General Info Enrollment Curriculum Calendar Our Team Donate SAA in the News  


The St. Ann's Academy Team



Teaching & Administrative Staff

Back row: Hollie Hoover, Deanna Williams, Mark Morrissey, Michelle Ahrens, Tonya Cornish, Jill Bradley.

Front row: Elizabeth Williams, Kirsten Lawrence,

Sharayah McMindes, Deb Crosby.

Elizabeth Williams

Pre Kindergarten

A lifelong resident of Hornell, Elizabeth is the fifth born of seven children. She graduated summa cum laude from Corning Community College. Elizabeth has always had a love for learning and teaching. She spent time as a college tutor prior to the 2015-2016 school year when she joined St. Ann’s Academy as a substitute teacher. Elizabeth has a wide range of interests ranging from photography to music performance to dog training. She is a member of the Hornell Area Wind Ensemble where she plays the saxophone and enjoys singing in the annual Christmas Cantata held at St. Ann’s church. Since 2004, she has been a volunteer puppy raiser for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-profit organization that trains guide dogs for blind individuals and service dogs for children with autism. In addition to currently training her tenth dog named Logan, Elizabeth is also the instructor for the volunteers who are training dogs in the Hornell area. Elizabeth is excited to be entering her second year teaching Pre-K 3 at SAA where she loves laying a strong foundation for a lifelong love of learning. 

Deanna Williams

Pre Kindergarten

Deanna was born and reared in Hornell, NY. She is the 4th born of seven children – six girls and a boy. Growing up, she always wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from high school, Deanna interned in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma where she worked for many semesters in the inner city schools with a non-profit organization. She taught a character based program to K-6th graders. After school hours, she and the other interns would conduct Bible clubs at various locations and churches. On the weekends, they volunteered to help families in need. As she invested in the children’s lives, she realized that she was part of something great. After completing her internship program in Oklahoma City and receiving the level 1 and 2 certificates, she returned home to New York.

After her return from Oklahoma City, she began her work in the activities department at the Hornell Gardens nursing home where she worked for 7 1/2 years. While working and attending school, Deanna chose to complete her teaching hours at St. Ann’s Academy. She loved every minute of being back in the classroom and teaching children.  She is currently completing her early childhood education degree.  She is thrilled to be a part of the St. Ann’s Academy team and enjoys teaching children from our community to make a positive impact on the world. This will be Deanna's third year teaching Pre-K at SAA.

Kirsten Lawrence

Pre Kindergarten

Kirsten holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Alfred University and a Master of Science in Education from Alfred University.  She holds provisional NYS certification in Elementary Education, Grades 1-6; permanent certification in Early Childhood Education, Birth – Grade 2; and permanent certification in Literacy. Her husband, Travis, is the assistant nurse manager at Highland Hospital. They have three daughters: Ellie is 4 and attends SAA.  Kate is 2 and Samantha is 8 months old. This will be Kirsten's 5th year teaching at St. Ann's Academy.


Hollie Hoover

Pre Kindergarten

Hollie graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 2007. She formerly taught 3-year-old preschool at Bishop John King Mussio Elementary School in Steubenville, Ohio. She truly believes in the value of Catholic education and feels so blessed to be a part of the St. Ann's Academy family. Hollie’s husband,  Jonathan, is the Men's Head Soccer Coach as well as the Men's Head Lacrosse Coach at Alfred State College.  They have four children Sophia, Aurelia, Micah and Olivia who attend SAA.  Hollie, Jonathan and their four children live in Hornell, NY.

Sharayah McMindes


Sharayah was born and raised in Canisteo NY. She graduated from Canisteo-Greenwood Central School in 2009 with High Honors and was inducted into both the National Honor Society and Who’s Who Among American High School Students. After graduating, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education and Bible at Clarks Summit University (formerly Baptist Bible College). While in college, Sharayah had the opportunity to teach both Kindergarten and Third grade in Dongguan China during the summer of 2010 at a Youth For Understanding summer camp. After College, she moved back to Canisteo and began working at Lowe’s Home Improvement as a cashier. During that time she was involved in Alfred CRU, an organization that brings the Gospel to college students on Alfred State’s campus. As a leader in Alfred CRU, Sharayah had the opportunity to lead the Woman’s Bible Study and organize events for the group. She has also had the opportunity to teach Sunday School and Children’s Church at Hillside Baptist Church where she has attended since 2005. In January of 2017, Sharayah started teaching ESL online with VIPKid. VIPKid teaches English to Chinese students ranging in age from 5-15 via a skype-like platform where the students are completely immersed in the English language. I truly love teaching; I believe it is a calling and a gift the Lord has given. I look forward to teaching your child this 2017-2018 school year.

Michelle Ahrens

Grades 1-2

Michelle is dual certified in elementary education and special education grades 1st through 6th. She earned her degree from Houghton College. She has a Masters in Literacy from Alfred University. Michelle's husband, Nathan, works for Corning Incorporated in Corning NY. Nathan and Michelle have two children. Sarah is 3 and Eli is 7 and attends SAA. They live in Almond, NY. Michelle is an active member at Hillside Baptist church and assists her husband with the youth group. She taught in the Hornell School District for 3 years and taught at St. Ann’s Academy in 2013. She also teaches English to children in China online. She enjoys gardening and being crafty! She is very excited to be rejoining St. Ann’s Academy.


Deb Crosby

Grades 3-6 Math, Science & Social Studies, Religion

Deb is a lifetime resident of Hornell and member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish. She received an accounting degree from SUNY Alfred in 1991.  She left the accounting field in 1999 to become a full-time Mom.  From 2004 to 2006 Deb was the creator and coordinator of the current preschool program at the Hornell YMCA (previously called the "Y-Tots" program).  Since 2006 she has been a K-6 substitute teacher for the Hornell City School District.  She has also been a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish since 2006: Religious Ed Teacher - kindergarten and second grade, currently teaching second grade; Children's Liturgy Teacher - coordinated and taught the Children's Liturgy program for 2 years and now serves as a substitute teacher for the program. Deb’s other community activities include: Hornell Little League - President of the Board for 2 years; Hornell Babe Ruth - President of the Board for 3 years.  As president, she oversaw and implemented all aspects of these leagues.   She currently serves as a board member for the Hornell Girls Soccer Booster Club and co-runs the concession stand.  She has also been a YMCA Youth Soccer Coach for 12 years.  Deb’s family incudes her husband, David, and her 3 children: Natalie, who is a Music Education teacher; Dan, who is a senior at SUNY Alfred studying Engineering; and Erin, who is a sophomore at Daemen College studying Physical Therapy. 

Jill Bradley

Grades 3-6 ELA, Science & Social Studies, Religion

Jill was born in Dansville NY and is the oldest of her two sisters.  She graduated from St. John Fisher College with a B.A in Childhood Education and Special Education grades 1-6. During the summer she spent her time directing the summer recreation program in Avon NY.  She student taught in a special education classroom at School #14 in the Rochester City School district and a first grade classroom in Rush Henrietta NY. She taught first grade in an inclusive classroom in Greece NY. Jill currently resides in Canisteo with her husband and 4 year old son who is a student at SAA. She is passionate about Catholic education and is excited to be a part of the St. Ann’s family.

Tonya Cornish

Teaching Assistant/Bookkeeper

Tonya was born and raised in Rochester, NY. She worked in the Hospitality field for 14 years mostly as a Regional Support Manger for the East Coast. That is where she met her husband now of 11 years. In 2014 Tonya and her husband moved to Hornell to help take care of his mother. Shortly after moving to Hornell Tonya began to volunteer at St. Ann’s Academy.  In the coming school year Tonya was asked to join the St. Ann’s Academy team part-time as a teacher’s assistant. The following school year Tonya was asked to be our bookkeeper as well as a teacher's assistant. Tonya is going into her fifth school year between volunteering and working at St. Ann’s Academy. Tonya and her husband welcomed their daughter in September of 2017. They also have a son who is 8 years of age.  Tonya also volunteers with the Hornell Little League board and recently with Cub Scouts of America. For the past year Tonya has also been the bookkeeper for Hornell Partners for Growth.

Mark Morrissey

On-Site Administrator

Mark Morrissey is perhaps best known for his work at the Hornell YMCA, where he had extensive experience with parents, staff and children. Mark also comes from a teaching background having taught early in his career in Penn Yan, NY. Through the years, Mark has served in many Board capacities, including the Hornell School Board. Mark has also coached in youth soccer, basketball and baseball and been active in the community as a member of the Kiwanis Club and many community committees. He currently serves as a member of the Finance Committee for St. Brendan and Jude Parish in Alfred. Mark is a graduate of SUNY Geneseo with his Bachelor’s Degree in English, with provisional secondary school certification.

Mark and his wife Kathy have three children; Christopher, Rebecca and Amy. Mark and Kathy have spent most of their lives living in Hornell, enjoying the quality of life the rural area has to offer for families. Mark looks forward to working with students, parents and the teaching staff.


Administrative Volunteers

Jim Moore (mysticmedia.com): Website Hosting

Ron Norman, CPA: Accounting & Payroll Services



Board of Directors

Back row: Jerome O'Connor, Eric Jones, David Gray, Hector Hoyos,

Grant LaFrance, Penny Sherburne Gray

Front Row: Sister Dolores Ann Stein, Joan Coleman,

Laura Dagon Picco (board member emeritus).

Missing from photo: Pat Moore


Our board members are unpaid volunteers. We thank them for their time and commitment!

Jerome O'Connor, President

Jerome O’Connor graduated from St. Ann’s School, attended HHS and then Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a professional engineer who worked at the DOT for 20 years, 10 as a Bridge Management Engineer.  He joined the earthquake research center at University at Buffalo in 2002 to manage research on bridges and is now Professor of Professional Practice.  His wife is Nancy Brink-O’Connor.  All their children (Kate, Kevin, & Kerry) graduated from St. Ann School.  Jerry formerly coached a Modified Cross Country team at St. Ann’s called the Running Rebels.  He says that he wants today’s kids to have the same opportunity that he and his 8 siblings were provided when his parents chose to send them to a Catholic school.  “The transition to St. Ann’s Academy was hard but the bright side is the financial independence will allow us to control our own destiny, while continuing a fine tradition of faith-based education.”

Joan Coleman, Vice President

Joan studied Viola and Voice at the Potsdam College Crane School of Music and Elementary Education at Geneseo State Teachers' College and Alfred University.   She was a member of the St. Ann's School Board until being hired to be the school’s Librarian in 1979.  In 1985, she began to teach computer literacy to grades Kindergarten through eighth.  Joan and her husband, Bob, had three children: Patrick, Michael and Kelly.  All three graduated from St. Ann's School and went on to earn 4-year college degrees.  Patrick has two daughters, Michael has 5 daughters, and Kelly has a son.  Unfortunately, Bob died in 1994, after many bouts of cancer.  Joan is grateful to have had the support and prayers of the St. Ann’s School family during those difficult times. Joan retired from SAS in 2004 after 25 years and has been volunteering ever since.  As a volunteer, Mrs. Coleman is currently School Librarian.  Her hope at St. Ann's Academy is to provide support to students who need it; one that will help to shape their spiritual, intellectual and social growth.

David Gray, Treasurer

Dave holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri - Rolla and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is the President & CEO of Gray Manufacturing Industries, LLC.  Dave also serves on the Board of Directors of Maple City Savings, is a current Board Member and past Board President of the Hornell YMCA, and is a past Board Member and Finance Committee Member of St. James Mercy Health Systems. He brings 20+ years of financial and operations management experience to St. Ann's Academy.  Dave and his wife, Penny, have been a part of the St. Ann's family for many years.  Their son, Nicholas, is in 6th grade at St. Ann's Academy; their son, Matthew, attended St. Ann School for 7 years, graduated from Hornell High School, and is now a sophomore at St. John Fisher College; and their daughter, Kaelyn, attended St. Ann's for 10 years, graduated from Hornell High School and Syracuse University, and now works as a Graphic Designer in Syracuse.

Sister Dolores Ann Stein, RSM, Secretary

Sister holds a Bachelor of Science from Marywood College and a Master of Science from the State of New York at Albany. She holds NYS Permanent Certification in Business Education and NYS Permanent Certification in Administration and Supervision.  She taught in Catholic Schools throughout the Diocese of Rochester from 1958-1984: St. Andrew School in Rochester from 1958-1961; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School in Rochester from 1961-1966; St. Mary’s School in Corning from 1966-1968; and Notre Dame High School in Elmira from 1968-1984.  In 1984, Sister was appointed Principal of St. Ann’s School in Hornell, NY, and kept that position until her retirement in 2007.  After her retirement, she worked from 2007-2012 as the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents in The Diocese of Rochester, Department of Catholic Schools.  Currently, she works as an Administrative Assistant at Nazareth Elementary School in Rochester. Sister is also Co-Director of Mercy Bridges, a Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of Mercy.  Mercy Bridges provides tutoring for adults, including refugees and immigrants, in English

as a Second Language.

Patricia Moore

Assistant Principal & Ex Officio Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Penny Gray,

Director of Technology & Ex Officio Board Member

Penny holds a BA and an MS in Teaching & Curriculum/Mathematics from the University of Rochester.  She has a long history with St. Ann's School and is thrilled to be a part of St. Ann's Academy.  She and her husband, David, have a son, Nicholas, who is in 6th grade at St. Ann's Academy; their son, Matthew, attended St. Ann School for 7 years, graduated from Hornell High School, and is now a sophomore at St. John Fisher College; and their daughter, Kaelyn, attended St. Ann's for 10 years, graduated from Hornell High School and Syracuse University, and now works as a Graphic Designer & Digital Marketing Director in Syracuse. Penny was a computer teacher at St. Ann's School for many years, and is enjoying helping St. Ann's Academy with their IT needs, including maintaining the school's network and Google for Education system, administering the website, and assisting the teachers with instructional technology integration.

Hector Hoyos

Hector Hoyos Graduated with a Bachelors in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla and did his Graduate studies at Ball State University in Urban and Regional Planning.  Hector Has worked in a variety of projects such as the construction of Medical Facilities for the Mexican Institute of Social Security to the “Laguna Verde” Nuclear facilities and the Petrochemical Complex “La Cangrejera” in his native Mexico.  He also taught Math and Structures to Architecture students in the Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, and was a Partner in an Engineering Consulting Firm prior to moving to the US. Hector worked in the private sector with Infra Tech Associates in New York City prior to taking a position with the NYS DOT where he has worked for the last 26 years in different capacities, presently working  as Assistant Regional Bridge Maintenance Engineer for the last 10 years. During his early education years he attended Catholic Schools through High School in his native City of Puebla, his wife also attended Catholic schools in the different countries where she lived and attended Saint Columba in Indiana. Both their children attended and graduated from St. Ann’s School.

Eric Jones

Eric has been a teacher in the Hornell City School District for 18 years. He is certified to teach K-6 regular education and K-12 special education. He is also very involved in youth sports and has coached volleyball, softball, baseball, and soccer in the community. Eric brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our board.  His input is critical to curriculum development, lesson planning, and teacher mentoring. Eric and his wife, Jennifer, have 3 children who attend SAA.

Grant LaFrance

Grant has studied at Alfred State College and also attended RIT, where he studied Business and IT Administration.  He and his family have owned and run the Country Kitchen in Hornell for the past 30+ years.  Grant and his family reside in Hornell, his children Angelina and Adam are both students at St. Ann's Academy.  Grant's wife Lauren (Marino) has been a member of Our Lady of the Valley Parish for many years.  Grant completed the RCIA program last year and is now a member of the Catholic faith and OLV.  He is thrilled to now be a part of the SAA family and honored to be on the Board of Directors.  Grant looks forward to helping SAA grow and thrive for many years to come.

Laura Picco, Board Member Emeritus

Laura holds a BA in Elementary Education and an MS in Literacy from Alfred University.  She also holds an AAS in Mortuary Science from Hudson Valley Community College.  Laura has 13 years teaching experience.  During that time, she served as grade level chairperson and was active on several committees to develop curriculum maps, scheduling, and unit planning guides.  Laura currently works at the Dagon Funeral Home and is a Parish Council member and communicant at Our Lady of the Valley Parish.  Laura and her husband, Pasquale, have four children: Gennaro is a graduate of St. Ann's Academy and is currently a 7th grade student at Houghton Academy; Pasquale is in 6th grade at SAA, and Marco is in 5th grade at SAA.  Their son, Nicholas, is a senior in college.  Due to time constraints and a busy schedule, Laura no longer serves as an active SAA board member, but she remains available to us as a valuable consultant.



Website Design: Penny Gray

© 2019 St. Ann's Academy