Tim OttMichael K. Woods


Michael K. Woods, a product of Career and Technical Education, has worked professionally in the CTE field since 2009, but attributes much of his success to Agricultural Science Education courses and FFA membership which formed the foundation of his passion for CTE as a freshman in high school.  Mike earned his B.S. in Agricultural and Extension Education from The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and his M.S. in Agricultural and Extension Education from North Carolina University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. 

After teaching Agricultural Science and advising an FFA program in south-central Pennsylvania, Mike transitioned to the Association for Career and Technical Education® (ACTE) as the State Association Liaison for Region 1 where he gained a vast network of CTE stakeholders throughout the Northeast, which is where he became familiar with the CTE Technical Assistance Center (CTE TAC) of New York.  That connection led to his most-recent professional role, Regional Field Associate for Central and Norther NY. 

Through CTE TAC, Mike has had a core concentration of providing top-notch professional development workshops, seminars, and talks spanning across New York State with a focus on empowering CTE administrators, faculty, and staff in achieving high-quality CTE for all students. 2020 presented unique challenges to educators and administrators across the state of New York. Through his role, CTE TAC increased engagement and collaborative connections among CTE professionals during what might be labeled as some of the most-challenging times in modern day education.  Those collaborative efforts remain at the forefront of Woods’ focus in services provided to the NYS CTE community.

Woods has received many accolades throughout his professional history as a Career and Technical Education instructor and leader.  Most-recently, he was honored with the Harold L. Pride Award by the Massachusetts Vocational Association (MVA) and the Jim Hanneman Memorial Award presented by Region I of ACTE.

Mike has a true inborn fondness and passion for Career and Technical Education, which he is enthusiastic to share throughout the CTE community in New York.

Contact Mike at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 717.979.5561


M Iannotti HeadshotMindy Iannotti

Assistant Director

Mindy Iannotti serves as the Assistant Director of the CTE TAC.  Mindy retired from Capital Region BOCES to join the team after a 15+ year position that spanned program management for Arts & Education, Odyssey of the Mind, supervision for the English as a New Language program with itinerant teachers covering the Capital Region & Questar III schools.  In addition, Mindy supervised the ALPHA program for Gifted & Talented elementary school children.  Eventually Mindy’s programs expanded to include School Library Services and Textbooks for Non-Public Schools.

Most recently, Mindy has spent 7 years as building principal for Schoharie CTE.  Maintaining leadership of staff, program development, and various Division-level practices like providing data for the Perkins grant, participating in the CLNAs (including assisting another BOCES in theirs) and contributing to program re-approvals and various other program certifications (NATEF, ACF, NCCER, etc).  Mindy had full oversight of the Division’s technical assessments.  Mindy regularly attended Advisory Board meetings for her campus as well as sitting on the Division’s Perkins Advisory Board bringing post-secondary leaders and Department of Labor managers together with CTE Leadership. 

Prior to being an administrator for CRB, Mindy spent 7 years as a school counselor where she was an advocate for students attending CTE programs.  Mindy was the district data coordinator in this role, served on the committee for Special Education, and had complete authority to build the master schedule each year, which utilized her considerable organizational skills.

Mindy has permanent certification as a school district administrator and school counselor.  Mindy is a passionate advocate for CTE, seeing the benefit in her students, along with her own children during their schooling. 

Contact Mindy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518-744-6982


Gretchen SchwalbachGretchen Schwalbach

Program Manager, Sr. Center Specialist

Gretchen has nearly a decade of experience in communications and project management for k-12 education services. She currently supports the CTE TAC of NY as Program Manager and oversees internal and external communications and operations, bringing agility, creativity, and diligence to projects and processes. She holds an MSW from the University at Albany -SUNY and is passionate about equity in education. 

Contact Gretchen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518.723.2052


Maddalena headshot

 Julia Maddalena

Center Specialist

Julia supports the CTE TAC of NY as a Center Specialist, Communications Coordinator. She is a recent graduate from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), holding a Bachelor’s degree in English with concentrations in Creative Writing and Literature. She brings experience in writing, editing, and general management from her time as a manager for the MCLA Writing Studio and as a freelance writer and editor.

Contact Julia: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Deb Light Headshot


 Deb Light

Operations Director, SPN and Center Specialist, CTE TAC of NY

Deb has over 20 years of experience in education. As Director of Operations for the Successful Practices Network, Deb has vast industry experience including but not limited to nationwide conference planning and execution,  streamlining internal processes to increase productivity, high level internal and external support.

Contact Deb at: 518-723-2051 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Jerry PedinottiJerry Pedinotti

Data Analyst, SPN and Center Specialist, CTE TAC of NY

Gerald has varied and extensive research and data analysis experience, and understands the importance of using data to guide effective decision-making.

Gerald is Vice President of Tipping Point Analytics, a company that specializes in acquisition, collection, management, and analysis of data for K-12 education, including Career and Technical Education. Gerald has designed and managed databases and industry-recognized national research initiatives for the International Center for Leadership in Education and the Successful Practices Network (SPN).

Gerald is currently a research consultant to the International Center, as well as the Technical Assistance Center of NY, and has assisted hundreds of schools with understanding and reporting their performance data, including state and national test scores, student engagement criteria, disciplinary actions, and demographic indicators. Gerald has experience in collaborating with education foundations and organizations to engage business and industry in the education reform process at the state level.

As a Senior Associate for the International Center until 1998, Gerald was project manager for several major research initiatives for the International Center, including the National Essential Skills Study (NESS), the Lexile Framework for Reading Study, and the “We” Survey suite.

Contact Jerry at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 518.723.2044