Profiles | Summer Principals Academy NYC and NOLA New York City New Orleans | Organization and Leadership

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Summer Principals Academy

The Education Leadership Program in the Department of Organization and Leadership

Paul  Adler

Paul Adler

B.A. in Quantitative Economics, Tufts University; M. Ed. in Mathematics Education, Harvard University. With wide-ranging teaching experience in public schools across the country, Paul has held posts in Houston, Compton and Boston before landing at his current position at The Brooklyn Preparatory High School, which he helped to establish in July 2004. As a member of the school’s founding team, Paul has had the ability to implement school-wide policies, write the school handbook, recruit teachers, head the mathematics department and coach the basketball team. Prior to teaching, Paul worked at the Federal Reserve Board where he served as a research assistant in the labor economics group.

Walter  Balser

Walter Balser

B.A. in History, University of Florida; M. Ed. In Comprehensive Social Studies and Global Education, The Ohio State University. Walter comes to the Summer Principals Academy with a wealth of teaching experiences in the humanities and social sciences. He has taught world history, social studies, government and economics, U.S. History, as well as macroeconomics and Latin American history. In addition, Walter has committed himself to working with students in an extra-curricular capacity as a football, soccer and football coach. As president and founder of—an education portal that unites a number of web resources into an impressive academic supersite—Walter offers educators a unique set of reference tools, college information, a writing center and other web-based productivity tools in one easy-to-use and comprehensive location.

David  Besancon

David Besancon

B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; M.S. in Education, Bank Street College. David is currently a fourth grade teacher in Scarsdale and has been fostering young minds for the past ten years as a teacher in New York City and Greenwich, in addition to his current position. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, David finds time to stay involved through various groups at school including the Math Committee and Safety Committee.

Rex  Bobbish

Rex Bobbish

B.S. in Business Administration and Marketing, Western Michigan University; J.D., University of Detroit Mercy School of Law; M.A. in Secondary Social Studies Education, New York University. To pursue his goal of making a high-quality education available to all, Rex left a promising career in financial services law and became a New York City Teaching Fellow. Upon completion of the program, Rex joined the team at Tetard Prep where he co-founded the Honors Academy and led an extensive variety of extracurricular activities. Rex moved on to ACORN Community High School where he served on the Principal's Leadership Team and directed the school's first play. Additionally, Rex co-founded ACORN's S.O.S. committee, which works to effectively identify and address needs of "off-track" students. Currently, Rex is an Assistant Principal at the Cinema School, Bronx, New York.

Melanie  Bryon

Melanie Bryon

Melanie Bryon is director of Community Partnership Charter School in Fort Greene, Brooklyn —a position in which she oversees 300 students from kindergarten through 5th grade and a staff of 45 faculty. Prior to her role as director Melanie has served CPCS since 2000 as assistant director, resource room teacher, second grade teacher and first grade teacher. During that time she has also advised the Beginning with Children Foundation in creating professional growth and compensation plans for teachers. The school is currently applying to expand, to include the 6th grade in Sept. 2010, eventually serving students K-8th grade by 2012. Ms. Bryon holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary and Special Education from Syracuse University, and a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership from Columbia's Teachers College Summer Principals Academy.

Joy  Busbice

Joy Busbice

B.S. in Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Joy comes to Teachers College with the leadership experience of founding a school from the ground up. In July 2005 she was invited to be a founding math teacher for the Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School—a 5-12 college preparatory school for economically disadvantaged students in Brooklyn. Prior to her position at Williamsburg Collegiate Charter School, Joy served as the business manager to Atelier Blue, a start-up fashion boutique where she collaborated with the head designer, wrote the business plan and marketed product.

Peter  Caldeira

Peter Caldeira

B.A. in English Literature, University of Auckland; M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language, New York University. Peter has devoted his career to education, specifically to English education in places near and far. He has taught and currently teaches in New York City but was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Cape Verde Islands in West Africa. As a volunteer at The New York International Center, he tutors students wishing to learn English and also advises on academic and citizenship matters. Peter aspires to become a leader in the culturally rich and diverse setting that is New York City.

Kara  Coffino

Kara Coffino

B.A. in Developmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in Arts of Teaching, Mississippi Valley State University. Immediately after graduating from UC Berkeley, Kara entered into the highly selective Teach For America (TFA) program, in which she joined a national service corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in under-resourced and low-performing schools. TFA placed her in Indianola, Mississippi, where she became a fourth grade teacher at Carver Upper Elementary School. She continues to serve the community of Indianola as a literacy coach, a capacity that allows her to evaluate and restructure the school-wide balanced-literacy instruction, plan and conduct weekly professional development for literacy teachers and monitor literacy instruction at her school. 

Kara is currently pursuing her doctoral studies at University of Minnesota.

Aaron  Cuny

Aaron Cuny

B.A. in Economics and English, University of North Florida. After graduating from North Florida as a decorated scholar athlete and a Rhodes Scholarship state finalist, Aaron interned with the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where he worked with Senator Edward Kennedy and his senior education advisors. Upon completing his internship in D.C., Aaron joined Teach for America. For the past five years, he has taught at a traditional public middle school in Oakland, California. Inside the classroom, he has worked tirelessly to promote his students’ mastery of essential language arts skills. Outside the classroom, he’s led whole-staff professional development workshops, facilitated the implementation of a department-wide writing program, and served on a leadership committee that worked to develop a better K-12 vertical alignment of English curriculum across the school district.

Kristy  Delacruz

Kristy Delacruz

B.S. in Elementary Education, Baker University; M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Teachers College. Kristy describes herself as a lifelong teacher as the oldest of four siblings. She has spent time in the Philippines as a Peace Crops volunteer, as a middle school social studies teacher in Gardner, Kansas, and is currently an ESL/Bilingual testing coordinator in New York City. Kristy is dedicated to education, specifically urban education and the ESL population.

Stephen  Earley

Stephen Earley

B.A. in American Studies, Rutgers College; M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois. Stephen comes to Teachers College as a seasoned practitioner with extensive experience in education. He has taught pre-kindergarten through fifth grade in Champaigne, Illinois, first grade in Orlando, Florida and currently works as a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 48 in the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx. While at P.S. 48, Stephen took his knowledge of journalism and his experience as an undergraduate journalism instructor to create a school newspaper with third and fourth graders. In addition to being a teacher, Stephen is an athlete who competed with the University of Ghana’s track and field team and has finished the New York City marathon as well as an Iron Man triathlon in Florida.

Belinda  Emmerson

Belinda Emmerson

B.A. in Psychology, Lincoln University; M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching, Teachers College. Before beginning her career in education, Belinda spent a decade in corporate America as a manager at a major telecommunications industry firm. Her transition to the field of education earned her teaching and administrative experience her to schools in Atlanta, the Virgin Islands and Israel. Currently, Belinda works as a middle school teacher in New York City and is a candidate for a second Teachers College graduate degree in International Education Development.

Randall  Flinn-Stiglitz

Randall Flinn-Stiglitz

B.A. in Film Studies and Psychology, Pitzer College; M.A. Early Childhood and Elementary Education, New York University.

Ann  Fraioli

Ann Fraioli

B.A. in Environmental History, Barnard College. Ann became interested in pursuing a career in education in the 8th grade when she was selected to become a peer counselor. After high school she continued that pursuit by creating an educational class for visitors of the Computer Museum in Boston that explained how to navigate the World Wide Web at a time when the Internet was still largely nascent. Now, at the New York Harbor School in Bushwick, Ann introduces students to the maritime world through and experiential education class that uses the resources of New York Harbor to teach ninth grade ecology and environmental policy. Ann has four years under her belt as a professional public school teacher and is the chair of the School Leadership Team and has served on the school’s Hiring, C-30, and Vision Committee

Lisa  Friscia

Lisa Friscia

A.B. in American Studies and Economics, Amherst College; M.A. in Secondary Education – Social Studies, Queens College. Lisa is a teacher and leader at M.S. 137 in Ozone Park, New York, where she is currently an eighth grade social studies teacher, where she has been teaching for four years. She is also a lead fellow providing support to colleagues in issues in and out of the classroom. She is also co-chair of the School Leadership Team and has served on the school’s Hiring Team and C-30 committee for selecting principals and assistant principals.

Lara  Gonzalez

Lara Gonzalez

B.A. in Politcal Science, University of California, Berkeley; Master of Pacific International Affairs, University of California, San Diego. Currently, Lara is a social studies teacher and an advisor to the African American Culture Club at Great Neck South High School—a position she’s held for six years. Prior to that post, she spent two years teaching high schoolers at Mara Valle Model High School and another two as a Teach For America corps member teaching bilingual education at Los Angeles’ Bushnell Way Elementary School.

Rebecca  Good

Rebecca Good

B.A. in Sociology, University of California, Berkeley. Rebecca completed her undergraduate work in 2003 and immediately committed herself to the mission of expanding educational opportunities for children in low-income public schools by joining Teach For America, which placed her at Miami Central Senior High School in Florida. Following two successful years where she devised and implemented a comprehensive tracking tool to measure individual student growth, she then transferred to The 500 Role Model Academy of Excellence, an alternative school that caters to at risk youth. In her first year she was named teacher of the year and went on to be honored as a Miami-Dade Regional Center III teacher of the year finalist. Prior to her work in Miami-Dade and while still a student, Rebecca co-founded a sex-education program for fifth graders, entitled "Simply You", for which she committed seven months to researching, lesson planning and teaching the program in local Berkeley Unified classrooms. Rebecca Good is the principal of Elm City College Preparatory Middle School. Ms. Good joined Elm City College Preparatory Middle School in 2006, motivated by her desire to ensure that all students receive a quality education and to create an environment dedicated to student success. Ms. Good taught seventh-grade English language arts and served as Director of enrichment programs, during her first year at SPA. After her first year, she was promoted to dean of students, which led to her current role as principal.

Ed  Grande

Ed Grande

B.A. in Mathematics, Rutgers University; Ed. M. in Mathematics Education. Edward is presently an instructor at Arthur L.. Johnson High School in Clark, NJ where he teaches a range of mathematics course from AP Calculus and AP Statistics to Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry. Additionally, Edward also serves in an administrative capacity on many of the school’s extra-curricular activities; he is an advisor to the key club, student prevention and education league, math club, robotics club and the future teachers of America club.

Lorie  Gregorio

Lorie Gregorio

B.S. in Secondary Education, New York University; M.A. in Teaching of Social Studies, Columbia University. Lorie Ann is currently a teacher of American History, Current Events and Journalism at Queens Academy High School in Jamaica, New York—a post she has held since 2001 and for which she was named teacher of the year in 2004. Beyond her role as an instructor, she has taken a proactive position in the school community as coordinator of student activities, director of the school newspaper and a teacher-leader responsible for creating the school's Comprehensive Educational Plan.

Ben  Helfat

Ben Helfat

B.A. in Political Science, Kenyon College; M.Ed. in Special Education, Long Island University. Benjamin is working to provide urban students with better resources and educational opportunities through his work as a special education teacher at Brooklyn Academy High School. He has also been a reading teacher at Summerbridge Riverdale where he was promoted to the Reading Teacher Chair position.

Tim  Hoss

Tim Hoss

B.A. in History and Politics, SUNY Binghamton; M.S. in Special Education. Timothy began his teaching career at SUNY New Paltz's innovative Correctional Education program where he was part of a cohort of graduate fellows that taught at different juvenile and adult correctional facilities including Sing Sing, Bedford and Eddie Parker Youth Center. For the past 12 years he has been improving on his craft as an educator, first as a 6th grade social studies and language arts teacher at Mahopac Middle School and, most recently, at Edgemonth Junior-Senior High School, where his focus has been on teaching social studies from grades seven through 12. In addition to his role as a secondary school instructor, Timothy holds a post as adjunct faculty to Concordia College where he teaches Western Civilization, American History, Law and Government, New York City History and a seminar on critical thinking.

Cecilia  Jackson

Cecilia Jackson

B.A. in Political Science and English, Rutgers University; M.S.Ed. in Special and General Education, Hunter College. After earning her undergraduate degree in 1998, Cecelia spent five years working in business before making the decision to pursue a career as an educator. She was selected to enroll in the New York City Teaching Fellows Program and, like all Fellows, she was placed in an under-resourced school in a disadvantaged community. After her two-year commitment ended, Cecelia elected to continue her stay as an urban teacher and became a Lead Teaching Fellow. In addition to being a teacher, she is the founder of Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen Reading Readiness Program, where she coordinates and supervises reading initiatives.

Priya  Kanuga

Priya Kanuga

B.A. in Political, Legal & Economic Analysis and Spanish, Mills College; M.A. in Spanish Language, Latin American Art and Literature, Middlebury College. Priya was born in India, raised in Kenya, England, Mexico and many part of the USA and Canada. She is a child of the world and is fluent in five languages and proficient in several others. In addition to various stints as a translator and interpreter, Priya taught for nearly a decade in middle schools receiving the California State Teacher of the Year Award in 2004.

Melissa  Klein

Melissa Klein

B.S. in Communication Studies and History, Northwestern University; M.Ed. in Elementary Education, Mercy College. Upon joining the New York City Teaching Fellows program Melissa was placed in P.S. 246 in the Bronx as a 1st grade teacher. Since, she has sought out leadership roles in both her school and within the Teaching Fellows program. She served was a member of the New York State Council of the Arts Grant and Comprehensive School Reform Grant Committees as well as a Lead Fellow mentor. In addition, Melissa is a founding teacher and a member of the Board of Trustees at the new UFT Elementary Charter School

Emily  Mariano

Emily Mariano

B.A. in Broadcast Communication, Spanish Literature and Language, Marquette University; M.A. in Urban Education Studies, Adelphi University. Emily helped find funding and founded a Dual Language Program at P.S. 166Q for parents and teachers. She is also a classroom teacher at the school. She started her career as a New York Cit Teaching Fellow after a brief stint working as the Assistant Director of The Foundation at the Columbia Hospital in Milwaukee. Her passion for education and language has led her to the Summer Principals Academy

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