Board of Directors
Judith Hauser, Treasurer
Judith is a CPA and the CFO of a corporate event production business serving Fortune 500 companies world-wide. She has served on local boards throughout the community including Catskill Ballet Theatre, Rondout Valley Little League and Diana’s Cat Shelter. Judith is a member of the Rondout Valley Business Association. Along with her husband, Peter, she was instrumental in bringing back musical theater to Rondout Valley High School. Judith joined the Rondout Valley Education Foundation because she has a passion for bringing amazing educational experiences, whether in the arts, sciences, community engagement or sports, to the students in her community. Judith was elected Chair in October 2018.
Maggie Colan, Emeritus Director, Vice-Chairperson
Maggie Colan-Maggie grew up in Dutchess County. She graduated from S.U.N.Y. Oneonta in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts and Science. She moved to Ulster County in 1990 after meeting her husband. She lived in High Falls until 1995 when she moved to Stone Ridge, where she currently lives. She has been active in both the school and municipal communities as both a volunteer and staff. She currently works as the Planning & Zoning Committee Secretary for the Town of Marbletown. In the past, she was on the CDC committee for the Town, was PTF President for Marbletown Elementary and is a founding member of the Foundation. She believes it is important to be active in her Community.
Nancy Taylor, Emeritus Director, Treasurer
Nancy is one of the founding members of the RVEF. Currently an emeritus board member she holds the position of financial secretary, manages the foundation’s designated funds, and previously served as chairperson of the RVEF Board. She attended school in the RVCSD from kindergarten through graduation as did her three children. Living within the district and serving in various volunteer capacities, including 9 ½ years on the School Board, working within the framework of an Education Foundation provided the next logical step to expand on the ways that individuals, alumni, community businesses and outside agencies could contribute to maintaining and enhancing the educational opportunities for all students in the district.
Nelda Gerner, Corresponding Secretary
Nelda Gerner is currently the co-secretary and chairs the RVEF Board meetings. She helped form the Parent Association at Rondout Valley High School and served as its chairperson. As a member of the Rondout Valley Business Association, she established the RVBA Education Committee, which developed a Leadership Institute Course for high school students that she organized and ran from 2013-2018. She is also the current director of the Rochester Food Pantry. “Building bonds between community members and students is a bridge to a strong community spirit.”
Wayne served 6 years as a trustee on the Rondout Valley Board of Education, serving two years as Vice President. He and his wife have two children, one that has graduated from Rondout and one currently in the High School. He is the Director of Quality, R&D and Safety, at Stavo Industries in Kingston. Wayne is a strong supporter of public education and believes that all children deserve the best education possible. He is a lifelong Ulster County resident and has lived in Stone Ridge for the last 20 years.
Kelley O’Connor has been a Social Studies Teacher in the Rondout Valley School District for 28 years, spending most of those years teaching 8th grade. Kelley is extremely passionate about US History and has created many projects and field trips to enhance student experiences, understanding, and passion for US History. In that capacity, Kelley has worked closely with the RVEF. Since 2011 the RVEF has maintained a designated account for the Fireboat John J Harvey Project, a project which Kelley has established for Rondout students. The Rondout district has been home to Kelley and her family throughout her career. Her daughter is a 2021 graduate of Rondout and currently attends college while her son is a Senior at Christian Brothers Academy in Albany. Kelley’s philosophy and dedication to giving Rondout students meaningful exposure to curriculum as well as experiential learning is a good companion for the many ways that the RVEF can support and enhance opportunities for Rondout students.
Briana Maloney, Vice Chair, Chair of Grant Committee
Briana Maloney co-founded the boutique grant writing firm Choice Words, LLC and has been assisting Hudson Valley non-profits with their funding, public relations, and strategic communications needs for the last ten years. As a private consultant, she also worked with the SUNY Ulster Foundation for a year and helped them secure funding for scholarships. Before that she worked as an academic research librarian at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh and Rockland Community College. For the last four years, Maloney served as President of the Board of Lederman Children’s Center in Stone Ridge and left that position as her two children moved into Kerhonkson Elementary School. “I’m hopeful that my decade of experience with Hudson Valley non-profits will benefit the Rondout Valley Education Foundation, and consequently the students of the Rondout Valley. I strongly believe in the value of providing children with enrichment beyond what regular funding might allow.”
Caroline Berninger, Emeritus Director
A Marbletown resident for over twenty-six years, Caroline Berninger is the pastor of the Rondout Valley United Methodist Church and the mother of two RVCHS graduates. One of her children is a 2015 college graduate and the other is currently in college; both were educated in the RVCSD from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Caroline appreciates the RVEF’s role in opening up new and creative opportunities for learning for students and teachers in the Rondout Valley, connecting people in the District to others in the “real world” (both locally and beyond the bounds of the District).
Dr. Al Roberts
Al’s educational leadership in our community is all about strengthening and leveraging the ties from K-12 partnerships and connections to college. During Roberts’ tenure as President of SUNY Ulster (July 27, 2015, through July 27, 2022), SUNY Ulster was named the #1 Community College in New York State for two consecutive years in a row (2020 and 2021) by BestColleges.com. In 2016 he launched the President’s Challenge Scholarship through the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc., a scholarship initiative to assist first-generation college-bound students with overcoming the financial barriers associated with attending college starting in 8th grade. Today, all 9 Ulster County school districts are participating with 300 students receiving 2 year scholarships to SUNYUlster. Dr. Roberts received his Associate’s Degree in Marketing and Retail Management from North Country Community College; his Baccalaureate Degree in Business and Marketing and Master’s Degree in Distributive Education from the University of New York at Albany; and his Doctorate in Community College Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida.
Alla Pinsky was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, and came to the United States as a refugee in 1979. Alla has a graduate degree in Material Science from St. Petersburg Polytechnical University. In her first few years in the United States, she held multiple nonprofessional jobs to support her family.
Beginning in 1982, Alla started her professional carrier as a manufacturing support engineer at the Superabrasive Division of General Electric in Columbus, Ohio. Over the next fifteen years she held various positions at GE, improving and developing technology for producing industrial diamonds. Following that, she led several global technology and engineering teams for GE and other companies in the United States, France, Ireland, China, Mexico.
“I am very excited to join RVEF and contribute to educational opportunities for local students.”
Ali Chapin is an educator with 20 years experience as a school counselor. From crisis counseling to teaching social emotional lessons in the elementary classroom, Ali’s experiences have helped her deeply understand the needs of the whole student.
Ali is a parent of two Rondout students and has been an advocate for our RVCSD educators since observing their passion and commitment from the time her children were little ‘goslings’ in Jump Start Kindergarten!
Ali is excited to help remove the barriers for educators to enhance learning with their own initiatives, and believes that project based educational adventures create engaged and passionate learners.
She is certain that providing support to our teachers is critical to ensuring future generations have the tools they need to make this world a better place.