716.651.0465 | Airport Commerce Park | 303 Cayuga Rd., Suite 180 | Cheektowaga, NY 14225

Meet Our Staff


Kathy Houghton – Executive Director / STAC Director

Kathy Houghton is the Executive Director of Literacy New York.  In this position, she creates, implements, and monitors systems and procedures to ensure delivery of grant and project deliverables, and supports staff in meeting outcomes.  Prior to becoming LNY's Executive Director, Kathy was the Director of Program Services for LNY for 12 years.  

Kathy is also a certified trainer, and facilitates workshops and presentations locally, regionally, nationally, and virtually.  Her training certifications include many aspects of adult education including learning disabilities, reading, and writing. She is also a member of the national ADA trainer leadership network and qualified to deliver a nationally-vetted curriculum of workshops on ADA related topics.  

Kathy has a Bachelor of Arts in Business and English from Skidmore College, and a Masters in English from the University of North Florida.  ([email protected])

Mary Jo Pelletier – Data Assistant

Mary Jo Pelletier is the STAC Data Assistant for Literacy New York. She supports Literacy New York programs with their data and the ASISTS online software, to insure NYRS compliance.  Mary Jo worked with the refugee population for many years in an adult ESL program before coming to work for Literacy New York.  She has attended numerous trainings and certification workshops pertaining to the New York Reporting System.  She has a BS in Economics/Business from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  ([email protected])

Kitty Hotles-Samson – Program Assistant

Kitty Hotles-Samson is the Program Assistant for Literacy New York. One of her roles is working directly with Adult Literacy Education funded literacy agencies and potential tutors across the state, supporting them in our Intake to Outcomes (I2O) online tutor training program. Kitty is passionate about helping those seeking literacy help. Another role of Kitty's is assistant to the Executive Director. She has a background in hospitality, media broadcasting, direct sales and has a BFA from Niagara University.  ([email protected])

Mary Abousaid – Director of Finance and Operations

Mary Abousaid is the Director of Finance and Operations for Literacy New York, Inc.  As the Director of Finance and Operations, Mary prepares accurate and comprehensive financial information for the Executive Director, Board of Directors, and Program Managers to enable them to conduct their due diligence in financial oversight, organizational and financial planning and decision making.  She earned her Bachelor's Degree from SUNY College at Buffalo and an MBA from Medaille College.  ([email protected])

Ann Marie Przybyl – Director of ACCES/West RAEN

Ann Marie Przybyl is the Director of ACCES/West RAEN (Regional Adult Education Network), a program of the NY State Education Department's Office of Adult Education Program and Policy.  In that role, she provides staff development and technical assistance to Adult Education program providers throughout the six county western NY area.  In addition to coordinating NYSED workshops;  she designs, develops and delivers customized trainings with the goal of complementing and improving  the skills of adult education providers and practitioners.  Ms. Przybyl has also presented at both regional and national conferences.

Prior to that, Ann Marie served as President of Catholic Central School, a two campus K-8 program in Buffalo, NY;  and as Program Director at the Buffalo and Erie County Girl Scout Council. Ann Marie holds a Bachelor's Degree in History from Canisius College in Buffalo;  and is a 1980 graduate of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, with a Master's Degree.  She is the recipient of the Girl Scout Thanks Badge  (2008) and the Friend of EOC Award (2019).  ([email protected])

Diane Bauernfeind - Administrative Assistant, ACCES/West RAEN

Diane Bauernfeind is the Administrative Assistant for ACCES/West RAEN. She has many years of work experience within the business community including administrative positions in the hospitality, transportation and accounting fields. Diane has a Bachelors of Science in Management from the State University of Buffalo.
([email protected])

Cody Netzband – Director, ACCES/Capital Region/North Country RAEN

Cody Netzband is the ACCES/NYSED Regional Adult Education Director- Capital Region/North Country, a contract held by Literacy New York. He holds 11 years of adult education experience as a tutor, trainer, literacy specialist, and Literacy Zone Coordinator. Currently, he develops, implements and monitors professional development and technical assistance for adult education programs in 18 counties of New York State. Cody has a deep understanding of local programs and state administration-evidenced by the successful operation of a 20,000 square mile adult education network, consisting of rural, suburban, and urban programs, both traditional and community-based.

As a trainer and director, he strives to coordinate NYSED workshops where he designs, develops and delivers customized training with the goal of complementing and improving the skills of adult education providers and practitioners.

Cody describes himself as a life-long learner. His current passion lies with finding the intersections where adult education and technology meet. He believes that by embracing this juncture we may be able to further bridge the gap left by learners which traditional methods have left behind. ([email protected])

Danielle Grassi – Program Coordinator, Capital Region/North Country RAEN

Danielle Grassi is the Program Coordinator for the Capital Region/North Country RAEN, which is supported, under contract from NYSED, by Literacy New York.
With skill sets acquired from years in various industries; creative, production, service, sales and office, Danielle comes well-equipped to handle the logistics of event coordination. She’s comfortable in the technical realm of Google applications and has the interpersonal communications skills necessary for managing and follow through with RAEN members. She firmly believes a sense of humor and compassion for all other living beings and a bit of perseverance will get you through the majority of challenges in this life.  ([email protected])