I’m a Brooklyn, NY native, and an avid reader who enjoys being active via playing, coaching basketball, dancing, planting trees and roller skating. I am the proud mama of a 13-year-old American pit-bull terrier named Princess and a 1-year-old cat named King TuT. I’m a world traveler who loves GOOD food. I'm always down for arts and crafts, karaoke, learning new things, laughing and musicals.
In a freak medical accident during a bout with the flu, J. Ashkenazi was given an overdose of radioactive alphabet soup. The impact of the soup, in its most concentrated form, caused great and ominous changes to his DNA. The effects of the radioactive soup caused J. Ashkenazi enhanced powers of reading comprehension and writing development. Unfortunately, the radioactive soup created a monster.
The soup’s negative energy created an emotional passion for the darker side of nonfiction. Facts, statistics and nonconformist ideas creep into his literacy focus. J. Ashkenazi can occasionally be seen wrestling with all the letters of the alphabet in various rooms of the school.
Ms Brody is a native of Philadelphia, “the city of brotherly love,” but she has felt like a true new Yorker since she moved here in 2005. After earning a B.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, followed by an M.A from New York University, she was certified to teach grades K-12. Ms Brody elected to teach high school, and has been teaching mathematics at the Washington Irving campus ever since.
Hi! I am Patrick Brown and I am very excited to teach science at Gramercy Arts High School. I just moved to the tristate area and while I still get lost on the subway sometimes I enjoy every day of living here. My hobbies include dancing (blues and swing) and chess.
Hello there! My name is Erin Carr and I couldn't be more thrilled to join the team at Gramercy Arts High School! To give you a little bit of background, I started my career in the “real world” planning advertising campaigns for Diageo, a world producer of the finest beers and spirits in the industry… blah-blah-blah. After three years, my coworkers, and the perks of the job, weren’t enough to keep me fulfilled. I realized that in the “real world” I could do the same thing I loved doing before I moved to the big city, which is, working with children and adolescents. So, I quit, got me a job coaching a summer swim team (which I still have and very much enjoy), and went back to school. I’m joining your team after having just finished my graduate program at Hunter College in social studies education with experience working at Bronx Charter School for Excellence and student teaching at Manhattan Hunter Science High School.
One of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a teacher has been witnessing moments where students are able to make historical connections between themselves, their cultures, and/or their communities, and the larger world. At Gramercy Arts, I am looking forward to collaborating with you all across grade levels and subjects to create engaging student curriculum that will foster meaningful thinking, discussion, expression, and growth in our student body! When I am not teaching or nerding out over History, I enjoy leisurely reading (aka nerding out to Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and the like), swimming, yoga, live music, and the outdoors. After having the opportunity to meet some of you and interact with some of the students, I am positive that Gramercy Arts is the perfect fit for me. I really look forward to working with you all in the 2017/2018 school year!
Ms. Clagnaz is a native midwesterner who was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She earned a B.A. in German and Business Management from Luther College, a gem of a private, liberal arts school in rural Decorah, Iowa. Her love of language and culture brought her to New York where she completed her Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at New York University.
Ms. Clagnaz enters her sixth year of teaching at Gramercy Arts High School where she teaches English as a New Language (ENL) and AP Psychology. She has a passion to understand and connect with those who are different from her and she loves to explore this with her students as it is exemplified in literature. In her free time she enjoys running long distances, traveling, listening to opera, reading in the sun, and eating large quantities of pasta. Her favorite pasta is linguine vongole.
Mr. Clarke was born and raised in Portland, Jamaica. It was here that he began his educational career as a middle school teacher where he taught for eight years before migrating to the United States. He holds a bachelor's degree in Physical Education from the G. C. Foster College of Physical Education and Sport in Jamaica, and a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Rehabilitation from Brooklyn College.
For the past eleven years he worked at the High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice at the Martin Luther King Jr. Campus in New York City. Here, in addition to teaching Physical Education and Health Education, he also coached track and field. He joined the Gramercy Arts High School faculty in September 2015 as a teacher of Physical Education.
He is dedicated to education and endeavors to produce scholars who will be future leaders that will contribute to and function effectively in society.
Hello everyone! My name is Emma Iocovozzi and I am a 27-year-old New York City Teaching Fellow excited to become a member of the Gramercy Arts High School community. I am originally from Savannah, Georgia where I grew up in an idyllic southern gothic environment of moss-covered oak trees and cobblestone squares. At eighteen, I decided to forgo the slow-moving style of the Deep South and move to Paris, France, where I studied Art History for a year at the American University. From there I moved again to Los Angeles, where I attended the California Institute of the Arts and received a BFA in photography and media. After graduation, I went straight to New York City where I worked in the education department of the New Museum, fabricating exhibition programming for children. After another stint back in Savannah, I have finally settled in New York where I hope to be for a long time. I love traveling (as you can probably infer), going to museums, watching The West Wing, and writing poetry in my spare time.
As someone who also went to a public, arts-oriented high school, I feel exceptionally excited to have the opportunity to work with the students of Gramercy Arts. In my experience, the school community is a place of respect and camaraderie, and integrating the arts gives us a unique opportunity to approach teaching techniques with refreshing creativity. I believe every child has a right to realize their own potential and it is our job as educators to put in the work and help them reach their goals. We are here to empower children and get them excited about learning and I look forward to doing that with you all this year!
Ms. Jimenez was raised near Jersey City and pursued her passion of reading and writing at Rutgers University. She spent a year studying abroad in England at Bristol University. Shortly after, she became a teaching fellow and received her Masters in Education at Fordham University.
She began her teaching career at Washington Irving in 2008 and moved up to the seventh floor of Gramercy Arts High School in 2013. She has the most experience with Sophomore English. She also teaches the AP Language and Composition course to juniors. A primary focus of her instruction is increasing critical thinking through student dialogue in Socratic Seminars and using creative writing to connect the curriculum to students’ lives.
In 2014-15, she was teacher advisor for the student newsletter, The Griffin Times.
Hello, my name is Myung Sik (Bobby) Kim. I was born in South Korea and came to the United States when I was four years old. I graduated from Port Richmond High School, went on and graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelors of Art in English, and now currently attend St. John’s University School of Education. I have a huge passion for the creative arts such as music and drawing, more specifically manga and comics, and like to keep myself active by playing volleyball; I played high school varsity and college club volleyball. I hope to hold the same appreciation for the creative arts and cultivate a culture to enrich the same passion in Gramercy and its students.
Josephine was born and raised in Italy. She earned a B.A. from Lehman College and a M.A. from Hunter College. She has taught Italian at Fordham University and Hostos Community College. She likes to dance, travel and shopping. Washington Irving campus is her “second home.” She has been teaching in this building for many years! Ciao e a presto!
Mr. Looram was born and raised in the greatest state in the United States of America, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers University, where he attained a degree in economics and after graduation he pursued a career in finance. Mr. Looram quickly became disenchanted with his original career path when he realized that every day consisted of the same monotonous task list. He decided that rather than help the rich become increasingly wealthy, he would attempt to make the world a better place. Mr. Looram was accepted to the New York City Teaching Fellows and embarked on his teaching career.
I am originally from Los Angeles and moved here eight years ago. I am obsessed with musical theatre, and I am very passionate about teaching. Throughout the years I have worked as a professional theatre artist—actor, singer, and dancer. I have also taught private vocal lessons preparing students for various auditions. I received my master’s degree in educational theatre in 2015. I just completed my first year at John Adams High School where I taught theatre, video production, and media classes. This past year, I also taught an Intro to Theatre course at York College-CUNY. I am so excited to join the Gramercy Arts team and collaborate with talented colleagues.
Mr. Matute was raised in Queens New York and went to Hunter College for his Baccalaureate and Queens College for his Masters. He spent 3 years as a personal trainer in NYC and NJ before becoming a Physical Education teacher. He continues to improve lives as a personal trainer after school at a fitness club in New Jersey where he helped start the business 12 years ago.
Since he became a teacher and an original Gramercy Arts High School staff member, he has motivated, led by example, inspired, and helped transform young individuals as the only Health teacher in Gramercy for the first 7 years. As the Physical Education teacher, it is through discipline that he instills in his students for they can achieve success in their personal fitness levels and healthy lifestyle.
For the past five summers, he served as the Health and Phys Ed teacher at the Young Adult Borough Center (YABC) program for high school students age 17 or older who need to complete credits in order to graduate.
My name's Lindsey McCasland moved to NYC two years ago from Louisville, Kentucky and I've spent those two years as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow working with Renaissance School of the Arts up in East Harlem. I co-taught visual arts and managed the Apprenticeship Program at Citizen Schools. I'm really into sports, especially college sports, and I enjoy hosting watch gatherings. I also enjoy the usual large nerdoms like Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and most things comic book related. I'm really excited to meet you all soon!
Ms. Meyer grew up on Long Island and earned her Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science and a Chemistry minor, from The State University Of New York at Purchase College. She earned a Master of Science degree in Education from Dowling College, and has been teaching science in New York City for 9 years. Ms. Meyer has been with Gramercy Arts HS since its inception and currently teaches Introduction to Environmental Science.
Hey all! Danielle here! I'm super excited to join the Gramercy crew! I've been teaching studio art at a Bronx high school for the past four years and have succeeded in creating a safe space for visual expression in my classroom; and I'm very excited to do the same at Gramercy. I thrive off student's interest and excitement about art and art history. I love witnessing and encouraging the creation process, the risk taking, the problem solving, and of course the reflections. When I'm not producing artwork, I love museums, live music, and mother nature. I consider myself a constant learner and welcome new experiences with a positive outlook!
Mr. O’Neill was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to becoming a teacher Mr. O’Neill spent 15 years as a marketing executive and represented varied clients including Wells Fargo, AT&T, Dell, and Microsoft. Upon retiring from that career Mr. O’Neill received a Masters in Education from Fordham University in 2005. Over the course of his career he has been part of a team that founded two successful new schools in 2005 and 2009. He believes that at the core of a young person’s education is the development of an ability to research, interpret facts, and develop independent informed opinions. This is what transforms a student into a citizen of the world.
Mr. Richardson has always had a passion for mathematics. As a young boy, he was fascinated by the applications of the Fibonacci Sequence and the simplicity and beauty of Pascal’s triangle. Born and raised in New York, Mr. Richardson obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from the University at Albany. It was there that he was awarded the Kermit L. Hall Scholarship Award for Excellence in Mathematics. After graduation, Mr. Richardson spent years studying financial engineering, stochastic processes, markov chains, and applied statistics before pursuing a Master's Degree in Adolescent Mathematics Education at Hunter College. In the spring of 2011, he joined Gramercy Arts High School where he continues to inspire young minds with his enthusiasm for mathematics and love for education.
Outside of teaching, Mr. Richardson’s hobbies include traveling, snowboarding, photography, and playing guitar. He enjoys collecting NBA jerseys, vintage video games, classical guitars, and photos of the places he has traveled. Over the past few years, he has visited The Netherlands, Croatia, Albania, Poland, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Spain, The Dominican Republic, Portugal, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Austria, and Germany. He has always dreamed of visiting Asia and South America and hopes to have the opportunity to do so in near future.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Christina received her B.A. and M.A. in English at Boston College. Despite the New York-Boston feud, Christina admits that BC will always be her second home. Go Eagles!
She has been teaching English at Gramercy since 2013. From Homer to Rowling, and all things fiction in between, Christina is an avid believer in literature’s power to develop empathy, create hope, and initiate change.
When she’s not teaching or rereading Harry Potter, she’s watching Food Network and planning her future in cupcakes (she just has to figure out how to bake a cupcake).
So…“all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will – where do you want to start?” (“The Eleventh Hour,” Doctor Who).
Since I was a child, I have always known in my heart that I was born to teach. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I knew I would end up in New York City at some point in my life. I attended Montclair State University for my bachelor’s degree, and am currently studying at Long Island University to obtain my Masters in teaching. I am a part of the NYC Teaching Fellows-Cohort 27, and I am very proud to be a member of the fellowship. I am also a huge supporter of the arts—while I come from a family of artists and performers, my hobbies are painting, DIY crafts, and enjoying musicals, dramas, and operas.
Jennifer was raised in northern New Jersey and graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. She majored in History and Art History. Jennifer worked for a designer in the NYC garment center selling accessories to retail and specialty stores prior to earning a master’s degree in Special Education from New York University.
Jennifer joined Gramercy Arts High School in September 2015 as a special education teacher. She currently practices in an ICT and support service setting. Through fall of 2004 to spring of 2015 Jennifer taught special education on Long Island. The initial five years she served as a ICT kindergarten teacher. For the previous six years, she taught in that district's high school, teaching resource room, Wilson Reading, the Reader’s/Writer’s Workshop, self-contained, and ICT instruction.
Jennifer looks forward to a rewarding career at Gramercy Arts High School.
Ms. Sioson was born and raised in the Philippines. She received her Bachelor Degree in Secondary Education major in Biology-Chemistry at St. Loiuse de Marillac College, a Daughters of Charity Catholic school.She finished her MA in Teaching Biology at Lehman College under the TEASP Master Program in 2013.
She started teaching in 1997 and shared her expertise in General Science, Biology, Advanced Biology, Chemistry and Advanced Chemistry with high school students. In 2006, she was recruited by the NYCDOE International Teacher Office to serve the NYC Public School system.
She started her career in NYCDOE in October 2006 and was hired to teach Earth Science and Living Environment at School of Legal Studies in Brooklyn. In February 2007, she transferred to Washington Irving High School and took the position of Lab Specialist and LE teacher at the same time. In 2008, she was trained to be an IB Biology teacher and had the experienced to teach both IB Biology Higher and Standard levels. Upon the inception of Gramercy Arts High School, she was privileged to be one of the pioneer teachers in the Science Department. She is currently teaching ICT Living Environment, Forensics and AP Environmental Science.
Ms. Sioson always have the calling to be an educator. Her passion for love of teaching and the students never ceases all these years. She always believe that what truly matter is the genuine concern and dedication a teacher has, to make even a slight difference in a student life for him to become a better individual.
My name is Chas Stewart, and I'm excited to be coming to Gramercy after getting my start teaching high school English in the Bronx for two years. I studied English with a focus on 20th century English and Irish literature, especially drama, at Boston College as an undergraduate and at the University of Texas at Austin as a graduate student. I also minored in music, and sing with the Oratorio Society of New York. In my spare time, I love to cook and bake bread, as well as read about culture and politics.
Teresa hails from Brooklyn, NY. She has been teaching Humanities, AP and IB for many years. Her interest in social justice has informed her teaching. She has a passionate interest in literature, music and fine arts. Teresa advocates for animals and the environment when she is not in school. She loves the city and the great outdoors. Teresa’s dream is for her students to discover the life-sustaining properties of literature, and to feel that they too have a voice in shaping a better world for everyone, not only the 1 percent.
Born in Port-Au-Prince Haiti, and raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, I am an advocate for children and women’s Health with emphasis on childhood obesity and minority health promotion and disease prevention. I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, where I majored in Sports Science and Health Science. I am pursuing a master’s degree in school building leadership at Mercy College.
I worked as an adaptive physical education teacher and Special Olympic Coach with the adapted physical education program at Beach Channel High School. After several wonderful years with the APE Program, I transitioned to become the lead physical education teacher at IS 292 in East New York, Brooklyn, where I served as sports coordinator for many sport programs and activities, program monitor for at-risk youth, peer mediator/conflict resolution, and mentor for new teachers.
Teaching and sharing new ideas is an absolute passion. I love finding new techniques to engage my students and getting them excited about being active. I also believe that is it imperative to have a positive outlook on life and practice what you preach, so I am constantly active with my students as well setting an example of how to be positive and stay active in everyday life. I also teach my students the value of good nutrition and the importance of eating healthy and exercise. I teach an early morning fitness class, in addition to coaching soccer, cross country track, soccer, weight training, and badminton.
In my spare time I love and enjoy giving back to my community. I am a Certified CPR/EAD Instructor, and I also volunteer with the American Red Cross, FEMA, and Habitat for Humanity. I love to travel, cook, and spend time with my family and friends.
I’ve been teaching Visual Arts all over New York City since 2010, while still making time to create my own art and freelance design. I graduated from an Arts Magnet High School, Dreyfoos School of the Arts, in West Palm Beach, FL, majoring in Visual Arts. I earned my BFA in Illustration in 2007 from MICA in Baltimore, MD, and recently an MA in Art Education from NYU Steinhardt in 2015. I taught Visual Arts to grades Pre-K – 5th at P.S. 66 in the South Bronx for two years. When I’m not teaching, I love to paint, travel, read, write haikus about MTA stress, and ponder life’s complexities. My hair has been every color at one point—it’s one of my favorite canvases.
Charles Zahn was raised in Piermont, New York. He received a degree in Political Science from NYU and a Masters degree in Social Studies Education from Hunter College. Charles loves teaching history and politics and has also taught law-related education. He believes it is crucial for students to develop the critical thinking skills needed to become empowered individuals and to create a more just society for all.
Mr. Znyk was raised in Poland. After attending Art High School he went to University to study Theory of Art and Culture. After extensive travels in Germany, he decided to continue his art study in the birthplace of his grandfather, the USA.
Once in New York, Mr. Znyk got his BFA from Hunter College and his MFA from City College. In addition to his art studies, Mr. Znyk studied German culture and language at the University of Vienna and Saarbrucken.
In 2007 Mr. Znyk became a Yoga Instructor certified by the Integral Yoga Institute of NY where he teaches Hata Yoga classes ever since.
His art teaching career started at Washington Irving HS (Required Art, I.B. Art, Drawing, Fashion) and now continues at Gramercy Arts teaching Basic Art, Mixed Media, and Drawing. Mr. Znyk loves taking his students to museums and art galleries and his classes form strong partnerships with the School of Visual Arts, the New Museum, Manhattan Graphic Center, and the Park Avenue Armory.