Meet RBERN Staff

Nicole Bell, Coordinator

Nicole Bell
Nicole Bell began her career in education as a music teacher before she decided to get her masters in TESOL at Nazareth College. Following grad school, Nicole was an ENL teacher for several years as a WFL BOCES Itinerant teacher and several years in the Sodus Central School District. She served as the coordinating teacher for the WFL ENL teacher consortium and was very committed to family engagement practices with ELLs and their families. She continues to spend her summers working with the Oswego Migrant Education summer program as lead teacher/program coordinator.  Additionally, her interest areas include culturally responsive teaching, bilingual techniques in the classroom, the Latinx student experience, and migrant education. Nicole is currently pursuing her Ed.D in the leadership for diverse learning communities program at Molloy University.

Anna Stukes, Professional Development Specialist

Anna Stukes
Anna Stukes has ten years of experience as an ENL and Spanish educator serving in roles ranging from ENL teacher, mentor, Instructional Coach, and now Professional Development Specialist and Local PRHYLI Coordinator for Mid-West RBE-RN. She has done extensive work with educators and families of English language learners in providing and supporting them with the resources needed in language and literacy development.   She strives to continue to aid families and educators with the resources and knowledge needed in developing language and literacy skills to ensure access to a quality and equitable education.  Along with providing youth with a platform to develop transferrable and sophisticated language skills and leadership experiences through PRHYLI. Anna holds a Master degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Spanish; Bachelor’s degrees in Communications Studies, Spanish Language and Literature, and International Studies.

Jennifer Raponi, Professional Development Specialist

Jennifer Raponi Jennifer Raponi is a Resource Specialist and the senior member of the Mid-West RBERN team. She was a preschool speech therapist before deciding to get her Masters in TESOL at the University of Rochester. Jennifer worked as a K-12 ESOL Teacher in Geneseo and started the original GV ESOL Teacher Cohort to support ELL education in rural districts. She is passionate about the equitable education of English Language Learners. Jennifer’s particular areas of interest and expertise are Students with Interrupted Formal Education, Literacy Development for English Language Learners, and collaborating with Districts to create effective and responsive programming for ELLs.   

Cori Smith, Professional Development Specialist

Cori Smith
Cori Smith is thrilled to be joining the Mid-West RBERN team as a professional development specialist. She has been teaching K-12 ESOL in New York State for 22 years. She worked for Monroe 2 – Orleans BOCES and taught in Brockport Central Schools for most of her career. She also taught in Spencerport Schools and in Wheatland-Chili. Most of her instructional work has been with K-5 students. Cori helped to develop the regional ESL Summer School program and co-lead the program for several years. She taught English in Asia and in Latin America. Cori holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Roberts Wesleyan College and a Master of Education degree in TESOL from Nazareth College.

Cori is passionate about supporting and advocating for ELLs and their families. She enjoys finding ways to connect with and engage all learners. Cori is eager to support teachers and help them learn more about language acquisition and how to best meet the needs of students. She loves to learn and grow.

Gia Callari, Department Support

Gia Callari
Gia Callari provides administrative support, financial and technological assistance, as well as helps to guide the day-to-day Mid-West RBERN office operations.