About » Faculty/Staff

Faculty/Staff

  Kiri Soares co-founded the Urban Assembly of Math and Science for Young Women in 2006. 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.
  Annie joined UAI in 2016 as a school dean. A long-time Urban Assembly teacher, 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. Annie majored in history and graduated from the University of Minnesota. 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.

Jen Cusa, Director of School Culture

Room 301 - ext. 30111: jenc@uainstitute.org

  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 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.

Val Binyard, Assistant Principal 

Room 302 - ext. 30211; valb@uainstitute.org

  Val Binyard joined UAI in 2008 as a Special Education service provider. From the start, Val dedicated her work to supporting our neediest students and working closely with her peers to develop strategies and interventions that could be used for all.  This year Val will re-enter the classroom working closely with our 10th social studies and 11th grade science teachers.  In addition, her work will be focused on student recruitment and enrollment, STARS systems and support, and on supervising our Arts and ELL departments.