School Staff

Administration

Ms. Nimet Eren
Principal
neren@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Harvard University (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MsEd, EDD)
Hobbies: Running, Gardening, Art
Favorite Book: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Mr. Victor Mercado
9th Grade Principal
vmercado@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Temple University (BA), Cabrini University (MSEd)
Hobbies: Family, Gardening, Trying Out New Recipes
Favorite Book: Growing Up Puerto Rican by Paulette Cooper
Mr. Jon Kandrick
Climate Manager
jkandrick@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: West Chester University (BS, MPA)
Hobbies: Family, Athletics, Property Maintenance
Favorite Book: Good to Great by James Collins

Counseling

Mr. Robert Nelson
Lead Counselor
rmnelson@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Hartwick College (BS), Villanova University (MS)
Hobbies: Family, Outdoor activities, Playing guitar, Sports
Favorite Book: My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
Ms. Raquel Francis
Counselor
rfrancis@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Ms. Eleonor Vasquez
Counselor
evasquez@philasd.org
she/her/hers

School Support

Ms. Hope Black-Waller
School Nurse
hwaller@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Drexel University (BSN), La Salle University (CSN)
(Registered Nurse for 33 years)
Hobbies: Traveling, Reading, Bible Education, Adventures
Favorite Book: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Ms. Judy Rodriguez
Administrative Secretary
jurodriguez @philasd.org
she/her/hers
Hobbies: Traveling, Helping Others
Favorite Book: A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer
Officer Ryan Smith
School Safety Officer
rjsmith@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: SDP Safety Training, Criminal Justice, SDP Safety Advisor Team
Hobbies: Teaching, Training, Coaching, Mentoring, Basketball, Distance running
Favorite Book: All of them!
Ms. Gladys Garcia
Bilingual Counseling Assistant
ggarcia@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: SDP, CCP
Hobbies: Watching horror movies, Playing cards, Walking, Spending time with my great nephews and nieces
Favorite Book: Anything by James Patterson
Mr. Antonio Romero
Community School Coordinator
antonio.romero@phila.gov
he/him/his
Education: Education and Community Development
Hobbies: Listening to music (All kinds, from all over the world), Dancing (mostly Salsa and Bachata), Eating, Playing dominos
Favorite Book: The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
Ms. Megan Anger
Community School Parent Engagement Vista
megan.anger@phila.gov
she/her/hers
Education: Temple University, Studied abroad in Chile
Hobbies: Interior design, Traveling
Favorite Book: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (Current favorite)

Education Staff

Ms. Monique Adkins
Health Related Technology Teacher
madkins@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Mr. Dave Beck
History Teacher, School DJ
dbeck@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Temple University (BS), Neumann University (MS)
Hobbies: Anything involving my dog, Running, Traveling
Favorite Book: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
Ms. Cheryl Boone
Special Education Assistant
ceboone @philasd.org
she/her/hers
Ms. Luci Bower
English Teacher, Senior Success Team Leader
lbower@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Kutztown University of PA, Delaware Valley College
Hobbies: Reading, Movies, Gardening, Going to the beach!
Favorite Book: Outlander, Cold Mountain
Ms. Iris Carrion
Climate Support Staff
icarrion@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Ms. Christine Cesarone
Math, Special Education Teacher, Yearbook Sponsor
ccesarone2@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: LaSalle University (BA), Slippery Rock University (MsED), Studied abroad in Ireland
Hobbies: Listening to music (especially concerts), Traveling through Europe, Cleaning (Yes—cleaning!)
Mr. Ed Colfer
Special Education/Social Studies Teacher
ecolfer@philasd.org
he/him/his
Hobbies: Tennis
Favorite Book: Open by Andre Agassi
Ms. Shay Colombus
12+ Site Director, Post-Secondary Counselor
ocolumbus@12plus.org
she/her/hers
Education: Columbus State University (BA), Studied abroad in South Korea
Hobbies: Reading, Baseball, Karaoke, Mentorship
Favorite Book: Heavy by Kiese Laymon
Ms. Michelle Desjardins
English Teacher, Student Council Advisoory
mdesjardins@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: University of Pittsburgh (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MsEd), Studied abroad in England
Hobbies: Travel, Read, Trying new restaurants!
Favorite Book: To Kill A Mockingbird or Animal Farm (This is really tough question!)
Roster Chair, Technology Chair, Testing Coordinator, SIS Coach
hdoner@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: University of Maryland (BA), Holy Family College (MSEd)
Hobbies: Food, Gardening, Building stuff, Movies
Favorite Book: The Godfather Series, The Original James Bond Series, Story of Civilization by Will Durant
Ms. Nikki Dunn
Science Teacher, 11th Grade Success Team Leader, Martial Arts Club Sponsor
ndunn@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Temple University (BA), Penn State University (MsEd)
Hobbies: Martial Arts, Reading, Soccer, Crafts
Favorite Book: Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce
Ms. Jenifer Felix
ELL/Spanish Teacher, 11th Grade Success Team Leader, ELL Lead, Music Club
jfelix@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Virginia Wesleyan College (BA), Regent University (MsEd)
Hobbies: Plants, Animals, People, Cooking, Reading
Favorite Book: Anything by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
Ms. Ebony Gant
Dental Teacher
egant@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Dental Hygiene
Hobbies: Fishing, Shopping, Spending time with family, Helping others
Favorite Book: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Ms. Sarah Goldman
Math Teacher, Cooking Club Sponsor, Math Lead Teacher
sgoldman@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: University of Pittsburgh (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MsEd), Studied abroad in Argentina, South Africa
Hobbies: Baking, Cooking, Drawing, Competitive horseback riding
Favorite Book: Holes by Louis Sachar
Ms. Colleen Grelis
ELL Teacher, 9th Grade Success Team Leader
cjgrelis@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: West Chester University (BSEd, MA)
Hobbies: Traveling, Reading, Chauffeuring my children
Favorite Book: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mr. Jim Hardy
Spanish Teacher, Kensington Soccer Club Founder, Arabic Club Sponsor
jehardy@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Temple University College (BS), Certificate of Nonprofit Management, Studied abroad in Argentina and Costa Rica
Hobbies: Attending community meetings, Listening to history podcasts, Spending time with my parents, and Watching Philadelphia Union games
Favorite Book: A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
Mr. John Humes
LSS Teacher
jhumes@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: BS, MSEd
Hobbies: Guitar, Tinkering/Fixing/Building, Fishing
Favorite Book: The Bible
Ms. Angela Iovine
ELATeacher, 10th Grade Success Team Leader, SBTL
aiovine@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Temple University (BA), Long Island University (Certificate in ELL), Chestnut Hill College (MSEd)
Hobbies: All things related to food and culture, Traveling and exploring new places, Hiking
Favorite Book: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Ms. Gianni Johnson
Special Education English Teacher
gjohnson2@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Penn State University, Teach For America (Miami)
Hobbies: Thrifting, Upcycling, and Styling
Favorite Book: I don’t necessarily have a favorite book. However, I do enjoy reading fictional stories.
Mr. Gregory Isaacs
AP Government/Social Studies Teacher, Athletic Director, Girls Basketball and Softball Coach
gdisaacs@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Temple University
Hobbies: Fishing, Hiking, Cooking, Sports
Favorite Book: Any good biography
Mr. Joseph Jones
Math Teacher
jjones13@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Bucknell University (BA), Rowan University (MA), Temple University (MBA)
Hobbies: Family (father of four boys), Reading, Home projects, Philadelphia professional sports teams
Favorite Book: Ship of Gold by Gary Kinder
Ms. Nellie Kollar
Science Teacher, Art Club Sponsor, Senior Sponsor
nkollar@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Temple University (BS), Drexel University (MSEd), Geologist
Hobbies: Gardening, Rock climbing, Reading, and Hanging out with my dog
Favorite Book: American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Ms. Billita Gavin
LSS Teacher
blockley@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Cheyney University (BA), Arcadia University (MSEd), Gwynedd Mercy University (MSEd)
Hobbies: Interior design, Traveling, Helping people with special needs!
Favorite Book: Their Eyes Were Watching God By: Zora Neale Hurston
Mx. Maddie Luebbert
English Teacher, 9th Grade Success Team Leader, Supporter of the 9th grade QSA
mluebbert@philasd.org
they/them/theirs
Education: Temple University (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MSEd), Studied abroad in Argentina
Hobbies: Riding my bike, Hanging out with my partner and my dog, Reading, Making things
Favorite Book: Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Ms. Markita Nash
Bus Attendant
mfreeman2@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Ms. Sally O’Brien
English Teacher, Spoken Word and Poetry Club Coach
sobrien@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Swarthmore College (BA), Arcadia University 2009 (MAEd)
Hobbies: Reading, Taking my son on adventures on my bike, Beginning gardening
Favorite Book: I never know how to answer this question! But there are some books that hold up to rereading over and over and the one I'm rereading right now is Homer's Odyssey.
Ms. Kristian Ogungbemi
Global Leadership Teacher, 12th Grade Success Team Sponsor, Student Council Co-Advisor
kogungbemi@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Drexel University (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MSEd), Studied abroad in Italy
Hobbies: Cooking, Reading/writing, Dancing, Solving puzzles, Playing games
Favorite Book: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ms. Kayla Palmer
Climate Support
kepalmer@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Mr. Frank Pinzarrone
Special Education Teacher
fpinzarrone@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Masters in Reading, Masters in Educational Leadership, Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 5 years
Hobbies: Technology Geek, DJ/KJ, Football, Baseball
Favorite Book: Dark Knight (graphic novel)
Mr. Paul Prescod
Social Studies Teacher, National Honors Society Advisor
pprescod@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Temple University (BA and Teaching Certificate)
Hobbies: Seeing live music, Sports, Traveling, Reading
Favorite Book: The Black Jacobins by C.L.R. James
Mr. Shane Quinn
Health and PE Teacher, Boys Soccer Coach
squinn@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: Marywood University (BS and MA)
Hobbies: Being physically active, Sports-based youth development, Coaching, Reading
Favorite Book: Life is Not an Accident by Jay Williams
Ms. Shanae Roberts
Math Teacher
sdroberts@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: West Chester University (BA), Temple University (MSEd), Montgomery Community College (Associates in Business Administration)
Hobbies: Reading, Writing, Biking, Exploring the World, Enjoying a good board game!
Favorite Book: Self-Meditation (This is one of the books I am currently reading.) I do not have any favorites. I am constantly impressed by newer books I read.
Dr. Sarah Lee Ryan
LS Teacher, SPECM, Spanish Teacher, Yoga Club Sponsor
spaulk@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: UCLA (BA), Rutgers (MSEd), Arcadia University (EDD)
Hobbies: Yoga, Dance, Photography, Reading
Favorite Book: Stories of Horacio Quiroga and We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
Ms. Aimee Shelton
Sports Medicine/Rehab Aide Teacher
ashelton2@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Temple University (BS), Eastern University (MSEd), Trips to Alaska and the Navajo Nation
Hobbies: Hiking, Running, Kayaking, Paddle boarding, Cycling (Outdoor and indoor)
Favorite Book: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
Mr. Mike Smaczylo
Art Teacher
msmaczylo@philasd.org
he/him/his
Education: University of the Arts (BA), Tyler School of Art and Architecture Temple University (MEd)
Hobbies: Making art, Listening to and playing music, Watching Philly sports, Cooking (especially breakfast and barbecue)
Favorite Book: Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Ms. Denesta Smith
Bus Attendant
denesmith@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Ms. Kara Stephens
12+Post-Secondary Counselor
kstephens@12plus.org
she/her/hers
Education: Brooklyn College (BA), Studied abroad in England
Hobbies: Watching documentaries, Reading, Learning TikTok dances, and Supporting my students!
Favorite Book: Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Ms. Ina Thomas
School Support
ijthomas@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Bachelor's Degree Elementary Education and Special Education with a Minor in Criminal Justice
Hobbies: Reading, Watching educational documentaries, Community involvement
Favorite Book: Malcolm X
Ms. Cheryl Watts
Special Education Assistant
cwatts@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Ms. Rose West
Special Education Assistant, Luv4All Leader
rwest@philasd.org
she/her/they/them
Education: JNA Catering School, NRA and Food Service Sanitation License
Hobbies: Working, Traveling, Helping others
Ms. Jileesa Williams
Biology Teacher, 10th Grade Success Team Leader
jwilliams10@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Education: Drexel University (BS), Holy Family University (MSEd)
Hobbies: Reading, Sewing, Playing with my sons
Favorite Book: Too many favorites! Current read: Red Tent by Anita Diamant
Brianna Christian
12+ College and Career Counselor
bchristian@12Plus.org
They/Them/Theirs
Education: Cultural Anthropologist, Studied abroad in Japan
Hobbies: Photography, Anti-racism/Anti-colonialism, Podcasts, Watching all of the TV
Favorite Book: Paradise by Toni Morrison

Cafeteria and Building Staff

Mr. James Palmer
Building Engineer
jaepalmer@philasd.org
he/him/his
Hobbies: Making KHSA the most beautiful school in the city!
Ms. Nancy Palmer
Building Assistant
napalmer@philasd.org
she/her/hers
Hobbies: Helping make KHSA the most beautiful school in the city!
Ms. Carmen, Ms. Brenda, Ms. Lucy
Food Services
Hobbies: Making us smile with morning smoothies!