Director, NYC Special Education Collaborative and Inclusive Education Initiatives
Melissa works to ensure that New York City’s charter schools have access to the essential supports, trainings, resources and technical assistance necessary to ensure the success of all of their students. She advocates for special populations and seeks to strengthen their inclusion and achievement in NYC charter schools. Prior to joining the Charter Center, she worked as a French dual language teacher and as an ESL teacher within the NYC DOE. During her time in the classroom, she strived to provide equity and access for all her students through culturally responsive teaching and best second language acquisition methodology. Melissa holds B.A.s from Trinity College (Hartford) in French, Spanish and English, and earned her M.S. in TESOL as a Teach For America corps member from Fordham University.
Patrick serves as the primary event coordinator and manages operations for the NYC Special Education Collaborative. He also works to supports schools in utilizing their membership benefits. Previously, Patrick taught English learners in Korea, Spain, and Boston. He has also worked in fundraising for Boston’s PBS affiliate, WGBH.
Special Education Specialist
Corey provides resources, trainings, and onsite expertise to support NYC charter schools in developing and maintaining inclusive, high-quality special education programs. Based on findings in the field and member feedback, she also programs the Collaborative’s annual professional development offerings. Her work experience reflects her commitment to ensuring that all educators, whether new or experienced, are coached and supported in formal and consistent ways. Corey became a special education teacher through the NYC Teaching Fellows program. After six years of teaching in NYC Department of Education public schools and training first-year teachers in the NYC Teaching Fellows program, she began working in charter schools. Following time at Achievement First as a learning specialist, she spent two years as the Director of Inclusive Learning at Great Oaks. Corey holds a B.A. in Social Work from Rutgers University and a M.S. in Education from Long Island University – Brooklyn.
Part-time Special Education Specialist
Anna provides resources and professional development to schools with a focus on literacy instruction and culturally responsive practices. Anna lives in Haiti, working as an education specialist with Universitè Quisqueya where she helps design alternative programs and pathways for teacher and school leader certification. Prior to moving to Haiti, Anna spent 7 years at Achievement First Endeavor Middle School in Brooklyn. Anna has worked as a special education teacher, coordinator, and dean for 9 years.
Kristen provides resources, trainings, and onsite expertise to support charter schools in developing and growing high-quality, inclusive programs for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Kristen has built her career as an international educator across a variety of organizations with a primary focus on developing inclusive program models for ELL/MLL populations. Prior to joining the Special Education Collaborative and Charter Center, Kristen served as Academic Director of a university pathway and intensive English program for undergraduate and graduate international students. She also taught in both district and charter schools in NYC where she designed and implemented culturally responsive curriculum and led collaborative co-teaching and schoolwide initiatives, resulting in significant performance gains for ELLs/MLLs. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University and a Master of Arts degree in TESOL from Columbia University Teachers College.