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Middle School

Middle School

Operations Team

  • Operations Manager

    Joseph Filpo is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Operations Manager. Mr. Filpo is from Inwood and has over a decade of experience in public schools and Head Start. Mr. Filpo has held many roles across many schools. Prior to joining Atmosphere he was the Operations Manager at Rosalyn Yalow Charter School where he managed operational processes and school systems. Mr. Filpo has a passion for the betterment of students and has made it a point to give back to the same community that served him as a child.

  • 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.

  • School Aide

    Khaliah Layne is Atmosphere's 6th Grade School Aide. Ms. Layne attended Hampton University for her undergraduate studies in Psychology. She was previously an infant teacher and an after-school group leader. Aside from work, she enjoys being a mom, cooking, and spending time with her family.

  • School Aide

    Mayreni Lopez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade School Aide.

  • School Aide

    Joseph McGee is Atmosphere's 7th Grade School Aide.

  • School Aide

    Ashley Shorter is Atmosphere's 6th and 7th Grade School Aide.

  • Substitute Teacher

    Natasha Diaz is Atmosphere’s 8th Grade Substitute Teacher. Ms. Diaz was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. Ms. Diaz was bit by the acting bug while working at a summer camp at the early age of 15. That is where she found her passion for both acting and childhood development. For college, she attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Ms. Diaz is now a working actress having done some films, plays and sketch comedy shows in Manhattan.

  • School Aide

    Jose Sanchez is Atmosphere's 8th Grade School Aide.

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

    Marleny Ramirez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade School Counselor. 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 objectives aligned with making the environment on campus inclusive 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.

  • 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 Associate

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

  • School Counselor

    Traci Palmieri is the 8th-grade School Counselor. She holds a Master of Science in School Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She is currently working on her doctoral degree at Long Island University. Before working at Atmosphere Academy, she served as a school counselor in the Department of Education, and before that she served as the director of grant-funded programs at Lehman College.

  • School Counselor

    Paola Rodriguez is Atmosphere's 6th Grade School Counselor. Ms. Rodriguez holds a Master of Science in School Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Previously, she served as a School Counselor for 5 years in trauma-informed schools providing trauma-focused interventions to scholars in the welfare system.

  • Culture Associate

    Matthew McKenzie is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Culture Associate. He is well experienced in community relations and outreach. As the owner of a wellness service and boutique production company, Mr. Matt is committed to teaching youth to prioritize their health and aspire towards careers and lifestyles that foster fulfillment.

  • Culture Associate

    Meldrick Fernandez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Culture Associate. Mr. Fernandez has earned both an AA from Laguardia community college, and a BA from Lehman College in Philosophy, respectively. Meldrick has gathered an array of experience in the past six years through his education, hospitality, and security work. As a critical thinker, Mr. Fernandez considers all angles when approaching any given situation to reach the most productive solution available. A proud Bronx native, Mr. Fernandez is eager to have a positive impact in an inclusive community, such as Atmosphere.

  • Culture Associate

    Latoya Smith is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Culture Associate. She has worked for OCFS and DYCD for 25 years. Ms. Smith worked in residential for juveniles and became the supervisor. She then transferred over to the lockup at Woodfield in Valhalla NY. Latoya went to the College of New Rochelle for Early Childhood Education where she then continued working with the state and juveniles. Ms. Smith went on to teach 2nd grade for the Mount Vernon district for 1 year. Smith then went on to teach English 9-12th grade in a special education school for juveniles while working with (ACS) and dept of social services for Bronx NY. Ms. Smith has remained working with juveniles and become a case manager in (LBGTQ) community and moved up as (Criminal justice coordinator intensive case manager where she does pre-trial services for juveniles. Smith is back in school for crmimnal justice and human services. My plan is to give back and help our children remain safe and grounded. I love children and I want to show their eyes and minds that there is more in this world than what they see and they can be anything they want to be. I am very honored to work with the Atmosphere staff and growing community of children.

  • Culture Assistant

    Keyana Fraser is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Culture Assistant. Ms. Fraser aquired her Liberal Arts Dgree from Bronx Community College. Her love for childern has forster her career in education, specifically focusing on childhood devlopment. With her stong belief and continued educatoin, Ms. Fraser attended the Shcool of Professional Studies were she obtained her Child Development Associate. Within a 6 year spand, Ms. fraser has taught students ranging from the ages of four to twleve. Ms. fraser has lead her own elementry classes, acted as a subsituted teacher for middle schoolers and is currently Assistant to the Dean.

  • Culture Associate

    Keanu Tejada is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Culture Associate.

  • Culture Assistant

    Sabrina Garcia is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Culture Assistant.

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.

  • Program Associate

    Esau Greene is Atmosphere's 9th and 10th-grade Program Associate. He graduated from Quinnipiac University with a BA in Political Science and Sociology. Upon earning his degrees, Esau worked as a 7th-grade math teacher in the South Bronx. During this time, he finalized the creation of his non for profit organization EWRL. An NGO centered around providing business and legal services to women of rural Liberia. As the organization took form and grew, he took a temporary leave of absence, where he began work in marketing and production at Warner Bros in Los Angeles, CA. However, Esau wanted to continue his passion for developing young leaders, which brought him back to NY.

  • 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.

  • Special Education Teacher

    Andrea Cuevas is Atmosphere's 7th grade Special Education Teacher. Ms. Cuevas earned two master's degrees in elementary education, and elementary Curriculum and Instruction, along with a professional certification in teaching students with disabilities. Ms. Cuevas has worked as an educator for 18 years, with a concentration in teaching students with disabilities for the past 6 years in New York City.

  • Art Teacher

    Andrew Gerardi is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Art Teacher. Mr. Gerardi believes strongly in the healing power of the arts. He has an art degree from Stony Brook University and has an art practice outside of work where he works mainly in acrylic and oil paint. He also has several years of experience teaching art to children and adults. He loves going for hikes, learning Italian, and going to museums in his spare time.

  • 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

    Ariana Stoll is Atmonsphere's 7th Grade Art Teacher. Ms. Stoll has a Bachelor of Fine Arts that she obtained at Lehman College where she also minored in the Japanese Language. She has experience teaching Art at summer school programs. Ms. Stoll believes that art is a way for children to learn about self-expression, decision-making, patience, and creative problem-solving. She has worked with several different art museums in the past such as Japan Society and The Studio Museum in Harlem and aims to inspire artistic passion in her students.

  • 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.

  • Science Teacher

    Ashley Brown is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Science Teacher.

  • Science Teacher

    Bibi Ghafari is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Science Teacher.

  • Math Teacher

    Cassandra Coleman is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Math Teacher. Ms. Coleman received her B.A. in Education from Lehman College and attended City College to pursue an. M.A. in Education. She has been a dedicated educator for 15 years. Over the years she has had the pleasure to teach Middle School in the public, charter, and private sectors. Her most recent roles have included serving as a Math Regents Prep Teacher, Curriculum and Instruction Leader for the US Army’s Child Development Center in Georgia, and Math Teacher for the Department of Education. When not working, Ms. Coleman volunteers at her church heading an outreach program organizing free tutoring and educational services for the children in their neighborhood. Ms. Coleman’s teaching philosophy is that every child is born with potential and is thrilled to be a part of the Atmosphere community.

  • Math Teacher

    Caterina Plymouth is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Math Teacher. Caterina received her Bachelor's degree from Nyack College, New York, and has been a middle school STEM teacher for the past three years. She is currently looking forward to continuing her education journey by getting a master's degree in education and continuing to grow as an educator.

  • 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!

  • Math Teacher

    Cessina Gyamfi is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Math Teacher. Ms. Gyamfi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from CUNY City College of New York. Previously, she worked as an elementary school teacher at Zeta Charter School. She has a passion for students and a drive to see them succeed.

  • Science Teacher

    Charina Lopez is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Science Teacher. She was born and raised around the Inwood area in Manhattan. She has a Bachelors in Early Childhood/Special Education and a Masters in Childhood/Special Education. This is her sixth year teaching and she is very excited to be part of the Atmosphere team.

  • Math Teacher

    Chelsie Then is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Math Teacher. Ms. Then received her Bachelor's degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has been a High School Teacher for the past three years. She is currently looking forward to continuing her education by pursuing a Masters's Degree in education. This is her fourth year teaching and she is excited to join the Atmosphere community.

  • English Teacher

    Cheryle Prentis is Atmosphere's 7th Grade English 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 Master's Degree in Elementary Education. He believes that education is our passport to a successful future and is excited to be a part 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. Mrs. Cubi has more than twenty years of teaching experience both in New York and her native island home, Jamaica. She has a Diploma in Teaching from Mico University, Jamaica; a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Psychology from American Intercontinental University Atlanta, Georgia; and a Master of Science in Education Media Design & Technology, from Full Sail University Winters Park, Florida.

  • 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

    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. She holds a bachelor's Degree in International Communications from Cedarville University and a Masters's Degree in Special and General Education from PACE University. She holds an NYSed Teaching Certification for Special and General Education. She has 10+ years of experience teaching both internationally and nationally, living between Hungary, Ukraine, and the United States. Before coming to Atmosphere she taught at both Harlem Village Academies and KIPP Elements Primary School. She loves her family which includes her husband and two kids. For fun, Mrs. Tejeda enjoys food adventures, watching movies, theater, and CrossFit.

  • 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.

  • 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

    Jillian Klansky is Atmonsphere's 6th Grade Art Teacher. Ms. Klansky is passionate about the arts and creativity. She attended Tulane University where she double majored in Art History and Spanish and obtained a Masters's Degree in Spanish. Ms. Klansky previously taught art to grades Pre-K to 2nd grade. She loves creating art and inspiring others to do so. Her work is mostly in acrylic paint but she loves to experiment and try new things with her art.

  • 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.

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Kayla Scarborough is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher.

  • English Teacher

    Kimberly McDonald is Atmosphere's 7th Grade English Teacher. Ms. McDonald holds a bachelor's degree in Adolescent Education English 7-12. She also just earned her master's in Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology. Ms. McDonald is going into her third year teaching middle school. She believes that education is the key to success and hopes to instill this message in her students.

  • 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

    Lolimar Peña is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Special Education Teacher. Ms.Peña was born and raised in Inwood, Manhattan. She is the first generation in her family to graduate from college. She earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology at Concordia College and her Master's in Special Education at New York University. She is pleased to join the 6th-grade middle school team at Atmosphere Academy.

  • French Teacher

    Louisket Edmond is Atmosphere's 6th, 7th and 8th Grade French Teacher. He is originally from Gonave island, Haiti. Mr. Edmond completed his dual Bachelors degree in French and Spanish literature at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pensylvania and a Master's degree in French education at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. He studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico and taught ESL while in Oaxaca. He also escorted students from the University of Maine to Laval University in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and taught them French while in Quebec City. Mr. Edmond focused on Curriculum as a doctoral student at American College of Education and he currently creates a culture of encouragement in his classroom at AAPCS.

  • 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.

  • Science Teacher

    Maximillian Macias is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Science Teacher.

  • 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

    Michelle Wang is Atmosphere's 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Mandarin Teacher. She has lived in Los Angeles and New York City both for many years, experiencing the different cultures between the West Coast and East Coast. Ms. Wang is a New York State certified teacher. She obtained her Bachelors degree from UCLA with a major in Linguistics & Psychology and a minor in Education Studies. She has a Masters degree from Hunter College in Adolescent Education Chinese program. She is willing to help her students learn Chinese, and moreover, she tries to broaden scholars' horizons and inspire them to become responsible, kind hearted, intelligent, and competent global citizens in the future.

  • Substitute Teacher

    Natasha Diaz is Atmosphere’s 8th Grade Substitute Teacher. Ms. Diaz was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. Ms. Diaz was bit by the acting bug while working at a summer camp at the early age of 15. That is where she found her passion for both acting and childhood development. For college, she attended The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Ms. Diaz is now a working actress having done some films, plays and sketch comedy shows in Manhattan.

  • English Teacher

    Nicole Pelose is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Linguistics Teacher. She joined Atmosphere with over 15 years of Teaching experience in English Language Arts and Literacy. Ms. Pelose earned her Masters's Degree from St, John's University with a major in Education and a minor in Psychology. In her spare time, Ms. Pelose enjoys reading, and writing Poetry and Short Stories. Ms. Pelose believes that the key essentials to becoming an effective Communicator is through avid reading and writing.

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Owen Sniatkowski is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher. He was born in New Jersey but raised in rural Vermont through college. He has a bachelor's Degree with a Major in History and a Minor in Child Psychology from Castleton University. Owen is passionate about making the topic of History a compelling and experiential adventure for all students. He takes his passion for history outside of the classroom, volunteering at a historical reenactment and living history events across the East coast. His interests also include sports like baseball, soccer, football, and skateboarding.

  • Science Teacher

    Perzza Gonzalez is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Science Teacher. Ms. Gonzalez obtained her bachelor at Lehman College in Sociology and her Master's in Science Education. She previously work at Promise Academy II Middle School for 7 years as a science teacher. She also enjoys taking a hands-on approach toward science and believes all children should learn science concepts through hands-on activities. Ms. Gonzalez is currently working toward her special education extension on her master's degree to better serve our students.

  • 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

    Rashan Fray is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Special Education Teacher. He resides in Queens, NY with his wife and 3 beautiful children. He is an avid fan of sports, food, music, and business. Mr. Fray usually participates in at least one fantasy football league throughout the school year. He is a certified New Yorker, born and raised, with Jamaican and Cuban heritage. He is Danielson-certified and in the midst of his 17th year of teaching. He has been an elementary and high school teacher but has a passion for middle school. Mr. Fray has been a Middle School Dean, Chess Coach and served on multiple Instructional Leadership Teams before coming to Atmosphere. He holds an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Nassau Community College; B.A. in Sports Business Management from St. John's University; and an M.S. Ed. in Special Education from Long Island University-Brooklyn. Mr. Fray also has multiple credits in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University and hopes to continue his second Master's pursuit that was interrupted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. He aspires to instill a philosophy, framework, and structure into a school community that encourages positive participation and is filled with actively-involved learners, in a symbiotic environment, that conveys social and academic education through real-world, student-centered activities that are relevant to them.

  • 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

    Roseangela Massa is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Physical Education Teacher. Ms.Massa holds a Masters's Degree in Physical Education and a bachelor's Degree in Sports Studies. She attended Manhattanville college and earned both of her degrees there. She has been teaching now for 8 years. Previously she worked at a Catholic school teaching grades Pre-K through 8th.

  • 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

    Sharon Garlick is Atmosphere's 6th Grade English Teacher. Ms. Garlick has a combined 15 years of educational experience in both General Education and Special Education. She holds a dual Master's degree in Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities. Before coming to Atmosphere, Ms. Garlick was a 5th & 6th Grade Special Education Teacher for four years and a 5th Grade English Language Arts Teacher for four years. She is excited to bring her experience to the Atmosphere team.

  • 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

    Shontay Coleman is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Ms.Coleman was born and raised in New York City and attended Howard University, where she majored in Criminal Justice. She started her teaching career in Washington, DC, and then attended American University, where she received her Master's in Teaching. Ms.Coleman is a certified teacher with 22 years of experience. Before coming to Atmosphere, Ms.Coleman was an 8th and 6th-grade social studies teacher at TEP charter school for 6 years. She cultivated a classroom culture where her students felt accepted, respected, heard, and most of all loved. Ms.Coleman was also an instructional coach at KIPP Academy Elementary for 4 years, where her admiration of charter schools began. Ms.Coleman enjoys spending time with her 3 wonderful children and her yorkiepoo Brooklyn in her spare time.

  • English Teacher

    Soteri Kapetanakos is Atmosphere's 7th Grade English Teacher. Mr. Kapetanakos who is also known as Mr. K finished St. John's University for his bachelor's and completed his Master's in Secondary Education in Social Studies. Mr. K has also attended Hofstra University to get licensed in Special Education. He speaks Greek and Spanish and lived in both NYC and MIAMI throughout his life.

  • 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.

  • English Teacher

    Taajuddiyn Griffin is Atmosphere Academy's 6th Grade English Teacher.

  • Math Teacher

    Tamieka Frierson is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Math Teacher. Before becoming an educator, she served in the United States Navy for 7 years. After her honorable discharge, she pursued a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Management from Saint Leo University. She became an NYC Teaching Fellow and received a Master's in Special Education from Hunter College. Although she is certified to teach all subjects under her license, both her specialty and passion live in the world of mathematics. In her previous experiences as an educator, she understands the incredible bridge that must be built between children, their families, and herself. Therefore before any learning takes place, a strong relationship built on the foundation of trust must occur. Her educational philosophy, states that she must show students that mathematics is everywhere and applicable to all aspects of their lives both currently and futuristically. In addition to inspiring young children to excel and recognize a plethora of ways to apply math, she places a huge emphasis on providing all students multiple entry points into a lesson and finding value in learning all the different ways her students see, understand, and apply math. This way, she can creatively think of varied methods to best meet the needs of all her learners regardless of their initial abilities. As a result, students build confidence, develop the ability to engage in academic discourse about their learning, and achieve their education and individual goals.

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Taqiyah Gibbons is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher. Ms. Gibbons was born in Harlem, NY, and raised in the Bronx & Yonkers, NY. Ms. Gibbons attended Daemen University and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in History, minoring in Pre-law, Criminal Justice, Black Studies, and Public History. While in undergrad, Ms. Gibbons was very involved on campus with her most notable roles being President of the Black Student Union and a Founding member of Daemen's Diversity Ambassadors. Ms. Gibbons then went on to dedicate her early career to education working in the non-profit sector for over 3 years at both Read Ahead and Teach For America. Ms. Gibbons recently attained her Master of Teaching at New York University in May of 2022. She enjoys traveling, being creative, being in nature, and spending time with loved ones. This is Ms. Gibbons's 2nd year of teaching and she aspires to have a loving classroom where democracy is taught, integrity is upheld, and respect is mutual.

  • 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.