Administration

James Dawson

James Dawson

Head of School

Dr. James Dawson

Head of School
State University of New York at Albany, B.S., Ph.D.
Appointed 1995

Dr. James Dawson has served as Head of School since 1995. He received his Ph.D. in Behavior and his B.S. in Biology at the State University of New York at Albany. Dr. Dawson is past president of the Board of Trustees of the New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS) and continues to serve on the Health Insurance Program Advisory Council. He is a past trustee of The Brearley School and The Spence School. Prior to his appointment at PCS, Dr. Dawson served as Head of Upper School at The Spence School from 1988-1995.

Reem Abu-Amara

Reem Abu-Amara

Director of Technology

Reem Abu-Amara

Director of Technology
Northeastern University, B.S.
Emerson College, M.A.
New York University, M. Ed.
Appointed 2021

Reem Abu-Amara was appointed Director of Technology in 2021.   Prior to joining PCS, was Director of Technology at the City and Country School in New York City for many years.  She has her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, her Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies from Emerson College, and her Master of Arts degree in Education from New York University. Her work prior to City and Country included  work in communications for the Carrington Company, and in web design for New York University’s Department of Educational Communications and Technology. She has experience in strategic planning, network and information systems, productivity applications, and is a leader in supporting faculty to develop their technical skills.

Chris Haley

Chris Haley

Director of Institutional Advancement

Chris Haley

Director of Institutional Advancement
Middle Tennessee State University, B.A.
University of Tennessee, M.S.S.W.
Appointed 2013

Chris Haley was appointed Director of Institutional Advancement in 2013. He has more than two decades of nonprofit advancement leadership experience with independent schools, higher education, religious, social services, and performing arts organizations. He enjoys volunteering and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of Saint Thomas Choir School and Clerk of the Vestry of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. Previously he has volunteered for God's Love We Deliver, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Bone Marrow Foundation, Episcopal Relief & Development, and the American Red Cross.

Paul Q. Kane

Paul Q. Kane

Director of Finance

Paul Q. Kane

Director of Finance
Minnesota State University, B.S.
University of Idaho, B.S.
Gonzaga University, M.A.
Appointed 2019 

Paul Q Kane was appointed Director of Finance in 2019. Prior to joining PCS, Paul was the CAO at The International Preschools for 10 years after serving as the Business Manager at Marymount School of New York for five years. Paul has a B.S. in Accounting from Minnesota State University, a B.S. in Education from the University of Idaho and he earned his MA from Gonzaga University.

Lori Gigliotti Murphy

Lori Gigliotti Murphy

Director of Admissions

Lori Gigliotti Murphy

Director of Admissions
Lehigh University, B.A.
Appointed 2021 

Lori Gigliotti Murphy has 20+ years of independent school admissions experience, leading recruitment efforts at several independent schools in the northeast before joining Professional Children’s School.  Lori received her B.A. in English and Theater from Lehigh University and trained and performed extensively as an actress and vocalist in New York City.  She is the co-founder of several theater and film producing organizations, including a New England performing arts summer conservatory.

Dania Nauholnyk

Dania Nauholnyk

Head of Middle School; Alumni Liaison

Dania Nauholnyk

Head of Middle School & Alumni Liaison
Middle School Advisor & Science
New York University, B.S., M.A.
Appointed 1996 (PCS Since 1992)

Dania Nauholnyk joined Professional Children's School in 1992 as a Middle School and Upper School Science teacher. She was appointed Head of Middle School in 1996 and added the role of Alumni Liaison to her work in 2017. She is thrilled to be working with our students because they inspire with their drive to pursue their passions and with their love for learning. She continues to teach science in the Middle School.

Sarah Rutledge

Sarah Rutledge

Head of Upper School

Sarah Rutledge

Head of Upper School; Advisor
Appointed 2022 

Alex Shaurette

Alex Shaurette

Associate Head of School

Alex Shaurette

Associate Head of School
Indiana University, B.A.
Columbia University, M.A.
Appointed 2018 (PCS since 2013)

Alex Shaurette was appointed Associate Head of School in 2020. He joined Professional Children's School in 2013 as Head of Upper School, and was Associate Head of School for Academic Affairs from 2018 to 2020. Alex earned a B.A. in Secondary Education/Social Studies from Indiana University and a Master's degree in Education Leadership from Columbia University, Teachers College. He also attended the Independent School Leadership Institute at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University as well as the Principals' Center at Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a teacher and administrator, Alex has been working in education for 20 years. Just prior to PCS, Alex worked at the Dwight-Engelwood School where he served as Learning Specialist and Class Dean.

John Tucker

John Tucker

Director of Public Relations

John Tucker

Director of Public Relations
Assistant to the Head
Assistant to the Board of Trustees
Appointed 2012 (PCS Since 1988)

John joined PCS in 1988 as Assistant to the Head and Assistant to the Director of Development. In addition, he has served as assistant to the Board of Trustees since 1992. John was appointed Director of Public Relations in 2012 and is responsible for maintaining the website, advertising and press relations. In addition, he edits the monthly digital parent newsletter, Glance online and the semi-annual printed publication, Student News.

Faculty

Sarah Barlow

Sarah Barlow

English & Social Studies; Advisor

Sarah Barlow

English & History; Advisor
Occidental College, B.A.
Brown University, M.A.
Appointed 2022
[email protected]

Sarah Barlow joined us after a long tenure at LREI: The Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School where she taught humanities, was the English Department Chair for many years, and created the Eighth Grade Social Justice Project, the middle school's capstone experience. She has presented her social justice work in various education conferences around New York City and beyond. Prior to her time at LREI, Sarah worked at her former high school, the Albuquerque Academy, teaching English to grades 8, 9 and 11. She also taught English as a new language to recent arrivals in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan Government-In-Exile, where she also worked for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Environment Desk. More recently, she was chosen to serve on the English Language Arts Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves, an organization for schools around the world that uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. Sarah attended Occidental College where she earned her BA in English and Comparative Literature and then went on to receive her Masters in Teaching English from Brown University. She has had the good fortune to travel extensively, is the proud mother to a sixth grader, loves living in Brooklyn while she misses the food of her home state of New Mexico, is an avid reader, and is currently gearing up to get back on the yoga mat.

Ernestine Byer-Tyre

Ernestine Byer-Tyre

Upper School Science; Advisor

Ernestine Byer-Tyre

Upper School Science; Advisor
University of North Carolina, B.S.
Life College, Dr. of Chiropractic
Appointed 2001

Kevin Casey

Kevin Casey

Physical Education; Advisor

Kevin Casey

Physical Education & Middle School Health; Advisor;
St. Leo College, B.A.
Hofstra University, M.S.
Appointed 2001 

Maureen Darcy

Maureen Darcy

Spanish

Maureen Darcy

Spanish
New York University, B.A.
Columbia University, M.A.
Appointed 2014

Maureen has been a World Language Teacher at PCS since 2014. She earned a B.A. in French-Linguistics with a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University and a M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Teachers College at Columbia University. In addition to French and Spanish, Maureen has studied Arabic and is currently learning German. An avid traveler, Maureen loves using her languages abroad, learning about new cultures, and trying local food. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Pistachio.

Catherine Henry

Catherine Henry

Upper School English & History

Catherine Henry

Upper School English & History; Advisor
Fairfield University, B.A.
Boston College Law School, J.D.
Appointed 2013

William F. Hirt

William F. Hirt

College Advisor & Upper School History

William F. Hirt

College Advisor & Upper School History
University of Minnesota, B.A., B.S.
Columbia University, M.S.
Appointed 1989

William Hirt was appointed College Counselor in 2006. Mr. Hirt earned a B.A. and a B.S. from the University of Minnesota. He spent two years as a Peace Corps member in Cameroon before earning an M.A. in Education from Columbia University. He joined the Professional Children's School history department in 1989.

Laura Inman

Laura Inman

Music

Laura Inman

Music
University of Louisville, B.M.
Arizona State University, D.M.A., M.M.
Appointed 2018

Laura Inman is a soprano, conductor and educator based in New York City. Her love for music and singing has led her to win three Grammy awards with Phoenix and Kansas City Chorales, and is a member of the Ireland-based vocal ensemble Anúna where she has performed extensively in Europe, China, and Japan. Laura is an active freelance singer and conductor, maintains a private voice studio, and she is currently the head of the music department at Professional Children's School where she co-directs musicals, teaches Vocal Techniques/Chorus, and Poetics of Music. Inman sings with Mark Morris Dance Group, Bach Vespers series at Holy Trinity and NYC Concert Chorale which performs regularly with New York Philharmonic. Inman was most recently featured on the American cast album recording of Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s Hunchback of Notre Dame. Dr. Inman also serves as the Children and Youth Choirs Director at St. Michael's on the Upper West Side. Prior to PCS, she has taught at BASIS Brooklyn, Georgia Tech University, Arizona State University, and Arizona School for the Arts in Phoenix. She holds degrees in Voice and Music Education from University of Louisville and Arizona State University, where she also completed her DMA in Conducting.

Thea Kabacinski

Thea Kabacinski

Learning Specialist; Advisor

Thea Kabacinski

Learning Specialist; Advisor
Hofstra University, B.A.
Columbia University Teachers College, M.S.
Appointed 2021

Jeff Laguzza

Jeff Laguzza

Upper School English; Advisor

Jeff Laguzza

Upper School English; Advisor
Binghamton University, B.A., M.A.
Appointed 2004

Jeffrey Laguzza started teaching English at PCS in 2004. He earned a B.A. and M.A. at Binghamton University.

Brigid Le Minez

Brigid Le Minez

French; Advisor

Brigid Le Minez

French; Advisor
Fordham University, B.A.
Middlebury College, La Sorbonne, M.A.
Appointed 2019

A French teacher at PCS since 2019, Brigid Le Minez holds an B.A. in French from Fordham University Lincoln Center and an M.A. in French Language and Literature from Middlebury College’s French School/La Sorbonne, Paris Censier. She also studied in Paris at the Reid Hall center of Sarah Lawrence College. A New Jersey state certified teacher of French, Mrs. Le Minez has previously taught at Summit Public Schools, NJ, as well as Rutgers Preparatory School and St. Paul’s boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire. Mrs. Le Minez’s interests include dance, travel and instilling in her students an appreciation for different cultures and a desire for continued education.

Danielle Lewis

Danielle Lewis

English & English as a New Language; Advisor

Danielle Lewis

English & English as a New Language; Advisor
Oberlin College, B.A.
Long Island University, M.S.ED.
Rutgers University, M.I.S. (Expected 2023)
Appointed 2022
[email protected]

Danielle has served as an ESL, English and History teacher in public and independent schools in New York City, and comes to PCS from the United Nations International School where she served as Middle School Librarian. In addition, she is an Adjunct Instructor in ESL and Educational Skills at Fashion Institute of Technology. Danielle has edited, researched and co-authored curricula for organizations such as the New-York Historical Society, Simon & Schuster, Inc., and as a member of the Curriculum Educator Consultant Team at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. She is a research fellow at Rutgers University where she is earning her second Master’s degree in information science. A classically trained soprano, Danielle enjoys performing, imbibing music of all varieties, studying languages, working with animals, and traveling the globe.

Ayana Mbaye

Ayana Mbaye

Librarian

Ayana Mbaye

Librarian
Mercy College, B.S.
Pratt School of Information, M.S.
Appointed 2021 

Guthrie Porter

Guthrie Porter

Mathematics; Advisor

Guthrie Porter

Mathematics; Advisor
Fordham University, B.A.
New York University, M.A.
Appointed 2003 

Kevin Rodd

Kevin Rodd

Upper School Science

Kevin Rodd

Upper School Science
Regents College, B.S.
New York University, M.S.
Appointed 2002 

Kevin Rodd has been teaching Physics and Science at PCS for the past 20 years with a combined 32 years teaching Physics in secondary schools. He obtained his Bachelors degree from Excelsior College and his Masters in Secondary Education from New York University. Prior to becoming a teacher, he was an active duty member of The U.S. Navy SeaBees - Engineering corp in various countries around the world. Kevin is a theater enthusiast and a vocalist / actor and performs in a local chorale group as well as in various regional musical theater productions.

Vincent Sagona

Vincent Sagona

Director of Performing Arts & Summer Academy

Vincent Sagona

Director of Performing Arts
Drama and Health; Advisor
Director of Summer Academy
Seton Hall University, B.A., M.A.
Brooklyn College, M.F.A.
Appointed 2000

Vincent Sagona has been a professional actor in theatre and film for 25 years and the drama teacher at Professional Children’s School for 22 years. Vincent earned his MFA at Brooklyn College where he studied with F. Murray Abraham and spent 2 years in advanced scene study with the world renowned acting teacher, Uta Hagen.   Through his extensive acting work in the professional theatre, Vincent has honed his craft in numerous productions playing such roles as; Happy in Death of a Salesman, Bottom in A  Midsummer Night's Dream, Fr. Flynn in Doubt and the critically acclaimed one man show, My Italy Story for which he earned a Star Ledger Peter Filichia Best Actor nomination. As a current member of The Writer's Group, a New York based theatre workshop, he has become part of a process by which scripts are tested, reworked and presented on stages across the country.  These experiences have enabled him to impart first hand knowledge of the challenges of acting in a variety of settings as well as the realities of being an actor for hire.  Vincent has a deep appreciation for the importance of ensemble and, perhaps most importantly, he believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Robert Mark Savage

Robert Mark Savage

Upper School History

Robert Mark Savage

Upper School History
Butler University, B.A.
Columbia University, Ph.D.
Appointed 1985

Jodie Schaeffer

Jodie Schaeffer

Mathematics

Jodie Schaeffer

Mathematics
Marist College, B.S.
Pace University, M.B.A.
St. John’s University, M.S.
Appointed 2020 

Rachel Soyk

Rachel Soyk

Mathematics

Rachel Soyk

Mathematics
New York University, B.S.
Appointed 2019

Rachel Soyk has her Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from New York University and her Master of Sciences degree in Pure Mathematics from the City College Of New York. Rachel has taught math to hundreds of students over the past 16 years. Outside of PCS, Rachel continues to work with Lexicon Academics as a math tutor/teacher and with CCNY as an adjunct Mathematics instructor. Prior to full-time teaching, Rachel was an analyst in Jersey City. Rachel has traveled to over 25 countries and lived overseas during 2014-2015 (studying abroad) and 2017 (volunteer work in Asia). Besides her love of math and traveling, Rachel is an avid runner and will be completing 3 major Marathons this fall (Berlin, Chicago, and NYC). She is hoping to get more into ultra running come 2023!

Anh Ta

Anh Ta

Art

Anh Ta

Art
Augustana University, B.A.
Ohio University, M.F.A.
Appointed 2021

Staff

Meghan Blakeman

Meghan Blakeman

Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement

Meghan Blakeman

Assistant Director of Institutional Advancement
University of New Hampshire, B.A.
Bay Path University, M.S. (Expected 2024)
Appointed 2021 

Meghan joined the Institutional Advancement office in 2021, after spending nine years in arts programming and development at Wingspan Arts. Meghan earned her B.A. in Theatre (Acting & Secondary Theatre Education) from the University of New Hampshire, and has been a teaching artist, producer, and actor at various institutions in New York City and New England. She was the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Underling Productions for 7 years and continues to offer pro bono consulting services for small arts organizations. Meghan is currently pursuing an M.S. in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy from Bay Path University, expected to be completed in 2024.

Damien Cook

Damien Cook

Sous Chef

Damien Cook

Sous Chef
Appointed 2022

 

Rocio Izurieta

Rocio Izurieta

Night Time Head Custodian/Security Coverage

Rocio Izurieta

Night Time Head Custodian/Security Coverage
Appointed 2008

Lisandro Jaquez

Lisandro Jaquez

Custodian

Lisandro Jaquez

Custodian
Appointed 2022
[email protected] 

Raquel Martinez

Raquel Martinez

Director of Human Resources; Controller

Raquel Martinez

Director of Human Resources; Controller
Appointed 2009 

AJ McGuire

AJ McGuire

Technology Instructor & Integration Support Specialist

AJ McGuire

Technology Instructor & Integration Support Specialist
Ithaca College, B.S.
Appointed 2018

Mercedes Mickens

Mercedes Mickens

Food Service Worker

Mercedes Mickens

Food Service Worker
Appointed 2022

 

Ayana Peña

Ayana Peña

Assistant to the Associate Head & Head of Upper School

Ayana Pena

Assistant to the Associate Head & Head of Upper School
Appointed 2016 (PCS since 2010)

Altagracia Ramos

Altagracia Ramos

Custodian

Altagracia Ramos

Custodian

Antonio Rodriguez

Antonio Rodriguez

Security Officer

Antonio Rodriguez

Security Officer

Joseph Rosado

Joseph Rosado

Flik Chef Manager

Joseph Rosado

Flik Chef Manager
Monroe College
Appointed 2019
[email protected] 

Joseph Rosado has been the Chef Manager at Professional Children's School since 2019. Through Flik independent school dining, Chef Joseph has facilitates the food service program for administration and students. He attended Monroe College, where he received his degree in Culinary Arts in 2011. Since then Joseph has developed a love for Classical French and Italian cuisine which has lead him to many amazing career experiences. He has been lucky enough to be the Executive Sous Chef for many well-known restaurants such as Tavern on the Green, Sugar Factory, and Rubirosa to name a few. The knowledge and experience Joseph has gained working alongside so many amazing people has helped him grow to where he is today. Joseph is very honored to be a part of the Professional Children's School family.

Jean J. Scales

Jean J. Scales

Business Office & Admissions Coordinator

Jean J. Scales

Business Office & Admissions Coordinator
Appointed 1986 

Myron Toltsis

Myron Toltsis

Network Administrator

Myron Toltsis

Network Administrator
New Jersey Institute of Technology, B.S.
Stevens Institute of Technology, M.S.
Appointed 2018

Ashley Torres

Ashley Torres

Receptionist; Medical Records Coordinator

Ashley Torres

Receptionist; Medical Records Coordinator
Appointed 2022

Ashley Torres joined Professional Children's School in 2019 as a prep cook with FLIK in the school's cafeteria. She spent two years in that position and although she loved cooking for the students and staff, she preferred to join the PCS team directly. She was hired as the Professional Children's School Head Receptionist in August 2022.

Fred Wilson

Fred Wilson

Facilities Manager

Fred Wilson

Facilities Manager
Appointed 2017