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About 
Our School

Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School has designed a school model that addresses the needs of at-risk children.

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Trauma-Informed Approach

The Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School model addresses the needs of at-risk children. It cultivates a trauma sensitive environment in which at-risk youth can maximize their potential to learn, heal and grow. This model establishes a safe, supportive and therapeutic environment for students and staff and helps each student build a strong social-emotional foundation that prepares him or her for academic growth. 

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Mission

The mission of Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School is to address the academic, social-emotional and developmental needs of its students in a safe, supportive and trauma-sensitive learning environment.

  1. A trauma-informed approach

  2. Next Generation Learning

  3. Extended day programming

  4. Social-emotional, developmental and behavioral growth

Board of Trustees

James McCarthy, Chairperson
Angel Audiffred, Vice Chairperson
Jennifer Vasquez, Board Secretary

Dr. Reva Gershen-Lowy, Board Secretary
Dr. William Ursillo
Sr. Patricia Broderick
Dr. Audrey Erazo-Trivino

Committees

Dr. Reva Gershen-LowyFinance Committee Chair
Dr. William Ursillo, Academic Committee Chair
James McCarthy, Governance Committee Chair

Leadership

Jennifer Fedele

Founding Principal
jfedele@cmccs.org

Eleanor Hurdle

Director of Curriculum and Instruction​

ehurdle@cmccs.org

Dr. Mary Anne DeVivio

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

mdevivio@cmccs.org

Grace Bendick

Director of Special Populations 
gbendick@cmccs.org

Christian Adamkiewicz

Director of Operations
cadamkiewicz@cmccs.org

Althea Benloss

Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction
abenloss@cmccs.org

Faculty & Staff

Sophronia Williams

Sophronia Williams

Teaching Assistant Ms. Williams has worked as a science teacher for after school programs and most recently as a wildlife educator across the Greater New York area bringing Biology and environmental lessons, as well as interactive animal lessons, to young learners. They have a degree in Biology and Environmental Science and is a certified teaching assistant. They believe in mindful education and enthusiasm for learning!

Wildalis Moreta

Wildalis Moreta

Teaching Assistant Ms. Moreta is a founding member of CMCCS who has worked with students from kindergarten to third grade. She attended BMCC – Associate’s degree: Bilingual Childhood Education and currently attends The City College of New York – Bilingual Childhood Education with a Co-major in Spanish. She is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success at BMCC in addition to holding the distinction of making the dean’s list.

Symone Wright

Symone Wright

Teaching Assistant Ms. Wright served as a teacher with Everbrook Academy Learning Center for 12 years, working with children ages birth to three. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree at Grand Canyon University in Early Childhood Education. She currently holds CDA certification. Ms. Wright believes that not all children learn the same way.

Sheneka Gumbs

Sheneka Gumbs

Social Worker Ms. Gumbs has been mentoring adolescent girls in middle school and high school for many years. Ms. Gumb’s attended BMCC – Associate’s Degree in Human Services, Medgar Evers College – Bachelor’s in Psychology minor in Child Welfare and Hunter College – Master’s in Social Work. She is honored to work at addressing the social, emotional and developmental needs of students and families and in helping them access appropriate services and resources.

Santa Vasquez

Santa Vasquez

Teaching Assistant Santa Vasquez earned an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Disabilities Studies from The New York City College.

Daisy Morales

Daisy Morales

Teaching Assistant Ms. Morales served middle school students in an afterschool program and summer school over the past few years. She also has experience working with toddlers at a daycare. She attended Hostos Community College – Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

Genesis Flores

Genesis Flores

Teaching Assistant Ms. Flores served children ages three to eight-years-old for over 10 years before arriving at CMCCS. She started her work with children in daycare and preschool. She earned a CDA in Early Childhood and a teaching assistant certification.

Shakira Stockhausen-Smith

Shakira Stockhausen-Smith

Teacher Ms. Stockhausen has been teaching for over ten years and has taught every grade in elementary education. Ms. Stockhausen-Smith attended Bronx Community College – Liberal Arts/Paralegal Studies, The College of New Rochelle – Bachelor’s in Sociology and The College of New Rochelle – Master’s in Dual Education (1 – 6). She believes that every child can learn given the necessary tools and that children gain success in their own time and way. Learning is a lifelong experience.

Jasmine McCaskill

Jasmine McCaskill

Teacher Ms. McCaskill has been working in education for close to 10 years. She graduated ASA College as an AOS Pharmacy Technician and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Monroe College. She believes that everyone wears both, the teaching and student hat.

Carlos Diaz

Carlos Diaz

Parent & Community Coordinator Mr. Diaz has been a music teacher for almost 10 years but now serves as the Parent and Community Coordinator at CMCCS. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Music – City University of New York and Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership – Concordia University Nebraska. He graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University. Mr. Diaz believes that all students are able to learn and succeed if teachers and families work together with that goal in mind.

Colleen Corrigan-

Colleen Corrigan-

Teacher Ms. Corrigan has been a teacher for 15 years, teaching in a preschool for many years and at Cardinal McCloskey for the past few years. She attended Mount Saint Mary College – Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary for Education and Master’s of Science in Education. Ms. Corrigan believes that all students need to feel safe and respected within their classroom and that they have the freedom to express themselves in an appropriate manner.

Jaime Martinez

Jaime Martinez

Head of Maintenance Mr. Martinez served as Director of Facilities at Aquinas High School for 48 years. Prior, he served as head custodian at the high school as well as custodian at Saint Raymond’s School. He became a New York licensed refrigeration technician in 1973 and received certification for the operation of residual fuel oil burners and incinerators in 1977. He also holds certification for supervision of fire alarm systems and other related systems.

Verki Santana

Verki Santana

Behavior Interventionist Ms. Santana’s role is to assist children while they cope with challenging situations and help them self-regulate their emotions. She brings to CMCCS sixteen years of experience of working with children who have dealt with trauma and neglect. Ms. Santana has extensive knowledge of The Sanctuary Model which she is able to use in assisting students. Ms. Santana enjoys working with children and showing them new positive ways to cope with challenging situations.

Desiree Mahmoud

Desiree Mahmoud

Curriculum Assistant Ms. Mahmoud has been working with children for over 15 years in afterschool programs as well as mentoring students in the Bronx and Manhattan. She has an Associate’s degree in Human Services. She is a member of the community service-based sorority, Zeta Phi Alpha Philanthropic Sorority. Being born and raised in the Bronx, she enjoys being able to learn with, grow and teach the students in her community.

Jeffery Chanin

Jeffery Chanin

Reading Specialist Mr. Chanin started off his career in education teaching 5th grade. He has been a reading specialist for over 10 years. He received his B.S. degree in Elementary Education from The State College of New York at Oneonta and his M.S. degree in Teaching Literacy (B-12) from Mercy College.

Caryn Horan

Caryn Horan

Instructional Specialist Ms. Horan has been working in schools in and around New York for over 10 years. She’s taught preschool and kindergarten but the majority of her experience is in first grade. She attended Teachers College, Columbia University – B.A., Early Childhood Education, Students with Disabilities and Fordham University – M.A. Sociology, Education. Ms. Horan believes that every day is a fresh start and a chance to grow and make a change.

Shari Rose

Shari Rose

Teacher Ms. Rose has been teaching for over 10 years and has taught first grade at Cardinal McCloskey Community Charter School since its founding. Ms. Rose attended BOCES for Cosmetology, Rockland Community College earning an Associate’s degree in Business Administration, St. Thomas Aquinas College – Bachelor of Science, Natural Science and Pace University – Master of Science and Teaching, grades 1-6. She is a member of Pi Gamma Mu and the Honors Society at St. Thomas Aquinas College.

Carol Callender

Carol Callender

Teacher Ms. Callender has been teaching for over 30 years, mainly in early childhood education. She also has tutored elementary school students and worked in various after school programs. She earned an Associate’s Degree with honors in Early Childhood Education from CUNY/BMCC, a Bachelor of Science in Psychology/Sociology from CUNY-Queens College and a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education/Childhood Education from LIU CW Post.

Samantha Calkins

Samantha Calkins

Teacher Ms. Calkins had the opportunity to student teach in a 3rd grade classroom. She has been observing in a wide range of school districts and grade levels. Previously, she was a teacher’s assistant at CMCCS and completed her student teaching toward her Master’s degree. As well as being a teacher, she has been coaching basketball for students K-6th grade. Ms. Calkins attended Manhattanville College – Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Childhood & Special Education Grades 1-6.

Fabiana Pignataro

Fabiana Pignataro

Teacher Ms. Pignataro has been in the teaching field for 3 years. She started working as an ELA and Science teacher in Ecuador. She also served in a 1-1 setting with children with disabilities. She started college to pursue Early Childhood Education. She was, “2017 Teacher of the Year,” in Unidad Educativa Praga, Ecuador after increasing EFL 40% through implementing adaptive teaching techniques and demonstrating strong skills in parent/teacher engagement.

Zully Fernandez

Zully Fernandez

Teacher Ms. Fernandez has experience working with children ages three to 10-years-old. She previously taught pre-kindergarten, and currently teaches second grade at CMCCS. She attended Mercy College – Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and holds professional certification in Early Child Education.

Marie-Ann Pierresaint

Marie-Ann Pierresaint

Teacher Ms. Pierresaint began her career as a teacher after serving as a teaching assistant for over four years. She received a degree in Childhood Education from Buffalo State College. She believes that every child is unique and deserves to be in a secure and stimulating classroom environment where they can learn and grow physically, mentally and emotionally.

Angel Contreras

Angel Contreras

Teaching Assistant Mr. Contreras served as a translating assistant for teachers and parents as well in additional educational support capacities. He attended the Borough of Manhattan Community College pursuing Secondary Education. He is a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success at BMCC. Mr. Contreras believes that a quality education equates to a better future for all.

Kenroy Morris

Kenroy Morris

Teaching Assistant Mr. Morris served as a STEM instructor that helped students design and build realistic computer models. He attended Digital Animation & Visual Effects School. Mr. Morris believes that a classroom should be a safe, caring community where children are free to speak their mind. He assists his students in expressing themselves and accepting themselves for who they are.

Brendan Kelly

Brendan Kelly

Physical Education/Health Teacher Mr. Kelly previously worked in Yonkers Public Schools and at West End Day School. He attended Manhattan College earning a Bachelor’s Degree and Manhattanville College earning a Master’s Degree. He attained NYS Teaching Certification. Mr. Kelly believes in teaching a Physical Education curriculum that is diverse in content, incorporating fitness, team sports and cooperative activities. This creates an atmosphere that is both enjoyable and challenging.

Mellenia Blake

Mellenia Blake

Teacher Ms. Blake has experience teaching students from kindergarten to second grade in remote settings as well as in person. She attended Monroe College – Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Blake believes that, as a teacher, she is able to influence her students to be the best version of themselves. She wants her students to feel heard and understood and be given equal opportunities to succeed regardless of their learning needs.

Lynette Pizaro-Collazo

Lynette Pizaro-Collazo

Teacher Ms. Collazo has been teaching at CMCCS since its founding year. She has a B.A in Sociology, an M.A in Liberal Arts and graduated with summa cum laude honors. Ms. Collazo believes every child has the potential to exceed in their goals and accomplishments.

Marcia Cambell

Marcia Cambell

Teacher Ms. Campbell previously worked with disabled students and has taught from Pre-K to 8th grade. She attended Nova University – Bachelor’s of Science: Elementary Education, and Mercy College – Master’s of Science: Childhood Education with a minor in Students with Disabilities. Ms. Campbell believes that every child can learn and excel.

Rosely Espinoza

Rosely Espinoza

Teacher Ms. Espinoza has taught students ages 3-7 years old, teaching Pre-K for 10 years and currently teaches first grade at CMCCS. Ms. Espinoza attended Mercy College – Bachelor’s in Psychology and Master’s in Early Childhood Education. She currently holds Initial Certification in Early Childhood Education / Professional in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Espinoza believes in creating a cultural, safe, healthy and educational environment.

Stephany Gonzalez

Stephany Gonzalez

Office Manager Ms. Gonzalez earned a B.S in Human Services with a minor in Psychology from Monroe College. After receiving numerous President's List recognitions from college, she graduated magna cum laude. Ms. Gonzalez aims to encourage students to go against all stereotypes. CMCCS scholars have the ability to exceed academic goals and enhance their understanding by being part of our school community. We all work tirelessly to motivate curiosity in our students.

Sibel Alioska

Sibel Alioska

Teaching Assistant Ms. Alioska has worked with many different grade levels. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in health service administration. She aims to establish and keep a dynamic climate that cultivates inventiveness, empowers an individual with expert development and showcases the presentation of administration guidelines.

Lanay Diaz

Lanay Diaz

Teaching Assistant Ms. Diaz previously worked as a caseworker for children with intellectual disabilities. Growing up in the Bronx, she had a kindergarten teacher that inspired her. She grew up wanting to work with children and this desire only increased after having a son of her own. She has an associate degree in Criminal Justice from Monroe College. She believes that children flourish when they create a bond with their teacher. This allows them to care for and trust one another.

Jesse Ronda

Jesse Ronda

Data Specialist Mr. Ronda worked for four years at a test prep company writing and editing test prep workbooks. He also worked for one year teaching SAT math to sophomores and juniors at a community center in Brooklyn, and for over five years tutoring math one-on-one. He earned an A.S. degree, Liberal Arts at SUNY Rockland, and a Bachelor of Science degree, Mathematics, at Liberty University. He earned Designations from the Society of Actuaries, and a Legacy Full Stack Certification.

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