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.

Ashley Choate

1st Grade

Ashley Choate

1st Grade

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

Ashley DePascale-Lore

7th and 8th Grade Language Arts

Ashley DePascale-Lore

7th and 8th Grade Language Arts

Hello, I am Ashley Lore and I currently teach 7th and 8th grade Language Arts at Elysian. This is my fifth year teaching with previous experience in Kindergarten, 3rd and 4th grades. I graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and later received my Master’s Degree from NJCU in Special Education. I am a lifelong Hoboken resident and a proud mom of three sons. I enjoy reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors with my family.

Marisa Dolan

5th Grade

Marisa Dolan

5th Grade

Hi I’m Marisa and I teach 5th Grade Humanities (Reading, Writing, and Social Studies) here at Elysian. I’ve been teaching since 2015 and I’ve been at Elysian since 2020. I have my degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Learning Design Using Technology. I love to read, play with my dog Tito, go to the beach, do yoga, watch movies, and spend time with friends and family. I’m excited for another great year!

Angela

Angela Dunckley

Kindergarten

Angela Dunckley

Kindergarten

Hi, my name is Angela Dunckley and I am one of the kindergarten teachers at Elysian. I have been at Elysian since 2005, but my 18th 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!

Johnny Dyer

Recess

Johnny Dyer

Recess

Cristina Francisco

3rd Grade

Cristina Francisco

3rd Grade

Jennifer Ferreiro

Recess

Jennifer Ferreiro

Recess

Adam Froimowitz

Physical Education

Adam Froimowitz

Physical Education

Hi my name is Adam Froimowitz. I have been working at Elysian since 2013 as the Physical Education and Health Education teacher. I have coached basketball and track here at Elysian and I have been a member of the school climate team. Before coming to Elysian, I worked at a school in Queens, NY where I taught Physical Education/Health Education for five years.

Shaquana Ferguson

Recess and Afterschool Aide

Shaquana Ferguson

Recess and Afterschool Aide

Marlene Gay

Nurse

Marlene Gay

Nurse

Hi I am Marlene Gay and I have been a registered nurse since 1975. For many years, I was part of the Elysian community as a grandparent and I am excited to begin my second year working part time as school nurse. I love helping and interacting with all of the children, especially my own grandson, West, an ECS 5th grader.

Ian Gray

7th and 8th Grade Science

Ian Gray

7th and 8th Grade Science

Hi I am Ian Gray and I am the 7th & 8th Grade Science teacher. He has been teaching at Elysian since 2022, and I am thrilled to be returning for another year. I enjoy having thought-provoking conversations with my classes and covering a wide variety of science topics. I love doing hands-on projects and seeing students learn and apply new knowledge!

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.

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

4th Grade

Colleen Herlihy

4th Grade

Hi everyone! My name is Colleen and I teach fourth grade here at Elysian. I have been teaching at Elysian since 2020 and have taught both second and first since graduating Loyola University Maryland in 2017. I have my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration on Educational Technology. I love to read, go on hikes with my dogs, and spend time with my family.

Suzanne Heyman

Director of Operations

Suzanne Heyman

Director of Operations

Paige Hill

Teacher Aide

Paige Hill

Teacher Aide

Tonia Hill

Recess

Tonia Hill

Recess

Amanda Johnson

Paraprofessional

Amanda Johnson

Paraprofessional

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

Brenda Johnson

Breakfast and Lunch Staff

Brenda Johnson

Breakfast and Lunch Staff
Emily Killea

Emily Killea

4th Grade

Emily Killea

4th Grade

Hi, my name is Emily Killea and I teach fourth grade here at Elysian. I have been teaching since 2012, and at Elysian since 2018. Before coming to Elysian I taught both kindergarten and second grades. In my free time I love to read, spend time with my family, and go to the beach. I am excited about another great year at Elysian.

Batia Krinsky

Social Work

Batia Krinsky

Social Work

Hi my name is Batia and I am a Licensed Social Worker with a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Public Health. I grew up in Jersey City, NJ and went to a charter school from Kindergarten through 8th grade. Along with being the School Social Worker, I also work as a therapist outside of school. I am really looking forward to working with all the students, staff, and families of Elysian!

Lynn Kluepfel

Special Education

Lynn Kluepfel

Special Education

My name is Lynn Kluepfel and I have been involved with Elysian since its beginning. I currently teach Reading, mostly in Grades K-3. I have a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a post-Master’s 30-credit Certificate in Reading from Bank Street College. I am trained in the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. Learning to read is an exciting challenge for children. My passion is helping children discover the way that they learn best and to have fun while doing it!

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

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

2nd Grade

Melissa Landera

2nd Grade

Hi I am Melissa Landera and I have been teaching at Elysian since 1997. I have taught kindergarten, first grade and currently teach second grade. I love working on special projects with my class and taking them on fun trips. One of my favorite things about working at Elysian is watching my current and former students grow and learn!

Melissa Laviena

Teacher Aide and Aftercare

Melissa Laviena

Teacher Aide and Aftercare

Samantha Leone

Special Education Teacher

Samantha Leone

Special Education Teacher

Joshua Levitin

Music Teacher

Joshua Levitin

Music Teacher

Hi I am Josh Levitin and this is my 5th full year as a music educator in the public school system and I am proud to teach at Elysian. Previously, I instructed students in general music at Eleanor Van Gelder Elementary School in Edgewater and in piano performance at Church Street School for Music and Art in Manhattan. With a background in classical and collaborative piano, I see my role as a music teacher to open up new worlds not only to students, but also to myself by being open to the music the students love. Ultimately, my goal is to instill a lifelong love for music.

Josie Miguel

Kindergarten

Josie Miguel

Kindergarten

Hi my name is Josie Miguel. I am one of the kindergarten teachers. I have been a teacher at Elysian since it first opened its doors in 1997. I live in Hoboken with my daughters, Ari and Gabby. I have been teaching for 26 years.

Darcy Minsky

Special Education

Darcy Minsky

Special Education

Hi. My name is Darcy Minsky and I am a Special Education Teacher, the High School Guidance Counselor, and the Special Education Case Manager. I am also a social worker, and have been at Elysian since 2003.

Shareza Mohammed

Paraprofessional

Shareza Mohammed

Paraprofessional

Hi my name is Shareza Mohammed. I have been a paraprofessional at Elysian since 2005. I currently work with middle school math students. I enjoy going on cruises and photography.

Rosio Montayo

Paraprofessional

Rosio Montayo

Paraprofessional

Hi my name is Rosio Moncayo. I have been a paraprofessional at Elysian for 7 years. I am currently a para in kindergarten. I love working with children and traveling.

Margaret Murphy

2nd Grade

Margaret Murphy

2nd Grade

Diane Murray

6th Grade

Diane Murray

6th Grade

Diane Murray has been a teacher at Elysian since 1999. She has taught 2nd and 3rd grades at Elysian and currently teaches 6th grade math and science and directs the school plays.

Mariana Peralta

Spanish Teacher

Mariana Peralta

Spanish Teacher

Hola, my name is Mariana Peralta and I teach Spanish. I was born in Mexico and raised in Arizona. After graduating from the University of Arizona I moved to New Jersey in 2017. I have been a part of the Elysian community since 2019.

Odalys Pla

Paraprofessional

Odalys Pla

Paraprofessional

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

Shirin Raval

3rd Grade

Shirin Raval

3rd Grade

Hi! My name is Shirin Raval and I teach 3rd Grade. Before starting at Elysian Charter School, I taught 1st and 2nd grades in the Wyckoff Public School District for 15 years. I live with my husband and daughter in Hoboken and am so excited to bring my passion for teaching closer to home.

Monica Richard

7th and 8th Grade Math

Monica Richard

7th and 8th Grade Math

Hi I am Monica Richard and I have been at Elysian since 2021. I teach 7th grade math, 8th grade math and Algebra I. I have a bachelor’s degree in secondary education mathematics from Western Connecticut State University and a masters degree in literacy from Teachers College Columbia University. Before coming to Elysian, I taught 6th grade math in Harlem.

Gabriella Rodriguez

Permanent Substitute

Gabriella Rodriguez

Permanent Substitute
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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

1st Grade

Alyssa Rosen

1st Grade

Hi I am Alyssa Rosen. I have been a classroom teacher since 1998 and have been teaching at Elysian since 2007. I have a BA from Rutgers University in English and Elementary Education and a Masters in Education from Chapman University. More recently I received training in the reading method, Orton Gillingham. I love to instill a love of learning in my students and inspire them to do their best. In my spare time I enjoy reading, hiking, gardening and traveling.

Deb Rosner

Administrative Assistant & Office Manager

Deb Rosner

Administrative Assistant & Office Manager

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.

Willy Sanchez

Recess

Willy Sanchez

Recess

Kim Scillia

Nurse

Kim Scillia

Nurse

Jill Schifter

Art Teacher

Jill Schifter

Art Teacher

My name is Jill Schifter and it is my utmost pride to bring a high level of art education to all grade levels. The art program is well rounded by challenging and supporting students in exploring new concepts, materials and techniques, introducing artists, art genres, and history through cultural contexts based on either open-ended investigations or guided lessons. The art room is every students’ studio. I’ve been a certified art educator for over 20 years and maintain a studio practice.

Rachel Schwartz

3rd Grade

Rachel Schwartz

3rd Grade

Hi! My name is Rachel Schwartz. This is my 3rd year teaching third grade at Elysian Charter School and my 22nd year in education. I am an avid reader and love introducing new genres and titles to the students. As a class, we have so much fun throughout the school year engaging in design challenges, exploring problem-solving activities, and building an inclusive and supportive classroom community.

Ashley Shirazi

6th Grade

Ashley Shirazi

6th Grade

Hi I am Ashley Shirazi and I teach 6th grade and coach the debate club at Elysian Charter School. I have a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, which is the perfect background for navigating hormones. I am an avid foodie and traveler, and a first generation American.

Lenore Silver

Special Education

Lenore Silver

Special Education

Hi my name is Lenore Silver. I have been a special education teacher at Elysian since the fall of 2017. I support students in math and language arts. In addition, I am certified as a teacher of Orton Gillingham, a multisensory approach to decoding and spelling. I love to find creative (hands-on) ways to help students learn!

Taneha Smith

Lunch Aide

Taneha Smith

Lunch Aide

Daisy Tavarez

Lunch and Maintenance

Daisy Tavarez

Lunch and Maintenance

Alexander Tedesco

7th and 8th Grade Social Studies

Alexander Tedesco

7th and 8th Grade Social Studies

Hi I am Alex Tedesco and I am the Social Studies teacher for 7th and 8th grades and have taught at Elysian Charter School since September of 2021. Additionally, I coach basketball and offer an Italian themed cooking club for the middle school students. I have a tremendous passion for history and literature, and am always eager to share it with my students.

Sophia Traficante

6th Grade

Sophia Traficante

6th Grade

Hi! My name is Sophia Traficante. I am a recent graduate of Saint Peter’s University with a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. This is my first year here at Elysian Charter School, and I am thrilled to be teaching 6th grade. Language Arts and Social Studies have always been my passions, so I am very excited to share this passion with all my students!

Carolyn Yuhas

5th Grade

Carolyn Yuhas

5th Grade