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Our Team

 

LEADERSHIP TEAM

 

Harvey Chism

Co-Founder and Executive Director

Previous to being a founding member of the South Bronx Community team, Harvey was Senior Director of School Design for the NYC Department of Education. In this capacity, he supported the implementation of three new co-created high schools designed to serve under-served students in target NYC neighborhoods. He worked with school leaders, their faculty and other colleagues to share resources, maintain alignment to common strategies vision and promote collective brandraising and partnership efforts. Prior to joining the NYC DOE, Harvey was VP of Educational Innovations at the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) for 7 years. As a member of PYN’s senior leadership team, he supervised mid-level, cultivated and maintained institutional partnerships and managed the performance of a $6.7million dollar programs portfolio. Harvey is a former teacher and foundation board member. He has a Masters of Science in Education Policy from the University of PA and a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Sociology from Swarthmore College.

email: harvey.chism@southbronxcommunity.org

John Clemente

Co-Founder & Academic Director

Before founding South Bronx Community, John was a Director of School Design providing leadership and expertise to EPIC Schools’ competency-based academic program. Prior to joining the Expanded Success Initiative School Design Fellowship in 2013, John was the Director of Educational Services at Teaching Matters, a non-profit whose mission is to develop and retain great teachers and measurably increase their ability to give students in urban public schools an excellent education. John led their team of over 35 instructional coaches for six years. He also previously served as an instructional coach and wrote culturally relevant performance-based curriculum for several large scale programs. He was an inaugural member of the New York City Teaching Fellows, teaching middle school in the South Bronx for four years and also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA working with foster teens and adjudicated youth in Paterson, New Jersey. He holds a Masters in Education from Lehman College, a Masters in Media Studies from New School University and a Bachelor of Arts from New York University.

email: john.clemente@southbronxcommunity.org

Natalie Ferrell

Co-Founder & Youth Development Director

Previous to being a founding member of South Bronx Community, Natalie was the Director of School Design for the NYC Department of Education, providing leadership and expertise to EPIC Schools’, a network of schools designed collaboratively through a fellowship commissioned by the mayor’s Young Men’s Initiative, around social emotional learning, youth development supports and systems of improvement. Previously, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic where she worked to build the capacity of a children’s advocacy nonprofit around collaborative action research and youth development initiatives. She has also served as a teacher coach and education consultant both in the US and abroad and has published research on the effects of school choice on student wellbeing.  Natalie began her career as a bilingual teacher at a middle school for recently arrived immigrants in Washington Heights, New York. Natalie holds a BA in Latin American Studies and a Masters in Public Health from Tulane University, as well as a Masters in Teaching with a focus on ESL and bilingual education.

email: natalie.ferrell@southbronxcommunity.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Michael Busch

Michael Busch is Associate Director of the Office of Student Success at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership, The City College of New York, where he also teaches in the departments of Political Science and International Studies and the Master’s Program in International Relations. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Michael helps oversee student advisement and academic support services for the college’s division of social sciences, manages a portfolio of student fellowship programs, and directs social science undergraduate research at the school. In this capacity, Michael supports outreach to and liaises directly with community based organizations, city, state, and federal government agencies, and elected officials. Previous to his work in higher education, Michael was in the inaugural cohort of the New York City Teaching Fellows program, and taught elementary and middle school in the Bronx and Harlem. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and a Master’s of Science in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Brandon Corley

Brandon is the co-leader of EPIC South High School in South Ozone Park, Queens. Previously he was a mathematics teacher at the James Baldwin School: A School for Expeditionary Learning, a transfer high school in New York City. He is a graduate of Chicago State University with a BS in Mathematics/Secondary Education and is an established leader, teacher, and child advocate. He was born and raised in Chicago and represents the Englewood community of Chicago’s Southside with great pride. Brandon has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® program since 2004 in various capacities. His role as co-founder and Project Director of the “World Famous” Bethel-Imani CDF Freedom Schools site in Chicago and the Imani-Harambee CDF Freedom Schools site in Milwaukee, his time as an Ella Baker Trainer, and his work planning regular youth mobilizations, conferences and events has earned him recognition amongst his peers. Mr. Corley’s widespread community involvement and volunteer work includes: the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America where he has served as the multicultural representative for the Lutheran Youth Organization; Nation Builder with the Simba Circle Camp; basketball coach for the Southside YMCA in Chicago; National Membership Chairman of Phi Rho Eta Fraternity, Inc. Currently, he is an advisory board member for Mature Cradle, Inc. Through this work he has directly served communities in Champaign and Chicago, Il, as well as Milwaukee, Wi, Mt Vernon, NY, New Orleans, La, and Philadelphia, Pa.

Jane Higgins

Jane Kehoe Higgins is the Director of the New York City Writing Project (NYCWP), a program of the Institute for Literacy Studies at Lehman College, City University of New York. The New York City Writing Project is an organization of teachers committed to the improved teaching of literacy in New York City schools. Established in 1978, the NYCWP is a legacy site of the National Writing Project within a network of more than 200 university-based professional learning programs throughout the country. In 1993, Jane was one of eight founding faculty members at the High School for Leadership and Public Service in lower Manhattan, part of an early effort to create new, small learning communities in New York City. In addition to her work as an English teacher, Jane created a college advising and counseling program at the school, to help parents and students navigate the roads that lead to college and career. In 2004, Jane left the High School for Leadership and Public Service to provide district-wide professional learning and curriculum support to urban schools around the country: Philadelphia, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Manatee, FL, Chicago and New York City. Prior to joining the NYCWP, Jane joined the City University of New York at Lehman College to direct their Early College Initiative program in the Bronx. Jane holds a bachelor of arts in Philosophy from Franklin and Marshall College and a master of arts in English Education.

Margaret Martin

Margaret Martin is Director of the Unaccompanied Minors Program at Catholic Charities Community Services of New York. The Unaccompanied Minors Program provides legal services to and advocates on behalf of recently-arrived immigrant youth who are, or have been, in the temporary custody of the federal government. The program has recently served more than 4,000 children annually in the New York City area, through legal consultations, Know Your Rights presentations, legal representation, case management services, and advocacy. Prior to this work, Margaret was an assistant professor in the immigration clinic at Seton Hall Law School, and co-taught the Asylum & Human Rights Clinic at the University of Connecticut School of Law. She has also served as an Assistant Attorney General for New York State, worked on human rights programming in Uzbekistan, and clerked with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Boston University and the Columbia University School of Law.

Paul Ortiz

Paul Ortiz is Director of JASA’s Community Guardian Program where he manages a court appointed guardianship program that services 550 incapacitated clients that are in need of a legal guardian. Prior to this work, Paul worked in the housing field for 18 years developing and operating supportive housing for special needs populations in NYC. Paul also served as Executive Director for Crotona Naval & Marine Cadet Corps, a youth & community development organization that worked with youth ages 8 – 18 year old in leadership development in Bronx, New York. Mr. Ortiz received his Bachelor of Professional Studies, Human Services Concentration from Audrey Cohen College, a Masters in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of NY and studied Social Work at Adelphi University.

Kate del Priore

Kate Del Priore is the Managing Director of Programs for Schools That Can New York. A Teach For America alumna (Philadelphia Corps 2006), she has experience in both the education and private sectors. Kate started her career as a middle school math teacher in Philadelphia public schools, followed by a 4-year role as a middle and high school math teacher and instructional coach with Mastery Charter Schools. Kate earned her B.S. in Political Science and Communications at Northwestern University and M.S.Ed. in Urban Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Kate has worked with STC in various capacities since 2013. In her current role, Kate builds deep and trustful relationships with our local network of schools and plans and facilitates impactful programming and partnerships to help support their goals for continuous improvement.

Alvarez Symonette

Alvarez Symonette currently serves as the Head of Business Development for a private investment firm.  Previously, he served in a similar capacity at the Continental Grain Corporation, a 200-year old family-owned private company, where he focused on building co-investment structures and syndicates for ultra-high net worth individuals and family offices in the US, Europe and Latin America.  Previously, Alvarez worked as Managing Director at Ader Investment Management.  Before that, he was a co-Founder of 360 Global Capital and was responsible for managing the firm’s institutional relationships.  From 1996-2007, Mr. Symonette held various leadership positions in the non-profit and education field including serving as a Managing Director, Teacher Support & Development at Teach for America, Inc., and as the Director of Educational Services at Teaching Matters, Inc.  Prior to those roles, Mr. Symonette taught high school history for 5 years.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the North Star Fund, a 37 year-old non-profit organization, and also serves as a Management Committee member for the New York Hedge Fund Roundtable.  Mr. Symonette received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Masters in Education from Harvard University.  He has also completed coursework at the London School of Economics.

STAFF


 

Mario Benabe

Mario Benabe is the Founding Math Teacher at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  He previously worked as a Math Specialist and Special Education Teacher at Bronx River High School. He earned his BA in Culture and Deviance Studies from John Jay College and holds a MS in Teaching Exceptional Students with a Concentration in Mathematics from Fordham University.

email: mario.benabe@southbronxcommunity.org

Kathy Charles

Kathy Charles is the Founding Finance and Administration Manager at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously served as the Senior Finance Manager at Lefferts Gardens Charter School.  She earned her BS in Accounting with a concentration in Auditing from Brooklyn College and is currently pursuing her MS in Accounting with a concentration in Taxation at Rutgers University.

email: kathy.charles@southbronxcommunity.org

Cathleen Collazo

Cathleen Collazo is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Therapist providing support and case management to children and adolescents.  She graduated from City University of New York Baruch College with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Black and Latin Studies.  She also holds an MA in Mental Health Counseling.

email: cathleen.collazo@southbronxcommunity.org

Asia Cruz

Asia Cruz is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously served as an AmeriCorps Team Leader overseeing mentoring and tutoring supports for students.   She graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Education, from Wheaton College.

email: asia.cruz@southbronxcommunity.org

Rosanny Cuello-Ventura

Rosanny Cuello-Ventura is the Founding Lead Teacher and ELL Specialist at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously worked as a teacher coach providing support to first year educators in Harlem and Washington Heights.  She earned her BA in Economics and Latin American Studies with a minor in Spanish from Union College.  She also holds two Masters in Mathematics and Educational Leadership from City University of New York City College and Lehman College.

email: rosanny.cuello@southbronxcommunity.org

Christopher DeLa Cruz

Christopher DeLa Cruz is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  He is a teaching artist, actor, and producer.  He earned his BA in Literacy Studies with a minor in Education Studies from Middlebury College.  He also holds a MA in Secondary English Education from NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

email: christopher.delacruz@southbronxcommunity.org

Travis Delancey-Goodman

Travis Delancey-Goodman is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  He previously worked as a Learning Coach and youth development specialist overseeing advising and recreational programs for students.  He earned his AA in Liberal Arts from Borough of Manhattan Community College and is currently pursuing his BA in Education from Boricua College.  

email: travis.delanceygoodman@southbronxcommunity.org

Roderick Lopez

Roderick Lopez is the Founding Science Teacher at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  He previously worked as a STEM educator both in New York CIty and Los Angeles Unified School District.  He received a BA in Biology from California State University and has completed preclinical coursework at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

email: roderick.lopez@southbronxcommunity.org

Kathy Mariscal

Kathy Mariscal is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School. She previously worked as a teaching assistant, academic mentor, and program site coordinator serving low-income and first generation students college students.  She earned her BA in Political Science and Chicana/o Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and holds an MA in Cultural Studies from University of Texas at Austin.

Madeline Richer

Madeline Richer is the Founding Special Education Teacher at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously worked as a Special Education Teacher in the South Bronx.  She graduated with a BA in Religion and Human Rights from Barnard College and a BA in Talmud and Rabbinics from List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.  She also holds a Masters in Special Education from Hunter College.

email: madeline.richer@southbronxcommunity.org

Maria Rosario

Maria Rosario is the Founding Campus Manager at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously served as an Operations Manager and Associate at PAVE Academy Charter School and Democracy Prep Public School.  She earned her BA in African American Studies with a minor in Political Science from Lehman College.  

email: maria.rosario@southbronxcommunity.org

Imani Shanklin-Roberts

Imani Shanklin-Roberts is the Founding Social Studies Teacher at South Bronx Community Charter High School. She previously worked as a teaching artist connecting historical and contemporary issues through diverse media and forms of expression.  She graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA and Masters in Art and Design Education.

email: imani.shanklinroberts@southbronxcommunity.org

Padraig Shea

Padraig Shea is the Founding English Language Arts Teacher at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  He has worked as an ELA teacher across several states and internationally including work in Massachusetts, Arkansas, New York, Texas and South Korea.  He received his BS in Print and Multimedia Journalism with a minor in Political Science from Emerson College. He earned his Masters in Education from Delta State University.

email: padraig.shea@southbronxcommunity.org

Ava Thomas

Ava Thomas is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  She previously served as a Program Coordinator and Counselor helping first generation and low-income college students progress towards graduation. She received her BS in Psychology  from Utica College.

email: ava.thomas@southbronxcommunity.org

Christopher Wilson

Christopher Wilson is a Founding Learning Coach at South Bronx Community Charter High School.  He previously served as a Youth Development Director and Parent Coordinator connecting students and families to key services, resources and supports. He holds a BS in Social Science from the College of New Rochelle.

email: christopher.wilson@southbronxcommunity.org