Skip to main content

The STEM Teaching Staff


Mrs. Amal Abdelhafez
Teacher of Mathematics

She received a Bachelor of Civil Engineer from Egypt.  The love of learning brought her back to William Paterson University to receive a certificate to teach Mathematics, then M.Ed. in Curriculum & Learning: Mathematics in High School as well as a supervisor endorsement. She also received a 2016 M.Ed. in Curriculum and Learning Award for Excellence in Scholarship. She enjoys traveling overseas. She also likes to play on line math games like Sudoku, Kakuro, …etc. Visit her website:



 Mathew  C. Acheril
Teacher of Mathematics

I joined Kennedy High School as a direct route Math teacher in 1998. I hold two Bachelor’s degrees, one in Mathematics and the other in Education. I also possess a Pure Math Master’s degree with a minor in Statistics from a U.S. accredited university (Kerala University, India). I have a NJ State standard certificate as High School Math Teacher. Currently I am teaching Geometry in the STEM Academy. I have taught all branches of Math including AP Calculus. Teaching is my favorite job.  I acquired this love from my parents as they were both teachers. My hobbies include playing badminton with my children and reading.                  


Muhammad Syed Ali


Hermes Almeida

Teacher of English

Mr. Almeida graduated from Colgate University with Honors in English, an Education minor, and a Certificate to teach English in Secondary School.  He received a Masters in Fine Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Seattle, Washington.  He has taught in colleges and universities in New Jersey and in Mexico, where he obtained a Certificate for Overseas Teachers of English from Cambridge University. His writing has been published in various literary journals and was included in the anthology Wildsong. His hobbies include painting, writing, playing music, reading, and tennis.

Brenda Alvarez


Maria Anderson

Teacher of World Languages



Dr. Maria Anderson is a World Languages teacher. She received her B.A. and M.Ed. from William Paterson University, and her Ed.D. from Kean University. She is also an Adjunct Professor at William Paterson and an ESL teacher in her community. Dr. Anderson volunteers as a Commissioner for the Board of Education in her town. In her free time, she likes to travel, biking, kayaking and reading.








Somia Benali

Math Teacher

Prior to start teaching Mrs. Benali studied chemistry in France and worked in Chemistry Company for  9 years.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in mathematics education from Montclair State University in 2013. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in pure and applied mathematics. She enjoys traveling to different places, and loves to spend time with her family.

Renel Berthold

Carl Cascone


Steven Dinnerman
Teacher of History

Mr. Dinnerman has taught in the Paterson Public Schools since 2008. He first taught at International High School, then School 25, and now at the STEM Academy since 2014. He is also the basketball coach of the Dr. Hani Awadallah School. Mr. Dinnerman received his bachelors and masters degree in education from West Virginia University. He also took additional administration classes at Kean University. He holds certifications in Elementary K-5, Middle School Social Studies, and 5-12 Social Studies Education as well as a Supervisor Certificate. In his spare time he enjoys playing sports and traveling.

Andrew Esposito

Carlo Estime



Mark Ferlanti


Ms. Garcia
Special Education Teacher
has been teaching in our school since 2008. Prior to become a member of our team, Ms. Garcia worked as Spanish Teacher in the Department of Children and Family for the state of New Jersey working with challenging behavior students, as well as severe disabled children between the ages 3-21. She has been providing special education services in the inclusion setting in the Social Studies and Science Departments.

Ms. Garcia earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from William Paterson University in January 2008, and earned a Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2013 from Grand Canyon University.

Her philosophy of education is that every child has the potential to learn the curriculum content regardless any physical and mental disabilities with appropriate modifications, and providing opportunities for success in the classroom, and out of school by building good relationships with students, parents, and guardians.

Ms. Garcia enjoys traveling to learn new places, and loves to spend time with her four children and family.


Christine Gish
Teacher of Special Education

Mrs. Gish graduated from the University of Dayton with a BA in Sociology and minors in English and Anthropology. She is certified K-12 History-Social Studies, English-Language Arts, and Special Education. She spent fifteen years in the field of Human Resources Management and Employee Relations before becoming a teacher. Mrs. Gish has taught grades 5 through 12, more recently teaching four years at Ridgewood High School as a Special Education English teacher. Mrs. Gish has been married to her high school sweetheart for 30 years and has two adult daughters.


Eric Glatz

History Teacher
Physics Club & National History Day Advisor

Mr. Glatz is a veteran of the United States Army, having served as a medic in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2005 - 2006.  He earned his bachelor degree in history from William Paterson University in 2007.  He enjoys hiking and cross-country skiing in the New Jersey highlands near Paterson.






Jordan Goldson
Teacher of English & Special Education

Mr. Goldson is a teacher at the STEM Academy and a member of both the English Department as well as the Special Education Department. Mr. Goldson earned a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island and earned his M.Ed. from Montclair State University.


Brian Grilk
Physics/Engineering Teacher

Robotics Club Advisor
Mr. Grilk has been teaching at STEM for ten years.  After teaching various Science Disciplines, Mr. Grilk helped to write the curriculum for the Engineering Pathway and teaches Engineering classes now full time.In addition to his classroom duties, he also is an Advisor for the award winning JFK Robotics Team since 2009.He earned his Bachelor Degree in Biology from Felician University.  Mr. Grilk is an avid Martial Artist and has a 3rd Degree Black Belt in MMA.  He also enjoys downhill Skiing, motorcycling, and amateur radio

Nikolas Hariaou

Edward Henderson
Teacher of History

Mr. Henderson graduated from New Jersey City University with a B.A. in History in May, 2010. Upon completion of his degree, Mr. Henderson began his teaching career at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center where he taught history from 2010-2014. In 2014 he began his career in the Paterson Public Schools as a Social Studies teacher at STEM Academy. In his spare time Mr. Henderson enjoys spending time with his family and coaching his sons’ T-Ball teams.

Danielle Hoffman



Ian Laffler

Business Teacher
Prior to teaching Mr. Laffler worked in the financial services industry for 7 years.  He graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 2006 with a bachelor's in International Business.  Mr. Laffler also studied Spanish at Saint Luis University in Madrid, Spain.  During the summer months Mr. Laffler is an instructor at the Upward Bound Math & Science Program at Ramapo College.  Outside of his professional responsibilities he enjoys traveling and spending time with his daughter.




Gillian Leigh

Teacher of Students with Disabilities

Ms. Leigh is a graduate of the College of Saint Elizabeth with a degree in English and secondary education. After teaching high school English for a number of years, Ms. Leigh took time away from education to spend with her family and to cultivate her talents by establishing a pet services business. She then attended Bloomfield College where she earned additional teacher certifications including Teacher of Students with Disabilities, which has always been the area of highest interest for her. Over the course of her career, Ms. Leigh has had the benefit of teaching at all levels of education: early childhood, elementary school, middle school, high school, and college. It is with great pleasure that Ms. Leigh has returned to the high school setting where she feels best suited. Outside of the school day, Ms. Leigh enjoys reading about and working toward her quest for personal enrichment, going to the movies, and spending time with her young daughter Julianne and her two Chihuahua mixes Sofiebear and Honeybear.

 Ryan Maddock

Marianne McCoshen


Dua Obeidallah

William Osborne


Carrie Patterson

Teacher of English and Dual Enrollment
Ms. Patterson earned her BA in English and M.Ed. at William Paterson University.  She served as an adjunct professor at her alma mater from 2008-2015.   In her spare time, Ms. Patterson enjoys reading and going to the theatre.




Mindy S. Prosperi

Science and Technology Teacher

Mrs. Prosperi is an alternate route teacher having spent many years in marketing for a major Electronics company and traveling extensively throughout the United States and Internationally.  She has been teaching high school in Paterson since 2009 teaching both
biology and now also technology.  In addition to her students, her passion is volunteering in animal rescue.

Kathleen Renegar

Manuel Rodriguez

Amal Saad

Teacher of Mathematics

Mrs. Saad has a Bachelor's degree from Cairo University in Egypt and a Master's degree from New Jersey University.  Mrs. Saad enjoys gardening; she grows and well maintains fig trees, apricot, peaches, blueberry and grapes.


Josie Sanchez

World Language Teacher
Member of the I&RS committee, instructor of the

Batter Up! Program and mentor of a novice teacher.

Mrs. Sánchez is an alumnus of John F. Kennedy Complex.  She earned her Bachelor degree in Spanish from William Paterson University in 1996 and she enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with her family.

Andrew Santiago

     Kathleen Sayad




Young Suh

Teacher of Music

Ms. Suh earned her BA in Neuroscience from Lehigh University and earned her second BA and MA in Opera from Temple University. 

Ms. Suh has worked in medical research in the field of Neurology, namely in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) Disease.

In her spare time, she likes to travel and play tennis.

Julie Vysotsky



Amal Zeidia