Staff Bios
Teachers by Department

Administration
Melissa Menake, Principal

Nicole Alamu, Assistant Principal

Main Office
Ragini Ahamad
Laura Jones-Brozoski
Rawl Carew
Myron Harmon
Marva Ottley

Art/Technology
Bhan Bhatia
Shanice Isaacs
Dwayne Levene
Kristen O'Brien
Toni-Marie Powers

English
Nethenial Colon
Rebecca Merz
Josh Schulman
Ted Wallace

ISS
Aundre Barton
Matthew Harrison
Jill Kozlowski
Nathan Lim
Andrew Lotosky

Math
Joan Clarke
Crystal Lauren

Physical Education
Gregory Fisher

Science
Katrina Armstead
Daniel Lindner
Nkechia Ng-A-Qui
Parradine Pantin

Social Studies
Laquell Brown
Stephen Cempa
Ethan Chaisson
Kara Crompton

Spanish
Linda Jakobs

Student Support
Cheyenne Gaynor
Raquel Mejia
Santasia Nelson
Miriam Rabinowitz

Melissa Menake
, Principal

ms.menake@nycacademy.org
Twitter: @CHAQueens
Principal Melissa Menake was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and attended public schools her entire life. She graduated from Binghamton University and earned a Master of Arts and Master of English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Over the course of her career, she has taught middle, high, and transfer school students in Districts 2, 4, and 13. She has also taught freshman composition to adult students at The College of New Rochelle and has served as a Principal Coach for the Office of Leadership. Currently, she serves as the founding principal of Cambria Heights Academy in District 29, Hollis, Queens. She is proud to say that she has been serving New York City students for more than 20 years.


Nicole Alamu, Assistant Principal/Mathematics
ms.alamu@nycacademy.org

Nicole Alamu is currently an Assistant Principal who oversees discipline, the Math department, and assists with college advising. Ms. Alamu taught mathematics and technology at the Middle School level for four years in East Harlem and Far Rockaway. In 2010, she joined CHA  as its first math teacher, and learned to integrate technology to individualize and differentiate mathematics instruction before it was cutting edge. She  received the first level of  SMARTboard certification  and has also used online math curriculum software to help students prepare and review for the Regents. Ms. Alamu was the first graduate of the 5-year MBA program at Hampton University, receiving both her BS in Business Administration and her MBA, and her MS in Teaching from Pace University. She is a graduate of the LEAP Program, where she received her administrative license from Baruch College. 
Ms. Alamu actively participates in community service through her membership in Alpha Kappa Alpha University. Thus far, she feels her two greatest accomplishments have been  raising her 1-year-old daughter and developing and maintaining mentoring relationships with many of CHA's graduates.

Bhan Bhatia, Technology Specialist
Bhan Bhatia was born and raised in Queens, NY. While growing up, she always had a thirst for technology, and when she went to Queens College, she studied Computer Science. There she learned programming languages (Java, C++) and the intricacies of computer hardware. While still in college, she served as a technology intern at an Elementary School in Ridgewood for three years where she acquired hands-on experience with classroom technologies, including Smart Boards and document cameras. She can troubleshoot issues with laptops, printers, iPads, and other technology-related equipment. She enjoys the school as a place to work and is excited to expand her knowledge of the growing technology world today. 

Katrina Armstead, Science

Aundre Barton, ISS
mr.barton@nycacademy.org

Laquell Brown, Social Studies

Rawl Carew, Community Assistant

Stephen Cempa, Social Studies

Ethan Chaisson, Social Studies
Born and raised in New Jersey.   He graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s in History and a Master’s in Social Studies education.   He has over 5 years of school experience both in and out of the classroom.  He has written curriculum for many social studies classes such as World History, Psychology, and Gender Studies.  He has taught at rural, suburban, and urban districts in a variety of styles and environments.  He loves the challenge of adapting to new styles and incorporating them into his classroom. Through those years he has started and coached a cross country program and was an assistant track and field coach.  He has also enjoyed leading various improv clubs in the past.  He looks forward to working at Cambria Heights Academy.

Joan Clarke, Mathematics
ms.clarke@nycacademy.org

Nethaniel Colon, English

With over eight years of experience teaching English Language Arts in both Middle and High School throughout Queens, Nethaniel Colon is a proud member of the CHA's 9th grade team. He is committed to easing freshman's transition to High School and excited to partner with parents to ensure your child's social, emotional and academic success. Born and raised in Coney Island, he is a graduate of Messiah College with a BA in English Composition and a Masters Degree in Education from the College Mount Saint Vincent. As the first college graduate of his family, education is his passion as he strives to live by the words of Malcolm X, "Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."


Kara Crompton, Social Studies
Remy Edwards, Parent Coordinator

Gregory Fisher, Physical Education

Cheyenne Gaynor, Guidance Counselor, Respect for All (RFA) Liason 
Ms. Gaynor was born in Jamaica, West Indies and raised in Laurelton, Queens. She attended public school throughout her childhood and teenage years. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Children and Youth Studies and minored in Sociology. Shortly after completing her Bachelor’s Degree, she enrolled in Manhattan College Graduate program in School Counseling. She completed the graduate program within a year and earned a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. While she was in college she was working as a School Counselor Assistant at the high school level. She has been CHA's School Counselor since 2014. Ms. Gaynor is also CHA's College/Career Counselor, she has introduced a College Planning Workshop every year for Seniors to attend. Throughout her experience as a College/Career Counselor, she has organized the Annual College Fair, On Site Admissions from University of Bridgeport, Delaware State University, NYIT and LIU-Brooklyn to make a few, she has also assisted Seniors in enrolling into CUNY, SUNY and Private Colleges. Her goal as College/Career Counselor is to bring College awareness to all student and assist students in recognizing how their interest can turn in to amazing career with a college education.

Myron Harmon, Community Assistant/ Dean
mr.harmon@nycacademy.org
Myron was born and raised in southeast Queens.  He attended elementary, middle, and high school in the community. He is no stranger to working with children from all walks of life, having been a residential counselor for the last 10+ years.  His experience includes developing educational and vocational goals and assisting with personal and social-emotional problems. His experience has also equipped him with a wealth of resources and connections to community based organizations.  Myron is known for his ability to relate to children. When it comes to the students, he has the perfect balance of being firm, yet friendly.  Having two children of his own provides insight to the concerns of parents and allows him to be a liaison for the home-school partnership.  Myron plans to continue his education at York College and become a Special Education Teacher.

Matthew Harrison, ISS
mr.harrison@nycacademy.org

Shanice Isaacs, Math & SEP
Linda Jakobs, Spanish
Linda was raised and educated in public schools in Queens.  She has two Master’s; one in Spanish and Secondary Education and the other in Guidance and School Counseling.  Linda spent one year studying in Spain which fueled her passion for the Spanish language and helped her develop native-like fluency.  She taught Spanish for almost seven years at the former Andrew Jackson HS in Cambria Heights.  She has also taught Reading, English and ESL under ancillary licenses and worked in a children’s home in Jamaica West Indies.  Linda served several terms as President of the Special Education PTA and was a long-time parent member on the CPSE and CSE committees in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District.  She also served on the board of the Long Island Branch of the International Dyslexia Society, Linda is creative and enjoys reading and writing.  She believes that all children can learn and is excited to be at CHA, back in the classroom doing what she loves best.

Jill Kozlowski, ISS
ms.kozlowski@nycacademy.org

Dwayne Levene, SEP
mr.levene@nycacademy.org

Crystal Lauren, Mathematics
ms.lauren@nycacademy.org
Crystal Lauren was born and raised in the streets of many of NYC's finest boroughs.  She will always be a girl from Lower East Side, but she also spent a great deal of her life in the Bronx.  She has been teaching for 5 years at I.S. 93, her former school, and just graduated her final class of 8th graders. Prior to teaching, she worked in an animal hospital and spent a few years working at Columbia University as a security guard.  Ms. Lauren went to school upstate at Clarkson University, but received a double Bachelors degree from Hunter College in Economics and Sociology.  She is a NYC Teaching Fellow and graduated from Pace University with a Masters in Education. She is currently attending Queens College for Exercise, Nutrition, and Dietetics. Along with teaching, she is pursuing a bodybuilding/modeling career and is an avid boxer. She hopes to eventually train young female boxers in the city. Ms. Lauren has played all kinds of sports since she can remember and is pretty much an open book when asked respectfully.

Nathan Lim, ISS
mr.lim@nycacademy.org

Daniel Lindner, Science
mr.lindner@nycacademy.org
Mr. Lindner was raised in Long Island, NY. He received his Bachelors of Arts at Hofstra University, majoring in Biology. After earning his Bachelors, Mr. Lindner was the field research assistant for Dr. Myla Aronson of Hofstra University. Mr. Lindner worked with high school students throughout Long Island by mentoring them on how to conduct a proper experiment. Mr. Lindner continued his education by attending
SUNY Old Westbury, earning his Masters in Biology Secondary Education. Mr. Lindner is looking forward to teaching Living Environment at Cambria Heights Academy, and is committed to preparing students for their academic and professional careers.

Andrew Lotosky, ISS

Raquel Mejia, Guidance Counselor
ms.mejia@nycacademy.org

Rebecca Merz, English

Nkechia Ng-A-Qui, Science
ms.ng-a-qui@nycacademy.org

Kristen O'Brien, Art/Technology

Ms. O’Brien possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and an MAT in Visual Arts from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  After spending some years living out-of-state and obtaining her degrees, she traveled and worked in different educational settings before returning to her native Long Island and working in a charter school environment here in Queens.  After almost a decade of teaching, she is thrilled to be in a position working with students in a digital capacity and engaging CHA’s students in the world of communicating through images. When not studying or working, she enjoys spend time outdoors and travelling with her family.


Parradine Pantin, Science

ms.pantin@nycacademy.org


Toni-Marie Powers, SEP
ms.powers@nycacademy.org


Josh Schulman, ELA
Josh Schulman has been teaching ELA and Literacy for nine years. He received his undergraduate degree in English and Secondary Education from SUNY Geneseo, and his Masters degree in Fiction Writing from Queens College. An amateur writer, filmmaker, and musician, Mr. Schulman brings his love of all forms of literacy into the classroom. He is a strong advocate for the use of technology in education, believing that technological literacy is an essential ingredient of success in a 21st Century world.

Ted Wallace, English
Graduated from The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a Bachelor's Degree in English and a history minor, Theodore Wallace brings a unique array of cultural experience and knowledge to Cambria Heights Academy. As the teacher for 12th grade ELA and video-making, Mr. Wallace does his best to bring this knowledge and experience to the forefront of his classroom while having students tap into their own. Currently attaining a Masters degree in English Adolescent Education through New Visions' Urban Teacher Residency program, Mr. Wallace brings his growing academic expertise into the classroom from day to day.