Our Instructional Team


Yelitza Aguilera

Yelitza Aguilera

Lead Writing Teacher


Yelitza Aguilera brings her experiences as a teacher, advisor and leadership program manager to S2.  Most recently, Yelitza was the Regional Manager of Operations for New Leaders, combining her knowledge of technology and curriculum design to facilitate effective planning and communication. As a Resident Advisor with KIPP STAR College Prep Charter School, she coached a new teacher and led efforts in using assessments for intervention and differentiation. Yelitza was a 5th grade teacher at KIPP STAR for five years, where she built a common core aligned curriculum that incorporated strategies from Expeditionary Learning and Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  In addition to developing the writing curriculum, she integrated the use of assessments into daily planning, and designed and led assemblies that included team building activities, teaching routines, and celebrations.

Yelitza earned her BA in Political Science & Latin American and Caribbean Studies from Binghamton University.  While there, she studied abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a semester where she had the opportunity to volunteer at a youth center teaching English.  She was on the Dean’s List for four consecutive years and received the Senior Foundation Award. Yelitza received her Masters of Science in Childhood Education from Hunter College.

Yelitza was born and raised in Washington Heights/Inwood and is excited to work with her community. Upon learning about the S2, she was thrilled to find an opportunity that combines her passion for educational equity and her strength in planning and collaborating with others. She believes that all students can be successful in school given the right instructional and socio-emotional support. Yelitza is excited to expand opportunities for students and parents in the neighborhood through the curriculum and programs being offered at S2.


Stacey-Ann Chambers

Stacey-Ann Chambers

Literary Academic Intervention Specialist Teacher


Stacey-Ann Chambers has had a wide variety of experiences working in middle and high schools. Most recently she was a literacy and education specialist, using assessment data to support the individual needs of students. Prior to her work as an education specialist, Stacey-Ann taught English, History and Reading in both Indiana and New York City.  These teaching experiences provided Stacey-Ann with opportunities to develop an expertise in differentiated instruction for all students, including accommodating students with individualized education plans.  She facilitated reading, math, social studies, and science lessons to model questioning, clarification, and problem solving techniques.  She expanded learning experiences for students utilizing pedagogical strategies such as Socratic Seminars, cooperative learning, technology integration and active learning in whole class, small group and individual instruction. Stacey-Ann also taught in non-traditional programs, including WorldTeach, Harvard University’s Center for International Development, where she taught English and Communications Technology in Namibia, Africa.  She also taught in a GED Program at an Adult Education Center while in undergraduate school. 

Stacey-Ann received a full-tuition scholarship from the Posse Foundation to attend college at DePauw University where she received her BA in History and Black Studies. As a college freshman, she was an AmeriCorps Intern at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center and worked at Greenpoint Youth Court where she designed trainings and assisted clients regarding housing, employment and immigration issues. Stacey-Ann received an MA in Teaching from Earlham College, where she also worked as a summer school teacher.

School in the Square has many unique features that excite Stacey-Ann about joining the team.For example, the she values the collaborative elements of S2, which assure her that just like our students are enhancing their intellectual and personal skills, teachers will continually enhance their instructional proficiency through sharing strategies and collaborating with others. Secondly, she is looking forward to being a part of a community that not only promotes the academics, but also promotes the enhancement of the students’ emotional and leadership skills. By focusing on the whole student and not just on their academic skills, Stacey-Ann knows that S2 students are going to make substantial and enduring progress.


Lea DanonLea Danon

Reading Specialist


Lea has been working with young adolescents for the past seven years. She has been a Reading Specialist, Literacy Coach, and Testing Coordinator in the South Bronx and in Mount Vernon, New York. As a Reading Specialist, she analyzed reading and writing assessment data to differentiate instruction, create intervention action plans, and increase student achievement with a multi sensory approach. Lea has lead weekly Professional Learning Communities for teachers, weekly new teacher study groups around literacy best practices, and facilitated Professional Development Literacy Workshops for teachers, parents, and families. Additionally, she managed and supervised a Reading Mentoring program where senior citizens worked with struggling learners in a one on one setting. 

Lea received her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. She then attended New York University where she obtained a Masters of Arts Degree in Literacy Education. During her studies at NYU, she had the opportunity to work in the NYU Literacy Clinic where she administered a battery of literacy assessments to create a personalized intervention program for a struggling reader. Her insightful analysis of her student’s needs enabled her tutee to make accelerated progress in only three months. Most recently, Lea received a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Hunter College. While completing her administrative internship, she identified the individual needs of teachers and then collaboratively developed a growth plan for improvement. 

Lea is looking forward to joining the School in the Square team and share her passion and love for reading. She is dedicated to helping her students excel and become good readers. Lea brings her experiences working with diverse learners including English Language Learners and students with Language Based Learning Disabilities. Lea is extremely excited to collaborate with teachers, administrators, families, and the entire school community to build and encourage life long learners.


Glen Green

Glen Green

Math Academic Intervention Specialist & Special Ed Teacher


Glen Green has been a special education teacher and caseworker for elementary and middle school age children for six years.  He began his education career as a counselor and caseworker at The Children’s Village RTC in Dobbs Ferry, NY.  While there he provided counseling and related services for at-risk adolescents with substance abuse issues and juvenile delinquency records.  He also developed anger management group therapy sessions, served as a court liaison, tutored clients in all academic subjects, attended Committee on Special Education (CSE) meetings, and helped students receive placements in aftercare services and schools.  Glen’s experiences led him to pursue studies in dual-certification in general education and special education. He student-taught at P.S. 166, The Richard Rodgers School of the Arts and Technology, in Manhattan and Patricia A. Dichiaro Elementary School in Yonkers, NY.  Glen became a special education teacher providing Support Services (SETSS) for students in grades 1 - 7 in Washington Heights.  During this time, Glen was responsible for teaching math and ELA curriculum, attending CSE meetings, and ensuring that students were meeting annual goals.  He is certified in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI), First Aid; CPR; Safety; Medication Distribution and Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS).  In addition to his teaching experiences, Glen is an AYSO certified soccer referee and has worked at various summer camps throughout Westchester, NY.

Glen received his B.A. from Boston University in 2009, where he majored in psychology with a minor concentration in education. While enrolled, he worked at a residential treatment center in Natick, MA working with clients who were diagnosed with various psychological disorders. Glen received his M.S.T. from Fordham University and received his dual teaching certificate in Special Education and General Education grades 1 – 6 in 2014.  

Glen is excited about being a founding member at S2 and working with enthusiastic educators who are determined to help students reach their full potential. Being part of a new school is an opportunity to grow as a teacher and make a difference in the community. He is also excited about developing a math curriculum that is both challenging and engaging. Glen believes that every student can learn and is determined to help exceptional children realize their unique abilities and strengthen their skills both in and out of the classroom.




Tyler Gonlag

Tyler Gonlag

Writing Teacher


Tyler Gonlag has worked with adolescents in many different roles, both in academic institutions and extracurricular programs. He began his teaching career in Southern California, where he taught Global Studies and English at a K-12 special needs public school. During the summer, he taught surfing and water sports at a fitness camp in Santa Monica. He has taught Creative Writing to undergraduates at New York University and Loyola Marymount University, and his most recent role was as an 8
th grade History teacher at a charter school in South Brooklyn. He’s extremely passionate about integrating traditional methods of book learning into more creative approaches, and encourages his students to explore schoolwork in ways that are personally, socially and culturally relevant to them. He has organized and facilitated various creative writing groups for adolescents, and believes self-expression and curiosity are both powerful ways to enter academics.

Tyler earned his BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, California. During his time there, he explored ways to bring Math, Science and History to life through spoken word, dance and music. He facilitated an extracurricular middle school art program at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, and later earned his Master’s degree in Writing from New York University. He is both an active writer and musician, and enjoys teaching young people how to be confident in expressing themselves.

Tyler is very excited to bring his love of art, music and writing to School in the Square. He is very passionate about the humanities, and believes that through collaboration, respect and hard work, anything is possible. Tyler is looking forward to cultivating a space with both students and staff where learning is joyful, difference is celebrated and success is achievable.

 



Marie Hamlett

Marie Hamlett

Science Teacher


Marie is passionate about student and leadership development and, through her work with Uncommon Schools and other NYC educational groups, she brings almost 10 years of experience in supporting and educating middle-schoolers and instructional leaders. Marie has more than four years of teaching experience ranging from traditional classrooms, outdoor education, and work in China. Prior to her transition into teaching full-time, she volunteered to tutor students and chaperone Outward Bound end-of-year canoeing, sailing and camping trips. Most recently, she taught 7th grade science at Girls Prep in the South Bronx where she helped implement an inquiry-based science curriculum. 

Marie holds a BA from Bay Path University in Business Administration. While enrolled, she won first place in a city-wide entrepreneurial contest for her elevator pitch idea for a college-focused travel agency. After college, she worked as an outdoor educator where she planned, developed, and implemented workshops in the areas of environmental and natural science, team building, leadership, and decision-making. Marie received her MAT in 2016 from Relay Graduate School of Education in General Education Grades 5-9, with a concentration in science. 

Marie is excited to be founding an innovative science program at S2 that incorporates technology and inquiry-based curriculum. She is grateful to be joining a team that supports continuous practice and feedback, and that will allow her to explore various science teaching models and encourage the next generation of young scientists.



Danielle Kovarsky

Danielle Kovarsky 

6th Grade English Teacher

Danielle is passionate about helping adolescents discover their interests and identities and reach their goals. In the fall of 2015, she student taught 8th grade ELA at West Side Collaborative Middle School 250.  As a student teacher, she not only taught ELA but also assisted in teaching classes such as social studies, science, and advisory. She has also worked for the past three summers as an instructor at Five Points Learning. There, she prepared students for the SHSAT, SAT, and Regents exams, led reading, writing and math classes, tutored various subjects, and provided homework help sessions.

Danielle received a BA in English and Education from Columbia University. In the fall of her junior year she studied abroad in Barcelona as part of the Consortium for Advanced Studies in Barcelona Program. She studied literature at the University of Barcelona and took courses on Barcelona history and art history with the program. She also volunteered weekly at the local nursing home, where she practiced her beginner Catalan skills. Danielle loves to study languages, and is currently fluent in Russian and Spanish.  

Danielle is excited to be part of the School in the Square Team. She is committed to the school’s values and to helping cultivate a caring community that supports all students as individuals and enables them to grow academically, socially and emotionally. She is looking forward to collaborating with the team to create an engaging curriculum relevant to students' lives. School in the Square believes in giving students a voice in their education, and Danielle is eager to join such a democratic learning environment. 



Catriona Marshall

Catriona Marshall

English as a New Language Teacher


Cat Marshall started her career as an after-school teaching assistant, teaching math to struggling students in the Bronx and Washington Heights.  It was there that she fell in love with teaching.  After being accepted as a NYC Teaching Fellow in 2006, she began to work with English Language Learners at MS 44.  Since then, she has worked with young adolescents from all over the world, including Bosnia, Turkey, Yemen, China, Korea, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Senegal and others.  She has always loved the rich, cultural experiences her students bring to the classroom and has found that she has nearly as much to learn from her students as they have to learn from her.  

Ms. Marshall received her B.A. in Art and Art History from Oberlin College. In her Junior year, she studied and created art in London at Goldsmith’s college. After having an experience as an administrative assistant at an organization which brought arts into schools with limited funding, she grew to realize a new interest in working with children, and she decided to pursue teaching.  She received her Master’s in Science in TESOL from City College and has been teaching ever since.

Ms. Marshall is very much excited to be a founding teacher at School in the Square with an extended family of teachers, staff and students. She hopes to contribute to S2’s founding principles of community, academic excellence and emotional intelligence that will give School in the Square students the skills they need to succeed in an increasingly complicated world.


Sara McElhinney Math TeacherSara McElhinney
6th Grade Math Teacher

As the 6th grade Math teacher, Sara brings over 7 years of small group instruction experience, 5 years of experience teaching mathematics and 3 years working in a Middle School setting. She prioritizes fostering a rich understanding of conceptual mathematics and facilitating student discussion/collaboration. Sara has incorporated a math workshop model that enables students to uncover the primary objective of a given task based on prior knowledge and the natural progressive nature of mathematics. Her commitment to developing a curiosity and love of math through a student centric math workshop model has enabled students to approach rigorous and grade level content through a variety of access points.

Sara began her career in education as an AmeriCorps service member via the educational non-profit Blue Engine. As a first-year teaching assistant, Sara worked in a small group setting teaching 9th grade Algebra at Mott Hall high school. While at Mott Hall, Sara aided in material creation, data driven instruction practices and small group facilitation (both in school and during after school programming). As a second-year Team Coordinator at WHEELS (Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School), Sara was responsible for facilitating instructional PD’s for math teaching assistants, meeting with lead teachers for data meetings and coordinating after school programming for small group instruction in addition to teaching. After two years with Blue Engine, Sara committed to furthering her education within the field and was hired by Harlem Village Academy as a 5th and 6th grade mathematics teacher. While at HVA, Sara was pursuing a Master’s degree in teaching through a teacher residency program. It was at HVA where Sara began attending progressive mathematics P.D.’s centering on the facilitation of mathematical dialogue through a workshop model. She developed curricula that were both common core aligned and accessible to all students. During her second year teaching at HAV, Sara served as the 5th grade math teacher and grade team leader. Working exclusively as a 5th grade math teacher enabled her to work in a co-teaching model in both general education and ICT classroom models. 



Teacher Lesley PerezLesley Pairol Perez

7th Grade English Teacher


Lesley Pairol Perez has been a middle school English teacher for the past 5 years. She started her teaching career in Chicago as a Teach for America corps member. As a corps member she taught 8th grade for 3 years and 9th grade as a demonstration teacher during TFA’s summer institute. She returned home to New Jersey two years ago where she taught 7th grade at KIPP- TEAM Academy. For the past year she worked at Girls Prep Bronx Middle School teaching 7th grade English. 

Lesley graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University with a triple major in Political Science, Women’s and Gender Studies, and History. During her time there she was a McNair scholar, an Institute for Women’s Leadership Scholar and an Institute for Research on Women scholar. She also completed an Honors Thesis for the Gender Studies department. She then got her masters of arts in teaching at Dominican University. 

Lesley is excited to join the School in the Square team because of the emphasis they place on community. She has always felt school should be about providing students with a space to learn, not just about content, but about themselves, their history and the endless possibilities they have after middle school and high school. S2 is a place where she sees this happening. She is excited to join the community and get to know her peers, students and their families. 

 



Prattasha Paul

Prattasha Paul

Math Teacher


Prattasha Paul has had a variety of experiences working with adolescents. Throughout her undergraduate career she taught mathematics and English to students from K-8 at Kumon Tutoring Center.  As a student teacher at the Computer School, a highly regarded district 3 middle school, Prattasha taught 6th and 8th grade math.  She extended her placement well beyond the required hours to gain additional experience and knowledge about teaching middle school students. 

After receiving her Master’s degree, Prattasha became the lead math teacher at Liberty Leads Bank Street College of Education. This afforded her an opportunity to increase her teaching experience through working with 5th, 6th, and 8th graders in both math and science.  At Liberty Leads, Prattasha crafted project-based lessons that engaged her students in meaningful real-life learning experiences.Prattasha received her Bachelors of Science in Biology at New York Institute of Technology at Old Westbury. She - received her Master of Arts in Mathematics Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  In her last semester of graduate school she studied abroad in Guatemala where she learned Spanish and the Guatemalan culture.

Prattasha is looking forward to becoming a member of the School in the Square Team. She has always enjoyed collaborating on projects. During her undergraduate career she was a part of multiple organizations and clubs on campus and therefore has experience working effectively with others. She is very excited to join School in the Square and make a difference for students across the city.  She is eager to help her students thrive.




Maeve Pfeifer

Maeve Pfeifer

Social Studies Teacher


Maeve Pfeifer has experience teaching fifth through twelfth grade social studies and ELA. Most recently, Maeve taught eighth grade social studies and ELA at Harlem Village Academies for two years. Before that she was a middle school teacher for four years at Success Academies in Harlem, teaching grades 5-8 and helping found their social studies curriculum. Prior to that Maeve spent a year teaching Honors Social Studies and AP Government to juniors and seniors at the University Park Campus School in Worcester, MA. Maeve's focus has been on developing social studies curriculum that is socially relevant in that it connects the past to the present day. This approach empowers students to become more aware of themselves and the world around them.

Maeve earned her dual BA in Women's and Gender Studies and History at Clark University in Worcester, MA. While there she earned the Cynthia Enloe award for scholar activism in the field of Education. She also earned her Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) through Clark University's Education program, teaching at the University Park Campus School.

Maeve is excited to join S2’s team of educators who are dedicated to addressing student's needs and making education relevant to our changing world. Maeve looks forward to helping teach social studies in a way that transforms and empowers her students and the community.


Kelley Stennett 

Special Education Teacher


Kelley received her Masters in Education for Teaching from Pace University in August of 2017 through the New York Teaching Fellows program, a rigorous training program focusing on continuous feedback and practice-based learning.


As a special education teacher, she has supported students based on their individual learning needs since 2015. Prior to her work as a special education teacher, Kelley spent time at Mercy First supervising youth in treatment, ranging from 6 - 21 years of age, during and after school hours.  


Through her own consulting business, Kelley has provided hundreds of customized classroom-style instructions and developed course materials and manuals for Fortune 500 companies across the U.S and Canada.


Kelley Stennett loves to teach, document and provide her students with effective and efficient methods of instruction while focusing on the individual needs of each student. She has always enjoyed educating students through both instructional and supporting roles. She is excited to be a part of the S2 family as a Special Education teacher!

 

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