Downtown Elementary Faculty & Staff

Jumaane Saunders

Principal

Macalester College, B.A., Columbia University, Teachers College, M.A.

Before joining our team as founding elementary principal, Jumaane Saunders served as Director of External Programming for the The School at Columbia University. There he worked closely with both the head of school and parents association to grow a number of programs within the vision and mission of the school. Prior to that, Jumaane worked with the New York City Department of Education as a program manager helping schools craft and adopt assessment procedures and support mechanisms in anticipation of New York’s adoption of the national common core standards. An alumnus of the prestigious Teach for America program, Mr. Saunders spent many years at Kaplan, developing their science offerings and training teachers. For six years Jumaane taught biology and chemistry in New York and California.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Jumaane attended the Hackley School, earned his B.A. in biology from Macalester College, and his M.A. in Educational Politics and Finance and M. Ed. in School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. He and his wife, Mónica, also an educator, have three young children.

Anabel Rivera

Operations Coordinator

Binghamton University, B.S.

Andrea Khan

Head of Operations

Montclair State University, B.A., New York University, M.A.

Andrea Molina

Program Manager

Pace University, B.A.

Angela Park

Lead Teacher

SUNY Stony Brook, B.A., Columbia University, Teachers College, M.A.

Anita Walsh

Artist-in-Residence

Parsons School of Design, B.A., George Washington University, M.Ed.

Avery Williams

Registrar

SUNY, College at Westbury, B.A.

Cassandra Jimenez

Lead Teacher

University of Hawaii, B.A., New Jersey City University, M.A.

Charisse Terry

Head of Youth Development and School Culture

Boston College, B.A. & M.A.

Deanna Perez

Lead Teacher

Hamilton College, B.A., Charles Sposato Graduate School of Education, M.A.

Diana Wangerin-Foster

Resident Teacher

SUNY Purchase College, B.A., Hunter College, M.A.

Doreen May-Davis

Classroom Aide

Boricua College, B.A.

Drew McCann

Resident Teacher

Cornell University, B.S.; Bank Street College, M.A.

Drew Pallas

Classroom Aide

Drew St. Lawrence

Lead Teacher

Harvard University, B.A.; Relay Graduate School of Education, M.A.T.

Emily Vandehey

Head of Academics

University of Oregon, B.A.; Lewis and Clark University, M.A.

Erin Shadowens

Lead Teacher

St John's College, B.A.; Relay GSE, M.A.; Columbia University Teacher's College, M.A.

Folake Akinola-Pinard

Head of Resident Teacher Development

Wellesley College, B.A.; Columbia University, Teachers College, M.A.

Heather Elgin

Learning Specialist

Santa Clara University, B.A.; Harvard University, M.A.

Imani Nasir

Resident Teacher

Long Island University, B.S. and M.S.

Isamar Rosado-Aponte

Spanish Teacher

University of Puerto Rico, B.A.; New York University, M.F.A.

Jacob Kramer

Music Teacher

Northwestern University, B.M.; San Francisco Conservatory of Music, M.M.

Jennifer Choi

Lead Teacher

Stony Brook University, B.A.; Columbia University, Teachers College, M.A.

Jessica Perez

Resident Teacher

Brooklyn College, B.A.

Kara Lesondak

Learning Specialist

Northwestern University, B.S., Fashion Institute of Technology, B.F.A., San Francisco State University, M.A.

Karla Salamea

Lead Teacher

SUNY Buffalo, B.S.

Kate Nugent

Resident Teacher

SUNY at New Paltz, B.A.; City College of New York, M.S.

Kathryn Miner

Lead Teacher

Hunter College, B.A. & M.S.

Keeli Davis

Head of Student Support Services

Trinity College, B.A.; Teachers College, Columbia University, M.S.

Kendra Thomas

Lead Teacher

Delaware State, B.A.

Kishan Singh

Resident Teacher

City College of New York, B.A.

Ko Fai Ng

Resident Teacher

State Unveristy of New York at New Paltz, B.S.

Kristin Schaumleffel

After School Program Manager

San Francisco State University, B.A.

Lusdymer Pichardo

Lead Teacher

Yale University, B.A.; University of New Haven, M.A.

Mandy Ip

Lead Teacher

SUNY Binghamton, B.A.; Hunter College, M.S.

Margaret Henderson

Lead Teacher

College of Charleston, B.S.; Teacher's College, Columbia University, M.Ed

Matthew Lazarus

Resident Teacher

Bard College, B.A.

Melina Garcia

Lead Teacher

City College of New York, B.A., Touro College, M.A.

Michelle Guevara

Resident Teacher

Monica De Jesus

Classroom Aide

Bronx Community College

Monique Sierra

Social Worker

UC Santa Barbara, B.A., Columbia University School of Social Work, M.S.

Nancy Jacobs

Learning Specialist

Rochester Institute of Technology, B.A., Hunter College, M.A.

Nicholas "Chris" Pappas

After School Program Coordinator

City College of New York, B.A.

Nicholas Padilla

Lead Teacher

University of Arizona, B.A.

Nicole Cimoch

Science Teacher

Grand Valley State University, B.S.; University of Chicago, M.A.

Niki Nino

Resident Teacher

Queens College, B.A., Hunter College, MS

Nivia Marrero

Spanish Language Teacher

University of Puerto Rico, B.A., School of Professional Studies, M.A.

Paul James

P.E. Teacher

New York Institute of Technology, B.A.

Samantha Joseph

Operations Coordinator

Lehman College, B.A.

Sarah Heffernan

Resident Teacher

Hampshire College, B.A.; Smith College, M.A.

Shilpa Raman

Social Worker

University of Virginia, B.A., New York University, M.A., Columbia University, M.S.W.

Yolande Tyrell

Resident Teacher

Touro College, B.S.

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