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Civic Readiness Initiative

Mission Statement: Encourage all students to believe in the power of their own voices and actions.  Equip all students with the skills and knowledge necessary to engage responsibly in our culturally diverse democracy.  Empower all students to make informed decisions to enhance our interconnected world. 

New York State Department of Education chose to include the Civic Readiness Index in our Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan as a tool to measure school's success. 

The Social Studies Content Advisory Panel and the Civic Readiness Task Force are working together on the following goals:

  1. Ensure students develop the knowledge and skills to meaningfully transition to postsecondary opportunities and to exercise civic responsibility
  • Define Civic Readiness
  • Create the Criteria for the Seal of Civic Readiness
  • Explore capstone projects
  1. Create guidance and resources that support the K-12 NYS Social Studies Framework Practices:
  • Civic Participation
  • Gathering, interpreting and using evidence
Social Studies Content Advisory Panel
Name Title District
John Antoski High School Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa CSD  
Gloribel Arvelo-Park English Language Learner and Social Studies High School Teacher Rochester City School District
Ashley Baxter English Language Learner, Special Education and Social Studies Teacher New York City Department of Education
Joal Bova High School Special Education Teacher Questar III
Sophia Delamar Social Studies Middle School Teacher Shenendehowa CSD
Erin Farley Special Education and Social Studies Middle School Teacher Starpoint CSD
Dawn Flowers-Thompson Elementary Teacher Rochester City Central School District
Doreen Gordon K-12 Department Chairperson Happague School District
Stanton Hudson


Executive Director

Buffalo State, SUNY

Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site

Kristi Lane Elementary Social Studies Teacher Sherburne-Earlville CSD
Joe Liberti High School Civics Research and Action Teacher Mamaroneck CSD
Merrie Maxon Elementary School Principal Silver Creek CSD
Laura Mecca-Retzlaff Special Education and Social Studies High School Teacher Susquehanna School District
Jessica Mellenthine Secondary English Language Learner Teacher Rochester International Academy
Desmond O'Connor Instructional Supervisor Schenectady City School District
Kameelah Rasheed Instructional Specialist for Global History New Visions for Public Schools
Jenna Ryall Instructional Coach New York City Department of Educaiton
Gloria Sesso K-12 Department Chairperson Patchogue-Medford CSD
Nick Stamoulactos K-12 Department Chairperson Syracuse City SD
Earnestine Sweeting Instructional Coach New York City Department of Education
Sharon Szeglowski Elementary Teacher Clarence CSD


Civic Readiness Task Force
Name Title Organization
Allison Armour-Garb Senior Advisor P-20 Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning New York State Department of Education
Dawn Bartz Director of Social Studies Yonkers CSD
Laura Bierman Executive Director New York State League of Women Voters
Brian Carlin Social Studies Instructional Coach New York City Department of Education
Michael Coppoteli Associate Superintendent Public Policy and Student Services Archdiocese of New York
Cheryl Couser Deputy Director of Public Information New York State Board of Elections
Barry Derfel Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES
Michael DiMezza Director of Career Technical Education Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES
April Francis Social Studies/Online Learning Curriculum and Staff Development Specialist Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES
DeNora Getachew New York City Executive Director Generation Citizen
Bill Hecht District Superintendent Orange-Ulster BOCES
Jessica Karnes Coordinator of Staff Development, Curriculum, Differentiated Instruction and Data, K-12 Social Studies Erie 1 BOCES
Lisa Kissinger Academic Administrator for Social Studies, Grades 6-12 Shenendehowa CSD
Steve LaMorte Director of Social Studies Rochester City SD
Debra Lesser Director Justice Resource Center
Tony Lopez Executive Director Zone 126 Neighborhood Community Schools
Aruna Patel Instructional Specialist New Visions for Public Schools
Charles Perraud

Jury Commissioner for the NY State Courts in Monroe Co. and Court Interpreting Coordinator

7th Judicial District
Christy Radez Associate, Office of Curriculum and Instruction, Lead Facilitator for the Civic Readiness Initiative New York State Department of Eduation
Michael Rebell Executive Director, Center for Educational Equity, Chairman of the Civic Readiness Task Force Teachers College, Columbia University
Joe Rogers Director of Public Engagement, Senior Researcher, Center for Educational Equity Teachers College, Columbia University
Peter Sawyer History Department Chair, Director for Service Learning and Civic Engagement Hudson Valley Community College
Joe Schmidt Social Studies Instructional Coach New York City Department of Educatoin
David Scott Law and Civics Educator Coordinator Northport CSD
Chris Sperry Director of Curriculum, Project Looksharp Ithaca College
Ellen Sullivan Assistant in Educational Services New York State United Teachers
Tara Thibault-Edmonds School Media Library Specialist Roundout CSD
Christine Zapata Social Studies Instructional Lead, District 31 New York City Department of Education


We are actively seeking participants for our upcoming stakeholder committees.  If you would be interested in serving on one of these committees please submit your name and resume to