10 Empire State Blvd

Castleton, NY 12033

Tel: (518) 477-8771

Fax: (518) 477-1335


District Superintendent
Dr. Gladys I. Cruz

Xrystya Szyjka

Resource Specialists:
Jessa Waterhouse

Program Support Specialist:
Lindsey Konderwich

About Us

The RBE-RN is funded by a contract from the New York State Education Department to provide technical assistance at no charge to school districts with English Language Learners in the counties of Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington. Our services include:

  • designing and conducting professional development for educators and administrators
  • developing/facilitating local parent education institutes, activities
  • facilitating opportunities for students to participate in the Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute



  • Work with Districts and Schools on all aspects of instructional programs for English Language Learners under Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154 and Amendments
  • Assist with the development of Bilingual or English as a New Language (ENL) instructional programs
  • Design and conduct professional development for all educators and administrators, including regional, local and embedded, which meets CR Part 154 ELL specific professional development requirements
  • Provide assistance with Title III and identification of federal and state resources
  • Develop and facilitate local parent education institutes, workshops and activities
  • Conduct trainings for Capital District youth in preparation for participation in the statewide¬†Angelo Del Toro Puerto¬†Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute
  • Disseminate information to school districts and community-based organizations
  • Maintain a lending library of instructional resources for all educators
  • Publish an electronic newsletter, RBERN eNews, 10 times each year


RBE-RN Staff Members

Dr. Gladys I. Cruz is the District Superintendent of Questar III. Over a 30-year span, Dr. Cruz has established a distinguished career as a teacher and education leader. Since joining Questar III in 1998, Cruz has served in a number of leadership positions including Chief Operating Officer / Deputy Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Director of School Improvement and BETAC Specialist. She began her career as a teacher in Puerto Rico and her education experience ranges from K-12 schools to universities in New York State and Puerto Rico. Cruz holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and a master’s degree in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology from the State University of New York at Albany. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in Bilingual Education and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and English from La Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico.

Matthew A. Sloane is the Deputy Superintendent for Questar III. He is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of all BOCES instructional programs and school improvement programs and initiatives. Previously he was Principal of Goff Middle School in East Greenbush from 2011 to 2015. He also taught social studies and ELA at two middle schools in the Boston Public School System from 2003 to 2010 prior to being recruited to be the Director of Academic Turnaround for Harbour Middle School in Boston. Sloane has a School District Leadership Certificate from the College of St. Rose, master’s degree in Secondary Education from Suffolk University, master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Emmanuel College and a bachelor’s degree from the University at Buffalo.  

Xrystya Szyjka is the Coordinator of the RBERN.  She previously held positions as a Resource Specialist with the RBERN and as a Trainer with the BETAC.  Xrystya brings her personal as well as professional experiences to the RBERN. "Growing up the daughter of immigrants makes me intensely aware of the issues that not only students encounter, but the family as well." Xrystya is Ukrainian-American and grew up bilingually and biculturally. Professionally, she has experience working for K-12 to higher education.  Her areas of interest include the experiences of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse students and the effect of these experiences on all aspects of their education.  She is also interested in policy and its relationship to education and instruction.  Szyjka holds permanent certification in TESOL, a master’s degree in TESOL, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University at Albany. 

Jessa Waterhouse joined the RBE-RN staff in January 2015. She was a Spanish teacher for seven years in the capital district and holds a professional certificate in Spanish 7-12 and ESOL. She earned her Bachelors in Spanish from SUNY New Paltz, her Masters in Adolescent Education from the College of Saint Rose and her certification for ESOL from Mercy College.

Lindsey Konderwich is the Program Support Specialist for the Questar III RBERN.  She was a substitute teacher for several years for the Hudson City School District and holds an initial certificate in Literacy Education (birth-6th grade).  Most recently, she was a traveling teaching instructor for the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT and a program assistant at the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club in Nantucket, MA. She attended SUNY New Paltz where she received her bachelor's degree in Childhood Education with a concentration in Mathematics and her master's degrtee in Literacy Education.