support and build positive and healthy working relations. I have learned a great deal about learning styles through the many professional developments I have participated in and I hope to be a champion for our unit to learn and grow together.
Mark Warner, Unit 8 Director
Teaching Assistant Syracuse Latin
Chief Rep Syracuse Latin School
Unit 8 Director SyracuseTeacher Association
NYSUT SRP Advisory Committee
Regional Cordinator NYSUT Education and Learning Trust
Instructor Nysut Education and Learning Trust
Vice - President Syracuse Strong Football. NFA Semi -Pro Team
Owner – Photographer: Photography By Mark Warner
Judy Holmes R.N
Porter Elementary School Nurse
Unit 10 Director (STA Executive Board)
Unit 10 President
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above he narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. . . . Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Martin Luther King, Jr.
I have been with the Syracuse City School District since August 2016, working as a school nurse at Porter Elementary School. However, my working career can best be described as a “Yin-Yang” balance between nursing and writing. A graduate of Albany Medical Center School of Nursing, my nursing experience is literally “cradle to grave.” I have held positions in labor and delivery, maternal-child health, orthopedics, operating room, rehabilitation, long-term care, and home care. Nursing is my “Yin.”
I also hold a B.A. degree in newspaper journalism and political science from Syracuse University, and worked for 16 years in public relations at Syracuse University News Services and also in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. I was a news reporter for the Asbury Park Press and the Shrewsbury Register, both located in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and I worked part-time for the Syracuse Newspapers. Writing is my “Yang.”
Of all of the positions I have held, this is only the second time in my working career that I have had an opportunity to be a member of a labor union. My first opportunity was early in my career when I was a head nurse in a county-run, long-term care facility. However, I have always been supportive of the union movement. You might say it is in my DNA. My Mom, Mabel Wannamaker, was president of the Otsego County Chapter of the CSEA for many years. I can only imagine how pleased she would be to learn that I agreed to serve as an officer in my union. She must be looking down from heaven and smiling.
Martin Luther King, Jr. frequently spoke about serving others. For him, it was a person’s primary calling. I am passionate about health, safety, wellness, and justice. I look forward to this opportunity to serving our students, their families, and our union through my work as a school nurse, as a member of the STA Executive Board, and as president of Unit 10.
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Patty Tanguay, Retiree Director
Being an active union supporter during my years as an educator, I retired in 2009, with 34 years in elementary education. I was asked to represent Syracuse Retired Teachers (STARS) as a member of the Executive Board in 2012. I continue to support our teachers and students by being an administrator of the Expanding Horizons Grant, which is an available funding support to our teachers for their students growth. My most important task in retirement is being the Mom of 3 wonderful children and the grandmother of three beautiful grandchildren.
Robert Merola, Labor Relations Specialist
Since 2007, I have been either studying or working in the field of Labor Relations. I spent two years at Onondaga Community College as a Labor Studies major, before transferring to Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 2009.
At Cornell, my coursework focused on collective bargaining and labor history. After graduating in 2011 I returned to Syracuse to pursue my interest in the labor movement, and worked as a paralegal at several labor and employment law firms for the following four years. In 2015, I enrolled at Cornell Law School, where my focus was on Labor Law and Public Interest Law. During that time, I interned as a summer law clerk at Blitman & King, one of the most prominent labor law firms in New York State.
I attended Webster Elementary School, Grant Middle School, and graduated from Westhill High School. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for the Spectemur Agendo Foundation, an educational non-profit organization based in Ithaca, NY, and my interests include local history and self-care.