Regional Field Associates work directly with LEAS, BOCES, and Post-Secondary Institutions within designated areas. To identify the Associate for your region, see this map.
Tracy Gyoerkoe developed her passion for Career and Technical Education while teaching English in the Capital Region BOCES alternative education program and becoming one of the first teachers of CTE integrated academics in New York State. She developed curriculum and began sharing ideas and strategies with both internal colleagues and those around the state. Prior to entering the CTE world, she had taught English at Salmon River, Saratoga Catholic, and Voorheesville school districts.
With a BA in English Education from St. Bonaventure University and an MA in English from SUNY Albany, Tracy sought and earned her certificate through Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in order to begin her administrative career and expand her influence circle. For five years, she served as Coordinator of Integrated Academics then Supervisor of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment, and Technology at Capital Region BOCES. The next ten years, she led the Jefferson Lewis BOCES Career and Technical Department as director and retired in 2020 after 32 years in public education.
During her administrative career, Tracy developed curriculum and new programs to meet the needs of the community, component districts, and students, Engineering and Design, Hospitality Services, and a Pre-tech Academy for 10th graders, to name a few. She facilitated a committee structure aimed at school improvement headed by a multi-stakeholder CTE Advisory committee and including faculty advisory, professional development, and other sub-committees. Promoting career pathways, she collaborated with colleges, economic development and community organizations to develop and conduct several career exploration tools for youth.
Outside of work, Tracy is an active member of the American Association of University Women, serving as an officer for many years in her local branch. She and her husband, Dan, recently relocated to Canandaigua to be closer to the Western New York region as well as her daughter and three grandsons.
Northeast and Capital Region
Diahann Hesler has served over the course of her educational career as a Physical Education Teacher, School Counselor, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, Director and Superintendent of Schools, recently retiring after 36 years in public education. Diahann has served in both small rural schools (Newfield Central School, Trumansburg Central School, and Spencer-Van Etten Central School) as well as a large city school district (Ithaca City Schools). She has also served as an Assistant Principal at Greater Southern Tier BOCES and a Director at Tompkins Seneca Tioga BOCES.
Discovering her love of administration, Diahann shifted her focus to Alternative Education and Career and Technical Education serving as a school administrator at GST BOCES and TST BOCES. Part of her responsibilities included National Assessment Coordination, development of technical education curriculum maps, oversight of the Integrated English Department and curriculum, and assisting in the implementation of Professional Learning Communities for the Career and Technical Education Program. After working for 6 years at GST, Diahann took a Director position at TST BOCES, leading the Career and Technical Education, Adult Education, PTECH and External Programs (Home School Instruction, Summer School, Itinerant instruction, Incarcerated and Behavioral Psych Education Programs).
As Director, Diahann wrote and was awarded many grants such as the Perkins, EPE, WIOA and PTECH grants. Diahann also led the approval and reapproval process of various CTE programs and supervision of the CTE advisory committee. Diahann has a knack for growing programming and developed the Animal Science Program at GST BOCES, the Exercise Science and Sports Conditioning Program, as well as numerous Adult Education training programs, and the creation of Techapalooza, a Career and Technical Education summer camp to connect youth to possible future career programs. Diahann is and has been passionate about Career and Technical Education throughout her education path serving on ACTEA for her 10 years as a Career and Technical Administrator.
Diahann left BOCES to pursue her ultimate career goal of being a Superintendent of Schools and served in this capacity for 4 years before retiring from Spencer-Van Etten Central School District. Diahann created the Southern Tier affiliate of New York State Association of Women Administrators (NYSAWA) and serves as the co-chair presently to encourage and promote women in educational administration. Since Diahann’s time as Director of Adult Education, Diahann continues to serve on the New York State Alternative Incarcerated Education Program (NYSAIEP) board. A passion of Diahann’s, alongside of CTE, is volleyball, and often you can find Diahann coaching, or assisting in this capacity, having started up two club volleyball venues to ensure student athletes have opportunities to play while coaching her daughters for several years. Outside of work, Diahann resides in Ithaca and enjoys spending time with her two daughters, and her golden doodle Murphy.
New York City
Janine has spent the past 15 years teaching both Family & Consumer Sciences and Business Education in the public school system on Long Island. She has taught at both the middle school and high school level. Janine received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Dowling College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel Merchandising from Indiana University at Bloomington.
Throughout the years as a tenured teacher, Janine has taught a range of classes that include Food & Nutrition, Cultural Foods, Gourmet Foods, Virtual Enterprise, Home & Careers, Early Childhood Education, and Clothing Construction. Janine has guided her students to place first in a Long Island Family & Consumer Sciences Healthy Snack Challenge on five separate occasions. For this challenge, students had to design and write an original recipe for a healthy snack that amounted to 200 calories or less. She is proud to say that one recipe was then published in Tate’s Bake Shop book, “Baking for Friends” by Kathleen King. While teaching Virtual Enterprise, Janine was able to transform the classroom into an office setting for their business called Banana Bowls, which then moved on to become semifinalist for the Long Island Virtual Enterprise Annual Business Plan Competition. Her students also won awards for both their commercial and brochure at the Long Island Trade Show Competition.
Janine has always put an emphasis on hands-on learning to keep her students engaged and to promote success and career-readiness. These experiences have led Janine to become passionate about Career & Technical Education and to join the CTE TAC team to support their mission throughout New York. Janine resides on the Eastern End of Long Island, enjoys going to the local farmers’ market, and growing a variety of tomatoes in her backyard.
Steve has spent the past 38 years in the CTE field. After graduating with an Associate degree in Animal Husbandry from SUNY Cobleskill, he continued on to Cornell University for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Education and remained on for his Master of Science Degree in Agriculture Education and Educational Administration. He later received a School Administrator/Supervisor certificate from Hofstra University.
In 1983, Steve accepted a teaching position in the Agriculture Department at John Bowne
High School in New York City. While teaching, he planned and developed a large exotic animal laboratory along with relevant curriculum. He coordinated placement and supervision of summer interns, was advisor to the FFA, expanded the Animal Science curriculum, and served as Dean of students.
In 1996, Steve accepted the position of Assistant Principal, Supervision/Agriculture. While Assistant Principal he greatly expanded its student enrollment and curriculum. The Agriculture Program has been selected as New York State's outstanding agriculture program by the New York Association of Agriculture Educators and has most recently been named as the first recognized New York State Career and Technical Education Model Program.
Steve was named outstanding teacher over several years, has been nominated for Disney's American Teachers Award, and was recognized by the NYC Dept. of Education as their outstanding Supervisor/Administrator of the year. He was the keynote speaker for SUNY Cobleskill’s Fall 2006 graduation commencement and the recipient of the 2014 NYS Nursery Landscape Association George L. Good Gold Medal of Horticulture as well as the 2018 Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award. He has served as a member of the content advisory committee for the NYS Teacher Certification Examination in Agriculture and served as a member of the NYS Agriculture Program Assessment Task Force for Cornell University Agriculture Education Outreach Program. Finally, Steve is quite proud of his involvement in the 9/11 Memorial Survival Tree Seedling Program, a program that donates seedlings from the 9/11 survivor tree to 9/11 memorials as well as to communities that have overcome tragedy.
Central and Northern NYS
Tanner’s role in CTE delivery is diverse and spans the secondary and post-secondary sectors. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, he began his teaching career as an Agricultural Education instructor and FFA advisor. As an instructor, Tanner taught at two schools experiencing single and multi-teacher programs and was recognized by his peers for innovative ideas as well as Outstanding Young Professional. Through his active role within professional associations and within the Oklahoma CareerTech system, Tanner pivoted from secondary agricultural education instruction to post-secondary health careers outreach.
To meet the need for rural healthcare workers, Oklahoma State University deployed a Blue Coat to White Coat initiative designed to help youth understand the career opportunities within their own communities. The scope of this outreach far outgrew the FFA and Tanner began working with HOSA and community colleges to help facilitate growth in these areas. He was able to grow the services provided largely due to grant writing skills developed as an instructor and refined within the university. Tanner served as a member of the health careers advisory board for the local technology center as well as attained his master's in Educational Administration before accepting a position with SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.
The time spent with the State University of New York honed Tanner’s data and analytical skills as he worked with the College of Medicine and College of Graduate Studies in both admissions and student program administration. Throughout his career, Tanner has served a diverse population of students, educators, and staff members to ensure growth and improvement. These experiences have led him to join the CTE TAC team where he brings innovative solutions to Central and Northern New York.
Karyn Watt began her educational career at Questar III BOCES, serving Rensselaer, Columbia, and Greene counties as a teacher for at-risk youth in a work-study program that was housed in the local CTE Center in Hudson, NY. It was there where she was introduced to and fell madly for Career and Technical Education. After thirteen years teaching GED classes at the CTE Center, in church basements, at local community colleges, and at county jails, she transferred to the Alternative Learning Program where she taught Algebra 1. In 2002 she was assigned to teach integrated math in several CTE classes while the concept was still in its infancy. For the next five years, she was witness to the evolution of the co-teaching model that defines integrated academics. After participating in the CTE program re-approval process as a content area specialist, she was then assigned to coordinate the whole process for Questar as well as continue to teach integrated math.
In addition to working in the CTE field for the past 34 years, Karyn also coordinated professional development, testing, and focus groups for Questar when they were members of Technology Centers That Work (TCTW), a school improvement initiative operated by the Southern Region Education Board (SREB). She traveled to national conferences to present on New York State’s CTE program Approval Process as a way to increase rigor and relevance and develop quality CTE programs that prepare graduates for college and career.
Karyn earned her BS degree in Early Childhood Education from Springfield College in Massachusetts and an MS degree in Educational Psychology from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. She then earned her NYS Permanent Certification for Mathematics in grades 7-12. Prior to working for Questar III BOCES, Karyn was a substitute teacher in several districts in the Albany, NY area. She has been a passionate cheerleader and advocate for Career and Technical Education. Both of her children are graduates of CTE programs – her daughter has a successful career as a registered pediatric nurse and her son is a very successful pilot. Karyn recently retired from Questar III BOCES and joined the CTE TAC to share her experiences and expertise.