This section is dedicated to assisting Cornell alumni/friends network with one another.

If you would like to share your activities with Cornell alumni and friends, email Diane with the pertinent information. Or if you have a homepage, send the URL to Diane and she'll link your homepage to the Alumni homepage. The members of the department look forward to hearing from you!


What Cornell Graduates are Doing

Emily Barbuto, '00, emilygraceb@yahoo.com. I am currently teaching 2nd grade (my favorite grade) at Seoul International School in Korea.  I'm ESL certified now, but I prefer being a regular classroom teacher.  Also, I just became a published novelist. The title is Instigating Profligacy: Aviva and Aisha's Adventures in the World and my pen name is E.G. Barbuto.  It's fiction but loosely based on my adventures and misadventures teaching, living, and touring overseas.  Mostly, it's about culture shock. It's a comedy, and I'm told it shouldn't be read on a full bladder.  At the moment it's only available at Barnes and Noble and the publisher's website, but it will be available at Amazon and other places soon.  Here's my website with the link to the book. http://www.geocities.com/egbarbuto/instigating_profligacy.html  (10/05)

Whitney Bennett Turner, '04.  This is my third year teaching kindergarten and first grade students with Autism.  I still work in downtown Los Angeles. My school is 98% Latino and almost completely Spanish speaking so it is a great cultural experience for me.  A lot different than growing up in Mount Vernon, IA.  I have ESL certification (called CLAD in California).  I will have my preliminary license in moderate/severe special education this summer.  I have 9 more classes for my Masters  and now my advisor has put a bug in my ear about getting my doctorate.  (May 08)

Patrick Block, '05, I am teaching at Midland High School in Wyoming, IA. I am teaching 5 different classes and coaching basketball and softball. (Oct. 05)    

Lizz (Blondi) Breuning Ruttencutter, '02   Lizz@Ruttencutter.com  Scott (01) and I still live in Windsor, WI with our son and 2 labs.  We have been busy with our web development company, IQ Foundry, www.iqfoundry.com  Scott runs the company and I help out with billing and expense reports when I can.  After our son Alex was born in 2008, I quit nannying and coaching swimming to become a full time stay at home mom-something I absolutely LOVE, and am very blessed to be in a position to do.  I recently completed all of my requirements to turn my teaching license with stipulations into a permanent 5 year teaching license here in WI!  I will be teaching summer school in Waunakee again for the 6th summer this year.  The most exciting news, however, is that we are expecting baby #2 in November 2010! (May 10)

Chad Brown, '97, cbrown1975@mchsi.com. I am still a teacher for the visually impaired and I now work for the Iowa Braille School and am housed in Bettendorf, IA. I got married in June of this year and just bought a house this fall. (Nov. 04)

Erin Casey, '09  erincasey09@gmail.com. I graduated from Cornell with a BA in English and Secondary Education. I was selected to attend the Denver Publishing Institute in Colorado where I learned all the fine points of editing, publishing, and marketing. It was a wonderful experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who's interested in the publishing field. While attending DPI, I applied for a position at Pearson in Iowa City, and I received the job on my day of graduation. I'm currently working at Pearson as a proofreader. My main duty is to proofread tests, answer documents, testing manuals, along with other documents, from all over the states. These tests are created for students anywhere from grade 3 to high school. I really enjoy the job, and it's very interesting to see how the tests are created before they're sent off to the students. When I'm not working, I'm busy writing/editing the series of novels I hope to have published in the near future.

Jan Cedarholm Moore, '92. I am currently a K-4 interventionist at Washington Elementary School in Mount Vernon, IA.  I thoroughly enjoy working with students 1:1 to provide them intensive support in reading, writing and math.  It is my hope as an educator to positively impact the lives of all students each year in as many ways as possible.  My husband Sean and I have been fortunate to live in Mount Vernon since the fall of 1994.  We keep busy with our son Sam and our daughter Anna.  In addition to spending time together as a family, I enjoy working on our old brick house, photography scrapbooking, writing and knitting.  (Aug 07)

Jane Ellen Christy Woundy, '00, janechristy@hotmail.com Since leaving my wild and crazy college life at Cornell, I have been busy enjoying my life as a K-12 Art teacher or “Sassy Art Mama” as my students have lovingly dubbed me. I live and work on the small tropical island of Kwajalein Atoll, which is located in the Marshall Islands (it's on the equator and half way between Hawaii and Australia). I recently got married here to my fabulous husband, Michael, and had a lovely seaside wedding.  My students like to call him “Art Papa” or my personal favorite, “Mr. Art Mama.”  During my tour here, I have established myself, not only as an Art teacher, but also as an artist, as I have started my own studio business creating jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and illustrations.  Aside from teaching and creating my own artwork, I also love to spend my time traveling, cooking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing. I've heard the statement many times that most marine biologists come from Iowa...I agree. I am fascinated with the alluring and pristine surroundings here. I feel very fortunate to be experiencing this, as well as to have had such a strong support from Cornell's Education Department...I couldn't have made it here without them. (May 10)

Maegan Coffin Heidel, '05, m-coffin@cox.net, My husband Matt ('07) and I live in Janesville, Wisconsin with our dog, Ollie, where I teach 1st grade at Harrison Elementary.  I taught 2nd grade for four years previous, one year at Harrison and the other three at Jay Shideler Elementary in Topeka, Kansas.  At this time, I am working towards a Master's degree in School Library Media at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. (May 10)


Sherri Condon, '84, conburn@mchsi.com. I graduated with a Degree in Education and French. I have an MA in French and an MA in Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa each with an emphasis in Education. I currently teach at Linn-Mar High School. I have completed my National Board Certification. I have also taught at Kirkwood Community College for several years and coached at Mount Mercy College, which were both extremely positive and fulfilling experiences. The field of Education continues to be demanding but very worthwhile. (Aug 07)

Tiffany Cowan, 09  tiffany.r.cowan@gmail.com  I am currently teaching first grade at Steven R. Jasinski Elementary in Buckeye, AZ.  I also coach 8th grade girls volleyball and 7th grade girls basketball. (Jun 10)

Shane Ehresman, '93 - Selected as the 2005 Iowa Assistant Principal of the Year by the School Administrators of Iowa. Currently the principal at Washington High School in Washington, Iowa.
Married Tashia Andes '95 on November 26, 1994, in Marion, Iowa. We have three boys (Sage, Drake and Kale) and two girls (Kasiah and Kaleah). (Aug 07)

ToniAnn Gallagher Siegle, '07.   I will still be teaching at Byrns Darden Elementary Schools in Clarksville, TN next year.  However, I will be moving to third grade.  (Mar 08)

Heather Gardner, '07. Teaching 6th grade at Sundance Elementary in Buckeye, AZ.  (Mar 08)

Britta Gregor, '02, iliailin@gmail.com  After taking a semester off to substitute teach and contemplate my future, I enrolled in the Library Science and Information Science programs at Indiana University Bloomington. I earned my MLS and MIS in December 2004. I've recently started a job as a youth services librarian for Broward County in Pembroke Pines, Florida. I do all programming for infants and toddlers, as well as my other librarianly duties. It's a fantastic job and I'm loving South Florida. (Aug. 05)

Samanta Kreider,09. skreider08@gmail.com. I'm teaching 5th grade at King-Murphy Elementary in Evergreen, CO. Our school is currently going through the application process to become an International  Baccalaureate World  School. It's been a lot of hard work, but the students are learning how to be open-minded inquirers, and they ask incredibly thought-provoking questions. I am also the facilitator for our Student Council, as well as a co-sponsor of our Spelling Bee club. (Nov 10)

Mitch Jensen, '99, I have taught in Dallas, TX, for 3 years and am starting my 4th. Last December I finished my master's degree in Education Administration and hope to become a principal in the near future. Currently, I am our middle school's athletic director and head of the boys' physical education department. I am the head football and track coach. My 19 month old son, Caden, and wife, Lyndsey, have been very supportive and I enjoy spending time with them. I also enjoy hunting and fishing. I am truly thankful to Cornell's education department for preparing me for today's educational world. (Aug. 05)

Kanesha Lee, '94, Director of Field Experiences, School of Education, University of Colorado at Boulder (Feb. 08)

Michelle Link-Valenstein, '06, michele.valenstein@gmail.com.  I am currently teaching second grade at United Community Elementary School in Boone, Iowa.  Every year since leaving Cornell I have taught a different grade!  Last year I taught third grade, also at United Community, and the year before that, I taught kindergarten in Minnesota.  My Minnesota experience was a great year of personal learning, as I taught at a charter school based on the Latino culture and had very few students who spoke English as their first language.  Those students struck a cord with me, and I am planning on returning to school this spring to obtain my ELL endorsement. (Jun 08) 

Morgan Marthaler, '07, morganmarthaler@gmail.com. I am teaching French at MacArthur High School in Houston Texas. I'm sponsor of French club and a cosponsor of the class of 2013. In addition to teaching responsibilities, I am also department chair. (Aug 11)

Krystal McKinney Manka, ’04- kayzyx@hotmail.com I am currently teaching at Jefferson High School in Cedar Rapids. I teach language arts in the BD (behavior disabilities) department. I am working on my MAT (Instructional Strategist II: BD/LD) from Morningside College and should be completed in May ’09. My husband, Ryan, and I will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary on 9/18/08. Outside of school, I am a member of an adult cheerleading squad (http://www.iowaelitecheer.com ) and a member of the Cedar Rapids Rollergirls Roller Derby team (http://www.myspace.com/crrollergirls).   (Jun 08)

Andrea Molkenbur
Dibble, '94,  After many years of teaching fourth grade, I am excited to be teaching first grade in the fall at Lakeview Elementary in Solon, Iowa.  I have been lucky to have Cornell student teachers and practicums join me in my classroom over the years.  My husband and I live in Solon with our son, Mason, and our daughter, Nora. Both will be at school with me as Nora starts Kindergarten. As a family, we enjoy hiking, cooking, and spending time watching our children's sporting events. (May 10)

Brian Nawotka, '07.  I am teaching first grade at Steven R. Jasinski Elementary School in Buckeye, AZ.  I am also the 8th grade boys basketball coach at Jasinski. (Mar. 08)

Maggie  Obermann, '08. After graduating in 2008, I completed my student teaching at Regina Middle School in Iowa City and then substitute taught for the remainder of the school year.  In July of 2009, I began my one year term as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Fort Collins, Colorado.  During my term, I've worked for Colorado State University and a local non-profit, coordinating youth programs that promote access to higher education and service-learning as well as teaching GED.  Recently, I have accepted an offer to attend graduate school this fall at the University of Leeds in the UK where I plan on receiving my MA in Victorian Literature in one year.  I'm very excited to embark upon this new adventure and to see the intense study take me one step further towards my goal of becoming a college professor of either English or English Education (with service-learning, of course!).

JuliAnne Pardon '93, japardon@occ.cc.mi.us. After working a few years in adult education (teaching English, English as a Second Language [ESL], and computers), I have settled into a life working for the community college -- running the support services for the ESL program at one of our five campuses and am even teaching a class or two! The international population is extremely interesting, and work and "life" become a bit blended, with many of my friends having been students. In 2000 I bought my first house -- in the historic district of Pontiac, a resurging city in the southeastern Michigan area. Homeownership keeps me busy -- removing layers of other people's ideas of decorating and establishing my own ideas about it! To maintain another interest developed at Cornell, I have dabbled in theatre here as well. Most notably, I served on the Royal Court as lady-in-waiting to the Queen at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. My embroidery obsession has allowed me to embellish many a garment, and I honed my skills as a bridesmaid as well!

Anne Peters, '07. I am currently living in Iowa City and substitute teaching for both the Iowa City and Solon School Districts.  At first the job was difficult, being almost completely about discipline and rarely about content; but now I've actually grown to love it and I enjoy the spontaneity of never knowing where I'm heading the next day!  (Feb 08)

Kaila Schaefer, '05, k-schaefer@hotmail.com. I am happily spending my 4th year teaching in Beloit, WI in 2nd grade. Our district is very diverse, with a quickly growing population; though we are a SAGE school (which means our class sizes are capped at 16 children), I have had 25 students for the last 2 years. My numbers of ESL children are increasing rapidly, and I have taken a few refresher-Spanish courses to aid the parent/teacher conference process.  I am currently working on my Master's Degree through the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (Curriculum and Instruction); our group is piloting a new format to the learning community program. So far, my Iowa experiences in multi-age classrooms have provided me a great foundation for some of my current research. The Cornell Education Dept. prepares its students well, and I have found that to be exceedingly beneficial during this graduate process. (Jan. 09)

Aaron (AJ) Varner, '05, aaronjvarner@hotmail.com. I am currently teaching PE at a K-8 Charter School in Westminster, Colorado (near Denver). Also teaching Health, Elementary Technology, and 6th/7th grade Math. Here's some advice: Go to Cornell Alumni events! I went to a CYA Happy Hour and met my school's counselor (Class of 1994) the same day the position opened up. I got an interview the very next day and here I am. Thanks, Cornell!!! (Oct. 05)

Bekka Younquist Simmering, '03, Rebekka.Simmering@cscs.lions.org. Teaching 5th grade at Colorado Springs Christian School and coaching high school girls' soccer for the same school. I am loving it and enjoying life! (Jan. 06)