Contact Staff

Our staff prides itself on our excellent customer service to our members. Our knowledgeable team is here to serve you and answer your questions. Contact information can be found for each staff member below. Click on the arrow next to the person's name to find how to connect with them. 

Where to Find Us

7 Elk Street, Third Floor
Albany, NY 12207

T:  518.449.1063
F:  518.426.2229  

Council Staff

Allie B. Andress, Program & Membership Associate


T:  518.694.4881

Allie provides support to our members by serving as the primary contact for general inquiries and database updates; answering and directing calls.  She provides support for our LEAF programs and membership. She also writes articles and reviews our monthly Councilgram newsletter. 



Vreneli G. Banks, Associate Director / Director of LEAF, Inc.


T:  518.694.4875

Twitter:  @VreneliBanks
#NYSupts4Diversity  -  #NYSCOSSCabinet  -  #NYSCOSSNewSupts  -  #NYSCOSSAspiringSupts  -  #NYSCOSSFSA
As the Director of The Council's Foundation - LEAF, Inc., Vren works closely with LEAF's Board of Directors to provide professional development to school leaders and district leadership teams with programs such as the Aspiring Superintendents Workshops and Future Superintendents Academy, New Superintendents Institute, Early Career Superintendents Institute, The Summer Institute at Harvard, Diversity and Inclusivity programs, and the annual Cabinet Leadership Summit, to name a few. She oversees the Superintendents and Cabinet Level Resource Banks and manages the LEAF, Inc. website. She also provides LEAF articles for the Councilgram newsletter. Contact Vren with your professional development questions.

Gregory S. Berck, Esq., Ass't Director for Governmental Relations / Ass't Counsel


T:  518.694.4874

Twitter: @Greg_Berck

Greg devotes his efforts to the The Council's lobbying and advocacy agenda. He also assists in negotiating superintendent's employment contracts and providing legal advice to members. He works with the executive and legislative branches of state and federal government, a variety of state agencies and is well respected within the halls of the Capitol  from his tenure as education counsel for the Assembly majority. Contact Greg regarding legislative and regulatory concerns.

Jacinda Conboy, Esq., General Counsel


T: 518.449.1063

Twitter: @JazzConboy 
#WomenEdLeaders  -  #EmpowerUp

Jacinda (a/k/a “Jazz”) is primarily responsible for negotiating superintendent’s employment contracts and providing legal advice and assistance to our members. In addition, Jazz regularly designs legal seminars and provides presentations on legal educational issues to members. She also established and leads The Council's Women's Initiative. Contact Jazz if you have contract questions, are interested in Enhanced Level II Benefits, need retirement services, or have a presentation for a Women's Initiative event.

Kessa Cooper, Administrative Assistant and Programs Coordinator  


T:  518.694.4782

Kessa handles general inquiries and answers questions and direct calls from our members. She is also responsible for general database updates. 

Kessa also provides support for the Fall Leadership Summit and Winter Institute through designing and monitoring our education session portal and programming the app. Working directly with Connections Housing, our official housing company for each event, she assists members by answering general housing questions. She also supports LEAF, Inc. education programs.

Charles S. Dedrick, Ed.D., Executive Director


T: 518.449.1063

Twitter: @csdedrick
#LeadershipMatters  -  #NewYorkProud
Contact Chuck regarding the overall operation of The Council, governance structure and policy questions. Chuck is also available for professional advice and counsel, regional presentations, visits to BOCES regions and opportunities for involvement with The Council.

Dena A. Gauthier, Senior Graphic Designer 

T:  518.694.4886

Dena plays a vital role interpreting and managing our brand identity throughout all Council and LEAF, Inc. printed and online communication materials.

She designs and manages the production of all publications, provides design support for The Council and LEAF, Inc. website, and manages printing and design consultants. Contact Dena with questions regarding the production of our communication materials including our Councilgram and Snapshot of the Superintendency publications. 

Deidre G. Hungerford, Associate Director for Business Development


T:  (518) 694-4885

Twitter: @deehungerford28

Deidre manages our Strategic Partnership Program and provides opportunities for companies, associations, organizations and foundations to connect with educational leaders. She designs and manages exhibit halls at the Fall Leadership Summit and Winter Institute and manages our Thought Leadership Summits. She also coordinates award and scholarship programs. Contact Deidre if you are interested in becoming a strategic partner.

Robert N. Lowry, Jr., Deputy Director for Advocacy, Research & Communications


T:  518.694.4879

Twitter: @robertnlowry
#LeadershipMatters  -  #NewYorkProud
Bob directs The Council’s advocacy activities and serves as our principal contact with the news media. Working with Council leaders, he advocates for superintendent concerns with the Governor’s Office, State Legislature, Board of Regents, and the State Education Department and other state agencies. He is the principal author of many Council policy reports and is recognized as one of the state’s leading experts in school finance. Contact Bob regarding policy decisions, school finance, and general media inquiries.

Theresa Wutzer Moore, CMP, Associate Director / Director of Marketing & Communications


T:  (518) 694-4884

Twitter:  @NYSchoolSupts
#NYSuptsFall  -  #NYSuptsWI
Theresa plans and implements our annual Fall Leadership Summit and Winter Institute. She investigates new technologies, advances our social media presence, and manages our website. She also serves as the editor of our Councilgram newsletter. Each year she manages the New York State Superintendent of the Year award process with AASA. Contact Theresa If you want to participate in our annual events or have a question about the NYS Superintendent of the Year recognition.

Deborah N. Orsini, Associate Director for Finance and Human Resources


T:  518.694.4882

Contact Deb with questions regarding budget development, financial forecasting, human resources, building management and general Council operations.

Kelley A. Pratt, Program Associate / Legal Support


T: 518.694.4878

Twitter:  @KELLEYP48

Kelley manages our career center, processes database updates, answers and direct calls, and provides support for the General Counsel and legal team. Kelley also assists all staff members with a variety of administrative projects, but primarily supports the membership department on a day-to-day basis while  planning programs through The Women's Initiative. Contact Kelley if you have a general question, need to request a meeting/call with Jacinda Conboy, Esq., General Counsel, or have a question related to job postings. 

Melanie M. Seiden, Associate Director for Membership  


T:  518.694.4877

Melanie provides direct support to our members by answering membership questions including member online access; assisting with membership purchases, transfers and renewals. Also contact Melanie with registration questions for Council and LEAF, Inc. programs including Fall Leadership Summit and Winter Institute registration. She is also available to answer questions or concerns regarding invoices for membership and event registration.


"From smartphones to laser surgery, the micro-memory chip industry is transforming life on this planet and beyond with capabilities at our fingertips. As pre-K-12 leaders, our responsibility is to graduate students who will succeed in a world that is defined by a rapidly changing, technologically advanced global environment."

Dr. Donna J. DeSiato, Superintendent, East Syracuse Minoa CSD
2024-2025 NYSCOSS President Elect