ďA mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to old dimensions.Ē - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
Zipporiah Millsí journey as an educator began as a third grade teacher in September 1984. After 25 years of teaching she says she still enjoys the look on a student's face when they ďget it.Ē It is for that look that Zipp Mills expects excellence from every member of the PS261 community every day. Zippís educational mission is to create a place where every child is greeted every day with a smile, a caring glance, and supportive words; where high academic goals are realized for our students through hands-on exploration; where all students are exposed to various arts media; and where teachers, parents and administration support each other for the good of our children. Zipp became principal of PS261 in September 2005.
Ms. Allen Joseph first came to PS261 as a parent of Sasha & Julian during the late 80's. Both her children graduated from PS261 and are now performing artists. During that time she served as a Steering Committee co-chair and class parent to many PS261 classrooms. She later joined the staff as a classroom teacher. She has taught grades K-5 but her passion was the 4th grade. She taught at PS261 from 1992-2004. Ms. Allen Joseph then spent 4 years as a Literacy Coach at PS230 and the Hamilton Heights School, where she was responsible for implementing the school-wide literacy program along with providing instructional support to classroom teachers. Jackie has a BFA in Dance Performance from City College and an MS in Early Childhood from Bank Street College. She obtained her School Building Leader Certificate in Administration from The College of Saint Rose. She is a strong believer in building a community of lifelong learners where school is a place to stretch and become excited about each other's growth as educators. She is a lover of the arts! She spends most of her spare time listening to live music or attending the Joyce Theater!
This is Sara's 11th year at PS261. She received her Bachelors degree in Elementary and Special Education from Mount St. Mary's College, and her Masters in Literacy from NYU, as well as a Masters in Educational Administration from Brooklyn College. At PS261, she has been a student teacher, teacher, and now enjoys her role as Assistant Principal. As a former Special Education teacher, she is passionate about the rights and needs of all students. Sara enjoys visiting her childhood home in upstate New York with her husband Karl and two young children.
Carmen Perez started at PS261 as a volunteer in 1993, when her daughter Rita Started Pre-Kindergarten; a year later she was hired as the Family Worker for the Pre-K program, where she remained for 11 years. In 2006 she became the first PS261 Parent Coordinator, and in 2008 became Office Manager. Mrs. Perez lives in Staten Island with her husband Raymond and three children: Raymond Jr., 29; Rita, 23; and Michelle, 21 (all graduates of PS261).
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This is Jerry's 7th year as Parent Coordinator at PS261, and was a parent here for 11 years. He enjoys interacting with the entire school community. "I try to make myself as visible as possible, to let parents know that I'm here to help improve communication between the parent body and the school," he says. The father of three PS261 graduates - all now in high school or college - he tries to bring his experience as a public school parent to bear in his day-to-day responsibilities. Jerry sings with the University Glee Club of New York City.
Miss Vivian, a veteran teacher of nearly two decades, earned a Bachelor's in Developmental Drama and Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. She has a Master's in Elementary Education with a specialty in English as a Second Language from Adelphi University. Miss Vivian has taught pre-K since 2004, but she has spent most of her career teaching kindergarten, as well as first and second grades, and much of it at PS261. At home she keeps busy surfing the Internet, swimming, biking, doing arts and crafts and working on home projects.
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Yvonne, as she prefers to be called, has been at our school since 1996. Before this she worked on Wall Street for 10 years. She received her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education, Master's in Teaching Mathematics in Elementary School, and a Master's in Educational Leadership/School Administration, from Brooklyn College. Yvonne has also taught Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third grades, and she was the "Math Games" teacher specialist. Yvonne, who is from Panama, speaks Spanish fluently. Yvonne enjoys attending performing arts events, and she loves children, cakes, and flowers.
Born and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Mariel attended Brooklyn Public schools from Elementary through High School. She has fond memories and couldn't wait to be part of the community again, this time as an educator. She has wanted to be a teacher since she herself was in Kindergarten, and loves being around the curious minds of young students! This is Mariel's third year at P.S. 261. She studied Early Childhood Urban Education at LIU, Brooklyn Campus, and has her Special Education Extension Certification through the College of St. Rose. Mariel is also a fully certified Pilates Instructor with credentials in pre and post natal. Mariel now lives in Windsor Terrace with her husband Chad, their daughter Edie, dog Sophie, and cat Lucy. Mariel has a passion for traveling, the outdoors (the Colorado Rockies amongst her favorite!), and has a deep love for animals, most especially horses. She looks forward to sharing her enthusiasms with her students, and learning theirs, as well!
Jen is celebrating her 10th year at PS 261 and her 7th in K. Prior to coming to 261 Jen taught in CA, VT, the Bronx & Manhattan. Jen grew up in Vermont, where she received her BA in American Literature from Middlebury College. Jen also has her Masters in Early Childhood from Hunter College. When not at PS261, Jen can be found in NJ spending time with her family, baking, knitting and trying to kick her blog reading habit.
This is David's sixth year teaching Kindergarten at PS261. He received his Bachelor Degree in Political Science from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo and holds Masters Degrees from both Queens College (Social Studies in Secondary Education) and Touro College (Childhood and Special Education). David loves to play gourmet chef in the kitchen for his wife and amazing 8 year old daughter.
Melissa has been working in early education for 13 years. She received her Bachelors Degree at Rutgers University. She was a Teaching Fellow and received her Masters from LIU. Melissa enjoys learning new things and hopes to pass her energy of being a lifelong learner to her students. Melissa loves to dance, go camping, travel to beautiful places, take photos and spend time with her family.
Alexandra has been one of the Special Education teachers at P.S. 261for the past 16 years. While she has previously taught one of the small classes, she looks forward to her new role as a Kindergarten ICT teacher. One of the things she loves about working with children is the unique talents and strengths each child brings to the classroom community. She appreciates parent involvement and welcomes them in the classroom. She also encourages her students to share what they like to do and learn about. She received her Bachelorís in Psychology and has a Masterís Degree in School Counseling.
Ms. Robyn started at PS261 in 2005. She received her Bachelor's in Child and Family Studies from Syracuse University and her Master's in Childhood and Special Education from New York University. She has also obtained her Early Childhood Education certificate. Ms. Robyn has just started her 10th year at PS261 and has taught 2nd grade ICT, Kindergarten, Pre-K and back to Kindergarten. She is happy to be in the "main" building working in one of her favorite grades. PS261 has a great community of teachers, parents and students! Ms. Robyn spent her summers on Long Island working at a day camp that she committed herself to for 16 years! This is her first summer she spent in the city and traveling to England where she spent time in a castle!
Patrick is excited to be starting his second year teaching Kindergarten at PS261. In his fourteen years of teaching he has taught third, first, kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and physical education. Patrick holds both a B.A and M.S in Organizational Communication and a B.A. and M.S. in Elementary education and teaching reading. In his spare time Patrick enjoys Bikram yoga, traveling the world, reading, music, exercise and dining outdoors!
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This is Ms. Ayala's fifth year at PS261. Her twin daughters graduated from the school four years ago and are now in high school. Ms. Ayala was an attorney in private practice for a decade before she became a New York City Teaching Fellow. She has her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois in Chicago, her law degree from Rutgers University in Newark, and a dual Master's in Childhood and Special Education from Brooklyn College. She lives in Brooklyn and enjoys spending time with her family.
Marisa has taught in the early grades for 15+ years, half of them at our school. She received her Bachelor's in Special Education from SUNY Geneseo and her Master's in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. She brings her love of music to her classroom. She says the children are the best thing about her job, and she encourages them "just to be themselves."
Millie, who is originally from Cobble Hill and is bilingual in Spanish and English, has been teaching at PS261 since 1990. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College. Millie brings her love of art to the classroom; in fact, she studied at the School of Visual Arts. She enjoys paper crafting, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Rebecca comes to PS261 (where she went to elementary school!) after several years teaching in private schools and D75 programs. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Social Thought and Political Economy from UMass, Amherst, and her Master's degree in Childhood General and Special Education from Hunter College. When she is not working, Rebecca's hobbies include watching and playing sports, spending time with friends and family, and hanging out with the adorable dogs from her husband's dog walking company.
Jamie began teaching at our school in 2002. With a Bachelor's in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a dual Master's in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University, Jamie is happy to be at PS261. ďI absolutely love this school! We have an amazing community here!Ē She enjoys living in the neighborhood with her husband and son. Jamie loves to cook, read, and travel.
Ms. Danielle, who came to PS261 in 2002, has taught Kindergarten, First Grade, Fourth Grade and Library. Ms. Danielle has a Bachelor's degree in Dietetics from the University of Delaware and a Master's in Elementary Education from C.W. Post. Originally from Long Island, she now lives in Bay Ridge with her husband and 5 year old son Liam. She enjoys traveling, yoga, reading a great book and spending time in Vermont.
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This is Aryn's 12th year teaching 1st Grade at PS261. Before teaching and throughout college, Aryn worked as a Chanel make-up artist. She holds a Bachelor's in Elementary Education and Art History, as well as a Master's in Literacy, both from NYU. Aryn lives in the Bronx with her husband and her boys Jace & Jax. She has fallen in love with Brooklyn, especially its restaurants. Aryn enjoys good food, baking, the beach, and spending time with her friends and family.
Anne has been teaching at PS261 since 2005. She previously worked in Washington Heights where she taught both third and fourth grades. She grew up in Massachusetts and received her Bachelor's in History from Wellesley College and a Master's in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University. She loves teaching for the interesting discussions, the privilege of helping kids become productive citizens, and the totally unexpected. Anne lives in Ditmas Park with her husband Jesse, 5 year old son Paul, 2 year old son Damon, and dog Cali.
Ms Miriam started at PS261 in 1998. She received her Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College and her Master's in Literacy from the College of Staten Island. She taught 1st grade for seven years and has worked as a 2nd grade reading intervention teacher. This is her third year as a 2nd grade teacher. Ms Miriam lives in Marine Park, Brooklyn. She has twin sons who attend PS261 and are now in 3rd grade. Her hobbies are entertaining her sons, reading with them and spending time with her family.
Melissa has been teaching at PS 261 for 9 years. This is her sixth year teaching second grade. She loves teaching her students about famous artists. When she's not teaching, she enjoys volunteering at Donorschoose.org, dancing, going to Wednesday Night bingo, seeing plays, visiting museums and making handmade stationery.
Jocelyn has been teaching at PS261 since 2004. She spent the first four years teaching kindergarten, and this is her seventh year teaching 2nd grade. Prior to moving to Brooklyn, Jocelyn taught for three years at an elementary school near Seattle. Jocelyn has a Bachelor's degree in Drama, and a Master's degree in Educational Theatre, both from New York University. Jocelyn spent many years as an actress, but finds teaching to be even more inspiring and rewarding. She spends her free time reading, traveling, and exploring New York City with her daughter, Emily, who graduated from PS261 in 2011.
This is my fourth year at PS261. I enjoy watching children discover that their abilities are limitless.
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Jamie has taught at PS261 since 2004. Prior to joining the PS261 staff, she worked as a pre-school teacher, a second grade teacher and held many other odd jobs. Jamie has a bachelor's degree in Children's Literature and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, both from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Jamie's favorite pastimes are bicycling, reading, and hanging out with her daughter, Charlotte. Jamie lives in Sunset Park with her husband, her daughter and her fat cat, Albert.
P.S. 261 has become a 2nd home to me! I love watching my students grow into young adults and see the progress they make throughout the year. In my free time I enjoy helping out my community by involving myself in food drives and clothing collections.
Kristin taught kindergarten and first grade at Hamilton Heights School in Washington Heights for nine years before joining the PS 261 family last year. She is thrilled to be returning as a third grade teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. As a progressive educator and graduate of Bank Street College, where she received her Master's in Classroom Literacy Teaching, Kristin believes strongly that a sound education meets the emotional, social, physical and intellectual needs of the whole child. Kristin graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie in 2003 with a BA in psychology and her elementary education certification. When she is not reading about, talking about, or engaging with young children, Kristin enjoys Bikram yoga, her cat, Joe, and participating in movements for social justice.
Hello. I have taught many grades over twenty years. I have MS in Special Education from Bank Street and earned National Board certification as an Early Childhood generalist, but I still learn a lot every year about how to teach school. I am returning to third grade which I loved teaching for 8 years at my previous school. I appreciate how children in this grade can handle so much content and are still so sweet. In my spare time I like to sit around Brooklyn and see all of the people who live here.
This is Ms. Lindsayís third year with PS261. A native to Minnesota, she lives in Brooklyn and taught Special Education (grades 3-5) in District 75 for six years before joining the PS261 team. She earned a Bachelorís in Psychology from Ithaca College, and a Masterís in Education from Pace University. Ms. Lindsay views education as an opportunity to help young people develop problem solving skills, confidence, and pride with their academics and social interactions in the classroom. She stays active outside of the classroom; running, playing soccer, and riding her bike.
Clarisse first came to PS261 in 2012 as a student teacher, and after receiving her Masterís in Education she spent the next year teaching fourth grade. Clarisse is excited to be joining the third grade team this year and to be working with a fellow Minnesotan! In her free time Clarisse enjoys reading nonfiction, sewing and spending time with her family and friends.
Marie is thrilled to be joining the PS261 family this year. With 15 years experience teaching grades two through four, Marie was the literacy coach at her last school. She is excited to be returning to the classroom, believing there is no more impactful school relationship than the one forged daily between students and their teacher. Marie received her masterís degree in elementary education from Hunter College. In her spare time, Marie likes to travel extensively, read, and spend time with her family and friends.
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Ms. Nicole, a native New Yorker who lives in Brooklyn, started at PS261 in 2005 after teaching third and fifth grades at PS 158 in Brooklyn. She was previously a case manager in a domestic violence shelter. Ms. Nicole was a NYC Teaching Fellow. She has a Bachelor's in Sociology from City College and a Master's in Childhood Education and Master's in Educational Leadership from Brooklyn College. After being a staff developer and data specialist last year, she is returning to PS 261. Ms. Nicole finds teaching important because she believes she is investing in the making of our future. She enjoys reading, dancing, and listening to music.
Stacy began teaching in 2002 in New York City. She grew up in South Carolina with parent's of Brooklyn pedigree. When she graduated from the University of South Carolina, she moved to NYC. After a year of working in the fashion industry (in publicity, not fashion) she went and received her Masters at Teachers College, Columbia University. She student taught at PS 321 and taught at PS 94 in Sunset Park. She has been at PS 261 since 2007.
Ms. Scarborough came to PS261 in 2006. She is in her 15th year in the classroom with 7 years prior experience as a substitute teacher. She has a B.A. in Psychology from UCF and a Masterís in Education from Rollins College. Ms. Scarborough teaches her students the importance of living an extraordinary life, which includes a lifetime of learning and philanthropic endeavors. She has a daughter, Cody, who attends NYU and three dogs. For fun she enjoys spending time with her daughter, visiting museums, painting portraits of her dogs, and photography. Check out her classroom website at www.steach4fun.com.
Susie began teaching in 2007 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She grew up in Brooklyn and attended PS 261. Susie has her Masterís degree in Museum Education and Childhood Education from Bank Street College. She is passionate about teaching social studies and believes that learning about the past will help our children be critical, reflective problem solvers. During her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, visiting museums, and traveling with her husband Omar and son Rio. She is excited about returning to her stomping grounds!
Miss Megan received her Bachelor's in Visual Arts with a concentration in Ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She grew up in Brooklyn and lives in Queens. Miss Megan has also taught art in afterschool and weekend programs. She has been at PS261 since 2005.
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Colleen earned her Bachelors degree from Syracuse University, graduating from their Elementary Inclusion program. She holds her Masters in literacy from Hunter College. Colleen is the Special Education teacher in PS261's fourth grade Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classroom. She has been teaching in Brooklyn since 2004. Growing up in Connecticut, she always worked with children and knew that this was the profession for her. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, live music, and art.
Nadya Robinson is a Brooklyn native. She has been teaching at PS261 for 6 years.
Marissa started her teaching career in NYC in 2002 in Washington Heights as a student teacher of SUNY Cortland. She completed her field studies abroad in London, England where she taught upper elementary students and studied at the University of North London. Upon returning, Marissa taught in Sunset Park, Brooklyn at PS 94 for 2 years before taking her service abroad again as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua. Marissa did her graduate work at Teacherís College at Columbia where she studied TESOL and received a Masters degree. After teaching at Hamilton Heights School in West Harlem for 4 years, she comes to PS261 eager to connect with the community. Marissa loves to read and dance in her free time and is interested in working with and creating integrated curriculum rooted in social justice and the arts.
Catherine began her teaching career as a 6th grade CTT Humanities and Math teacher in East Harlem at Isaac Newton Middle School. She is excited to be returning to the PS261 community. Prior to teaching she earned her bachelors degree in Marketing and Psychology at the College of William and Mary and studied Advanced Psychology for a year at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She also earned her Masters Degree in Childhood and Special Education at New York University. Catherine worked as Marketing Director for Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association prior to becoming a teacher. Soccer is a life-long passion of hers, from playing in college to coaching all ages at recreational and advanced levels. When she is not on the soccer field she enjoys knitting with her two cats Lola and Brisy by her side. She hopes to use her experience working in middle school to guide 5th graders in transitioning from elementary school to the years beyond.
Mrs. Hewitt is a born-and-raised New Yorker and a product of NYC public schools. She has a degree in Journalism from NYU and worked for over 10 years as a Reporter, Fashion Editor, and Fashion Stylist at both People en EspaŮol and Teen People magazines. She also holds a Masters in Childhood Education. She is the proud daughter of immigrants who taught her to work hard and dream big. Her passions include a love of travel and the arts. This will be her 7th year teaching. She has taught grades 1-3 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan and Chinatown, and this will be her 2nd year teaching 5th grade at PS261. She credits her success as a teacher to her smile and her love of learning.
Liz is thrilled to join P.S. 261 after being a student teacher in Jamie and Ritaís 5th grade classroom last spring. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University, a M.S.Ed. in Counseling from Fordham University, and a M.A. in Childhood and Special Education from NYU. Prior to teaching, Liz worked as a yoga instructor and counselor for schools, clinics, and the United Nations. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys world travel, exploring New York, hiking, reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with family and friends. Liz is looking forward to getting to know the students and families of the P.S. 261 community.
Tara McHugh has taught for the NYC Department of Education for seven years, as well as one year aboard teaching 4th grade in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Following graduation from Susquehanna University with a bachelorís degree in elementary education, Tara taught at PS 272 in Canarsie, Brooklyn for four years. That experience guided her in pursuing a masterís degree in TESOL at Teachers College, Colombia University. During her field study in graduate school she worked at Hamilton Heights School; where she then taught second and third grade for two years before teaching oversees. Tara is eager to continue to grow and learn with the PS261 community and feels overjoyed to reunite with students, families, and colleagues this school year. Her free time is filled with family and friend love, outdoor activities, and soaking in the abundant culture and art throughout the city. In a world without tennis hour regulations and annual fees, one would catch her playing tennis most days after school. Instead, you might see her running or playing with her nieces in Prospect Park.
Miss Rita started as a former student of PS261. She returned in 2007 as a PTA after school counselor and continued working there throughout the years. In 2012, she became an after school teacher holding her famous mad science class as well as an archaeology class. In addition to those she has taught various arts & craft classes as well as cooking classes. In the spring of 2013, Miss Rita became a substitute teacher and has subbed numerous times within the walls of PS261. Miss Rita lives on Staten Island and attends the College of Staten Island as a full time grad student. She holds a bachelors in Childhood Education 1-6 and is currently working on her masters in special education so that she can become a better, well rounded educator to meet the needs of all her students. She is very excited to start the first year of her teaching career in the same place her own education started as a student. PS261 is like a second home and she can not wait to see what this school year will bring.
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Jamie started her career at PS261 as a student teacher in the spring of 2009 and began teaching 5th grade that fall. She received her Masters at NYU and holds a degree in Elementary Education and Students with Disabilities grades 1-6. Jamie says her favorite thing about teaching 5th grade is "watching her 5th graders come in as elementary students in September and leave ready to conquer middle school by June." Jamie is an avid reader who especially enjoys reading children's books. On Sundays, you can find her watching football and cheering for her Jets. You can often find Jamie walking over the Brooklyn Bridge or eating ice cream on Smith Street.
Khadija received a BA in both Early Childhood Education (birth-2nd grade) and Political Science from Brooklyn College. She recently received a Masterís of Science in Education degree, Childhood Education Teacher (1-6) - Science and Environmental Education. On June 2013, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Sarah. She is really excited to be back at PS261, except this time she is not the one learning but the one teaching; Khadija is a proud graduate of PS261!
Rita is extremely excited about teaching Arabic language and culture at PS261! Born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in the Middle East, she is familiar with and bridges both cultures. Rita holds a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Masters in Special Education from New York University. Rita has had the opportunity to teach in a variety of settings. She taught special education preschool for several years, was a bilingual Arabic Kindergarten Teacher at P.S. 185 in Bay Ridge and she also spent several years assessing Arabic speaking children for special education. When Rita is not teaching children at school or her own four children at home, she enjoys traveling, baking and biking!
Joy loves teaching library because she loves to hear students talk and write about stories. Also, she gets to help teach students to find information, select it, analyze it, use it and share it creatively and responsibly. She worked for many years in service learning and after-school programming and is excited to work in a school that celebrates student participation in the community. Joy has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.L.S. from Syracuse University. She lives in Brooklyn and loves travel, NPR, NFL, yoga, and of course, reading.
Karyn has been teaching for nearly two decades. She has taught Physical Education and Dance primarily but also taught Art and Grade 2. Karyn joined the PS261 family in 2002 and is happy to share her former professional dance experience with her students. Hobbies include dance, gardening, horseback riding and taking care of her menagerie. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and received a Masters degree in Childhood Ed. from Brooklyn College.
Rocco has been the lower grade music teacher and Chorus director at PS261 since 2007. For further information on Rocco, including what is going on in music class this year, please visit his website: www.mromusic.com
Ms. Williams thinks teaching music is groovy. She especially loves working with students in the Beginning and Advanced Bands and third grade Recorder Ensemble at PS261. Ms. Williams graduated from Westminster Choir College, and holds a Masters degree in Music Education from Lehman College. In addition to teaching, she enjoys singing, knitting, reading and being outdoorsy in her native state of Vermont. Ms. Williams has been teaching at PS261 since 2007 and lives with her husband and dog, Baxter, in Brooklyn.
Alex has been teaching Physical Education for the last 15 years. He has a Bachelor's and Master's in Physical Education. He is originally from Miami, Florida where he began his career. During his career as a P.E. teacher, Alex has also managed after school and summer camp programs, coached wrestling in the middle and high school levels, and has been involved with youth sports. Alex moved to New York City in 2005 where he continued to teach working in the New York City Public Schools. He enjoys exercising, traveling, music, and the arts.
Don has been teaching at PS 261 going on 15 years For seven of those years Don was a 5th grade teacher and is currently one of our Phys-Ed / Health teachers. Don graduated from Brooklyn College and received his Masters from Adelphi University. He has three daughters. His oldest daughter is a fourth grade teacher in the city and her daughter will be attending Kindergarten in the fall. Don also has twin girls who are RN's and work for Centerlight Health Care. One of his twin girls is pregnant and a grand son is due September 12th. Besides being an avid Yankee fan he is a season ticket holder NY Giant fan.
Kim Tulloch is a graduate of NYC public schools and became a teacher in 1988. She has been a member of the PS261 school community since 1992. Kim has a BA from Hunter College, a MSEd from Hunter College, and another MSEd from CCNY. Kim's children, now 28 and 25, are graduates of PS261. Kim was born in Brooklyn but currently lives in New Jersey where she loves to look at stars, hike, bike ride and do yoga.
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Tanya is in her 8th year at PS261. She loves seeing the creative side of her students develop and having the joy of getting to know them better year after year. Since an early age, Tanya has enjoyed making art. Ceramic sculpture, printmaking, and drawing are her areas of specialty. Tanya earned a Masters in Visual Art Education from New York University. In her free time, she loves to be with her husband, family, friends, read, travel, explore the outdoors, bike, and of course make art! She lives in Queens with her husband and their dog and is happy to be a part of the PS261 community.
Ms. Evelyn Aleman has been teaching in the Department of Education since 1979 in a public school located in Nararnjito, Puerto Rico. She started at PS261 in 1992. She has a Master's in Elementary Education with a specialty in TEOSL. She says, "As a teacher I feel it is my responsibility to do my best in the transmission of essential data to these children in order for them to acquire the intellectual knowledge that they need to confront the different careers in their future lives." She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends at church. She also enjoys dancing salsa.
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"All students can thrive in a supportive school environment; it is our responsibility as a community to work together to make this a reality." Judy Salazar is a teacher of special education. She has been teaching at P.S. 261 since 2004. She taught the first Collaborative Team Teaching class that was introduced to P.S. 261 in 2004. Presently, she is teaching students in the Resource Room or SETSS program. Judy received her Bachelor's degree at Smith College where she majored in Latin American Studies. She studied Spanish literature in Spain, and earned her Master's degree in Special Education from New York University. Presently, she is working on a second Master's degree in School Administration at Baruch College.
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Osdilia became a part of PS261 in 2007 as a Family Worker for the school's Assessment Team. Born in Brooklyn, she moved to Puerto Rico with her family at the early age of seven. After graduating from high school, she went on to study at the Inter American University of Puerto Rico where she majored in Biology. After briefly attending college she moved back to New York in 2000 and has been here ever since. She is fluent in both English and Spanish which makes her a major asset to the School Assessment Team, teachers & parents as she uses her abilities to interpret. Osdilia enjoys writing, spending time with her daughter Layla and her Pomeranian dog Precious.
Renee began her career with the Department of Education in 1998. She has been the PS261 School Psychologist since 2001. Renee is thrilled to be working in the elementary school she attended as a child and now has the pleasure of having her son, Benjamin be a PS261 student as well! She received her Bachelorís degree from Brooklyn College, where she majored in Sociology. A strong desire to help children with learning difficulties led Renee to pursue a graduate degree in School Psychology. She holds an M.S. Ed in School Psychology from Long Island University. In addition, Renee is a New York State Certified Special Education Teacher and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Renee enjoys spending time with her husband, Adam, son, Benjamin, daughter Serena; as well as with extended family and good friends.
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Wilma completed her Masters at Hunter College School of Social Work. She received her post graduate supervision certification from NYU School of a Social Work. She is a certified clinical social worker who worked at Park Slope Center for Mental Health and Sunset Park Mental Health Center. She began her career with the NYCDOE in District #15 schools. After working on CSE Review Teams in various districts throughout Brooklyn she returned to the schools because of her desire to work with children, parents and teachers. Wilma was born and raised in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn. She attended PS32 and Nathan Hale Junior High School in District 15. She now resides in Bay Ridge. She is thrilled to be working at PS261, PS32 and MS442. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, reading, going to the movies, cooking for her family and friends, listening to music, reading and doing yoga.