Meet Our Staff
Dianne is responsible for the overall daily functioning of Teatown’s operations and staff. She joined Teatown in 2001 after 14 years of experience in the for profit business world having held such positions as Ferro Alloy Trader at Associated Metals & Minerals, Nickel Trader at Brandeis Intsel, a division of Pechiney, and Assistant to the VP of Raw Material Sourcing and Trader for Ferrous Metals at Metallurg. She also worked at Perry Kennedy Realty for 9 years as a Licensed Realtor.
Danielle Begley-Miller, Ph.D.
Director of Science and Stewardship
Danielle is an ecologist with an extensive background in forest research, specifically focusing on ecological interactions. She comes to Teatown from Penn State University where she received her doctoral degree in wildlife in 2018. During her time at Penn State, Danielle managed a large research project aimed at understanding the effects of both white-tailed deer and soil nutrition on forest plant communities. She is responsible for the implementation of Teatown’s land stewardship and environmental research programs, as well as the supervision of select volunteers and interns as they participate in these programs. In addition to her Ph.D., Danielle earned her master’s degree in biology from Wright State University in 2013.
Director of Education
Phyllis is responsible for overseeing all of Teatown’s educational programming for adults, families and children at Teatown and offsite, including school programs, summer camp, weekend programs and multi-week series. She has worked at Teatown since October 1991, when she began as a volunteer Nature Guide. Ms. Bock possesses a BA Biology with a concentration in field studies from Queens College, CUNY. She is a member of the Yorktown Conservation Board and the Advisory Committee on Open Space.
Kevin brings a broad range of experience, based on a sixteen-year career in leading science and children’s museums. These have included the California Science Center, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, and, most recently, Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, CT, where he served as Chief Operating Officer. In each, Kevin developed innovative ways to deliver complex technical subjects in engaging ways, delighting visitors and taking the discovery experience beyond the walls of the museum. Kevin’s initial entry to the museum world came from his work in IMAX film production and exhibition. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema/Television and is keenly aware of the importance of technology and collaborative efforts in making the Teatown experience among the very best.
Preschool Environmental Educator
Director of Development
Susie has served in institutional advancement roles across the spectrum of nonprofit organizations in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island for more than two decades, including independent schools, graduate schools, research centers, foundations, philanthropic resource centers, and the Episcopal Church’s pension services group. She has raised funds, designed and managed communications and stewardship programs, educated clients on complicated financial matters, conducted qualitative and quantitative research, and trained staff to speak with the media. She holds a M.S. in nonprofit management from The New School–Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, and a B.A. in sociology from Wells College. Susie is committed to bringing best practices in fundraising, communications, stewardship, and management, and she’s passionate about creating sustainable and resilient communities.
Jo Ann Gackstetter
Animal Care Supervisor
Membership & Development Coordinator
Senior Environmental Educator
Environmental Educator and Volunteer Coordinator
Facilities & Grounds Manager
Environmental Educator & Animal Caretaker
Visitor Services & Seasonal Gardener
Aquatic Programs Coordinator
Diane DiVernieri, Director of Finance
Alex Cochran, P-T Land Steward
Mary Haley, School Year Educator
Leah Kennell, Wildflower Island Curator
Pam Sorkin, Visitor Services
Justin Baker, Cliffdale Farm Caretaker
Terry Kardos, Environmental Educator