Ms. Zofia Swiatek, Principal/Pre-K For All Director – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Swiatek joined the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy community in 2016 as principal. She is coming from St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Academy in Bushwick, Brooklyn, having been a member of the administrative team there for the last two years. In March of 2016, Ms. Swiatek was able to celebrate her ten-year anniversary as an educator, more than half of which have been with the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Ms. Swiatek earned her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in English at Seton Hall University and her Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Educational Leadership, Administration, and Policy in Catholic Educational Leadership from Fordham University. Her teaching experience includes teaching all grades from Pre-K through 12th grades, mostly in English or Language Arts, and have been in both the public and private schools in both New York and New Jersey schools. Her administrative experience includes being the middle school coordinator, ELA chair, high school advisor, and assistant principal, all while at St. Frances Cabrini.
Ms. Swiatek does pride herself in her ability to speak, read, and write in three languages: English, Polish, and Spanish. It is Ms. Swiatek’s firm belief, and own personal experience, that ALL students (regardless of their backgrounds) deserve an education that is engaging, personalized, character-developing, and faith-strengthening, and one that will positively impact each student, and that each student has it within themselves to succeed.
“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” – John Dewey
Mrs. Nydia Laborde, Administrative Assistant/Pre-K For All Secretary – email@example.com
Mrs. Nydia Laborde joined St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy in 2016 as the school Administrative Assistant. Before joining the St. Thomas team she was an Administrative Assistant for a non-profit agency with more than 28 years of professional experience where she worked closely with the differently-abled. Mrs. Laborde is fluent in Spanish and English and has a passion for helping others to the best of her abilities. She has completed 54 credits at KCC Specialized in Word Information.
“Kindness is a language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.” – Mark Twain
Ms. Nubia Martinez, Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Martinez joined St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy in 2014 as a teacher’s aide after working for 24 years as an Administrative Assistant/Education Administrator for a non-profit marketing communications trade association. She has been a long standing parishioner and school volunteer for different activities. Ms. Martinez holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Kingsborough Community College.
St. Thomas the Apostle Parish Administration
Reverend Frank Tumino – Pastor
Msgr. Edward Wetterer – Retired in Residence
Mr. William Smiddy – Director of Music Ministry
Mrs. Carmella Dearing – Director of Parish Outreach
Faculty – 88th St. Building
Mrs. Barbara Brussell – Nursery – email@example.com
Mrs. Brussell received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Science in Education degree from Molloy College and is NYS certified in Childhood Education, Students with Disabilities, and Visual Arts. Mrs. Brussell has previously taught 3rd grade for several years at St. Francis de Sales School, Social Studies at St. Brigid Catholic Academy, and was a building substitute teacher for grades preK through 12th grade at the Henry Viscardi School, which is a school for physically disabled children.
“They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carol Buchner
Mrs. Josephine Pirozek – Nursery Aide/PKA Liaison – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Pirozek has been a teacher assistant at St. Thomas the Apostle School since 2002. She is currently assisting in the Nursery classroom and also assists teachers of all grades whenever needed for prayer services, school plays, graduations, etc. Mrs. Pirozek is also the Liaison to the NYC Department of Education for the UPK Program and also works in the Afterschool Program. She has completed 83 credits at Queens College.
Ms. Rebecca Rosa – Kindergarten – email@example.com
Ms. Rosa has 7 years of experience teaching in a not-for-profit agency named Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services where she served the underprivileged children in the Queens neighborhood. Her love of teaching was placed on hold in order to help people in need after Hurricane Sandy. Ms. Rosa became a Disaster Case Manager, where her role was to assist people transition and rebuild their homes and find the funding to do so after the devastation due to the hurricane. Her work with clients and their homes, at times, appearing in the media, for example, The Daily News, channel 1, and channel 7 news. While doing that work, Ms. Rosa continued to pursue her Master’s degree in Special Education. Ms. Rosa is happy to have been given the opportunity to become the kindergarten teacher and pursue her career at St. Thomas the Apostle Academy. She hopes everyone has a fantastic year!
Ms. Diana Alvarado – Kindergarten Aide
Ms. Larissa Gargano – Grade 1 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Gargano received her Master’s degree in General and Special education from the University of St. Johns. Ms. Gargano has previously taught fourth and fifth grade ELA and Social Studies. She has also previously worked at St. Thomas as a SETTS provider.
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Ms. Ingrid Düffer- Grade 2 – email@example.com
Ms. Düffer is fluent in both Spanish and English. She has worked in the public, private and Catholic educational systems in varying grades throughout the years. Her experiences began in 1987 as a student teacher and include public schools in both Harlem (3-5) and Richmond Hill (K-10), The Rockefeller University Children’s School/Infant Toddler Center in Manhattan (N,K). In 1999, she joined the Catholic Schools System teaching at St. Benedict Joseph Labre School in Richmond Hill (2, 6 ELA and Science), as well as, here at St. Thomas The Apostle School (5-8 Music) in 2006.
Ms. Düffer studied at Hunter College majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Elementary Education through the Training Tomorrow’s Teachers Program. She passed the NTE (National Teachers Exam) in 1991. In addition, she has taken courses in the field of education at NYU SCPS, The Bank Street College of Education and St. John’s University for professional development. She aspires to mold and to develop her students into independent, confident readers, writers and out of the box thinkers. Her focus is not only to teach them academically, but to help them formalize a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus as they prepare to receive Him in their First Holy Communion.
Ms. Paige Noonan – Grade 3 – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Ms. Noonan’s first year teaching at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy as the third, fourth, and fifth grade ELA and reading teacher. Ms. Noonan received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Reading from Sacred Heart University. She completed her internship and student teaching in the third grade, in which she found her love of teaching students to read and write. She loves reading in her spare time, and practices yoga and running for fun!
“Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.” – Robert John Meehan
Ms. Marisol Sosa – Grade 4 – email@example.com
Marisol Sosa has over 15 years of experience in education. She spent her first 5 years as a preschool teacher and 10 years as a Kindergarten teacher. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from The City College of New York and a Master’s degree in TESOL from Adelphi University.
Ms. Anneliese Villanueva – Grade 5 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Villanueva received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Geology from Queens College and is NYS certified in Childhood Education. In March of 2016, Ms. Villanueva began working at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy as a substitute teacher. Ms. Villanueva takes great pride in being an alumni of St. Thomas the Apostle, having graduated from the school in 2005. She is an active member of the parish community and is beginning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Queens College.
Faculty – 87th Street Building
Mrs. Jeanne-Marie Leeb – Pre-K For All Lead Teacher – email@example.com
Mrs. Leeb received her Bachelor of Arts degree from NYU, after which she worked with autistic children for a year and a half in a special education school. She then returned to school to get her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at NYU. After receiving her MA, she began teaching at St. Thomas the Apostle School, first, in the position of Kindergarten teacher. In 2002, Mrs. Leeb became New York State certified. After 12 years as the Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Leeb was tapped to pilot St. Thomas’s new Universal Pre-K program, which she has done since 2010. Her philosophy of teaching is to see every student in her care as an individual.
“Every person is gifted in some area. We just have to find out what.” – Evelyn Blose Holman
Ms. Stephanie McAdams (Rae) – Pre-K For All Lead Teacher – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Mrs. McAdams second year teaching PKA at St. Thomas the Apostle. Previously she was the SETSS provider for St. Thomas the Apostle, and has previously taught preschool as both a general education and special education teacher. Mrs. McAdams received her Bachelor of Arts in Child Study from St. Joseph’s College and Masters of Science from Long Island University in Literacy. She is certified in Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, Students with Disabilities, and Literacy.
Ms. Brenda Larsen – Pre-K For All Lead Teacher – email@example.com
Ms. Patricia Portoghese – Pre-K For All Lead Teacher – firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Patricia Portoghese joined the St. Thomas the Apostle community in 2016. She previously worked at Our Lady of Victory School in Floral Park as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher for two years. Miss Portoghese also has experience working with children with special needs. She graduated from the University of Scranton with a Bachelors degree in Counseling and Human Services in 2012. Miss Portoghese is completing her Masters in Early Childhood Special Education from Hunter College.
Mrs. Mariane Frenzel – Universal Pre-K Aide
Mrs. Frenzel has been a teacher assistant at St. Thomas the Apostle School since 2002. She is currently in the PKA classroom and also assists teachers of all grades whenever needed for prayer services, school plays, graduations, etc. Mrs. Frenzel also works in the Early Drop Off and Afterschool Programs and assists Mrs. Pirozek with the PKA Program coordination. She attended Queensborough Community College.
Mrs. Monika Buda – Pre-K For All Aide
Mrs. Monika Buda joined the faculty of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy, in 2014. She has a Master of Science in Education degree from the University of Warmia and Mazury (Poland), and currently, graduating from Queens College with a Master degree in Teaching (B-2). Moreover, Mrs. Buda works as a head teacher to eighth grade students at St. Faustina’s Polish Supplementary School.
Mrs. Marbella Paniagua – Pre-K For All Aide
Mrs. Paniagua joined the faculty of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Academy in 2014 as a Teacher’s Aide in the PKA Program. Mrs. Paniagua has been an active parishioner and volunteer for many years at St. Thomas the Apostle.
Mrs. Louise Connors – Pre-K For All Aide
Mrs. Connors joined the staff of St. Thomas the Apostle School in 1994 as the second-grade teacher’s aide. The following year Mrs. Connors became the Kindergarten aide where she remained for 14 years. She then became the Pre-K Aide and is now an aide in one of our Pre-K For all classrooms where she enjoys working and creating things with the children. Through her 20 plus years working at St. Thomas, Mrs. Connors also enjoys drawing and painting props for our Christmas and Spring shows. As the years pass so fast, Mrs. Connors quote is “Live, love and laugh with children, before you know it, they will be men and women.”
Ms. Sabena Kernizan – Pre-K For All Aide
Mrs. Anny Garcia – Pre-K For All Aide
Ms. Christine Small – Pre-K For All Aide
Mrs. Consuelo Ramirez – Pre-K For All Aide
Mrs. Adelaide Polito – Grade 6 – email@example.com
Mrs. Polito graduated from St. Joseph’s College with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Education. She started teaching in 1975, first at St. Malachy’s where she was a self-contained classroom teacher and also worked in the departmental JHS level, teaching Social Studies, Religion, Math and Language Arts. After 4 years, she joined the staff at St. John Neumann, teaching both in a self-contained and departmental setting, where she remained for 11 years, until giving birth to her daughter in 1989. While staying home to raise her daughter, Mrs. Polito substituted at three different Catholic Schools. In 1999, she returned to full time teaching at St Thomas the Apostle School. This is Mrs. Polito’s 33rd year teaching in the Diocese of Brooklyn and she currently teaches 6th and 7th grade ELA and Religion to 6, 7, and 8th.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself!” – John Dewey
Mrs. Patricia Eggers – Grade 7 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Eggers began teaching in Catholic schools in 1995 after an eleven year career in Marketing and Finance. As her own children became of school age, she began to volunteer more and more for different activities, and this eventually led her to pursue a second career in Education. She began at Epworth Parish Preschool and Day Camp, then St. Clement Pope School, and St Benedict Joseph Labre. Mrs Eggers has had experience teaching grades Pre-K through 8, and has also taught Computer and technology. She received a BA from Marymount Manhattan College, and has post-graduate credits from St. John’s and LIU, as well as a NYS certificate in Technology.
“Let the little children come to me.” – Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew 19:14
Mrs. Helen Hartel – Grade 8 – email@example.com
Mrs. Hartel joined the faculty of St. Thomas the Apostle in September of 2006. She has her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from The University of SUNY New Paltz. Mrs. Hartel is currently teaching Math to 6, 7, and 8th grades, as well as Science to 6 and 7th grades.
“Success is achieved and maintained by those who try and keep trying.” W. Clement Stone
Mrs. Margarita Barreto-Sewell – Guidance Counselor
Mr. William Kelly – Gym
Mrs. Veronica Boggiano – Art
Ms. Deborah Camp – Art (N-1st Grades)
Ms. Amanda Keil – Music
Mr. Jonathan Zarbaliyeva – Computers
Mrs. Janine Miller – SETTS Teacher
Mrs. Carline Petit – Student Support Services/Title 1 Counselor
Ms. Paulina Parchment – Title 1 Reading
Ms. Immaculata Ngwangwa – Title 1 Math