Our staff are highly-qualified professionals who are dedicated to promoting student success. Our staff come from a range of professional backgrounds in the public and private sectors.


Valeri Thomson
B.A., Bard College; M.A., Ed.M., M.Ph., Ph.D., Columbia University.
Director of Immediate Science Research Opportunity Program at Bard College, 1998-2007; research scientist at Rockefeller University; visiting faculty in Bard’s Master of Arts in Teaching Program; associate of Bard’s Institute for Thinking and Writing. Articles published in Journal of Bacteriology, Journal of Molecular Biology, and Plasmid. Primary research interests include factors underlying pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis; and development expression of the neuronal NMDA receptor in zebrafish.
718-361-3133 x8002

David Allen
Assistant Principal
BFA, Creative Writing, Brooklyn College; MFA, Creative Writing, The University of Michigan, Advanced Certification in School Leadership, Brooklyn College.
Taught English at Brooklyn Technical High School, The Dalton School, Bushwick Outreach Center, Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, Phillips Academy, The University of Michigan and Brooklyn College. Served as Assistant Principal, English at Art and Design High School. At The University of Michigan, he received the Hopwood Award in Major Fiction. His poems and stories have been broadcast and published in several New York City outlets.
718-361-3133 x8000

Laura Hymson
Dean of Academic Affairs
B.A., American Studies, Wesleyan University; M.A., Gender/Cultural Studies, Simmons College; Ph.D., American Culture, The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Taught at Rutgers University-Newark; Hunter College; and University of Hartford. Areas of research include 20th century U.S. cultural history, with a particular focus on the historical constructions of race and gender; branding and advertising; and globalization.
718-361-3133 x7706

Lori Ween
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Special Education Coordinator, Literature Faculty
B.A., Comparative Literature, Cornell University; M.A., Comparative Literature, Northwestern University; Ph.D., Comparative Literature, The Pennsylvania State University.
Taught Literature at Bard High School Early College Manhattan 2002-2011; Dean of Studies at Bard High School Early College Newark (2011-2019). Areas of research and publication include marketing of 20th Century American women writers, the publishing industry and ethnicity, African American literature, and family sagas.


Jonathan V. Cann
Systems Analyst & Manager
B.A., Asian Studies, Bard College.
Independent author and programmer. Interests include art, photography, and gaming.
718-361-3133 x6813

Elizabeth Dunn Canty
Guidance Counselor
B.A. English & Communications, Boston College; M.A., Education, CUNY Brooklyn College; M.A., School Counseling, New York University. Worked previously as New York City Teaching Fellow & Secondary English teacher at Harry Van Arsdale High School, as Guidance Intern & Health Teacher at BHSEC Manhattan, and as Guidance Counselor & Study Skills Instructor at Bard Early College Academy.  Founding staff at BHSEC Queens.  Special trainings include: Options College Access training, Suicide Prevention, Respect for All with a special focus on anti LGBTQ-bias, Opportunity Gaps for students of color, Adult Basic Literacy, and Project Adventure Ropes Course.
718-361-3133 x6923

Justin Casale
Guidance Counselor
B.A., Psychology and Education, Muhlenberg College; M.A., School Counseling, Boston College
718-361-3133 x6723

Jess deCourcy Hinds
A.A., Bard College at Simon’s Rock; B.A., English, Smith College; M.F.A., Fiction, Brooklyn College; M.S.L.I.S, Library Science, Pratt Institute. Publications include School Library Journal, Brain, Child; The New York Times; Newsweek; Ms. Magazine; Seventeen; Teachers & Writers. Awarded a Twining Fellowship for research in Italy (2009). Named one of the Pratt Institute’s “40 Under 40 Rising Stars” for library leadership and nonfiction writing (2012). Fiction Fellow at Pen Parentis (2015). Awards include second place in the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize (2017).
718-361-3133 x6642

Angel Johnson-Telesca
Guidance Counselor
BA, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY; M.Ed. in Counseling and Human Development, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY.
Angel brings over 18 years of College Counseling and Guidance experience from the New York City school system and private sector.  Professional interest include providing mentoring and counseling to underrepresented students in areas where access to secondary educational opportunities may not be readily available.
718-361-3133 x6823

Gabriel Mollica
Learning Commons Director
B.A., Music, Comparative Literature minor, Hamilton College.
Served as the George Watson’s Teaching Fellow in Edinburgh, Scotland. Taught lessons in English, Philosophy, and Music, as well as Special Education. Teaching Assistant at the Henry Viscardi School, a K-12 school for children with physical disabilities. Worked five summers at the Double H Ranch, a summer camp for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Interests include storytelling, stand up comedy, essay writing, and disability advocacy.

Wilfredo Pagan
Payroll Secretary
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Renae Plummer
Parent Coordinator
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Olga Ramos
Director of Admissions
A.A., Bard High School Early College; B.A. Psychology, Bard College; M.S. candidate, Urban Affairs, Hunter College.
Trustee Leader Scholar at Bard College and founder of the Young Rhinebeck Youth Program: Life, Learning, and Language, 2005. Worked in admissions at BHSEC for more than ten years, first as Admissions Coordinator, then as Smart Scholars Outreach Coordinator. Olga has a long-standing commitment to outreach into the NYC public schools and particularly in recruiting students to BHSEC who come from disadvantaged academic and economic backgrounds. Research/interests include urban public education, program evaluation, early college initiatives and community activism.
718-361-3133 x6913

Adam Rhodes
Technology Coordinator
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Olga Russell
Laboratory Technician Biology
B.A., Biology, Bard College; M.A., Social Studies, Russian State Pedagogical University in St. Petersburg, Russia; M.A., Microbiology, Columbia University.
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Crystal Sandiford
Director of College Transfer Office
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Karimah Shabazz
Director of Bard DNA
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Marion Stack
Special Education Coordinator and Assistant to the Dean of Academic Affairs