Jamie CalhounEnglish 4 Teacher
Alexandra WalkerCollege Advisor
Aspen HarkeyEnglish 1 Teacher
Courtney EppsMathematics Teacher
Hilary WeitzeHistory Teacher
Karla MartinezOperations and Accounts Coordinator
Sarah RossCollege Advisor
Susan LimMathematics Teacher
Timothy ArnoldTechnology Coordinator
Tula Richards-GiftUnderclassmen Dean
Vanessa Cruz9th and 12th Grade English Teacher
Charae BaulkmanFutures Teachers
Wallace GaffneyDean of Culture
Julian Garroway3RC Coordinator
Karen MuradHistory Teacher
Nicole SandersonHistory Teacher
Sueda TonyaliGrade Level Liaison
Nathanael UgarteHistory Teacher
Tara Napolitano11th Grade English Teacher
Chantal AdlamChemistry Teacher
Mona KhalilData Specialist
Ted CherneyMusic Teacher
Andrew BarquinBiology Teacher
Alana AllenScience Teacher
Tonya BewleyOperations Manager
Juxhesta CakraniBiology Teacher
Christopher CanadyGrade Level Liaison
Joyce ChenGrade Level Liaison
Morgan ClarkSchool Social Worker
Parinaz ColeDevelopment Officer
Juan CorreaHealth and Physical Education Teacher: Men of Fairfield council Coach
Tahirah CrawfordDirector of College Placement
Dowayne DavisDirector of Finance and Operations
Dominique DixonHealth and Physical Education Teacher - Chair of the Phys. Ed. Dept.
Erika Doehler10th Grade Health and Physical Education Teacher
Kevin Farrell11th Grade Team Leader / Art Dept Chair / Visual Art I, II, and III Teacher
Andrew Hollander11th Grade Health and Physical Education
Jamila JacksonHistory Teacher
Taylor JonesMathematics Teacher
Emily KaplowitzAlumni Coordinator
Samantha LaycockSpecial Projects Coordinator
Todd Levine10th Grade English Teacher
Michael LolkusMath Teacher, Mathematics Department Chair
Ana LopezOffice Manager
Annell WaltenbergSpanish Teacher
Amanda MaisonaveSpanish 1 Teacher
Jean MesserouxSpecial Education Teacher
Jennifer Moore9th Grade Math Teacher
Tasina MuttakimGrade Level Liaison
Nathan PattonDirector of Curriculum and Instruction
Jordan PetersMusic Teacher
Amy PozmantierCommunity Program Coordinator
Jason RobertsArt II Teacher
Keith RobinsonAssistant School Leader
Jess RooneyFounder, School Leader
Bobby RubinEnglish 1 Teacher
Alison Laycock-RuizDean of Student Intervention
Samuel SantiagoClassroom and Support Aid
Megan SaxeAssistant Dean of Culture
Enrique SilvaSchoolwide Support
Nicole SousaMathematics Teacher
Lakiah StewartGrade Level Liaison
Denise TorresSchool Psychologist
Brent Weber9th Grade English Teacher
Alex WheelockMath Teacher
Haley WilsonSpecial Education Teacher

Staff Profile

Jamie Calhoun

English 4 Teacher

Before coming to People's Prep as an English teacher, Jamie taught at Penn State University and Xavier University. She moved to New York with her family and wanted to pursue teaching where it was needed and valued.

Staff Profile

Alexandra Walker

College Advisor

Alexandra Walker joins People’s Prep as one of the newest College Advisors in the Office of College Placement. She graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education/Speech Pathology and more recently from St. John’s University with a master's in School Counseling. Before going back for her master’s, Alex taught 5th grade math and science as an in-class support teacher at Hillside Avenue School in Montclair, NJ. During graduate school and while living in Queens, New York, she continued to educate and counsel students by working with programs like Avid and Gear Up to help students with college readiness and other post-secondary opportunities. Ms. Walker believes that education is one of the greatest tools that someone can receive and to come back and give those tools to those in her community means everything to her.

Staff Profile

Aspen Harkey

English 1 Teacher

Aspen Harkey is a new addition to People's Prep and currently teaches English 1. Originally from Southern California and a first generation college student, Aspen received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis in English and Psychology with a minor in Education. Upon graduation, she joined Teach for America and moved across the country to join the Wolfpack. When she's not teaching, she spends her time reading, watching movies, and hanging out with her sweet rescue dog (Moxie) and cat (Morticia).

Staff Profile

Courtney Epps

Mathematics Teacher

Courtney Epps joined the People's Prep team at the start of the 2016-2017 school year as a mathematics teacher. Courtney earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Montclair State University and has been working in education for 10 years. Courtney is also a mathematics professor at the local colleges in the area. Courtney has worked as a home instructor for Montclair Public Schools, GED Instructor for Middlesex County College, and a Resource Specialist (Academic Advisor) for Essex County College. Courtney brings her vast knowledge of college placement and mathematics to the team. In Courtney's spare time she loves to go to the shore, travel, deejay, and play the piano and drums.

Staff Profile

Hilary Weitze

History Teacher

Hilary Weitze earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from William Paterson University of New Jersey, where she received a full academic scholarship for four years of study under New Jersey's Trustee Scholarship program. She went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in 2015, from the City University of New York's Graduate and University Center, where she studied political science with a specialization in comparative politics. Her graduate research on the topic of civil war violence has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals and the United States Library of Congress alike. She continues to research case studies relevant to her field and is always in pursuit of new scholarships. When not giving her all as a World History II teacher at People's Prep, Hilary enjoys spending time with her family, competing in concert piano competitions, and traveling.

Staff Profile

Karla Martinez

Operations and Accounts Coordinator

Karla was born and raised in Newark. She graduated from Technology High School and Essex County College. She decided to continue with her education and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Kean University in 2011. This is her first year as the accounts and operations coordinator at People's Prep. Before coming to People's Prep, Karla worked at Newark Public Schools for thirteen years. Karla enjoys reading and cooking. When not at People's Prep, Karla keeps busy with her athletic teenage son.

Staff Profile

Sarah Ross

College Advisor

Sarah Ross joins People's Prep this year as a College Advisor. She graduated from UMass-Amerst in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and double minors in Sociology and Education. In 2016, she received her master's in School Counseling from UMass-Boston. Prior to coming to People's Prep, Sarah completed her school counseling internship at high schools in Lynn and Boston, Massachusetts. She is committed to ensuring all students have the advisement and support they need to thrive in college. A native New Yorker who spent the last eight years in Massachusetts, Ms. Ross is excited to be back around her fellow New York Jets fans.

Staff Profile

Susan Lim

Mathematics Teacher

Susan Lim is a math teacher at People's Prep Charter School. Susan received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics Education and her Master of Arts degree in Mathematics from Jeju National University, South Korea. Prior to coming to People's Prep, she taught high school students for three years.

Staff Profile

Timothy Arnold

Technology Coordinator

Timothy Arnold joined the People's Prep team at the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Tim earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Anthropology from Ball State University and holds a graduate certificate in Human Computer Interaction from Purdue University. Tim taught high school social studies for eight years before pursuing opportunities in the corporate world. Tim returns to the educational environment of People's Prep as technology coordinator.

Staff Profile

Tula Richards-Gift

Underclassmen Dean

Tula Richards-Gift is the first ever underclassmen dean at People's Prep Charter High School. Prior to joining the Wolfpack, she worked as an English, reading, and speech and presentation teacher at Catherine McAuley H.S. and Achievement First University Prep in Brooklyn, New York and at Marion P. Thomas Charter High School in Newark, New Jersey. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Education at St. Francis College, a Master of Science degree in Literacy at Brooklyn College, and a Master of Science degree in School Building Leadership at St. John's University. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending quality time with her family.

Staff Profile

Vanessa Cruz

9th and 12th Grade English Teacher

Vanessa Cruz joins People's Prep this year as a 9th and 12th grade English teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Kean University and is the first person in her family to graduate from college. Prior to joining People's Prep, Vanessa taught in her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey at Toussaint L'ouverture-Marquis de Lafayette. Vanessa hopes to inspire her students to overcome social challenges and graduate from the college of their choice by sharing her story with them and opening their minds to believe that success is possible through hard work and perseverance.

Staff Profile

Charae Baulkman

Futures Teachers

Charae Baulkman joins People's Prep this year as the futures teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Performance from Howard University. Charae attended Howard University on a full athletic scholarship as a member of the Lady Bison Women's Basketball Team. Prior to joining People's Prep, Charae taught in Washington D.C. for three years at Friendship Collegiate Academy as the lead health and physical education teacher. She is committed to make sure every student has a goal in life and that they have the tools to be successful. As a native of Newark, New Jersey she is delighted to come home and give back to her community.

Staff Profile

Wallace Gaffney

Dean of Culture

Wallace H. Gaffney III joins People's Prep this year as the Dean of Culture. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Virginia Union University. Wallace also holds a Master of Social Work degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. Wallace has been working with adolescents from various backgrounds for over ten years; he has served teens who were homeless, drug addicted, truant, and those with mental illness. Wallace also serves as the pastor of The Saint Paul Baptist Church in Passaic, NJ. Wallace was most recently employed as the climate and culture specialist at Eastside High School in Paterson, NJ. Wallace has dedicated his life to serving urban communities.

Staff Profile

Julian Garroway

3RC Coordinator

Julian Garroway Jr. joins People's Prep this year as the 3RC coordinator. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from St. John's University. Julian attended St. John's University on a partial athletic and academic scholarship as the head manager and practice player for the basketball team. Prior to joining People's Prep, Julian was the assistant dean of students and high school/middle school basketball coach at Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. He has been working with inner city youth for five years and thrives on building positive relationships while helping students believe in themselves to achieve greatness. Julian is also a youth leader at the Hope Center Tabernacle in Jersey City, New Jersey and volunteers his time on the weekends teaching art at the Hope Center Arts Academy. As a native of Jersey City, New Jersey, Julian is excited to give back to his community and influence the community in a positive way.

Staff Profile

Karen Murad

History Teacher

Karen Murad grew up Fanwood, New Jersey. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree in History from the University of Maryland in 2012 (go Terps!), and completed her Master of Arts degree in Teaching at Montclair State University in January 2016. She worked in many fields before joining People's Prep, including retail, hospitality, and food service and was most recently employed at a middle school in Montclair as a student teacher and aide. She currently teaches 12th grade US History II and one section of World History I and is the council coach to the Women of UMD. In her free time she enjoys photography, hiking, baking, writing, and reading.

Staff Profile

Nicole Sanderson

History Teacher

After returning to the US from three years of teaching English in North Africa, Nicole Sanderson joined People's Prep as the 9th grade world history teacher. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistic Anthropology and a minor in Classical Arabic from the University of Arizona in Tucson. In Tucson, she ran a large charity organization mentoring urban youth and encouraging them to attend college. Nicole worked as a hydrology teacher for the entire Tucson Unified School District, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and as an ESL teacher for Iraqi refugees in both Tucson and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Nicole also ran an international school of leadership for several years where she put on programs on several continents. Nicole is happy to be back in her home state where, together with her husband, she lives in the house where her father grew up and takes care of her elderly grandfather.

Staff Profile

Sueda Tonyali

Grade Level Liaison

Sueda Tonyali received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the People's Prep team, she had worked at a satellite company. She is excited to be at People's Prep and help students from Newark.

Staff Profile

Nathanael Ugarte

History Teacher

Nathanael Ugarte joins People's Prep this year as a history teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in French from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts degree in Teaching Social Studies 7-12 from New York University. He has worked in education for four years and has previously worked in Plainfield and Newark, New Jersey as well as NYC. He returns to Newark to continue working with the diamonds in the rough that he calls his students.

Staff Profile

Tara Napolitano

11th Grade English Teacher

Tara Napolitano received her Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in History from Rollins College in Orlando, Florida and began a Master in Education degree at Barry University in Miami. Before working at People's Prep, she worked in the Orange County School System as a permanent substitute and for Ralph Lauren as a floor designer.

Staff Profile

Chantal Adlam

Chemistry Teacher

Chantal Adlam earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Forensic Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she double tracked in Molecular Biology and Forensic Toxicology. She went on to earn her Master of Science degree in 2015 from Stony Brook University of the State University of New York (SUNY), where she studied chemistry with a specialization in chemical biology research. She continues to research relevant discoveries to her field - in particular Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (Mtb) and is always in pursuit of new research opportunities.

Staff Profile

Mona Khalil

Data Specialist

Mona Khalil joins People's Prep this year as a data specialist. She completed her Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology at Fordham University and also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Baruch College. Prior to joining People's Prep, she worked in university research settings and completed multiple internships with schools and non-profits focusing on improving outcomes for disadvantaged youth and students. She is a native New Yorker and is passionate about giving back to her community and surrounding communities.

Staff Profile

Ted Cherney

Music Teacher

Ted Cherney is in his first year at People's Prep. In spring 2016, he graduted from the University of Delaware with a degree in Music Education with an emphasis in Chorus/General Music. While there, he was in the award-winning a cappella group, Vocal Point. He also took part in the many choirs and jazz ensembles that Delaware offers. Outside of school, he loves playing piano, singing, and spending time with friends and family. Ted is excited to start his journey here at PPCS.

Staff Profile

Andrew Barquin

Biology Teacher

Andrew Barquin joins People's Prep this year as a biology teacher. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Natural Science from Thomas Edison State University. Prior to joining People's Prep, Andrew taught within the Elizabeth Public Schools and collaborated with the NYC Department of Education in developing and implementing a high school biology curriculum centered around the science and social impact of organ donation. He hopes to instill and nuture scientific interests within his students and encourage their pursuits toward careers and degrees in the sciences.

Staff Profile

Alana Allen

Science Teacher

Staff Profile

Tonya Bewley

Operations Manager

Tonya Bewley has served as Operations Manager at People's Prep since 2012. Ms. Bewley previously worked as Operations and Resources Manager for Wynona's House Child Advocacy Center, a Newark-based nonprofit. Ms. Bewley was educated in the East Orange Public School District, and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Pine Manor College.

Staff Profile

Juxhesta Cakrani

Biology Teacher

Juxhesta Cakrani is entering her first year at People's Prep. Prior to coming to People's Prep, she taught summer school at Boys' Latin Charter School. Before teaching, Juxhesta studied sociology and Spanish at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, where she conducted research in cell biology and ecology, as well as discovered a new species of bees in the United States. When not teaching, she enjoys running, playing volleyball, and cooking. Juxhesta is the council coach of Women of Rutgers and a volleyball coach for the PPCS girls' volleyball team. She is currently working towards her Master's at Relay Graduate School of Education.

Staff Profile

Christopher Canady

Grade Level Liaison

Before coming to Peoples's Prep as a grade level liaison, Christopher Canady was a case manager at the Mental Health Association of Essex County. He holds a B.A. in psychology from Becker College.

Staff Profile

Joyce Chen

Grade Level Liaison

Joyce Chen, the Art Teacher, earned her B.F.A. in Painting, with honors, and her M.A.T. from the Rhode Island School of Design. Ms. Chen student-taught in urban schools in Providence, Rhode Island before coming to People's Prep. Her artwork has been exhibited in New England and New York, and is part of Brown University's permanent collection. Joyce's lifelong goal is to inspire young people to set and fulfill high expectations for themselves by developing their artistic skills. Outside of teaching, she continues to paint.

Staff Profile

Morgan Clark

School Social Worker

Morgan Clark is in her first year at People's Prep as a School Social Worker. She received her Bachelor's of Arts in psychology and communications from the University of Connecticut in 2013. She then completed her Master's of social work degree from Rutgers University. Morgan remains a part-time research assistant for one of the international research centers at Rutgers. As a research assistant, she also participated in research projects in South America and Asia. Prior to coming to People's Prep, Morgan completed her clinical practicum at another New Jersey high school and at an outpatient counseling center.

Staff Profile

Parinaz Cole

Development Officer

Parinaz comes to People’s Prep from NJ SEEDS, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing greater access to educational opportunities for high-achieving students from low-income families. Prior to that, Parinaz was a member of the fundraising and development team at the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, an organization whose mission is to transform the lives of orphaned children. Prior to entering the world of nonprofits, Parinaz worked at Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor, Kodak as a major accounts manager, and IMPAC Europe as a management consultant. Parinaz completed her middle and high school education in the United Kingdom. She has a B.A. from Kent University at Canterbury in economics and development studies, and a Diploma in French language and civilization from The Sorbonne.

Staff Profile

Juan Correa

Health and Physical Education Teacher: Men of Fairfield council Coach

Juan Correa graduated from Montclair State University and joins PPCS as a first-year health & PE teacher. Juan holds a B.A. in science with a concentration in physical education and health. He played soccer for MSU and is a proud 2014 New Jersey Athletic Conference champion. Currently, Juan plays for an amateur, semi-professional team in Ridgefield, NJ and was recently named Head Coach for the Boys' Varsity Basketball team here at People's Prep. His philosophy is to teach students how to develop healthy and active lifestyles through physical education, to in turn apply those concepts to achieve longer-lasting health benefits. Juan believes that students can apply themselves on and off the playing grounds, by developing social skills, discipline, and a work ethic that will have a positive impact on their personal lives later on.

Staff Profile

Tahirah Crawford

Director of College Placement

Tahirah Jordan Crawford joins People's Prep as the Director of the Office of College Placement. Having been an Administrator in the Higher Education sector for several years, she brings a wealth of knowledge in the area of college readiness to our students and families.

Staff Profile

Dowayne Davis

Director of Finance and Operations

Dowayne Davis is in his first year as People's Prep’s director of finance and operations. He brings over six years of extensive experience in areas including instruction, school business administration, information systems management, and operations management. He holds a Bachelor's of science (B.S.) in information systems management and technology from Syracuse University and a Master's of business administration (M.B.A.), focused on operations and information systems, from Baruch College. He is currently in pursuit of a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in educational leadership with a concentration in educational technology. He is particularly interested in studying core components and factors of sustainable systems. Dowayne seeks to utilize his broad experiences in the education sector and share his passion for knowledge to support the short- and long-term mission and objectives of People’s Prep Charter School.

Staff Profile

Dominique Dixon

Health and Physical Education Teacher - Chair of the Phys. Ed. Dept.

Dominique Dixon is the founding Health and Physical Education teacher at People's Prep and has been here since 2011. In addition to teaching Ninth Grade Health and Physical Education, he is the Chair of the Physical Education Department. He earned his B.S. in Health and Physical Education from Montclair State Univiersity. Mr. Dixon has a strong athletic background including All-American honors at the Division III level, and coaching experience for high school football. He continues to work with athletes throughout all four seasons of the year.

Staff Profile

Erika Doehler

10th Grade Health and Physical Education Teacher

Erika Doehler is the tenth grade health and physical education teacher. She earned her B.S. at The College of New Jersey and has her Master's certification in Strength and Conditioning. In 2013, Erika was a presenter at the NJAHPERD (New Jersey Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance) Convention. She has been an athlete all her life, which she believes helps her to connect with students and make learning fun.

Staff Profile

Kevin Farrell

11th Grade Team Leader / Art Dept Chair / Visual Art I, II, and III Teacher

Kevin R. Farrell, Jr. teaches Visual Art I, II, and III, is the Chair of the Art Department, and serves as the Eleventh Grade Team Leader. Mr. Farrell spent the past two summers as part of the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education, where he focused on teacher leadership and instructional mastery. He is also an active painter, poet, and arts advocate. Mr. Farrell holds a B.A. in Art History and an M.A.T. in Art Education from the School of Visual Arts. Mr. Farrell believes that art can be taught--raw talent can be refined, imagination can be nurtured, and creativity can be guided.

Staff Profile

Andrew Hollander

11th Grade Health and Physical Education

Andrew Hollander, the Eleventh grade Health and Physical Education Teacher, received his B.A. in Health and Physical Education from Kean University. Mr. Hollander is an avid fan of the New York Yankees and New York Rangers. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and riding his mountain bike. Mr. Hollander is also well known amongst his friends and family for making an amazing guacamole!

Staff Profile

Jamila Jackson

History Teacher

Jamila Jackson is happy to continue in her role as a Classroom and Support Aide into the 2014-2015 school year. Prior to joining People's Prep, Ms. Jackson devoted her energies to working for education non-profit organizations such as Citizen Schools and Uncommon Schools. She is a graduate of Rutgers University–New Brunswick, where she majored in History and Communication. Ms. Jackson continues to look for opportunities to impact urban education, and her future goals include becoming a secondary school Social Studies teacher.

Staff Profile

Taylor Jones

Mathematics Teacher

Taylor Jones is a born, bred and raised Strong Islander (from Long Island, NY). A first generation college graduate, explorer, educator, and foodie, she attended Manhattan College & St. Joseph's College to obtain a B.A. in mathematics. Taylor interned at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando, FL, for 8 months. Outside the classroom you can find her at a cooking class at Pirch, reading comic books, walking around Jersey City or Europe, or on a road trip. Taylor is a firm believer that an education is essential to opening doors for a better future. Her motto that has been influenced by her mother and now to her students is, “If it is to be, it is up to me!”

Staff Profile

Emily Kaplowitz

Alumni Coordinator

Emily Kaplowitz is thrilled to join People's Prep as the alumni coordinator for the OCP. Emily holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Maryland, an M.S. in counseling from Barry University, and most recently, a M.B.A./M.A. in educational leadership from Mills College. During her studies at Mills, Emily held a fellowship with Education Pioneers at KIPP NJ. With over ten years of experience in education, Emily is excited to hold a position where she can help students get to and through college.

Staff Profile

Samantha Laycock

Special Projects Coordinator

Samantha Laycock is excited to join the team at People's Prep as the special projects coordinator. She earned a B.A. in anthropology and Italian from the University of Notre Dame and has a professional background in sales and marketing. Currently, Ms. Laycock focuses on student enrollment and marketing of the school among other projects. She is committed to introducing People's Prep's mission to the Newark community and welcoming all students to the Wolfpack.

Staff Profile

Todd Levine

10th Grade English Teacher

Todd Levine received his B.A. in English and Spanish from Northwestern University. Prior to joining the team at People's Prep, Mr. Levine worked as an English Teaching Assistant in Chiapas, Mexico.

Staff Profile

Michael Lolkus

Math Teacher, Mathematics Department Chair

Michael Lolkus teaches Math and serves as the Chair of the Math Department. Prior to coming to People's Prep, Mr. Lolkus taught summer school at Williamsburg Preparatory School, and for a month at Tetra Lutheran Private School in Tanzania. Mr. Lolkus holds a B.S. in Mathematics Education from Purdue University. He looks forward to getting involved in after school clubs with students, and to helping students develop other interest groups.

Staff Profile

Ana Lopez

Office Manager

Ana Lopez has been with People's Prep since August 2013 and serves as the Office Manager. Before joining the team, Ms. Lopez worked at a Rehabilitation Center for nine years. Making a career change proved to be a tough decision but also one of the most rewarding choices Ms. Lopez has ever made.

Staff Profile

Annell Waltenberg

Spanish Teacher

Annell Waltenberg is a Spanish I teacher and a grade team leader at People's Prep Charter School. Annell studied English at Thomas Edison State College. Before joining People's Prep in 2013, Annell worked for Citizen Schools for four years.

Staff Profile

Amanda Maisonave

Spanish 1 Teacher

Amanda Maisonave joins People's Prep this year as the newest Spanish teacher. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2015 with a B.A. in Spanish. Before coming to People's Prep, she taught Spanish at Camden's Promise Charter School in Camden, NJ. While in college, Ms. Maisonave volunteered at Noyes Education Campus in Washington, D.C. She also taught English classes on weekends to Spanish-speaking immigrants at a D.C. community center. Ms. Maisonave is a firm believer in education as a tool for social justice, which is why she became a Teach for America Corps member in 2015. In her free time, she enjoys singing, playing the guitar, bhangra dancing, and going to the beach.

Staff Profile

Jean Messeroux

Special Education Teacher

Jean Messeroux joins People's Prep as a special education teacher. Mr. Messeroux is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he studied English, Black studies, and sociology. Prior to PPCS, Mr. Messeroux worked as a technician of anesthesiology in the O.R. at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, while also facilitating a mentorship program at UMass Amherst.

Staff Profile

Jennifer Moore

9th Grade Math Teacher

Jennifer Moore is a Teaching Assistant to the Math department at People's Prep. She has worked with students in Public, Private, and Charter school settings. Her experience with students range from Abbott PreSchoolers through Middle School students. Ms. Moore has a solid background in a supportive role and looks forward to helping students fulfill Peoples Prep's Mission—to graduate from college and to become involved, informed, and resilient citizens.

Staff Profile

Tasina Muttakim

Grade Level Liaison

Tasina Muttakim holds a Bachelor's of Arts in political science, with a double minor in pre-law and Latin-American/Latino studies from Montclair State University. Prior to her employment as a grade level liaison at People’s Prep, she served as an AmeriCorps member in Paterson. Tasina is dedicated to educational excellence and improving the condition of social issues in urban environments. Ultimately,Tasina hopes to create her own non-profit organization to educate immigrant families and youth about the importance of higher education.

Staff Profile

Nathan Patton

Director of Curriculum and Instruction

In addition to serving as Dean of Instruction, Nathan Patton teaches Ninth Grade English at People's Prep. Mr. Patton has taught English at the Isaac Young Middle School in New Rochelle, NY; the TEAM Academy Charter School in Newark; and I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente Middle School in Harlem. Mr. Patton holds a B.A. in English from Furman University and an M.S. in Teaching from Pace University. As a leader and teacher, he focuses on providing students with opportunities for improvement, iteration, and creative problem solving. He maintains high standards of success for both himself and his students to ensure that students' skills improve each year.

Staff Profile

Jordan Peters

Music Teacher

Jordan Peters is entering his first year at People's Prep as the drumline, chorus, and jazz ensemble teacher. Prior to working at PPCS, Jordan studied music education at the University of Delaware, where he earned his Bachelor's of Music (B.M.). Jordan student-taught at Elkton Middle School in Elkton, MD and North East High School in North East, MD. Within his four years in the department of music at UD, he was in the University of Delaware Wind Ensemble, the University of Delaware Fightin' Blue Hen Marching Band (UDMB), jazz ensembles, jazz chamber groups, as well as his band "Tree". During his time at the University of Delaware, he played with jazz stars such as Graham Breedlove, Larry McKenna, Dave Schiff, Todd Groves, Matt Harris, and Buster Williams. Jordan’s main instrument is the saxophone, from sopranino sax through baritone sax. Jordan wishes to get his master's degree in both music education and education administration.

Staff Profile

Amy Pozmantier

Community Program Coordinator

Amy Pozmantier came to People's Prep in 2013 from Grover Cleveland Mastery Charter School in Philadelphia, where she was a Sixth grade reading teacher. In her first year at People's Prep, Ms. Pozmantier placed thirty students in internships across the city of Newark. She continues to build lasting relationships with organizations and companies in Newark, with the goal of placing more students in internships and community service work. Ms. Pozmantier holds a B.A. in Individual Studies from New York University and a M.S.Ed. in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Staff Profile

Jason Roberts

Art II Teacher

Jason Roberts, the art II teacher, earned his B.F.A. in sequential art with a minor in art history at the Savannah College of Art and Design. He worked on his Master's at the Maine College of Art. After working in the SoHo and Chelsea gallery scenes, Mr. Roberts earned his teaching degree at Montclair State University. Before coming to People's Prep in 2014, Mr. Roberts worked for four years at the Newark Educators' Community Charter School.

Staff Profile

Keith Robinson

Assistant School Leader

In addition to serving as Dean of Culture, Keith Robinson teaches Ninth Grade Mathematics at People's Prep. Mr. Robinson has taught World History at Newark's Rise Academy Charter School, and Mathematics at I.S. 195 Roberto Clemente Middle School in Harlem. In addition, he has worked extensively to develop after-school programs in Harlem. Mr. Robinson holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Accounting from the University of Florida, as well as an M.S. in Teaching (Secondary Math) from Pace University. Mr. Robinson is committed to supporting students and their families in the hard work necessary to be successful in applying to and attending college.

Staff Profile

Jess Rooney

Founder, School Leader

Jess Rooney is the Founding School Leader of People's Prep. She developed the vision for People's Prep during her time as a Newark Charter School Fund Founder-in-Residence, and as part of the nationally-renowned New Leaders for New Schools program. Prior to coming to school leadership, Ms. Rooney spent 4 years as a classroom Spanish teacher at New Design High School in Manhattan. Ms. Rooney holds a B.A. in Women's Studies from Smith College and an M.S.Ed. in Educational Leadership from the City University of New York-Baruch College. Ms. Rooney is thrilled to be rejoining the Wolfpack after her maternity leave following the birth of her first child.

Staff Profile

Bobby Rubin

English 1 Teacher

Bobby Rubin is entering his first year at People's Prep as a 9th Grade English teacher. He is from Annapolis, MD and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in English and secondary education. Prior to working at People's Prep, Bobby taught English in Beersheva, Israel for a year. When he's not teaching, you can find him pursuing his passions of baseball, basketball, football, drumming, music and hiking.

Staff Profile

Alison Laycock-Ruiz

Dean of Student Intervention

Before becoming the Dean of Student Interventions, Alison Laycock Ruiz taught tenth grade English for three years at People's Prep. She began her career in education in rural Louisiana where she taught English and Spanish for two years. She earned her Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame and studied English and Spanish there as an undergraduate as well. Alison is committed to doing whatever it takes to prepare all of our students to graduate from the college of their choice.

Staff Profile

Samuel Santiago

Classroom and Support Aid

Samuel Santiago joined the People's Prep team on September 2013 as Classroom and Support Aid. Previously, he taught in an elementary school in Orlando, FL. Sam earned a B.S. in Elementary Education from Seton Hall University. He enjoys working at People's Prep because it gives him the opportunity to help students from Newark, his hometown.

Staff Profile

Megan Saxe

Assistant Dean of Culture

Megan Saxe is in her second year at People's Prep and in a new role this year as the Assistant Dean of Culture. Megan grew up in Farmington Hills, Michigan (a small suburb of Detroit) and attended Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids. Both Megan and her younger borther were drawn to teaching because of the influence of their mother, who taught for thirty years.  When not at school, Megan enjoys finding new recipes to try, rock-climbing and exploring the hiking trails in New Jersey.

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Enrique Silva

Schoolwide Support

Enrique Silva first came to People's Prep as a Newark Board of Education security guard before transitioning into a permanent position with Peoples Prep. Mr. Silva, who was born and raised in Newark, did a tour as a Marine during Desert Storm/Shield. He attended Bloomfield College, where he studied education and plans to one day finish his education and obtain a position as a physical education teacher.

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Nicole Sousa

Mathematics Teacher

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Lakiah Stewart

Grade Level Liaison

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Denise Torres

School Psychologist

Denise Torres is in her first year at People's Prep as a school psychologist. She received her B.A. in psychology in 2005 and her M.A. in educational psychology from New Jersey City University in 2009. She then became certified as a New Jersey school psychologist through Montclair State University in 2015. Prior to coming to People's Prep, Denise worked as a senior primary therapist for Jersey City Medical Center since 2006, where she worked closely with people suffering from persistent and severe mental illnesses and their families. In her spare time, Denise enjoys reading, watching movies, and taking dance lessons.

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Brent Weber

9th Grade English Teacher

Brent Weber is entering his fourth year in the People's Prep English Department. He currently serves as the Ninth Grade Team Leader, and is the co-founder of the school's guitar club. He holds a B.S. in Journalism/New Media from Towson University and earned his state teaching certification from Seton Hall University. When not in the classroom, Mr. Weber can be found pursuing one of his many passions like hockey, basketball, swimming, guitar, travel, and vegan cooking. He is a firm believer in the transformative power of writing, and encourages his students to find their own creative voice.

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Alex Wheelock

Math Teacher

Alex Wheelock has taught Eleventh Grade Algebra 2 at People's Prep since 2013. He grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from Williams College with a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science. He enrolled in Teach For America in the summer of 2013, teaching Twelfth Grade Precalculus and engaging in intensive teacher training in Philadelphia. At People's Prep, Alex Wheelock serves as the Algebra 2 Teacher, Council Coach to the Men of Williams, and Co-Head of the GSA. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, writing poetry, and programming.

Staff Profile

Haley Wilson

Special Education Teacher

Haley Wilson, one of the Special Education Teachers, began teaching at People's Prep last year, as part of the Teach For America program. Originally from Iowa, Ms. Wilson graduated from at Rider University, where she studied Secondary Education/Social Studies with a Minor in Special Education. Ms. Wilson currently co-teaches with numerous teachers and supports various subjects within the school. She also serves as Council Coach to fourteen tenth grade girls.