Fellows

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Owen Ambrose

Montclair High School
Special Education Biology and Chemistry
Montclair Public Schools
Program Content Area: Environmental and Earth Science

I am passionate about the living world, and attempt to instill a love for nature, exploration, and all things science in the students I teach. I have been teaching Special Education Biology and Chemistry at Montclair High School for 7 years.

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Maria Beaghen

Park Avenue School
4th Grade
Orange School District
Program Content Area: Biology

I’ve been a teacher in the Orange School district for 24 years. I’m presently teaching fourth grade at the Park Avenue School. I look forward to this new challenge.

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Regina Borriello

Clifton High School
Biology
Clifton Public Schools
Program Content Area: Biology

I received my B.S. in Marine Science at Richard Stockton College and my teaching certificate at William Paterson University. I just recently completed my M.S. in Biology, also at William Paterson. I have been teaching at Clifton High School for about 9 years , but I’m not really sure because I stopped counting 3 years ago or so. I am co-advisor for the Botany Club and in my spare time practice Karate and Brazillain jiu Jitsu.

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Christine Costello

Lincoln Elementary School
3rd Grade
Kearny Public Schools
Program Content Area: Environmental and Earth Science

I am always proud to say that “I don’t go to work everyday - I go to school” where I continue to learn everyday with my students. I’ve been teaching now for 8 years. In my spare time I enjoy playing and watching sports (Go Yanks!) I am also an avid animal lover and I work as a freelance photographer.

I am very proud and excited about being a WIPRO Fellow.

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Monique E. Dituri

Clifton High School
Chemistry
Clifton Public Schools
Program Content Area: Chemistry

I am a Chemistry teacher and First Robotics Coach at Clifton High School in Clifton, NJ. Professional Educator for the last 10 years. B.S. in Chemistry, M.A. in Education (Adult Learning) and M.A. in Special Education. Mid-Atlantic Robotics, Board of Directors and Montclair Society of Engineers, Board of Directors. My days are spent mixing chemical solutions with my students and my evenings and weekends are spent inspiring my robotics team to create robotic solutions to real world problems.

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Iesha Fennell

Cleveland Street Elementary School
3rd-5th Grades
Orange Public Schools
Program Content Area: Environmental and Earth Science

I was born and raised in Montclair, NJ. I received my undergraduate degree from Temple University. I have currently been teaching for 14 years. In my spare time, I have recently taken up photography.

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Mary Hall

East Brook Middle School
8th Grade
Paramus Public Schools
Program Content Area: Biology

I have been teaching science for 20 years, 18 or those in 8th grade. Over the years, I have found many ways to stay busy. Whether being involved in her local association, or being involved in clubs, most recently as Assistant Director of the school’s musical. I also continue to be an active member of the local First Aid Squad where I serve as Secretary to the Squad and a Red Cross Instructor.

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David Kleiner

Clifton School #13
3rd Grade
Clifton Public Schools
Program Content Area: Environmental and Earth Science

I teach third grade in Clifton, NJ. I have been teaching since 2000. My main interests are learning, playing music with my friends, and writing songs. I have released four CDs’ or original songs and I’m a founding member of The Folk Project; NJ’s largest folk music organization. I am always looking to learn something new every day.

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Gloria Lepari

Edgemont Montessori School
K-5th Grade
Edgemont Montessori School
Program Content Area: Physics

Gloria Lepari has been a Montessori teacher for thirty-two years in both private and public schools.  Gloria started her teaching career at St. Anthony’s Montessori School in Kearny, NJ and then taught at the Bead School, the lower school of Dwight Englewood School in Englewood, NJ.  For the past twenty-five years, Gloria has been teaching at Edgemont Montessori School in Montclair, NJ, the only public Montessori school in the state of New Jersey.  Upon coming to Edgemont Montessori School, Gloria helped to establish the elementary program and has taught multi-graded classes from kindergarten through fifth grade.  For the past five years Gloria has been responsible for teaching science to all Edgemont students from kindergarten through fifth grade, where she is known as the Cosmic Studies teacher.

Gloria received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Seton Hall University and a Masters degree from New York University.  She holds Montessori certifications for 3-6 year olds, 6-9 year old, 9-12 year olds.  She has also attended the College of New Rochelle and Bank Street College. 

Aside from teaching, Gloria she also enjoys spending time with Steve, her husband of 23 years, playing tennis, skiing, running and traveling.

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Donna Love

Clifton School #11
3rd Grade
Clifton Public Schools
Program Content Area: Chemistry

I graduated from Montclair State University January 1999 Cum Laude with a BA in Human Ecology. My first teaching job was a second grade class in Lincoln Elementary School in Newark New Jersey. I taught there from September 1999 to October 2000 when I accepted a Basic Skills position with the Clifton Public School System. I have taught BSI, second and third grades in Clifton. I am currently teaching third grade. I continued my education earning a Master’s Degree in Reading also from Montclair State University in 2007. I also hold a Reading Specialist certification. MSU has become a family affair. My eldest daughter Larissa graduated this year with a BA in Psychology. My daughter Nicole anticipates graduating next year. I look forward to my continued affiliation with MSU and am very excited to participate in the WIPRO Fellowship Program.

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Alison Mahfouz

East Brook Middle School
5th Grade
Paramus Public Schools
Program Content Area: Chemistry

Alison Mahfouz teaches 5th grade math & science at East Brook Middle School in Paramus. She has been working at East Brook since 2007. However, this was a return to the hallways for Alison, having passed through them as a student educated by Wipro SEF Fellow, Mary Hall.

Alison received her B.A. in Family & Child Studies from Montclair State in 2006 and is currently studying for her M.A. in Teaching Middle Grades Math.

Aside from her work in the classroom, Alison has participated in various professional development opportunities. Those opportunities include:
• Creative University-School Partnerships at Montclair State University Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy
• NJDOE C-TEAMS at Stevens Institute,
• The Department of Energy’s Academy Creating Teacher Scientists
This past fall, Alison ran her first marathon in Hampton, New Hampshire. She is also a veteran member of the Quarry Cats women’s ice hockey team.

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Dan Mazol

Washington School
8th and 6th Grade
Kearny Public Schools
Program Content Area: Biology

I have been teaching eighth-grade science for the past 13 years at Washington School in Kearny, NJ. When not teaching, I spend my time with my two boys, watching them learn and grow.

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Elaine McCarthy

Schulyer School
7th and 8th Grades
Kearny Public Schools
Program Content Area: Chemistry

Elaine McCarthy started her career teaching a self-contained class of thirty-eight 3rd graders in a large Catholic school in Jersey City. She was soon teaching 5th and 6th grade science and then onto 7th and 8th grade science. In 1980, she was asked to take over as principal of a small Catholic school in Kearny for one year. Twenty-two years later, the school was closed for financial reasons. She returned to the classroom, having gone full circle. She is now once again teaching middle school science and loving every minute of it

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Jessica McMasters

Lincoln Elementary
7th and 8th Grades
Kearny Public Schools
Program Content Area: Physics

I am a true science geek! Even after multiple decades of teaching science I am still trying to find something cool to wow my students. My days off and vacations often involve some fabulous science venue.

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John Nolan

Paramus High School
Biology and Environmental Science
Paramus Public Schools
Program Content Area: Environmental and Earth Science

I've been teaching high school biology and environmental science at Paramus High School for nine years. I started teaching at 40, following a decade as a manager with national environmental consulting firms. The bookends to my environmental consulting career were a master's degree in environmental systems management, and 10 years later, a master's degree in teaching.

Like most science teachers, I'm a bit of a science junky. I've also been quite passionate about discovery learning and brain function in the process of learning. On a larger scale, I'm concerned about preparation of our kids’ minds and skills in a rapidly changing world. I think most would classify me as very enthusiastic about my classes, students and life in general. I invest lots of time creating original materials for classes and working on curriculum design. The goal is to promote the types of thinking and learning experiences that research reveals are most valuable for the future. However, I have much to learn and improve upon. Being a part of the Wipro Science Education Fellowship is an ideal opportunity to take my teaching to the next level.

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Kristen Tarabocchia

Paramus High School
Chemistry
Paramus Public Schools
Program Content Area: Chemistry

I am a teacher of Chemistry at Paramus High School. I am a graduate of Montclair State University, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and was a member of the Honors Program. I received a Master of Science in Educational Technology from Ramapo College.

I am looking forward to working with other WIPRO Fellows and growing as a professional.

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Sarah Taylor

Clifton High School
Physics
Clifton Public Schools
Program Content Area: Physics

I love teaching and science!  This year I am teaching Chemistry and Physics at Clifton High School.  Five years ago I switched from business to teaching and it is wonderful.  It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and energy, but it is incredibly gratifying to see a child grow and learn.  My two teenage sons  and husband don't quite get it, though they do acknowledge that I am a much happier person. My oldest is a freshman at TCNJ and my youngest is a junior in high school. They certainly lend their support when I have a full day to teach and then long classes as a student.  Basically, like most teacher;s families they think I am crazy.

WIPRO is providing a fantastic opportunity to work within my teachers in my own district and with four others.  I am excited to get an opportunity to work across grade level and within the science department.  Increased teacher collaboration and sharing of best practices will lead to better student earning. Updating our curriculum and embracing the Common Core Language Arts and Mathematics and Next Generation Science standard's ideals will help us educate and prepare our students for their future.

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Alison Trapani

Forest Street School
4th Grade
Orange Public School
Program Content Area: Physics

Growing from my mistakes has become very familiar to me over the past four years. Instead of thinking of my mistakes as failures, I see them as the helpers that have molded me into a better teacher. Every year, I make it point to take a leap out of my comfort zone and try something new. WIPRO excites me because I see it as a challenge and new opportunity to grow and bring new ideas to my students. I enjoy collaborating with other teachers especially when I get to steal a great bulletin board idea from a colleague! If you can't find me in the classroom, I am probably in SOHO shopping the day away or eating at my favorite restaurant in the city, Lure Fishbar. When I get the chance to sneak away for the weekend, it is usually to visit my family in Connecticut and get a beach day in. Nothing better than being with friends, family, and enjoying the fresh beach air!

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Joyce Weeg

Montclair High School
Biology
Montclair Public Schools
Program Content Area: Biology

I have been teaching 22 years – 11 in Montclair. I started teaching in Iowa (where I’m from) in a school district of 302 students (yes, that’s the whole district). Prior to becoming a teacher, I was a pastry chef. I have 3 children, my oldest is just finishing teaching her 2nd year at Glenfield Middle School in Montclair as a science teacher.