Staff Profiles

Nicole Bailey
Life & Literacy
Ms. Bailey graduated from Iona College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Minor in History. She recently graduated with her Masters in Literacy and Special Education and is now continuing her education at Stony Brook University. Ms. Bailey strongly believes in the success and individuality of each and every student.

Anthony Barker
7th/8th Grade Science
Anthony has his Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Cincinnati. He is currently working on his Masters with the focus on Math and Science at Hunter College. He has 19 years working with children of all ages. His hobbies are Martial Arts, Reading, and Sports. Anthony’s goal for his students at Equality is prepare them for life and to provide them with tools necessary in achieving their goals.

Cathy Butler
8th Grade Math (SPED)
In 2004, Ms. Butler graduated from Iona College with a finance degree. After college, I worked as a personal financial advisor. Several years later I realized that my true passion was in education and children. In 2009, I graduated from Manhattanville College with a master's degree in mathematics education.

Tracy Charles
7th Grade Math
Before switching careers, Ms. Charles worked in the consumer products industry as a financial analyst. Through the New York City Fellows Program, she began teaching in 2005. Ms. Charles earned her Master of Education in Middle School Math from City College and Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Baruch College. Tracy Charles has a passion for teaching and empowering young people to believe in themselves and do their best.

Emily Collins
6th Grade Writing Teacher
Ms. Collins graduated from Loyola College in Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Communications. She is currently working on her Masters Degree in Elementary and Special Education at Manhattanville College. As she begins her second year at Equality Charter School, she is excited to help all students achieve success through a positive classroom environment and high expectations.

Katie Daniels
7th/8th Grade Science
Ms. Daniels received her BA in Biochemistry (pre-med) and a minor in English from Baruch College. As a true believer that every child has the ability and potential to succeed in and out of the classroom, Katie followed her heart and joined the team of ECS in the 2013/2014 school year. Katie has experience in building the knowledge, as well as the confidence for students in all science content areas from middle school to college level sciences. As a test prep tutor and private teacher, Katie has worked to improve each student’s true understanding of science! A published poet and a lover of the arts and sciences, Katie is more than excited to inspire scholars at ECS to achieve their true potential to succeed in their process of a college ready education.

Divya Deshpande
6th Grade Math Teacher
Divya graduated from NYU in 2005 with a BA in Economics and studied biomedical sciences at Drexel Universtiy College of Medicine from 2007 to 2009. Over the course of 6 years, she has worked with students with diverse learning needs from the preschool to AP levels in science, math and test prep and holds an MS in Childhood and Special Education from Touro College. Divya has a passion for supporting young people in positively transforming their lives through education and is very excited to be working with the students of Equality!

Vito Dimatteo
6th Grade Writing/Science (SPED)
Mr. Dimatteo graduated from Manhattanville College with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education with an extension in Special Education. After working as a recruiter in Manhattan for 2 years, Mr. Dimatteo realized that his true passion was to teach. Last Year Mr. Dimatteo taught 5th grade in the Mount Vernon, and he also helped teach ESL scholars from Spain during a summer program.

Brian Donahue
6th Grade Math
In 2011, Mr. Donahue received his Master's Degree from Pace University in Elementary Education. He will be completing a 7th - 9th grade math extension to his degree this summer. Mr. Donahue worked for 12 years as the manager of an upscale health resort before shifting gears and following his dream of being a math teacher. He is excited to be a member of the Equality family.

Amanda Farrison
Director of Physical Education & Athletics
Amanda Farrison was born and raised in Moro, Arkansas. She attended Long Island University where she played softball and basketball. While she was there she also received her bachelor’s of Science in "Physical Education in an Urban Setting". From there she was a Division 1 Basketball coach for 7 years at Iona College where she received her Master’s in Business Administration. She has been at Equality since it opened in 2009 teaching PE, Health and is also the Athletic Director. She is married with a son.

Caitlin Franco
Head of School
Caitlin earned a Masters of Education in Educational Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelors Degree in Secondary English Education and Advanced Leadership Certificate from Stony Brook University. She also completed an intensive English literature program abroad at the University of Westminster in London, England and is a certified trainer in Data Teams, Data-Driven Decision Making, and Common Formative Assessments from Dr. Douglas Reeves' The Leadership and Learning Center located in Denver, Colorado. Caitlin has taught both middle and high school students in Harlem and the Bronx. She holds NYS Professional Certification in English and NYS School Building Level and School District Level Administrator's Certification.

Vincent French
7th Grade Dean
Mr French is originally from Brockton, Massachusetts, born to Caribbean parents Gregory Augustine and Joyce Grinion. He moved to Rochester, NY in 1988. At the age of 11, Mr. French was inspired to become an educator after teaching a Science lesson to his 6th grade classmates. He went on to earned a Bachelors Degree in English from The College at Brockport and is now continuing his education at Mercy College. Mr.French believes that while every scholar has the potential to be great, it requires a certain level of determination and discipline to realise that goal. Mr. French is passionate about helping scholars at Equality Charter School become great scholars and great citizens in society.

Akeem Glover
Administrative Assistant
Mr.Glover is a former Rutgers University scholar majoring in Business Administration Management. He has extensive experience in Sales/Marketing and Customer Service for the past 7 years. He's a former Lead Consultant for an high-end Fitness Facility located in Westchester, New York. Also, he was previously employed in the telecommunications and financial industry. Mr. Glove will be pursing his Masters Degree in the near future.

Kristen Greco
6th Grade ELA (SPED)
Kristen Greco graduated from Adelphi University attaining a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Childhood Education with an extension in Special Education and Adolescent Education. Kristen has taught Read 180 and System 44 at Equality Charter School for two years. This year she will be educating 6th grade ELA scholars.  She is very excited to embark on her third year teaching at Equality Charter School where she can empower children to be the best individuals they can grow into.

Tracee Helton
Director of Operations
Tracee Helton joined Equality Charter School in August 2010 after 10+ years of working in Corporate America. She is very excited to be in a field now working directly with children. Tracee is a mom of 3 so she knows the importance of a good education. Tracee is looking forward to a great year and years to come with Equality!

Scott Hendrie
7th Grade Math (SPED)
Scott graduated Philadelphia University with a Bachelor of Science in both Finance and Accounting. After a couple of years in the financial world, he returned to Pace University to get his Masters in Science and Teaching. He has spent the past 7 years teaching math at the high school level and is excited to begin working with children at the middle school level. He has recently earned his special education certification, and is also coach soccer and golf and various levels during his spare time.

Ayanna Henry
7th and 8th Grade Writing Teacher
Ayanna graduated from St. John’s University in 2009 with a Master of Adolescent Education. However, she started her tenure as an educator in higher education. She has been a college instructor for 5 years, achieving measurable success with remediation in student writing. She recently decided to return to middle school because it is her first love! She believes that students should be nurtured at this crucial time to ensure success in the future. She has spent years preparing college students for a successful future and she truly believes that her calling as an educator has led her to Equality Charter School to mentor and prepare our scholars by ensuring they have excellent writing skills!

Amanda Huza
Director of Instruction - School Wide Literacy
Amanda Huza is a Bronx native. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development from Manhattan College and has her Master’s of Science in Education with a concentration in Reading and Literacy. She is currently pursuing her degree in School Building Leadership at Mercy College and looks forward to using the insight gained throughout her studies to provide instructional support for the ELA, Electives and Social Studies Departments. Her experiences span across elementary, middle and high school. She is a strong believer in the power of developing oneself as a life-long learner, and strives to cultivate this same belief among her family, and the staff and scholars at Equality . Her teaching philosophy has been shaped by each educational experience, including her work as the PBIS Internal Coach and RtI Specialist at Equality.

Alexander Jackson
PE Teaching Assistant
Mr. Jackson was born in Harlem, NY and moved to Co-op City where he attended P.S. 178 and P.S. 181. He moved down to Georgia when he was 13 years old. After graduating from high school he was accepted into North Carolina A&T State University where he received his degree in Psychology. Mr. Jackson has a 2 year old daughter and he enjoys being active and having fun with his family.

Daniel Jackson
7th, 8th grade Art Teacher Assistant
In 2012, Daniel completed his degree in creative writing at Hunter College. During which time, he worked as a pre-K Teacher Assistant, and as an after school drama/art instructor for both public and private schools in New York City. In the fall of 2014, Daniel will enter a Master's in Fine Arts program.

Reginald Jay
6th Grade Dean
Mr. Jay graduated from South Carolina St. University with a B.A. in Sociology. Before coming to E.C.S., he was the Director for The Young Achievers After-School Program located inside of P.S. 160. Mr. Jay is a strong advocate for higher education, and believes all children have the potential to succeed in life, as long as they have the proper guidance.

Marija Kero
8th Grade Math
Marija Kero earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics & Adolescent Education from Pace University in New York City. Prior to joining Equality, Marija taught high school Math in the NYC Public School System. She is very excited to be part of a staff that shares her passion and belief that EVERY student can succeed if we set high goals for them, and help them achieve those goals through high academic rigor and engagement in our classrooms. Ms.Kero is also the ECS Eagles Cheerleading Coach for the 2011-2012 season.

Kate Lederer
Social Worker
Kate Lederer holds a Bachelors Degree from Colgate University, where she majored in Psychology and minored in Educational Studies. She also holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from New York University. Kate spent four years as an inpatient social worker at Jacobi Medical Center before coming to Equality Charter School. She is excited to begin her second year working collaboratively with ECS staff to support students in their academic achievement.

Nichole Martini
Director of Development
Nichole Martini graduated from NYU with a masters of science in fundraising and philanthropy and holds a bachelors of arts in music from Furman University in Greenville, SC. She has been a professional sales, marketing, and fundraising professional in various companies and non-profits in New York City throughout her entire career. Nichole is delighted to be at Equality Charter School which combines her passion for education and social justice and looks forward to supporting the mission through the high school expansion.

Marie McManus
8th Grade Writing (SPED)
Mrs. McManus, a.k.a. “Ms. Mack”, holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has worked in education for over 25 years, having recently been a High School Director of Athletics and Physical Education. She is also currently an Adjunct Professor in Special Education at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Marie is married with two grown children and lives in Rockland County, NY. She is excited to be a part of the positive culture and community of Equality Charter School and is looking forward to great success for all of her scholars!

Yvette Miranda
School Secretary
Yvette Miranda has been with Equality since they opened their doors and has 19 years experience working in the corporate industry, 16 years of that being at The McGraw-Hill Companies in the Platt's, Engineering News Record Construction Magazine and Classified Ads Department. Her work experience also includes 4 years working for the U.S. Coast Guard as a government contractor for the merchant marine document regional exam center. Yvette was born, raised and still lives in the Bronx and brings to Equality exceptional customer service skills, good work ethics, courteousness, a strong loyal commitment to the success of our school and goes the extra mile regardless of how small or large the task is, and also has a good rapport with staff, parents, ECS students whom she loves and has a caring and warm relationship with.

Errol Olton
Head of Discipline & Guidance/8th Grade Dean
Mr. Olton has been a dedicated educator here at Equality since its first opening days. He has roots in the Caribbean and is a local Bronx resident. Mr. Olton has attended both the University of Central Florida and one of the City University of New York institutions. He passionately believes that a positive behavior rewards system and a consistent disciplined approach can aid in excelling every student’s academic ability. Working with students in and out of the classroom in Equality, he encourages students to take advantage of the wonderful education before them.

Gabriel Park
Director of Finance
Gabriel Park has over 10 years experience in nonprofit finance, operations and administration. He studied law at Washington University in St. Louis, after completing his Bachelor's degree in Religious Studies at New College of Florida. Gabriel lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two children and two cats.

Kelley Parker
Director of SPED & Scholar Services
Kelley Parker is currently from Long Island. She has a Master's Degree in Childhood Education and Special Education and has previously worked in a self-contained room with Autistic and Down-syndrome children. Kelley is a dedicated teacher who thrives on the success of the students. She is honored to be part of the Equality team. Kelley is entering her second year at Equality Charter School.

Tatiana Pejkovic
7th Grade ELA Teacher
Tatiana Pejkovic has a Bachelor's Degree in Adolescent Education and English from St. John's University. She is a recent graduate from St. John's University with a Master's Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Mrs. Pejkovic's true passion is working with inner city scholars, to show them that no obstacle cannot be overcome when it comes to education. To Mrs. Pejkovic, "teaching is the hardest job you will ever love!"

Favrol Philemy
Favrol Philemy is a lifelong educator who is passionate about making a difference in children’s lives. Following his tenure as a Mathematics teacher in NYC for more than 10 years, he transitioned into his role as Associate Principal at Equality Charter School in 2011. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from CCNY and a Master of Science in Administration from Touro College. Favrol subscribes, faithfully, to the philosophy that high expectations coupled with academic rigor and the right instructional approaches in a safe, respectful and nurturing environment will always lead to student achievement. As such, he empowers staff on a daily basis, enabling them to challenge students while equipping them with the necessary tools in order to help them make a successful transition into secondary and post-secondary education/careers.

Patrick Pierre
Finance Manager
Patrick a Bronx resident and a seasoned professional graduated from CUNY Herbert H. Lehman College with a B.B.A – Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in finance. Patrick’s very diverse background includes years of experience in Pharmaceutical sales as a sales representative and as a purchasing agent. Patrick also worked for years as a substitute teacher at Lincoln Hall one of the state’s largest juvenile delinquency detention centers for teenage boys. During his free time, he enjoys taken part in mentoring young men from his neighborhood.

Kim Polinsky
Art Teacher
Kim Polinsky received her Bachelor’s degree in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and soon after received her Master’s degree in Art Education from Manhattanville College. During that time Kim’s artwork was in a number of group gallery shows, one of which was located in Chelsea. Her passion in the arts is to motivate and challenge her students through various mediums by utilizing art history as her inspiration.

Janeal Pow
Life & Literacy Teaching Assistant
Janeal Pow was born and raised in the Bronx but her roots are from the Caribbean. She has a middle school aged daughter. Ms. Pow studied Behavioral Science in Mercy College and has nine years of experience working with elementary/middle school students. Ms. Pow has a passion for working with children and is currently working towards being a Behavioral Analyst in the school system. Ms. Pow believes every student has the potential to be successful in school and in life with the support and guidance from positive role models.

Sheri Prendergast
Director of Instruction & Assessment
Sheri Prendergast (formally Wenzel) l earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Penn State University. After graduation, she joined Teach For America and began working as a middle school math teacher in the South Bronx while simultaneously earning a Master’s of Science in Teaching from Pace University. Sheri earned a Master’s of Science in Educational Leadership at Manhattan College and would like to one day become a School Building Leader. Sheri's teaching philosophy stems from the belief that all students can achieve academically if you hold them to high expectations.

Donyella Ramsey
Copy Clerk
Donyella Ramsey is in her second year at Equality Charter School. Prior to working at ECS, she worked as a teacher's Assistant for Gloria Wise day care center. As a native New Yorker, Donyella obtained her education from Walton high school and LaGuardia Community College. She is a devoted parent who is actively engaged in her children's education; one of whom attends ECS. Spending time with family, traveling, and cooking are a few of her favorite pastimes.

Anthony Reed
7th/8th Grade Social Studies
Anthony Reed has been teaching Social Studies and American History since 2007. 2011 will be his second year at ECS. Anthony graduated from Michigan State University and is preparing to obtain his Masters in Education from MSU as well.

Michael Reyes
7th/8th Grade/Teaching Assistant
Michael Reyes has worked with children since the age of 15. He quickly realized that he has a passion for encouraging, motivating, and educating children. Mr. Reyes devotion to inspire growth and transformation has resulted in others attaining commendable levels of achievement. Mr. Reyes gives back to his community by teaching Sunday School at his local church to inner-city children. There, he helps many children whom have emotional and academic deficits to dream big and persevere. Mr. Reyes has won awards such as the Model Youth Employee Award for 2002 and 2003 for his extensive work with adolescents.

Naeemah Ricketts
7th/8th Grade Writing
Naeemah Ricketts graduated from Iona College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and a Minor in Biology. In 2011, she received a Dual Masters degree in Special Education and Literacy. Prior to working at Equality, she was the Academic Advisor of all athletes at Iona College from 2009-2012. Additionally, since 2010, she has been working for the New Rochelle School District as an In-Home Applied Behavior Analyst, working with autistic children who varied across the Spectrum. Naeemah believes that each of our students has the potential to bring something unique and special to the world. It is a wonderful privilege being a teacher as it affords her with the opportunity to impact students’ lives in a positive way.

Rachel Swartz
6th Grade ELA
Rachel Swartz graduated from Manhattan College in 2012 with a degree in Secondary English Education, with a downward extension for 5th and 6th grade. Last year she taught 9th grade English in Minneapolis as a Lasallian Volunteer, and this experience validated that teaching is her true passion. She looks forward to working in the positive environment Equality Charter School offers, and guiding each scholar to reach his or her full potential.

Marisela Vazquez
Executive Assistant
Marisela joined Equality Charter School in July of this year as an Executive Assistant for Caitlin Franco, Principal. She obtained her education at Herbert H. Lehman College in Business Administration. She worked in the hospitality industry for over 25 years. She is a Notary Public and is fluent in Spanish and English. She is a Bronx resident. She has a daughter, a son and is a devoted mother and grandmother. Marisela is looking forward to a great future at Equality and working with a great team of individuals!

Lisa Winter
College & Career Guidance Counselor
Lisa Winter is our school’s Guidance Counselor. She received her BA in Psychology from Hofstra University and received her Master’s Degree in School Counseling from Long Island University. This is Mrs. Winter’s fourth year at Equality and is happy to be part of an actively growing and prospering school. Mrs. Winter’s favorite part about Equality is the family-like environment and unique learning styles offered to each scholar. She is looking forward to meeting the new Equality parents and scholars, as well as reconnecting with all that are returning!