Meet our Teachers

Coach’s Corner (Updates from our CHS Instructional Coach, Ms. Cammarata)
The past few months have been an especially busy time as we tackle the continuous task of studying the quality of our instructional practices at our school and supporting the professional development of our teachers. In March, I attended the NYS Next Generation Standards Conference in Rochester, NY. At the conference, we learned about the upcoming changes to the NYS Learning Standards, how these standards relate to the current standards, and a timeline for implementation. I’ve had the opportunity to share this with administrators and some teachers during common planning time. I will be sharing more information in this regard as we get closer to implementation dates. Right now the state is in the Phase I – “Raising Awareness” of implementation, with Phase III – “Full Implementation” of the new standards happening in September 2020.

The school’s first educational book club met last month and we discussed a chapter from A More Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas. This book was referenced multiple times at an MYP conference I attended, and we focused on the chapter dealing with students and building questioning skills in the classroom. Teachers who attended the book club received one hour of CTLE credit toward their certification requirements.

Quill, Schoology, and BPS Instructional Priorities have been the main focus of coaching with teachers during the 3rd and 4th quarters. Quill is a literacy/writing improvement program that all teachers, grades 5-12, have access to and can assign supplemental activities. I had specialized training sessions with the ELA Dept and grades 5/6 to introduce Quill and how our students can benefit from it. Since then, many teachers have signed up and Grade 5 has been completing hundreds of activities! Schoology is a Learning Management System that allows teachers to upload classroom work and create/grade assignments/activities all in one place…it is an exciting glimpse into the future of education. On the last Early Release Day, I had a the opportunity to walk through Schoology with every single teacher, in addition to Office 365 and eDoctrina, which will continue to be useful as our school expands to full 1-1 technology implementation. Our City Honors Schoology group has 80 members consisting of teachers, administrators, and teacher assistants/aides. I use this group to communicate initiatives (like the BPS Instructional Priorities), helpful resources, and it is a one-stop shop for all of our data/assessment information. I have also been meeting bi-weekly with our building’s district technology liaison to help answer questions and learn new programs which I can turn-key to teache

Pat Cooney was the Math Studies SL teacher in the IB Diploma Program at City Honors from 2008-2011. His position was impacted by a round of layoffs in 2011 and he was brought back as the school’s IB Middle Years Program Coordinator from 2011-2012. Missing his calling as a HS math teacher, he moved to NYC and has been teaching there since 2012. He currently teaches at the Harlem Village Academies HS (which is now also an IB DP school).

In late June, Pat had to have emergency brain surgery after a head injury resulted from a fall associated with a seizure while he was walking to grab dinner in his NYC neighborhood.

Unfortunately, a major medical emergency doesn’t come without major costs. Specific details are available in the link below to the gofundme fundraiser, but needless to say the costs will not be insignificant.

As a City Honors teacher, Mr. Cooney never hesitated to stay after school to help a student and went above and beyond in volunteering his time to the school. From chaperoning school dances, to taking on being senior class advisor in 2010-2011, to chaperoning a school trip to Egypt, and senior trips to Disney World, he was there for our school and our students.

Students, colleagues, alumni, friends, and current/former CHS families are encouraged to help with his recovery anyway they can – from giving to the gofundme fundraiser to writing a card to let Pat know the difference he made in their lives – to sharing this post on social media.

The gofundme link is below. The address to send get well cards and positive notes is: Mr. Pat Cooney & Family, c/o Rachel Smith, 35 West 118th St., Apt. 3, New York, NY 10026.

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Mrs. Olrogge, our IB Biology teacher, will be on maternity leave starting March 27.

Mr. Indaka Thudellage will be serving as the temporary IB Biology teacher in Mrs. Olrogge’s absence. Mr. Thudellage has an undergraduate degree in Biology and Chemistry as well as a Masters degree in 7-12 biology education.

Details on this can be found here.

Ms. Mengqian Wang will serve as substitute Chinese teacher while Mrs. Lu is on maternity leave.  Mrs. Lu will return on April 18 to welcome our students back from spring break. Ms. Wang has a background in education and is fluent in Mandarin; allowing our students to further their understanding and practice of the language. She will be following unit and lesson plans created by Mrs. Lu.

Additional details can be found here.


CHS is currently searching for a temporary IB Biology teacher to fill a maternity leave opening starting in mid to late March. Due to the shortage of science teachers, our search for the past few months through the Buffalo Schools HR Office and our collegiate institution partners in Buffalo and Rochester has not yielded any qualified candidates. We are now appealing to any CHS family who might know of a qualified candidate with a degree in biology or living environment. This position has the possibility of carrying over into next school year. Please encourage any candidate that you may know to contact Dr. Kresse directly at

Christina MacIntyre recently joined our faculty as our new permanent grade 6 teacher within the STARS Program at CHS. Mrs. MacIntyre is an experienced special education teacher who has worked extensively with students with autism, including as a temporary teacher within the STARS program at City Honors at the start of her career in Buffalo. During her previous work with us, we came to know Mrs. MacIntyre as an energetic, positive and caring individual who was passionately committed to our students.

Please welcome new school clerk, Carla Briglio, who will start on January 3rd. Ms. Briglio will work alongside current clerk, Ms. Maracle, out of the main office. School typist, Ms. Taggart, will return to working in the school counseling office.

I am writing to announce the appointment of a number of new members of the faculty over the past few weeks since my Back-to-School letter in August. Please welcome to The Hilltop:

  • Deborah Casseri (Grade 9 AP World History)
  • Jean Claude Delettrez (temporary teacher for Mrs. Roche – IB French & French Grades 5 & 6)
  • Jennifer Dobmeier* (Orchestra/Strings)
  • Evan Kaderbeck (IB Economics/AP Human Geography)
  • Lisa Kankolenski (French 7, French I & French II)
  • Carrie Martin** (temporary school counselor for Mrs. Allman – student last names G-M)

I again want to thank all those who volunteered as members of our stakeholder review committees this year. Teacher and parent voice is a critical element in securing teachers in an effective and contemporary school culture. I also appreciate the continued patience our students and parents have shown as we worked through late teacher movement, district procedures and contractual obligations to get our new teachers in place.

Sincerely, William A. Kresse, Ph.D.


*Ms. Dobmeier is currently teaching in the New York City area. She will transition to CHS in early November. In the meantime, Mr. Sharratt has been convening grade 9-12 orchestra in the mornings.

**Ms. Martin has a start date of October 12.

We have selected a new strings teacher for CHS and are currently working to get this person on board as quickly as possible! More news will be provided by Dr. Kresse once all the details are in place.

In the meantime, Mr. Sharratt and some of our upperclassmen in the strings program would like to get our high school students warmed up for the arrival of the new teacher so they can hit the ground running. The grade 9-12 orchestra will begin practicing at 7:30AM on ACE days. The first practice will be Monday.

Students should enter through the atrium entrances, bring their instruments, and be ready to play! If possible, they should have their instrument in tune, so the group can get started as soon as possible. But if they can’t tune their instrument themselves, Mr. Sharratt will do it for them as soon as they arrive. The group will be starting with selections from Phantom of the Opera and Disney’s Pocahontas. If parents have any questions they should call Mr. Sharratt at 716.440.5122.

The CHS strings/orchestra program has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past few years. Thank you to Mr. Sharratt and our student string leaders for volunteering their time and taking the initiative to ensure the momentum keeps going!

Last week, The Buffalo News released an article about beloved CHS Music Teacher Donna Kerr who recently gained recognition for a prestigious accolade! Kerr and four other local music teachers were named quarterfinalists for a music educator award presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. The award will be given to a music instructor who proves to create a lasting impact on their students and the music department at their school. These nominees have proven to be significant assets to the field of music education based on their effective teachings, commitment and support to their rising musicians. The semifinalists will be chosen next year at the Grammys in September 2016.

For the full Buffalo News article, go to this link:

Submitted by: Morgan Morris, ’17, The CHS View Student Reporter

CHS welcomed aboard two new faculty members during the month of October. Mrs. Marlena Sbriglia is a dual certified teacher who is teaching math and science to our grade 7/8 students within the STARS Program. Mrs. Sbriglia comes to us from Tapestry Charter High School.

Mrs. Kristan Mackiewicz is our new Chair for the CHS Committee on Special Education and a member of the CHS Student Support Team. Just a few of Mrs. Mackiewicz’s duties include developing and administering Individualized Education Programs and 504 Plans for students as well as providing leadership to our STARS Program.

Thank you to all of our teacher and parent stakeholders who gave of their time to review candidates for these positions. A special thank you to Mrs. VanRemmen and Mrs. Vinkle in the SST Office who helped to keep CSE/SST services continuous for the first two months of school!

kellyKelly Ann Hyla, a BPS Science Teacher at City Honors School will be receiving a prestigious award – “Excellence in Secondary Teaching” from Phi Delta Kappa International, a premier professional association for educators. Ms. Hyla will receive the award May 7 at the Past Presidents’ Award Banquet for the Buffalo-Niagara Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa. Congratulations!
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  • Events at a Glance

    September 4: Crew Open House @ WSRC, 6p
    September 6: First Day of School
    September 12: Parent Get Acquainted Night, 6-8p
    September 18: Senior Photo/Make Up Day
    September 20: Back to School Food Truck Party, 5-8p
    September 28: Open House, 9-11a
    October 5: CHS Admissions Testing @ Olmsted
    October 10: Underclassmen Photo Day
    October 14: Columbus Day – No School
    October 16: PSAT Testing, Gr 10 & 11 (Periods 1-4)
    October 19: CHS Admissions Testing @ Olmsted
    October 25: Ice Cream Social/Haunted Lockers, Gr 5&6, 6:30-8:30p
    October 26: CHS Admissions Testing @ Olmsted


    Looking for sports-related event dates? Click on the link to the master calendar: Open CHS Master Calendar

    Click here to view or download the 2018-2019 BPS District Calendar.

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