Meet Our Staff

The staff of Elysian Charter School is proud of its commitment to the children and families of our community. Each member of the Elysian team brings a unique background that contributes to the depth and breadth of our instructional program. Many of our teachers have been with us since we opened our doors and several are not only educators, but parents of Elysian students and graduates. Our teachers, administrative assistants, paraprofessionals and lunch/recess/afterschool staff are the heart of the Elysian Charter School and we invite you to get know us.

Lauren Barker

Lauren Barker

Fifth Grade Teacher

Lauren Barker

Fifth Grade Teacher

Lauren Barker recently moved to Hoboken from Connecticut where she has taught third and fourth grade. She is excited to be working with fifth graders at Elysian.

Ashley Choate

Ashley Choate

First Grade

Ashley Choate

First Grade

Ashley Choate is a 1st Grade Teacher. She has been at Elysian since 2003.

Diane DeSombre

Diane DeSombre

School Nurse

Diane DeSombre

School Nurse

Diane DeSombre, RN is our School Nurse. She has been at Elysian since 2002.

Marisa Dolan

Marisa Dolan

3rd Grade Leave Replacement

Marisa Dolan

3rd Grade Leave Replacement
Tara Dublanica

Tara Dublanica

Social Worker

Tara Dublanica

Social Worker
Angela Dunckley

Angela Dunckley

Kindergarten

Angela Dunckley

Kindergarten

Hi, my name is Angela Dunckley and I am one of the kindergarten teachers at Elysian. This is my 12th year at Elysian, but my 17th year teaching kindergarten. I love teaching kindergarten and love reading kids’ books. I have many favorites. The Adventures of Bumblebee Boy, Secret Pizza Party and The Great Lollipop Caper are just a few of the books I love to read with my class!

Cristina Francisco

Cristina Francisco

Third Grade

Cristina Francisco

Third Grade
Adam Froimowitz

Adam Froimowitz

Physical Education

Adam Froimowitz

Physical Education

Adam Froimowitz has been working at Elysian since 2013 as our Physical Education and Health Education teacher. He is also one of the basketball coaches here at Elysian and is a member of the school climate team. Before coming to Elysian Adam has worked at a school in Queens, NY where he taught Physical Education/Health Education for five years.

Shaquana Ferguson

Shaquana Ferguson

Recess and Afterschool Aide

Shaquana Ferguson

Recess and Afterschool Aide
Susan Gilbertson

Susan Gilbertson

Admin. Assistant Enrollment / Food Srv. Director

Susan Gilbertson

Admin. Assistant Enrollment / Food Srv. Director

Susan Gilbertson is the Enrollment Coordinator. She has been at Elysian since 1999.

Pam Gorode

Pam Gorode

Assistant Business Manager

Pam Gorode

Assistant Business Manager
Susan Grierson

Susan Grierson

Director

Susan Grierson

Director

I have spent the last 25 years dedicated to developing student centered learning environments and positive school cultures that support and promote high expectations for every student and staff member. I am NYC born, raised and educated with degrees in education from Brooklyn College and CUNY. The goal of education at Elysian is to unlock each child’s potential so that they can discover the joy and wonder of learning.

Colleen Herlihy

Colleen Herlihy

4th Grade Leave Replacement

Colleen Herlihy

4th Grade Leave Replacement
Paige Hill

Paige Hill

Teacher Aide

Paige Hill

Teacher Aide
Diane Jackson

Diane Jackson

Lunch Staff

Diane Jackson

Lunch Staff
Amanda Johnson

Amanda Johnson

Paraprofessional

Amanda Johnson

Paraprofessional

Amanda Johnson is a Paraprofessional. She has been at Elysian since 2013.

Brenda Johnson

Brenda Johnson

Breakfast and Lunch Staff

Brenda Johnson

Breakfast and Lunch Staff
Abra Kessler

Abra Kessler

Second Grade

Abra Kessler

Second Grade

Abra Kessler has been a teacher at Elysian since 1998. Currently, she teaches 2nd grade. She has also taught 4th and 5th grades at Elysian. Abra has a bachelor's degree in English from Penn State University and a Master's degree in the Science of Education from The Bank Street College of Education.

Emily Killea

Emily Killea

Fourth Grade

Emily Killea

Fourth Grade

Emily Killea is currently teaching Fourth Grade , and works at the Elysian summer camp program. Before joining Elysian, she spent time teaching Second Grade and Kindergarten. Emily graduated the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education and English Language with a minor in Psychology . She comes from a family of teachers with both of her sisters teaching in New Jersey as well! Go to's I don't want them because of fingers abandoned

Lynn Kluepfel

Lynn Kluepfel

Special Education

Lynn Kluepfel

Special Education

Lynn Kluepfel is a Special Education Teacher. She has been at Elysian since 2004.

Derrick Ladson

Derrick Ladson

Creative Movement Instructor

Derrick Ladson

Creative Movement Instructor

Derrick Ladson has been with Elysian since 2002 as a Paraprofessional and now Creative Movement Instructor. Derrick has been teaching dance in Hoboken for several years at Multiple schools such as The Hudson School, Hola Charter School, Hoboken Charter High School, Stevens Coop School and Mile Square Theatre Dance Academy. Derrick has also taught dance for the City Of Hoboken’s Recreation Department.

Francine Ladson

Francine Ladson

Recess, Afterschool, Early Morning Staff

Francine Ladson

Recess, Afterschool, Early Morning Staff

Francine Ladson is the Supervisor for Early Morning Drop-off, Recess and Aftercare. She has been at Elysian since 2001.

Melissa Landera

Melissa Landera

Melissa Landera

Melissa Landera

Melissa Landera

Melissa Starrett Landera has been teaching at Elysian since 1997. She has taught kindergarten, first grade and currently teaches second grade. Melissa loves working on special projects with her class and taking them on fun trips. Recently, she's become an afterschool club leader which is lots of fun!

Samantha Leone

Samantha Leone

Special Education Teacher

Samantha Leone

Special Education Teacher
Joshua Levitin

Joshua Levitin

Music Teacher

Joshua Levitin

Music Teacher
Diane Macon

Diane Macon

Business Manager

Diane Macon

Business Manager

Diane Macon is the Business Manager. She has been at Elysian since 2013.

Robert Maltese

Robert Maltese

Maintenance

Robert Maltese

Maintenance

Robert Maltese is the Facilities Manager. He has been at Elysian since 2015.

Maureen Melnick

Maureen Melnick

Literary Support, Basic Skills

Maureen Melnick

Literary Support, Basic Skills

Maureen has been at Elysian since 2011. She currently works with students in K-5th grade and enjoys working with so many different students and teachers throughout the school. Prior to coming to Elysian, she ws both a classroom teacher and Reading Specialist in the New York City Public School System. She began teaching in 1991.

Regan Michaels

Regan Michaels

Eighth Grade/Humanities

Regan Michaels

Eighth Grade/Humanities

Eighth Grade/Humanities

Josie Miguel

Josie Miguel

Kindergarten

Josie Miguel

Kindergarten
Darcy Minsky

Darcy Minsky

Special Education

Darcy Minsky

Special Education

Darcy Minsky is a Special Education Teacher and the ED/CST Chair.

Shareza Mohammed

Shareza Mohammed

Paraprofessional

Shareza Mohammed

Paraprofessional

Shareza Mohammed is a Paraprofessional. She has been at Elysian since 2005.

Rosio Montayo

Rosio Montayo

Paraprofessional

Rosio Montayo

Paraprofessional
Diane Murray

Diane Murray

Sixth Grade

Diane Murray

Sixth Grade

Diane Murray has been a teacher at Elysian since 1999. Currently, she teaches 6th grade math and science, directs the school plays, and is a member of the School Climate Team.

Leah Oppenzato

Leah Oppenzato

Seventh Grade/Humanities

Leah Oppenzato

Seventh Grade/Humanities

Leah Oppenzato started at Elysian with its first seventh grade class in 2002. She attended Swarthmore College and Bank Street College of Education. Class pets are one of her favorite aspects about Elysian, and as well as human animals, her room has been home to hamsters, a chinchilla, a snake, a degu, a guinea pig, and a bearded dragon.

Megan Park

Megan Park

Fourth Grade

Megan Park

Fourth Grade

Megan Park is a 4th Grade Teacher. She has been at Elysian since 2010.

Mariana Peralta

Mariana Peralta

Spanish Teacher

Mariana Peralta

Spanish Teacher
Odalys Pla

Odalys Pla

Paraprofessional

Odalys Pla

Paraprofessional

Odalys Pla is a Paraprofessional and Aftercare Aide. She has been at Elysian since 2005.

Gail Prusslin

Gail Prusslin

Speech-Language Specialist

Gail Prusslin

Speech-Language Specialist

Gail Prusslin is the Speech Teacher. She has been at Elysian since 1998.

Hillary Quist

Hillary Quist

Seventh/Eighth Grade Math

Hillary Quist

Seventh/Eighth Grade Math

Hillary Quist is the 7th and 8th Grade Math Teacher. She has been at Elysian since 2008.

Roberto Rosa

Roberto Rosa

Paraprofessional/ Tech Coordinator

Roberto Rosa

Paraprofessional/ Tech Coordinator

Roberto Rosa III is a Paraprofessional and the Technology Coordinator, He has been at Elysian since 2012.

Alyssa Rosen

Alyssa Rosen

First Grade

Alyssa Rosen

First Grade

Alyssa Rosen is a 1st Grade Teacher. She has been at Elysian since 2007.

Deb Rosner

Deb Rosner

Administrative Assistant

Deb Rosner

Administrative Assistant

Deb Rosner is Elysian's Administrative Assistant since June of 2014. Deb became an Elysian parent when her child was in Kindergarten the first year the school opened. She happily volunteered as a class parent for multiple years. She became the PTSO's first president and then PTSO's treasurer up until her younger child graduated in 2013.

John Rutledge

John Rutledge

Fifth Grade

John Rutledge

Fifth Grade

John Rutledge has been a teacher at Elysian since 2005. He currently teaches 5th grade, coaches the school's elementary and middle school rugby teams and co-directs the Elysian summer camp program. John also organized the school's recycling initiative and currently manages the school store. Before joining Elysian, John spent 10 years working in human resources for various NYC companies. John and his wife, Sarah, reside with their 3 boys in Jersey City.

Eric Schau

Eric Schau

Middle School Science Teacher

Eric Schau

Middle School Science Teacher
Jill Schifter

Jill Schifter

Art Teacher

Jill Schifter

Art Teacher
Ashley Shirazi

Ashley Shirazi

6th Grade

Ashley Shirazi

6th Grade
Lenore Silver

Lenore Silver

Special Education

Lenore Silver

Special Education
Daisy Tavarez

Daisy Tavarez

Recess and Aftercare

Daisy Tavarez

Recess and Aftercare
Lakeisha Thomas

Lakeisha Thomas

Teacher Aide

Lakeisha Thomas

Teacher Aide
Kate Windram

Kate Windram

Third Grade

Kate Windram

Third Grade