Omayra L. Padilla De Jesús, PhD, MBA
Currently, in addition to her role as Executive Director of Rise High, she also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of The Schenectady Foundation. Omayra is also a Member of the Board of Trustees of City Mission Schenectady, and Member of the Advisory Board of the Department of Education at Clarkson University, Capital District Campus.
Omayra loves brunches and organizing theme parties to celebrate with friends and family. She lives in Clifton Park with her husband, three daughters, and her mother, with whom she loves traveling and spending time.
Stacey Giordano, EdM
Director of Education
Stacey began her college career studying large animal veterinary medicine. Along the way, she realized she loved science education and has been teaching science and math to middle and high school aged students since. Her educational philosophy is rooted in constructivist principles which means that her classrooms are active places where students are building their understanding of scientific and mathematical concepts through interaction with relevant content. As an academic administrator, Stacey views educational challenges as opportunities to improve student, family and teacher experiences.
Stacey holds graduate degrees in educational leadership and curriculum and instruction from Cornell University and Teachers College, Columbia University. She has taught graduate level courses in teacher development and curriculum theory, supervised student teachers in school placements, and has published works in agricultural science and education. She has served on evaluation and accreditation teams for the New York and New Jersey Association of Independent Schools as well as the Middle States Association of College and Schools.
Stacey is an agriculturist and lives on a small farm in Grafton, NY with her wife. They have two college-aged children.
Mark Little, PhD
Board of Directors, President and Treasurer
A company officer for 21 years, Mark had a two-part senior leadership career at GE managing both major lines of business and global research. Mark became only the ninth director of GE Global Research in the company’s history. Mark’s research team of over 3,600 people was from every major scientific and engineering discipline, working at nine facilities in the USA, India, China, Germany, Brazil, and Israel. As CTO, he led some 50,000 technologists across GE.
Charitable work is central to Mark’s purpose. He and his wife founded and operate the Little Family Foundation, which supports the local community as well as international and veterans organizations.
Since retiring from GE, Mark continues to be active in business as a Director of Analog Devices Inc., a Venture Partner in Material Impact, and a board member in a number of startups. He is also active in the Schenectady Community as Chairman of the Board of Ellis Medicine, Chairman of the Schenectady Smart City Commission, Director of Better Community Neighborhoods, and a strong supporter of Young Parents United and the Schenectady Boys and Girls Clubs.
Mark trained as a mechanical engineer, with a bachelor’s degree from Tufts, master’s from Northeastern, and Ph.D. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of which Mark is a Trustee. Family life is at Mark’s core. He and his wife Terri have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. He is an avid book reader, a self-taught guitarist (rock, blues, jazz), a golfer, and a huge Boston sports fan.
Teresa (Terri) Little
Board of Directors, Vice President
Terri and her husband, Mark, founded and operate the Little Family Foundation, which supports many local community organizations including Boys & Girls Club, Ellis Hospital, Girls Inc., City Mission, and Young Parents United, among others.
Board of Directors, Secretary
Julie earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova University. She joined General Electric’s Operations Management Leadership Program in 2005. She was a regional Sourcing Leader at GE until leaving to focus on her family.
Julie enjoys gardening, cooking, photography, and spending time with her family. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Niskayuna.
STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS
We have an amazing team that keeps things rolling! This group includes local scientists, educators, college students and professionals in various fields of science, and dedicated volunteers that simply love children! Our people engage in various roles that include, but are not limited to…
• managing all technical planning that supports computer-aided curricula
• guiding curriculum development alongside local experts who deliver current and highly relevant content
• supporting student engagement
• weekly mentoring of students assigned to each grade cohort represented (6th, 7th, and 8th grades)
• planning and distribution of weekly meals for our students during session
We could not do it without them!
Alexandra Ashby ♦ Andy Berner ♦ Sheila Canabush ♦ Joseph Christian ♦ Corinne Coleman ♦ Tori Coleman ♦ Joshua Conway ♦ Nieem Crockett ♦ Christine DeLuke ♦ Leigh Feguer ♦ Jen Insull ♦ Chris Janishak ♦ Elaine Kennedy ♦ Nikole Kucza ♦ Brandon LaFleur ♦ Lakhena Leang ♦ Sherif Mohamed ♦ Shridhar Nath ♦ Shrilata Nath ♦ Jen Nechamen ♦ Jeannie Plis ♦ Arden Rauch ♦ Elizabeth Rivera ♦ Andrea Schmitz ♦ Dessie Shoemaker ♦ PR Subramanian