Sara Dingledy, Principal
Sara Dingledy is an experienced educator who has worked in a wide range of New York City schools. Most recently, she served as the Assistant Head Master of The Brooklyn Latin School (TBLS), one of the new specialized high schools in the NYC Department of Education. As the leader of teaching and learning at Brooklyn Latin, Sara shaped an innovative curriculum that emphasizes inquiry, Socratic Seminar, and consistent skill-based assessment. Sara came to Brooklyn Latin as a Resident Principal from New Leaders for New Schools, a nationally recognized Principal training program. Previously, she was a high school social studies teacher at Martin Luther King Jr., HS in New York City where, in 2001, she was one of three founding teachers of the MLK High School of Art and Technology. A graduate of Union College and the School for International Training, Sara has studied and worked in South Africa, the West Bank, Honduras, the U.K. and Venezuela.
Aamir Rodriguez, Assistant Principal
Aamir Rodriguez is a committed educator who has worked at several New York City high schools, primarily as a teacher of English, History, and Technology. Most recently, he worked at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School in the Bronx, a small school committed to serving the needs of at-risk youth. There, he served as a teacher, an organizer of different grade-level and curricular teams, and the Director of Special Education. Through his work, he strived to support other teachers in their development, so that they could thoughtfully meet the needs of all students. Aamir has worked as a grantee and researcher for the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has developed workshops and panels for Brown University’s No Teacher Left Behind Conference, The Kennedy Center’s VSA Arts Symposium, and The Coalition of Essential School’s Fall Forum.
Jozef Mackie, PE Teacher / Dean of Students
Jozef Mackie is an enthusiastic, passionate Physical Education and Technology educator from London, United Kingdom. Jozef has global experience of teaching in schools in London, Los Angeles and now New York City. Most recently, he served as a lead PE teacher for a network of 15 schools in Inglewood, Los Angeles. Supporting teacher and curriculum development whilst being part of a successful extra curricular rugby program for over 300 students at risk. Part of the program was used as an ESPN documentary Scrum The Movie, highlighting the positive effects of rugby in high risk environments.
Maxine Borowitz, ELA
Maxine Borowitz, a committed educator, has taught English for nineteen years in New York City, first at Borough Academy and then at Independence High School. Maxine has planned and led school wide professional development workshops on strategies to enhance teacher knowledge and student performance. She has coached and mentored many new teachers to ensure their success. Maxine is a graduate of Boston University with a B.A. in English, City College’s Graduate Program in Creative Writing and Bank Street’s Bilingual ESL Teacher Leader Academy.
Lacey Vargas, ELA Teacher and Mentorship Coordinator
Lacey Vargas teaches English and Spanish for Native Speakers at WSA. Before coming to WSA, she taught at Williamsburg Charter High School in Brooklyn and trained primary school teachers in Uganda as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Lacey has a B.A. from New York University in French and Spanish and a M.S. from Hunter College in Education, with a concentration in Special Education. She has also studied in France and Spain. With a passion for languages, travel, and global citizenship, Lacey speaks French, Spanish, and some Luganda. She is very excited to work with WSA’s mentorship program and foster strong relationships between teachers and students.
Jacqueline Medori, Mathematics
Jacqueline Medori teaches math at WSA and was lucky enough to be a founding member of the staff. Prior to getting a M.S. in Adolescent Education and Students with Disabilities, Jacqueline studied physics, sociology and community service learning at Stony Brook University. During her undergraduate studies she had the opportunity to study abroad in England, partake in disaster relief in the New Orleans area and help lead environmental initiatives. Jacqueline loves reading, crafts and animals.
Denise Haynes, School Social Worker
Denise Haynes is passionate and dedicated to seeing young people reach their full academic, social and emotional potential. As a professional social worker for many years, she has worked in middle and high schools both in the public and charter sectors. Denise received her B.A in Psychology and her M.S.W in Social Work from the University at Albany. Denise looks forward to creating a sense of community in WSA by building relationships with students and families. Besides having a strong faith and a passion for travel, she also has an adoration for glazed donuts.
Sean McCreight, ELA
Sean McCreight is committed to building a strong academic community at Westchester Square Academy through passionate scholarship and sustaining meaningful relationships throughout the school. After graduating from Seattle University with a double degree in Education and English, he taught literacy at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. He has had the opportunity to travel widely throughout Latin America and Eastern Europe. Sean earned his M.A. in Teaching from Bard College in NYC, and fiercely believes in community activism, promoting student rights, and biking around town.
Claire Rann, ESL/ELA
Claire Rann firmly believes in the transformative power of education and is excited to continue living out this belief as a staff member at Westchester Square Academy. Before joining our team, Claire ran a non-profit organization serving Iraqi refugees in Chicago. She graduated cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in English and History, where she spent her junior year abroad at the University of Oxford in England. Claire earned her M.A. in Middle Eastern History from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and is currently working toward an M.S. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at City College.
Kerrisha Brown, Mathematics
Kerrisha Brown an advocate for education who truly believes that learning is the key to success. Kerrisha is a Mathematics teacher and an integral part of the community at Westchester Square Academy. Before joining our team, Kerrisha worked as a business educator and consultant with the NYC Business Solutions (Seedco) a non-profit city run program, which helps entrepreneurs start up their business in the Five Boroughs of New York. She graduated from Hofstra University with a B.B.A in Marketing and International Business, and is currently working towards an M.S. in Education to teach Mathematics (grades 7-12).
Marques Rich, Science Teacher
Marques Rich believes an appreciation for science can allow one to see the functions of the world from a different perspective. Both eager and excited to help start a science program at WSA, Marques hopes to teach the students of WSA the interconnectedness of science and the real world. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from The City College of New York and received his M.A. in Science Education from New York University. Prior to becoming a faculty member at WSA, Marques gained invaluable teaching experience while completing a one-year teaching residency at East Side Community High School. He looks forward to joining the WSA community and helping to foster the development of well-rounded young men and women!
Steven Deep, Social Studies
Steven Deep is a committed educator who believes that the education of values and citizenry is the key to the success of today’s youth. Prior to WSA, Steven has served as an educator at Herbert H. Lehman High School. Steven has been a Teacher, Teacher Director for the Health Careers Small Learning Community, a Football Coach and most recently a Dean of Discipline, all for Lehman High School. He earned his BA from Manhattan College in Secondary Education and History. He is currently earning his MA in History from Western Connecticut State University. Steven is looking forward to bringing his experience, knowledge and passion to the students of WSA.
Michael Toro, Health / Physical Education
Mike Toro prides himself on being able to work with students of the Bronx, where he was raised. As a product of the NYC Public School system, Michael is committed to teaching students life skills and how to be resilient through his Health and Physical Education classes. Michael earned his BS from Lehman College in Health Education and an MS from Canisius College in Physical Education. Michael is looking forward to a great school year and creating strong relationships with the WSA community.
Tasha Henry Wilson, College Counselor
Tasha Henry Wilson is a Brooklyn, New York native. She is committed to improving educational equity; increasing students’ accessibility to higher education. Tasha firmly believes that every student can be successful with the right amount of support, determination, and perseverance. As a first-generation college graduate, she knows how important it is for students to receive adequate assistance as they navigate the college application process. Her goal is to ensure that all WSA students leave fully prepared to take on the challenge of college and career. Tasha comes to WSA with a wealth of experience, working with youth for many years, in various capacities. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and her M.S.W. from Fordham University.
Deborah Porterfield, ELA/Science Teacher
Deb Porterfield teaches ELA and Living Environment at Westchester Square Academy. Previously, she taught ELA, social studies and science at Kappa III Middle School and the Academy of Civic Engagement in the Bronx. She also has worked as a developmental coach for beginning teachers in the New York City Teaching Fellows program. Before joining the teaching profession as a Teaching Fellow in 2008, she worked as a writer and editor for several regional and national publications, including USA Today, where she continues to write a popular column on new technology products. As a full-time journalist, she produced numerous stories on education and personal technology, and also explored a variety of locales, including the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and the technology sector in Japan. Porterfield received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Georgia and a Master’s Degree in Urban Education from Mercy College. As the parent of two sons, ages 20 and 17, she appreciates the challenges that parents face as they help their children acquire the skills needed to succeed in high school, college and beyond.
James Quigley, Social Studies
James Quigley is a motivated teacher dedicated to helping students reach their potential. Before joining WSA, he taught at Greenwich High School in Greenwich, CT. Additionally, James has several years of experience coaching ice hockey and baseball. Prior to entering the profession, he worked in the finance industry in NYC. James played baseball at Purchase College before transferring to Binghamton University where he earned his B.A. in History and had the opportunity to study abroad in London. He is currently working towards his M.P.S. in Social Studies and Special Education at Manhattanville College. James enjoys traveling, playing sports and music.
Kathleen Haywood, Mathematics
Kathleen Haywood is dedicated to assisting students in developing skills and interests that not only help them to succeed academically but also professionally. She also believes in the transformative power of being exposed to different cultures. She has traveled to Greece, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Japan, Hong Kong and England and hopes to travel more. Before joining WSA, Kathleen lived in Japan and worked as an English teacher. In NY, she later worked as a career development facilitator at a GED program. Afterwards, she worked as a job coach for individuals with disabilities. Kathleen earned her B.A. in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies from Yale University and her M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from CUNY Brooklyn College. She is currently working towards her M.S. in Education, with a focus on Special Education, at Hunter College.
Jonelle Hinchcliffe, Mathematics
Jonelle Hinchcliffe is a seasoned teacher with ten years experience teaching Algebra and Pre-Algebra in NYC public schools. It is her philosophy that all students can learn anything they set their minds to especially when they get a taste of success. Her nurturing and motivating approach to her classroom make students feel welcomed and valued every day. As a resident of the Throgs Neck neighborhood she is dedicated to the school and it’s community. She works hard to create an environment of respect and collaboration where students can thrive and grow. She received her Masters in Education from Pace University and graduated Villanova University undergraduate with a dual major in Business Administration and International Business.
Kristin Antoniotti, ELA/Spanish
Kristin Antoniotti brings her energetic teaching style to Westchester Square Academy after first cutting her teeth as a New York City educator at Bronx Leadership Academy II High School and then later at William Niles Middle School. She is a lover of language and a self-proclaimed word nerd, who has studied abroad in Mexico and done volunteer work in Central America, South America, and Africa. She is a New York City Writing Project teacher-consultant, who has presented on creating community and cultivating character in the classroom. Kristin holds a B.A. from Western Michigan University in Secondary Education, Spanish, and English as well as an M.S. Ed. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Lehman College.
Jonas Abry, ELA
Jonas Abry brings his passions for literature and education to Westchester Square Academy, where he teaches English and Drama. Prior to becoming a teacher, Jonas was a professional actor and voice-over talent. That background informs Jonas’s philosophy that learning only occurs when students are engaged with the class and the community. Jonas has previously taught at Peace and Diversity Academy. He earned his M.A. in Education from Brooklyn College and his B.F.A. in Acting from New York University.
Sophia Suárez, Science Teacher
Sophia Suárez is an inquiry enthusiast whose passion for and curiosity of the natural world spills over into students in her Living Environment class. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Sophia is not only a lover of science but a strong believer in community and emphasises it as a foundation for education in her classroom.
Simone Ousset, Dean Team and Dance Instructor
Simone Ousset is an experienced educator working in an administrative capacity and as a dance educator. She earned her degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has obtained her Licentiate in Theatre Arts from the United States Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance. Ms. Ousset is a competitive ballroom performer and instructor, and also teaches many other styles of dance. Prior to working at WSA, Ms. Ousset was a staff member at Mott Hall Community School specializing in working with the at-risk student population. She created, implemented and co-chaired several committees and was also responsible for the creation and instruction of numerous after school clubs. She looks forward to the school year ahead and being able to share her experience and expertise with the students of WSA.
Kristin Nazario, English Teacher
Kristin Nazario holds a BA and MA in English from Fordham University. Ms. Nazario began her career as an adjunct professor of English at Iona College in New Rochelle. She later joined the NYC Teaching Fellows program where she earned her MA in English Secondary Education at CCNY. Ms. Nazario taught at West Bronx Academy for five years where she was the Europe Trip Coordinator and Senior Advisor. In the summer of 2010, Ms. Nazario traveled to Norway as a Fund for Teachers fellowship recipient, studying “Philosophy in School” at Oslo University College. In 2012, Ms. Nazario moved to Italy for a two-year contract as the IB English Teacher at the International School in Genoa, where she wrote curriculum and led student trips to Dublin and the Swiss Alps. Ms. Nazario studied abroad in England, and she has traveled extensively around North America and Europe. In addition, she has visited the Caribbean, Morocco, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. With a love of adventure, Ms. Nazario believes that literature can take us on some of the most exciting journeys and is eager to share her passion with students at WSA.
Trey Hodges, Science Teacher
Trey Hodges is a passionate science and special education teacher who strives make all of his lessons engaging and relevant to his students’ lives. He is excited to bring his skills, experience, and nerdiness for astronomy, geology, and meteorology to the science community at WSA. A native of the Atlanta area, Trey received his B.A. in philosophy from Georgia Southern University and his M.A. in philosophy from the University of Oregon. As a 2014 Teach For America Corps Member in NYC he is committed to the goal of ensuring that all children in the city have access to great neighborhood schools that reflect and embrace their community. Trey comes to WSA with the motivation to become a strong and influential member of the school team.
Leiny Sosa, English Teacher
Leiny Sosa believes that as educators, one of our greatest opportunities to alter our students’ life prospects, comes through teaching them to become better readers and writers. Born and raised in the Bronx neighborhood of Westchester Square and as a graduate of Lehman High School, she is excited to return to the community which has helped shape who she is today. After receiving her B.A in English from Binghamton University, she joined the New York City Teaching Fellows Program while receiving a M.S in English Secondary Education at Hunter College. Leiny taught English to grades 6-8, for six years at William W. Niles Middle School in the Bronx and held positions like Part-time Literacy Coach, MSQI Coordinator (Middle School Quality Initiative), Achieve3000 Coach, and Reading Intervention Teacher. She took part in the NYC DOE Common Core Secondary Literacy Pilot Team in 2010 and had her work of Common Core-Aligned 8th grade Task published by the NYC DOE and is currently on the Common Core Library Site.
Adam Breaux, JD: Mathematics Teacher
Rooted in Louisiana and hailing from Brooklyn, Mr Breaux brings a life-long passion for learning and love of philosophy to our Math department teaching Geometry. He is excited to join the WSA family expanding how students see math, specifically geometry, in their own lives. Before dedicating his life to education Mr. Breaux was a legal advocate for incarcerated children and is also a trained mediator. As an educator he deeply understands, personally and professionally the powerful role that education, community, and mentorship play in the lives of all students.
Jordan González, Spanish Teacher and ESL Coordinator
Mr. González is a lover of languages, literatures and cultures. After he received his B.A. with honors from Cornell University in Spanish Literature, he spent two years in Spain earning his M.A. in Spanish Literature from NYU and teaching English as a Foreign Language to high school students in Madrid. It was his experiences in Madrid that gave him his calling to teach. Mr. González returned to New York to earn a second M.A. in TESOL from the New School University and an advance certificate from Hunter College in Adolescent Education- Foreign Languages. Born and raised in the Bronx and a resident of Throggs Neck, when Mr. Gonzalez is not teaching he is dancing to Merengue, Bachata and, sometimes, Salsa.
Jose J. Ramos, Guidance Counselor
Jose Ramos is a proud graduate of Lehman HS. He received his B.A. at Lehman College for Mass Communications and shortly after graduating was accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellows. He completed his M.A. at Hunter College and taught students with disabilities for 6 years. He then completed a second M.A. in School Counseling because he felt he could assist students with their social / emotional needs. He looks forward to building strong and positive relationships with students at WSA. He also desires to assist those same students in becoming self-advocates for their education. Outside of education, Jose serves as a youth leader for a youth group in East Harlem and enjoys producing and creating music. He also loves spending time with his wife and children.
Jack McCoy, Math Teacher
Jack McCoy is committed to working with students to help them develop the necessary academic skills and strength of character to succeed in both college and career. Before joining the team of math teachers at Westchester Square Academy, Jack worked as an administrator, creating and managing data systems , for an educational non-profit in East Harlem. Jack has lived, studied and taught abroad at different points in his career, most notably teaching in Osaka, Japan. Jack has also worked for the United States Government and for private companies throughout his career, giving him a wide array of experiences that he brings to the classroom. Jack got his B.A. in Business Management with a focus in Entrepreneurial Studies from the University of Massachusetts and is now working towards an M.A. in Education at Relay GSE.