Welcome to the web page of the Office of Pupil Personnel Services which includes the Committee on Pre-school Special Education, Committee on Special Education, Section 504 Services, and services for Homeless Youth.  As a district we are committed to supporting our students in achieving their highest potential as productive members of our ever changing world and progressing down the path of college and career readiness.  The key is to keep doors open and opportunities available to all students to ensure them choices for paths that lead to happy, productive, enriched lives as part of a robust and supportive community.  The personnel of this office are committed to collaborative, cooperative, and positive interactions with all stake-holders with the primary focus being what is best for every child.  Throughout the school year we will work with families to keep them informed about their student’s progress, the ever changing landscape of NYS public education, and the decisions that impact them at the local, state, and national level.
Assisting me in my work at Taconic Hills is a very knowledgeable, skilled, dedicated team of professionals with decades of experience serving and supporting the students and families of the Taconic Hills School District.
As questions arise about pupil personnel related services, please feel free to contact the PPS office at 518-325-2850 or email me at jcostello3@taconichills.k12.ny.us so we may assist you.  Also check the website as we add information and links to resources that may answer your questions.

It is with great pleasure I join the Taconic Hills’ team as a leader and advocate for student success.  I am looking forward to getting to know the students, families, and other members of the community as we work to meet the District’s mission.  I join the district entering my twentieth year in education.  Growing up in Columbia County, currently living in Ghent, and completing my entire elementary and secondary schooling in Chatham, I returned nearly twenty years ago to my alma mater with my career change from the corporate venue to teaching.  I taught second and fifth grades prior to coming back to Chatham to teach sixth grade ELA and social studies. I taught at Chatham Middle School for twelve years leaving to become a literacy specialist with the Questar III BOCES and then Director of School Improvement and Professional Development for the Office of School Improvement for the BOCES. Most recently I was Director of Instructional Improvement PK-12 in the Catskill School District.  During my time as a teacher, I consistently taught in classrooms with full inclusion with consultant teachers as well as co-teachers.  I spent many years supporting struggling learners with academic interventions, developing alternative programs of learning, and employing a response to intervention methodology.  I look forward to utilizing my instructional and school improvement experience as we work to develop the most appropriate supports for students.

Bachelor of Science – Ithaca College
Master of Business Administration – Syracuse University
Master of Science in Education – College of Saint Rose
School District Leadership Certificate – Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

N, K, Gr. 1-6 Elementary Education New York State Teacher Certification
School District Administrator (SDA) Certification

Administrative Experience:
Director of School Improvement and Professional Development overseeing nine departments including school improvement, data analysis, bilingual education (RBERN), special education (RSE-TASC – SESIS), on-line and distance learning, supplemental education services tutoring, home schooling verification, Teacher Center, and RTTT Network Teams.
Director of Instructional Improvement PK-12 for 1600 student district

Teaching Experience:
Grades 2, 5, 6
Academic Intervention Services – reading and mathematics
19 years of experience in education

Extra-curricular/Related Experience:
Drama Club Advisor (MS and HS)
Director/Producer/Set Designer/Etc. for MS/HS musicals
Curriculum Leader – ELA; Grade Level Leader
District Strategic Planning Committee
Mentor/Mentor Trainer/Mentor Coordinator
Staff Development Specialist/Professional Development Consultant/Facilitator

Page updated - 7/14
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