BS, Rochester Institute of Technology  (Information Technology – Web Development, Database)
Certification, Rochester Institute of Technology  (Small Business Management)

Thimas Bell is a former Rochester Institute of Technology graduate and a product of the Rochester City School District; East High School. Thimas now works for the City of Rochester as well as owns and operates an online marketing firm in Rochester, NY by the name of TB Creations  specializing in Web Design, Graphic Design, and Business Branding.

Thimas joined the board to lend a hand to our Horizons initiative. After receiving information about the Horizons program, Thimas was very interested in assisting in areas that we were struggling with his expertise and in hopes to provide insight and a prospective having graduated from a city school.

Thimas volunteered his team’s services and assisted with the development of the Horizons website pro bono. 

I received a B.S. in Elementary Education and French from the University of Missouri – St. Louis. The next part of my life was devoted to being a young wife and mother. I lived in Chicago for 3 years after college. During this period I worked at the University of Chicago and volunteered as a tutor at our neighborhood recreation center. In Rochester I worked as a volunteer and later as a substitute teacher in the Rochester City School District. As a result of the substitute teaching, I decided to become certified as a New York State Special Education teacher. I attended the University of Rochester – Warner School of Education, and received a M.S. in Developmental Disorders in 1989. I enjoyed twenty-three years of teaching in a variety of settings including: a center-based multi-handicapped program, high school resource room, elementary school resource room and consultant teacher services. I have since retired, and have returned to volunteering in an elementary school in the Rochester City School District.


PhD, University of Rochester (teaching, curriculum, and change)
MS, Nazareth College (special education)
BA, Monmouth University (elementary education)

Lynn Gatto directs the elementary education program at the Warner School. She is also executive director of Horizons at Warner, a summer enrichment program serving urban students in kindergarten through eighth grade on the University of Rochester’s River Campus.  Gatto’s research interests include critical literacy practices, urban education, and classroom discourse.  

Prior to joining the Warner School, Gatto taught in the Rochester City School District for 33 years, where she was recognized both locally and nationally as an innovative teacher and for her success with urban students.  Most notably, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the Toyota Tapestry Award, and the Disney American Teacher Award.  In 2004, Gatto was named the New York State Teacher of the Year.
Gatto has served on the research committee for the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and as a council member of the National Science Teachers Association. Currently, she serves on the editorial board of Language Arts and is an active member of the Healthy Kids School Action Team for the Greater Rochester Area Health Foundation. 

Algernon Kelley received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2004.  In addition to graduating with honors, he was the recipient of the University’s highest honor, the Saint Katharine Drexel Award.  In addition, Algernon earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2009 at Louisiana State University (LSU).  While attending LSU, Algernon was named an Eastman Kodak Dr. Theophilus Sorrell Fellowship Award recipient, which he received at the 34th Annual National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) National meeting in 2007.  Between July 2008 and January 2009, Algernon completed a six-month internship at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY.  He worked in the Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) division.  Shortly after receiving his doctorate, Algernon worked at LSU as a General Chemistry Laboratory Instructor before joining the faculty at Xavier University of Louisiana in the Fall of 2010 as a Lecturer. While teaching at his alma mater, he also served as a Specialist in Student Retention and Academic Success. Algernon moved to Rochester, NY where he served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Chemistry and as a Specialty Tutor for the Office of Academic Support at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY for the 2012-2013 Academic school year. Since Fall 2013, Algernon holds a full-time faculty position as Lecturer and Academic Specialist in the Department of Chemistry at the State University of New York, Brockport.   

Marie R. Merenda is a native Rochesterian; wife, mother of 5 and grandmother of 14; retired educator and ardent advocate for all children.

Degrees: MCC (AAS), Nazareth College (BA Psychology, MS Education/minor Sp Ed), SUNY Brockport (CAS Educational Administration)

Career: RCSD Teacher (Schools#9, #8, #21); Fairfax County Public Schools (VA) Teacher, Math Lead Teacher, Math Supervisor/Chapter 1; Ass’t Principal, Principal

Activities: workshop presenter; FAESP rep to Gifted and Talented FCPS Board Advisory Committee; Bd member and vice-chair of Infant and Toddler Family Day Care (Fairfax Co); Bd member and president of Fairfax (VA) Committee of 100; Kennedy Center usher (Opera House) for 25+ years; St. Mark Catholic Church (Vienna VA) SMILE Committee; President of HOA (Oakton VA)

Returned to Rochester area. Presently residing in Canandaigua NY near children and grandchildren.

Present Activities: Ontario CO Budding Readers volunteer; Canandaigua Wood Library volunteer; Horizons; avid reader and member of Wood Library Book Club

George earned his BA in Biology from the University of Rochester in 1983 and his M.S.Ed in 1986 from the Warner School.  He is currently the Chief Innovation Officer at NewPath Learning which he co-founded in 2007.  NewPath Learning® is an award-winning educational publisher of research-based, print and interactive digital curriculum resources aligned to current academic standards.  At NewPath, he is also the recipient and principal Investigator of SBIR Phase I and Phase II grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop an online learning platform with interactive multimedia lessons for elementary and middle school science. In 1998, he co-founded Neo/SCI Corporation, a science curriculum development company which he sold in 2004 to a private equity firm and became part of Delta Education/School Specialty. Prior to Neo/SCI, he was the Director of Product Development at WARD’S Science, a leading developer and distributor of science curriculum materials. George has directed collaborative development of curriculum programs with companies and organizations, which include The Smithsonian Institution, Intel, NASA’s Classroom of the Future, American Chemical Society, Education Development Center (EDC), Roger Tory Peterson Institute and various leading textbook publishers. He is the author of various curriculum programs, including a book, Biotechnology Projects for Young Scientists, and a contributing author and lab investigations reviewer for BSCS, HRW, and Prentice Hall (Pearson) textbook programs. And is a recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP).  He’s currently the President of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee at Warner and a member of the George Eastman Circle. George and his wife, Olga, live in Pittsford and have three children.