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.
Before coming to People's Prep as the School Nurse, Charmaine Cannon served as a Community Health Nurse for Newark's Department of Child and Family Well-Being. She holds an A.S. in Nursing and RN licensure from Trinitas School of Nursing, and is currently pursuing an RN-BSN/MSN at the Rutgers University College of Nursing.
Pamela Correa, the Accountant for People's Prep, has over fourteen years of experience working with businesses and non-profit organizations. She is also a Notary Public in the state of New Jersey. Pam, a native New Yorker, recently moved to Essex County. She enjoys exercising, motorcycle riding, and eating at the finest of restaurants with her family and friends. Pam earned a B.S. in Accounting from Lehman College, and is currently working on her Certification to become a School Business Administrator. She hopes to use her experience to help all children receive the opportunity to attend and graduate from college.
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.
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.
Erika Doehler, the Twelfth Grade Health and Physical Education Teacher, is new to People's Prep this year. 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 convention. She has been an athlete all her life, which she believes helps her to connect with students and to make learning fun.
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.
Ellen Gagnet is in her first year as a Special Education teacher at People's Prep. Ms. Gagnet grew up in New Orleans, and graduated from the University of Georgia, where she studied History and Spanish. She also studied History at the University of Oxford in England. Before coming to People's Prep, Ms. Gagnet coordinated volunteer trips for college students, and also worked in the Communications and Marketing department of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Ms. Gagnet, a 2014 Teach for America corps member, considers herself an arts and environmental advocate and hopes to incorporate these passions into her work with students at People's Prep.
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!
Darius Jankowicz comes to his role of Technology Associate with five years of experience as a technical support specialist for multiple schools in the Passaic District. He graduated from Full Sail University with a B.S. in Digital Arts and Design, has a strong passion for information and technology, and hopes to improve infrastructure and end user support at People's Prep.
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.
Brian Knobloch, the Twelfth Grade English Teacher, joins the People's Prep team from his home in Texas, the land of cows and plows. Mr. Knobloch earned his B.A. in English in 2005 from Sam Houston State University. After graduation, he taught 8th grade Language Arts and Reading for three years. Shortly thereafter, he landed at Lackland Air Force Base, where he taught 9th and 11th grade English as well as AP English Language and Composition to military dependents for six years. Now at People's Prep, Mr. Knobloch continues to engender a strong desire for learning in each of his students.
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.
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.
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.
Franny Lopez joins People's Prep this year as the Spanish 2 teacher. Ms. Lopez graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in World Languages Education and a B.S. in Spanish. Prior to working at People's Prep, Ms. Lopez worked with Upward Bound (1 of 8 TRiO programs) to ensure that high school students from all over Pennsylvania were on the path towards college.
Lauren Mignogno has been with People's Prep since 2012, teaching English 10 to the current class of 2019. Over the years, she has put her B.A. in English and M.F.A in Shakespeare to good use as she helps the students at People's Prep become avid readers, strong writers, and curious learners. This year, she has moved into a new leadership position as the Twelfth Grade Team Leader, where she continues to work with the class of 2019 and the teachers of 2019. She is also excited to finally move into the teaching position of her dreams—AP English. She looks forward to another great year of learning.
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.
Kristin Nimoh joins People's Prep as the College Advisor in the Office of College Placement. As a former admission counselor and program coordinator for state-funded college readiness programs, Ms. Nimoh brings her experience, knowledge, and education to assist our students and families in the college application process.
Elizabeth O'Donnell joined the People's Prep staff three years ago. Before that time, Ms. O'Donnell worked as school social worker in Essex County at a private school for students with behavioral issues, and in East Harlem, with Preventive Services. She received her B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fullerton, and her M.S.W. from the University of Southern California. She has experience in mental health assessments, case management, IEP assessment and implementation, and individual, family and group counseling.
A licensed social worker, Ernest Paige currently serves as our Dean of Discipline. He is a founding member of our staff. Before coming to People's Prep in 2011, Mr. Paige gained extensive experience providing discipline and support to others during twenty years with the United States Navy. Mr. Paige holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University, an M.P.A. from Troy University, and an M.S.W. from Fordham University.
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.
Aaliyah Rainey joined People's Prep in 2011 as a Recruitment Assistant before transitioning to the role of Recruitment Coordinator. A native of Newark and graduate of North Star Academy, Aaliyah graduated from Howard University in Washington, DC with a B.A. in Communications. In her spare time, Aaliyah enjoys binge-watching shows and movies on Netflix and OnDemand, traveling, anxiety attacks caused by the New York Knicks, listening to The Read, window shopping online, and reading HuffPost.
Sydney Rende joined People's Prep in the fall of 2014 as a Ninth Grade English Teacher. Sydney graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in English Language and Literature and a minor in Creative Writing and Spanish. Prior to working at People's Prep, Sydney tutored college students for four years in the University of Maryland Writing Center and worked as a Teaching Assistant for the University of Maryland's Academic Writing program.
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.
Devin Robinson joined People's Prep last year as a Biology Teacher. He earned his B.A. from Siena College, with a concentration in biology, and his M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education from Marist College. Mr. Robinson is a former research biologist who has worked with numerous organisms in exotic locations around the world; marine biology, aquaculture, and venomous reptiles are his specialties. Mr. Robinson has also developed ecological and conservation programs for numerous urban schools in upstate New York, and volunteers his time in the summer by teaching swimming lessons, assisting and advising in college laboratories, and serving as a trail guide in the Wilton Wildlife Preserve & Park. In addition to being a PADI Advanced Open Water Scuba Diver, Mr. Robinson occupies his time with outdoor activities, reading, and going to the movies.
Donelyn Rollolazo joined People's Prep this year as the Ninth Grade Level Liaison. She is a West Coast transplant from the land of coffee, Microsoft, and rain. Ms. Rollolazo graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering and an urge to challenge the way youth view their education. She loves to read, bake, and go road-tripping in search of yummy food and tourist sites.
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.
Samantha Saint-Germain is new to People's Prep as the Twelfth Grade Liaison. She earned a B.A. in English and Communications at the College of St. Elizabeth, and an M.P.A., specializing in Nonprofit Management, from Rutgers University. Prior to joining the Wolfpack, she worked as a Medical Case Manager for a local community health center network, managing the care of people living with HIV/AIDS. Although she found her work as a patient advocate rewarding, Samantha realized that her passion for equal opportunity, education, student achievement, and college preparation outshined even that. Samantha has worked with various community-based programs serving high school and college students, as well as their families, with a mission of preparing them for success in college and beyond. She is committed to sharing this same intensity, grit and love for scholarship with the students at People's Prep.
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.
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.
Allison Schaechter is the Tenth Grade English Language Arts Teaching Assistant in her first year at People's Prep. Ms. Schaechter grew up in East Brunswick, NJ, and graduated from Montclair State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary English Education. Prior to working in People's Prep, Ms. Schaechter served as a substitute Sixth Grade Language Arts and Mathematics teacher in Elizabeth, NJ. When she is not teaching, Ms. Schaechter enjoys reading, as well as listening to and playing music.
Anthony Segreti serves as the Social Studies Department Chair and is part of the Instructional Leadership Team. Mr. Segreti also teaches U.S. History II and AP U.S. History to seniors. He has been with People's Prep since its second year. Mr. Segreti grew up in Pittsburgh and earned his B.A. in History and his M.Ed. from the University of Pittsburgh. He began teaching his younger siblings at an early age—so becoming an educator was a natural fit. In his spare time, he enjoys playing hockey, seeing live music, and trying new restaurants.
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.
Rhahjon Watson, the Operations and School Support Coordinator, is one of the founding members of People's Prep Charter School. Prior to working for PPCS, Mr. Watson worked for the Newark Public Schools as a Security Officer on the campus. Mr. Watson has a unique set of skills that are an asset to the students, staff, and the community of PPCS. Mr. Watson is very passionate about inner-city children receiving their education and serves as a great role model for the students. Mr Watson enjoys reading, writing, exercise, playing, and coaching football.
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.
Erica Wenzel is the Precalculus teacher in her first year at People's Prep. She grew up in Yorktown Heights, NY, and graduated from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, with a B.S. in Mathematics and Environmental Science. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports (especially softball or volleyball), reading, and hiking.
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.
Lindsay Whitesell has served as an English Language Arts teacher at People's Prep since 2012. Prior to working at People's Prep, Ms. Whitesell ran the Human Resources department of a high-end residential construction management company in New York City. Discovering her passion for English and teaching after several years in the corporate world, Ms. Whitesell earned her M.S.T. in Adolescent Education from Pace University in 2012 after holding a B.A. in English Literature and a B.S. in Psychology for several years and not quite knowing what to do with those degrees. When not teaching, you can find her wandering through NYC, on a beach in New England, or cheering on the Patriots.
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.
Matt Worstell is entering his third year at PPCS as the Tenth Grade World History Teacher. Mr. Worstell majored in European History and Social Studies Education at Syracuse University, where he also earned his M.A. in Literacy Education. When not teaching, you may find Mr. Worstell riding one of his many bikes on the road or through trails.
Kirsten Zippo is excited to be teaching her first year at People's Prep. Kirsten served as a student-teacher in North Philadelphia at Little Flower High School. She earned her B.S. in Education, with a major in Art Education and a minor in Photography from Temple University, Tyler School of Art in 2011. Prior to working at People's Prep, Kirsten worked for two years as the Head Pre-School Teacher at Wonder Years Academy. She also taught an arts and crafts class at the Kidsports Academy in Woodbridge, NJ. In the past, Kirtsen has exhibited several pieces in the "Assemblages" gallery exhibit at Philadelphia Salvage. Kirsten has a passion for teaching children and helping them reach their potential. In her free time, she likes to work on her art, which is usually mixed-media with fabric, paint, and found objects.