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Welcoming New Pelicans

Packer welcomed a record number of new faculty and staff members in late August. Read more about our newest Pelicans — and be sure to say hello when you see them.


Upper School Dean of the Class of 2022 and Spanish teacher Michael Barbaro graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida, received his Masters in Spanish from NYU, and a Masters of Divinity and Youth Ministry from the Princeton Theological Seminary. Michael most recently worked at National Cathedral Elementary School in Washington, DC, and has prior experience at the Trinity School here in NYC and at the Westminster School in Atlanta, Georgia.

Assistant Head of the Pre and Lower School Erik Resurreccion served in a variety of roles (including teacher, mentor, social studies team leader and Director of Community Programming) at the Allen-Stevenson School here in NYC for twenty years. Eric has served as the Chairperson of the NYSAIS Diversity Committee, as president of POCIS (People of Color in Independent Schools) and on the faculty of the NYSAIS Beginning Teachers Institute. A graduate of Stuyvesant High School and Dartmouth College, Eric earned his Masters at Bank Street. He also recently completed NYSAIS’s Emerging Leadership Institute.

Packer’s New Early Learning Center Coordinator Toya West worked for the past three years at the International School of Bangkok. Toya graduated from Valdosta State University in Georgia, where she received her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in reading. She is an experienced classroom teacher, who has considerable experience with the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning.

Preschool and Lower School

4th Grade Associate Teacher Hector Amaya, originally from Santa Monica, California, is a graduate of Wesleyan who has prior experience as an ESL teacher.

Lower School Learning Specialist Sherleen Bruno worked as a special education teacher in the New York City Public Schools for the last 8 years. Sherleen graduated from Nyack College and completed her Masters in Education, focusing on students with disabilities, at Brooklyn College.

Pre and Lower School Learning Specialist Sara Elkhayat received her Masters in Early Childhood and Special Education from Hunter College, and taught at the KIPP Star Elementary School in Manhattan and most recently at the Citizens of the World Charter School in Williamsburg. 

1st Grade Associate Teacher Whitney Ford is a graduate of Phillips Andover and Stanford University, where she completed her BA and is currently pursuing her Masters in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies. She previously served as an associate teacher at the Hamlin School, in San Francisco.

Pre-K Fours Associate Teacher Brianna Hayden graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas College and received her Masters from Pace University.  For the past two years, she was a Pre-K associate teacher at The Dwight School.

1st Grade Associate Teacher Rene de Jongh is a graduate of Skidmore College and earned her Masters at Bank Street. She completed her student teaching last spring at PS 343, PS 372, and the Arts and Letters Public School.

Pre and Lower School Art Teacher Robin Koo earned her BA at Bowdoin College where she was a visual art and art history major and her MA in Art Education at Teachers College. She’s been an adjunct instructor at NYU’s School of Continuing Education and was a studio teacher at Beginnings Nursery School and a program director and materials center coordinator at Teaching Beyond the Square in Manhattan.

1st Grade Associate Teacher Kaitlyn Mulligan graduated from Binghamton University and just completed her Masters at Bank Street. Most recently, she was a mixed age kindergarten and second grade assistant teacher at The Studio School in Manhattan.

4th Grade Associate Teacher Resha Parikh graduated from Rutgers University and completed her Masters at Columbia University Teachers College.  Most recently she worked as an associate teacher in the fifth grade at City and Country School.

2nd Grade Associate Teacher Josie Paul earned her BA from City College and just completed her Masters in Early Childhood at Bank Street. For the past two years, she was a first grade associate teacher at Brearley, and she did her student teaching at PS 343, Poly Prep, and Brooklyn New School.

2nd Grade Associate Teacher Kaitlin Peck previously worked as a maternity leave replacement at Packer and has also provided private piano instruction for some Packer students. Katilin was a magna cum laud graduate of Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

1st Grade Associate Teacher Glynn Pogue graduated from Howard University and earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from The New School. She has substituted here at Packer and also worked as an after school teacher at Saint Ann’s.

Pre-K Fours Associate Teacher Samantha Prindilus earned her Bachelors at SUNY Cortland and will be completing her Masters at Hunter College this winter.  She previously worked at Columbus Pre-School as an assistant pre-K teacher and most recently at the School at Columbia for the past two years as an associate teacher.

After a career in art gallery management, Kindergarten Associate Teacher Elisabeth Schneider, a graduate of Boston University, most recently student taught at The Rockefeller University Child and Family Center, and substituted at Brooklyn Friends.

Packer Early Learning Center Nurse and Administrative Assistant Lisa Talarico is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Nursing with her Masters in Nursing Administration from NYU. She most recently worked at the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she was a nursing clinical specialty coordinator in pediatric allergy and immunology. 

Pre-K Threes Associate Teacher Shaquana Turner has been a substitute teacher, an Afterschool counselor, and a paraprofessional at Packer.  

Kindergarten Associate Teacher Annie Wedekind is a graduate of Brown University who has worked in the non-profit sector and in publishing prior to pursuing a career in teaching. Most recently, she was an assistant editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York. 

4th Grade Head Teacher Nicole Whittier is a graduate of Simmons College with Masters from both Teachers College and Bank Street, Nicole worked last year at the Clarion School in Dubai. Previously, she taught 3rd and 4th grades at The Red Oaks School in New Jersey, and she was an Associate Teacher here at Packer from 2012 to 2014. 

4th Grade Associate Teacher Morgan Wright graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle and is currently completing her Masters at Bank Street.

Middle School

Middle School Science Teacher Fahd Abdus-Sabur is a graduate of Tufts with his Masters from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has taught neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth and middle school science at Nord Anglia International School here in New York.

Middle and Upper School French Teacher Linda Brindeau earned her doctorate in French and Francophone Literature from the University of Wisconsin. Most recently, she was an assistant professor of French at Dickinson College, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, having previously taught at the University of Wisconsin.

Middle School Spanish Teacher Marcella Jiminez graduated from Bowdoin College and received her Masters in Spanish Language from Middlebury. For the last two years, she served as a Middle School teaching fellow at Greenwich Academy.

Middle and Upper School Librarian Sadie King-Hoffmann earned her undergraduate degree at Purdue and her Masters in Children’s Literature and Library Science at Simmons College. Most recently she was a library assistant at the Winsor School in Boston.

Middle and Upper School Math teacher Li-Dai Lu earned a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also completed a BA in English. He earned his MFA in Creative Fiction Writing from Texas State University.  Li has previously taught math at Trinity here in Manhattan and, for the last 7 years, at Avenues: The World School.

Middle School Math Teacher Isabel Mnookin previously taught at The Calhoun School, where she worked for the past six years. Prior to that, Isabel taught at The School at Columbia University and at Greenwich Village Middle School. She is a graduate of Boston College and earned her Masters at Fordham University.

Middle School Learning Specialist Danielle Shulkin is a first semester leave replacement for Brooke Shulman. A graduate of the College of William and Mary with her masters in special education from St. Johns, Danielle served for the last two years as a humanities teacher at East Side Middle School here in NYC.  

Middle School English Teacher Sara Winick is a graduate of Brown University, and has taught humanities for the past three years at Our Sisters’ School, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. 

Upper School

Upper School Learning Specialist Carla Kelly is a vocal music graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music and Arts. Carla received her BA from Temple University and her Masters in Secondary Special Education from City College. Since 2009, she has taught special education students at DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx.  

Upper School Learning Specialist Farrah Khan graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles and received her MA from Columbia University Teachers College. Most recently, she served as a learning specialist at Winston Prep here in New York.

Upper School Computer Science Teacher and Tech Integrator Saber Khan earned his BA in biology and history from Kenyon College and a masters from San Francisco State University. He has previously worked at San Francisco Friends School as a Math and Science teacher, at Little Red/Elisabeth Irwin as a tech teacher and tech integrator, and most recently at the Browning School, where he was Associate Director of Technology and taught computer science.

College Counselor Claudia Mendez is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Claudia completed her Masters at Columbia University Teachers College. She comes to us with considerable experience, having been the Director of the High School Program at Horace Mann’s Summer on the Hill, a college placement coordinator at Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School here in Brooklyn, and most recently as Director of College and Career Counseling at Urban Assembly-Global Commerce School in Harlem. 

Upper School Administrative Assistant Grisel Mora completed her Bachelors at Lehman College and most recently was a production associate at NBC Universal in New York and New Jersey.

Upper School Science Teacher Hemal Pathak taught biology and chemistry at Stuyvesant High School for the past 11 years. Hemal graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Penn State University and earned his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania. 

Upper School Science Teacher Amy Szczepanski earned both her bachelors and masters at Wayne State University, in Detroit, and taught at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Michigan, and at Uncommon Preparatory Charter High School in New York.

Upper School English Teacher Jonathan Wang taught for the past six years at Avenues: The World School, where he was an English teacher and Global Academic Dean. Previously, Jonathan taught at Phillips Exeter Academy and at both Bladwin and South Side High Schools on Long Island. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan, and earned a Masters in English Education at Teachers College and a second masters in English Literature at Queens College.


Night Custodial Supervisor Anthony Dicks brings 22 years of experience working in the commercial, retail, and education fields and in a similar capacity at Columbia University for five years. We’re extremely excited to have him join the maintenance team here at Packer.

Accounts Payable Coordinator Cynthia Herbert recently held the same position at the Professional Children’s School, where she worked for the past three years. She has a Bachelors degree in criminal justice from John Jay College.

Communications Specialist Angela Meadows is a graduate of Florida A&M, earned a Masters in Media Studies and Communication from NYU, and a Certificate in Diversity Management from Cornell. For the last four years, she was Communications Director at Manhattan Country School.

Director of Alumni David Minder was previously the Director of Engagement at Cooper Union, a senior alumni outreach officer at Pratt Institute, and the Manager of Annual Giving at the New School. David graduated with a major in political science and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University.

Help Desk Support Technician William Mondesi has worked in a similar role at St. Francis College, from which he graduated several years ago. 

Project Manager Tracy Turner, an experience project consultant, received her Bachelors at the University of Southern California and her Masters in Management from Yale.

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