Faculty

johnkuckens-100John Kuckens  (Fourth Grade), john@thecoopschool.org After studying History at Wheaton College, MA, I went on to pursue my teaching credentials at Bank Street College but not before teaching math in Hartford, CT and later working with students on the Autism spectrum in Manhattan. After student teaching at Brooklyn New School and two years as an assistant teacher in the 4th grade at Brooklyn Friends School, I’ve amassed quite a range of experiences to draw from this year. I love teaching 4th graders and couldn’t be happier to join the team at Co-op! I like to play guitar, see live music, swim, run, write, complete the crossword, and spend time with family and friends.

tmelvilleTiffany Melville (Third Grade), tiffany@thecoopschool.org I am thrilled to be a part of The Co-op School community. More importantly, I am thrilled to be one of your 3rd grade teachers! I was born and raised in Brooklyn. Since I was 6 years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I have a passion for learning and I love kids! I went to college in Long Island at SUNY Old Westbury and received my degree in teaching. I have a son named Aiden who is 2 years old and he will be in the Crickets class this fall. I’ve taught preschool, kindergarten and 5th grade. I am excited to see how we will embark on this 3rd grade journey together. In my leisure time, I like to spend hours playing at the park with Aiden, listening to music, and watching funny movies. I am a fan of books about baking and cooking. I love to read about different desserts, especially cupcakes.

celmoreCrystal Elmore (Third Grade), crystal@thecoopschool.org I moved to New York 7 years ago from my native Florida to attend NYU for a master’s degree in International Education. I’ve taught 3rd grade in both Florida and Brooklyn, and I’ve studied and worked in Europe and Asia. When I’m not teaching, I love journeying, eating, hanging out with family and friends, making things, and walking. I have a B.A. in Elementary Education, and I’m currently attending a Master of Education program in Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University. 

vnunezVanesa Nunez (Second Grade), vanesan@thecoopschool.org After spending four years “studying” on the beaches of Santa Barbara, I returned to my Bay Area roots to join Shutterfly’s marketing team before leaving to become a member of Google’s finance team. I took a first ever trip to NYC and decided it had to be mine someday. It didn’t take long for me to realize that finance was not right. I eventually left my job and apartment, moved back in with my parents and got certified to substitute teach in CA. As soon as that new journey began, I knew I had found my calling. I moved east to embark on my next adventure. My favorite thing about life is that everyday brings new opportunities! I live to learn, to love, to laugh and to grow and I am thrilled to be doing all of those things at The Co-op School!

ryanthortan-100Ryan Thorton (Second Grade), ryan@thecoopschool.org. I grew up in Princeton, New Jersey where my grade school and high school teachers had a tremendously positive influence on me. I knew then that I wanted to be teacher one day. So after an incredible ten years touring the country in rock bands, I earned my Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College going on to three years assistant teaching first and second graders at Brooklyn Friends School. Now three years in at The Co-op School, I continue to be inspired by the faculty members, parents, and most importantly, the children. I continue to play the drums all the time, and also love to see live music, explore The City, and get out for road trips on the weekends. I look forward to learning with you all this year.

wwackerWilliam Lazarus Wacker (First Grade), william@thecoopschool.org. I have been teaching in the United States and abroad for the last fifteen years. I have a Master of Education in elementary education, and hold a Bachelor of Arts in cultural anthropology with a minor in English, and BFA degrees in painting and photography. I am currently writing fiction under the tutelage of Tom Spanbauer and writing literary reviews for Drunken Boat. I really like 8 oz. French Press coffees with a shot of espresso added — the small size of the 8 oz. cups; they make me feel dignified. I still complete a lot of painting and photo projects and try to show regularly. I am happy to be a part of The Co-op School team.

slevySeth Levy (First Grade), seth@thecoopschool.org. I am from White Plains, NY.  I like to read, watch television, and go on afternoon runs. This summer I was once again at summer camp playing sports and going swimming. I’m looking forward to having as much fun as I did last year.

 

esilverEmily Silver (Kindergarten), emily@thecoopschool.org I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I feel so lucky to be working with children during their most formative ages. I have degrees in Dance and Interdisciplinary Arts for Children and I am currently pursuing my masters in Early Childhood Education. Within the past few years, I have traveled to Ghana, Mexico and Israel, exploring new cultures, dance styles and different languages.

abozarthDahna Bozarth (Kindergarten), dahna@thecoopschool.org I am a New Yorker.  I grew up here in the city, migrated upstate to a small town called Port Jervis, and eventually made my way all the way back to here in Clinton Hill.  I studied East Asian Studies and Asian History at the University at Albany, and began teaching while living abroad in South Korea.  I received my Masters in Childhood Education at the City College of New York and worked in several schools in Manhattan, including Columbia University where I was Director of Sports Camps. I’ve always loved dance, sports, and yoga… which is good because I love noodles, dumplings, and pretty much all things spicy. Food = Yum.

awoodinAllison Woodin (Kindergarten), allisonw@thecoopschool.org. I am from Bethlehem, Connecticut and now live in Ridgewood, Queens with my 3 cats. I graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon where I received a BFA in painting. Through college I had the opportunity to take many internships teaching children of different ages in public schools as well as at an art therapy center. I thrive on the endless creativity of young children and their capacity for imagination and their ability to make something out of anything. In my spare time, I make my own art and in the evenings I work on obtaining my masters in education at Hunter College as well as attending creative or educational workshops throughout the year to learn new and exciting things to bring back to the classroom.

amartinezAngie Martinez (4s, Bumblebees), angie@thecoopschool.org. A city girl with a country heart, I graduated from Brooklyn College with a Master’s Degree in Childhood Education Mathematics. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Childhood Education with a concentration in Children’s Studies. I currently live in the Bronx with my husband and overweight cat, Leo. I love to spend time with my family, travel, dance, cook, laugh and most of all, teach. Ever since I was a little girl, my heart and mind were set on becoming a teacher. I want to bring the joy that my teachers brought into my life, into the lives of my students.

iseiterIan Seiter (4s, Bumblebees), ian@thecoopschool.org. Originally from San Diego, California, I recently moved to New York after a long time fascination with the city. I hold a degree in English Literature and hope to pursue my Masters in Creative Writing next year. I am a former touring musician and semi-professional ice hockey player, but currently focusing on my writing (realistic fiction) with hopes of becoming a published novelist.

vzenquizVanesa Zenquiz (4s, Bumblebees), vanesa@thecoopschool.org. I am a native New Yorker born and raised in trendy Brooklyn! I am the oldest sibling of four and since a young age I knew I wanted to teach. I enjoy baking, crafting, cooking, nature and I can plan a mean party! I am also deeply in love with my English Bull Dog Ace! Oh and the color yellow makes me smile!

 

caradCarmelle Arad (4s, Dragonflies), carmelle@thecoopschool.org. When not at The Co-op School, hopefully I’m reading, playing outside, or making something. Currently, I’m working toward a master’s degree in early childhood education at Hunter College. I’m so looking forward to the start of school, and to sharing many adventures with the Dragonflies!

 

cfahyColleen Fahy (4s, Dragonflies), colleeen@thecoopschool.org. I was born in Brooklyn and raised here for most of my life. I also lived in Galway, Ireland for five years as a child. I have four sisters and two beautiful nieces. It wasn’t until I began babysitting them that I found a love for teaching. I received a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Art from Brooklyn College. Some of my favorite things are; dogs, art, hiking, road trips, and bicycle riding.

fabiola-100Fabiola Yauri Leon (4s, Dragonflies), fabiola@thecoopschool.org. I was born in Ecuador but raised here in Brooklyn, New York. I am a recent graduate who’s already working towards a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a Bilingual extension at Brooklyn College. This is my first year at The Co-op School and I am delighted to be joining the Dragonfly team. In my spare time I enjoy exploring the city and hanging out with my loved ones.

cgallagherChristie Gallagher (3s, Crickets), christie@thecoopschool.org. I was born, raised, and currently live in Queens, New York. I’m one of four children and I love spending time with my family, traditionally on Sunday for my mother’s delicious dinner. I really like doing anything outdoors! I enjoy going for long walks, watching the sunset, going to the beach, and camping in the Poconos, with my husband. Most of all, I am truly passionate about teaching young children, especially while being part of The Co-op School.

lmanghamLelia Mangham (3s, Crickets), lelia@thecoopschool.org. I was born and raised right here in Brooklyn along with my two younger brothers. This will start the beginning of my tenth year with The Co-op School. It has been a pleasure being a part of this community and I’m looking forward to this new academic year.

 

scaninoStephen Canino (3s, Crickets), stephen@thecoopschool.org. I was born and raised in Highland, NY, and attended Purchase College to study painting. My creative path led me to further study painting at Hunter College to obtain an MFA. I continue to explore Visual Art possibilities while composing and producing my own music. Things changed for me when he took a job as an Assistant Teacher at Dorothy Day Early Childhood Center in 2007. I quickly discovered a passion for working with young children. I soon took a position as Head Teacher and enrolled in the Graduate Program in Early Childhood Education at City College.

yuki-100Yuki Chikudate (3s, Caterpillars), yuki@thecoopschool.org  I love swimming in the ocean, hiking in the woods, and feeling the grass under my feet. This summer I will visit some very big dinosaurs in the middle of the California desert, grilling, swimming, driving, and star gazing. I have a Masters in Education from Teachers College and a Bachelors from Manhattan School of Music. I am really looking forward to singing, dancing, learning and growing with all of you.

kathringilbert-100Kathrin Gilbert (3s, Caterpillars), kathrin@thecoopschool.org I was raised outside Washington, DC and majored in Peace and Conflict Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. Since moving to Brooklyn in 2010, I have worked at Washington Market School in Tribeca and FirstStepNYC in Brownsville. I also spent four summers directing a sleep-away camp in rural Maryland. Last May, I earned my MS.Ed in Infant and Toddler Development from Bank Street and MSW from Hunter College. I spend my free time hanging out with my friends, eating delicious food, and riding my bike. I am so excited to be with the Caterpillars this year!

kfloresKayla Flores (3s, Caterpillars), kayla@thecoopschool.org. I love being a teacher here and getting to know and build relationships with my students. I also enjoy cooking, rollerblading and dancing. My home town is Central Falls, Rhode Island and love taking road trips to see my family.

 

marinareggianismith-100Marina Reggiani Smith (3s, Fireflies), marina@thecoopschool.org I grew up in California and came to New York City to attend Barnard College. I fell in love with the city and ended up staying on this coast! I’ve worked at a variety of elementary and early education schools and love reading, learning, and playing with the little ones. When not teaching, I enjoy hanging out in Brooklyn and relaxing at home with my partner, new baby, and two cats. I’m so excited to join The Co-op School and be a part of the Firefly classroom!

kstevensKat Stevens (3s, Fireflies), kat@thecoopschool.org. I’ve lived in NYC for 8 years. I am currently pursuing masters in Early Childhood Education. I am excited to be back in the Butterfly class! In my free time you can find me eating tapas or watching NY Rangers highlights.

 

chelsea-100Chelsea Diaz (3s, Fireflies), chelsea@thecoopschool.org. Nurturing and helping my fireflies evolve into older and wiser individuals is a job I have been blessed to fulfill. I find joy in watching my babies learn to trust in me as a teacher more each day. I’ve returned to school to work toward my degree at The New York City College of Technology. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my sisters, taking photos, and cooking. Although I have worked with babies all my life both at work and in my own home and family. I’m looking forward to another fantastic year filled with learning but most importantly filled with love.

deja5Deja Ross (2s, Ladybugs), deja@thecoopschool.org. I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I absolutely love reading and the beach preferably enjoying both at the same time. I love spending time with my family. I have my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and this year I will be starting my masters which I am unbelievably excited about. I absolutely love the coop school because you can’t go a day without laughing. I’m excited for another great year with the Ladybugs.

elagunaEddie Laguna (2s, Ladybugs), eddie@thecoopschool.org. I was raised in New York and live in Crown Heights with my wife and three cats. I studied Secondary Education/English at City University of New York – Queens College and am continuing graduate classes there as well. I love to skateboard, ride my bicycle, take long road trips, read Brownstoner, pretend to eat your kid’s lunch and drink a ton of coffee. I eat a lot of tacos. I plays several instruments including guitar, bass, drums, piano, trumpet and excited to play for my students.

melissale-100Melissa Le (2s, Roly Polies), melissa@thecoopschool.org. I came from the Dallas/Fort Worth part of The Lone Star State a long time ago ya’ll. I moved to New York imagining myself becoming a rock star or famous author. The later seemed the more likely and since receiving my BFA in literature/creative writing I’ve been quietly spinning my tale. My love for children and the creative energy they fuel brought me to The Co-op School and Brooklyn College for Early Childhood Education where I recently finished my MS. I’m working on my first novel – hoping to bring a Vietnamese-American Coming of Age piece to light and to be the greatest rock star teacher.

amanda-100Amanda Clarke (2s, Roly Polies), amanda@thecoopschool.org. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I am the oldest sibling out of three. During my spare time I like activities such as indoor rock climbing, hiking, kickboxing, swimming, yoga, dancing, and running. This will be my third year at the Co-op School with the Roly Polies. It is such a joy to have a part in the lives of these beautiful Ropos, especially at this young age. There isn’t a better feeling than the bond and growth developed throughout the school year. I am so excited to meet the Roly Poles and have one of our famous dance parties. Hopefully the Ropos like my singing because I have a bad habit of singing along to music. In fact, Roly Polies in the past have demanded that I “stop singing” and stop hurting their ears! With that being said, I am sure it will be a wonderful, adventurous year filled with lots of hugs.

hilda2Hilda Medina(2s, Roly Polies), hilda@thecoopschool.org. Hey all! My name is Hilda and this will be my first year with the ROPO’s, but second year at the Co-op School! I am so excited to be a part of the Roly Poly class this year. I have had such an amazing time here at The Co-op School and hope to continue teaching and learning from all these little bugs! I am all about the arts and crafts, so prepare to pick up some pretty messy bugs! I always love to encourage the kids to get their hands dirt and enjoy all that is around them! I am excited to create the best memories with you all! I hope you are all ready for an amazing school year!

anna-100Anna Fischer (2s, Half-Day), anna@thecoopschool.org I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I moved to New York state for my undergrad at Bard College, where I majored in Human Rights. After graduating I moved to New York City and began working in childcare. I loved it immediately. I’m currently pursuing a Masters in Early Childhood General and Special Education at Brooklyn College, and am also hoping to add an Advanced Certificate in Early Intervention. When I’m not hanging out with kids or studying I like to ride my bike around Brooklyn, do yoga, and cook.

laura-100Laura Scatena-Romero (2s, Half-Day), laura@thecoopschool.org I was born and raised in the Puerto Rico before moving to Philadelphia at the age of twelve. I received my B.A. in Dance and Film from The New School. After graduating, I became a babysitter and that lead me to discover the joy of teaching! I am so happy to be a part of The Co-op School!

 

jrodriguezJennifer Rodriguez (2s, Half-Day), jennifer@thecoopschool.org. I’m currently working towards my degree in Early Childhood Education and have a growing baby boy. I’m super energetic and love to sing, dance and let my sillies out whenever I can.

 

sara-100Sara Johnson (2s, Half-Day), sara@thecoopschool.org I am delighted to join The Co-Op School community and am so excited to be a member of the inaugural faculty for the half-day program! I grew up in a tiny town in Pennsylvania and moved to NYC to attend Manhattan School of Music. I have a B.M. in Classical Vocal Performance from MSM and a Professional Studies degree from the William Esper Studio. My love for the arts led me to pursue a Master of Science in Early Childhood General and Special Education at Brooklyn College. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my love of music and theatre with my students! I live in Crown Heights with my husband and young daughter. I love to go to see live shows, explore Brooklyn by bike, sneak in a little yoga, read for pleasure, and most of all, hang out with my family.

jose-100Jose Rios (2s, Half-Day), jose@thecoopschool.org. I was born and raised in the Lower East Side. I went to college in New Hampshire and upstate New York, where I majored in graphic design and photography. In 2011, I started working at the Coop School.
I’ve learned so much in the past five years, from being patient to being a leader. The part of my job that I enjoy the most is witnessing a child’s growth- from being the shyest one in the class, to constantly telling me about their favorite movie.

Specialists

dancostello-100Dan Costello (Preschool and Elementary School Music Teacher), dan@thecoopschool.org. I’m a professional musician, a music educator and small business owner/founder of Yo Re Mi, a musical yoga class for children. I’ve released eight albums: mostly for grown-ups, but two specifically for families. I love cooking and gardening, running and bicycling. My favorite song is “This Land Is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie. I’ve been teaching and writing songs with children since 2008.

shanecka-100Shanecka Frazier (Preschool and Elementary Gym/Movement Teacher), shanecka@thecoopschool.org I completed my undergraduate degree at North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelors of Science in Health, Physical Education with a concentration in Fitness and Wellness Management. I also completed my graduate degree from Teacher’s College, Columbia University with a Master’s of Art in Physical Education. During my free time I love to work out at different gyms, sing with my choir and hang out with friends. One interesting fact is I completed the Spartan Race, and I loves to run in different race like half marathons, 5K, and 10K.

Rotem Linial (Elementary School Wood Shop Teacher), rotem@thecoopschool.org. I grew up in Jerusalem, Israel where I studied visual art, performance and puppet theater. I moved to the US to study art and completed my BA at Columbia University and my sculpture MFA at Hunter College. I love collecting materials and objects and inventing ways to transform them—I am always on the lookout for an interesting looking pebble or a colorful bit of broken plastic. I love making things, whether it be a new sculpture in my studio, a fancy pie in the kitchen or a three-tiered roost for the chickens in my garden. This is my first year at The Co-op School and I am looking forward to the creative adventures that await.

nicoleporter-100Nicole Porter (Elementary School Science Teacher), nicole@thecoopschool.org. I grew up in Colorado. I have been living and teaching in New York City since 1997. I have a BA from the University of Colorado and a MAT in Museum Education from The George Washington University.  I became interested in teaching elementary school science while I was writing curriculum and teaching with the AMNH Science and Nature Program. My favorite activities are: spending time with my family, gardening, exploring nature and creating art.

Carla Rodea (Elementary School SpanishTeacher), carla@thecoopschool.org.¡Hola! I come from Mexico City where I studied music at the National Center for the Arts. While in Mexico, I taught music and English to elementary school students and to adults as well. I have been living in NYC for the last 10 years, I came here to continue my studies in music as well as photography and anthropology. I’m currently an MFA student at the DIAP program in the City College of New York. I love teaching, performing, photographing, traveling, cooking, reading, walking in Prospect Park, visiting museums and galleries, and attending as many concerts as I can.