President: Devin Zysling Craven, Rheonix, Inc.
Devin joined the DICC Board in 2016 and currently serves as the vice president. She holds a PhD in Biology and is passionate about science education and the representation of women in STEM fields. After performing her postdoctoral work at Cornell University, Devin and her husband Michael decided to stay in the Ithaca area to raise a family. Devin currently acts as the director of regulatory and clinical affairs at a local medical device company and brings expertise in project management. Devin and Michael’s two children have attended DICC since they were 8-weeks-old and are still enrolled in the toddler and pre-K rooms. She is infinitely grateful to the dedicated and loving teachers and staff at DICC for all they have done for her family and joined the board as a way to give back and ensure that this amazing resource is available for all families. Devin is excited to help advance the center’s mission of providing innovative and affordable childcare, while supporting the staff and strengthening the community
Treasurer: Jay Giesy, Cargill
Jay has been a member of the DICC Board since 2006, serving as Treasurer since 2008. He and his wife, Sarah, have been part of the Ithaca area community since 2000. Jay is a Dairy Nutritionist by trade and holds a PhD in Animal Physiology. Sarah, earned her doctorate degree in Animal Sciences at Cornell University. Sarah and Jay’s youngest of three children is currently enrolled at DICC and at least one of their children has been part of the DICC family since 2005.
Secretary: Courtney E. Gray, Ithaca College
Courtney Gray joined the DICC Board in 2010 and currently serves as the secretary. Both of her children were attending the center for childcare and she was looking for a way to give back and get involved. She has found her experience as a member of the DICC board to be rewarding. Courtney is a clinical assistant professor/athletic trainer in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at Ithaca College and has been a parent with children at the DICC for the past 5 ½ years. She feels extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful place to care for her children and is proud of the skilled and loving staff at the Center.
Member: Donnette (Dee) Baptist, Cornell University
Donnette (Dee) Baptist joined the Board of Directors in 2015. She is passionate about education, children’s advocacy, diversity, social equity, and international relations; and has worked in a number of philanthropic fields that champion these causes. She holds a Masters’ degree in International Relations and has held positions from Diplomat to Executive Director. Her first introduction to the DICC was as a part-time teacher, where she fell in love with the admirable work of the staff, and the brilliance of the pre-K students. She is currently affiliated with Cornell University both as a graduate student and as a member of staff, where she is pursuing a degree in International Development. Dee is originally from Jamaica, and currently lives in Ithaca with her husband Ed, step children, and an overly-friendly rescue dog Leo- they all (so they say) love her Jamaican jerked chicken.
Member: Lisa Bontempi, Ithaca City School District
Lisa Bontempi is a member of the DICC Board since 2011. She was born and raised in Ithaca and attended Ithaca City School District. Lisa earned her BA in Psychology/Elementary Education, and Masters in Special Education from SUNY Geneseo. She also acquired her Masters in Culture and Policy Studies from Empire State College. Lisa has been a Special Education Teacher for the Ithaca City School District since 1986 and currently serves on the Committee for Special Education for Beverly J Martin, South Hill, Northeast and Fall Creek elementary schools. Her commitment and expertise in early childhood education, development and readiness supports the DICC’s Board of Directors and program improvement efforts.
Member: Emilee Greene
Member: Judy Kugelmass, Binghamton University (Emeritus Associate Professor)
Dr. Kugelmass brings a 40+ year career in education to the DICC Board. Judy joined the DICC Board in 2016. Her work has focused on creating and supporting diverse and inclusive early childhood communities. Her professional experiences include work as a special education teacher, school psychologist, developmental specialist, administrator, consultant, researcher and teacher educator. Judy came to the Ithaca area in 1981 as a school psychologist, developmental specialist and Program Director for the Special Children’s Center/Racker Center’s Early Intervention and Early Childhood programs. She completed her Ph.D. in Special Education at Syracuse University. She was a full-time Lecturer in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell; Assistant Professor at Hobart & William Smith Colleges and SUNY Corland; Coordinator of the Empire State Foxfire Teacher Outreach Network. She brings extensive international experiences as a Fulbright Scholar and consultant in the development of inclusive education programs.
Member: Shaianne Osterreich, Ithaca College
Shaianne Osterreich joined the board in 2016. Both in her professional life and volunteer life she is deeply passionate about social justice with an emphasis on women’s empowerment. She holds a PhD in Economics with research focus on globalization, gender and race, and poverty alleviation. She has been teaching at Ithaca College since 2000 and has volunteered with the Alternatives Federal Credit Union as well as the Advocacy Center. She sat on the board for the Buffalo Street Bookstore in its first years as a co-operative. Shaianne’s son Reuben is in the Firefly Room and we are all very grateful to be part of the DICC family.