AFSE Faculty  


2016 - 2017  AFSE Faculty

 
Administration 
Seung Yu 
Principal
Assistant Principal

Shawn Raeke is an Assistant Principal of Math & Science at AFSE.  He has worked exclusively in urban educational settings and is driven by a strong commitment to achieve equitable outcomes for all students. He began his career in education in Richmond, California, as a substitute teacher in grades K - 12 before assuming a full-time position as a biology teacher the following year at De Anza High School in Richmond. In addition to teaching at De Anza, Shawn also served as coach for the basketball and golf programs. After four fulfilling years at De Anza, he transitioned to Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, California, where he taught biology. Over the course of seven years as a teacher at Oakland Tech, Shawn assumed a variety of roles, including golf coach, Summer Algebra Academy director, and chair of both the Science Department and Technology Committee. The opportunity to assume leadership roles was instrumental in the transition from the classroom to administration. Shawn was assigned the role of Assistant Principal at Oakland Tech after earning an M.A. in Educational Leadership at California State University East Bay in 2011. Responsibilities as assistant principal included school-site safety, test administration, Smaller Learning Community coordination, as well as discipline and academic counseling for 9th grade students. Shawn relocated to New York City in 2013 and assumed the role of Dean of Teacher Leadership at Lighthouse Academy in the Bronx (K - 5), where he was responsible for teacher development through coaching and professional development, assessment coordination and data analysis. The following year Shawn was an Assistant Principal at P.S. 181(K- 8) in Flatbush with an emphasis on improving school culture, facilitating professional development, and supporting teachers with instruction. Shawn earned a B.A. in Biology from the University of Virginia and graduated from Plymouth North High School in Massachusetts.

Guidance & Discipline
Social Worker

From a very young age, Julia has had a strong calling to work with children and families. Julia received an athletic scholarship to play softball at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She majored in psychology and graduated magna cum laude in 2003. After graduating, Julia moved to New York to pursue her M.S.W. at Columbia University. During her time at Columbia, she was able to focus on the development of her therapeutic clinical skills, specifically working with adolescents and families. After receiving her M.S.W., Julia went on to work at Mount Sinai Medical Center for seven years in the capacity of Pediatric Nephrology Clinician and School Based Health Therapist. Julia received the Mount Sinai Clinical Excellence Award at Mount Sinai hospital for her work with terminally ill children as well as a school based therapy program in a high school in East Harlem. Julia also offers a private practice for adolescents and families. Julia is extremely excited to be a part of the AFSE staff and contribute to the development of academically successful students that stand out because of their strong moral character.

Social Worker

Rebecca is one of the newer members on the AFSE team this year and is entering her third year of working as a social worker within the NYC DOE public schools. She received her MSW in 2013 from New York University and has her bilingual extension certification. Rebecca is also a member of the National Association of Social Workers. With her background in creative arts, Rebecca understands the importance of creative expression and its healing qualities both for the individual and communities. As she continues through her journey of social work, Rebecca is working on ways to support social advocacy and self-reflection with the use of the arts. In the past, when working at Sheepshead Bay High School and Liberation Diploma Plus High School, Rebecca has run creative art groups for the students and helped organize talent shows for them to showcase their artistic pieces.

Guidance Counselor

Suzanne P. Zeitlin-Mellor is entering her 16th year in the New York City Department of Education. She began her career in 2000 as a special education teacher and moved into guidance work in 2007. Her move to becoming a guidance counselor came when she realized that happy, trusting, and informed young adults proved to be more successful students in school. She wanted to assist students with linking education and personal growth. Suzanne's greatest satisfaction is having students return back to see her sharing lively stories of adventures and success. Prior to her experience in education, Suzanne worked as a graphic designer at a magazine company and is excited to be able integrate education and technology back into her life. Her own education includes a B.A. of Fine Arts from Union College in Schenectady, NY, a M.A. in Special Education from The College of St. Rose in Albany NY, an Associates of Graphic Design from Parsons in NY, NY, and tons of extra coursework to successfully become certified and licensed as a school counselor.

Operations 
Business Manager

Yvonne Williams serves as the School Business Manager and is one of the founding staff members of the Academy for Software Engineering. In her time at AFSE, Yvonne has worked closely with school administration on the oversight of school operations and student recruitment. Prior to joining AFSE Yvonne served as Director of Mentoring and Youth Programs for the Transportation Diversity Council, working on the development of their mentor program in partnership with the Bronx Construction and Design Academy. Yvonne's love of education stems from her time spent as an English teacher in Japan and several educational service trips to countries such as Belize and Cameroon. Yvonne also worked for Lehman Brothers in various support roles. Yvonne is a graduate of the esteemed Townsend Harris H.S. of NYC. In 2005 she was awarded a Posse scholarship to attend DePauw University where she graduated with honors and a BA in Psychology. Yvonne lives by the mantra "dreams can be deferred but not defeated".

Secretary

Stephanie Ambrose is in her 19 year working for the NYC Department of Education. She has worked all 19 years at Washington Irving High School. She began her career as a family paraprofessional, then became a school secretary a year later. She attended Katharine Gibbs Business School In New York City to help her obtain her secretarial license. Stephanie has always loved working with children, from teenage babysitting to running a home day care when her three children were growing up. She loves servicing the students at school and makes her office a welcoming place. She is very excited to begin the new school year with the staff and students at the AFSE.

Parent Coordinator

From a young age, Ashley Cameron knew she wanted to work in the Education field. Ignorant to all of the professions in Education, she assumed she wanted to be a teacher. However, interning with her English teacher and College Counselor in high school opened her mind to other prospects in Education. Ashley attended Albright College for two years where she fell in love with Psychology. Not willing to relent on working with children she began on a path that would allow her to merge the fields of Education and Psychology. After graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology from Lehman College, Ashley began working as a Parent Coordinator at AFSE in 2014. She has gained a great deal of experience and skills in order thrive as a Parent Coordinator and work towards continuing her Education in School Counseling. Above all, Ashley is a very proud mother and makes sure she works to create a welcoming work & school environment that she would want her own children to experience. She is extremely excited to begin a second year at AFSE and looks forward to all of the amazing things our students will inevitably accomplish.

Technology Specialist

David is currently entering his fifth year with NYCDOE, and second year as full time staff with Academy for Software Engineering.  David began his technology career as a CUNY intern supporting the following schools:  Mott Hall II, Urban Assembly for Green Careers, and Academy for Software Engineering.  David has 2 Associates Degrees in Computer Network Technology, and Business Management from City University of New York, and is working on his I.T. certifications.  David's started his college education in State University of New York, and Temple University prior to finishing at City University of New York.  Technology is David's alternate career goal.  Prior to the economic crisis of 2008, David was contracted as a consultant on numerous projects providing financial and operational analysis to various investment banks, and stock exchanges.  As an analyst, David worked very closely with middle office and back office operations by reconciling, validating, trade capturing and day trading activity in timely manner. Assist in resolving trade discrepancies caused from trade failures, breaks, etc.  As a technology specialist, David will continue performing complex service functions in maintaining, troubleshooting, repairing or replacing computer components in stand-alone and network environments.

Computer Science
Teacher 

Eric Allatta's educational philosophy is largely shaped by two major experiences: his studies at St. John's College and his time as an apprentice to a master luthier. At St. John's Eric studied the classics of the Western philosophic traditional, including four years of mathematics, working through the texts of great mathematicians from Euclid to Menkowski. At St. John's Eric actively participated in guiding the classroom discussion and learned to use dialogue as a core aspect of learning. As a life-long musicians and student of ancient tuning systems, Eric sought an apprenticeship in the art and craft of fine guitar making and repair. Working at Vizcarra Guitars Eric developed a an appreciation for intentionality, the flow of fine craftsmanship, and the empowering experience of making. He joined the New Visions for Public Schools/Hunter College Urban Teacher Residency Program, and began his teaching career that fall as an Algebra II/Trigonometry teacher at the Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics. Eric earned his M.A. in Urban Adolescent Mathematics Education from Hunter College. Eric was on the founding faculty of AFSE as a math teacher, and is thrilled to be continuing this year as a computer science teacher.

Teacher

Sean Stern is a Computer Science teacher and the Career and Techincal Education Curriclum Leader at AFSE; he also facilitates the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education's (CSNYC) Pedagogy Meetup. In addition to AFSE, he has taught at the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs. Prior to teaching, he worked as a software engineer at both Microsoft and Amazon, and continues to do engineering work for companies in New York City during the summer. He is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in Computer Science. He is passionate about helping students build foundations in computer science that will allow them to shape future technologies to benefit themselves, their communities, and the world at large. To that end, he focuses on the development of curriculum and teaching practices in computer science that are both rigorous and engaging for all students.

Teacher

Scott Bunin was raised in Long Island New York. His first career was in the United States Air Force where he worked on aircraft electrical and environmental systems. He spent a year repairing household electrical appliances to pay for college. He has earned an associate’s degree in Aircraft Electrical and Environmental Systems, A bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in adolescent education. He has taught Biology, Earth Science, Technology, Robotics and Computer Science. He has been club advisor for Yearbook, Photography, Robotics, Computer and MouseSquad. He is currently Professionally Certified as a Work Based Learning Coordinator, General Science Teacher, Biology Teacher and Technology Teacher. His interests are in pedagogy, programming, robotics, fantasy/science fiction, and educational video games.

English 
Teacher

Meredith Towne entered the teaching field 8 years ago after a long career as a theatrical milliner, IATSE dresser and costume technician across the United States. Ms. Towne earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at The University of Arizona in Theatre Production and design. Upon graduation, she was accepted to Seattle Repertory Theatre’s Professional Artists Training Program where she worked along side theatre professionals honing her craft. It was at The Rep where she discovered millinery and began to apprentice with two local milliners. Eventually her professional theatre life brought her to New York City where she created hats for Broadway, opera, and film. Meredith's transition to teaching as a natural one. She studied teacher at New York University where she earned her Master of Arts in Educational Theatre and English. After graduation, her first five years were spent as a founding teacher at an alternative NYC high school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Ms. Towne joined AFSE in 2014 continuing to share her passion for both Theatre and English with our students as well as finding ways to integrate Computer Science into the classes she teaches! Over the last 8 years, Ms. Towne has been able to teach numerous workshops for teachers that encourage the integration of the arts into content area classrooms, one of her passions. Ms. Towne is a member of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). Last year she was selected to be a Model Teacher by the DOE/UFT and is passionate about supporting all teachers develop professionally and this fall she began the CLASS program for administration with New Visions and Hunter College. 

Teacher

Valerie Wynne has considered herself a teacher since she was five years old when she would run home from preschool to reteach her stuffed animals everything she had learned that day. Since then, she has graduated Summa Cum Laude from Fordham University with an English degree, and then continued her studies at Fordham’s Graduate School of Education in order to obtain her M.S. in Teaching. As a founding staff member of AFSE, Valerie has thoroughly enjoyed watching her students --and the school as a whole-- grow to become incredibly impressive. This year, she looks forward to counseling students through the college application process and weeping as she proudly says "goodbye" to AFSE's first graduating class.

Teacher

Emily Trainor is a founding teacher and is entering her 5th year of teaching English. She taught 9th grade Literacy at a charter school previous to AFSE, and has taught 9th grade Literature and Composition for the past 3 years, and taught 11th grade America Literature last year. Her first year at AFSE she worked with a team to create a unit that was published to the Common Core Library as an exemplary example that she continues to teach each year. This past school year she was very proud of her students and fellow colleagues when we received a 100% pass rate on the ELA regents. This year she will continue her passion of teaching 9th grade and helping students to find a love of reading and a formula for writing that will serve as students' foundation for feeling comfortable and confident with writing essays. She is also the 9th grade team leader and works with her colleagues to ensure that our newest AFSE students are getting the best educational opportunities and support possible.She is a mentor through UTR and a model teacher through the Learning Partners Program. She is thankful for the growth she has achieved through professional development and is excited to continue to grow while helping new teachers to grow as well. She is a strong supporter of educators learning outside of the classroom. For example, she was inspired to create a poetry unit after attending monthly Poetry workshops through New Visions, meeting the author of one of her students' favorite books (Wes Moore) and videoing his advice to her students, and is improving her computer literacy through attending colleagues' CSNYC events. Ms. Trainor received her BA in English from Fordham University and her MS in Adolescent Education also from Fordham University.

Teacher

Robert Cross is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A. - English), Hunter College (M.Ed - Adolescent Education), and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (2-year postgraduate program in Classical Acting). Rob began his teaching career at the Academy for Careers in Television and Film as an Urban Teaching Resident. This is his second year at AFSE, and he looks forward to bringing his passion for literature, drama, and poetry to American Literature (11th grade) and AP Literature (12th grade). Prior to entering education, Rob had a sporadically successful professional acting career. You may have missed his groundbreaking performances as nameless Civil War documentary voiceover guy, an Elvis-inspired shark, and third party guest from the right in What a Girl Wants. Rob also has over a decade of standardized test prep experience as a former tutor trainer for Kaplan and as a private educational consultant. When not teaching, Rob enjoys running with his wife, rooting for the Mets and Giants, and learning how to be the best dad he can be to his new son, Beckett.

Teacher

Matthew Weintraub is a newcomer to the AFSE, but he could not be more excited to join such an impressive school with such wonderful students. He attended Rutgers University in pursuit of a degree in English. Soon after, he was accepted to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, eventually earning his M.A. in English Education. He's come to be believe that English is all about exploring what it means to be human through critical reading, writing, discussion, and thinking. In his free time, Matthew plays Ultimate Frisbee semi-professionally, enjoys reading novels and philosophy, writes poetry, and loves watching movies of all genres. He believes some essential ingredients for success in and out of the classroom are hard work, honesty, fun, open-mindedness, and the courage to grow.

Teacher ESL

Christine Thelen is an ESL teacher with over 12 years of experience teaching ESL. Christine attended Gettysburg College and the University of Rhode Island for undergraduate education, majoring in English and minoring in Spanish. She taught abroad in Mexico, on Long Island for Adelphi University's ELS Language Centers, and in Brooklyn at Kingsborough Community College before joining the DOE as a TESOL Teaching Fellow in 2012. She worked in a Bronx elementary school for two years before switching to the high school level in 2014. Christine is affiliated with the National Language Service Corps and volunteers as an ESL teacher through Lenox Hill Neighborhood House. She is looking forward to her second year at AFSE.

Urban Teacher Resident

Nelson Arroyo is a Bronx native who is proud of his upbringing in the NYC public school system and is proof of how valuable a public education is. He was the first college graduate in his family as he excelled at every level of CUNY graduating with an Associates degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2012, a Bachelors degree in English from John Jay College in 2015, and is currently pursuing his Masters in Teaching at Hunter College. While this is his first year as a teacher, he is a part of the Urban Teacher Residency program that pairs 1st year teachers with experienced mentors and he will be lucky enough to work alongside Valerie Wynne. His background in youth development consists of being a summer youth camp counselor and coaching baseball, but what ultimately led to him choosing teaching as a career was how rewarding it was doing home work, tutoring and completing science projects with all of his twelve nieces and nephews. His main goals as an educator apart from sharing his love for literature is to provide avenues for all of his students to succeed academically and to nurture a cosmopolitan outlook that values the diversity in our classroom, school and the world we live in.

Urban Teacher Resident

Hannah Dalporto joins AFSE as an English teacher through the Urban Teacher Residency and studies at Hunter College. A West Virginia native, Hannah found her way to New York City by way of Oberlin College. Shortly after graduating, Hannah set sail for Argentina, where she spent a year teaching English to college students through a Fulbright grant. At its close, Hannah moved back to New York to work in social and educational research, only to be bitten again by the teaching bug four short years later. Apart from teaching, she is the doting mother of many domesticated plant species and a geriatric beagle named Andy.

History
Teacher

After 12 years as a magazine writer and editor in Columbus, Los Angeles and New York, Gabrielle Gayagoy decided to pursue her passion for education and social justice by becoming a special educator with New York City Teaching Fellows and AmeriCorps. Inspired by her four years as a mentor and writing and critical thinking advisor for Minds Matter, a mentoring program for high school students, Gab (pronounced "Gabe") taught humanities courses at Coalition School for Social Change, Harvey Milk High School and Richard R. Green High School of Teaching. Now at the AFSE, she brings a zest for learning as well as the practical experience of having worked for established brands ranging from Shape to Seventeen and companies such as Conde Nast and Hearst. She also has startup experience, having helped launch the first all-digital women’s lifestyle magazine VIVmag, where she covered psychology, technology and travel. As a New York City Writing Project Teacher Consultant, she’s excited to help all learners make meaningful connections to what they read and write in ELA and Global History at AFSE. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from The Ohio State University and a M.S. in Education from Hunter College. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, riding her bike, practicing yoga and enticing her cats Baby Troll and Lonely Jim to do somersaults.

Teacher

Toni Ann attended SUNY Stonybrook where she majored in History and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in 2009. In 2010, Toni Ann started teaching in Sachem Central School District where she was a substitute teacher for three years growing as an educator and facilatating Relay For Life. This expereince taught Toni Ann how to teach history in a fun and engaging way while relating content to current events and fostering a love of learning. It is from this experience that Toni Ann comes to AFSE for her third year teaching Global History and Government.

Teacher

Joey Perr was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He studied visual art at LaGuardia High School, and majored in history at Clark University. In 2011 Joey received his B.A. in History with a minor in Spanish from Clark University. He contintued his graduate studies at Clark, student teaching in Worcester Public Schools while earning his Masters of Arts in Teaching. In between earning is teaching credentials 2012 and joining AFSE in August 2014, Joey lived in Spain for a year where he taught English as a second language, and worked as a substitute teacher in New York public schools. In his first year at AFSE, Joey taught classes in U.S. History, Economics, and History of Popular Music in U.S. History. Joey brings his passion for social justice, music and art to his teaching practice. When not teaching, Joey can be found reading fiction and creating documentary comic books.

LOTE
Teacher

Hajimemashite. Mr. Brunelli will be teaching Introductory Japanese and AP US Government & Politics this year. A native of the Hudson Valley, Mr. Brunelli debated on the national high school circuit and earned his Eagle Scout award in high school. He attended the University at Buffalo on the US DOE Byrd Scholarship and University Honors Scholarship. While at UB, he was chosen fro the Buffalo News internship and served as an intern reporter for their Washington Bureau. He graduated sumna cum laude as the Outstanding Graduate in the Social Sciences, nominated by five different academic departments as the Outstanding Graduate, completing a triple major, triple minor in four years. He attended graduate school for political science at Harvard Unviersity as the Benjamin Schwarz Prize Fellow and won the US DOE Jacob Javits Graduate Fellowship and was twice named Honorable Mention for the NSF Graduate Fellowship. While at Harvard, he focused his studies on Asian and comparative politics and studied the Japanese police, which included Reischauer and Akiyama Dissertation Grants and a visiting researcher position at Waseda University's (Tokyo) Institute of Comparative Law. His work was presented at a Social Science Research Council workshop on Japan. While teaching at Harvard he was chosen as a graduate associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and taught his own independent junior tutorial at Harvard. He has spent the past decade teaching in K-12 eduction in a variety of subjects including ELA, Social Studies, and Japanese and has included serving as an adjunct for Syracuse University and SUNY for college-level social science, English and computer science courses. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.

Mathematics 
Teacher

After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College, Cameron began his teaching career in 2004 through the New York City Teaching Fellows program and received his M.S. in Teaching at Pace University. After three years of teaching at ACORN High School for Social Justice in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, he took a step back from the classroom to mentor new teachers in the Math for America fellowship as a New Teacher Advisor. In 2009, he returned to teaching at Gotham Professional Arts Academy, a small project-based school also in Bedford-Stuyvesant where he worked closely with the math department to develop hands-on and inquiry-based projects to spark his students’ curiosity in math and science. In 2012, he obtained a partnership with NYU-Poly’s Applying Mechatronics to Promote Science through the Central Brooklyn STEM Initiative, allowing him to work with a graduate student in Electrical Engineering to develop labs and demonstrations using Robotics in the classroom, as well as create a Robotics club to compete in the citywide First Tech Challenge Robotics competition. In both 2009 and in 2013, he was awarded a four-year Master Teacher fellowship with Math for America, and in 2012 he was awarded the Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science through the Fund for the City of New York and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. When not teaching, Cameron enjoys spending time with his wife, four-year old daughter Adeline, and 1-year old son Cullen, cooking and trying out new recipes, and training for marathons.

Teacher

Ashley Ferrara's journey to becoming a math teacher started when she was four years old asking her dad to quiz her with math problems during car rides. Long after the days of car ride quizzes had ended, Ashley graduated with her Associates in General Studies from New York University and went on to major in accounting earning her B.S. at the University of Connecticut. After college, Ashley moved from Connecticut to New York City to start her job as an accountant at one of the big four accounting firms. After obtaining her Certified Public Accountant's license, she decided to leave the world of accounting and go into recruiting for the technology division at an investment bank. After a few years in the corporate world, Ashley pursued her desire to become a teacher. Ashley enrolled in Teachers College at Columbia University and immediately knew it was the right choice for her. She had two amazing student teaching experiences where she was able to bridge the gap between the world of mathematics and her students' lives. Ashley graduated in May 2012 from Teachers College at Columbia University with a M.A. in Mathematics Education. In 2013, Ashley received a four-year Early Career fellowship from Math for America. Ashley is proud to be a founding faculty member at AFSE and has enjoyed watching the school grow each year. She is looking forward to another fantastic year and AFSE's first graduating class!

Teacher

Jonathan Rothman teaches mathematics and maker education at AFSE. He obtained a B.A in Biology and a minor in Native American Studies from the University of Montana, and a M.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education from Hunter College through the New Vision's Urban Teacher Residency. In 2014, he became an early career fellow with Math for America. An educator by nature (and family trade), he formalized his commitement to teaching 4 years ago after working as a biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admininstration for 6 years and playing music professionally for 4 years. A life-long learner, he's been pursuing academics and the arts since elementary school. Recently, he found that the engineering fields (science, math, technology, and design) allow him to bring his experience and passions for both together in the classroom. He hopes to help his students to develop a connection to their passions and goals, and see how they're connected to their community and the world at large. He loves: cycling, making music, furniture building and all manner of exploration.

Teacher

After graduating with a MS in Meteorology from Penn State and working as a scientist/programmer at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Tim quickly realized that his passion was found not in cubicles, but in classrooms. He entered teaching through Math for America, earning his MA in Secondary Math Education from the City College of New York. Tim has found a home at AFSE, having the opportunity to carry over his programming experience in programming into the math classroom. Combined with his BS in Mechanical Engineering fom Syracuse University, Tim enjoys being able to carry that real-world experience into his lessons to engage students. Going forward, he looks forward to developing AFSE's Calculus program as the school prepares students to enter STEM fields upon graduation.

Teacher

Jaime Ross discovered her passion for teaching during her senior year at the University of Florida, where she received a Bachelors of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Straight after graduation, Jaime attended Teachers College at Columbia University where she received her Masters in Art in Secondary Mathematics Education in May 2012. Her two student teaching experiences in New York proved to her that she had made the correct decision in becoming a High School Mathematics Teacher. She began her teaching career in St. Augustine Florida at Pedro Menendez High School. After one amazing year of teaching and coaching the swim team, Jaime missed the busy city life and decided to return to New York. She continued to teach and coach at her Alma Mater, Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island for 2 years. In 2014, Jaime received a four-year Early Career fellowship from Math for America. Jaime is excited to join the AFSE staff and students for the upcoming school year!

Science
Teacher

After graduating from the University of Georgia in 2006, Rebecca Eakin spent the next four years teaching various science courses at Telecommunications High School in Brooklyn, NY. The clinically rich experiences that she gained as an educator cultivated an interest in adolescent interpersonal functioning and behavior, inspiring her to enroll in an accelerated psychology Master’s program at Stony Brook University. Her academic coursework, along with a school counseling internship and research internships at the Relationship Development Center at Stony Brook University and the Family Translational Research Group at New York University, help her to understand the many factors that play into students’ academic success, and she is excited to continue to draw on these understandings as she begins her 8th year of teaching. Rebecca earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Georgia, her M.S. in Science Education at Pace University, her M.A. in Psychology at Stony Brook University, and is currently pursuing a final degree in Organizational Psychology at Columbia University. In 2013, Rebecca received a four-year Master Teacher fellowship from Math for America and was subsequently recognized in 2014 as a model teacher by the NYC Department of Education.

Teacher

Ariadne Prior-Grosch developed her passion for teaching at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an ESL tutor for recent undocumented immigrants and as a global initiatives presenter in NC public schools. At UNC, she earned her B.S. in Environmental Science and participated in the Carolina Student-Athlete Leadership Academy as a captain of the varsity fencing team. During college, she taught 7th grade mathematics and trained teachers to use computers in Namibia, Africa as a WorldTeach volunteer. After college, she led marine ecology field trips on Nantucket, taught Spanish to children, and worked for two years in Panama for a conservation NGO training rural farmers in organic agriculture techniques, teaching English and environmental education in a village school, and leading rainforest expeditions for groups of American high school students. In 2013, Ariadne earned her M.S. in Environmental Policy and M.A.T. in Biology from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Her experiences student teaching in upstate New York and in the South Bronx solidified her desire to teach in New York City. Ariadne teaches Living Environment, Environmental Science, and Forensics courses at AFSE. Ariadne is also the Vice President of Few for Change, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships that enable indigenous students in Panama to stay in school.

Teacher

Andrew Levine graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He then enrolled in Boston College’s Chemistry Ph.D program where he performed research on nanoscale photovoltaics. Working in a cleanroom mastering scanning electron microscopy, chemical vapor deposition, and thermal evaporation was great fun, but he felt anothert passion develop when he taught as a teaching assistant in Gen Chem recitations. The genuine interest and excitement he could instill in his students and the thrill of teaching challenged him to rethink his academic trajectory and purpose in life. Once decided, Andrew left the Ph.D program and earned his M.S. in Science Teaching from Boston College. Growing up in upstate New York and always wanting to live in NYC, he started teaching Regents Chemistry in Brooklyn for 2 years before finding AFSE where he facilitates AFSE's Science Olympiads and wears bow-ties on Fridays.

Teacher

Jessica Colaluca has recently completed pursuing a Masters in Education for Grade 7-12 Earth Science, Hunter College. This comes after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Gender Studies and Geography and a minor in Creative Writing from Indiana University-Bloomington. Ms. Colaluca is an Earth Science teacher and Advisor at the Academy for Software Engineering in New York City. She has completed one residency year teaching high school in Manhattan as a New Visions for Public Schools - Math and Science Teacher Resident (MASTER). She was a Teacher's Aide in New Jersey prior to her residency. Her experiences in education extend outside of the classroom where she managed urban school garden and composting projects and pioneered Indiana University's first farm-to-school program. She is looking forward to her second year with AFSE.

Teacher

Studying physics and earth science has been Tamara Machac’s passion for more than a decade, and she is eager to continue to share this interest with each class of students. She graduated with a BS in physics with honors from Trinity College in Hartford in 2006. At Trinity, she authored a study on the magnetic properties of soil and how they relate to climate that was published in an international, peer-reviewed journal. She then went on to earn an MS in geology and geophysics from Yale University in 2010. Her masters thesis focused on satellite imagery and its use for studying regional climate change. Following her graduate research, Tamara worked at an environmental consulting company in New Jersey, gathering and analyzing soil and groundwater data from gas stations to monitor pollution and spills. While Tamara found this work to be an extremely important application of her scientific knowledge, she missed the challenges and interactions she experienced as a tutor and teaching assistant at Trinity and Yale. Dedicating herself to a vital and exciting career path, Tamara earned her MA in Teaching earth science and physics from the American Museum of Natural History in 2014. Last year she taught Regents Physics and AP Physics I in a Manhattan high school before joining AFSE, where she is committed to helping students develop curiosity about our world and the role science plays in helping answer questions about it.

Physical Education
Teacher

Ryan Strub attended the College of Mount Saint Vincent in the Bronx, where he majored in Physical Education and participated in a competitive Division 3 athletic program as a starting pitcher for the baseball team. The experience of playing a sport from his childhood throughout his undergraduate studies was instrumental to his ability to maintain a healthy balance between academics and athletics. A quality he consistently preaches and urges his student athletes to achieve. After graduating and receiving his B.S. in Physical Education K-12, Ryan went on to teach the pre-school age child for three years at the Great South Bay YMCA. These three years helped to strengthen his knowledge of both the physical and academic abilities for students of all ages. He has also just obtained his M.A. in Health Education from Adelphi University, strengthening his knowledge of not just the physical health of his students, but their social and emotional health as well. In addition to his 4 years of teaching experience, he is also the head coach for the Irving Campus Bulldogs Handball team. Ryan not only practices, but understands the importance of living an active and healthy lifestyle which he aims to inspire his students to incorporate into their lives. He is proud to be part of the founding staff of the AFSE and is excited to begin the new school year.

Teacher

John Ciotola studied and completed his Physical Education degree at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. Beginning in September 2014 John began his teaching career at the Academy for Software Engineering. Beginning during his college career and continuing through his professional career, Mr. Ciotola has coached youth basketball and football in Brooklyn, NY. Through both coaching and teaching, John has gained extensive knowledge in sport/exercise psych, as well as youth management and organization.

Music
Teacher

Michael DelFino is a bassist from Brooklyn, New York who began his career as a self taught musical before pursuing a Masters in Music Education from Hunter College. His practice time often focuses on music theory, composition, performance technique and music production. His personal professional and academic experiences in the music field has refined his technical skills. Mike has also build an extensive repertoire in the jazz, classical and funk genres; performing and studying with great musicians such as Ryan Keberle, Lenny Pickett, Paul Carlon and Priscilla Owens as well as managed and toured with original bands. Michael continues to perform and compose in the rock, jazz and funk languages in a professional setting with original projects such as Circadian Clock and Deep Pockets. Michael's career goals for starting a music program at AFSE are student centered and include a practical course in music theory/production for the modern musician, as well as implementing an after school performance club in affiliation with Amp Up and Little Kids Rock.

Special Education 
Teacher

The 2015-2016 school year will be Joseph Spiteri's 8th year in education. After graduating high school and deciding to bypass culinary school, where he orignally had planned to go, he decided he would become a teacher to help students who had difficulty in school, just like he did growing up. He attended Long Island Univeirsty; C.W.Post Campus, where he recieved his Bachelor of Science in Education. He continued his education by earning a masters in Special Education at Hofstra University and an administration credential at Massachussets College of Liberal Arts. Before joing AFSE in 2014, he taught on Long Island for two years followed by 4 years at a high school in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It is in Bushwick where he says his real passion for working with struggling students was solidified. On top of his teaching responsabilities, he has worked an IEP coordinator for the last 3 years. Mr.Spiteri is also a professional photographer who has a background working in music, fashion and event photography. He has had the priviledge of working with some of the biggest names in the field and is excited to create a bridge between our school and the photography industry. He brings his passion for the arts to AFSE. In 2014, he was a founder of the school photography collective and plans to expand the program tremendously. Outside of teaching and photography, he enjoys running, watching Yankees baseball, cycling, playing guitar and hanging out with his family and friends; all who live and work either on Long Island or one of the 5 boroughs and keep him busy.

Teacher

Sayaka Yamaguchi graduated summa cum lade from NYU with a BS in Communciations. She interned in media, sports marketing, & PR throughout her college career, and went into the advertising sales industry upon graduation. She worked in sales for a little over 2 years before going abroad to Thailand where she lived on an island and found her love of teaching, during her time at a public Thai school for tsunami orphans. Upon her return, she joined New York City Teaching Fellows, and obtained her MS.Ed in Special Education, and continued her journey in education through both middle schools & high schools in the city. She is currently working with NewVisions through their UTR program as a mentor, and also privately tutors middle and high school students.

Teacher

Kendra Brathwaite was raised in Central Brooklyn in an extended family of teachers from various disciplines who have inculcated in her the love for children, the fundamentals of hard work, a sense of achievement, and a standard for excellence. In high school at Middle College High School at Medgar Ever College, Kendra became very interested in Computer Programming and Business and decided to pursue these subjects in college as a major and minor. After graduating in 2009 from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts with a B.A. in Management Information Systems, she worked in the business realm for four years where she learned a host of transferable skills that would benefit her in the future. During these years, she realized where her true passion lies and what her gifts were; she wanted to work with inner-city youth. Kendra decided to become a teacher because she saw a lack of empowerment in youth of color and felt strongly that as a teacher she could help provide support to students who lack the privilege of resources. After this epiphany, she applied for the New York City Teaching Fellows where she was accepted to become a Special Education Teacher. When Kendra joined the AFSE family, she was extremely thrilled that she was hired by a diverse school, which valued Computer Science and the empowerment of students as much as she did. In July 2015, Kendra completed her M.S. Ed in Teaching Urban Adolescents with Disabilities, Generalist (Grades 7-12), from Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. Going into her third year of teaching, Kendra continues to find different ways to advocate for her students and help prepare them for College & Career. Recently, Kendra has participated in programs such as Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and CTE Summer Scholars, which are geared to helping students become entrepreneurs, teach students coding (HTML & CSS), and help provide internship opportunities to help students become career ready. Her ultimate goal is to open a center dedicated to the empowerment and development of young men in the local community. 

Teacher

Stephanie Iovan graduated from Western Michigan University in 2012. Her experiences traveling and studying abroad greatly influenced where she is today- teaching 9th and 10th grade math at AFSE. Wanting to see the world and experience a culture other than her own, Stephanie spent time volunteering at two orphanages in Arusha, Tanzania. Teaching elementary age students while also caring for orphaned infants had a huge impact on Stephanie’s life goals. Since then, Stephanie continued actively contributing to her community as well as others in need. Having spent 8 months studying abroad in Jerusalem, Israel, during her college years, she decided to go back as a service corps fellow working in community gardens across the country. This included developing after-school programs for children of the communities, such as art projects, music sessions, educational activities, and more. This experience inspired her to apply to New York City Teaching Fellows, and once accepted, she took jumped into the opportunity with vigorous excitement. Stephanie will be starting her third year as a math and Special Education teacher at AFSE and is thrilled to be a part of AFSE's first graduating class!

Teacher

Samara Pelt attended the City College of New York, where she received her Bachelors Degree in Economics and Secondary English. In June 2013, Samara was accepted into the NYCTF program, where she began developing her teaching practices. During that time she was enrolled at St. John’s University; completing her Masters in Secondary Education. During her first year of teaching, Samara worked as a bridged self- contained middle school teacher in Brooklyn. Samara joined the AFSE family in August 2014. She believes that each student is unique and learns best when teachers are passionate about content, and the materials are realistic. As students love and respect themselves, others, and their environment, they will begin to value and appreciate their education.

Teacher

Emily Bell has her Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration from Fordham University and is pursuing her Master's in Teaching at Hunter College. Last year, Emily was an Urban Teacher Resident at AFSE and is excited to be a full-time Special Education Teacher at AFSE this year! Emily has had a passion for working with youth since mentoring and tutoring teenagers in the Bronx at Fordham. Emily has always been interested in helping others and began her career in the non-profit realm as a Dominican Volunteer at St. Leonard's minisitries in Chicago, IL where she ran a reading group and speaker series with formerlly incarcerated adult residents. When she moved back to NYC, Emily continued to focus on helping others through a fundraising position at Goodwill Industries of NY & NJ supporting job training programs for individuals with disabilities. Throughout her non-profit career, Emily volunteered with youth in NYC via nycTIES, iMentor, and Drive Change which allowed her to see the importance and impact positive relationships can have on youth from every background. Emily pursued teaching to become more of a consistent role model for youth in NYC through providing quality education, building strong relationships and challenging youth to be their most successful selves. Emily is grateful to be able to work with the amazing and collaborative staff at AFSE to serve, teach, and learn from our students.

Teacher

Charles Mendoza is entering his fifth year teaching in the New York City public school system. After recieving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Boston University, he moved back to his home state of Arizona where he worked for two years as a political consultant. Among the various campaigns he worked on, Charles felt especially inspired working with the local education community to secure much needed funding and taught members of the adult behavioral health community the importance of political advocacy. These experiences motivated Charles to pursue a career as an educator. He moved to New York City where he joined the NYC Teaching Fellows and obtained a Master of Science in Special Education from Hunter College. Charles not only has a passion for teaching and his students, but he is also a diehard fan of playing and watching soccer and never misses an Arizona Wildcats college basketball game.

Teacher

After tutoring Chemistry to her peers in high school, Angela grew an affinity for helping others in need. During her matriculation at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, she spent the summer of 2008 working as a Park Ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park. Responsible for designing and delivering four interpretive programs to the public, she got her first taste of what it was like to create lessons and teach them to others. She was later awarded an Interpretation Certification by the Department of Interior for effective communication of national park objectives through her programs on environmental conservation. After graduating in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, she relocated to New York City and inundated herself into the world of technology as a Project Manager for a few New York City telecommunications firms. During this time, she began pursuing a Master of Arts in International Relations with a focus in security policy, solidifying her passion for understanding and ameliorating global humanitarian issues. In 2013, she was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows to teach special education to urban adolescents. She graduated with a Master of Science in Education in June 2015. The experience has been so rewarding that she will continue working with the NYC Teaching Fellows as a teaching coach, developing other passionate educators, harnessing their desire for helping others.

Teacher

Matthew Viera’s path to teaching wound through various professional experiences. After graduating from high school, Matt enlisted in the U.S. Army and was trained as a Communications Specialist serving within the Special Operations and Military Intelligence communities. Matt deployed with the 3rd Special Forces Group to Haiti and Africa. In addition, he served overseas in Germany and South Korea. After eight years of service, Matt was Honorably Discharged and moved to Miami, Florida to pursue his educational goals. He earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and a B.A. in International Relations from Florida International University as well as a Juris Doctor degree from St. Thomas University School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Matt moved back to his native New York City to practice law. As an attorney, Matt successfully handled hundreds of case in the courts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. After several years of practicing law, his desire to make a more meaningful impact in the community guided him towards teaching. Matt was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows program and ultimately earned an M.S. Ed. in Special Education from Hunter College. Prior to joining the Academy for Software Engineering, Matt worked as the Special Education Coordinator and science teacher in a Manhattan public high school. In his spare time, Matt loves to watch movies, play video games, read, run, ride his bike, and continues to practice law part-time.

Urban Teacher Resident 

Katherine Lapham is a Goucher College 2011 graduate in Psychology and Music and a current Cohort 7 Urban Teacher's Residency Special Education Resident. She has worked as a residential counselor and vocational rehabilitation coach for teens and adults with intellectual disabilities for 5 years. This past year, she assisted with the launch of a Project SEARCH site at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, NY where a D75 class participated in internships to gain work exposure, experience and possible employment. She is passionate about empowering people with disabilities to find their strengths and to have high expectations for themselves. Katherine is extremely excited and honored to be a part of the AFSE team for her residency year and has the benefit of being mentored by Yaka Yamaguchi. Lewis Callendar Paraprofessional Special Education Lewis Callender is currently a student at CUNY Medgar Evers College, pursuing a degree in Business Management.This will be Lewis' second year as a part of the AFSE family as a Paraprofessional. Lewis' experience at AFSE as a Para has inspired him to pursue a career in education, working with inner city youth.

iMentor
Program Manager

Primo serves AFSE as the iMentor Program Coordinator working with the 12th grade students. Primo began his career in education through two years of national service with the AmeriCorps organization, City Year Chicago. Through this, Primo tutored 8th grade students in reading and writing in a public school on the South Side and organized large-scale community service projects to enrich the schools and neighborhoods of Chicago. Primo also led and supported a team of diverse young volunteers on the West Side of Chicago as they tutored and mentored public school students. After seeing the tremendously positive impact of mentoring on the lives of youth, he is excited to work with AFSE through iMentor and the students of the city in which he was born and raised. Primo is a proud graduate of CUNY Hunter College where he received a B.A in English Llterature.

Program Manager

Nupur joins AFSE as an iMentor program coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating a mentorship program for all students in 10th and 11th grade. Before joining iMentor, Nupur served as a lead English teacher at a rural pedagogical college in Vietnam through the Fulbright Program. Prior to that, she mentored students and supported ESL and special education classrooms as a City Year New York corps member at Sheepshead Bay High School. Nupur is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she provided tutoring sessions for those incarcerated at a California state prison and led literacy groups for elementary school students. Nupur has worked with the American Conference for Diversity and is currently a member of the New York Collective of Radical Educators.

Program Manager

Amanda Glover will be returning to AFSE this year as a Managing Program Coordinator with iMentor. Born and raised in Kentucky, Amanda has always had a passion for education and working with students. Prior to working with AFSE, Amanda graduated summa cum laude from the University of Louisville in 2011 with a degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. From there, she joined Teach for America in Nashville, Tennessee, and taught middle school math for 3 years. While in Nashville, Amanda obtained her Master's in Education from Lipscomb University. During her time teaching, she worked extensively in curriculum creation and design, mastery based learning, and piloting curriculum with Common Core. She worked as part of Metro Nashville Public Schools, teaching 8th grade Math at Cameron Middle, then joined Lead Public Schools, teaching 6th grade Math at Cameron College Prep. In 2014, Amanda moved to New York City, joined iMentor, and the team at AFSE to continue working with students, to achieve their fullest potential. Last year, she worked with AFSE's Class of 2018, and this year will be working with the Class of 2019, in addition to 2018. Amanda believes that all students deserve an amazing education and to seek out and fulfill their dreams. She is so appreciative of the supportive staff at AFSE and is excited to meet their newest students!  

Paraprofessionals
Paraprofessional

Andrew Carbonaro is currently a student at CUNY College of Staten Island where he is persuing a BA in English Literature with a focus on adolescent education. Eventually, Andrew hopes to become an English teacher with the NYCDOE. Though he is entering his first year as a paraprofessional, Andrew has prior experience working with special needs children through many years of volunteer work with the Grace Foundation. Andrew is also a PADI certified Rescue Diver, and member of the New York Aquarium's Volunteer Dive Team where he developed a passion for education and marine conservation. A large part of his job on the team is educating the other divers as well as aquarium guests regarding the various fishes on display. He is eager to apply his experience as an educator to strengthen the team at AFSE.