THE VISION of OCALS Learning Services is to promote and foster literacy in Orleans County and contiguous areas by utilizing trained volunteers. These services will be available free of charge to all those in need regardless of gender, religious affiliation or race.
OCALS Learning Services believes that literacy skills are critical to personal freedom and becoming a productive member of society. The mission of OCALS Learning Services is to promote increased literacy for adult learners and families in Orleans Country through the effective use of volunteers, the provision of support services for volunteers and learners, and collaboration with individuals, organizations or employers desiring to foster increased literacy.
As such, OCALS Learning Services is committed to:
- Enabling adults & families in need of basic literacy skills to achieve their potential through one-to-one or small group instruction.
- Training, supervising, and supporting OCALS volunteer tutors and students.
- Strengthening and improving the organization’s capacity to provide literacy instruction and services to the community.
Board of Directors
Pam Schuner – President
Pam attended SUNY Empire State College and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development. Then completed her Masters Degree in Elementary and Special Education with a concentration in Literacy at Niagara University. She also holds a Certificate of Educational Administration from The College at Brockport. She taught preschool for Agri-Business Child Development and was a preschool special education teacher at Rainbow Preschool before starting my career in Public School Education. She has served as a special education teacher since 2017. She began her work for OCALS as the Family Literacy Program Director in 2010. In 2017, she became a board member serving as secretary and a member of the Program Committee. As a volunteer Pam has been a softball coach, soccer coach, and an active member of her church
Email: Pam Schuner
Donald Colquhoun – Vice President/Treasurer
Don graduated from the State University of NY at Buffalo: Bachelor of Arts degree conferred 1967 major in Psychology; Master of Science degree conferred 1973 in Rehabilitation Counseling. Graduate of US Army Command and General Staff College 1988 Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. From 1968-1995 he worked in NY State Substance Abuse Programs as Supervisor/ Manager/ Administrator. From 1995-2012 he served as Executive Director of the Arc of Orleans County until retirement. He also served for 26 years in the US Army Reserves and served overseas in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. Don retired in 2006 as a full Colonel. Don has served as a Board Member of OCALS from 2013-present. Elected Vice President/ Treasurer in 2016. As a volunteer Don has served on the Boards of Directors of the Lake Plains YMCA Board President, Medina LIons Club President, Medina Sandstone Society, Iroquois Job Corps Community Service Committee, Medina Savings and Loan Bank Board President.Email: Don Colquhoun
Carolyn Wagner – Secretary
Carolyn has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from the State University College at Brockport. She had 42 years in the Human Resource/Safety field in manufacturing; her last position prior to retirement was Human Resource/Safety Manager at BMP America, Inc. in Medina, NY. She has been on the Board at OCALS since 2016. Carolyn’s volunteer work includes being a planning committee member of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for 5+ years. A volunteer for the American Cancer Society – Relay for Life for 10+ years. President of the Board of Trustees at the Royalton-Hartland Community Library for 10+ years, prior to Board president position was on the board for 20+ years and a company liaison for the United Way for many years when actively employed.
Mary Lee Knights – Literacy Specialist
Mary Lee received her BA in Education from Potsdam University with majors in Math, Science, and Psychology, and then earned her Masters degree from Ohio University in Guidance and Counseling. Mary Lee moved to this area in 1970 where she worked as a counselor for 3 years in the Gates Chili Central School District and one year in Medina. In 1972 she married her husband Kenneth and in ’74 had her first child. For the next 10 years she ran a nursery school, keeping her hands and heart still in education while bringing up her family. Mary Lee subbed all over the county and then worked for 10 years teaching GED full time, and the next four years as a GED learning disability specialist and the local GED State Test Administrator. Mary Lee has been an active member of OCALS since 2010. During that time she has held the office of Vice President and continues to be the learning specialist and test administrator for our organization.
Nicole Goodrich – Board Member
Nicole earned her Associates degree from Genesee Community College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary education with a math grades 7-9 extension from Buffalo State College. She also earned her Masters in Education from SUNY Brockport. Nicole has been teaching mathematics at the Medina Central School District since 2002. She has been an OCALS board member since 2015 and has served as the secretary from 2016 to 2018 and as President since 2018. Nicole is very active as a 4-H parent and she serves on the Orleans County Horse Program Development Committee.
Julie Keller – Board Member
Cathy Hooker – Board Member
Cathy joined OCALS in 2023. She graduated with Honors from Genesee Community College in 1992 with a A.S. degree in Business Administration and with Honors Roberts Wesleyan College in 1994 with a B.S. in Organizational Management all while working full-time. Catherine was a farmer’s wife and an accountant for 10 years, started working outside the home at Fisher Price Toys and after 17 years, had moved from the Clerk to Master Planner in Production/Inventory Control group. During this period, Catherine was a mother and educational advocate for her learning different child in a world that only recognized normal and retarded children. The next 20 years were spent working at FMC Corporation starting as Master Planner leading the innovation of an MRP system and shortly becoming operations manager at both Middleport, NY and Wyoming, Illinois Plants. In 2015, Catherine retired to full-time caretaker of husband with Alzheimer’s until his passing in 2018. Since then Catherine has been involved in the Alzheimer’s Walk committee, Teacher volunteer for Vacation Bible School and member of Church Council for Zion Lutheran Church in Gasport.
Marie Snyder – Board Member
Marie joined OCALS in 2023. She has an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice. I have worked 31 and a half years at Orleans County Department of Social Services. Six years as a welfare examiner and 24 and a half years as a welfare fraud Investigator. I was on the Albion School Board for 11 years. I was President of Unit 7950 of CSEA for 12 years and President of Local 837 of CSEA for 12 years. Have been on the Board of Directors in Albany for CSEA for 20 years. Am currently Vice President of the Lions Club in Albion. I also served on the Albion Library Board for 4 years.
Jennifer Bansbach – Assessment Specialist/Tutor Coordinator
Jackie Keller – Administrative Assistant
Jackie has a Bachelors of Science degree in English from SUNY Brockport. She is employed at the Barker Central School District as a secretary since 2015 and as the Administrative Assistant for OCALS since 2013.
Kathy Punch – Community Engagement Coordinator
Kathy attended SUNY Brockport where she received a BA in Elementary Education and Sociology, and an MA in Bilingual Multicultural Education. She received an Ed.S in Higher Education Teaching/Concentration English from ASU in Boone, NC. She holds certificates in Elementary Education, Spanish, English, Social Studies, and ESL.Kathy is retired and has taught for over 35 years in NY, FL, and NC. She retired from Medina Central Schools in 2014. Since retiring, she has worked for ARC of Genesee/Orleans, P.Raising Kids, and has delivered Meals On Meals. Kathy joined OCALS as Community Engagement Coordinator in August of 2022.