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Meet Our Team

Joel Geller

Joel B. Geller

Executive Director

Executive Director for the Gersh Academy Driver Education Program and the Gersh Academy Driver Education Extended Program which is a one-of-a-kind driver training for people on the autism spectrum. Joel has been with Gersh Driver Education since 2015 which is now the largest driver education program in the state of New York. Prior to Gersh, Joel was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the fastest-growing ignition interlock company in the country. "It is my goal to provide each student with the necessary information and techniques needed to be a safe and responsible driver." Joel has been with his wife for 30 years and has 2 adult children. He is also a Navy veteran.

Steve D’Argenio

Steve D'Argenio

Certified Classroom Instructor

Steve started teaching driver education at the Adult Driving School in 1979 during his final year at WVU. Since then, he has taught driver education for multiple schools. He is a retired physical education teacher, from the Lexington School for the Deaf. Since 1980, he has coached football and lacrosse. He was a college coach for 23 years and for 19 of those years he was head coach. I am married with two children and a very supportive wife. "I feel a strong responsibility to give my students the best perspective on how to be a safe,defensive driver as well as keep themselves and all who share the roads as safe as possible."

Bill Englert

Bill Englert

Extended Program Instructor & Certified Driving Instructor

 

Emily Fedler

Emily Fedler

Certified Classroom Instructor

Emily is a born-and-raised Long Islander. She has taught social studies in NYC for five years and looks forward to educating her fellow Long Islanders about safe driving. Emily enjoys sports through all seasons -- softball, skiing, and golf. She lives in Plainview with her husband and daughter. "Mygoal is to make driver education useful and engaging."

Debbie Mavrich

Debbie Mavrich

Certified Classroom Instructor

Debbie has been with Gersh Academy since 2015. She has instructed students both behind-the-wheel as well as in the classroom. She is a single mom living with a teenage daughter, so I know the anxiety of having a beginner driver in the family."Teaching in-car driving lessons gives me abetter insight into what to teach in the classroom as it relates to the actual task of driving. My goal is to keep my students as safe as possible on the road."

Deborah Pomerenke

Deborah Pomerenke

Certified Classroom Instructor

Deborah is a certified driver education instructor as well as a secondary mathematics teacher for students with special needs. She is employed within Nassau BOCES in a highly specialized, therapeutic program catering to students with emotional disturbances. She also instructs a Twilight Program at Uniondale High School for youth at risk. She is a Suffolk County resident and has two children ages 23 and 20. Outside of teaching, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, gardening, and spending long summer days on the beach. "Parents and young drivers are counting on the instructors to be passionate teachers and give the students the time and attention that they need to become safe and responsible drivers."

Mike Racanelli

Mike Racanelli

Certified Classroom Instructor

In addition to his early career in the business world, Mr. Racanelli has been an educator for over 25 years. He is currently a high school guidance counselor at a local public high school on Long Island. In conjunction with this, he has been working in various capacities in the field of driver education for the past 21 years. "My primary goals as an educator have been to teach young people the importance of being responsible, making good decisions, and maximizing one's potential. These are life lessons that I consistently infuse into each and every one of my driver education lessons."

Doug Schanars

Doug Schanars

Certified Classroom Instructor

Doug has been a teacher in the Syosset Central School District for 23 years. He coaches basketball, tennis, and lacrosse as well as teaches driver education. Doug recently joined the Gersh team and is very excited to be a part of such a wonderful group of professionals. "Teaching is the easy part. Educating students to become responsible adults in the classroom, on and off the field, and behind-the-wheel of a car is where my skill set is most valuable. I look forward to working with all our students and I hope to make a lasting impression."

Charlie Trupia

Charlie Trupia

Certified Classroom Instructor

Mr. Trupia has been teaching Driver Education since 1990. He taught at Connetquot High School in Bohemia from 1986-2016. Over these years Mr Trupia has been part of many Driver Education programs and in retirement is still active teaching in several public and private schools. Mr. Trupia has received numerous awards and citations including New York State Senate Teacher of Excellence (2016), University of Albany’s Teacher of Influence (2008), and Walmart Regional Teacher of the Year (2005). "In every program I've been a part of, it has been my commitment to challenge students to become skillful, responsible, and defensive drivers."