10 Empire State Blvd

Castleton, NY 12033

Tel: (518) 477-8771

Fax: (518) 477-1335


District Superintendent
Dr. Gladys I. Cruz

Deputy Superintendent
Matt Sloane

Trini Hernandez

Resource Specialists:
Jessa Waterhouse
Veronica Branca

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.  

Trini Hernandez is the Director of the RBERN.  She was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, where she studied "Filología Inglesa" at the University Complutense de Madrid with the intent of becoming an English teacher. However, life had a different plan for her. She moved to the United States seventeen years ago where she began her career as a Spanish teacher at the Middle School in Gloversville in 2004. Her educational experiences range from K-12, and she also taught at the college level. She left her teaching position in Gloversville to become the Assistant Principal at the Junior/Senior High School in Watervliet in 2013. In 2014, she became Assistant Principal at the Middle School in Amsterdam where she was a resource to the ESL students and community due to her bilingual and bicultural background.

She holds professional certificates in Spanish 7-12 and English 7-12. She earned a double Bachelors in English and Spanish from SUNY Albany. She has a Masters in Linguistics from SUNY Albany and a Masters in Educational Administration from the College of Saint Rose. She holds SBL and SDL certificates and she is currently finishing up her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from The Sage Colleges.

She takes pride in education and couldn't picture herself doing anything else. “Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world!”

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.

Veronica Branca joined the RBERN staff as a Resource Specialist in August 2016. Previously, Veronica taught English as a New Language and Spanish in the Capital District. She also taught GED (now HSE/TASC) and college-level English Language Skills for English Language Learners at Skidmore College and Hudson Valley Community College. She worked with homeless families in the social service sector.  Veronica received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from SUNY New Paltz and a Master’s degree in Adolescent Education from The College of St. Rose. She holds New York State certification in Spanish 7-12 and ESOL K-12.

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. 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 degree in Literacy Education.