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Executive Director

Dave Little began serving as the Executive Director of the Rural Schools Association of New York State in November of 2014. Prior to that, Dave served as Director of Governmental Relations of the New York State School Boards Association for 15 years. Dave began his career in public service by serving as legal counsel first in the State Assembly and then in the Senate, where he was Home Rule Counsel and Local Government Counsel to the Majority Leader. Dave has been a county legislator and regional planning commissioner, and served as president of the Brittonkill Board of Education for a decade. Dave is also the former national chair of the Conference of State Association Legislative Staff. Dave received his undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University and his Juris Doctor from the Capital University Law School. He and his wife Lynne (who works with autistic students at Questar III BOCES) live in Brunswick and have two sons, Patrick and Daniel.

Dr. Gretchen Rymarchyk, Deputy Director of the Rural Schools Association of New York State.


Deputy Executive Director

Gretchen is new to our Association as of the summer of 2016, but not new to rural upstate NY. She comes to us from the Social Work faculty at Keuka College where she taught in the Accelerated Studies for Adults Program – designed to deliver academic programming toward college degrees to under served rural populations for non-traditional students. While there, she also conducted research on school success with marginalized populations. Prior to that work, Gretchen worked in numerous contexts and roles, all connected to families’ and children’s abilities to access and benefit from services, including public education. She has provided mental health outreach in a BOCES catchment area,  evaluated a pilot of the NY Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiative in elementary schools, and provided individual, group, and family therapy to teens in foster care and the juvenile justice system.  She created a training curriculum for family caseworkers based on solution focused approaches to solving long standing difficulties. She tested it in two rural counties, and by word of mouth, was invited to provide the training to several more counties and private agencies across the Finger Lakes and western NY. She also has a background in Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis, and as such has provided organizational consulting nationally.



Administrative Assistant