Auburn Education Foundation supports educators with creative and innovative ideas for capturing students’ attention and igniting their imagination; values diversity; and celebrates the accomplishments of Auburn Enlarged City School District students and alumni.

Who We Are

Auburn Education Foundation is a registered  501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.  It was formed in 2003 when a diverse group of citizens came together to brainstorm ways to elevate the educational experiences of Auburn Enlarged City School District students by integrating new technologies, exploring creative new teaching methods, and supporting innovative curricular projects and programs that could not otherwise be supported by the school district’s budget.

We Believe

Auburn Education Foundation believes that enrichment programs for all Auburn Enlarged City School District Students are critical to their intellectual development. Our partnership with the district will expand and fortify its strategic efforts.

Board Members

The Auburn Education Foundation 15-member volunteer Board is comprised of community members and business leaders committed to educational excellence in the Auburn Enlarged City School District. Together, we build the Foundation’s presence and relevance as an educational leadership organization in our community.

Name: Miguelina Cuevas-Post (Mickie), President

Occupation: Retired administrator (Auburn Enlarged City School District)

Family: Married to Kenneth Post; three daughters Tina, Anna, and Rachel; one son-in-law, Mark; and two grandsons, Arlo and Phineas

Education: BA and MA from New York University (NYU); CAS in Ed Adm. from SUNY Brockport

Other Boards/Volunteer: Have previously served on the board of directors of the following organizations: Leadership Cayuga, Family Planning, Cayuga Counseling services, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, United Way of Cayuga County, Tomatofest, among others

Reason for joining AEF: Very simply: I’m committed to the success of teaching and learning of our students, and believe that AEF is a strong advocate and supporter of the same.  My philosophy, nd beliefs align with those of AEF.  Furthermore, as a principal, I saw the benefit derived by teachers who were the beneficiaries of AEF grants.  Scholarships given to students have a direct impact on the ability of our AHS students to pursue higher education.  The members of the board are among the most committed individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Fun Fact/Hobby: I am a strong believer in the three goals of Peace Corps.  I met my husband while we both served with the US Peace Corps in Jamaica, nearly 41 years ago (celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary on the island last December.)  We also served 2 years as PCV in Belize.  In addition, I am currently serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Belize, after serving for 9 months in the same capacity in Jamaica.  Our oldest was born while we served in Jamaica the first time; our youngest served as a PC Response Volunteer in the Republic of Georgia.

Name: Janie Hutchinson, Immediate Past President

Occupation: Retired teacher (Auburn Enlarged City School District)

Family: Married, two children, four grandchildren

Education: BA Early Secondary French SUNY Cortland, MS Elementary Education

Other Boards/Volunteer: I work with children through the Rescue Mission

Reason for joining AEF: As a retired educator, I recognize that all children deserve the best possible educational experiences. As a teacher of primary grades (1st, 2nd), I am passionate about literacy and the role it plays as the main building block in education. AEF supports the efforts of Auburn schools to provide innovative programs for all students and the organization was a means for me to continue to be involved in and supportive of public education.

Fun Fact/Hobby: My husband and I have totally renovated an old home in Auburn’s historic district. We have lived in the house, built in the 1860’s, for 38 years and the restoration and maintenance of the house continues to be my “hobby”. I also enjoy playing the piano.

Name: William Tenity, Vice President

Occupation: Retired teacher (Auburn Enlarged City School District)

Family: Married

Education: Auburn Community College, AA Degree – BA in Secondary Education, Social Studies from SUNY Oneonta,  graduate studies at SUNY Oswego

Other Boards/Volunteer: NY State Retired Teachers’ Association (Bylaws Chair – State Executive Board, Past President of Central Zone, President of Cayuga County Retired Teachers’ Association); Cayuga-Onondaga Retired NYSUT; Circus Model Builders – Lot 1 Manager (Northeast); Past member of Merry-G-Round Playhouse Board

Reason for joining AEF: I joined this organization because of my interest in and my desire to help the teachers of the Auburn district provide special activities and instruction that enhances the classroom experiences for their students. As a retired educator, who still has contact with our schools through substitute teaching, I have seen first- hand what the Foundation has provided in the past. I jumped at the chance to be a part of what th8s group is able to do for kids.

Fun Fact/Hobby: Hobby is building miniature circus displays and directing and producing the Auburn Junior High annual musical

Name: Denise Pellegrino, Secretary

Occupation: Retired from Bank of America as Regional Operations Manager

Family: Married to Nino Pellegrino and Lives in Auburn with their son, Dominic

Education: Graduate of CCC, SUNY Oswego, received my MBA in Finance from St. John Fisher

Other Boards/Volunteer: Vice Chair of the Auburn Local Development Corporation

Reason for joining AEF: My son and I both benefited from a superior public education in the Auburn School system.  AEF offers an opportunity to help teachers and students benefit from unique educational programs.

Fun Fact/Hobby: My son gave me a membership to Ancestry last year and since that time I have traced my family tree back to the 1700s in Ireland and France.

Name: Marianne O’Connor, Treasurer

Occupation: Retired Business Administrator (Auburn Enlarged City School District)

Family: Married, 3 adult children, 2 grandchildren

Education: BA- University Notre Dame;  MBA LeMoyne College

Other Boards/Volunteer: BA- University Notre Dame;  MBA LeMoyne College

Reason for joining AEF: Instrumental in forming AEF while serving as school business administrator for the Auburn School District

Fun Fact/Hobby: Go north for the winter to partake in winter sports  activities in the Adirondacks

Name: Lisa Carr

Occupation: Library Director, Seymour Library

Family: Married, 2 boys who have flown the coop

Education: B.S. Business, University of New Hampshire, MLS Simmons College

Other Boards/Volunteer: Auburn Downtown BID, ex-officio; Auburn Kiwanis; Auburn Rotary

Reason for joining AEF: Having two children go through the Auburn school system and working for an education organization, enhancing education opportunities for all our children is very important to me.

Fun Fact/Hobby: I love old houses, cooking, reading and great shoes although not necessarily in that order.

Name: Tracy Bellerdine

Occupation: Architect for Smart Design Architecture



Other Boards/Volunteer:

Reason for joining AEF:

Fun Fact/Hobby: 

Name: Bonny Blair

Occupation: Retired teacher (Southern Cayuga School District)

Family: Married 40+ years to Tom, and has a married daughter and two grandchildren living in Hawaii, as well as a son and his fiancée living in Manhattan.

Education: A retired educator of 35 years, Bonny holds a BS of Elementary Education and an MS of Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading from SUNY at Cortland.

Other Boards/Volunteer: Along with her work for the AEF, Bonny volunteers for the fundraising arm of The Champions for Life/Everest Park Foundation, the Katie M.Socci Memorial Foundation and is co-chair of the Scholarship committee for the Zonta Club of Auburn.

Reason for joining AEF:  An educator at heart, Bonny is passionate about making a difference for children and our future in her work for the Auburn Education Foundation.

Fun Fact/Hobby: Don’t be surprised if you hear Bonny break into song, as she has long performed both voluntarily and professionally as a vocalist, and also plays five instruments!

Name: Kathie Collier

Occupation: Retired teacher (Auburn Enlarged City School District)

Family: Married to Pat Collier for 40 years, three adult children and five grandchildren

Education: Nazareth College, post graduate work at SUNY Cortland and St. Rose

Other Boards/Volunteer: Served on Sacred Heart Parish Council, Eucharistic Minister/Lector regularly, volunteered as Director of Guidance at Tyburn Academy for 4 years, favorite volunteer work is in Kindergarten classroom where my daughter is the teacher

Reason for joining AEF: With 37+ years in education, I joined AEF with the intent of giving back to my community and making a difference in the experiences of our students. We are giving many educators opportunities to realize their creative and innovative creams for their students and the trickle- down effect is incredible. Who benefits? We all do.

Fun Fact/Hobby: Very busy gramma, affectionately called GAGA, wedding coordinator at Sacred Heart, have a chair cover business on the side —enjoy baking and crafts of just about every kind particularly papercrafting.

Name: Marybeth Galka

Occupation: Retired teacher (Weedsport Central School)

Family: Married to Ed, Two grown sons, Tyler and Mike

Education: Graduate Auburn Schools, Cayuga Community College (Associates degree in liberal arts), SUNY Geneseo (Bachelors degree in elementary education), SUNY Oswego (Masters degree in reading)

Other Boards/Volunteer: Former board member of Matthew House and Finger Lakes Ski Club

Reason for joining AEF: As an educator, I witnessed the value of the organization.  I saw how AEF directly benefits the faculty and the children in the Auburn schools today.  I also appreciate that AEF recognizes alumni and all that they have accomplished with the education they received in the Auburn schools.  I chose to get involved with AEF as a way to give back to the educational community in Auburn that benefitted both me and my family.

Fun Fact/Hobby: I taught school for 33 years (1 year in 6th grade and 32 years in 5th grade).  I have been retired for 2 years from the Weedsport Central School District.  My hobbies include traveling and baking for family and friends.

Name: Karen A. Macier

Occupation: Executive Director, United Way of Cayuga County

Education: Master’s in Labor & Public Policy

Other Boards/Volunteer: Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency, Auburn Rotary, Zonta Club of Auburn, Cayuga County Health Network

Reason for joining AEF: I believe strongly in not only the value of education but in those experiences that add to the work being done in the classroom.  I think that it’s important to give our educators and our students every advantage and one way to do this is through the efforts of AEF.

Fun Fact/Hobby: My family & friends will tell you that my hobby is volunteering, however, I’d tell you that it’s travel and meeting new people!

Name: J.D. Pabis

Occupation: Retired school administrator (Auburn Enlarged City School District)

Family: Widower – 4 children

Education: BS, MS and doctoral studies

Other Boards/Volunteer: Hospital Board, Literacy Volunteers, Knights of Columbus, United Way (Foundation Board)

Reason for joining AEF: Give back to education and students

Fun Fact/Hobby: Have motorcycle license for over 50 years and am still an active rider (this year to Stanton, Va. and to Old Orchard Beach, Maine) –love sports cars, music and travel

Name: Andrew Tehan

Occupation: President, RG Wright Agency

Family: Married to Nancy (Flaherty) Tehan, 3 Adult children, George, John and Matthew

Education: BS Niagara University, 1986,  Auburn High School

Reason for Joining AEF:  Current Member of City of Auburn Planning Board,  Past President Broad of Directors E. John Gavras Center,  Past Board Member of Cayuga County Chapter of American Red Cross.  Member of Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Highland Park Golf Club, Volunteer Auburn Varsity Lacrosse Program

Reason for joining AEF: To assist in the enrichment of the educational experience for students in the Auburn School District.

Fun Fact/Hobby: I once appeared on ABC World News Tonight while traveling through London while in College.

Ex-Officio Board Members

Jeffrey Pirozzolo, Superintendent of Schools

Lisa Green, District Business Manager

Kathy Rhodes, School Board Representative

Community Partners

Paul DelPiano

Jennifer Forcey

Our Committees

Auburn Education Foundation committees undertake a variety of significant and strategic activities to further our mission. We develop and maintain fundraising plans that sustain the connection between resource development and the Foundation’s mission. Committee activities also focus on outlining operating, grants, and scholarship awards spending plans that align with current financial and administrative policies and procedures complying with all applicable laws. Additionally, committee members develop recruitment and retention plans that emphasize the importance of engagement and succession planning.



Resource Development


Board Development



Alumni, community members, parents, and students are invited to join our committees. To learn more about the Auburn Education Foundation or to volunteer on a committee, please call (315) 255-8827 or email