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STAFF

Park Street Academy prides itself on having a professional faculty that facilitates learning using a positive, multi-modal and hands-on approach. Our teachers are N.J. State Certified in Early Childhood and/or Elementary Education stay current with teaching methodologies by participating in continuing education courses and seminars.

Each teaching team works together to provide an exciting learning experience in all the content areas for our students. While each teacher has his/her own style, the goal is always to develop self-esteem and love of learning.

  • ADMINISTRATION

    Lisa Raphael

    Director

    Lisa is the Director of Park Street Academy and is New Jersey State Certified in Special, Elementary & Early Childhood Education. She earned her National Administrator Credential from the National Child Care Association (NCCA) and Orton-Gillingham Certification and is a member of the Learning and Brain Society, the National Autism Association and the Association of Supervision of Curriculum & Development (ASCD). Lisa also has an advanced certification as a Nurtured Heart Approach Certified Trainer and oversees and teaches PSA’s arts program to the pre-k and kindergarten students. In 2015, Lisa became a member and certified instructor with Professional Impact NJ (PINJ), a statewide initiative implementing systems to enhance preparation and continuing education of early childhood and afterschool practitioners.

    Sandy Weber

    Business Director

    Sandy joined PSA in 2000 after years in the field of women’s health administration. She has worked as Coordinator of Outpatient OB / GYN services at Kings County Hospital Center and Director of the Community Family Planning Council’s Mobile Clinic Program. Sandy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social work from Adelphi University and a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University, where her focus was women’s and children’s health.

    Christine O’Gara Mazzacca

    Development Coordinator

    Christine Mazzacca earned her BA in Fine Art from Montclair State University, and has over 20 years experience working with young children. She was a Freshman teacher from 2006-2010, and afterward worked at the Newark Museum where she ran programs for children and families. Christine also served as the Assistant Director of a daycare, and a national teacher recruitment agency. She is excited to return to the Freshman Class as a team teacher and Staff Education Coordinator.

    Stephanie Raphael

    Adjunct Educator

    Stephanie is no stranger to PSA. As the very first graduate in 1997, Miss Stephanie has been a camp counselor, Sophomore Team Teacher and Afternoon Team Teacher. She is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a BS in Human Development & Family Studies and plans to earn her Graduate Degree in Child Life Specialist. Miss Stephanie is the proud recipient of the Young Leadership Award from her work in Save a Child’s Heart, located in Tel Aviv, Israel and continues to carry on the important work.

  • FRESHMEN

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    Christine O’Gara Mazzacca

    Christine Mazzacca earned her BA in Fine Art from Montclair State University, and has over 20 years experience working with young children. She was a Freshman teacher from 2006-2010, and afterward worked at the Newark Museum where she ran programs for children and families. Christine also served as the Assistant Director of a daycare, and a national teacher recruitment agency. She is excited to return to the Freshman Class as a team teacher and Staff Education Coordinator.

    Alexa Davis

    Alexa has earned her Child Development Associate Certification and has been teaching at Park Street Academy since 2000. In addition to team teaching in the Freshman Class, she teaches Kid’s Cafe, Dance Club and Spanish. Alexa has also been an integral part of our summer camp staff.

    Brianne Gerne

    Brianne has earned her Child Development Associate Certification and joined the Freshman team in 2001. She attended Montclair State University and Mountainside Hospital’s Nursing Program after graduating Glen Ridge High School.

    Taylor Camp

    Taylor has been a member of the PSA team for two years running. As a graduate of Clifton High School and a Senior at Montclair State University majoring in Family and Child Studies, she brings her passion for teaching and love for the PSA students into the classroom every day

  • SOPHOMORE

    Elena Camp

    Elena is thrilled to be a Sophomore team teacher and is completing her Child Development Associates Credential. Formerly from the corporate world, Elena worked as a manager
    for Gendant Corporation for 20 years. She is excited to embrace the Early Childhood Education profession and is especially happy to be a part of the PSA family.

    Brittany Stapp

    Brittany Stapp started working at Park Street Academy in 2006 as an Afternoon and Sophomore team teacher as well as a summer camp counselor. She left PSA to attain her certification as a Medical Assistant and has returned to rejoin the Sophomore team! Brittany recently completed her CDA (Child Development Associate) national accreditation.

    Sabrina Hodgson

    Sabrina was a head teacher at Executive Kids in Cedar Grove for three years. She recently attained her CDA (Child Development Associate) credential and though she has only been a permanent team teacher at PSA for one year, Miss Sabrina is not new to PSA having served as a summer camp counselor and substitute teacher in all of our classes for years.

    Lisa Howard

    Although Lisa has a BA in Business Administration and has 20 years of experience working in finance and managing computer information systems, it was clear that her heart and passion was in early childhood education. She has earned her CDA and has been a member of our staff since 2005.

  • SENIOR SOUTH

    Denise Rakowitz

    Denise has been teaching for over 20 years. Shegraduated from William Penn University with a BA in Elementary and Special Education. She has taught at Wildwood Elementary and The Wilson School. Denise first came to Park Street as a tennis instructorin 2003 and began teaching on the Senior team in 2005. Miss Denise continues to teach tennis to PSA kids in our Afternoon Enrichment Program.

    Gwen Abreu

    Gwen first came to PSA in 2005 as a camp counselor as well as a Teacher Assistant in Dance Club, Kids Cafe & Tennis. Gwen graduated from Montclair State University majoring in Physical Education/Health and continues to lead a host of activities in and out of the classroom at PSA. She has also completed her CDA (Child Development Associates) certification.

    Carmel Mansfield

    Carmel was born in Southern Ireland, County Tipperary and moved to the United States as a teenager. She attended Dover Business College and received her PCT certification for nursing. She has also earned her Child Development Associate National Credential and has been a member of the Senior Team since 2016.

  • SENIOR NORTH

    Rose Marie Petrucelli

    Rose Marie graduated Kean college of NJ with a BA in Early Childhood Education and has been teaching pre-school for over 20 years. Miss Ro’s experiences include Teacher / Director at Suburban Hills School, Teacher / Director at Essex County Child Care Center, and a pre-school teacher in the Totowa and North Caldwell public school systems.

    Kathy Elker

    Kathy graduated Lyons Institute of Technology with a certification as a Medical Assistant. She worked in the medical field for 30 years in St. Barnabas Hospital and for various private physicians. Kathy has been at Park Street Academy since 2007 and has earned her CDA (Child Development Associates) certification.

    Maria Bello

    Maria worked in the hotel industry for nearly 20 years before she decided teaching young children was what she really wanted to do. She obtained a P-3 Teacher’s Certification from MSU and joined the PSA family in 2011. Maria holds a BA in psychology from Rutgers University. She has also worked for Montclair Public Schools as a substitute teacher.

  • AFTERNOON

    Eunice Wright

    Eunice joined the PSA staff in 2015 and studied Early Childhood Education at Essex County College where she earned her Child Development Associates Credential. She also earned her certification in Organization and Management as well as a Certificate of Attendance in Building Blocks for Literacy of the Stern Center. She is thrilled to be a part of our afternoon staff and looks forward to continuing her studies in Early Childhood Education.

    Gabby Coe

    Gabby Coe is no stranger to Park Street Academy! She is an alumni as well as the daughter of Miss Alexa and has worked as a counselor in summer camp as well as a substitute teacher assistant in all of the classrooms. Gabby is currently attending Rutgers University in Newark, NJ and is pursuing a degree in Journalism.

    Teddy Shachtman

    Teddy came to us an eager and capable volunteer in the fall of 2016 and officially joined our afternoon staff in December. A student at Montclair High School, Teddy plans to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher and is also considering work in special education. He has worked and volunteered with children at the Montclair YMCA and has tutored children with special needs. Teddy is a wonderful addition to our afternoon team!

    Demetria Abanto

    Demetria began working at PSA in 2008 and loves helping the afternoon teachers. She also helps keep our school clean and is adored by staff and students alike!

    Jailene Reyes

    Jailene joined PSA as a camp counselor in the summer of 2015. After graduating Technology High School, Jailene now attends William Paterson University to pursue a BS in Nursing and enjoys working with our students in the afternoon!

    Wendy Morris

    Wendy came to Park Street in October, 2013 as a substitue teacher and then a permanent afternoon staff member! She attended Queens College where she majored in English. Wendy has provided child care for the Montclair Board of Education as well as parent outreach for nine years.

    Kim Chernick

    Kimberly Vogel Chernick received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre at Centenary College for Women. She has worked as an Artistic Assistant to Olympia Dukakis, then the Artistic Director of the Whole Theatre Company. After raising two children, Kim became a caretaker for a local family, where she worked for seven years. She will be assisting Lisa Raphael in teaching Fine Arts to our senior classes, as well as being part of our afternoon team.

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    Steven Abreu

    Steven has doubled our male staff by becoming an afternoon teacher! He attends Essex County College where he is majoring in Criminal Justice. We are so happy to have another member of the Abreu family become part of the PSA team!

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    Alyssa Sosa

    Alyssa has been a part of the PSA family since 2014 as an afternoon team teacher. She is currently attending William Paterson University majoring in Criminal Justice and Women & Gender Studies with a minor in Psychology. She also enjoys teaching our Kids Clubs as well as being a summer camp counselor!

    Steven Lopez