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The Center for English Teaching  is committed to the ongoing advancement of teaching and research in the secondary English Language Arts.  Through its various initiatives, the center fosters English teacher communities of practice focused on progressive, student-centered instructional strategies rooted in social justice and the development of 21st century literacies.  Our work positions English teachers as experts and leaders in their field and focuses on the development of 7-12 English classrooms of meaning, purpose, and power in the world.



James Cercone

Dr. James Cercone, Director

Dr. James Cercone is an associate professor of English, who teaches courses in Methods of Teaching Language and Literature, Young Adult Literature, Ethnic American Literature, and also supervises student teachers. He is the coordinator for the English education program, the faculty advisor for the English Education Student Association, and is the Director of the Western New York Network of Teachers (WNYNET).  Dr. Cercone's research interests include, communities of practice in teacher education, inquiry-based models of English language arts instruction, impacts of neo-liberal education reform on teachers and students and New Literacies Studies. Before joining SUNY Buffalo State, Dr. Cercone was a clinical instructor of English Education and coordinator the Education minor at the University at Buffalo. Dr. Cercone also worked for 10 years as an English teacher, English department chair at Cheektowaga Central High School, where he served as co-coordinator of the Diversity program for the district.


Kristen Pastore-Capuana

Kristen Pastore-Capuana, Associate Director

Kristen Pastore-Capuana, assistant professor of English education, joined the SUNY Buffalo State faculty in 2017 after teaching high school English in Western New York for 14 years. Pastore-Capuana received her B.A. at Boston College, and her Ed.M and Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo. Her research interests include critical literacy pedagogy, secondary English language arts teacher development, and teacher advocacy.





Board of Trustees

Jordan Abrams

Jordan manages the internal audit function for a global, publicly traded, IT Solutions and Services company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. He earned a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting from Canisius College.







Jason T. Daniels

Jason T. Daniels, Esq.

Jason is a Western New York native, and attended the University of Buffalo where he received a BA as well as a JD/MBA. He is licensed to practice law in New York and works as Senior Associate General Counsel for Catholic Health System. Jason is also an adjunct professor at the University of Buffalo School of law and at Erie Community College. At Catholic Health System, he is the program lead for the organizations Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program. He also serves on many volunteer boards including as the Governance Committee Chair for the Massachusetts Avenue Project and as the Vice Chair of Buffalo Prenatal Perinatal Network.






Molly Flynn

Molly Flynn

Ms. Molly Flynn is a seasoned executive with over 25 years of experience. She has worked in both the public and not-for-profit sector in various capacities over the course of her career. She is currently an independent consultant working in higher education. Previously, she worked at D’Youville College from 2006-2019 where she served as the Associate Vice President of Grants and Professional Development, Director of Government Grants, and Program Manager. She has also worked as an adjunct instructor at a community college, the executive director of a small community-based not-for-profit, and a program analyst on a national U.S. Department of Justice sponsored grant. Molly has served as a grant reviewer in over twenty-five reviews for four federal agencies, including the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice as well as the Corporation for National and Community Service. Molly holds a B.A. in Sociology from Miami University and a M.Ed. from SUNY Buffalo in Higher Education Administration. Ms. Flynn was recently elected Trustee for the Village of East Aurora, NY.

Dr. Elizabeth Freas

Dr. Elizabeth Freas

Dr. Elizabeth (Liz) Freas serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Supports and Western New York Regional Information Center  (WNYRIC) Services. In this role, she oversees the Technology Service division of Erie 1 BOCES as well as the WNYRIC, which combined serves over one hundred school districts. Dr. Freas began her work with Erie 1 BOCES in 2013 after spending eight years as a teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master of English, and Master of Educational Leadership degrees from Niagara University and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Capella University. She is currently an officer on two boards; New York Association for Women in Administration (NYSAWA) and the Academy for Human Rights.






Dr. Hilary Lochte

Dr. Hilary Lochte

Hilary Lochte is an Assistant Professor at Buffalo State College, in the English Education and Elementary Education departments.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, a Master’s in Education, and Doctorate in Sociological Foundations of Education all from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research, teaching, and service focus on the needs of youth in today’s urban communities as she provides support for new and practicing teachers to utilize multicultural children’s literature in service of powerful literacy. Dr. Lochte teaches courses in Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature and Methods of Teaching Language She also supervises student teachers. She is also Director of the Buffalo Urban Teacher Graduate Residency Program at Buffalo State. This New York State funded diversity initiative supports Teaching Assistants and Teacher Aides from the Buffalo Public Schools as they earn MS Ed’s and teacher certification.


Sarah McGowan

Sarah McGowan

Sarah grew up in Detroit, Michigan, and attended Michigan State University where she studied Sociology and obtained her first Master’s Degree in Labor Relations and Human Resources. She spent several years as a Change Management consultant at Accenture, working across a variety of industries including automotive, financial services, and consumer products.In 2000, Sarah joined Stop & Shop/Ahold and found her true passion in retail. She started in the organizational development function, and quickly moved into the strategy & business improvement area where she developed a formal strategic planning process, and overhauled and improved several key merchandising processes.






Vanessa O'Neil-White

Vanessa O'Neil-White has a B.S. and an M.S. English Education from Buffalo State College. As an undergraduate student, she co-founded the English Education Student Association and as a graduate student, she helped found the English Education Alumni Network. Vanessa has taught both middle and high school students in multiple schools in WNY. She currently teaches 7th grade English Language Arts at Sweet Home Middle School.





Scott Reimann

Scott Reimann, Business Manager

Scott Reimann has a B.A. in English from John Carroll University, a M.A. in English from Stony Brook University, and a certification in English Education from the University at Buffalo. Scott has taught both middle and high school at local public and charter schools. Currently, he teaches English and communications courses at Bryant and Stratton College.






Rachel Robinson

Rachel Robinson teaches 7th grade ELA at Elmwood Village Charter School. Rachel is completing her MSED in English education at Buffalo State, where she earned her BS and certification in 2019. Rachel focuses on, and believes in, the power of multicultural, anti-racist, education. She believes in creating a classroom environment where all students feel seen and heard





Lidia J. Snyder

Lidia J. Snyder

Lidia J Snyder earned a Masters in Social Work as well as a BA in Sociology from the University at Buffalo. She has previously worked in Child Welfare and Alternatives to Incarceration. She holds a 300 hour certification as a Trauma Sensitive Yoga facilitator from the Center for Trauma and Embodiment in Boston. She specializes in working with survivors using this evidence based modality across Western New York. Lidia offers continuing education through the UB School of Social Work on trauma focused content. She is a contributing author in the recently published book, Yoga and Resilience. Lidia previously served as a board member for the King Urban Life Center, Gateway Longview and the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition.






Bailey Buckley

Bailey Buckley, Student Representative

Bailey Buckley, is an undergraduate student in the Secondary English Education program at Buffalo State.  She has worked as an English Education Student Association officer and is  the co-founder of the English Education Book Club. Bailey will student teach in the Spring 2023 semester. Her teaching interests focus on social justice and cultural responsiveness in the English classroom.






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Center for English Teaching

1300 Elmwood Ave  •   •  Buffalo, NY 14222