Rodolfo Elizondo -  Principal

Rodolfo Elizondo - Principal

Prior to his involvement in the development of the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management (UASEM) Rodolfo Elizondo served an instructional lead and data coach working to assist teachers develop rigorous curriculum, and helping them understand how to adjust their instruction to meet the needs of their students.

Mr. Elizondo worked as a math teacher for 6 years in courses ranging from 7th grade math to 11th grade algebra 2/trigonometry at the Bronx School for Law, Government, and Justice, in addition to 2 years of high school teaching in California.  He came to New York City through the fellowship organization Math for America (MfA), where he engaged in 5 years of structured professional development and professional learning teams with hundreds of teachers in schools all across New York City.  At the conclusion of his 5th year residence with MfA Rodolfo was accepted as a Master Teacher in the organization.

Prior to teaching in high school, Mr. Elizondo spent 4 years as an adjunct instructor and college lecturer at UC Berkeley (the number 1 public university in the country), specifically working with students of immigrant parents and first generation college students.  He also developed and taught common practices that assisted in helping students navigate and progress through the demands of a prestigious educational institution.  He is featured in an interview with CNBC to highlight the importance of developing and keeping quality teachers in public schools as an access point for student opportunities in 21st century careers. Mr. Elizondo is a graduate of the Leaders in Education Apprenticeship Program (LEAP) and holds an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of California Berkeley, a Masters of Art in Teaching from Bard College, and a School Building Leader degree from Baruch College.

  Robert Magliaro -  Founding School Leader

Robert Magliaro - Founding School Leader

Mr. Magliaro is a founding member of UASEM and helped write the initial proposal for the school. He earned his B.S. as a triple major in Economics, International Relations, and Public Policy from Syracuse University where he graduated as one of 12 University Scholars.  Mr. Magliaro came to education through Teach for America and for the past five years has taught math from grades 7 to 12 in the South Bronx.  He has also helped support teachers and students as an Instructional Lead and Data Coach.  Prior to teaching Mr. Magliaro worked at the Pennsylvania Governor's Office, for the Mayor of Syracuse, and Lovell's International Law Firm in Hong Kong.  Always data driven, outside of UASEM Mr. Magliaro logs miles training for marathons, adds to the list of places he's traveled, goes to at least one concert a month, and tracks down good food. 

  Taina Torres –   Founding School Leader  

Taina Torres –
Founding School Leader

Ms. Torres grew up in a small town in Georgia. While studying English at the University of Nevada for her undergraduate degree, she taught writing at a new high school. Upon graduation her plan to go to law school was overshadowed by the interest that she developed for education. Ms. Torres traveled to Ukraine for the next two and a half years with the US Peace Corps where she built literacy programs in grades 3 - 12 and worked at local universities training teachers in pedagogical methodologies and curriculum building. She also began working with an American nonprofit in Ukraine, as the director of curriculum for an international academic project that brought students from the US and former CIS States to do a model UN around issues of international importance. After her time with the Peace Corps, Ms. Torres  moved to Chicago to run a literacy program for newly arrived immigrants before receiving a fellowship to study education at Columbia University and work in New York City Public Schools as an English teacher and teacher consultant. Ms. Torres’s favorite pastimes are running to events to get in marathon training miles, getting lost in books, chasing her puppy around for the socks that he often steals and eating fried pickles and ice cream.

  Crystal Mitchell --  Math

Crystal Mitchell -- Math

Ms. Mitchell got her degree in Industrial Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Newark, NJ. While there she mentored and tutored middle and high school students through an after school program,  and discovered her passion for teaching. After NJIT, she worked as a procurement engineer at a manufacturing company, later as a production leader at another company. She managed a large manufacturing line; the flow, machines, quality of products and employees. After two years in the engineering field, she decided to pursue her passion for teaching via the New York City Teaching Fellows. She received a Master's degree in Secondary Mathematics Education from City College of New York, while teaching at a middle school in Harlem. During the summer Ms. Mitchell works as an adjunct professor at NJIT, teaching physics to college freshmen. Her goal as a math teacher is to make math relevant to the real world, and to make it more than just something you "must" do, but rather something you want to do. 

  Sal Puglisi –   Emergency Management

Sal Puglisi –
Emergency Management

Mr. Puglisi joined the NYC Department of Education in 2007 after earning his Masters of Urban Education at Mercy College in the Bronx. Mr. Puglisi has been teaching Middle School Science ever since. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr. Puglisi had a 10-year career as an Emergency Medical Technician (“EMT”) in New York City. He responded to 911 emergencies and was a founding member of a hospital-based Hazardous Material Team. Mr. Puglisi has been honored by the “Women’s Bond Club of New York” and the “NASDAQ” for his efforts on 9/11 and the rescue and recovery effort that followed. Currently, in addition to teaching, Mr. Puglisi is a volunteer firefighter and the Emergency Medical Service Lieutenant of his local fire department. In 2012 Mr. Puglisi was awarded the EMT of the year award. Mr. Puglisi has led a life of community service, and is passionate about teaching and emergency preparedness.

  Elizabeth Oliver -  Partnership Coordinator

Elizabeth Oliver - Partnership Coordinator

As Partnership Coordinator, Ms. Oliver serves as the primary liaison between the school and its industry partners. She is responsible for integrating the emergency management theme into student life and learning. Working closely with partners and UASEM's CTE teachers, Ms. Oliver helps align the EM curriculum to industry needs and standards. She accumulates EM resources, organizes internships, visiting speakers, field trips, professional certifications, extracurricular clubs, and volunteer opportunities, and develops creative ways to integrate EM into different disciplines. Ms. Oliver earned her B.A. in English and History from the University of Minnesota and went on to work as a journalist in Minneapolis, a bike messenger in Oregon, an ESL teacher in rural Thailand, and a literature teacher at an IB School in Burma, among other motley pursuits. While earning her M.A. at the New School for Social Research, Ms. Oliver helped grow the school’s Civic Engagement and Social Justice program. This work nurtured her passion for service and for connecting "book learning” to communities outside the classroom. She is excited to help bring the world into UASEM, and to get UASEM students out into the world.

  Janet Limperopulos-Perosi  -- Office Manager

Janet Limperopulos-Perosi  -- Office Manager

Ms. Perosi was born in the Bronx, was raised in Brooklyn (graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School), and now lives in New Jersey. She has her Bachelor's degree in Accounting  and Business, which led to her first major career in banking at the Industrial Bank of Japan on Wall Street. Eventually she moved over to the DOE, where she has been ever since. Her first 16 years with the DOE were at Erasmus High School in Brooklyn.  Ms. Perosi is an awesome wife, supportive mother, and a fun grandmother who loves to spend money and shop. She likes to travel abroad to Italy, Paris, Greece, Portugal, and other exciting places like Alaska.

  Thaddeus Bower -  English

Thaddeus Bower - English

Mr. Bower, a Baltimore native and dyed-in-the-wool Ravens fan, has lived in New York City for the past fourteen years. Prior to his teaching career, Mr. Bower worked as an editor, agent and international scout in the book publishing industry in New York. In 2007, he joined the Department of Education as a Teaching Fellow. He has since taught myriad high school courses in the South Bronx ranging from Journalism and Life Skills electives, to Honors and AP English. Additionally, he has served as English Department Chair and College Advisor. Mr. Bower holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.F.A. from Columbia University and M.S.T. from Fordham University.

  Michael Buchney -   Emergency Management

Michael Buchney -
Emergency Management

Mr. Buchney grew up in Highland Lakes, NJ. Prior to teaching, he worked for three years at the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C., administering Human and Institutional Capacity Development programs in Liberia and Indonesia. In 2011, he entered education through Teach for America. Mr. Buchney has experience teaching a variety of math courses at the High School level as a Special Educator. He holds a bachelors degree in International Development and Economics from American University and an MSEd in Adolescent Special Education from Hunter College. In his free time, Mr. Buchney enjoys collecting vinyl records, supporting Liverpool FC, and attending Yankees games. 

  Keisha Husbands -  Emergency Management

Keisha Husbands - Emergency Management

Ms. Husbands is a staunch Brooklynite, living and working (until now) in that notorious borough. For the past six years she has worked at the New York City Office of Emergency Management educating the city's youth about preparing for emergencies. Prior to that she worked at her alma mater, Brooklyn Technical High School. She has a BA in psychology from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MA in psychology from Long Island University and an MA in school counseling from Brooklyn College. In her spare time she enjoys making up songs about preparedness as heard here.

  Naomi Sharlin -   Math & Science sharlin@

Naomi Sharlin -
Math & Science

Ms. Sharlin grew up in Wisconsin.  Her passion for studying languages evolved into a love of teaching after she worked at a Japanese immersion summer camp, teaching Japanese to teenagers in the north woods of Minnesota.  She studied linguistics at Bryn Mawr College where she learned how every human sound in the world is made and wrote a thesis on onomatopoeia in Japanese.  The day she graduated, she moved to New York City and started a teaching residency and masters program at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Over the past three years, she has taught ELA, Global History, Living Environment, Algebra and of course, Japanese, in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan.  When she’s not teaching, Ms. Sharlin enjoys reading non-fiction books, watching documentaries and bad TV, playing piano and taking long walks through the city. 

  Jennifer Allen -  English

Jennifer Allen - English

Ms. Allen was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA at Hunter College where she majored in English and minored in Psychology; she earned her master's in English at Brooklyn College. Ms. Allen was a paraprofessional at an elementary school for five years before becoming a NYC Teaching Fellow and teaching grades 7 and 8 for three years in Harlem. She created and supervised after-school and extracurricular programs as partnership coordinator, provided academic and emotional support as an adviser for at-risk youth, and provided emotional and academic support to college students with disabilities on the LIU Campus. Her favorite pastimes are spending time with her family, traveling, shopping, and trying out restaurants with rave reviews.

  Malinda Shivbaran - English

Malinda Shivbaran - English

Ms. Shivbaran has always had a passion for teaching and helping others. She holds degrees in history and special education. She was a preschool teacher for several years before joining the NYC Teaching Fellows as a special educator where she went on to teach middle school before coming to UASEM.


  Falynn Newman -  Global

Falynn Newman - Global

Ms. Newman was inspired by her passionate teachers throughout her life to pursue a career in education. She joins UASEM after a variety of teaching experiences in both urban and suburban settings. A New Jersey native, she spent her summers as a teenager working with children for many years at summer camp, which only furthered her passion to make a difference for the youth around her. Her journey continued during her time at Syracuse University, graduating with a degree in Social Studies Education and she went on to New York University where she received her Master’s degree in Literacy Education. Ms. Newman enjoys creating unique learning experiences for her students and often does so by integrating what she learned while studying in London, as well as the time she spent with the Anti-Defamation League, to convey the importance of studying history in order to better understand the present and the future.

  Gary Cruz - Math

Gary Cruz - Math

Mr. Cruz was born, raised, and currently lives in the Bronx.   His dream was always to become a teacher and was known to have an imaginary class at the age of five.  Mr. Cruz volunteered to tutor other students at his high school, Monsignor Scanlan, under the supervision of his math teacher, Mrs. Marilyn Slattery.  Under her tutelage, his interest in Mathematics grew exponentially and so did his desire to become a teacher.  Mr. Cruz double majored at Fordham University in Math and English and was quite indecisive about which subject he would rather teach.  Upon completion of his B.S. in Mathematics in 2003, Mr. Cruz returned to Monsignor Scanlan High School where he became a Math teacher for the next six years.  With Mrs. Slattery as department chair, Mr. Cruz grew as a teacher and taught various subjects including, Algebra 1 and 2, Geometry, and Calculus.  Mr. Cruz also developed and taught a curriculum for SAT Math prep.  He was also able to teach English 10 for a couple months while another teacher fell ill and enjoyed it, but definitely prefers Math. At Scanlan, Mr. Cruz also coached bowling, became assistant coach and eventually head coach of boys’ volleyball and became assistant coach of girls’ volleyball — all experiences that he thoroughly enjoyed. After six years, Mr. Cruz had to go on hiatus from teaching in order to pursue an M.S. Ed in Mathematics Education. Mr. Cruz graduated from CUNY Lehman in 2012 while working at M.S. 80, a middle school in the Bronx, where he taught 7th and 8th ELL Mathematics.  His desire to work at a high school led him to work at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science in the Bronx for three years where he taught Geometry, Trigonometry, and Applied Math and founded a chapter of the National Honors Society for the school. Mr. Cruz is fluent in Spanish and likes to fill his free time with fantasy football, watching football and various television shows, and playing handball. Mr. Cruz hopes to one day be an assistant principal, but cannot imagine ever leaving the classroom.   

  Diana Herrera -

Diana Herrera -

Ms. Herrera was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She attended Cerritos Community College and majored in Economics and accounting while working at Bank of America and a retail shoe store to get her through school. During that time she also earned her Medical Billing certification and was highly involved in the community through Project HOPE, Scholar Honor Society, and as Vice-President of the Business Club. After three years she transferred to the University of California, Santa Barbara and became involved in education through The Family Literacy Program where she worked with undocumented elementary students. Her interest in Chicano Studies and education grew thanks to a course on educational barriers and the teachings of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Working as an Elementary Teaching Assistant, one special student made her want to become an educator focusing on students with learning disabilities. She switched her major to Psychology to better understand human growth and development. That year she became a research assistant to her professor and worked with at-risk adolescents in a high school in Santa Barbara County. Ms. Herrera learned about Teach for America that same year and felt that TFA's values and mission were aligned with her own, which brought her to New York City classrooms. She has a newly obtained Masters Degree from Fordham University in Teaching Exceptional Adolescents grades 7-12. She taught math at two schools in Brooklyn. When she’s not in the classroom, Ms. Herrera enjoys reading a good book, Sunday brunch, authentic Mexican food, and meeting new friends.

  S. Rose Horn - Art

S. Rose Horn - Art

Ms. Horn grew up as a country girl in the rural hills of south eastern Ohio. She graduated from Ohio State University with a B.A. in arts with a specialization in life size sculptural ceramics. For graduate school she moved to the big apple and earned a M.A.T from the School of Visual Arts. Upon graduation she started her work with the Department Of Education helping students realize their artistic voices. Her greatest love in life is racing and cruising sailboats. She plans to become a skipper of her own boat and sail around the world. 

  Heather Binen -   College Counselor

Heather Binen -
College Counselor

Ms. Binen is from Queens and her previous experience includes working as a guidance counselor at Brooklyn Tech High School and the International High School at Lafayette. Additionally, she worked as a business systems analyst at UBS and interned at the Institute of International Education in Mexico City. She attended Binghamton University where she obtained a bachelor's degree in Management and minored in Spanish.  Also, she has a master’s degree in Bilingual School Guidance and Counseling from NYU. She is excited about helping students achieve their potential by providing them with postsecondary and academic support. Ms. Binen is a former PSAL tennis player and was the captain of the Women's Varsity Tennis Team at Binghamton. She also enjoys hiking, spending time with family and friends, and playing the piano.

  Elise Ritter -   Global History

Elise Ritter -
Global History

Ms. Ritter grew up in New Jersey. She attended Boston University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education. She then completed a master’s degree in Reading Education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. Ms. Ritter has taught a variety of history courses ranging from grades 6 – 12 and subjects including Global History, AP United States History, Ancient World, and Geography.  Outside of school, Ms. Ritter enjoys traveling and exploring as a way to learn more about the history of our nation and world.

  Emmy Lee  -- Math

Emmy Lee -- Math

Ms. Lee grew up in East Williston, Long Island. As a freshman in high school, thanks to an inspirational math teacher, she fell in love with math and solving complex problems. From that point, she knew she wanted to pass on her love of math and become a teacher. After four years of college, she graduated Adelphi University with a Bachelors in mathematics and a Masters in Education. Through her education, she found that she wanted to pass on to her students the idea of making connections to better understand concepts, rather than through memorization. Ms. Lee loves traveling and exploring new places. She has a strong fascination in the art of the Italian Renaissance and tries to infuse art into her classroom. She plans on going back to school this Spring to learn American Sign Language.  Ms. Lee believes that learning never stops, and that we are all life-long learners.

  Andrew Foley --ESL

Andrew Foley --ESL

Mr. Foley grew up in Stony Brook, Long Island. He earned a B.A. degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish at SUNY Geneseo and first pursued a career in education law and policy by attending law school here in New York City. While attending law school, Mr. Foley taught a variety of law and ELA based classes through several non-profit organizations. In doing so, he recognized his true passion for teaching and working with high school students. Mr. Foley entered the teaching profession as an English as s Second Language(ESL) instructor through the NYC teaching fellows. He is familiar with how difficult it can be to become proficient in a second language and is dedicated to helping all of his students to succeed. In his spare time Mr. Foley enjoys traveling the world, kayaking, running, and cooking with friends.

  Kimberly Coleman --  French

Kimberly Coleman -- French

Ms. Coleman decided early on to immerse herself in world language and culture, studying both French and Italian in school as a teenager. Her love of food, movies, and politics helped drive her to learn more about other ways of life around the world. She continued to study language at Stony Brook University, focusing on French and Russian. However, speaking in the classroom was not enough, and wanting to experience life abroad herself, Ms. Coleman attended L'Institut de Touraine in France and St. Petersburg University in Russia over the summer semesters. Studying abroad became an important motivator for Ms. Coleman to go into education, graduating from her home school with a Bachelors in French Language and Literature and a Masters in Pedagogy. Having taught and tutored for several years within Manhattan, Ms. Coleman continues to travel over breaks so she can bring real-world experiences and souvenirs into her daily lessons. Outside of school, Ms. Coleman teaches and practices yoga. She also really loves her pet,  Bunny the Cat. 

Ms. Maldonado was born and raised in New York City. Before exploring her passion for literature and education, she received an A.O.S in Culinary and Hospitality Management. While working in many restaurants throughout New York City, Ms. Maldonado continued studying and earned a B.A. in English/Journalism and Creative Writing from Baruch College. She wrote for a couple of New York Food and Culture Blogs reporting on culinary trends and events. However, it was impossible for her to ignore her true passion. After she graduated in 2012, Ms. Maldonado applied to the NYC Teaching Fellows and graduated with a M.S. in Urban Education. She enjoys exploring, learning new things, and spending time with her family. Other pastimes include reading, eating, baking, singing, exercising, and traveling.

  Sundoes Elbery  -- Physics

Sundoes Elbery -- Physics

Ms. Elbery received a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Rutgers University- New Brunswick, NJ, where she also participated in the Aresty Research Program, studying the effects of low-income individuals with diabetes in relationship to their health beliefs and behaviors in New Brunswick. She then expanded that research through the G.H Cook Scholars Program, studying the possible causes and effects of having Type 2 Diabetes in patients who reside in Alexandria, Egypt. She also rowed, for two years, on the Rutgers Women’s Rowing team, and was the Public Relations Officer, Treasurer, and Events Coordinator for a non-profit organization on campus called United Muslim Relief, of which her twin sister was the president.  Ms. Elbery is currently a New York City Teaching Fellow and will be receiving her Masters in Teaching from Relay Graduate School of Education in 2018. She was born and raised in Newark, NJ and still resides in New Jersey. Outside of school she is a social justice activist and loves weightlifting and cats.