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Summer Principals Academy

The Education Leadership Program in the Department of Organization and Leadership

Cheryl  Arnau

Cheryl Arnau

B.A. in Political Science, Russell Sage College; MS in Elementary and Special Education, Saint Joseph’s University. In 2003, Cheryl Arnau transitioned from working for General Electric’s Commercial Distribution Finance division to teaching in a public school through the Teach for America program. She spent two years teaching middle school students with self-contained special education services in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This experience shifted Cheryl’s interest in education from education policy to instruction and student learning. Cheryl moved to New York City in 2005 to begin teaching at East Side Middle School (MS114) where she currently serves as the school’s IEP teacher, special education liaison, and Schools Attuned staff developer. During the past year, Cheryl also served as the special education specialist on a new middle school proposal team. The proposal was approved by the NYC Department of Education and the school, West Prep Academy, is scheduled to open in September of 2009.

Mark  Avitabile

Mark Avitabile

B.A. in English, University of Notre Dame; M.A. Teaching of English, Teachers College, Columbia University. Mark began his teaching career in a Kindergarten classroom through a College Practicum at the Early Childhood Development Center in South Bend, Indiana. Currently, Mark teaches English Language Arts and AP Literature & Composition at the Academy of American Studies in Long Island City, Queens. Working in conjunction with the highly supportive Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), the Center for Arts Education (CAE), and enthusiastic colleagues, he developed an interdisciplinary curriculum that allows students to find their personal voice through written and visual self-portraiture. During the 2008-2009 school year, Mark facilitated the construction of a 5-level ELA Curriculum Map – the first curriculum map designed at his school. Mark serves his school in number of capacities: Model United Nations Club Advisor, Athletic Director, Data Inquiry Team Facilitator, and Saturday Academy Instructor.

D Metriss  Bannerman Holmes

D Metriss Bannerman Holmes

With experience as both an Entrepreneur and an Educator, D'Metriss Bannerman-Holmes is driven to link her two passions and educate the underserved in order to optimize their access to college and job security. As part of this pursuit, she acquired her Masters of School Building Leadership from Columbia University, a Masters in Elementary Education from Mercy College and a B.S. in Business Administration from Babson College. She has diverse experience ranging from teacher, afterschool director, and marketing consultant. She has taught for the past several years in Spanish Harlem where she also designed a program in Financial Aptitude and learning Black History through film.

Camaron Bar Lev

Camaron Bar Lev

B.A. in Political Science and Hebrew, University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A. in Elementary and Special Education, Touro College; M. Ed in Organizational Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Camaron Bar-Lev began her teaching career as a Teach for America Corps member in Compton, CA. She taught in California for 2 years before moving to New York City. She has been teaching at P.S. 70 in the Bronx since 2000 and has been the upper grade literacy Coach for the past 4 years.

Nikole  Booker

Nikole Booker

B.A. in English Literature, State University of New York, Buffalo; M.A. English Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Brooklyn College, C.A.S. Education Leadership. For four years Nikole has held English education posts in New York City’s public schools—first as an ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade teacher at FDNY High School in East New York, Brooklyn, and currently as a humanities teacher at August Martin High School in Jamaica, Queens. In addition to her teaching posts, Nikole has held several leadership positions during her tenure with the New York City Department of Education. Most notably she held the titles of teaching adjunct professor of English Composition and Rhetoric for John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Assistant Principal of Supervision at Performing Arts and Technology High School’s Young Adult Borough Program, United Federation of Teachers Chapter Leader at FDNY High School for three years and Chairperson of various School Leadership Teams.

Wesley  Bradley

Wesley Bradley

B.A. in English, University of St. Thomas; M.S. Secondary Education of English, Lehman College. Advanced Graduate Certificate in Teacher Leadership, Bank Street College of Education. A New York City Teaching Fellow, Wes started his career in education as an English teacher at the High School for Teaching and the Professions in the Bronx, NY. Wes worked in numerous leadership capacities during his time at Teaching and the Professions, including lead teacher, staff developer, and new teacher mentor. After finishing his sixth year there this past spring, he will be moving on to work as an Instructional Leader within the Perspectives Charter School Network in Chicago, IL this fall.

Sara  Byas

Sara Byas

B.A. in Psychology, Fordham University, M.A. in Applied Psychology in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, M.S. in Special Education, Mercy College. Sara Byas began her teaching career as a therapeutic teacher for emotionally disturbed toddlers at a psychiatric institute. A few years later, she joined the NYC Teaching Fellows Program and taught literacy and career education to special education high school students. Sara currently works at a New York City Public School in the South Bronx continuing to serve emotional disturbed, mentally retarded and learning disabled students. Acting as an Administrative Coordinator, she performs several administrative duties, such as managing the school’s budget, administering professional development activities, coordinating the New Teaching Mentoring Program, and spearheading several school-wide committees.

Sandra  Bynum

Sandra Bynum

Bachelors of Technology in Hospitality Management, New York City College of Technology, CUNY; M.S. in Special Education/General Education, College of Staten Island, CUNY. Sandra Bynum began her career in education as a NYC Teaching Fellow. She was a Middle School Special Education teacher for 3 years. Currently she is the Technology Coach at P140, a K-8 school in Brooklyn, NY, where she runs a 1:1 Technology Initiative, which provides a laptop for both students and teachers, and Professional Development to teachers to help them learn how to integrate technology into the curriculum.

Vicki  Cable

Vicki Cable

B.S., Washington State University; M.S., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Vicki Cable has extensive experience teaching Mathematics and Physical Education. She started her career in the Seattle area and moved to Ithaca, New York in 1999. She is also a Regional Instructor for Texas Instruments and was presented the Technology Alliance of Central New York Outstanding Teacher Award in 2005. For the past two years she has served as lead Math teacher at The Academy of Social Action, a College Board school in Harlem.

Janny  Cahatol

Janny Cahatol

B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in Secondary Education, Stanford University. After having researched at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and at UC Berkeley as a McNair Scholar, Janny Cahatol took on a personal endeavor and taught science at a public secondary school in Zanzibar, Tanzania. She teaches Chemistry and Honors Chemistry in San Jose, California. Janny is co-advising the Conflict Management Program to create a safe environment for students.

Clark  Callahan

Clark Callahan

B.A. in Communication, University of Northern Colorado; M.B.A. with an emphasis in Human Resources, Fairfield University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Columbia University (confirmed October of 2009). As of July 1st, 2009, Clark Callahan assumed the role of Director at Stamford Academy, a charter school that serves students who have not found success in a traditional high school. Clark taught Mathematics, Business, and Entrepreneurship at Stamford Academy for three years. During the summer of 2007, Clark served as the Director of Stamford Academy’s summer school program. While teaching, he served as the Director of Finance, Coordinator of the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, and Co-Director of the Service Learning Program. He also founded and directed the Work & Learn Program that helps young people gain job skills through interactive jobs within the school community.

Alan  Cheng

Alan Cheng

B.A. in Engineering and Art History, Dartmouth College; M.S. in Technology and Policy, and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.A. Mathematics Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. After graduation, Alan Cheng's policy analysis credentials led him to Washington, DC where he gained valuable experience as a Legislative Fellow with the U.S. Senate Education Committee where he worked with Senator Chris Dodd and his senior education advisors on the reauthorization of NCLB and Federal Pell Grants. Eventually, the disconnect between federal policies and everyday classroom realities motivated him to start a career as a classroom educator. Alan currently works in NYC as an internship coordinator and math teacher at City-As-School High School, an alternative transfer school for overage and under-credited students. He works to reengage disaffected students who have fallen behind by using extensive out-of-classroom internships. He is also the school's testing coordinator, TITLE I coordinator and member of the school’s executive committee. Prior to classroom teaching, he worked at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, founded a non-profit called Team-Up-4-Education in Boston, and was a curriculum developer at the Graduate School of Management at Cambridge University, UK. He is also a graduate of the National IEL Education Policy Fellowship Program and the Columbia School Law Institute. Alan is currently Assistant Principal of Supervision at City-As-School High School.

Julie  Chiaverini

Julie Chiaverini

B.S. in Family and Community Services, University of Oregon; M.A. in Childhood Education, New York University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Julie Chiaverini began her teaching career at PS 234, a social studies based elementary school, in New York City. She later moved to Chicago and taught at Hubbard Woods Elementary School and Skokie Middle School in Winnetka School District, where she served on the district’s literacy, social studies, and assessment/conferencing committees. Since returning to New York City in the summer of 2008, Julie has been teaching at Manhattan Charter School, where she has been responsible for designing and implementing the school’s first 4th grade curriculum. In addition to her teaching experience, Julie has a diverse background in educational leadership, having served as both a juvenile probation officer and an international summer camp site director. She is committed to child-centered learning and fostering achievement and growth for both students and teachers.

Carolyn Chin Bow

Carolyn Chin Bow

B.A. in Expressive Arts from the Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA. Carolyn Chin-Bow is the Community School Director for the Children’s Aid Society Community School at PS152 in Manhattan where she oversees the smooth integration of all CAS social services programs with the PS152 academic community. She has been a presenter on the Community School Model for the Children’s Aid Society’s National Technical Assistance Center for visitors from the United States, England, Ireland, Korea, and Japan, as well as at a National Community Education Association Conference. Before moving to New York City she taught K-12 art for thirteen years in the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Caridad  Chrisomalis

Caridad Chrisomalis

B.A. in Liberal Studies, Thomas Edison State College; Post-Bachelor Certificate Translation/Interpretation Montclair State University; M.A. Urban Education, with a Specialization in Foreign Language Methodology, New Jersey City State University; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Caridad Chrisomalis is an experienced, successful K-12 educator, with a Spanish-English bilingual background. She currently works as a high school Spanish teacher in Mahwah, New Jersey.

Kentia Coreus Murren

Kentia Coreus Murren

M.A. in English Education, Brooklyn College CUNY and B.A. English Education, Brooklyn College CUNY. Kentia Coreus-Murren is a high school English teacher who has been serving traditionally under-educated and under-served students in high need communities. She has taught grades 9-12 at Performing Arts and Technology High School located in the Thomas Jefferson campus in East New York Brooklyn for the past three years. In her role as Lead English teacher at PATHS, Kentia developed curricula designed to ensure that the voices of students is empowered in school. As the College Advisor at PATHS, Kentia created and developed a College Advisement team which was able to get 100% of the school’s first graduating class to apply to college. Kentia is leaving PATHS this year to join Stamford Academy in Stamford, Connecticut as their Director of Curriculum and Instruction.

Michael  Cormack

Michael Cormack

B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy, Boston College; M.Ed. in Elementary Education (K-8), Delta State University. Immediately after graduating from Boston College, Michael Cormack entered the highly selective Teach For America (TFA) program. Michael taught fourth grade and served as Grade Level Chair at Carver Upper Elementary School in Indianola, MS. Following his two-year commitment at Carver, Michael joined the TFA staff as a Program Director and has served in the Corps Member Advisor and School Director roles at the Houston training institute. Michael reentered the classroom in 2007 as a 5th/6th grade math and social studies teacher at KIPP Delta College Preparatory School in Helena, AR, where his students posted 22% proficiency gains in mathematics over the previous year. Presently, Michael is the Managing Director of Program for TFA in the Mississippi Delta.

Porsche  Cox

Porsche Cox

B.S. in Marketing & Multinational Business, The Florida State University; M.A. Special Education, City University of New York; Ed.M., Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Porsche Cox started her teacher leader career as a NYC Teaching Fellow in New York City's Citywide Special Education District, serving students with moderate to severe disabilities. In her most recent role as founding Special Education Coordinator for Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate School, a 5-12 college preparatory school in central Brooklyn, Porsche developed school wide approaches to academic and behavior intervention and support to reduce barriers and provide access to curriculum for all students. Porsche has also served as a Fellow Advisor to two cohorts of NYC Teaching Fellows, providing comprehensive training to prepare teachers for success in their first year.

Peter  DiCarlo

Peter DiCarlo

B.M. in Music Education; M.M. in Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. Peter DiCarlo has also studied at L’Ecole Française, the Summer Language Program at Middlebury College. Peter promotes high student achievement as a middle and high school band director in Bernardsville, New Jersey. As a teacher, Peter has written the district’s middle school instrumental music curriculum, collaborated on the student handbook committee, and is the head coach of the baseball team. As a saxophonist and woodwind musician, he has performed with Ray Charles, the Cab Calloway Orchestra and The Duprees. Peter has published two articles on woodwind pedagogy in the New Jersey music educator's journal, Tempo Magazine.

Kelly  Dolan

Kelly Dolan

B.S. in Biology, Loyola College of Maryland; M.A. in Educational Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. After working around the U.S., Kelly Dolan settled into N.J. and began teaching. She received certification through New Jersey Alternate Route and has taught Middle School Science for 5 years. During these five years, she has designed and implemented the first F.I.R.E. Bowl in NJ for the Bayonne School District that is now replicated in two counties. This past year, Kelly successfully directed a Family Science Night program as well as the Green Team’s construction of a garden within the courtyard of the school. One day, she would like to be a positive leader in a school that provides a safe learning environment that inspires students and provides them with the tools needed to reach their goals.

Megan  Earls

Megan Earls

B.A. in Peace and Global Studies, Earlham College; MA in Elementary Education, Lehman College; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Megan Earls began teaching in 2000 as a New York City Teaching Fellow. She has taught grades 4-6, and is committed to providing her students with the academic, social, and emotional foundations needed to be high-achieving independent learners and critical thinkers. To this end, Megan initiated the implementation of Responsive Classroom in her elementary school, and wrote an article about the power of positive language for their journal. Additionally, she has gained leadership and curriculum development experience serving as Founding English Teacher at Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School. Two years ago, Megan returned to the elementary level to teacher at P.S. 172 in Sunset Park. At 172, she developed Benchmark Books with her colleagues to support assessment in Reading Workshop, and she serves as the grade team leader. P.S. 172 is continuously awarded for its success in closing the achievement gap, and Megan looks forward to her work alongside the leaders there.

Ashlyn  Field

Ashlyn Field

B.A. in Government, Hamilton College; M.S. in Urban Education, Mercy College; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Ashlyn Field knew that she wanted to be involved in urban education after spending her time as an undergraduate in an under-resourced, low-performing school in Utica, NY. Soon after graduating from Hamilton, she joined NYC Teaching Fellows and began working at PS 79 in the Bronx where she taught kindergarten, first and second grade and was also a member of the school Inquiry Team. She is currently teaching in a CCT classroom in the south Bronx at Mott Haven Academy Charter School- a school that was specifically designed to meet the needs of at-risk students who are currently in the foster care and child welfare system. In addition to her role as a teacher, she is also the school data specialist, responsible for leading the data team and analyzing school data to drive instruction.

Patricia  Finnegan

Patricia Finnegan

B.S. in Accounting, Fordham University; M.S. Education, University of Bridgeport. Patricia Finnegan worked for several years in the areas of accounting and finance at a multinational public accounting firm and, subsequently, at two national retail corporations. Since 1997, she has been teaching kindergarten and providing academic support services for grades 1 - 5 students in Westport, Connecticut. During that time, she was also involved in various curriculum initiatives including the introduction of Spanish into the district kindergarten program, the restructuring of the kindergarten science curriculum to be an inquiry-based program, and the implementation of full-day kindergarten programming.

Joy  Freeman

Joy Freeman

B.A. in Sociology, Emory University; M.A. in Counseling, New York University; Ed.M., Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Joy Freeman has been the guidance counselor at Urban Assembly Media High School in Manhattan since its inception in 2004. In addition to her counseling responsibilities for grades 9-12, she is in charge of the programming, recruitment/admissions/transfers, and has various other administrative responsibilities. Joy also has her License in Mental Health Counseling (LMHC) and has spent four years in post-graduate training in Family and Couples Counseling at the Ackerman Institute for the Family and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Upon her completion of the Summer Principals Academy Masters program at Teachers College, Columbia University, she will become the Director of Guidance and Pupil Personnel Services at Urban Assembly Media High School.

Craig  Garber

Craig Garber

B.A. in Sociology, Pennsylvania State University; M.A. Gifted Education, Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Craig Garber has taught middle school math in New York City for ten years. He is a United Federation of Teachers chapter leader at Beginning with Children Charter School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he also coaches the award winning math team and coordinates the afterschool programs. Craig also tutors students struggling with high school math.

Brenda  Garcia

Brenda Garcia

B.A. in Economics and International Relations, Boston University; M.S. Elementary Education, Mercy College. Brenda Garcia entered the field of education through the New York City Teaching Fellows Program in 2004. She has completed her fifth year of teaching a bilingual third grade class as well as her leadership internship at Public School 9 in Bronx, NY. Her emphasis has been working with the English language learner population through both ESL and Bilingual education methodology and providing the team of ESL and Bilingual teachers with professional development. She has been actively involved on the School Leadership Team, Inquiry Team, Activity Committee, and has worked in an effort to increase parent involvement in her school community.

Milagros  Garcia

Milagros Garcia

B.A in American History, Columbia University; M.A. in Teaching Social Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining the New York City Public School System, Milagros Garcia worked in the financial sector for approximately five years. This job was not sufficiently fulfilling or challenging, so she became a mentor for students at the Double Discovery Program at Columbia University. Milagros has worked at Manhattan Middle School for Scientific Inquiry for two years as a bilingual 7th and 8th Grade Social Studies teacher. She has also taught at Brandeis High School as a 9th grade global history teacher.

Heather  Haines

Heather Haines

B.A. in Sociology, Kalamazoo College; teaching certification, University of Pennsylvania; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. In college, Heather Haines started A.M.I.G.O.S., an afterschool and mentoring program for immigrant high school students. This experience inspired her to join Teach for America in 2003 in Philadelphia where she taught middle school English in Philadelphia. After teaching for four years, Heather worked as an Instructional Leader for Perspectives-Calumet Middle School in Chicago, where she coached and evaluated teachers, developed English and History curriculum, and facilitated Professional Development. This year, Heather will begin a new leadership role as Assistant Principal of Perspectives-Calumet High School.

Vanessa  Handal

Vanessa Handal

B.A. in International Business and Marketing, St. Louis University; M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. Vanessa Handal is certified to teach in elementary schools and in bilingual elementary programs throughout the state of NY. She is currently teaching English as a private French school: the “Lycée Français de New York” where she has also served as the Department Coordinator. Vanessa is currently attending the Summer Principals Academy, Teachers College, Columbia University, where by August 2009 she will graduate with an Ed.M. in Education Leadership. Upon graduation, Vanessa aspires to become a school building leader. Prior to teaching, Vanessa worked for five years in art licensing. Vanessa is fluent in French, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and English.

Terrie  Heartley

Terrie Heartley

B.A. in Journalism and a minor in African-African American Studies, Penn State University; M.S. in Elementary Education, St. John's University. Terrie Heartley was a reporter with the Stamford Advocate in Stamford, Connecticut and The Gazette Newspapers in Silver Spring, Maryland. Terrie was accepted to the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and has taught Middle School English Language Arts and Social Studies for six years in New York City and for the past year at a Charter School in Newark, New Jersey. In addition to her teaching schedule, Terrie created curriculums, conducted professional development workshops, and worked with various academic enrichment and improvement programs.

Joel  Heckethorn

Joel Heckethorn

B.A. in Music Education, Ohio State University; M.A. in Music Education, Ohio State University; Ed.M., Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Joel Heckethorn taught high school choir for over eight years in public schools in Ohio before moving to New York City. His greatest accomplishment as a choir teacher was to have his choir sing in Carnegie Hall. In New York he has spent three years in the Department of Education, first as an English teacher at Eagle Academy for Young Men and currently in the capacity of Business Manager at Amistad Dual Language School. With this position, Joel has been working closely with the principal and assistant principal on all aspects of school systems; all of this work is in preparation to become an administrator.

Riana  Hershenfeld

Riana Hershenfeld

B.S. in Communications (Theatre and English), Northwestern University, M.A. Educational Theatre and Secondary English Education, New York University. A strong proponent of the performing arts, Riana Hershenfeld spent the majority of her undergraduate career producing and performing in theatre productions as well as completing a Shakespeare-intensive acting program at Oxford University. During her senior year, she stumbled upon an educational creative drama course and quickly developed a love for integrating the performing arts into academic teaching. After following this passion to NYU to study arts in education, Riana found her niche at the Brooklyn School for Music and Theatre, where she has taught a myriad of English and performing arts courses including Advanced Placement English Literature. At BSMT, Riana works as the coordinator of student recruitment, acted as a senior advisor for the Class of 2009, and chairs the School Leadership Team and Library Advisory Council.

Marguerite  Ho

Marguerite Ho

B.S. in Food Science and Business, State University College at Oneonta; MS in Elementary Education, Baruch College. Formerly a corporate food service director at the worldwide headquarters of Saatchi & Saatchi, Inc., a major advertising firm, Marguerite Ho left to pursue teaching. Having worked in NYC public schools from Chelsea to Chinatown, she eventually made her way up to Harlem and then to East Harlem where she has been for the last decade. As literacy coach for the last seven years at P.S. 72, she is actively involved in providing ongoing professional development for teachers, developing curriculum, planning afterschool and summer school programs, facilitating teacher leadership initiatives, and implementing school wide inquiry work. Serving on the Principal’s Cabinet and the School Leadership Team, she also oversees many of the school’s fiscal operations in collaboration with the principal. In her role as literacy coach, Marguerite has seen the school progress from a school in need to a highly functioning school and was nominated for a School Change Award in 2007.

Carl  Hudson

Carl Hudson

B.S. in Applied Economics and Management with a minor in Statistics, Cornell University; M.A. in Secondary School Mathematics Education, NYU; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College - Columbia University. Carl Hudson is entering his ninth year teaching all levels of mathematics from 9th grade Course I, Math A, Algebra, Geometry to Advanced Placement Statistics. He currently teaches at a NYC landmark high school, Flushing High School. Carl has also served as an adjunct instructor at LaGuardia Community College. He has participated is various after school programs and/or not-for-profits. Carl currently serves as the Program Department Chairperson for Flushing High School. He is responsible for transcript maintenance, scheduling, and grade reporting for a student population of approximately 3,000.

Erika  Hurtado

Erika Hurtado

B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Stony Brook University; M.A. in Secondary Math Ed, Adelphi University. Erika Hurtado has been a math teacher at John Adams High School since 2004. Throughout her teaching career Erika has developed a special interest in special education, bi-lingual/ ESL, and over aged-under credited students. Erika works for the YABC site located at John Adams during the evenings, where she has overseen the Academic Accelerated Studies program for the past three years. Erika will transition this Fall from her position as the Dean of students, which she held for two years, to the Director of the Jump Start Academy.

Kimberly  Hutchinson

Kimberly Hutchinson

B.A. in Sociology and Elementary Education, Fordham University; MA in Learning dis/Abilities, Teachers College, Columbia University. Kim Hutchinson has a diverse background as an elementary educator. She began her career as a second grade teacher in the NYC public schools. She later became a Resource Teacher for students in grades 3-5 in the Newark, NJ public schools. She is currently a Learning Disability Teacher Consultant for the Office of Special Education in Newark, New Jersey.

Nissi  Jonathan

Nissi Jonathan

B.S. in Science and Education from Osmania University, India; Bachelor’s of Technology in Information Technology from Devry Institute of Technology; M.A. in Secondary School Education from City College, NY; anticipated Ed.M. from Teachers College Columbia University. An NYC teacher for the last six years, Nissi Jonathan has assumed various roles in this organization as a fulltime Advanced Placement Biology teacher and Data Specialist, while being the key person to conduct professional development for the teaching staff at her current school for the last two years. She is also a founding teacher for her current school, where she has chaired the Science Department for the last four years. She worked as a fellow advisor with the New York City Teaching Fellows program over a period of two years. She has a prior experience in the world of information technology as a circuit engineer for WorldCom.

Tiffany  Judkins

Tiffany Judkins

B.A. in Mathematics, Schreiner University; Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management, Harvard University. Tiffany Judkins teaches Algebra and Statistics at Washington Irving High School in New York. In her three years there, she has also instructed English language learners in Saturday School, supervised the building’s Detention and Suspension Center, chaired the Professional Development Committee, facilitated course team meetings for the math department, and participated on the School Leadership Team. Prior to moving to New York, Tiffany taught 8th grade mathematics in Kerrville, Texas.

Matthew  Kelley

Matthew Kelley

B.A. in Sociology, Brown University. Matt Kelley comes to Teachers College as a founding faculty member at Rauner College Prep, a Noble Street Charter School in Chicago. Entering his fourth year at RCP, Matt teaches 9th grade Multicultural Literature and advises a group of sophomore boys on their way to college. Within the school, Matt is the 9th Grade Team Leader, responsible for planning and facilitating weekly professional development for all freshman teachers. Matt began his career in education as a member of Teach For America in the Arkansas Delta teaching junior English for three years at Central High School in Helena, Arkansas.

Salome  Kim

Salome Kim

B.A. in English Literature, University of Utah; M.S. in Mathematics Education, City College of New York. Salome Kim started off her teaching career teaching at Challenger Schools in Salt Lake City. She then moved to Seoul, Korea to teach ESL and 4th grade at an international school for 2 years. Salome has been a New York City public school teacher at Legacy School for Integrated Studies for the past six years. Currently, Salome is the school's Math Lead Teacher, a Mentor Teacher, 10th Grade Coordinator, Advisory Team Leader and a member of her school's Inquiry Team.

Michael  Lanaghan

Michael Lanaghan

B.A. in Journalism from Kansas University; M.S. in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. Mike Lanaghan's experience has led him to teaching social studies to high school students at Metropolitan High School in the Bronx. In addition, he has taught English as a second language to high school students in Japan. He is also in charge of Programming and Scheduling at Metropolitan HS and leads the Community Service program.

Ronald  Link

Ronald Link

Ronald Link is currently the Principal at the Theater Arts Production Company School (TAPCo). Ron's past work in refractive surgery education has been featured in the New York Times, on 20/20 & WebMD. As a member of the technology group of the NYC Writing Project, Ron has been a guest on the weekly podcast Teacher Teaching Teachers. Most recently, Ron received the 2012 Lehman UrbanTransformative Education (LUTE) Award which honors the work of educators who make outstanding contributions to urban education. Ron was also a professional firefighter for ten years, an actor and musician. He has a B.A. in English from Kenyon College and an M.Ed. in English Education from Lehman College.

James  Longwell Stevens

James Longwell Stevens

B.A. in Comparative Literature, English, and Journalism from Indiana University, Masters degrees in literary and Critical Theory from Cornell (ABD) and Secondary Education from Vanderbilt. Having taught literature and composition at Cornell and The University of Memphis, James Longwell-Stevens left academia to teach high school students in 2002. Since then, he has taught in public middle and high schools in Nashville and Brooklyn. He expands his students' traditional English language arts curriculum with interdisciplinary projects, including digital video production and composition in multiple media formats.

Abigail  Lovett

Abigail Lovett

B.A. Family and Human Services, B.S. Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, University of Oregon; M.S.Ed., Pace University, certificate in Autism and Severe Disabilities; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2003, Abby Lovett was selected to join Teach for America (TFA) and was placed at MS 302 in the Bronx where she worked as an 8th grade special education teacher. Abby is currently the IEP teacher at CIS 339. She worked as a Content Specialist in Special Education for TFA from 2005-2008. In 2006, she joined Pace University as faculty instructing courses in Educational Psychology, Differentiated Instruction, and Students with Disabilities.

George  Ludovici

George Ludovici

B.A. in Computer Science from SUNY Oswego; M.S.in Computer and Information Science from Syracuse University; M.S. in Mathematics Education 7-12 from CUNY – Lehman College; certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with extensive corporate information technology experience primarily in management and project management positions. George Ludovici entered teaching as a NYC Teaching Fellow and has served as both Fellow Advisor and Field Visitor, training new teachers. George teaches high school math at Marie Curie HS for Nursing in the Bronx. George’s goal is to start a high school that becomes a model for student success in a scalable and sustainable manner.

Howard  Macdonald

Howard Macdonald

B.A. in American Studies, Brigham Young University; M.S. in Teaching from Fordham University. Howard Macdonald currently works as the Mathematics Coach and Data Specialist at C.S. 211-The Bilingual School in Bronx, New York. He also directs an after school intramural sports program affiliated with the Police Athletic League. Previously, he taught bilingual elementary classes in third and fourth grade for twelve years at the school. He came to New York City with Teach For America.

Jeannette  Macmillan

Jeannette Macmillan

B.A. in Afro-American Studies, Howard University, Ed.M. in Elementary Education, Howard University, M.A., Literacy Education, New York University. Jeannette Macmillan began her teaching career in September 2002 at The Clara Cardwell School (K308), located in the Bedford- Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, N.Y. As an educator at Clara Cardwell, she served as a fifth grade educator for three years, and as a seventh grade ELA educator for two years. While at Clara Cardwell, Jeannette experienced leadership roles as grade level leader, and a member of the hiring committee for pedagogical staff. During her last year, she helped to develop the literacy curriculum as well as the course programming for grades 6-8. In September 2007, she continued her work as an educator at Stephen Decatur Middle School 35. At Stephen Decatur, she serves as a sixth grade educator, member of the Inquiry “Success” Team, and co- chairperson of the School Leadership Team.

Andrew  Matteo

Andrew Matteo

B.A. in Elementary Education and History, Boston College; M.A. in Educational Psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Andrew Matteo has taught third and fourth grades at Coleman Elementary School in Glen Rock, New Jersey for the past six years. He is a member of the district’s language arts committee and helped to write the Balanced Literacy curriculum. He coaches high school soccer, basketball, and tennis in the district. In 2008, he was voted Bergen County Tennis Coach of the Year. In 2009-2010, Andrew taught second grade at Central Elementary School in Glen Rock, New Jersey. Effective July of 2010, Andrew will serve as Principal.

Anthony  Mbogho

Anthony Mbogho

B.A. in Fine Arts, City College of NY; M.F.A. in Fine Arts, City College of NY; Ed.M. in School Building Leadership, New York University; Ed.D. in Arts and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. Anthony Mbogho started teaching in Kenya at age 19 and has been in education since then. He has taught art in primary schools, secondary schools and college. Anthony is a certified K-12 art teacher with six year’s experience in an alternative high school setting.

Joslyn  McPherson

Joslyn McPherson

B.A. in Religion and Studio Art, Dartmouth College; M.S. in Education, Brooklyn College; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Upon graduating from Dartmouth College in 2004, Joslyn McPherson became a member of the NYC Teaching Fellows. While advancing his pedagogical practice as a master’s student at Brooklyn College, he taught fifth grade at P.S. 213 in East New York, Brooklyn. He will be working as the school’s technology teacher during the upcoming school year. In addition, Josh maintains multiple leadership roles at P.S. 213, including chairman of the School Leadership Team and chief facilitator of the Inquiry Team. As the school’s data specialist, Josh also facilitates school-wide professional developments to help teachers analyze student data and develop effective instructional strategies.

Nicole  Michna

Nicole Michna

B.A. in Psychology, Tufts University; Ed.M., Lesley University. After graduating from Tufts University, Nicole Michna spent seven years developing curriculum and teaching middle school in both public and private schools. After teaching, she served as Director of Breakthrough Collaborative, a comprehensive summer and after-school program that trains college students to become teachers. At Breakthrough, Nicole oversaw all aspects of the middle school program, including teacher-training, program design, and financial management. In Nicole's most recent experience, she served as Dean of Instruction at a public middle and high school in Oakland, California where she coached teachers, led professional development, data-inquiry, and supported the development of the International Baccalaureate Program. Nicole is currently working with a team of educators to open a new school in Northern California.

Nicole  Mortorano

Nicole Mortorano

B.A. in Sociology and American Studies Minor, College of the Holy Cross. After graduating as the 2004 Valedictorian of Holy Cross, Nicole Mortorano joined Teach For America in the Rio Grande Valley as a 6th and 8th grade history teacher and grade level leader. Passionate about preparing all students to succeed in college, Nicole became a founding English and social studies teacher at an open enrollment charter school, Quest College Preparatory in 2006. Nicole served as the eighth grade team leader, wrote humanities curriculum for the school district, and supported new teachers as the Social Studies Content Specialist for Teach For America. In 2008, Nicole transitioned into her current role as the Assistant Principal and Academic Coach for Quest, an expanding school in McAllen, Texas, which currently serves grades six through eleven.

Anna Nelmes Stoughton

Anna Nelmes Stoughton

B.A. in Psychology and M.S. Elementary and Special Education, Sarah Lawrence College. After college, Anna Nelmes-Stoughton taught preschool and elementary grades in both public and private schools before returning to graduate school. For the past five years, she has taught in an inter-district magnet school in Bridgeport, Connecticut where she coordinates instructional support services and literacy intervention for elementary students. She also works with new teachers in the induction and mentoring programs and participates in site based management and curriculum development. Anna leads professional development for teachers prekindergarten through eighth grade in the areas of reading instruction, inquiry team processes, and response to intervention.

Rebecca  Odessey

Rebecca Odessey

B.A. in Psychology, Education, and Spanish, Haverford College; M.S., Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, City College of New York; Distinguished Teacher Leader Certificate, Bank Street College. Rebecca Odessey has served as a teacher and leader for six years at P.S. 23, The New Children's School, in the Bronx. While at P.S. 23, Rebecca has enjoyed teaching English as a Second Language. Additionally, she has benefited from acting in leadership capacities including: Data Specialist; Bilingual Coordinator; and School Leadership Team Chair. After entering teaching through New City Teaching Fellows (NYCTF), an alternative certification program, Rebecca has taken an active role in NYCTF as a Lead Selector and Field Visitor.

Carl  Oliver

Carl Oliver

B.S. in Economics, B.A. Mathematics, Michigan State University; M.Ed. Teaching and Curriculum, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Carl Oliver teaches 9th grade mathematics at a South Bronx High School that he helped found three years ago. While there, Carl coached the basketball team and helped plan professional development. Prior to this Carl has had experience substitute teaching, tutoring, and teaching college recitation sections.

Alexis  Pajares

Alexis Pajares

B.A. in History, Brooklyn College (CUNY), and M.A. in Secondary Social Studies, Lehman College (CUNY). A former United States Marine, Alex E. Pajares is entering his seventh year as a Social Studies teacher for the NYC Department of Education as a social studies teacher and lead teacher. An Ashland University Presidential Academy for American History and Civics- Selection (2008), Mr. Pajares completed the New and Aspiring Leaders Course at Harvard University and AP training courses at Manhattan College and Fordham University. Mr. Pajares is an amateur photographer and student of history and his observations on Egyptian art were included in Archaeology Magazine in 2008.

Hannah  Park

Hannah Park

B.S. dual degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education, Grove City College; ESOL endorsement, Florida Atlantic University. During her eight years of teaching at Palmview Elementary School in Pompano Beach, FL, and Brooks Crossing Elementary School in Monmouth Junction, NJ, Hannah Park displayed leadership capabilities as she coached and mentored new teachers, organized and facilitated academic intervention programs, and served as the math curriculum, technology and research project advisor. She has actively participated in school culture projects at the School Advisory Council, Principal Assistance Council, Cultural Heritage Committee and Parent Teacher Association.

Stacey  Park

Stacey Park

B.S. in Human Development, University of California, San Diego; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Stacey Park began her teaching career in 2001 at UCSD's Early Childhood Education Center as a classroom teacher. Fueled by a desire to help close the achievement gap, Stacey joined Teach For America in 2003 and taught for three years at Shields Elementary in San Jose, CA. During her time at Shields she served as grade level chair, headed the school's Student Council and piloted new technology programs in her classroom for school-wide use. In 2006, Stacey joined the founding team at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary School in Brooklyn, NY as a classroom teacher, and continued her work as the K-2 Academic Dean the following year. She is thrilled to be named a new Principal-In-Residence at Achievement First Bushwick Elementary for Fall 2009.

Katherine  Peck

Katherine Peck

B.S. in Elementary and Kindergarten Education, The Pennsylvania State University; M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Katherine Peck began her career working as a public school teacher in Westfield, New Jersey. She later transitioned to The Epiphany School in New York City where she continued to broaden her classroom grade level experience while writing school-wide literacy curriculum. During her tenure at Epiphany, she served as the Director of Enrichment/Remedial Reading, Director of After School Programs and created and administered the position of Director of Study Abroad. Katherine will be starting as the Associate Principal at St. Stephen of Hungary in Manhattan, New York this fall.

Christopher  Perpich

Christopher Perpich

.A. in English Language and Literature, and History, University of Michigan. Upon receiving his bachelor’s degree Christopher Perpich was accepted into Teach for America’s highly selective service corps where he initiated his career as an educator at Branch Brook School in Newark, where he continues to teach fourth grade. Chris serves as the coordinator for Branch Brook's community service group and coaches the Math Olympics team. As a TFA alum, Chris has spent the last 4 years facilitating learning teams for both first and second year Newark corps members. Chris was also a recipient of a 2008 Lands' End Teachers Light The Way Award.

Jansen  Po

Jansen Po

B.A. in Elementary/ Moderate Special Needs Education and English, Boston College; M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Jansen Po started her career teaching third and fourth grades at a public school in Hewlett-Woodmere, on Long Island. She joined the faculty of The School at Columbia University as a fifth grade teacher. There she helped develop a new social studies curriculum focused on ancient civilizations, organized a large charity event for Locks of Love, and ran the school's Integrated Projects Week. Currently, she is the Director of External Programming and After School Programs.

James  Rice

James Rice

in History, New Jersey City University; M.A. School Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Upon completing his internship in 2005 at University Academy Charter High School in Jersey City, James Rice was offered a position as a teacher of Social Studies, and was subsequently chosen to be on the school’s Curriculum Development Committee. While on the committee, Jamie researched and integrated a service-learning component across the whole curriculum. In 2006 Jamie was the Service Learning Coordinator of UACHS where he created the Social Justice Academy of UACHS, and wrote and implemented school's service learning policy. In 2008 Jamie was promoted to the Director of Humanities at UACHS where he has helped to develop and refine his school’s new Data Driven Instruction Program.

Diana  Ristoff

Diana Ristoff

B.S. and M.S.W. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Diana Ristoff began her career in education as an elementary School Social Worker. In this role, she developed social/emotional programming designed to garner measurable improvements in school culture and student achievement. Diana currently holds the position of Assistant Principal at Pritzker College Prep, a charter high school in Chicago, Illinois. As a founding member of Pritzker, she has focused on early college awareness programming including the development of a college readiness advisory curriculum and the Early College Scholars (ECS) program that aims to groom Pritzker’s most motivated academic leaders for acceptance into highly selective colleges and universities across the country.

Brenda  Rivera

Brenda Rivera

B.S. in Elementary Education, Illinois State University, M.S. in Community Counseling, at University of Scranton. During her years in Illinois, she worked collaboratively with Catholic Social Services to establish the first Latino Girls Scout Troop. While in pursuit of her master’s degree, Brenda Rivera served as a Student Support Specialist for the Northeast Migrant Education Program. In this role, she was an educational advocate for the E.L.L. population. Brenda also served as a case manager for E.O.T.C. and collaborated with the Program Manager to develop and implement a Mentoring Program for Scranton School District. Following her completion of her master’s degree, Brenda provided individual and group counseling for children, adolescents, and adults. Upon graduation, Brenda relocated to Florida, followed by New York, serving as an Academic Intervention teacher in both locations. Currently, she teaches sixth grade ELA at Lola Rodriguez de Tio Middle School.

Vanessa  Rivera

Vanessa Rivera

B.A. in Sociology/Social Studies Education, Stony Brook University. Vanessa Rivera comes to teaching after many years in the business and non-profit community. She worked as the Communications and Development Manager of the Peconic Land Trust prior to becoming a social studies teacher. She has a strong interest in multicultural and diversity education, and has served as the co-chair of the Education Committee of the Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force. She is currently teaching Government and Economics at the High School of Arts and Technology in New York where she is also a Senior Class Advisor.

Sarah  Rose

Sarah Rose

B.A. in Humanities, University of Kansas; M.M. in Music Education and Viola Performance, Northwestern University. Sarah Rose is a music educator and performer in the New York City area. In the Fall of 2009, she will be the founding Music teacher at Uncommon Charter High School. A member of the Uncommon Network since 2008, Ms. Rose also teaches music at the North Star Academy High School. Previously, Ms. Rose taught elementary orchestra for four years in Skokie, IL. As a violist, she has performed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra and the Tomorrow Music Orchestra.

Jason  Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

B.A., Middlebury College; M.F.A. in Theater Arts, Columbia University; M.Ed., Bank Street College of Education; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. During his first career in non-profit arts management in New York and London, Jason Rosenbaum became progressively more involved with educational programming until he decided to make the leap into the classroom as teacher. He has been teaching humanities in NYC public schools for eight years in general education and inclusion/ICT classrooms (New Horizons Middle School in Brooklyn and presently at the Salk School of Science in Manhattan). Jason has served in various leadership capacities, including Grade Team Leader, New Teacher Mentor, Model Classroom Teacher, Literacy Staff Developer, Curriculum Developer, and Academic Intervention/Extended Day Coordinator. He is a member of the Principal’s Cabinet and School Leadership Team.

Michael  Rosenblith

Michael Rosenblith

B.A. in Sociology/Elementary Education (Anthropology Minor), Hofstra University; M.A. Learning dis/Abilities and Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Michael Rosenblith began his teaching career as a special education teacher at a charter school in central Harlem that later moved to Spanish Harlem. While there, Michael developed the school’s first Collaborative Team Teaching class in an effort to create an inclusive environment for all students. Throughout his teaching career, Michael served on many school level committees and acted as the teacher representative on the school’s Board of Trustees for two years. For the past two years, Michael has worked as the Director of Student Support for Harlem Link Charter School. Since being there, Michael planned and implemented the school’s Integrated Co-Teaching model for special education, designed systems for students to receive differentiated supports at the school level, and restructured the school’s Child Study Team process to better serve its students and staff.

Naimah  Salahuddin

Naimah Salahuddin

Na’imah Salahuddin earned a Bachelors degree from the University of Virginia, a M.A.T. in Special Education from Trinity University, and an Ed.M. in Education Leadership at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Na’imah has extensive experience teaching special needs children in traditional and public charter schools. Additionally, she has worked to as Special Education Coordinator for several years, whereby she provided professional development and supervised the instructional delivery of students with IEPs receiving services in both inclusion and resource settings. She currently holds the position of Assistant Principal within Washington, D.C. Public Schools.

Michael  Scarantino

Michael Scarantino

B.S. in Special Education, Baruch College; M.S. Ed. in Elementary Education, Hunter College; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Michael Scarantino has been a teacher in the NYC Department of Education for thirteen years. He spent the last two years as a Special Education Teacher in a Collaborative Team Teaching eighth grade classroom at MS 337X, The School for Inquiry and Social Justice. He initiated a mentoring program in his school for new teachers based upon his experience as a mentor in District 75 for three years. He was also the chairperson of the Pupil Personnel Committee at MS 337X and the co-author of the User’s Manual for the Tablet PC used by coaches, librarians and mentors across the Department of Education. He also taught emotionally disturbed students for third through sixth grades at P10X and served as the Crisis Intervention Specialist. He is currently an Administrative Educational Officer in the Division of Accountability and Achievement Resources at the Chancellor’s Office for the NYC Department of Education.

Ian  Schwartz

Ian Schwartz

B.A. in Environmental Studies, University of Michigan-Dearborn; Secondary Teaching Certificate, University of Michigan-Dearborn; M.A. Educational Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Following work as an environmental scientist with Belt Collins Hawaii, Ian Schwartz successfully transitioned into teaching at Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colorado. At the district level, Ian provides teacher training in strategies to make reading content comprehensible for English language learners and served as a member of the team that wrote the Boulder Valley School District Middle Level Science Curriculum. Ian is particularly interested in outdoor experiential education – he established an outdoor adventure club at Casey and facilitates the Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings Program at the school. In 2009, Ian received the Jared Polis Foundation Teacher Recognition Award for excellence in teaching.

Ellen  Shave

Ellen Shave

B.A. in Women's Studies and Education, Barnard College; M.L.S. in School Library Media Studies, Queens College. Upon graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College, Ellen Shave joined the Muscota New School, a progressive K-5 school in Northern Manhattan, as the school librarian. Over the past five years Ellen has explored leadership within the Muscota community as technology director, data specialist, and School Leadership Team Chair. She is a Cyber-Safety Facilitator for the NYC Department of Education and was one of 120 chosen for the American Library Association Emerging Leaders Program. While she takes great pleasure in School Library Media Studies, Ellen is frustrated by the apparent lack of leadership opportunities in the field and is committed to dispelling the assumption that school librarians are not school leaders.

Derek  Smith

Derek Smith

B.A in History from Boston College. Upon graduation Derek Smith was accepted into Teach For America and from 1996 to 1999 Derek taught U.S. History and African-American Studies in the Baltimore City Public School system. From Baltimore, Derek embarked on new adventures, and for the last ten years he has been working at international schools overseas in Egypt, Ghana, and Venezuela. He aims to return to the U.S. soon to obtain a leadership position in public education. Currently, Derek lives in Caracas, Venezuela and teaches at Escuela Campo Alegre – The American International School in Venezuela where he is the HS Social Studies Department Head and International Baccalaureate History teacher and examiner.

Javonne  Stewart

Javonne Stewart

B.A. in African American Studies with a minor in English Literature from University of Maryland, College Park; M.A. in African American and African Studies and M.A. in Political Science both from The Ohio State University. Javonne Stewart began her teaching career as a 2004 Teach for America corps member in Atlanta, Georgia teaching 6th and 7th grade social studies. For the past five years, Javonne has worked in various leadership capacities serving as a teacher representative on the Local School Council, a member of the school Design Team, and as Social Studies Department Chair. In addition, she has helped spearhead school-wide initiatives such as the Inman Middle School College Tour and various programs for underachieving and underserved African American boys. In the last year, Javonne worked at Dobbs Elementary School where she acts as Instructional Facilitator for English/Language Arts and Social Studies. She will continue to work in this capacity upon completion of the Summer Principal Academy.

Carey  Swanson

Carey Swanson

B.A. in Radio, Television and Film, Northwestern University; M.A. in Elementary Education, Pace University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. After graduating in 2001, Carey Swanson began teaching as a third grade teacher and Teach for America Corps Member. Carey then taught fourth grade for four years and spent one year as a Mentor Teacher and third through eighth grade Media Arts instructor. While teaching, she served in several additional roles, such as a coordinator of school improvement task forces and Teacher Representative on the Board of Trustees. Currently, Carey is entering her second year as the Lower School Academic Director at Explore Charter School in Flatbush, Brooklyn. She oversees teachers and students in the kindergarten through fourth grade.

Melissa  Sweazy

Melissa Sweazy

B.S. in Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ed.M. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. After graduate school, Melissa Sweazy taught fifth grade and kindergarten, each for two years on Chicago's west side. While teaching fifth grade, she and a colleague developed and implemented a team-teaching program. In addition, they created a yearbook club, in which students designed and created their own yearbooks using digital computer technology. She assumed many other leadership roles including Student Council Sponsor and Title 1 Reading Support Teacher, and was a founding member of the Response to Intervention Committee. Melissa is currently teaching third grade at Walt Disney Magnet School, a fine and performing arts school on Chicago's north side. She created and implemented a systematic discipline plan with a positive reinforcement component for nearly six hundred students and thirty teachers and was a founding member of the Parent Teacher ISAT Alliance support group, which helped to strengthen the home-school connection and improve test scores. She continues to maintain a leadership role by working in after school enrichment programs and facilitating data driven instruction meetings.

Sarah  Templeman

Sarah Templeman

B.A. in Science, Letters, and Society; M.S. in Education, College of Staten Island; M.B.A. in Finance, Pace University; CFP Certificates, Pace University; Ed.M. Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Sarah Templeman has taught elementary and middle school, worked with special needs students, served as a mentor for New York City Teaching Fellows, was a Business Manager for Mercy College and served as an adjunct professor at The College of Westchester where she taught Financial Planning. Sarah is currently an adjunct professor, Assistant Director of the New Teacher Residency Program, and a private consultant managing public relations and training other consultants for Mercy College. Sarah has also been a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle.

Viviana  Toure

Viviana Toure

B.A. in English, B.S. in Elementary Education, Southern Connecticut State University; M.A. in Special Education, concentration in Bilingual Education, Fairfield University; Ed.M. in Education Leadership, Teachers College, Columbia University. Teaching certifications in K-6 mainstream and bilingual education; K-12 special education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and English as a Second Language (ESL). Viviana Toure began her teaching career in her hometown: Stamford, CT where she served as an elementary school Bilingual Teacher to students from Central and South America. During her seven years of teaching experience, Viviana has taught in co-teaching models, mentored teachers and served as a grade level leader. Throughout her experience, she has continuously developed herself as a professional educator by serving as a member of her district’s Best Practices Committee to find effective ways to assess student work; she has used her ESL skills to teach English to students in China for a semester and, most recently, she served as a middle school Special Education Teacher in addition to serving as the Program Coordinator for academic and recreational after school programs.

Monica  Villafuerte

Monica Villafuerte

Ed. M in Education Leadership from Columbia University; Ed. M. from Cambridge College; B.S. from New York University. Monica Villafuerte has over 12 years of urban public school educational experience across a variety of disciplines, including dance, mathematics, and world language education. Most recently she is serving as a Spanish educator in two elementary schools and as a coordinator at the Adult High School in the North Plainfield School District. Prior to moving to New Jersey, Monica taught various disciplines to middle school grades working with at-risk, special-needs, and multicultural students, including English-language learners in New York City’s District 30. To complement her educational experience, she has extensive administrative experience having served as 6th grade dean, school programmer, and staff developer for approximately a third of her tenure as an educator. Educational leaders and communities have continually lauded her work because innovation and excellence have long been her trademarks. In 2002, she was commended as a finalist in a New Leaders for New Schools competition among the top 10th percentile of educators in NYC. In 1999, Monica was praised for founding the Steinway Dance Company and producing innovative multicultural festivals which promoted creativity, multicultural awareness, and globalization.

Melonie  Weichel

Melonie Weichel

B.F.A. in Art History & Studio Art, Concordia University; B.Ed. in Health & P.E. & Visual Arts, Ontario Institute Studies in Education at the University Toronto; M.S. in Instructional Technology, Touro College. Melonie Weichel has been teaching health and physical education in the New York City Public School system since 2001. Melonie is a founding teacher of the Harvey Milk H.S. where she is the Dean of Discipline. Her passion is working with students who have had issues in their past with violence and authority. Melonie would like to create a setting where these students are able to deal with their issues in an environment where they feel safe to open up to new ideas and have the support to create positive solutions.

Stefanie  Weinstein

Stefanie Weinstein

B.A. in Journalism, The George Washington University; M.S. Ed. Elementary Education, Queens College. Stefanie Weinstein came into the education field through the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Seven years ago she joined the staff of P.S. 56Q, a small 2-5 elementary school in Queens where she has been the third grade self-contained gifted and talented teacher for the past five years. She is currently a member of the School Leadership Team, Curriculum Committee, Olweus Bully Prevention Program Committee, and organizes the implementation of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading Framework, and Enrichment Cluster Program.

Rahel  Wondwossen

Rahel Wondwossen

B.A. in Political Science and English, Bates College; M.S. in Teaching Adolescent English, Pace University. Rahel Wondwossen joined Teach For America in 2005 and was placed as a founding member of Mott Hall Bronx High School. Within that environment, Rahel has designed curricula and taught across all four grades. As a founding member, Rahel has contributed to the development of the school culture, curriculum and leadership. In addition to teaching, she currently serves as the 11th Grade Team Leader and International Baccalaureate Diploma Program Coordinator.

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