Faculty/Staff

UC Berkeley, BA in Philosophy & Education
Masters in Teaching and Administration
 
Kiri Soares co-founded the Urban Assembly of Math and Science for Young Women in 2006 with the goal of targeting the gender disparity of women in STEM fields, through nurturing their interest and developing their capabilities in math and science. Kiri earned her BA in Philosophy & Education from UC Berkeley and completed two masters degrees (one in teaching from San Francisco State University and one in administration from Mercy College). She has worked as a teacher, instructional coach, assistant principal, and principal in the NYCDOE since 1997.
Augsburg University, Bachelor's Degree
Manhattanville College, Master's Degree in Education
City College of NY, Master's Degree in School Leadership
 
"There is fire in the flint and steel, but it is friction that causes it to flash, flame and burn, and give light where all else may be darkness. There is music in the violin, but the touch of the master is needed to fill the air and the soul with the concord of sweet sounds. There is power in the human mind, but education is needed for its development."   - Blessings of Liberty and Education,  Frederick Douglass
 
A long-time Urban Assembly teacher and leader, Annie is deeply familiar with our family of schools and the unique mission we all share in preparing students to graduate from both high school and college. Now an Assistant Principal, Annie leads our Artisan Teaching work. With Kiri, Annie works to provide teachers and staff the pedagogical support and feedback needed to grow pedagogical practice and increase the quality of instruction.
SBL Credential: Bank Street College
Teaching Credential: Brooklyn College
MA Modern History: University of Glasgow
BA History: Loyola University Maryland
 
“If we want to break the school-to-prison pipeline, if we want to abolish the prison-industrial complex, if we want to create schools that nourish the intellectual imagination of younger generations, then we have to dismantle the structures and ideologies of racism, and we need to start right now.” -Angela Davis
 
Brodie is entering his 13th year of teaching Social Studies, having come to UAI as a career changer in the school's second year.
SUNY Binghamton/New York University Steinhardt
 
“Every child deserves a champion—an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.”  - Rita Pierson Ed.D.
 
I am an enthusiastic and passionate teacher committed to providing a well-balanced, supportive and engaging learning environment for ALL students
B.S. Political Science- Old Dominion University; M.S. Humanities with a specialization in Identity and Globalization- Old Dominion University
 
"The purpose of education...is to create in a person the ability to look at the world for himself, to make his own decisions" - James Baldwin
 
Helping foster and maintain an environment that is emotionally and physically safe for our school community. This includes both proactive and reactive systems to ensure productive solutions when problems may arise while also teaching into skills such as positive conflict resolution, mediation and empathy. 
 
While not in school you can usually find me in my run club, running around Prospect Park with my dog, playing D&D or fanatically yelling about the legacy and future of the Detroit Pistons or Arsenal FC.
Masters in Education (Brooklyn College), BFA in Theater (Brooklyn College), BA in TV/Radio Communications (Brooklyn College)
 
"The object of teaching a child is to enable him [or her] to get along without his [or her] teacher."  - Elbert Hubbard
 
Damon is entering his tenth year of teaching, all of them at UAI. He is also in his 10th year of serving as an Officer in the NJ Army National Guard. Damon proudly fulfills the role of assistant coach of the Adams Street Lady Eagles Varsity Basketball team, who have consistently placed as one of the top teams in the city for the past 6 years.
Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, Florida A&M University
Master of Arts in Leisure Sports and Recreation, Florida A&M University
 
"Decide what it is you want learn. Write it down. Make a plan. THEN.... Work on it. EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!"
 
We have a competitive athletic program: Adams Street Academy which includes our entire campus. Our High School basketball team makes the playoffs every year. They even competed in the Championship game during the 2019 Season. Our Volleyball and Soccer teams have also made the playoffs recently and are excited to continue to excel. The most recent team we have added to our program is Middle School Basketball.
Diploma as a Translator and Interpreter from Scuola Superiore per Interpreti e Traduttori - Milano (Italy)
Hunter College - BA in Italian and Spanish and Master in Education
Certification in Italian and Spanish.
Taught Italian at Hunter College.
 
“Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” - Confucius
 
Proud member of the UAI family since 2007, I have been teaching multiple languages (Italian, Spanish and French). I am the mother of three children now in their 20's.  Prior to teaching I have worked as a translator, interpreter, in PR as well as in TV production.  I love traveling, cooking, reading, movies and enjoy any kind of art.

B.S. Social Studies Education (History Emphasis) from Grand Valley State University
 
"For history, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations." - James Baldwin
BA, Cortland University
Masters Degree specializing in Students with Disabilities
 
I attended Cortland University where I received my Bachelor's Degree in Childhood Education. I later earned my Master's Degree for Students with Disabilities. I became a middle school teacher for 5 years where I taught Science and Mathematics. I am now eager and excited to be joining the UAI team!
Medgar Evers College, B.A in Behavioral Science
 
"Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it" - Marian Wright Edelman
 
My name is Jelissa Adams I am a mother to three beautiful girls. I attended Medgar Evers College where I obtained my B.A in Behavioral Science. I am currently pursuing a MSEd in School and Mental Health Counseling. Also, I am the Founder of SFWEDO, a non profit where the primary focus is to help provide essential supplies to family that are in need. Helping others has always been my passion. I believe that it takes a village to raise a child and most of all We are STRONGER TOGETHER than APART.
 
BA, University of Massachusetts
MSW, Hunter College
 
Jen Cusa is a licensed Master Social Worker and joined UAI in 2007. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a BA in Social Thought and Political Economy. She went on to receive her Masters in Social Work from Hunter College. Jen's work emphasizes the implementation of social emotional learning (SEL) practices and creating school-wide policies that promote positive learning environments. Jen supervises our team of counselors and social workers and provides structured SEL support to ensure student success. Building on this SEL work, Jen also supervises our parent coordinator to facilitate strong family-school relationships.
East Carolina University, Child Development & Family Relations, BS
Long Island University, School Counseling, MS Ed.
 
"No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship" Dr. J. Comer
"Every child is gifted - they just unwrap their packages at different times"
Bachelors in Civil Engineering and Masters in Construction Management from NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Masters in Education from Relay Graduate School of Education
currently a JD candidate at Brooklyn Law School
Bachelors in History and Adolescent Education from SUNY Geneseo
Masters in Teaching from Clarkson University
Bachelor's - Stonehill College
Master's - Pace University
 
My goal is to help young women achieve great success.
 
I enjoy running and playing guitar.
St. John's College, BA in Liberal Arts
New York University, MA in TESOL
 
"Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving the world better than you found it." - Marian Wright Edelman
 
I am a life-long English as a New Language teacher. My parents were diplomats, so I grew up in various countries, including the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Norway and the Philippines. In school, I was always the buddy for new kids who didn’t know English. As a teacher, I have taught all ages from Pre-K to college. In my free time, I like to hike, cook, ski, study languages and learn about different cultures. I can speak Spanish as well as some French and Serbian. I have also studied Russian, Czech, Japanese, Ancient Greek, and Norwegian.
Bachelor of Science, Davidson College - Psychology
Masters of Science in Education, Fordham University - Mental Health Counseling
 
"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." - Fred Rogers
 
I meet with many of the students individually and in groups, and help our eighth graders and their families with the high school application process. I also support our school with recruitment, reaching out to elementary and middle schools around Brooklyn to speak about our school and inviting their families to come check us out.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst BA in Psychology and NYU, MSW
 
"You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it." - Maya Angelou
B.A. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Theater
M.A. New York University, Special Education
 
“A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.” - Helen Keller
 
I am an avid knitter & crocheter. I have a pitbull named Griffin.
BA, Williams College
MS, American Museum of Natural History
 
"We look at science as something very elite, which only a few people can learn. That's just not true. You just have to start early and give kids a foundation. Kids live up, or down, to expectations." - Mae Jemison, first African American woman in space
 
Nakita VanBiene (pronouns: they/them/theirs) is excited to join the UAI community this year as an Earth Science teacher. They studied Geosciences at Williams College in Massachusetts before moving to New York City, where they assistant taught geometry. They then pursued their Masters in Teaching Earth Science at the American Museum of Natural History, where they were able to make many connections between Earth Science and New York City. This shaped how Nakita views education--they want their students to be able to look around and see science anywhere and everywhere. Nakita wants their students to see themselves as scientists, who can one day expand the field of science to include and celebrate more diverse voices and experiences.
BA Psychology, Hunter College
Undergraduate: Dowling College, BA in Education
Graduate: Stony Brook University, MA in History
 
I am a native New Yorker and have made it my life's work to educate students, give back to the communities that I grew up in and to create a better world for our children to live in. I have been working in the field of education for more than 10 years and look forward to many more. While I am not teaching, I am traveling the world with my son, watching foreign television shows, reading, dancing and creating DIY crafts.
BA - Lehigh University, PA
MS - St. John's University, NY
 
“Education must not simply teach work - it much teach life” - W.E.B. Du Bois
BA, Hampshire College
 
“I would rather have questions that can't be answered than answers that can't be questioned.” - Richard Feynman
 
Hobbies: flying FPV drones, writing fractal software, playing GO
Stonybrook University (Undergrad) and Hunter College (Graduate School)
 
“The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy.” - Bell Hooks
North Greenville University (BA), Converse College (MA), Point Loma (Admin)
 
"The classroom, with all its limitations, remains a location of possibility. In that field of possibility we have the opportunity to labor for freedom, to demand of ourselves and our comrades, an openness of mind and heart that allows us to face reality even as we collectively imagine ways to move beyond boundaries, to transgress. This is education as the practice of freedom." - Bell Hooks
 
For me, teaching is more than a job; it's a calling, a craft, a catalyst for change. It is the most challenging and rewarding career I can imagine.
BA, English, Boston College
MA, Arts of the Americas, The University of New Mexico
MA, Art History, Columbia University
M.Phil, Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art History & Archaeology, Columbia University
MA, Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Teachers College.
 
"Progressive education, education as the practice of freedom, enables us to confront feelings of loss and restore our sense of connection. It teaches us how to create community." - Bell Hooks, Teaching Community: a Pedagogy of Hope
 
My job is to develop students' academic literacy. I teach an academic writing course and work with students who are learning English across all content areas.
BA English and Communication University Delaware, M.A.T. English 7-12 Stony Brook University
 
"A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a foo." - As You Like It by William Shakespeare
B.A. University of Washington, Seattle
M.S. Pace University
 
“We ignore public understanding of science at our peril” - Eugenie Clark, aka the 'Shark Lady' 
BA Anthropology, Oberlin College
MA Applied Linguistics, University of Illinois/Chicago
MA Adolescent Education/Social Studies, Long Island University
 
"History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely be otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations." - James Baldwin
 
Professor of English as a Foreign Language at Sophia University, Tokyo Japan 1992-2013. Former music critic, The Japan Times
BA in Secondary Education with specialization in Earth Science - Dowling College
MA from the School of Professional Development - Stony Brook University
 
"You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas" - Shirley Chisholm