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141 Macon Street - Brooklyn,
NY 11216 - 718-636-0360

Faculty & Leaders

Jamilla Adams
Kindergarten Teacher

Miss. Adams recently graduated from the State University at Fredonia where she received her Bachelor of Science in Childhood Inclusive Education, studying both general and special education.  Throughout her college career, she worked with the Center of Multicultural Affairs to bring culturally diverse programs to the college campus.  She is excited to get back into her community and enriching the education of students at Leadership Prep Bed Stuy.

Kennette Banks
Director of Operations

Kennette Banks is the Director of Operations at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant Charter School Elementary Academy. She is passionate about equal access to education at the local and federal level.  Previously, Kennette served as a Program Associate at First Graduate in San Francisco where she supported students who were the first generation in their family to go to college.  Prior to that, she served as a Program Associate at Summer Search as well as an Admission Counselor at Swarthmore College.  Kennette received her M.S.Ed from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from Swarthmore College.  

Ariel Barnes
Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Barnes is currently a student at Relay Graduate School of Education. Her major is Childhood Education grades 1-6. Before joining the mission of closing the achievement gap in low-income communities, she studied Business for the majority of her educational years. She received her B.A degree in Business Administration from Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. After being in the field of business and finance as a Financial Assistant, in 2011, she changed her career to education  where she has worked as an Afterschool Teacher, a Teacher in Resident for Achievement First-Endeavor Elementary, and now as a an Apprentice Teacher for Leadership Prep Bed Stuy.

Sodbilig Bayarmagnai
3rd Grade Teacher

Mr. Bayar is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech, where he studied History and Political Science with a strong focus on the American Civil War. During his time at college, he worked as a Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach For America. A few of his leadership positions include serving as the representative of Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Fraternity and student-editor for the VT Undergraduate Historical Review.  Upon graduation, he started teaching at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant through Teach For America.

Melanie Bieber
School Social Worker

Ms. Bieber is the School Counselor at Leadership Prep Charter School. Before starting in the Uncommon Network, Melanie gained experience working at a long-term partial hospitalization program in the Philadelphia, PA public school system where she led individual, group and family sessions with children ages 5-12. She also worked in the school counseling department at P.S. 214-Q in Queens, NY. Melanie earned her B.A. in Psychology and Criminology/Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her M.Phil.Ed. in Counseling and Mental Health Services from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She currently holds her certification in School Counseling and is pursuing licensure as a Mental Health Counselor.

Melanie Braverman
School Counselor

Ms. Braverman is the School Counselor at Leadership Prep Charter School. Before starting in the Uncommon Network, Melanie gained experience working at a long-term partial hospitalization program in the Philadelphia, PA public school system where she led individual, group and family sessions with children ages 5-12. She also worked in the school counseling department at P.S. 214-Q in Queens, NY. Melanie earned her B.A. in Psychology and Criminology/Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland, College Park. She earned her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and her M.Phil.Ed. in Counseling and Mental Health Services from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. She currently holds her certification in School Counseling and is pursuing licensure as a Mental Health Counselor and Social Worker.

Maggie Brown
Kindergarten Teacher

Miss. Brown is a recent graduate of Elon University, where she majored in both Special and Elementary Education. Throughout her college career she worked as an aid during the summers with students with severe disabilities. The past two years she has worked with a program, One Heart Source, where she taught Math and English to 3rd graders in a township in South Africa. She also held a leadership position with One Heart Source this past year recruiting college students to teach in the township.

Christine Buckland
4th Grade Teacher

Ms. Buckland is a recent graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, where she majored in History and Spanish with a minor in Education. Previously, Ms. Buckland taught at the Greater Boston site of Breakthrough Collaborative, a national organization dedicated to increasing academic opportunity and college access for low-income students, while simultaneously inspiring a new generation of teachers. Additionally, Ms. Buckland worked as a teacher and site director at Let’s Get Ready in Boston. In the fall of 2010, she spent a semester in Quito, Ecuador. Ms. Buckland is currently pursuing a Masters in Teaching at Relay Graduate School of Education, and she is thrilled to be joining the LPBS community.

Emma Chalmers
2nd Grade Teacher

Miss Chalmers recently graduated from The College of Saint Rose, where she studied Childhood and Special Education. After college, she worked as a 1:1 Special Education Teacher Assistant in a second grade classroom, while pursuing a Masters degree in Literacy at Hunter College. With many changes this year, she is excited to move to Brooklyn and begin her teaching career at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant!  

Rachel Chapman
Dean of Curriculum and Instruction

Ms. Chapman received her Bachelor of Arts in History from New York University and her Masters of Science in Special Education from Hunter College. She joined Leadership Prep in 2009 as a Teach For America Corps Member. Since becoming a part of the LPBS team, she has served as a Kindergarten Lead Teacher for three years, Grade Team Chair for two years, and this year she will be the Kindergarten Instructional Leader. In her first year at LPBS she taught in the role of Learning Specialist, and she served as the school’s Summer Academy Director in 2012.

Ashley Clemens
Kindergarten Teacher

Miss Clemens is a recent graduate of SUNY Oneonta, where she majored in Childhood Education and took on many leadership positions. Miss Clemens was a Diversity Peer Educator, a leader in the Mentor Community for education majors, and the founder of the Social Justice Society at her college. She has worked in a variety of different settings such as Schenectady City Schools and the suburban Ballston Spa Central Schools as a student teacher and substitute teacher, the rural Unadilla Valley Central School as a co teacher in a third grade classroom for two years, as well as with children during her volunteer experiences throughout Peru.

Benjamin Daley
Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Daley attended Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, where he played Division I football for four years. After graduating with a degree in Sociology and Communications, he worked as a personal trainer at Crunch Gym in New York City for two years. Mr. Daley is passionate about working with kids; with his background in physical education and his love for sports, he is very excited to join LPBS as the new PE teacher. 

Carolyn DiProspero
Kindergarten Teacher

Ms DiProspero is thrilled to be returning for her third year teaching kindergarten at Leadership Prep. A New Jersey native, Ms. DiProspero graduated from the College of William and Mary with an undergraduate degree in History and Government and a Master's degree in Elementary Education. Outside of teaching, Ms. DiProspero loves to travel and explore New York City.

Lauren Ferguson
K-4th Grade Art Teacher

Ms. Ferguson returns to Leadership Prep as a full-time art teacher after completing her student teaching here last spring. She is a recent graduate of Pratt Institute, where she received her MFA. She completed her BA at SUNY Purchase, with a concentration in printmaking. Before starting her full time career at Leadership Prep, she worked with the Pratt Institute’s Teaching in Gallery’s Program.

Jacqueline Green-Parks
Office Manager

Ms. Green-Parks was born and raised in Bedford Stuyvesant. Before coming to Leadership Prep, she spent eight years teaching in a local Head Start Center, which many Leadership Prep scholars attended. Ms. Green-Parks graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. She is excited to be joining the Leadership Prep Team. 

Amy Gu
Special Projects Coordinator

Before joining LPBS, Ms. Gu studied at Dartmouth College, where she received a BA in Government with an emphasis on international development. While at Dartmouth, Ms. Gu took on operational roles at the Collis Center for Student Involvement, the Office of Residential Housing, and the Office of Commencement and Reunion Housing. Ms. Gu has studied abroad in Korea and India, and she has conducted research on the impact of Hurricane Irene in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont. After graduating, she was also a member of the 2012-2013 cohort of the Dartmouth Partners in Community Service Post-Graduate Fellowship. Ms. Gu is excited about her second year at LPBS!

Jessica Heeb
Learning Support Teacher

Ms. Heeb is a recent graduate of Binghamton University’s Graduate School of Education.  She received her BA from this same University where she majored in Applied Behavioral Psychology and minored in History.  While at Binghamton Ms. Heeb worked as a Behavioral Therapist for children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders.  During her student teaching experience she had the opportunity to teach 4th grade and served as a Special Education teacher in grades K-2.

Tarell Hoskey
2nd Grade Teacher

Mr. Hoskey is a first year Corps Member with Teach for America. Before joining Leadership Prep, he studied Public Health at the CUNY School of Public Health where he began a Masters Program in Public Health while working at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2010 with a BS in Public Health. Mr. Hoskey was a mentor with Big Brother/Big Sister of New York, mentored children during his four years at Syracuse University through a literacy program, and participated in several philanthropic programs committed to reforming social issues. He is also a Brooklyn born and raised native.

Jervis Hudson
1st Grade Teacher

Mr. Hudson is a recent graduate of Ursinus College, where he majored in American Studies and Education. Throughout his college career he has been a defining leader in his community. A few of his leadership positions include serving as the Ursinus Student Body President for two consecutive years and serving as president of his campus’ Black Student Union. Mr. Hudson has worked with Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia, teaching and leading a 7th grade English summer class and has also worked with the Malvern Schools as a teacher assistant. 

Rachel Jean-Louis
4th Grade Teacher

Ms. Jean-Louis is a recent graduate of Denison University, where she majored in Chemistry. As a recipient of the leadership award, the Posse Foundation, Rachel has had the opportunity to take on leadership positions in many student led organizations. A few of the leadership positions include finding of the multi-cultural organization Students of Caribbean Ancestry and a being a member of Sexual Harassment and Rape Education student organization. Ms. Jean-Louis has served as a World Teach volunteer as a full time English teacher in a remote and rural school located in Cerritos Costa Rica. Ms. Jean-Louis also was a Summer Teacher Fellow for Uncommon Schools co-teaching at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant.

Madelyn Jurish
3rd Grade Teacher

Ms. Jurish is a recent cum laude graduate of Colgate University, where she majored in Spanish. Throughout her college career, she was dedicated to her volunteer position as an emergency medical technician at the local ambulance corps, where she provided medical service to the community. Ms. Jurish is very excited to serve a new community at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant and can't wait for a great year!

Nora Kersey
Learning Support Teacher

Ms. Kersey graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A in Sociology. During her sophomore year she joined a community service organization called Rutgers Alternative Breaks and spent a portion of her winter break volunteering in public schools in the Mississippi Delta region along side Teach for America corps members. Her junior year she organized and led her own group trip to Camden, NJ and Philadelphia, PA with the focus on urban education and community renewal. Her passion for urban education flourished when she was a member of the 2011 Summer Teaching Fellows cohort, where she co-taught 1st Grade Summer Academy at LPBS. She earned her Ed.M. in Elementary and Special Education from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Ms. Kersey recently completed her student teaching in Lawrenceville, NJ, in a 5th grade special education and 4th grade general education class. Ms. Kersey is excited to join LPBS as a teacher on the learning support team.

John King
4th Grade Teacher

Mr. King began his time at Leadership Prep by teaching first grade in 2007. He then became a Learning Specialist on the Learning Support Team for four years; primarily working with 2nd – 4th grade literacy. He originated Leadership Prep’s Saturday school program, called SMART Camp, and has worked heavily on assessment in the past. In 2012 he left the Learning Support Team and moved back into the classroom as a fourth grade teacher. Prior to his time at Leadership Prep Mr. King taught 7th and 3rd grades with Teach For America in Phoenix, Arizona. He holds bachelor’s degrees in English and Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts and a Master’s in Education from Arizona State University.

Kyra Knapp-Prasek
4th Grade Teacher

Miss Prasek graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she majored in Elementary Education and minored in Art Education. Throughout her college career, she was the Onsite Coordinator for the Hillcrest Reading Program which took action to try to reduce the enduring achievement gap. Kyra joined Leadership Prep Bed-Stuy in January 2014 as the apprentice teacher and is looking forward to taking on 4th Grade this school year!

Hillary Kolodner
3rd Grade Teacher

Ms. Kolodner grew up in Baltimore City, MD and recently graduated from Hamilton College in Upstate New York. She majored in Government and minored in Philosophy and Environmental Studies. While in college, she was a volunteer tutor for America Reads and Let’s Get Ready and played on several sports teams. Last summer, she taught French and math at an elementary school in Dakar, Senegal. She is a 2014 Teach for America corps member and is pursuing her Masters in Teaching from the Relay Graduate School of Education. She is so excited to join the LPBS team!

Lauren Krevet
1st Grade Instructional Leader

Ms. Krevet received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her Masters of Science in Teaching from Pace University. She joined Leadership Prep in 2009 after serving for two years in Teach for America as a 1st grade teacher at PS 230 in the Bronx, NY. Since becoming a part of the LPBS team, she has served as a First Grade Lead Teacher for four years, Grade Team Chair for three years, and this year she will be the First Grade Instructional Leader.

Haley Lee
1st Grade Teacher

Haley Lee is a recent graduate of Virginia Tech, where she majored in English and Human Development. On her campus, she served as the founding chapter leader of Students for Education Reform, a student-led organization that advocates for educational equity.  In the summer of 2012 she interned at LPBS as a Summer Teaching Fellow. During her time at LPBS she observed 2nd and 3rd grade and co-taught a 3rd grade classroom with a mentor teacher. She is now currently a current Teach for America corps member and attends the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Rita Maddux
Learning Support Coordinator

Ms. Maddux joins Leadership Prep after years of experience teaching third-fifth grade students in California and North Carolina. Ms. Maddux was “Teacher of The Year” at her former school and received the “Educator Making a Difference” community award in 2009. In addition, she has administered after school and summer programs focusing on reading and its connection to writing for struggling students and creative writing and story elements. Ms. Maddux has her BA from Appalachian State University and a Masters of Education in Special Education from East Carolina University.

Sultana Noormuhammad
Elementary Academy Principal

Ms. Noormuhammad previously served as Leadership Prep’s Dean of Students. Before joining the Leadership Prep faculty as Founding Lead Teacher, Ms. Noormuhammad was a first grade teacher at C.S. 50 The Clara Barton School in New York City through Teach For America. She served as Program Coordinator for Global Learning in Liberia and Costa Rica. Her role included arranging the teaching schedules in four elementary schools comprising one-thousand students and conducting daily meetings in both English and Spanish. Ms. Noormuhammad holds a B.A. in International Relations from Wellesley College and has studied at Casa de las Americas in Havana Cuba.

Alejandra Palomino
3rd Grade Teacher

Ms. Palomino is a recent graduate of Franklin & Marshall College.  In the summer of 2011 she interned at LPBS as a Summer Teaching Fellow (STF) with our Summer Academy. During her time at LPBS she observed 3rd grade and co-taught a 2nd grade classroom with a mentor teacher. As a senior at Franklin & Marshall College she taught 2nd grade science as a Science Teaching Intern. Most recently, she became a corps member of Teach for America, a nationwide teacher corps that recruits and trains outstanding college graduates to teach in public schools. Ms. Palomino received her B.A. in Sociology and she is studying at the Relay Graduate School of Education.

Theresa Pfister
4th Grade teacher

Miss Pfister earned her BA in English Literature from Pomona College in Claremont, CA. During her time there, she worked closely with Uncommon Good as a mentor and tutor, and started the first Quest Scholars chapter in the nation. After graduation, she moved to Ethiopia to teach English to middle and high school students with the Peace Corps. After an incredible and challenging experience in Ethiopia, Miss Pfister is thrilled to be stateside once again and working with the 4th grade students at Leadership Prep Bedford Stuyvesant.

Heather Pirolli
4th Grade Instructional Leader

Ms. Pirolli joined LPBS after teaching in Boston for four years. She received her M.A. in Elementary Education from Boston College, where she was a member of the Donovan Urban Teaching Scholars Program. Ms. Pirolli earned her B.A. from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana where she was an active volunteer in the public schools and Tulane sponsored tutoring programs.  This will be Ms. Pirolli’s 3rd year teaching 4th grade at LPBS.  This year she will also be the Fourth  Grade Instructional Leader.   

Tatiana Piskula
3rd Grade Teacher

Ms. Piskula is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.  At Yale, she served as a coordinator of Community Health Educators, a student-run organization that teaches a comprehensive health education curriculum in New Haven public middle and high schools.   She spent her summers interning at the National Center on Time and Learning, researching the impact of an extended school day on student achievement, and at the Crescent City Farmers’ Markets in New Orleans, where she helped develop a nutrition curriculum for local youth.  Ms. Piskula is extremely excited to be joining the 4th grade team at LPBS!

Julian Romero
1st Grade Teacher

Mr. Romero is a recent graduate of Union College, where he majored in both Psychology and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Throughout his college career he worked a summer as a Teacher Assistant with 3rd grade students from the South Bronx. This past year he worked with a organization, City Year, where he assisted 4th graders with Math and English in a under-resourced public school in the South Bronx. This upcoming school year, he is eager to tackle his first year teaching as a 1st grade teacher in Leadership Preparatory Bed Stuy!

Jeron Rowland
3rd Grade Teacher

Mr. Rowland attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, majoring in Psychology.  While at Morehouse, he mentored middle school students at a charter school and also was a tutor for the Psychology department at his undergraduate institution.  After graduating from college, Mr. Rowland worked in sports management.  He is very excited about the new challenge of molding the young minds at Leadership Prep Bed Stuy!

Jenna Sackman
2nd Grade Teacher

Miss. Sackman is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where she majored in both Psychology and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Children's Studies. Throughout her college career, she worked with various nonprofits whose goals were to provide for and educate youth. This past year, she worked with the nonprofit, Urban Future, as a mentor and was also an Assistant Teacher at the Washington University Preschool. 

Adrienne Sibrizzi
Apprentice Teacher

Adrienne Sibrizzi is a recent graduate of Guilford College, where she majored in Elementary Education and Spanish. Throughout her four years at Guilford she was involved with recruiting and managing volunteers to join her in tutoring refugee children in an after school program. During her last two years of College she held a position  with AmeriCorps where she continued her work with refugee youth as well as case work for fifty refugee families recently resettled to Greensboro, NC from  Nepal. For the past two summers she has led elementary school ESL students in a three week summer school program. Adrienne is currently enrolled in Relay Graduate School of Education to obtain her masters in Early Childhood Education.

Anna Simmonds
2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Simonds attended Connecticut College in New London, CT. After graduating with majors in History and American studies, she moved to Louisiana to teach in New Orleans. As a 2010 Teach for America corps member, Ms. Simonds taught Kindergarten at a takeover charter school. After two years in New Orleans, Ms. Simonds decided to move closer to home and join the first grade team at Leadership Prep Bed Stuy. This year, she is thrilled to tackle a new challenge of second grade!

Arielle Snagg
Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Snagg grew up in Brooklyn, New York  and recently graduated from Pomona College in Claremont, CA with a B.A. in Neuroscience and Dance. While at Pomona, she conducted independent research on Dance Neuroaesthetics, served as a Sponsor and Ujima Mentor for first-year students, and also taught and choreographed dance. Ms. Snagg is a Prep for Prep alumna (Contingent XXV), and this summer she returned to Prep as a Teaching Assistant for the Problems in Modern American Society & Term Paper Research (PIMAS TPR) 6th grade class. She is excited to be a part of the LPBS team and is looking forward to meeting all of her Kindergarten scholars and families.

Sara Turilli
Performing Arts Teacher

Sara Turilli is very excited to join the Leadership Prep community as a performing arts teacher. Mrs. Turilli just recently completed  her Masters in Music Education from New York University. She also holds a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Musical Theater from Catholic University of America, and a theater certification from The London Dramatic Academy (London, England). Prior to teaching at Leadership, Mrs. Turilli  taught music and musical theater  in various schools throughout the New York area,  including: The Marymount School, PS212, and most recently RELC MS113 in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Mrs. Turilli’s love of music, theater and dance began when she was a little girl and took her from Delaware to New York to pursue her passion. There, she toured in the original cast of “Fishface: The Musical;” “Grease: You’re the One That I Want;” and had brief stints on “30 Rock” and an All-State commercial.  Mrs. Turilli looks forward to sharing her love of music and theater with the scholars at LPBS.

Christine Wicks
1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Wicks is a 2008 graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where she majored in Psychology.  After graduation, Ms. Wicks spent the next four years teaching preschool at AppleTree Early Learning Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.  While teaching, Ms. Wicks completed a Masters Degree from Johns Hopkins University in Early Childhood Special Education.  Ms. Wicks was born in New York City and is excited to return to New York after nineteen years.