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.
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.
Hi Gramercy Arts, my name is Dena Habib. My personal philosophy is work hard, play hard. I believe in reaping the rewards once you’ve worked for it. I enjoy art, going to visit galleries and museums and most genres of music. I also enjoy reading, so if there are any good book suggestions I’d love to receive them. My background is Egyptian and Italian. I loo\k forward to starting this up coming year with you all!
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. Lau was born and bred in Los Angeles before coming over to the east coast to continue his education, as he prefers the bone-chilling cold to the nice warm beach. He recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Linguistics. Before he came to Gramercy Arts, he worked as a editorial assistant at the literary agency Aevitas Creative Management in Flatiron. He is currently the college counselor at Gramercy Arts and helps students apply for college and financial aid. Furthermore, he works directly with admissions officers at colleges and universities to create a college-going culture at the school, and several times a month he will invite representatives from universities to come to Gramercy Arts and speak to students.
His hobbies include unicycling, writing novels that have yet to be published, and cooking plain white rice. He hopes to get his master's degree in Human Capital Management. He enjoys reading books about primate anatomy and physics (two separate subjects), hosting podcasts about reading as a writer, and drinking water from a metal canteen. On the other hand, he is afraid of spiders, and he is deathly scared of speaking Spanish in public.
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.
Hello, everyone! My name is Stephanie Luizzi and I’m thrilled to be joining the team at Gramercy Arts HS. I am excited to help unlock our students’ potential and help them reach their goals. I enjoy building a strong rapport with students so we can create a classroom full of unique perspectives and ideas. Outside of the classroom I’m an avid runner and love cooking.
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.
My name is Jaroslaw Maliniak. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Middle Childhood and Adolescent Urban Education and Bachelor of Arts in History from LIU Brooklyn Campus. I also obtained my Master of Science in Education specializing in Urban Adolescents with Disabilities from LIU Brooklyn Campus. I enjoy history and love to share my appreciation of history with my students. I try to have my students make connections between today and the past to better understand and recognize the importance of history. “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” I am big sports fan of the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, New York Jets, New York Red Bulls, and my beloved soccer team, Manchester United of the English Premier League. I play both soccer and basketball avidly. Currently, I play as a right back and left back for a semi-professional soccer team in the Cosmopolitan Soccer League in NYC. I am looking forward to cheering on the Gramercy Arts High School sports teams and their success!
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.
Rob Pasternack earned his BS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, where he discovered his desire to become an educator after teaching a class during his graduate work. After working briefly in financial services, Rob pursued his education credentials through NYC Teaching Fellows, and started teaching for NYC public schools in 2012. Having taught Living Environment, Regents Chemistry, AP Biology, and a number of science related electives, Rob is delighted to lend his experience in developing the Science team here at Gramercy Arts HS. His motto is “High expectations is the single most impactful thing a teacher can communicate to students. Be challenged, and rise.”
My name is Kimberly Powell and I’m excited about joining the Gramercy Arts High School team a Special Education Teacher, teaching ELA and Social Studies Teacher. I was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica and I enjoy being fully immersed in my culture while learning about other cultural backgrounds. I am extremely passionate about The Arts, specifically Spoken Word poetry. I myself am a spoken word artist, and I have enjoyed performing on the trains, and at various poetry cafes and other events. I am an alumnus of Medgar Evers College and hold a Bachelor's degree in English. Along with performance, I enjoy blogging, spending time with my nieces and small gatherings with friends. I enjoy working with teens because of the fresh and exciting ideas they bring. I strongly believe that one never stops learning, and as an educator, I am always open to developing new ideas and learning new things. I look forward to beginning this journey at Gramercy Arts High.
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).
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.
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.