Our Team

Greg Darin

Teacher Greg Darin is GLA’s Tech Guru! He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Central Connecticut State University. He has been in the field of education for the past twelve years where he specializes in Technology Education. Greg currently teaches courses in Engineering, Construction, Robotics, and Video and Television Production at Oxford High School in Connecticut, and is involved in the Fox 61 Student News and VEX Robotics competitions. In addition to his dedication to the education field, Greg volunteers his time as a member of the Connecticut Technology Education Leadership Council and the Connecticut Technology Education Association.

Dr. Casey Jordan

Dr. Casey Jordan, President of Beacon Preservation, Inc. and Executive Director of Green Light Academy, is an attorney and social scientist devoted to lighthouse preservation. With a diverse background in historical preservation, antiques dealing, media relations, and law & society, her passion for lighthouse preservation is the natural evolution of 20+ years of researching and restoring historic properties. As a full professor (J.D., Ph.D.) in the Ancell School of Business at Western Connecticut State University, Casey balances her classroom teaching and scholarly research with law practice, mediation, policy analysis, and grant-writing.

An avid scuba-diver, rock-climber, kayaker, and snowboarder, she enjoys world travel and ecotourism when not managing Beacon’s lighthouses in Maine and Connecticut. In addition to overseeing Beacon’s day-to-day operations, Casey promotes our mission of lighthouse preservation through environmental conservation and marine education programs, while doing her fair share of project planning and hands-on restoration.

Dr. Frank LaBanca

Frank LaBanca is GLA’s Director of Academics. Currently running educational programs for Education Connection, this former Science Department Chair directed the Applied Science Research Program at Oxford and Newtown High Schools in Connecticut, and considers himself teacher, educational researcher, and change agent. Dr. LaBanca has taught Biology, Marine Biology, Advanced Placement Biology, and Science Research for the past eighteen years. He earned his B.S. in Biology from the University of Connecticut, an M.S. in Science Education from the University of Bridgeport, and an Ed.D. in Instructional Leadership from Western Connecticut State University. Dr. LaBanca is a fellow of the Connecticut Academy for Education, a member of the board of directors for the Connecticut Science Fair, and an executive board member of the Connecticut Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. He has been recognized nationally as National Education Association Innovation Teacher, a GTE G.I.F.T. (Growth Initiatives for Teachers) Fellow, a RadioShack National Teacher for Excellence in Science, Math, and Technology, and the Teachers Insurance Plan Teacher of the Year. Dr. LaBanca was also recognized by Discovery as the National Outstanding Classroom Blogger for his blog, Applied Science Research. Online: www.labanca.net.

Colleen Peterson

Colleen Peterson just completed her eighth year of teaching in the math department of New Milford High School in Connecticut.  The courses she teaches include Algebra I, Algebra II, Intermediate Algebra II, Academic Geometry, and Applied Geometry.  In addition to her regular teaching responsibilities, Colleen has taught multiple SAT prep courses for mathematics at New Milford High School and has taught summer school in Brookfield, CT.  Additionally, she spent two summers working for Western Connecticut’s Educational Achievement & Access Program (EAP) – a program that provides under-prepared students with the opportunity and support needed to obtain a college education.  She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Math Education at Western CT State University.  In her free time, Colleen enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, and traveling.  Her most recent trips include a visit to Alaska and an eco-tour through Costa Rica.

Alexander Koht

Alexander Koht is a photographer, filmmaker, and camera technician who has surrounded his life with everything camera. Working for the past six years in the independent photo/film scene of New York City has allowed Alex to hone his craft and understanding of some of the most advanced and ancient forms of taking photos. An avid explorer who is truly in his element when traveling abroad, Alex believes that a photographer works best in unknown conditions where everything familiar remains miles away.

Samantha Smith

Samantha Smith is Assistant Director and resident Videographer for GLA.   Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Sam graduated from Denison University with a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema, and then moved to the east coast. Currently, she works as a videographer and editor in New York City where she directs, shoots and edits everything from music videos, to commercials, to documentaries. .

Sam also has a background in education. In 2010, she taught film and music classes at a variety of institutions, and served as coordinator and head ARM for GLA.  She is very excited to be taking a break from the city this summer, and combining her passions for video, education and the environment at Green Light Academy. In her spare time, Sam also enjoys skiing, music, traveling, hiking, camping, and yoga. 

Heather Biancheri

Heather Biancheri is currently a science teacher at Brookfield High School in Connecticut. She has eleven years of teaching experience and has enjoyed sharing her love for science and learning through the following courses: Biology, Honors Biology, Advanced Placement Biology, Zoology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Earth Science. She has studied at both UCONN and SCSU, and was the recipient of the Departmental Biology Award at both universities. She holds her B.S. in Biology, a Minor in Chemistry, a Concentration in Botany, and her Secondary Teaching Certification from SCSU. She recently defended her thesis at SCSU, Localization and Degradation of Cln2 via the SCFGrr1 Ubiquitin Proteosome Pathway, and graduated summa cum laude with her M.S. Biology. She is a trained CT TEAM mentor teacher, has earned the top score on the CT BEST Teaching Portfolio, and was honored to receive a nomination for “Teacher of the Year” in two different districts. She is GLA’s resident zoologist and bird freak.

Jordan Orfitelli

Jordan Orfitelli is GLA’s Admissions Director and Chief Academic Resource Mentor (ARM). Jordan graduated from Western Connecticut State University in 2012 with a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology and a double minor in History and International Studies. At WCSU, she served as an Academic Resource Mentor designing academic and personal support programs for first year students. Currently Jordan is a Residence Hall Manager at The Fashion Institute of Technology where she assists with the coordination of operations in the residence halls on campus and participates in an on-call duty rotation to respond to emergencies on campus. She enjoys live theatre, graphic design and classic movies.

Quinn Kenning

Quinn Kenning came to GLA as an ARM in 2013, after two years at Endicott College where he studied Communications, Film, and Social Media. A graduate of Fairfield Prep, Quinn was the captain of the football team, chaired the Lacrosse Team, and was named Scholar-Athlete for Football by Fairfield County. Now coaching football and helping to organize the Independent TV Festival, Quinn is our Academic & RECREATION Mentor (ARM), GoPro photographer, and videography assistant.

Kourtni Beebe

Kourtni Beebe joins the GLA in 2014 as a new Academic & Recreation Mentor (ARM). Kourtni has worked with kids for the past decade in a variety of summer camp settings, and serves as GLA’s Talent Show Coordinator and Assistant Director (with Jordan Orfitelli) of our Green Book (yearbook) Club. After receiving her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Oklahoma City University, she moved from Oklahoma to New York and now works as an actress on various television shows and films being shot around the City. In her spare time, Kourtni likes to play Frisbee, do handstands, and search for the NYC’s best cupcakes.

Green Light Academy
7 Juniper Lane, New Milford, CT 06776
phone: 1-203-400-9565

Green Light Academy Maine Field Office
179 Main Street, North Haven, ME 04853