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Faculty & Staff

A. Bond English Language Arts Teacher High School

Amanda Bond has been teaching for seven years, and this is her second year at Unity teaching ninth grade writing and theater for social Justice. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama and has taught all around the world.

A. Coleman PE, Health, Theater & Dance Dept. Chairperson 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.

Email: acoleman@unityprep.org

A. Dietz Operations Associate Middle School

Mr. Patrick joined the Unity staff, as a full-time operations associate in January of 2023, after being Unity Prep's volleyball coach since the fall of 2014. He is also, the Assistant Coach of the New York University Men’s Volleyball Team since October 2021, and NY State licensed real estate sales person also since 2014. Mr. Patrick attended New York City College of Technology as an undergraduate, persuing a Bachelors of Technology degree in Advertising and Digital/Print Management. He started his coaching career as the Head Men’s Volleyball Coach at the College of Mount Saint Vincent from 2002-05. While there, he also served as the Interim Head Coach of the Bloomfield College women’s team in the fall of 2004. Mr. Patrick returned to New York City Tech and became the head coach of both the men’s and women’s volleyball teams from 2005-07. His next stop was as the Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at Concordia College in Bronxville, NY, from 2009-11, before returning as the men’s coach at Mount Saint Vincent for two seasons. In the fall of 2015, Patrick served as the Assistant Coach of the women’s volleyball team at St. Francis College-Brooklyn (D1), while his latest position was as the Head Men’s Volleyball Coach at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn during the 2015-16 season. Since 2009, Patrick has also worked as the High Performance Coach and Evaluator for the Garden Empire Volleyball Association, the local NYC branch of USA Volleyball. His experience also includes working as a College Recruiting Coordinator and the Head Coach for the 13U-18U Boys and Girls teams for Club Ace Long Island (CALI). In 2019, Patrick was elected to the Garden Empire Volleyball Association (GEVA) Board of Directors as an Adult Director. He is currently in his second term as the Director for the men’s BB Division, which encompasses organizing tournaments, governance, and player development and retention. Mr. Patrick, who has also served as a Broadcast Analyst for the men’s and women’s CUNYAC Volleyball Tournaments, along with various ESPN telecasts, is a native of New York City and currently resides in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

A. Dunn 7th Grade ELA Content Specialist Middle School

A Brooklyn native with southern roots and a passion for wanting to cultivate young minds.
A lover of all things humanities focused, I have worked in education for 5 years teaching both ELA and World History. I became an educator to empower and educate the whole child. As Aristotle once said “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”.

A. Honeywell ELA Content Specialist Middle School

Amanda Honeywell is a Queens native and dedicated educator. She has taught various subjects in elementary and middle school over the last 5 years, especially finding joy in bringing literacy alive for exceptional learners. Amanda’s teaching career began in Brooklyn, but during the pandemic transitioned to teaching in Harlem. She is excited to be back in Brooklyn and joining the Unity team! Amanda is eager to explore texts she once devoured as a middle schooler with her students. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, discovering new restaurants, and listening to soca music. Amanda earned her BA in Africana Studies from Barnard College of Columbia University and is completing her MS Ed. in Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College of Education.

A. Lokey Science Teacher High School

Anna is an educator and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She was born and raised in rural Louisiana, and owes her students a dollar everytime she says "Geaux Tigers" or "Laissez les bons temps rouler." She is going broke from this. Anna moved to the city in 2015 to attend Columbia University, where she studied Philosophy and Political Science. Anna started working in the education field in 2017, and has been addicted to the joy of learning ever since. She is currently completing her Masters of Arts in Teaching with a Dual Certification in Special Education. This year she is teaching Earth (and Space!) Science, which is her favorite subject yet, because she is a total nerd for rocks. Anna loves to: (1) rant about space within your immediate vicinity (2) show you pictures of her hamster, Meatball, and (3) know your astrological sign.

A. Morel Coordinator of Special Projects Middle School

A proud New Yorker with a film background, Ms.Morel strives to blend creativity with problem-solving to tackle educational challenges. With a deep community commitment and a passion for enhancing the learning experience, Ms. Morel is all about making a real impact.

A. Olivier Assistant Principal of Community & Culture 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.

Email: aolivier@unityprep.org

A. Rivera Science Learning Specialist Middle School

Alyssa has taught science for the last 7 years. She looks forward to helping students understand and enjoy exploring the ever-changing world around them.

A. Sigismondi Humanities Learning Specialist High School

A. Steer History Content Specialist Middle School

Greetings. My name is Andre Steer, and I am the new 8th grade history teacher at Unity Prep Middle School. I am a Brooklyn native who has a passion for sports, video games, anime, and of course, history! I am passionate about serving the youth through education and I look forward to being a part of this amazing team.

A. Terry Assistant Principal of Community and Culture Middle School

Ariel Terry is an esteemed educator and visionary leader, hailing from Brooklyn, New York, with a rich Caribbean background that has shaped her passion for education and community development. With over seven years of experience in the field of education, Ariel has carved a niche for herself as a specialist in mathematics instruction and has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive school culture.

Ariel's educational journey began with a firm belief in the transformative power of education as a means of empowering individuals and uplifting communities. This foundational belief, combined with her Caribbean heritage, instilled in her a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and the value of community collaboration.

With a background in mathematics, Ariel quickly established herself as an exceptional educator who excels at translating complex concepts into engaging and accessible lessons. Her dedication to her students' success and her ability to connect with them on a personal level have earned her the admiration of both students and colleagues alike.

Over the years, Ariel's exceptional teaching abilities caught the attention of school leaders, leading her to take on leadership roles within the education system. As Assistant Principal of Community and Culture at Unity Prep, she now plays a pivotal role in shaping the school's ethos, fostering a nurturing and supportive environment, and ensuring that every student feels valued and included.

Ariel's approach to leadership is marked by her genuine concern for the well-being of the school community. She actively encourages open communication and collaboration among students, parents, and faculty, fostering an environment where everyone's voice is heard and respected. Through her efforts, Unity Prep has become not just a school, but a tight-knit family that embraces diversity and celebrates individuality.

Beyond her work in the school community, Ariel remains actively involved in various outreach programs that support underserved students and their families. She strongly believes in giving back to the community that has shaped her, and she tirelessly advocates for educational equity and access for all.

As a forward-thinking and compassionate leader, Ariel Terry continues to leave an indelible mark on the lives of her students and the educational landscape. Her passion for mathematics education, her Caribbean heritage, and her commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive community have made her an inspiration to both students and educators alike. Ariel's journey is a testament to the transformative power of education and the potential that lies within every individual to make a difference in the world.

A. Williams Principal Middle School

Ms. Williams joined Unity in 2016 as the Lead Literacy Intervention teacher and instructional coach. Since then, she has served as the English Language Arts (ELA) Department Chairperson, Assistant Principal of Middle School ELA, Co-Principal of Teaching and Learning, and now Middle School Principal. She began her career in 2009 as a 9th and 10th grade Reading and Language Arts teacher in Miami-Dade County Public Schools before relocating to teach middle school ELA in the Orange County Public Schools district. Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Florida State University and a Master of Education in Reading Education from the University of Central Florida. She has led a life rooted in service from childhood serving as a volunteer, AmeriCorps member, and mentor. Ms. Williams remains committed to empowering young people and adults through language and literacy to disrupt and reimagine a more equitable and just world.

B. Lopez Assistant Principal of Operations & Safety High School

Brandon started working with children in 2002 during his junior year of high school through Internships and Youth Leadership Development programs. Over the course of the last two decades, he has devoted his life to youth work in many facets. He has held multiple youth program leadership positions in various Brooklyn based community centers and also worked as a youth development specialist with the Office of Children & Family Services Division of Juvenile Justice. Over the years he has been recognized by councilpersons, state assembly persons and community organizations for dedicating countless volunteer hours throughout Brooklyn. He holds an undergraduate degree from the State University of New York's Empire State College in Interdisciplinary Studies and is currently seeking graduate school options with his alma mater with plans to accomplish a graduate degree in educational leadership & planning.

B. Pakter History Teacher High School

Ben Pakter joined the Unity High School team in 2019 after teaching for nine years at Bronx Lighthouse College Prep Academy while living in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In his time there he taught writing, U.S.History, Global History, U.S. Government, and AP U.S. Government. He also started a garden at BLCPA with 13 garden beds, chickens and taught a gardening class. The garden was connected with GrowNYC and served as a place of employment for teen gardeners who harvested food for a local shelter. He brings his passion for arts-infused education that he learned at BLCPA and his passion for history and politics that he advanced with his masters from Columbia Teachers College. Before BLCPA, he taught for four years in Southern Illinois.

C. Abreu Spanish Teacher & Associate Instructional Coach 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.

Email: cabreu@unityprep.org

C. Beckford Student Recruitment and Family Engagement Coordinator Middle School

"Calou Beckford continues to develop a strong career in public service. He started his career as the founding Special Educator at the Eagle Academy for Young Men of Harlem. Eventually, he was promoted to IEP Coordinator, and was tasked with ensuring that each student with a disability classification received their mandated supports and services. From there, he transitioned to CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in midtown, Manhattan. During his time in Higher Education, he worked as an Academic Programs Coordinator for the Cybersecurity Initiative at John Jay. In this role, he assisted Computer Science students with becoming more viable candidates as they prepared to enter and excel in the tech workforce.

Prior to joining Unity Preparatory Middle School, Calou was the Membership Manager at the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA). He was responsible for managing, implementing and measuring the success of CBMA’s national membership recruitment, and engagement strategies. While working at CBMA, he was responsible for raising the total number of people engaged from 5,700 to ~ 8,000. He also lead the coordination of fellowship programs, as well as some of CBMA’s signature events.

Calou received his undergraduate degree from Wheaton College, where he majored in Anthropology, and minor in Ethnomusicology and Economics. He received his graduate degree from CUNY Brooklyn College while participating in the 2013 cohort of Teach for America educators."

C. Boadu Math Teacher Middle School

Born in Haiti, Mrs Boadu migrated to the United States at age 11 to continue her education and pursue a career in education. She holds a Bachelor degree in Mathematics, and Mental Health in Criminal Justice, along with a Master degree in Mathematics Secondary Education. Her passion for teaching started as a little girl. Mrs Boadu has 7 years of teaching experience as a math educator in a middle school setting. She is very excited to start the school year, and bond with all of her students.

C. Brookins Social Worker Middle School

"Clarissa is a Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) who hails from Los Angeles, but has been based in New York City for 7 years. Her passion for social justice, particularly as it pertains to educational equity, school-to-prison pipeline, and mass incarceration, called her to pursue a career in social work. Clarissa earned her Master of Social Work from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. As an MSW candidate, she specialized in Integrated Youth Behavioral Health and gained invaluable experience working in educational settings throughout the Brooklyn borough with Black and Latino youth who are traditionally least effectively served by the public education system.

Clarissa also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Gender Studies and a minor in African American studies from UCLA. This is her 6th year at Unity."

C. Doscher Director of Administration 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.

Email: cdoscher@unityprep.org

C. Forteau Literacy Interventionist Middle School

Hi I'm Ms. Forteau! This is my fourth year as an educator, and my first year at Unity, where I will be the 8th Grade ELA Learning Specialist. I'm currently in the final year of my Masters program at Brooklyn College, and I graduated from the University of Rhode Island, with my Bachelors in English Literature. Fun fact: I was a Division I track runner

C. Harvey Science Teacher High School

Chris is thrilled to join Unity's science department. Chris has been teaching since 2011. He received his undergraduate degree from the Penn State University and his masters from the University of Central Florida. Chris comes with a proven track record of high school science literacy and proficient exam scores. Chris has made his way to the big apple via Florida where he taught Biology (standard and honors), Marine biology, Pre-Environmental Science, Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Virtual School Biology. Since Chris has joined Unity he has started and wrote two curriculums that have never existed at the school. These consisted of AP Environmental Science and Human Anatomy and Physiology. His love for the sciences and enriching students experiences has only grown as he continues his educational career. Chris is a part of the Lamont-Doherty's Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP) which brings high school students, science teachers and undergrads to the Lamont campus each summer for six weeks of field and laboratory research. Chris looks forward to helping out the Unity community in any way that he can. Chris embodies the quote from Walt Disney: You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.

C. McCoy Dean of Students, Lower Grades High School

C. McRae 6-8 Dance, 8th Health, Instructional Coach Middle School

Ms. McRae teaches 6-8th grade Dance, 8th grade Health and fulfills the role of an Associate Instructional Coach. She is in her 7th year at Unity and excited to continue educating with the intent to empower, educate and cultivate relationships with students by serving them what they need and deserve to be successful as young humans and academic scholars. Ms. McRae has earned her B.A. in the Arts with concentration in Dance, with a strong Emphasis in Education at The New School here in New York City. She has earned her Masters of Science in Education at California State University of Fullerton. 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 other celebrity artists. She has taught Dance, Health, Pre-AP Dance History, Speech & Debate and has served as Dance Team Coach. She takes pride in her work and her ability to build relationships with scholars in the building and throughout their years at Unity HS. Ms. McRae will continue to create her work and collaborate with her scholars, the community and families to create artistic value, authenticity, provoking dialogue, engagement and inspire excellence.

C. Perez Associate of Facilities High School

C. Peters Academic Counselor High School

C. Rodriguez Art Teacher High School

C. Saunders Social Worker High School

Clareese Saunders is a Queens based, second generation social worker born and raised in Asbury Park, NJ. Growing up surrounded and influenced by a family who embraced a deep commitment to generosity, she knew from a young age her desire was, put simply, to help. Anyone. Anyway. In 2013, Clareese obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with minors in Religious Studies and Public Health from Montclair State University. Three weeks later she began a 27 month commitment to serve with the United States Peace Corps as a Healthy Youth Volunteer in Lesotho, Southern Africa. It was there that Clareese learned the Yes power and importance of creating spaces for people, especially young people, to be heard, seen and supported. Passionate about grassroots organizing, community building, global education access and eliminating mental health stigma, Clareese is never far from communal energies working to make ideas - realities. After completing a dual masters program in 2018, Clareese received her MSW and MPH from NYU Silver and the College of Global Public Health. As a former panther hailing from Academy Charter High School in Belmar, NJ, Clareese is thrilled to join the Unity family which immediately felt a lot like home.

C. Victor Science Content Specialist Middle School

I first entered education as a 7th grade Math Teacher in 2020 and transitioned into Science where my Pre-Med undergraduate background has provided an academic edge to the children that I serve. I am devoted to all areas of Science and it brings me joy to share this with children, to be a representation of what a Scientist can look like.

C. Williams Math Interventionist Middle School

Mr. Christopher Williams, second year Math & Science teacher! Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated with a double major in Political Science and Theater from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Mr. Williams believes that the most valuable vehicle is an education because it can take you through many different avenues of life.

Clewiston Challenger Professor Advisory Council

D. Reynolds History Department Chairperson & Instructional Coach High School

D. Thomas Middle School Dean of Students 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.

Email: dthomas@unityprep.org

David Bazile Founder and CEO Advisory Council

E. Behan Senior Director of Academic Counseling and Career & College Readiness High School

E. Diaz Science Department Chair Middle School

Elena Diaz is the Science Department Chair and a Science Learning Specialist for the 6th-8th grade team. This year will be her 7th year at Unity. 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). Elena has been working at Unity Prep for four years and is committed to providing all of her students with a high quality education that is tailored to meet their individual needs.

E. Neal Theatre Teacher Middle School

Ennis Neal is thrilled to be joining the Unity Prep team this year! Originally from Iowa, Ennis received a BA in theatre with a focus in playwriting and dramaturgy at the University of Iowa, then joined Teach for America, leading him to Brooklyn. As a theatre major who famously did not act, Ennis believes strongly in facilitating a theatre class that allows students to focus on the many different aspects of theatre. Students should come to theatre ready to learn, create, make mistakes, and safely push themselves out of their comfort zone. Ennis is currently working towards getting his Masters in Education and hopes to never stop learning!

E. Ortega Associate of School Safety High School

E. Ortiz Director of Operations Middle School

Edward Ortiz is the Middle School Director of Operations. He was born and raised in Washington Heights, NY. He graduated from SUNY Albany in 2013 and has worked in school operations since 2016.

E. Valerio-Walker ELA Learning Specialist Middle School

Ms. Walker is in her 6th year in education. She is a passionate educator, and wants each student to leave her classroom not only a better reader but a more civically engaged human.

F. Berkeley Visual Arts Teacher Middle School

Mr. Berkeley is looking forward to teaching 7th and 8th grade visual arts at Unity Prep Charter School. He was born and raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Coming from a background of educators it was destined for him to pursue education. He pursued his undergraduate degree in Music and has a Masters in African American studies. He believes education is the key to cultivating the minds and voices of the next generation. Mr. Berkeley is looking forward to the start of the school year to help create lasting art pieces and memories with the scholars!

F. LaPlaca Science Content Specialist Middle School

Florence is in love with all things science and is absolutely so excited to meet her 6th graders this year! Florence received her Masters of Arts in Teaching from the Richard Gilder Graduate School at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. During this time she student taught 6th Grade science at Hunters Point Community Middle School in L.I.C and Earth Science/Astronomy at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers. Prior to this she graduated from SUNY Fredonia where she studied Earth Science, Mathematics, and Italian. Florence's teaching philosophy can be summed up as "mistakes are okay, giving up is not." As such, her students can expect a classroom full of enthusiasm, exploration, and high expectations!

G. Clotter Physical Education & Health Teacher High School

G. West Math Teacher High School

Gracie is in her first year at Unity and excited to be a part of the Unit Prep team! She has a bachelor's degree in Math Education and a Minor in dance from New York University. She has always loved math and when she had the opportunity to be a TA for freshmen in her Senior year of high school, she knew teaching math was her passion. Gracie also fostered her love for teaching at her studio where she student taught dance since she was 14 years old. Along with teaching math and dance, her passions include: football, marvel movies, playing and listening to music, and anything creative.

G. Yun Principal High School

Grace began her educational career in 2006 as a middle school teacher in Los Angeles. In 2008, she was recruited to join the faculty of a start-up charter high school in the same community and spent the next five years as the founding education specialist. She proudly helped graduate two classes of seniors fromåÊÌÅnimo Locke II Charter High School. In 2013, Grace joined the UnityåÊfaculty as the founding Director of Support Services. She wasåÊcommitted to working with teachers and staff to ensure all types of learners were supported and challenged according to their unique strengths and needs. In 2018, Grace transitioned into the role of Co-Principal of Culture and Operations for the high school site. Grace holds a BA from the University of Virginia and a MA in education from Loyola Marymount University.

H. Bond Science Content Specialist Middle School

Graduated from Quinnipiac University from the School of Science. Teaching middle school science for over 8 years. I love comedy and hope to make at least one person smile a day!

H. Hidalgo Social Worker Middle School

Helenmarie is a Bilingual Licensed Master of Social Work (LMSW) who was born and raised in New York City. As a Latina growing up in NYC, she witnessed firsthand the need communities of color endured. The desire to bridge gaps, advocate, provide support, and resources to communities of color motivated her to pursue a career in Social Work. She gained her undergrad degree in Forensic Psychology with a focus on human services at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At John Jay, she was able to learn and utilize counseling skills as a peer counselor. Helenmarie then earned her Masters of Social Work degree from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.

Throughout her social work career, she has gained skills and invaluable experience from working with US native and immigrant children and families in foster care. In 2022, Helenmarie began to provide her expertise in school settings throughout New York. This is her first year with Unity.

H. Shumaker Spanish Teacher High School

Helen Shumaker graduated from Temple University with a Bachelors of Arts in Linguistics and Spanish Linguistics. She then went on to receive a Masters of Arts in Teaching with distinction from Relay Graduate School. She is very excited to be joining the Unity team this year!

I. Jaquez Dean of Students, Upper Grades High School

J. Aviles 6th Grade ELA Learning Specialist Middle School

I’m a dedicated and passionate educator a Unity Prep. With 9 years of teaching experience, I am committed to fostering a love for learning in students. I specialize in ELA and Special Education and believes in creating a supportive and engaging classroom environment. I am excited to inspire young minds and help them reach their full potential.

J. Beauregard Executive Director 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. Josh holds a BA from Vassar College, an MA in Secondary Mathematics Education from City College of New York (CCNY), and MA and Ed.D degrees in Education from HGSE.

J. Bryant Dean of Students Middle School

Hailing from Louisville, KY, I am Jupiter Bryant the 6th & 8th grade Dean of Students. Graduated summa cum laude from University of Kentucky ('16) with two bachelor degrees and one minor. This is my 8th year in education.

J. George Operations Associate Middle School

I’m Javonti George, a dynamic individual of Black and Dominican descent residing in Bed Stuy. Whether I’m on the basketball court or football field, I thrive on the exhilaration of sports. In my downtime, you’ll find me immersed in anime, exploring captivating worlds. Beyond that, I find fulfillment in working with students, contributing to their growth and development.

J. Gibson Math Teacher Middle School

There’s no other borough I rather teach at! Brooklyn has been my home since I was five years old. Being able to teach in my community brings me so much joy! I’ve been teaching Math for about eight years and five years at Unity. The students that enter my class becomes my babies and that allows me to joke them accountable while instilling the fundamentals needed for them to be successful in the real world. My goal is to leave an impact on the students who enter my classroom. Spread love…it’s the Brooklyn way!!

J. Green ELA Content Specialist Middle School

My name is Jaquana Green, I'm from Bedstuy, Brooklyn and I'm in my 4th year of teaching. My love for Humanities started as a high school freshman. I knew early on that I wanted to share my love of reading and writing with others. That led to my decision in becoming an educator. Its my duty to ensure our youth are given an equitable education regardless of race, class , and/or gender. They are the people of the future.

J. Lazar English Language Arts Teacher & Associate Instructional Coach High School

Jacob Lazar, founding ELA 11 and AP Literature teacher, joined Unity in 2018 after teaching with the Achievement First network of schools for 8 years. He continues to be inspired by the kindness, curiosity, and whackiness of the Unity student body. His ELA passions include building inclusive, culturally relevant curricula, finding connections between literature and our current world, and finding the weirdest of texts to share with his students.

A native Californian, Jacob holds a B.A. in English and American Literature as well as Linguistic Anthropology from Brandeis University, and a Master's degree in teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education. He is a proud alumnus of the Hollyhock Teaching Fellowship at Stanford University, and is excited to continue learning: he's currently working on his Spanish skills. Even though he's been in New York for almost 9 years, and on the East Coast for 12, he considers himself a Californian at heart, and dearly misses mountains, rivers, and the slower pace of life in the Golden State.

Email: jlazar@unityprep.org

J. McCullough Math Teacher High School

I teach 11th grade math, Algebra 2. This is my second year at Unity. I moved to Astoria from Montgomery New York. Before teaching, I earned my Bachelors of Science in Mathematics at SUNY Cortland. I plan on teaching while pursuing my Masters in Education in the coming year. I am committed to developing critical thinkers and problem solvers.

J. Simmons Coordinator of School Safety High School

J. Welch Math Teacher High School

J. Winn Associate of Facilities High School

John Spagna Senior Counsel Advisory Council

K. Blanding Operations Coordinator Middle School

I am a graduate of The City College New York with a study in Electronics Design & Multimedia. I enjoy traveling, one adventure at a time, with my camera in hand. I love arts, theatre, and nature. I am Passionate about serving the youth. I am excited to join Unity and work alongside the operations team this year

K. Herrand Assistant Principal of Teaching & Learning, Humanities High School

K. Johnson Director of Finance Admin

Kristin Johnson has worked in school business finance since 2015. Her most recent school business finance experience was at North Penn School District as the Assistant Director of Business Administration. There she oversaw the business office which was responsible for budgeting, accounting, purchasing, payroll, child accounting, and medical access billing. Prior to North Penn School District, she developed and managed the budget at Downingtown Area School District as the Financial Operations and Analysis Supervisor. Before joining school district finance, Kristin served as the Capital Asset Accountant/Property Surplus Manager/Plant Fund Accountant and Internal Audit Manager at The University of Montana. She also spent seven years in corporate America as an external and internal auditor. Kristin has a Master of Science with a concentration in School Business Leadership from Wilkes University, a Master of Business Administration from The University of Montana, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Bloomsburg University.

K. Mejia Math Teacher Middle School

Hello! My name is Kevin Mejia. I graduated from UMass Amherst in 2015. I have been in education for 8 years, where I've taught Spanish, Humanities, and Math in High School and Middle School levels. I enjoy watching and playing sports, spending time with family and friends, reading, and going on long walks.

K. Urso Science Teacher High School

K. Williamson Math Learning Specialist High School

Kenneth Durell Transportations Consultant Advisory Council

L. Ciborowski Coordinator of Support Services High School

Ms. Ciborowski has been teaching Special Education for 12 years.
Ms. Ciborowski holds a B.A. in Sociology from Queens College, M.A. in Elementary Education and Post Masters in Special Education both from Queens College. Ms. Ciborowski has many years of experience working in the Special Education field and is familiar with community organizations throughout Brooklyn to meet the needs of families. Ms. Ciborowski is an advocate for students and families in Special Education.

L. Dowling English Language Arts Teacher High School

L. Shebroe Assistant Principal of Instruction 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, which 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. Upon her return to New York in 2017, she joined the Unity community as an 8th Grade math teacher. With a strong passion for mathematics and social justice, she is thrilled to work along the talented staff and passionate students at Unity Prep as an Assistant Principal. She is deeply committed to engaging all scholars in STEM and preparing them for high school and beyond.

Lis Hubert Founding Partner Advisory Council

M. Abawi Assistant Principal of Teaching & Learning, STEM High School


M. Douyon History Content Specialist Middle School

Melia Douyon is a passionate and experienced history teacher entering her sixth year in the classroom. She received her undergraduate degree in African American studies and Public Health: Health, Behavior, and Society from the University of Rochester, and her master's degree in education from Relay Graduate School of Education. Ms. Douyon has taught history at both the middle and high school levels, and she is committed to creating a classroom environment where all students feel welcome and supported, and she believes that history is essential for understanding the present and shaping the future. In her free time, Ms. Douyon enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with her family. She is passionate about using her teaching skills to make a difference in the world.

M. Duphiney Chief Academic & Schools Officer Admin

Melissa returns for her third year at Unity as the Interim Co-Principal of Teaching and Learning. Melissa joined the Unity team after six years at Achievement First Brooklyn High School in Crown Heights Brooklyn where she served as the Dean of Humanities and the Dean of Special Services. Melissa is a sixteen-year educator and has worked as a founding ELA teacher and instructional coach at Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate, served as a technology teacher at St. Anns of Flushing, and began her career as an ELA teacher at the Bronx MS 118. She was a 2005 TFA NYC Corps Member and holds a Bachelors from New York University and an M.A.T from the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Email: mduphiney@unityprep.org

M. Lee Math Teacher Middle School

Mr. Lee is entering his 11th year of teaching and is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. in Early Childhood Education at Temple University in 2012. He then had the pleasure to teach grades K-6 in West Philadelphia at a Charter School for 8 years. He then received his M.A. in Accomplished Teaching at Temple University.

M. Marshall Learning Specialist High School

M. Roy Gaines Director of Special Projects 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 was honored to have the opportunity to help build an outstanding middle school for our students. Michelle served as Co-Principal of Teaching and Learning for five years, and continues to support Unity as the Director of Special Projects. 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.

M. Silber History Teacher High School

Matthew Silber has been teaching history for six years. He received his Master's Degree in Education from Sacred Heart University, and had worked in a variety of educational environments before coming to Unity in the fall of 2021. In his free time he likes playing guitar, exercising, and getting out in nature. As the 10th grade Global History teacher, he is excited to get students prepared for the State Regents Exam in June and for the AP World History Exam in May, for which students may receive college credit.

M. Turner History Department Chair Middle School

Maria Turner is a New York native, born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She studied History as a student athlete at Baruch College. Maria then went on receive her Master’s degree in 7-12 Social Studies Education from Lehman College. Maria started her teaching career as a founding staff member of Success Academy Bronx 2 Middle School where she taught history for 4 years. While working at Success Academy, she earned the ""Teacher Excellence Award"" for her students' outstanding academic achievement. Maria is going into her sixth year with Unity Prep Charter School as a department chair, teacher and instructional coach to the history team. She is passionate about the history department's mission to challenge the oppressive historical narratives which uphold white supremacy taught in traditional history classes.

Marlena Mondesir Executive Assistant Advisory Council

Michelle Popal School Counselor Advisory Council

Mitra Yazdi Senior Vice President Advisory Council

N. Boakye 7th Grade Math Learning Specialist Middle School

Hi! My name is Mr.Nana and I am the 7th grade math learning specialist. This will be my third year at Unity Prep middle school and my second year as the 7th grade math learning specialist. I did my undergraduate degree at SUNY Geneseo and received my MBA at Baruch University.

N. Hack Manager of Alumni Success High School

Naseeba Hack is the Alumni Success Counselor for all Unity Prep high school graduates. She joined Unity after serving 8 years as a high school counselor. Naseeba earned a BA from Hunter College in 2011, an MA and Ed. M from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2013, and her PsyD from Touro in 2022. She is an avid learner and is passionate about helping Unity alumni find meaningful post-secondary pathways. In her free time, Naseeba enjoys hiking, swimming, and trying out new cuisines with her family and friends.

N. Roberts English Language Arts Teacher High School

N. Warner Manager of College & Career Readiness High School

Nasir Ellis Journalist Advisory Council

Nils Tristan Financial Analyst and Money Manager Advisory Council

Nitiya Walker Founder and Executive Director Advisory Council

O. Duran Spanish, CCR 10, and Physical Education Teacher High School

O. Egharevba Physical Education Teacher & Athletic Director High School

O. Hypolite Coordinator of Operations High School

Okini is born and raised in Brooklyn. He started working with children in 2008 during his senior year of high school. Since then he has worked with different non-profits, NYJTL & St.Nicks Alliance to name a few. Okini started working at Unity middle school and now has transitioned over to working at unity high.

O. Richardson Director of Support Services Middle School

Ms. Richardson is going into her 10th year of teaching. Ms. Richardson graduated from Pace University with a bachelor's in Childhood Education and a Master's in Special Education. She is passionate about all students being able to learn no matter their ability and giving them the tools they will need to overcome barriers.

O.Hollister ELA Content Specialist Middle School

Ms. Hollister has been teaching middle school ELA for the past two years and loves the work that she does. Ms. Hollister is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she obtained her bachelor's degree in broadcasting and media studies from East Stroudsburg University and later received her master's in education from Gwynedd Mercy University. Her love and knowledge of literature is something she can't wait to share with scholars!

R. Baez History Teacher High School

R. Plummer English Language Arts Teacher High School

R. Saint-Louis Math Content Specialist Middle School

Ms. Saint-Louis loves listening to music, traveling, and trying new foods. She graduated from the College of Holy Cross with a Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics and earned a Master's Degree in Math Education through Boston University.

Ms. Saint-Louis looks forward to her 4th year as part of the Unity community and sharing her love of math with her students.

Renada Lewis Attorney Advisory Council

S. Aponte Science Teacher High School

Sabrina Aponte is a native New Yorker who just recently joined the Unity High School team. Sabrina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State University, and completed her Master’s degree in Education with Fordham University. Sabrina is passionate about teaching and traveling. She got the opportunity to combine the two and spent some time teaching abroad in South Africa. Sabrina is so excited to share her love for science with the students.

S. Baldera Associate of Operations High School

S. Briante Mathematics Teacher High School

S. Caspi Science Department Chairperson & Instructional Coach High School

Shir is thrilled to return for her 4th year at Unity and her 13th year in education! While at Unity, she has taught chemistry, earth science, and AP biology and is now excited to lead the science department as Interim Chair. Before joining Unity, Shir has worked as a founding high school science teacher and instructional coach at Bronx Lighthouse College Prep Academy (now Pharos Academy) and taught middle school science in Prince George County, MD. One of Shir's favorite things about science education is the potential it holds for empowering students to question, engage critically, and experience rewarding learning firsthand. She is committed to making this the focus of the science department this year, working with teachers to challenge and support students according to each diverse learner‚ strengths and needs. Shir 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.

Email: scaspi@unityprep.org

S. Glickman Art Teacher High School

Ms. Glickman has taught in several contexts and subjects from middle school after school programming, to history, to Spanish and International summer programming. Now she is delighted to be teaching art at Unity and is excited to offer AP 2-D Design as well as Pre-AP Visual Arts. Outside of school she loves traveling, making art, reading, hiking, listening to music and being socially and politically active.

Email: sglickman@unityprep.org

S. Pierre ELA Content Specialist Middle School

Ms. Pierre started her education journey 16 years ago, serving her home community of the South Bronx. She has worked with students of all ages ranging from two years old to 18 years. After graduating with her Bachelors from Hunter College, she went on to teach at a Brooklyn-based Charter school, helping to found 3 of their schools. After completing her Masters Degree from Brooklyn College, Ms. Pierre then went on to be an Assistant Principal. She is committed to providing children with an equitable education experience that addresses their needs holistically. She loves making connections with families and event planning. In her spare time, Sharmaine loves to travel, read, and perfect her cooking skills. She is incredibly honored to be joining an amazing, loving group of educators at Unity Prep.

S. Smith Dance Teacher High School

S. Tartan Humanities Learning Specialist High School

First generation college student and Oberlin College grad. Spent 22 years as professor of at the Center for Languages at Sophia University in Tokyo Japan before returning to the United States to teach high school history. Keen traveler. Experimental fashionista. Devoted mama and teacher.

S. Vela ELA Content Specialist Middle School

Sarah graduated from NYU in 2008 with a BA in Art History and worked in business for 13 years. She decided to leave her former career to pursue her dream of becoming a classroom teacher. Sarah completed her Masters in the Science of Teaching in May 2021, and is certified in Secondary English Education. Sarah is on the board of The Backpacks Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to help students reach academic success.

Sable Lomax Chief Relationships Officer Advisory Council

Seho Lee Head of Sales, Strategic Verticals Advisory Council

T. Alvarenga History Teacher Middle School

Mr. Alvarenga is a lifelong learner and autodidactic student of several academic disciplines.
He loves researching and teaching topics in sociology, anthropology, and history.
Upon completing his undergraduate studies with a dual major in American Studies and U.S. History at Keene State College, Mr. Alvarenga went on to pursue teaching in Secondary Social Studies and achieved accreditation as an educator through the Upper Valley Educators Institute. Mr. Alvarenga took his formative teaching experience into the Peace Corps in 2014. Serving as an English teacher and Multimedia Coordinator for almost four years in Zambia, Mr. Alvarenga grew accustomed to living and traveling around Sub-Saharan Africa and always meeting new people. Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Alvarenga was awarded the Coverdell Fellowship for the Gallatin Program at New York University, where he wrote his Master’s thesis on Zambian independence, Frantz Fanon, and postcolonial nation building. Need help researching something? Talk to Mr. Alvarenga!

T. Del Purgatorio Director of Social Work High School

Tina is the school's founding social worker, starting at Unity in the summer of 2013 just before the doors opened to our class of 2020. Since then, Tina is proud to have built an excellent social work department at Unity which consists of four talented social workers across campuses. Tina is committed to providing the best mental health services and socio-emotional support possible for all Unity students and supporting her team in doing the same. She is particularly interested in interdisciplinary work in schools and the decolonization of mental health and therapy. She attended Manhattan College for her undergraduate degree and is a proud Hunter College School of Social Work alum, getting her MSW in 2006, then obtaining her License in Clinical Social Work (LCSW) in 2011.

Email: tdelpurgatorio@unityprep.org

T. Matty History Learning Specialist Middle School

My name is Tyra Matty; I am a new on boarding member of Unity Preparatory. I graduated from Lehman College with B.A. in Political Science. Prior to my current major I was a Nursing major, which was driven by my passion to help others but quickly realized it wasn’t a fit for me. During the course of my undergraduate career I worked as a community educator in the South Bronx and East Flatbush. I quickly learned that my passion for helping others does not necessarily have to be in the medical profession, but in the field for teaching instead. This led me to pursue both my career and master’s degree in early childhood education.

T. Robinson ENL & Reading Specialist Middle School

Ms. Robinson was born and raised in Boston, MA is new to New York City. She received both her Bachelor's in Journalism and her Master's in Education in Human Development from Boston University. Her concentration in graduate school was Positive Youth Development with a focus on trauma and resilience among youth. She has five years of experience teaching and advocating for multilingual learners in diverse K-12 settings from elementary through high school in both traditional schools and dual language schools. She is bilingual in Spanish.

T. Smith Lead Paraeducator Middle School

My name is Tanisha Smith, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and I have a Bachelor's degree in business. I am a very passionate and goal-driven person and serve as Lead Paraprofessional at Unity Prep. As a Lead Paraprofessional, my role is to support children with special needs physically, emotionally, and academically. Working with children brings great joy to me. My comforting personality and characteristics are my greatest tool that allow children to be comfortable and willing to push themselves into developing the confidence to be their very best.

As a mother of two, I am very family orientated and find family bonding to be very important in all human being life. My favorite comforting activity is cooking while playing music.

T. Timmons Mathematics Learning Specialist High School

T. Wintman Social Work Intern High School

Tim Burns Professional Skills Trainer Advisory Council

Y. Kim Coordinator of Operations High School

Z. Griffin Dean of Students Middle School

Z. Imam ELA Department Chair Middle School

With a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Literacy and Secondary English Education from Long Island University CW Post, Zeinab Imam is entering her 11th year in education as English Department Chair and coach in the heart of Brooklyn. Her passion for English Language Arts centers on its ability to equip students with the skills to think critically, understand diverse viewpoints, advocate for themselves and others, and amplify the voices within their community, all in service of nurturing global citizenship.

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