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Middle School

Middle School

Operations Team

  • Per-Diem School Aide

  • Operations Manager

    Carolina Mota is Atmosphere's 6th and 7th Grade Operations Manager. Ms. Mota is native of the Dominican Republic, but she has lived in The Bronx for most of her life after migrating to the U.S at the age of two. Ms. Mota has extensive experience in operations and administration. Most of Ms. Mota's administrative experience was in healthcare; however in 2020, after 13 years in healthcare, she decided to change her career path and begin a new path in education. She is very excited to be part of the Atmosphere family and is confident that her experience will be an asset to the team. She is looking forward to further developing her experience and knowledge in education, and very confident that Atmosphere is the perfect place to do so. Ms. Mota is looking forward to adding a little spark to our students' paths in an effort of enlightening their outlook on the greatness they can achieve in their near future.

  • Operations Manager

    Catherine Toussaint is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Operations Manager. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at Mercy College with a concentration in Business Administration. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration. Ms. Toussaint is well versed in various aspects of the Charter School community, and she is very excited and happy to bring her seven years of experience to Atmosphere Academy.

  • Operations Associate

    Neeta Joseph is Atmosphere's 6th and 7th Grade Operations Associate. Ms. Joseph has played many roles in early education for the past 12 years. She started off as a teacher and moved up to be Director at a daycare in Rockland County for 4 years, where she managed day-to-day operational processes, school curriculum syllabi, and oversaw staff. She is very excited to bring what knowledge she has to the table.

  • Operations Associate

    Justin Brandon is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Operations Associate. Previously, he served as Director of Operations in New York's shelter system, where he oversaw more than 30 security guards, shift supervisors and maintenance staff. Justin holds a Bachelor of Science in Business/Sport Management from Mercy College.

  • Operations Assistant

    Diosmairy Polonia is Atmosphere's 6th and 7th Grade Operations Assistant. Ms. Polonia earned her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education at Medgar Evers College and is currently in her last semester of her Bachelor's Degree in Middle and High School Education at Lehman College. She has been working as a teaching assistant for the past four years and is currently in the process of obtaining her teaching certification in New York City. She is so excited to join the Atmosphere family.

Culture Team

  • Culture Associate

    Kimberly Liriano is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Culture Associate. Ms. Liriano holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Monroe College. She previously has worked with adolescents in the capacity of providing social-emotional outlets through evidence-based practices. Ms. Liriano's ultimate goal is to continue strengthening interdisciplinary collaborations and provide an environment where students are able to be successful in all aspects of their Academic and Social career.

  • School Counselor

    Loretta Clemente is Atmosphere's 7th Grade School Counselor. Ms. Clemente has two Master’s Degrees; one Master of Science in School Counseling and Mental Health, and a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. Ms. Clemente is certified in School Counseling (SCO), as well as in ESOL, K-12. Ms. Clemente has 14 years of experience in education, teaching both K-12 and training and supervising new teachers for the Teaching Fellows Program in NYC. She is also a current faculty member at Hofstra University teaching summer classes and performing research. Ms. Clemente specializes in SEL, and is very passionate about ensuring all students feel valued and safe in the classroom, as well as advancing educational equity to empower our young people.

  • Culture Assistant

    Marleny Ramirez is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Culture Assistant. Ms. Ramirez has a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Political Science. She graduated from SUNY Oneonta, where she worked for the Office of New Student Services and the Office of Equity and Inclusion, where her obectives aligned with making the environment on campus inclsuive and comfortable for all students regardless of background and identity. Ms. Ramirez enjoys traveling, so much so that she took her work abroad. She spent several months working for a news station in Costa Rica. Afterwards she shifted careers and accepted a teaching opportunity in the Dominican Republic, teaching English to new English learners. She is currently getting her Master's in School Counseling at Hunter College, and genuinely enjoys working closely with students.

  • Culture Assistant

    Jeremy Agyemang is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Culture Assistant. He is currently a student at Fordham University and is working toward his Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. He has worked with young people for almost 10 years and got his start as a Maker/STEM Teaching Artist. Mr. Agyemang is looking forward to making sure that all of the scholars that he interacts with achieve all of their goals.

  • Culture Assistant

    Wilmer Leon is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Culture Assistant. Previously, he was a security guard, custodial associate and School Aide for Atmosphere. Mr. Leon has extensive background and training in the U.S. Military.

  • School Aide

    Keyana Fraser is Atmosphere's 6th Grade School Aide. Ms. Fraser graduated from Bronx Community College with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. She later attended School of Professional Studies where she received her CDA. Ms. Fraser started working in an Early Childhood Program as a teacher assistant and worked her way up to become a lead teacher in a Pre-K classroom. She is currently attending City College in hopes to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

  • Culture Assistant

    Keisha Lewis is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Culture Assistant. Mrs. Lewis graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. Before joining Atmosphere Academy, Mrs. Lewis worked at the Administration For Children and Family Services as a Child Protective Specialist. In this position, Mrs. Lewis was tasked with helping link families to services to ensure safe home environments. Mrs. Lewis started her career working with Good Shepherd Services as a middle school assistant director in Brooklyn. It is Mrs. Lewis's belief that while working with children it is important to include as many stakeholders as possible to ensure maximum success and goal achievement. Also, when you include children in the solution of their own problems they become more invested in attaining any goals that are set.

  • Culture Assistant

    Lenne Reyes is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Culture Assistant. Ms. Reyes graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and English. Ms. Reyes is the Head Coach of the girl’s volleyball, basketball and softball teams. She is also an Apprentice Dean, and her goal is to make sure our scholars are focused on their academics by supporting them socially, emotionally and academically.

  • Culture Associate

    Calimese Quincy is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Culture Associate.

  • School Counselor

  • School Counselor

  • Culture Associate

  • Culture Associate

    Meldrick Fernandez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Culture Associate.

  • Culture Associate

    Meldrick Fernandez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Culture Associate.

Programs Team

  • Programs Associate

    Alex Berzofsky is Atmosphere's Programs Associate. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University. Before Atmosphere, he taught ELA for two years at Brooklyn Prospect Charter School. Before that, he was a partner at a Global Private Equity and Venture Capital firm for 20 years. Alex is excited to bring his business experience into the classroom.

  • Programs Assistant

    Priscilla Rottier is Atmosphere's Programs Assistant. Born and raised in the Bronx, NY. Her experience as an N.Y.P.D. Law Enforcement Explorer had led to her passion for helping others. However, Priscilla's career path shifted when she became a mother. Priscilla loves to travel to exotic countries and has been to Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Thailand, China, Coast Rica, Nicaragua, Bahamas, Jamaica, Paris, and Italy. Her travels have inspired her creativity and broadened her view of the world.

Instructional Team

  • Health Teacher

    Alexis Nunez is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Health Teacher. Mr. Nunez graduated from Misericordia University, where he obtained a Master of Science. He has five years of experience working in the education system. In addition, Mr. Nunez works with a non-profit organization that provides unique opportunities through sports for kids of the Westchester community.

  • Art Teacher

  • Spanish Teacher

  • Physical Education Teacher

    Anthony Onorata is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Physical Education Teacher. Born and raised in New Jersey, Mr. Onorata completed his Bachelor of Science with a major in Physical Education & Health as well as a minor in Coaching. Mr. Onorata attended Barry University in Miami Shores, FL where he completed a four year program in three years. With over nine years of experience in pedagogy, Mr. Onorata is excited to join Atmosphere.

  • Art Teacher

  • Health Teacher

    Ariel Sanchez is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Health Teacher. Mr. Sanchez is currently enrolled at York College, working towards his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education.

  • English Teacher

    Benjamin Harick is Atmosphere's 7th Grade English Teacher.

  • Math Teacher

  • Teaching Assistant

    Catherine Madrid is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Teaching Assistant. Born and raised in New York City, Ms. Madrid attended Hostos Community College and is currently pursuing her Bachlelor's Degree in Special Education. Madrid has taught children with autism and disabilities for over 10 years. She also continues working with them as a ABA technician. For the past 5 years she has worked as a Teacher's Assistant in special education classroom settings honing in on her skills. Her passion is to empower her students by helping them build confidence in themselves and in their work. Her goal is to help her students accomplish whatever it is they put their minds to. She believes the best reward is sharing moments of accomplishment with them. Ms. Madrid is excited to be part of the Atmosphere team!

  • Science Teacher

  • English Teacher

    Chris DiGiacomo-Singh is Atmosphere's 8th Grade English Teacher. Mr. Singh earned his Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Queens College. While studying as an undergraduate, he was a staff writer for the school newspaper. Currently, he is in the process of finishing up his master's thesis at Queens College. He has taught in both public and private schools and now looks forward to working with the young scholars at Atmosphere Academy. His passions include photography, travel, food, grammar, and science fiction.

  • Math Teacher

    Daequan Lawrence is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Math Teacher. Mr. Lawrence has over seven years of teaching experience in core subjects for 5th through 9th Grades. He holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. He believes that education is our passport to a successful future and is excited to be apart of the Atmosphere community.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Danielle Meyers is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Special Education Teacher. Mrs. Meyers has 23 years of K-8 teaching experience in Special and General Education, with a concentration in literacy and instructional skills to help facilitate student learning. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and three Master's Degrees in Special and General Education, as well as in Leadership. She is currently pursuing a Ph.Ed in Organizational Leadership in Special Education.

  • English Teacher

    Debgeri Cubi is Atmosphere's 6th Grade English Teacher.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Desirea Ribot is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Teaching Assistant. Ms. Ribot has worked in the education system for 12 years in various roles. She looks forward to fostering growth and development in our students.

  • Math Teacher

    Devon Kaat is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Math Teacher. Mr. Kaat has over 3 years of teaching experience in core subjects for grades K-12, as well as teaching and tutoring mathematics at the college level. He is originally from rural Wisconsin, began his career in data analysis and software quality assessment, and moved to the Bronx for a career in urban education. Mr. Kaat commenced his education at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in a double Bachelor's Degree program for Forensic Psychology & Applied Mathematics with a concentration in Data Science. Mr. Kaat also works with Atmosphere's Afterschool program, Westhab, and works independently as a remote mathematics tutor for middle-to-high school students.

  • Science Teacher

    Era Kovanxhi is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Science Teacher. She has a bachelor's Degree with a double major in Biochemistry and Psychology from Rutgers Honors College of New Jersey. She also has a Masters's Degree in Education and is getting her Ph.D. in Education. She is a published scientist who spent many years with microbiology laboratory work, scanning electron microscope work, chemistry labs, physics labs, and research writing methods. She loves to sing opera as well as jazz, just as she did in a choir as a soprano for 8 years. She has volunteered in pediatric hospitals, tutored students in science, chemistry, and math, tutored honors students, and taught students of various grade levels in Middle School, High School, as well as College. She works together with scholars to bring a spirit of intellectual curiosity, positive competition, resilience, and teamwork into the classroom.

  • Science Teacher

    Flavia Smart is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Science Teacher. Ms. Smart has 10 years of teaching experience with undergraduate education in science and holds two master's degrees; one in Adolescent Education and one in Curriculum Design. Ms. Smart has roots in the West Indies, being born in Barbados and having family stemming from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Ms. Smart loves teaching science, watching anime and binge watching a good show. She looks forward to teaching, growing and building community all Atmosphere scholars and families.

  • Health Teacher

    Genesis Fernandez is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Health Teacher. Prior to graduation, she was a health advisor servicing her college campus and youth centers in the Albany area. Post graduation, she began teaching early elementary and middle school in 2016, later gravitating back to health education, her passion. She believes teaching health education to adolescents is essential to help them adopt basic knowledge and skills needed to acquire healthy behaviors. She is excited to serve the Atmosphere community.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Hannah Tejeda is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Special Education Teacher.

  • Math Teacher

    Jayeanne Pacor is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Math Teacher. Mrs. Pacor earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master degrees in Education from Saint John's University. Mrs. Pacor has been a New York State Cetified Teacher for 20 years in both private and independent schools. Mrs. Pacor has taught several grade levels during her career, but truly enjoys teaching 6th grade. She is looking forward to working with the Atmosphere school community.

  • Math Teacher

    Jayleen Vega is Atmonsphere's 6th Grade Math Teacher.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Jenisis Ayala is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Teaching Assistant. Ms. Ayala is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at BMCC. Her first job in the education field was as a 1:1 paraprofessional in a school for children with disabilities. Shortly after, she became a teaching assistant at the same school. It was there that she officially decided that she wanted to be the change in the education system from within and assist students and families that are having trouble navigating the education system. Ms. Ayala previously worked as an Activity Specialist in an afterschool program, teaching DIY projects to middle schoolers. In her spare time, Ms. Ayala enjoys watching anime, playing video games and watching horror movies and TV shows. She looks forward to meeting all of the Atmosphere scholars and developing lasting relationships with each of them.

  • Art Teacher

  • Math Teacher

    Joseph Acevedo is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Math Teacher. Mr. Acevedo, known to his students as "Mr. Ace,” has been a middle school math teacher since his career started in 2006 when he graduated with honors from Manhattan College. In his first year, Mr. Ace taught 6th grade math. He developed a great relationship with his students, and they asked him to move up to 7th grade with them. In his 16 years as a teacher, he’s taught 6th grade math for 3 years, 7th grade math for 12 years, and technology for 1 year. Education is not only his profession, but his passion. So much so, that he created a YouTube Channel called The Math Review, focused on providing a great, common core standard aligned resource for other math teachers and students. His primary objective is to create students that learn to become independent thinkers so they are prepared for high school and beyond.

  • ELL Teacher

    Katie Lennon is Atmosphere's 7th Grade ELL Teacher. Ms. Lennon holds an M.S.Ed degree in TESOL K-12 from SUNY New Paltz. Ms. Lennon gained two years of teaching experience in the states of Colorado and Indiana, before moving back to her home state of NY. She specializes in English Language Education and strives to ensure that our ELL and immigrant populations at Atmosphere are successful and provided with the tools they need to achieve excellence.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Katie Weinstein is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Special Education Teacher. She supports students with IEPs in various classroom settings. Ms. Weinstein holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Behavioral Science from Marist College. She is New York State certified as a teacher and a special education teacher. Previously, she student taught in Marlboro, New York and Hyde Park, New York.

  • English Teacher

    Katrina Albert is Atmosphere's 7th Grade English Teacher.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Ke'aisa Washington is Atmosphere's 9th Grade Teaching Assistant. She appreciates building connections with scholars in any classroom where she is needed. She previously worked as a 1:1 paraprofessional, working strictly with Special Education students. She is gaining new experiences and knowledge. She is thrilled to contribute and become a part of Atmosphere's outstanding growing community.

  • English Teacher

  • Math Teacher

    Lance Albritton is Atmopshere's 8th Grade Math Teacher. He is thrilled to be part of the Atmosphere Academy Public Charter School community. Before joining Atmosphere, Mr. Albritton taught for Palm Beach County Schools (FL) for three years as an 8th Grade Mathematics Teacher. Before going into teaching, Mr. Albritton served as a Behavior Specialist for many years where he worked with emotionally and behaviorly challenged students. Mr. Albritton currently holds a Bachelor of Science from Greensboro College (NC). He also serves as the Assistant Girls Basketball Coach here at Atmosphere. Mr. Albritton has a true passion for working with the youth. He strives to create a community of young learners that will nurture their growth in a positive way. Mr. Albritton enjoys spending time with family & friends, traveling, cooking and attending different sporting events.

  • Special Education Teacher

  • English Teacher

    Marion Blair is Atmosphere's 8th Grade English Teacher.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Mary Villacis is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Special Education Teacher for Social Studies and Science. She has been teaching for eight years and is excited to have joined Atmosphere Academy. She holds a Master's in Childhood Education Tri Certification and Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Villacis believes in inspiring the leaders of tomorrow to never give up, even when faced with challenges that seem impossible to overcome.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Meghan Dunne is Atmosphere’s 6th Grade Special Education Teacher. She supports students with IEPs in Math and English classes. Ms. Dunne holds a Master of Science in Childhood Education from Molloy College and a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education from Molloy College. She is New York State certified as a special education teacher. Previously, she taught in the West Islip School District and the North Merrick School District.

  • Math Teacher

    Melissa Pagan is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Math Teacher. Ms. Pagan is currently a student at Columbia University, majoring in Astrophysics and certifying in Education. She graduated from Riverdale Country School in 2017 and became an official Prep for Prep alumni in June 2017. As a member of Prep for Prep, Ms. Pagan's drive to help and give back led her to work at Prep for three years before joining Atmosphere Academy in October. At Prep for Prep, Ms. Pagan was an advisor for incoming students to help them adjust academically and socially to the rigorous expectations of the program.

  • Mandarin Teacher

  • English Teacher

    Nicole Pelose is Atmosphere's 7th Grade English Teacher.

  • Social Studies Teacher

  • Science Teacher

  • Special Education Teacher

    Precious Wilson is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Special Education Teacher. Ms. Wilson attended John Jay College for her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice. Then, she went to Metropolitan College of New York where she received her Master’s in Childhood Education. She also pursued her degree in Students with Disabilities from Mercy College. She’s been teaching for 15 years in both collaborative teaching and general education environments. Precious is a proponent of rigorous progressive education and data driven instruction that connects to the learner’s own interest and experiences. In her free time Precious enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with her family.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Ramona Jones is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Special Education Teacher. Mrs. Jones received her Bachelor of Arts from CUNY-City College. She earned a Dual Master of Science in Early Education and Special Education from The College of New Rochelle. She also has a Master of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary. Mrs. Jones is certified in General and Special Education from Birth to Sixth grade. Mrs. Jones has been an advocate for children and their families within various communities for more than three decades. Previously, Mrs. Jones owned and operated a family daycare for eight years and taught as a Special Education Teacher in a Self-Contained classroom in the NYC Public School System. Mrs. Jones also taught in a NY State mental hospital with middle and high school students. Mrs. Jones is highly respected in her community and volunteers as a mentor to numerous men, women and children.

  • Special Education Teacher

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Ravyn Gilbert is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Ms. Gilbert holds a Bachelor's Degree in Adolescent Education with a concentration in Social Studies and has a Master of Science in Teaching Students with Disabilities. Previously, she worked as Pre-Kindergarten teacher as Brightside Academy in the Bronx. Ms. Gilbert is excited and motivated in providing an interactive social studies experience with her students and seeks to grow and learn along with them.

  • Physical Education Teacher

  • Special Education Teacher

    Ross Grunwald is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Special Education Teacher. Mr. Grunwald graduated from Five Towns College with a bachelor's in Business Management and Audio Engineering. Mr. Grunwald continued his education and received a Masters's in Elementary education. Mr. Grunwald has a certification in general education and special education. Prior to teaching 7th grade, he was Atmosphere's 6th-grade special education teacher for both Math and Science.

  • ELL Teacher

    Sarah Hendry is Atmosphere's 8th Grade ELL Teacher. She has her Bachelor of Science in Childhood and Special Education and concentration in Mathematics from the College of Saint Rose. She has a Master's degree from Syracuse University in Teaching English Language Learners. Previously, Ms. Hendry has served as an ESL Teacher in the South Bronx and Special Education with a concentration in Mathematics Teacher in Brooklyn.

  • Physical Education Teacher

    Scott Friebel is Atmosphere’s 6th Grade Physical Education Teacher. Mr. Friebel holds a Master of Science in Physical Education from Hofstra University and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Management from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Health Education at SUNY The College at Brockport. Mr. Friebel is a New York State AHPERD member where he presents physical education activities at local and state-level conferences. Previously he worked part-time as an Athletic Administrator for a Long Island-based youth sports company and also coached youth volleyball, lacrosse, and hockey while working towards his degrees.

  • English Teacher

  • Math Teacher

    Sheydgi Rivera is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Math Teacher. Ms. Rivera earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from Hunter College. She is a New York State certified teacher who loves to learn. Not only does Ms. Rivera love teaching and learning, but she is an animal lover!

  • Social Studies Teacher

  • Science Teacher

    Stephanie Baez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Science Teacher. Mrs. Baez has been teaching for 9 years and is excited to continue growing as an educator with Atmosphere Academy. She developed her love for teaching when she was a teacher’s assistant at a low income neighborhood in the Bronx. Mrs. Baez loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family.

  • English Teacher

    Suzanne Breslin-Larsen is Atmosphere's 6th Grade English Teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Penn State and a Master of Arts from New York University. She has been teaching for 32 years.

  • Math Teacher

  • Science Teacher

  • Social Studies Teacher

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Tyson Himes is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Mr. Himes was born and raised in rural Pennsylvania and attended Penn State University for his undergraduate work in Philosophy, Political Science, and History. While at Penn State, he studied abroad in Athens, Greece and participated in archaeological digs in Murighiol, Romania, and Thebes, Greece. After college he worked as a legal assistant at a small law firm in Pittsburgh, PA while running a donation-based hostel. He then worked as an Assembly Messenger for the Wisconsin State Legislature in Madison, WI, getting an up-close look at the legislative process in action. After Madison, he moved to New York City where he got a Master's Degree in Political Science and started teaching at Brooklyn College Academy and Hunter College. While teaching political science he gained experience tutoring 8th grade students at Huntington Learning Center in math, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. He looks forward to getting to know the Atmosphere team and developing impactful relationships with his students.

  • ELL Teacher

    Yesenia Rivera is Atmosphere's 6th Grade ELL Teacher. She holds her Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Mercy College. Ms. Rivera has previously worked in the DOE system.

  • Substitute Teacher