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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 and 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 be back on the PSA family as a Freshman Class as a team teacher and Staff Education Coordinator. Christine rejoined the PSA staff in 2015.

  • 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 be back on the PSA family as a Freshman Class as a team teacher and Staff Education Coordinator. Christine rejoined the PSA staff in 2015.

    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.

    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.

    Elena Camp

    Elena was a substitute teacher in 2015 and joined the morning team teachers in 2016. She has completed 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 as the next stage in her career and is especially happy to be a part of the PSA family.

  • SOPHOMORE

    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 and has attained her CDA (Child Development Associate) credential. Though she has only been a permanent team teacher at PSA since 2016, Miss Sabrina is not new to PSA, having served as a summer camp counselor and substitute teacher in all of our classes for many years.

    Lisa Howard

    Lisa has a BA in Business Administration and has 20 years of experience working in finance and managing computer information systems. Once it became clear that her heart and passion was in Early Childhood Education she changed career paths and earned her Child Development Associate Credential. Lisa has been a PSA teacher since 2005.

    Alyssa “AJ” Mauro

    Alyssa, fondly known as “AJ”, is a graduate of Montclair State University with a BS in Family and Human Science. AJ comes to PSA with rich and diverse experiences, including teaching and volunteering in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America to improve impoverished school systems and townships. She is thrilled to join the Sophomore team and we are so fortunate to have her!

    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!

  • 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

    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!

    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.

    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!

    Devin Beyer

    Devin came to PSA as a substitute and team teacher in 2015.  He has earned his BA in Criminology with a minor in History from Fairleigh Dickenson University.  Devin is currently part of our afternoon teaching staff.

    Nyliah Burgess

    Nyliah is a student at Immaculate Conception High School and is excited to be a part of the afternoon teaching staff. She plans to pursue a career in Fashion Design after graduating.

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    Delyse Howard

    Currently a student attending Bloomfield High School, Delyse is not only a former graduate of PSA, but the daughter of Lisa Howard, Sophomore team teacher! Her passion is music, playing violin for 7 years as well as singing in her school and church choir. Delyse also loves volunteering at soup kitchens as well.

    James “Irvin”

    James “Irvin” joined the Park Street family in 2018 as an afternoon teacher. He earned his CD over 20 years ago and has taught at the Newark Preschool Head Start and the Community Development Institute. Mr. Irvin is a wonderful addition to our afternoon team and we are so happy he is with us.

    Ashanti Jackson-Smith

    Ashanti came to PSA as a high school senior at Immaculate Conception High School.  She now attends St. Peters University studying Political Science and Criminal Justice.

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    Jessica Korgen

    Jessica first came to PSA as a student in 2005. She returned as a volunteer in 2016 and became a staff member in 2018 as an afternoon teacher for the Freshman class. She attends Montclair High School and is looking forward to starting her college career soon.

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    Chad Robinson

    Chad’s first encounter with Park Street Academy was as a student.  A 2006 graduate, PSA continues to be one of his fondest memories.  Twelve years later, he returned as a counselor for our summer camp program and is thrilled to also be a part of our afternoon teaching staff. Chad is a student at Montclair High School and is preparing for his college career.