Faculty & Staff
A. Anderson ELA Learning Specialist High School
Ashley is excited to join the Unity team for her fifth year of teaching! She began her career as an exceptional children’s teacher at a middle school in North Carolina. She co-taught math and English classes at the 7th and 8th grade levels. For the past two years she has taught at the high school level in the Bay Area in California. While there she co-taught 10th grade English and Biology and taught self-contained resource English classes for grades 9-12. Ashley moved to Brooklyn in August with her husband and Scottish Terrier puppy. She has a bachelors degree in Special Education from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
A. Boolani Principal High School
In 2007, Alykhan started as a mathematics teacher on the staff of East Oakland School of the Arts (EOSA), a small, public high school in Oakland, California. In his five years at EOSA, he worked in the service of youth in a variety of ways: as a math teacher, he taught Geometry, Intermediate Algebra, and even developed a pre-algebra course called “Algebra through Art”. As a social studies teacher, he taught World History through a critical lens, including an AP course. As the Dean of School Culture, he developed curriculum for advisory, ran community meetings, and worked tirelessly towards building core values at EOSA. In the spring of 2011, he was one of three teachers in the district to receive a Teacher Quality Award for excellence. During the 2012-2013 school year, while traveling around the world for six months, learning about classrooms in Kenya, Mozambique, and Pakistan, as well as building more knowledge around world history, Alykhan heard about Unity and was excited about the opportunity to help develop a small, community school. Alykhan holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors from Brown University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
A. Brookler 6th Grade Math Learning Specialist Middle School
Ms. Brookler is super excited to join the Unity team as the sixth grade math learning specialist. She always desired to teach since the age of 5, and is excited to be living out that dream. Ms. Brookler started her teaching career at Challenge Preparatory Charter School in Far Rockaway, teaching fifth grade before moving up to the middle school to become the sixth grade math teacher. She graduated from the University of Hartford with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Special Education with a subject area major in Judaic Studies. While there, she taught in a supplementary school program during her junior and senior year, and during the summer, worked in an inclusion program for teens with autism at a sleepaway camp. She is excited to instill a love of math in Unity's newest students!
A. Cirelli 10th Grade ELA Teacher High School
Abbie worked for six years in South Central Los Angeles, teaching 11th and 12th grade ELA, AP English Language and AP English Literature. She developed relationships with students by co-founding a hiking and camping club, founding a JSA chapter to engage students in debate and public speaking, leading the 12th grade department team, developing culturally responsive curriculum, and aiding students in the college application process. She moved to Brooklyn last year to teach 9th grade Literature, and is excited to join the team at Unity this year to teach 10th grade English. Abbie holds a Bachelors in Journalism and Sociology from APU and a Masters of Urban Education from UCLA. While at UCLA, Abbie's passion for increasing college retention led her to complete an action research project investigating key factors of her students' academic identities. Abbie is deeply committed to developing an ELA experience in which students discover their strengths and develop empowered identities.
A. Coleman Athletic Director/Physical Education Teacher Admin
Aaron has played the role of Athletic Director and PE teacher since 2014. He comes to Unity with hopes of serving as a positive role model for students while sharing his love of learning and infusing the students with lifelong healthy habits. Having coached and led other youth activities at several organizations including the YMCA, he has also worked in the New York Mets organization. He served as a Senior Partner Development Associate at the Positive Coaching Alliance in New York City. Most recently, he was the founding Physical Education Teacher & Athletic Director at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. Aaron also served at the Department Head for the Arts & Athletics at the school for the last two years, which included Art, Drama, Music, Dance, Health and physical education. Aaron earned his B.S. in Exercise Science from the University of Tampa, his M.S. in Health Education from Hofstra University, and M.S. in Administration & Leadership at Mercy College. Off the job, he enjoys mentoring high school children in his church youth group, coaching in Long Island’s Flag & Rouch Touch men’s football leagues and staying involved in his community. He appreciates the Unity Prep culture of excellence.
A. Dodson-Bonamino High School ELA Coach Admin, High School
Allison is so thrilled to join Unity after many years of teaching in Chicago. She has held positions as an English department chair, Dean of discipline, teacher coach, and 9th through 12th grade English teacher. She moved to New York to embark on a new journey and begin educating teachers about how to create a love for reading to our young people. She is excited to teach 10th grade ELA and coach teachers to love teaching as much as she does!
Allison holds a National Board Certificate and a Master's Degree from Illinois State University. She has taught in Chicago, New York, and China. She has been asked to speak for the Gates Foundation as well as has delivered numerous hours of professional development to teachers from all over the United States. When she is not in teacher mode, she enjoys reading, cooking healthy meals, working out, and traveling within New York and beyond. Even though she is now a New Yorker, she still has love for Chicago. Go Cubbies!!!!
A. Emeritz History Teacher High School
After tutoring math and physics privately around New York for several years, Andy Emeritz began his teaching career in earnest by joining the NYC DOE in 2011. He taught American History and Global History at MSHS 223 in the South Bronx, before coming to Unity as a Math teacher. Andy works as a volunteer theater coach, clown, and mentor for Maria’s children, an arts therapy program based in Moscow. His work with this organization has brought him all over that country, and has served to augment his passion for teaching as well as social justice. Andy has also been performing as both a poet and musician since 1995, in venues throughout New York City, and all over the United States. he holds a BA in Political Theory from Cornell University and a Masters in Secondary Ed from St. Johns.
A. Godfrey Assistant Athletic Director/Physical Education Teacher/Head Girls Basketball Coach High School, Middle School
Andre joins Unity staff thrilled to teach students the basics to living a healthy lifestyle.
With over 24 years of experience, he has coached and trained all ages ranging from toddlers to senior citizens. He served as a Fitness Manager at Beach Point Country Club and worked as a Fitness Professional in New York City Gyms. Andre has an Associate Degree in Art from Spartanburg Methodist College and a B.S. in Advertising from Iona College.
A. Green Mathematics Chair and Teacher Admin
With almost 10 years of experience working with youth, Mrs Green is excited to join Unity as the Math Department Chair. Mrs Green formally began her work as a classroom teacher in the DOE as a part of the NYC teaching fellows program, in the south bronx teaching Algebra and Statistics. She has also taught geometry as well as 5th and 6th grade math at Success Academy Bronx 2; where she was a founding teacher. She earned her Master’s Degree in Secondary Math Education from St Johns University and a Bachelors Degree in Statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. Mrs Green has education in her blood, as her mother is a current HS principal in CA and her father is a current 8th grade ELA teacher in CA. Mrs Green is excited to join the Unity team as not only the math department chair, but also teaching 6th grade math to our newest scholars. Mrs Green is committed to reaching all students through numbers and the connections they have in our daily lives.
A. Guerrero Middle School Dean of Students and Mathematics Teacher Middle School
Alberto Guerrero has been working with New York City youth since adolescence; coaching, mentoring and running programming for their benefit. He built his foundation at the Police Athletics League starting as a Group Leader, Sports Specialist and ending his tenure as the Program Coordinator. As Program Coordinator he planned organized and managed sports leagues, facilitated staff development on various topics such as effective group management and conflict resolution, and supervised the Harlem Evening Teen Center Program serving high school students in the area. Following his time here he became an Academic Success Advocate for the District Attorney of Manhattan Reentry and Juvenile Justice Unit. Here he helped develop a curriculum for their summer program during which he was responsible for scheduling, organizing and facilitating workshops for the participants. During his tenure as an advocate he deemed communication between school personnel and family members as key to help monitor the students’ attendance, academic achievement and personal growth. As Dean of Students, Alberto seeks to assist the scholars at Unity as they continue their academic and personal journeys toward high academic achievement and self actualization.
A. Olivier Graphic Design Teacher High School
Alley Olivier is a first generation Haitian American born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Formally entering the Unity family as a step coach in 2016, Alley has found herself drawn to the esteemed profession of teaching despite graduating from Temple University in 2013 with a dual bachelor's degree in Journalism and Sociology. Before making her way to Unity, Alley worked as a teaching artist with nonprofit arts organization, viBe theater experience, freelanced for Ebony Magazine, worked as an editor for KarenCivil.com, and continues to maintain her own digital platform, and BrooklynButtah.com. Alley often describes herself as an avid traveler, fearless New York Knicks and Giants fan, and foodie.
A. Reinmann English as a Second Language Teacher Middle School
Allie has called Brooklyn ‘home’ for the last nine years although, she is a New Jersey native. She comes to Unity with excitement after teaching Social Studies to elementary school students in Long Island City, Queens and formerly being the Pastry Chef Instructor for rehabilitating adults at the Non-Profit program, Project Renewal in the Bowery neighborhood. In addition to her passion for teaching, Allie has a ravenous appetite for learning with an MA in TESOL from Hunter College, a BA in Drama from Ithaca College and a Pastry & Baking diploma from The Institute of Culinary Education. Allie's interests include: being a foodie, coffee enthusiast, avid traveler and has visited over 13 different countries.
A. Stagliano 7th Grade English Language Arts Teacher Middle School
Alyssa is ecstatic to begin her career as a 7th grade ELA teacher at Unity! After receiving her Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Siena College in 2016, Alyssa went on to obtain her Masters in Secondary English Education at the Teachers College at Columbia University in 2017. She completed one semester of student teaching at a public middle school in Brooklyn and one semester at a public high school while she was studying to finish her degree. In addition to working in traditional classrooms, Alyssa has experience as a math and reading tutor, and sees great value in teaching through individualized, one-on-one moments with her students. Alyssa is bringing to Unity the optimistic mindset of a new teacher, as well as a well-developed skillset gained from her experiences teaching in different classrooms. Alyssa is looking forward to building close relationships with her students and helping them to cultivate a genuine love for reading and writing as she joins Unity's faculty this year.
A. Trotta Mathematics Teacher High School
Anselee Trotta teaches ninth grade Math, Algebra and Geometry, at Unity. Anselee began her teaching career in 2013 at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC as a Notre Dame ACE Teaching Fellow. In DC, she taught Algebra 2/Trigonometry, Geometry and the inaugural year of IB Mathematics SL. In her third year, she created a project based Probability and Statistics class for seniors. Before teaching, Anselee attended the University of Chicago and earned a bachelor of science in Mathematics. While teaching she earned a master’s degree in Secondary Education and a certification in teaching English as a New Language from the University of Notre Dame.
A. Williams Lead Reading Interventionist Middle School
Andria Williams is excited to join the Unity Preparatory team as the Lead Literacy Intervention teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida) and a MEd in Reading Education from The University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida). With a heart for the community and education, she has volunteered her time to serve and lead others through civic engagement from childhood. After graduating from Florida State University, Andria completed a year of service as a Citizen Action AmeriCorps member. She then went on to teach two years of 9th and 10th grade Intensive Reading and Reading Enrichment courses in Miami-Dade County. During this time, she served as a lead/ mentor teacher and the majorette sponsor. After realizing her passion for literacy, Andria relocated to Orlando, Florida to pursue her master’s degree as she worked for three years teaching 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts. In this capacity, she also served as grade-team liaison, Beta club service learning advisor, and an AVID site team member. In 2014, Andria moved to New York to begin her charter school teaching career at Harlem Children’s Zone where she taught 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts and 6th-8th grade Reading Intervention. She looks forward to imparting knowledge into the minds of Unity scholars while challenging them to do their very best.
B. Jordan 8th Grade Science Teacher Middle School
Barbara is excited to join Unity Prep this year as the 8th grade science teacher. Born and bred in Indiana, Barbara began her teaching career in Baltimore City, Maryland, before moving to Brooklyn and joining another public charter school in Bed-Stuy. She has taught a range of grades from kindergarten to 8th grade, incorporating science at all levels. Barbara’s love of science—especially hands-on experiments—is contagious! While teaching middle school in the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS), she was a MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) advisor; participated in BCPSS’ Physical and Environmental Science Academies, and Teachers for the Environment program; participated in GEMS (Gains in the Education of Math and Science) through the US Army Research Laboratory; and was nominated by her school for BCPSS’ Teacher of the Year Award. Barbara studied Geology and played basketball at Earlham College before earning her Bachelor of Science in Earth Space Science at the University of Indianapolis. She is fluent in American Sign Language and is currently working on her Master’s degree.
B. Lopez Manager of Special Projects High School, Middle School
Brandon started working with children in 2002 during his junior year of high school through the Learning to Work Internship and the Urban Youth Leadership Development programs. He has held multiple positions within After-School programs, Summer Day Camps, and Summer Sleep-Away Camps throughout his tenure with the Salvation Army of Greater New York. Most notably he was the Assistant Director of Out of School Time (OST) youth programming at the Salvation Army Community Center in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn before coming to Unity. Brandon also currently volunteers with the New York City Police Department as an Auxiliary Police Officer at a precinct in South Brooklyn where he is one of the unit’s field training officers. He has been with the police department since June 2006 and has received numerous accolades from police headquarters, councilpersons, state assembly persons and community organizations for the time he has dedicated to the mission of the Auxiliary Police Section. He currently is finishing up his Bachelors of Arts degree in Public Affairs & Administration at the State University of New York’s Empire State College, Metropolitan Center.
C. Abreu Spanish Teacher High School
Carmen is a Brooklyn native who has worked in the public school system for over ten years as a Spanish teacher. Her work has spanned from working with gifted students and more recently, with at risk teens. She started working with Middle School students while working with GO Project, a non-profit organization that provides critical academic, social and emotional support for NYC children who are struggling. Her focus has been to help & support students with learning disabilities. While working on her MS in Middle School, Special Ed & Generalist degree, she tutors children from lower school up to high school.
C. Bennett Associate Dean High School
I'm from the Bay Area, CA and graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Sociology. I was a member of the D1 Men's Soccer Program at the school. Following graduation, I worked at Peres Elementary School as an after school academic group leader for 3rd and 4th grades. I also volunteered my time coaching youth soccer and working with at-risk teens in Richmond through a mentorship program. Last year, I worked at KIPP Excelencia Community Prep in Redwood City, CA as an instructional aide in 1st grade as well as the behavior interventionist for grades K-2. My free time is spent exercising, reading, and rooting on my favorite sports teams!
C. Burns Middle School Co-Principal Middle School
Casey began teaching in 2002 at Bronx Preparatory Charter School as a 5th grade Science and English language arts teacher. In 2004, he began work at P.S. 30 in the Bronx where he served as the 5th grade lead teacher and the teacher representative to the School Leadership Team. While at P.S. 30, Casey was the lab site coordinator and staff representative to the Teachers College Leadership Program. He also coached basketball and founded lunch time chess and visual arts clubs. In 2006, he entered graduate school at Teachers College, Columbia University, as a Carroll and Milton Petrie Teaching Fellow. That same year, Casey began teaching at M.S. 223: The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the Bronx. A 7th and 8th grade English language arts teacher, Casey served in integrated co-teaching and collaborative team teaching settings. He also served as a cooperating teacher for numerous student teachers and as a coach and program leader for martial arts and boxing clubs. As a co-founder of Unity, Casey participated in the research, planning, and development of Unity’s philosophies, policies, and operational design. From 2013-2015, Casey served as Unity’s Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, 6th grade English language arts teacher, and content area leader for the English language arts department. Casey holds a B.A. in English from Boston College and an M.A. in Teaching of English from Teachers College, Columbia University.
C. Corrales 8th Grade Computer Science Teacher Middle School
After graduating from Rice University, Ms. Corrales taught high school biology and chemistry for three years in Houston. Although her college degree is in biology, Ms. Corrales is also a passionate advocate of computer science education. For the past two years, she has immersed herself in learning computer science and web development, in hopes of sharing this information with students. She's particularly interested in closing the gender and diversity gaps in technology. She recently taught with Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization committed to closing these gaps. Ms. Corrales deeply believes that strong technical skills help pave the way to a secure and rewarding future, and she looks forward to helping students gain these skills.
C. David High School Learning Specialist High School
Charles began teaching in 2008 as a 4th grade general education teacher in Boulder, Colorado. While working, he obtained a Masters in Educational Philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver and was trained in SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol). After two years teaching 4th grade and coaching middle school basketball in Colorado, he moved to Thailand to teach English language learners. He taught 3rd -5th grade ELA, designed a PE curriculum, and tutored students as the middle school ELL specialist at Nawattaphume International School. Interested in working in charter schools, Charles moved to New York in 2011 and taught 4th/5th grade Social Studies at Harlem Children’s Zone. The following year, he took the opportunity to be a founding member of a start up school at Central Queens Academy Charter School in Elmhurst, Queens. For the next three years, as a 5th grade Social Studies teacher, he designed original inquiry-based Social Studies curriculum, helped shape the culture of the school by leading the rewards committee, piloted technology for students and teachers, and created numerous field lessons throughout NYC. Charles also holds a BA in business from James Madison University.
C. Doscher Director of Operations Admin
Chris Doscher’s career in Education began as the Founding Senior Operations Coordinator at Broome Street Academy Charter High School, where he worked closely with the Head of School to develop policies regarding data collection and reporting, student recruitment, pupil transportation, and technology. He’s worked as a mentor and tutor at Poughkeepsie Middle School and The James Baldwin School to assist students preparing for their Performance Based Assessment Tests and presentations as artifacts of authentic learning. Most recently, he served as the Operations Manager of Manhattan Charter School supervising the implementation, rollout, and utilization of a new student information system to ensure compliance and accurate reporting across two school sites. Chris is also a NYS certified business teacher with experience teaching accounting, career readiness, and résumé building at Arlington High School. Chris received his Bachelors of Arts in Economics with a correlate in Education at Vassar College and remains active as a volleyball player and Brooklyn local.
C. Elliott 6th Grade ELA Teacher Middle School
Mr. Elliott is a 5th year teacher from Richmond, California. He graduated from Howard University in 2013 and has dedicated his life to educating, inspiring and uplifting students from communities similar to his own. He founded a community organization in Oakland, California called 'The Black Neighborhood' and hopes to be bring his civic engagement and dedication to the Bedstuy neighborhood. He looks forward to not only teaching students, but also learning with them as they grow into phenomenal scholars and pillars of their community. Mr. Elliott is also a full-time student pursuing his Masters in Teaching at Relay Graduate School of Education. He is very excited to be apart of Unity; to teach, learn and grow amongst phenomenal leaders, educators, and students.
C. Fuller ELA Chair and Literacy Coach Admin
With seven years of experience in working with youth and a proven track record of successful literacy instruction, Ms. Fuller is thrilled to join Unity Prep’s faculty as a Literacy Coach. She earned her Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelors in International Development Studies from the University of California Los Angeles. During her time at UPENN, she was site selected to teach a group of struggling students, based on the principal’s belief in her ability to move students toward proficiency. Since then, she has taught seventh-grade Social Studies, seventh-grade English Language Arts, and eighth-grade English Language Arts for Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy II Middle School. Ms. Fuller is committed to developing strong readers and writers and passionate about social justice.
C. McRae Dance Teacher High School, Middle School
Ms. McRae comes to Unity with the intent to empower, educate and cultivate relationships with students by serving them what they need and deserve to be successful in dance and their educational careers. Ms. McRae has earned her B.A. in the Arts with concentration in Dance and a strong Emphasis in Education at The New School here in New York City. She has served as a dance instructor/mentor with the I Have A Dream Foundation at Ps.7 in Harlem for two years working with students grades 4-6. She has choreographed for many artists and productions as well as working with Debbie Allen, Children Uniting Nations, The Nicholas Brothers and many others. Ms. McRae seeks to create her work and collaborate with people of all ages to create artistic value, authenticity, provoke, engage and inspire excellence. Besides being an instructor, outside of work she enjoys hosting panel discussions about importance of education, cultural dialogue, empowerment and most importantly Unity in the world. She is excited to be apart of the Unity team and be a strong live example of Unity’s culture.
D. Charles Operations Manager Middle School
This is Ms. Charles' 5th year working in operations. She provides support in areas of staff and student recruitment, HR, enrollment, web development, communication, fundraising, and school wide events. Darline received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Religious Studies at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania in 2009. She moved to New York in 2011 to pursue a Master in Public Administration at Baruch College. While obtaining her Master’s, Darline conducted research on the top failing schools in Philadelphia and the impact of Charter Schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Darline’s passion for working in operations stems from her own upbringing in a school that was marred with apathy. At Unity, Darline hopes to help establish a supportive environment for both staff and families. In her spare time, Darline enjoys singing and dancing.
D. Kliger 8th Grade History Teacher Middle School
Daniel grew up in the Boston area before moving to Michigan for college. He worked at a sleep-away camp during the summer. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in History, he began working in the Brookline, Massachusetts, public school system. He spent two years there before coming to New York. In Spring 2016, he began his masters program in the social studies department at Teachers College, Columbia University. While completing the program, Daniel student-taught at the Clinton School for Artists and Writers in Chelsea and at the Morris Academy for Collaborative Studies in the South Bronx. Daniel is committed to making history class a resource for helping students as they explore and understand the world around them.
D. McKenna Middle School History Teacher and LLI Instructor Middle School
Daniel McKenna is joining Unity Prep in a combined role, as both a Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) instructor and a History teacher. Daniel was born and raised in Southern New Jersey. He earned his BA in Economics from Rutgers University and his MA in Social Studies Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Daniel has spent years working in several capacities in the sales industry, and is planning to bring real world lessons and examples into his instruction. He is also an avid sports fan, and is looking forward to cheering on all of the Unity Prep teams. Daniel is excited to work to instill his love of reading and history in the new sixth grade students.
D. Thomas Middle School Dean of Students & 6th Grade ELA Teacher Middle School
Darnell Thomas, who hails from Bedford Stuyvesant was destined to be an Educator. As a young child, Darnell knew he would become a teacher as he played school with his younger cousins and siblings. Darnell always wanted to be a teacher because of his experiences as a student in the NYC Public School system. Being educated in NYC had its perks as it is also known as the “Melting Pot” so Darnell was able to learn about different customs and cultures. With this exposure, Darnell fell in love with literature, especially from authors of different ethnicities.
All throughout high school, Literature drove Darnell’s imagination, but there was something else on the rise. Basketball, which has always been in the heart of Darnell. Darnell balanced his love for reading and basketball which allowed him to look towards college from a different perspective. HS graduation came and went and Darnell was ready to venture out into the world. SUNY Canton was the destination and boy was Darnell proud. At SUNY Canton, Darnell was the captain on the court and majored in Psychology. At this moment, Dr. Thomas had a great ring to it, but there was more at stake. After two years at SUNY Canton, he decided to transfer to a college in the upper southern region of the country. Darnell transferred to Virginia Intermont College, a school that Darnell initially was slated to attend. Virginia Intermont was known for developing teachers, which was a direct link to one of Darnell’s life passions. So, Darnell eventually dropped basketball full time and directed all of his time to education. Years later, Darnell is still as passionate as ever about education, policies, procedures, and building appositive school culture.
E. Diaz Middle School Science Learning Specialist Middle School
Elena Diaz is thrilled to be joining the Unity team this year and is the Science Learning Specialist for 6th-8th grade team. Elena began her teaching career in 2009 as a 2nd grade teacher at Forest Park Elementary in Boynton Beach, Florida. The next year, she taught 8th grade Science at Odyssey Middle School in Boynton Beach, Florida. She then made the move to New York to teach Kindergarten at the Talented and Gifted School for Young Scholars (TAG) in Harlem. She spent three years at (TAG) as a gifted Kindergarten teacher. Elena has also been working as a private tutor through MAIA Education and Research Center. Before teaching, Elena attended Florida Atlantic University and received a bachelors degree in Elementary Education and a masters degree in Bilingual TESOL
(Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She is excited to join Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn and is committed to providing all of her students with a high quality education that is tailored to meet their individual needs.
E. Gonzalez Director of College and Career Readiness High School
Eric Rafael Gonzalez is the Director of College and Career Readiness at the High School and former DOO at the MS. He joined Unity after serving nearly three years in Washington D.C. as the Education Policy Advocate for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. In this capacity Eric helped shape federal education policy and legislation through advocacy on behalf of children living in poverty and children of color. Previously, for five years, Eric taught and directed standards-based learning units for English language arts in middle schools and high schools for Directions for Our Youth, Inc. (DFOY), a New York City-based nonprofit organization, reaching over 2400 students annually. Eric earned a BA from the State University of New York at Purchase College in 2001, an MA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2009, and an M.Ed., as an Urban Scholar Fellowship recipient, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2010.
E. Rubinoff High School Counselor and Social Worker High School
Upon graduating with a BA from the University of Rhode Island, Eva found her professional passion working in a teen residential group home. Through understanding the many barriers for vulnerable youth in institutionalized systems, she decided to further her education at Fordham University to obtain an MS.Ed in school counseling.
Prior to joining Unity, Eva worked at the Hyde Leadership Charter School in the South Bronx for five years. There she used her personalized and holistic approach to counseling by leading an extracurricular female empowerment group and a healthy cooking skills club. Eva is joining the high school counseling team excited to continue her work in providing higher educational opportunities and social/emotional support to all students. When she is not working, Eva loves to walk her dog Charlie, bake delicious recipes and practice yoga.
F. Harris Middle School Mathematics Interventionist Middle School
Frances Harris is a math interventionist at Unity Prep Charter School. After graduating from UCLA, she moved to Bedstuy and joined the New York City Teaching Fellows Long Island University, Brooklyn cohort as a special education middle school teacher. She has 2 years of classroom experience as a special education ICT teacher at Mott Hall Bridges Academy in Brooklyn and 4 years of experience working with EBL as an independent interventionist specialist. In 2014, Frances started her own tutoring company, FH Tutoring, and provides students with special learning needs opportunities at inclusive Project Based Learning. On her spare time, Harris DJs and teaches students throughout Brooklyn through her co-founded organization, SuperVibes DJ Academy. Harris believes that every student has the ability to be successful and she’s excited to bring all of her different educational experiences to support the students at Unity Prep!
F. Hefney School Counselor Middle School
Felicia was born and raised in South Carolina where she began her career in education as a third grade teacher. After teaching in South Carolina as well as Atlanta, Georgia, Felicia transitioned to a school counselor position at an elementary charter school in Brooklyn, NY. During her time there, she organized a variety of programs for students and their families. She also created the school’s first parent association, Parent Connection, in which she worked directly with parents and guardians in providing parenting workshops, family community service projects and family entertainment nights. Her passion for building strong relationships with parents and the community at large led her to create a fatherhood initiative called Letters to Our Sons which serves to strengthen the bond between fathers and their sons. Felicia has had the privilege of implementing Letters to Our Sons in multiple schools throughout New York City. In addition, she is also the cofounder of Just Be Academy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering the next generation of female leaders. Felicia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the College of Charleston as well as a Master’s in School Counseling from the University of Southern Mississippi. She’s excited to share her gifts, talents and passion with the Unity family and is looking forward to an incredible year!
G. Carmona Operations Coordinator High School
Genevieve is excited to serve as the Founding Operations Coordinator at Unity! Genevieve is a Brooklyn native who has worked in the charter school system for over six years. For the past four years, Genevieve served as the Founding High School Program Coordinator at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. She managed all areas of the school’s operations and testing coordination. Genevieve received her BA in Psychology from the C. W. Post campus of Long Island University. This year, Genevieve is both honored and excited to bring her passion for empowering young people to Unity Prep and to have the opportunity to serve the community in which she was born and raised in. During her free time, she enjoys collecting gemstones and minerals and learning about nature.
G. Nadel 7th Grade ELA Learning Specialist and History Teacher Middle School
Gilly is a former Harvard lawyer who left the law in 2001 to fulfill her lifelong dream of teaching middle school. She taught in several neighborhood public schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn. She was a founding staff member of the School for Democracy and Leadership in Crown Heights, where she served as Chair of the Social Studies department and established the Student Government. In designing curriculum, she focused on integrating critical literacy, speaking skills, and activism. She spent several years working as a private tutor for a wide variety of students, and during this time she refined her knowledge of teaching literacy to students who struggle with reading comprehension and writing. She has been active in the movement to desegregate city schools and to give parents more control over their children’s education. Gilly holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Spanish from Indiana University; a JD from Harvard; and a Master’s degree in Education from Bank Street.
G. Yun Director of Support Services Admin
Grace began her educational career in 2006 as a middle school teacher at Edwin Markham Middle School (Markham) in the Watts area of Los Angeles. She taught a self-contained English and History class for 6th and 7th graders during her two years at Markham. In 2008, she was recruited to join the faculty of Ánimo Locke II Charter High School (Locke II) as the founding education specialist. During her 5 years at Locke II, Grace designed a special education program that supported students with learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, autism, speech and language impairment, and cerebral palsy. She also opened Locke II’s Learning Center which provided students with tutoring, computer access, and resources. Additionally, she held a variety of school leadership positions focusing on new teacher development, school athletics, and student leadership development. Grace designed Locke II’s peer feedback protocol and Buddy Teacher Program, which gave teachers the opportunity to provide and receive meaningful and constructive feedback. As the Director of Support Services, Grace is committed to working with teachers and staff to ensure students are supported and challenged according to each diverse learner’s strengths and needs. Grace holds a BA from the University of Virginia and a MA in education from Loyola Marymount University.
H. Venkataraman Founder & Chief of Staff Admin
Hemanth graduated from Columbia University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science in 2002 with a major in Computer Science & Physics. He initially enjoyed the engineering field, working as a computer programmer, but soon realized that his true passion was to be in the classroom with students from New York City. He joined the New York City Teaching Fellows and spent five years teaching mathematics and computer science at Louis D. Brandeis High School in Manhattan. Known to his students as “Mister V,” Hemanth discovered a genuine passion and aptitude for teaching and inspiring students from the most challenging circumstances imaginable. Over his tenure at Brandeis, Hemanth served as Coordinator of Student Activities, organizing a myriad of special events such as multicultural talent shows, assemblies featuring famous guest speakers, dances, and poetry slams, improving school-wide morale and engaging the entire community in the success of the school. He also served as advisor to the Student Government and coached the school’s award-winning Step Team. After spending some time as a motivational speaker while working at a startup nonprofit organization, Hemanth became an instructor in the Youth Empowerment Seminar, a program that is improving the culture of schools around the United States by equipping students with practical techniques to eliminate stress, manage their emotions, and develop character strengths such as resilience and mindfulness. As Unity’s Director of Culture & Enrichment, Hemanth is tremendously excited to create a learning environment in which students not only excel academically, but also develop into productive citizens who make significant contributions to their communities.
I. Alteon Reading Interventionist High School
Isadora “Izzy” Alteon was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. After attending the Brooklyn School for International Studies, she made the trek to Maine to attend and graduate from Colby College as a Posse Foundation Scholar. While at Colby she majored in Sociology and double-minored in African-American Studies and Jewish Studies, exploring the power of identity, culture, and social change. Her academic studies fueled an excitement for creating learning experiences that would allow for a richer and more inclusive college community. Upon returning to her native stomping grounds, she became determined to create culturally meaningful academic enrichment experiences. As a Coach and Program Associate with Let’s Get Ready, a college access and success non-profit organization, she became more certain of the importance in providing low-income students with access, skills, and belief they can be successful college graduates and professionals. She continued her educational pursuits as a National AmeriCorps Citizen Schools Teaching Fellow for two years working with 6th-8th graders through their expanded learning day program by providing students with ELA and Math Enrichment. Ms. Alteon is very excited to get to know the vibrant community of learners here and is looking forward to meeting scholars as a Leveled LIteracy Interventionist Instructor at Unity Prep.
J. Beauregard Head of School Admin
Josh began his educational career in 2002 as a high school teacher at Louis D. Brandeis High School (Brandeis) in Manhattan as a New York City Teaching Fellow. Over his five years at Brandeis, Josh taught integrated algebra, AP statistics, AP microeconomics and macroeconomics, and an interdisciplinary course in mathematics and economics, which he created. In addition to his teaching, Josh also directed the school’s Academy of Finance and coordinated its SAT preparation program in partnership with the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. He also served as coach of the boy’s junior varsity and varsity basketball teams at The Dalton School. In the fall of 2006, Josh participated in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program where he taught in Chennai, India. In fall of the 2007, he returned to graduate school at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) to pursue his doctoral degree in education. While pursuing his doctorate, Josh gained extensive experience in developing teachers as both a coach and advisor. Josh was formally trained as a secondary school leader through the HGSE’s School Leadership Program and assumed a host of prominent roles and affiliations with several of the nation’s most renowned charter schools and charter management organizations, including the Media and Technology Charter High School (MATCH), the Community Charter School of Cambridge, the Harlem Children Zone’s Promise Academies, and the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP). Through his work in schools, his work as an educational consultant with SchoolWorks LLC, as well as in his research as a doctoral student at HGSE, Josh has developed, piloted, implemented, and evaluated myriad school-based programs. In addition to pursuing his doctorate at HGSE, Josh holds a BA from Vassar College, an MA in Secondary Mathematics Education from City College of New York (CCNY), and an MA in Education from HGSE.
J. Eassa 7th Grade ELA Teacher Middle School
While working in Baltimore, Joe completed his graduate degree at Lesley University in special education with a focus on literacy. In addition to his graduate studies, Joe completed an intensive practicum course in specialized reading interventions designed to target students with dyslexia as well as other decoding and encoding disabilities. Upon completing the course, Joe implemented the interventions in the English Language Arts classroom, which greatly benefitted many of his students. Outside of his academic interactions, Joe partnered with Beat the Streets to provide mentoring and wrestling for his students. This program was one of the first middle schools in the Baltimore to offer a wrestling program. Under his coaching, Joe helped train one of his student-athletes to become the first state finalist at the middle school level. Now in his third year at Unity, Joe serves as a an ELA teacher, learning specialist, and wrestling coach. In addition to holding his masters from Lesley University, Joe also holds a BA from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
J. Pickings 6th Grade ELA Learning Specialist Middle School
Juanita Pickings is a seasoned ELA teacher and is elated to join the Unity team as the 6th grade ELA Learning Specialist. Initially from Illinois she completed her BS degree at Western Illinois University in Law Enforcement Administration and American Literature. She also served 5 years in the U.S. Army, wherein she spent a year in Central America. She later settled in Jacksonville, Florida where she completed graduate courses at University of North Florida and an alternative certification in education to obtain her teaching certificate in ELA. She taught ELA at Lake Shore Middle for 11 years where she piloted IR classes, serviced an array of special needs students from Asperger’s Syndrome to Autism, and engaged honor students to yield maximum performance. She moved to New York in 2015. Words that mostly describe Juanita are determined and persistent.
J. Rabel 9th Grade Math Teacher High School
After teaching middle school mathematics for three years in Brooklyn and the Bronx, James is the newest addition to the high school mathematics department. James is a lifelong Brooklyn resident and attended P.S. 346, I.S. 364, and James Madison High School. The foundation for James' teaching career began at James Madison High when he was mentored by one of his mathematics teachers for his entire high school career. The success that James encountered after this experience was his inspiration to teach.
Since then, James has taught middle school mathematics classes within Brooklyn and the Bronx. Most of his experience revolves around teaching Common Core Algebra I to eighth graders and ensuring his students are deemed college ready. When James taught at Brooklyn Excelsior Charter School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, James served as the network middle school mathematics content leader, middle school mathematics department chairman, and eighth grade team leader. He was the first teacher to ever take an entire class to the regents and have a 100% pass rate. Recently, at Hyde Leadership Charter School in the Bronx, James and his co-teacher were able to achieve an 87% pass rate. With his competitive nature and love for mathematics, James hopes to inspire and change the lives of the students at Unity Prep High School. James holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Bernard M. Baruch College and a Master of Science in Education from Brooklyn College.
J. Rivera Administrative Assistant Middle School
Jessica is a native of Brooklyn and grew up in the neighborhood of Bushwick. She began her undergraduate studies at the City College of New York of the City University of New York and earned a BA in Foreign Languages and Literatures with a specialization in Spanish in 2014. At City College, Jessica also earned the Downer Award and was inducted into Sigma Delta Pi National Hispanic Honor Society for her outstanding performance. While pursuing her degree, she served as a Finance Assistant at The Oliver Scholars Program, a non-profit organization that prepares extraordinary African American and Latino students for success at top independent High Schools and prestigious Colleges. Her duties included inputting data into the accounting database, managing employee’ timesheets and expense reports, and providing support to the Finance Manager. She also served as a freelance Spanish interpreter at Accurate Communication, an interpretation services organization, where she provided interpretation for social workers and their clients. Jessica is passionate about education and hopes to pursue her graduate studies in Bilingual Childhood Education. During her free time, Jessica enjoys cooking and practicing Zumba.
J. Shannon 6th Grade Theatre Teacher Middle School
Jacquelyn is excited to teach Theatre at Unity and to share the magic of theatre with our talented young artist-citizen-scholars. Originally from Houston, Texas, she has worked with diverse populations in the performing arts for over 10 years in a variety of environments across the US, including professional and community theatres, galleries, museums, and schools. In 2015 she moved to Brooklyn from San Francisco and earned a Master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University with a focus on using creative drama to explore social issues. She also holds an MA in Communication and Culture from Indiana University and a BA in Communication Arts from Allegheny College with minors in Art History and Dance and Movement Studies. She taught courses in Performance Studies, Rhetoric and Public Speaking at Indiana University and was also an instructor in Dance and Movement Studies at Allegheny College where she taught ritual performance, creative process, yoga and meditation. Jacquelyn teaches and creates theatre with a deep belief in the empowering magic of ritual, storytelling, embodiment, and performance. Her goal is to provide students a safe and inspiring space to explore their imagination, express who they are, and experience the extra-ordinary.
K. Malinowski Reading Interventionist Middle School
Kate Malinowski is joining Unity Prep as a Leveled Literacy Intervention teacher. She is thrilled to be returning to the classroom after a seven-year hiatus. Kate began teaching as a literacy tutor while still in high school and continued working in and coordinating literacy-based after school programs throughout college where she also studied urban schooling in the US. She spent two years working for the non-profit Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools before becoming a full-time teacher. Kate is a graduate of the Boston Teacher Residency and spent three years teaching 5th grade in Boston. She then taught science for three years at the Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) in The Bahamas. She became re-inspired to teach literacy during her time at DCMS where she worked closely with the ELA teacher to create a school-wide literacy program, which included building literacy goals into content-area curriculum, expanding and leveling the school library, and involving all teachers in supporting students’ independent reading.
Kate earned a Masters in Education from UMass Boston and a BA in American Civilization from Brown University. She loves working with middle school students and helping them pursue their many and varied interests by teaching them to be the best readers they can be.
K. Woods 8th Grade ELA Teacher Middle School
Kendra was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where she began her career in education as an 8th grade English and Social Studies teacher. After completing her Master’s of Education at L.I.U she wanted to work in schools in neighborhoods where she grew up in. She’s always believed that the size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire and how you handle disappointment along the way. Growing up in Brooklyn, NY has installed in her a drive to help children who are just like her. The obstacles and circumstances may have changed over the years but the community has stayed the same. Giving back and being a constant reminder to students that they can achieve anything, is what drives her to be the best educator that she can be. Giving students alternatives to what is presented to them in everyday life and showing them how to overcome these obstacles is what she feels teaching is about. When she first started teaching her students were not interested in college. This made her begin to work with the College Now program at her previous schools. This program helps Junior-high school kids get prepared for their college future. College Now teaches students life skills and how to become a responsible student so that they can get in an excellent high school followed by a great college. The program also teaches students to learn to give back to the community. Kendra has a strong desire to nurture and cultivate the youth of today so that they may have a brighter future. Her commitment is to the community and the students is what drives her everyday. She’s excited to join the Unity family and is looking forward to a great year!
L. Canady 7th Grade History Teacher Middle School
Lawson is excited to embark on his new journey as the 7th Grade History teacher at Unity. Coming from a family of historians and political science majors, Mr. Canady attended Wesley College in Dover, DE. There he acquired a B.A. in History and had his first experience molding young scholars. After college he began teaching at his alma mater Immaculate Conception H.S. in Montclair, NJ, a small Catholic school that served the inner city communities of Newark, Irvington, and the Oranges. While there, he served as a mentor to his students as the director of the Peer Ministry program and coaching several sports including Football, Boys Volleyball, and weight events in track and field.
L. Conner 8th Grade ELA Learning Specialist Middle School
Leigh Conner is Unity’s Lead English Learning Specialist and teaches 8th grade Reading and Writing in addition to co-captaining the Support Services Team. Leigh began her teaching career in 2010 with Teach For America as a high school teacher at Susan Miller Dorsey (Dorsey) in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. She taught a self-contained English class for 9th-12th graders during her two years there. She then made the move to New York to teach at Girls Prep, an all-girls charter middle school in the Lower East Side. At Girls Prep, she spent three years teaching both English and Social Studies to 7th and 8th graders. Before teaching, Leigh attended Northern Arizona University and received a bachelors degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology and later a masters degree in Special Education from Loyola Marymount University. This is Leigh’s second year at Unity and she is both honored and excited to bring her passion for social justice and educational equity to serve the community in which she lives.
L. Knuckle Reading Interventionist Middle School
Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with a subject concentration in History from St. Francis College and a Master’s in Special Education. In 2003, Lisa began her career as a History and Science teacher at Andries Hudde Middle School, teaching students with diverse learning styles in both general education classes and self-contained inclusion classroom settings. She moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2005 where she continued teaching Social Studies to Middle School students in Title I and alternative learning school facilities for children with behavioral challenges. Lisa eventually returned to New York and has taught 9th grade Living Environment Science Regents to 8th grade students at Bronx Writing Academy Middle School/ Citizen Schools for New York in the South Bronx. Lastly, Lisa made it back to her Brooklyn roots, where she is excited to serve students and their families here at Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn. She has grand expectations for all scholars at Unity to achieve their personal best as they become proficient readers.
L. Shebroe 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher Middle School
Laura Shebroe, from Long Island, NY graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Mathematics. After working several tutoring positions and with education non-profits, she realized that education was truly her passion; this led to her becoming a Teach for America corps member in Richmond, California after graduation. During this time, she earned her teaching credential with Loyola Marymount University and taught high school mathematics to 9th-12th graders at John F. Kennedy High School. As a second year teacher, Laura served as the Mathematics Department chair, taught AP calculus, and was the advisor for the school’s Latino Club. With a strong passion for mathematics and social justice, Laura is thrilled to be teaching at Unity Prep with the 8th grade scholars. She is deeply committed to engaging all scholars in math and preparing them for high school and beyond.
M. Andrade 6th Grade Mathematics Teacher Middle School
Mariu Andrade, born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, NY, graduated from Reed College with a major in Anthropology. After graduating, she realized that although reading ethnographies and thinking deeply about different cultures and their complexities is extremely fascinating, it was not fulfilling enough. She is deeply committed to empowering students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds which inspired her to join Teach for America. Through TFA, she simultaneously served for two years at Bushwick Ascend Middle School as a fifth grade mathematics teacher while earning her Masters in Special Education at Brooklyn College. At Ascend, as only a second year teacher, Mariu acquired a successful track record in math instruction. Mariu is thrilled to join the Unity team and continue to develop strong mathematicians and ignite in them a strong social justice consciousness.
M. Palacios History Chair and Teacher High School
Mayra’s educational career began in 2010 as a student teacher at Skyline High School in Oakland, California. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Mayra completed over 300 hours of volunteer work as a tutor, mentor, coach, and student teacher. She worked with students in grades six through twelve, specifically with low-income minority students in Oakland and Berkeley schools. She volunteered for programs such as: Project S.M.I.L.E., WriterCoach Connection, Y-Scholars, and BUILD. She also co-created an after school program, DeREALM, at REALM Charter School in Berkeley, California. DeREALM focused on supporting students academically and engaging students as learners/ teachers. In the fall of 2012, Mayra began her graduate studies at Teachers College, Columbia University (TC) pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Studies Education While at Teachers College, Mayra was a student teacher at New Explorers High School in the Bronx, New York. She taught US Government and assisted students in US History and Global History. She was also a student teacher at Bronx International High School in the Bronx, New York. She taught two courses of Global History to English Language Learners. Mayra is also a native spanish speaker. Apart from her MA in Social Studies Education at TC, Mayra holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley in History and Ethnic Studies with a minor in Education and Chicano Studies.
M. Pantell Mathematics Chair and Teacher High School
Meg joins Unity after spending five years teaching 7th an 8th grade Mathematics in Crown Heights. A deep advocate for personalized instruction in mathematics, Meg brings a wide range of experiences to her role as a Math Learning Specialist. She is trained in CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) Math, is well versed in math differentiation and believes in a hands on approach to learning. Meg has worked to strategically target exceptional learners in both co-taught classrooms and in small group settings in order to promote a greater conceptual knowledge of math among her students. Above all, she hopes to share her passion and love of Math with her students and encourage them to become critical thinkers and problem solvers. Meg deeply believes in social justice and has worked to create a classroom culture that empowers her students with agency, and focuses on the education of the whole child. Meg earned her Bachelor’s degree from Bard College and has a Master’s in Teaching Secondary Education.
M. Roy Gaines Middle School Co-Principal Middle School
Michelle began her teaching career in 2008 as a History teacher at MS 223 The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology in the South Bronx. During her five years teaching at the school, Michelle served as the chair of the Social Studies department and a member of the Professional Development Committee. Michelle then joined Unity because she was excited about building an excellent new school with strong community ties. As a founding History teacher, Michelle developed a 6th and 7th grade curriculum with a strong focus on literacy. In her second year at Unity, Michelle split her time between teaching and serving as an instructional coach. In Unity’s third year, Michelle stepped into a new role as Unity’s Co-Principal, and she is honored to have the opportunity to help build an outstanding middle school for our students. Michelle graduated summa cum laude from Duke University with a BA in Public Policy. She holds an MA in Social Studies Education from Lehman College.
N. Yarwood 8th Grade ELA Teacher Middle School
Noreen began her teaching career at The Boston Arts Academy in 2007 where she served as a year long intern for the school’s theater department. Prior to beginning her master’s program Noreen worked as an actor performing in educational theater projects centered around social justice. In 2008, Noreen joined Phoenix Charter Academy in Chelsea, MA as a theater and humanities teacher. At Phoenix she served students who were previously drop outs, struggled with truancy, were teen parents, court involved and not successful in traditional academic environments. Noreen created humanities curriculum grounded in improving literacy and classic dramatic literature, particularly Shakespeare. When she moved back to Brooklyn after almost 6 years she dedicated her time to raising her two young kids as well as creating and starting a non-profit theater organization Shake It Out, Inc. whose mission it to teach Shakespeare to youth from under-served communities. She has also worked with the Internationals Network for Public Schools where she participated in and subsequently lead professional development for teachers in the Internationals network. Noreen earned her M.A. in Theatre Education from Emerson College in 2007 and holds a B.A. from SUNY New Paltz in Performing Arts.
O. Rivera School Social Worker Middle School
Otilia’s career in social work began in 2010 where she interned at her college’s counseling center providing on-campus outreach in order to encourage students to seek counseling services if needed. In 2014, Otilia worked as a case manager providing social services in order to prevent homelessness and shelter entry from low-income families and individuals residing in Bushwick and Williamsburg. In 2016, Otilia attended Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College where she obtained her Master of Social Work (M.S.W.). In her first year of graduate school, she was an intern at the Roberto Clemente Center where she provided family therapy to children and adults throughout NYC while working with their schools and communities. During her final year, Otilia interned at Unity Prep, where she had the opportunity to work with scholars and staff. She had the privilege of hearing their stories, knowing their families and communities and being their advocate when needed. Otilia also holds an A.S in Mental Health and Human Services from Kingsborough Community College and a B.A in Psychology an d Sociology from Baruch College. Otilia is excited to be joining the Unity team this year as the Social Worker at Unity Prep Middle School and is looking forward an amazing year.
O. Stewart 9th Grade Mathematics Teacher High School
Hi Amazing Unity Prep High Team! I am amped about joining the squad and making the 2017-2018 school year unforgettable! I am the God-fearing proud father of Sela, my almost 10-year-old angel! Over the past 14 years, my calling has given me the privilege of teaching, mentoring and serving scholars as young as 2nd grade and as old as college-age. I also taught English in Vietnam, trained youth in the Afro-Brazilian martial art Capoeira Angola and instructed adolescents in the discipline of culinary arts. My favorite pastimes include spending time with Sela, cooking (and cleaning) and building relationships. I have been blessed to have travelled to 14 (or 15?) countries, so travel is in there too. I can’t wait to learn, build and grow with you all!
O. Toro 7th Grade Science Teacher Middle School
This is Olivia's 4th year at Unity. Prior to joining Unity, Olivia worked at Brooklyn Prospect where she taught and advised students in grades 6-10. In addition to working with wonderful students, she coordinated efforts to improve the school’s delivery of individualized support services and served on several school working groups tasked with planning and implementing behavioral and academic interventions at the high school level. She served as the founding high school learning specialist and co-taught four distinct New York Regents curricula to facilitate students’ work toward their diplomas. Olivia began her teaching career in Washington, D.C., where she taught in a resource classroom setting at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School as a Capital Teaching Resident. Prior to teaching, she worked for the D.C. Public Schools Office of Special Education and assisted parents and students as part of a larger effort to reconnect the work of the district’s schools to the communities they serve. Olivia holds a B.A. with majors in Political Science and Psychology from Swarthmore College, and an M.A. in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago.
P. Bishop 6th Grade Science Teacher Middle School
Phillippa E. Bishop is a passionate six grade science teacher, who is happy to be joining the team at Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn. She has fifteen years of experience in the education field, including General Education, Special Education, Second Language Learners, English Language Learners, Students at Risk, Gifted and Talented, and STEM Education, among others. Before joining Unity Prep, Ms. Bishop first taught grade two at Public School 79 in the South Bronx in 2003 as a New York City Teaching Fellow. After spending five years working at Public School 79, Ms. Bishop also worked at Frederick Douglas Academy III, for two years, and Public School 214, for the last eight years, teaching a range of subjects from Biology, Earth Science, Forensics Science and English Language Arts, among others. In particular, Ms Bishop’s strengths are her passion for learning, and love for humanity. Ms. Bishop loves helping learners gain confidence, determining the special needs of all learners, and developing special curricula for gifted learners.
Ms. Bishop earned her Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva New York, and her Master’s in Education degree from Mercy College, in Dobbs Ferry, New York. She is a five -year Urban Advantage member and is also certified in Early Childhood Education, Pre-K through Grade 6.
P. Devieux 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher Middle School
Mr. Devieux began his teaching career for the Department of Education in 2003. Mr. Devieux attended the University of Virginia where he double majored in Government and African Studies. He went on to obtain a Masters degree in Justice, Law and Society from American University and a Masters degree in Special Education at Queens College. Mr. Devieux is a passionate and talented educator that is extremely excited to join the Unity Preparatory team. Mr. Devieux utilizes various differentiated techniques in order to propel his students towards success. He believes that all scholars have the ability to succeed regardless of any impediments. Mr Devieux has a proven track record of success and will stop at nothing to ensure the success of his scholars.
R. Taveras 9th Grade Science Teacher High School
In 2008, Ruth started as a science teacher on the staff of the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula High School (AMSU). AMSU is a Catholic all girl’s high school in the Fordham Heights section of the Bronx in New York City. In her 9 years at AMSU, she worked to help the growth of young female adolescent teens in the following ways. First, Ruth was a dedicated Living Environment teacher. She attended various professional development workshops that helped her design lessons to increase assessment performances for her students. She successfully maintained a 99% pass rate for her Living Environment classes in all 9 years working in AMSU. Second, Ruth also taught various science courses including anatomy and physiology, remedial science course for incoming freshman, and Forensic Science. Ruth was also the volleyball coach for 8 years and successfully led the girl’s varsity volleyball team into becoming undefeated division champions. Ruth has also had experience teaching college level science at Lehman College in the Bronx, to help struggling adults who have not taken a science course for many years. Ruth heard about Unity and is incredible excited to bring her teaching experience to a new growing school and start a new journey in her teaching career. Ruth Taveras holds a Bachelor’s in Science degree which she triple majored in Anthropology, Biology, and Chemistry, as well as attaining a Master’s Degree in Science Education with a focus in Biology for grades 7th – 12th. Ruth Taveras is proud to have obtained these two degrees from CUNY Lehman College.
S. Azinge Permanent Substitute and Library Coordinator High School, Middle School
I am Samantha Azinge this will be my 2nd year at Unity Preparatory Charter School. I will be the Permanent Substitute Teacher this year and I will assist the Girls Basketball Team and Saturday Academy. I grew up in Fort Green, Brooklyn, N.Y. so working in a school with scholars that have similar life experiences has always been a dream. I’m really excited to be the permanent substitute teacher this year because I get to assist across grade levels and disciplines. The permanent substitute teacher experience will help me formulate an inclusive teacher style that will include various learners.
S. Caspi 10th Grade Earth Science & Chemistry Teacher High School
Shir is thrilled to join the Unity Prep team for her tenth year of teaching! She started her teaching career as a Teach for America corps member in Prince George’s County, MD where she taught 7th and 8th grade science and helped coach the girls’ soccer team. After moving to New York City in 2011, Shir joined Bronx Lighthouse College Prep Academy in the South Bronx as a founding high school teacher. While there, she taught biology, chemistry, AP biology, coached volleyball, and was the science instructional coach and department chair. One of Shir’s favorite things about science is the potential it holds for empowering students to question, engage critically, and experience rewarding learning first hand. Her lessons are driven by these end goals. When she is not at school, Shir loves running, practicing yoga, and cooking (and eating) all kinds of food. She holds a B.S in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a M.A in secondary science teaching from American University.
S. Chunn 9th Grade ELA Teacher High School
Ms. Chunn is thrilled to join the Unity team as a 9th grade ELA teacher. Her passion for literature and trajectory into an ELA career originated in her high school Honors English class where she read profound stories from authors such as James Baldwin, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright. Through their works, she discovered the power of written words as the plights of their characters were vivid and clear, even years after being published. While attending Columbia University, Ms. Chunn partnered with the mentoring organization, Everybody Wins, to provide literacy coaching to students in Harlem so they could experience what she had in her English class. Inspired by student progress, Ms. Chunn formally began her teaching career soon after, instructing both 9th and 10th grade ELA classes. Ms. Chunn has a deep commitment to fostering the development of lifelong readers and learners.
S. Douglas High School Dean of Students High School
Shalanda is a native of Memphis, Tn where she attended The University of Memphis and received her B.A in English with a concentration in Language and Linguistics. During her college career, she was also a dedicated service member of the U.S. Army Reserves. Once her mission was completed, she wanted to serve her community and motivate adolescents to achieve their best and decided to enter the realm of Behavioral Support. Once relocating, she has served as a Dean in Queens and Brooklyn, and continues to be passionate about servicing the community. In her previous schools, Shalanda led the charge of creating a positive school culture and ensured that all students felt celebrated and supported. She did so by advising the Student Council, Peer Mediators, being a Grade Level Leader, and leading community service projects. She also serve as the Cheerleading coach and organized pep rallies, and school spirit weeks! She is excited about joining the Unity Prep community.
S. Ezike 7th Grade Mathematics Teacher Middle School
With seven years of experience in working with youth and a proven track record of successful mathematics instruction, Mr. Ezike is thrilled to join Unity Prep’s faculty as a Math Teacher. He earned his Masters in Secondary Education from the University of Pennsylvania and Bachelors in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University. Mr. Ezike has experience teaching in Philadelphia, Massachusetts and New York. Most recently, Mr. Ezike served as a learning specialist at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. Mr. Ezike is committed to developing strong mathematics culture here at Unity Prep.
S. Marco Associate Director of Student Support Services and 8th Grade History Teacher Middle School
Sarah’s career thus far has been a combination of her two educational passions: teaching history and supporting diverse learners. She began her educational career working in special education summer programs in Connecticut. During her undergraduate studies, Sarah was continuously involved in educational programs in the public schools in Poughkeepsie, New York–working with English-language-learners as well as struggling readers and writers. These experiences, along with her study of (and love for!) history, brought her to Teachers College, where she specialized in social studies education and student-taught at schools in Queens and Manhattan. At Unity, she has taught history and math, and has helped develop the school’s advisory curriculum. Sarah is committed to creating an inclusive educational environment that welcomes all learners and helps all students to be successful and fulfilled. She is particularly passionate about helping students with disabilities learn to advocate for their needs. Sarah holds a BA from Vassar College and a MA from Teachers College, Columbia University.
S. Springer 6th Grade ELA Teacher Middle School
Sophia is excited to join Unity as one of the 6th grade ELA teachers. Even when she was in kindergarten she knew she wanted to be a teacher. After graduating from U.C.L.A. with a Bachelor’s in History in 2011, she began her teaching career in Los Angeles as a 7th grade history teacher. In 2013 she moved to New York to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Studies Education from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University. The following year, she taught middle school writing in Brooklyn using a curriculum she designed that emphasized evidence-based writing, source evaluation and social justice. She is passionate about instilling a love of reading and writing in her students.
T. Del Purgatorio Social Worker High School
Tina’s career in social work began in 2001 while she was an undergraduate at Manhattan College in the Bronx, NY. In her third year as a Sociology major, Tina served as an intern at the Anti-Violence Project (AVP) in Manhattan where she learned crisis intervention techniques as well as ways to address violence and trauma in various communities in New York City. In 2002, Tina graduated with a BA in Sociology, and soon after she headed west to join AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), a full-time team-based national and community service program. Tina spent one year providing full-time community service throughout California, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, living and working with individuals, families, schools, and communities while learning much about what it takes to be a strong and excellent social worker. In 2004 Tina attended Hunter College’s School of Social Work (HCSSW) in New York City where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW). During this time, she successfully completed field work practicums as well as job placements at the Fresh Air Fund and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center. Immediately after obtaining her Master’s Degree, Tina acquired licensure and became a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW). Since that time, she has spent several years providing therapy, counseling, and case management services to youth in foster care at Green Chimneys Children’s Services in West Harlem, LGBT-identified youth and adults throughout the five boroughs, and, finally, as a school social worker in the Washington Heights, Bronx, and East Harlem communities. She obtained her License in Clinical Social Work (LCSW) in 2011.
T. Jones Dean of Students & 7th Grade Math Learning Specialist Middle School
Hi I am Tiffany Jones. I have an Undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a Masters in Education. I have a diverse background that encompasses working with families from all cultures and different ethnicities. I have been working with the city beginning with Human Resource Administration, Administration for Children Services and then Department of Education. I began teaching in District 75 as an American History to 11th grade students. Over the course of my three years working in the Bronx I taught all core subjects and prepared students to take Regents exams. I’ve gone on to own a business and now I’m happy to be back in the classroom. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends and serving my community.
V. Dalby 6th Grade History Teacher Middle School
Valerie Dalby is a New York City native and a graduate of the NYC public school system. She earned her Bachelor’s at Bard College with a major in History. While at Bard, Valerie led education initiatives at the Bard Center for Civic Engagement and volunteered abroad with the Nicaragua Education Initiative. Valerie is deeply committed to addressing social justice issues and hopes to instill in her Unity students a sense of civic responsibility. In her professional career, Valerie has worked as a SAT tutor and has lived and worked in Myanmar teaching students at the Khayay School in Yangon. She recently received her Master’s in Education at the CUNY Hunter School for Education and is thrilled to have joined the Unity team.
V. Uribe Science Teacher & Learning Specialist High School
Ms. Uribe majored in biology at Mount Holyoke College. In her junior year she had the opportunity to carry out research within the field of molecular biology alongside talented scientists at Dartmouth College, which resulted in a publication in Molecular Biotechnology, a scientific journal. She also completed a minor in theatre at MHC, which she credits having a major influence in the way she approaches teaching. She has starred in two plays as well as taking supporting roles in others. Currently, Ms. Uribe volunteers at the Castillo Theatre where social justice is at the heart of each production. Ms. Uribe taught five years in Brooklyn at Arts & Letters before joining the Unity Prep family as a founding science teacher in 2013. She taught 8th grade science for two years and 6th grade science for three years. In her third year at A&L she founded a club called Sisters in Science that supported girls who wanted to pursue a career in the sciences. In 2012 and 2014, Ms. Uribe participated in a science teacher program at Columbia University where she worked in the Department of Microbiology studying how cells polarize. She later joined the Department of Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia to work closely with a scientist to study the involvement of a specific protein (cdc25A) in neurological diseases. She was selected by this program to travel to Australia and research algae at James Cook University. In addition to learning new laboratory techniques, she had the chance to snorkel, jetski, kayak, whitewater raft, and most importantly, skydive over the Great Barrier Reef! After taking a sabbatical year, Ms. Uribe is looking forward to teaching science at the new Unity Prep High School!