We are proud to have the most amazing staff at A.P. Morris Early Childhood Center. Meet some of our amazing teachers, paraprofessionals, and aides that make A.P. Morris a great place to BEE!
Mrs. Donna Burkat - Pre-K
"I want to express my utmost gratitude to the families of Hillside. I will be retiring at the end of this school year after 32 years in the Hillside School District. I chose teaching as a second career beginning in 1989. I grew up on Leslie street until the age of 12. My roots are felt deeply in Hillside and I want to wish all of my students and families from the beginning to my last special class of the three-year-olds a wonderful future. I had so much fun with all of the young children I taught .I always learned new things about life, myself, and the art of teaching along the way. I will always believe that teaching is the most noble profession so don’t discourage your own children from becoming a teacher!"
Mrs. Lisa Aiello - Grade 1
"I enjoy teaching. I like to take walks outside right now. My favorite place to be is at the beach. I love watching and listening to the sounds of the ocean."
Ms. Shaquana Jordan - Paraprofessional
"My name is Ms. Shaquana Jordan and I have been working for Hillside Public Schools for 14 years. I have an associate's degree in Social Services from Union County College and bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Health from Kean University. Currently, I am pursuing my master’s degree in Social Work at Kean University’s Nathan Weiss Graduate College. Over the years I have completed several theological training programs and now I am a licensed Evangelist. I have also been a volunteer Pop Warner cheerleading coach in Elizabeth for 16 years. My personal motto is “Learn, live, love and dance!” and I absolutely love working with the Pre-K 3 students at A.P. Morris!"
Mrs. Lorayne Castiglione - Physical Therapy
"My name is Lorayne Castiglione and I am a physical therapist for the past 32 years. I have been here in Hillside schools since 2003. Graduated from Hunter College with a B.S. in Physical Therapy in 1986, M.S in Physical Therapy in 1990 and I just completed my Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree this month. Nothing makes me happier than watching my scholars accomplish a new skill and achieve a new goal."
Mr. Joseph Bowen - Physical Education
Ms. Irsa Sheikh - Grade 1
"My name is Irsa Sheikh and I love being a first grade teacher at A.P.Morris. I am originally from Hillside, and feel so blessed to be able to teach in the same town that I grew up and went to school in. At home, I am married to my husband Irfan and have my two darlings, Aiza who is 3 years old and Adam who is 3 months old. I love cooking, traveling, and trying to beat Aiza in CandyLand. I miss you all and hope to see everyone soon!"
Ms. Jazzmine Washington - Pre-K
"I love teaching prekindergarten and have done so for the past 5 years . I have a Bachelors in Psychology from New Jersey City University as well as a Masters in Teaching Early Childhood Education . Currently pregnant with my first child and can’t wait for him to arrive!"
Ms. Tamare Docsol - Paraprofessional
Ms. Cheila Cardoso - Paraprofessional
"Ms. Cheila Is a paraprofessional for Pre-K 4!"
Mr. Eugene Daniels - Pre-K
"I am Mr. Eugene Daniels and I am proud to say that I am a Pre-K 3 teacher at the A.P. Morris Early Childhood Center School in Hillside, New Jersey. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Seton Hall University. From the New Jersey State Department of Education, I have received a Standard P 3 Certificate in Early Childhood Education and a Standard Elementary Education certificate. I have been teaching in the State of New Jersey for more than 20 years and started out as a substitute teacher. I have taught Pre-k all the way up to high school students in New Jersey and I am glad to say that I enjoyed teaching my Pre-k classes most."
Mrs. Elfreida Eubanks - Pre-K
"I have been privileged to work in the Hillside District for 5 blissful years. I have always wanted to work with children. I am a Special Education Teacher and I believe that "every child can learn" as long as he/she has the appropriate teacher! As Nelson Mandela stated, "Educstion is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Teachers will be instrumental in this process!"
Ms. Nereida Del Rio - Aide
"My name is Nereida Del Rio. I am a One on One Aide. I am originally from The Bronx, born and raised. I have an Associates Degree in Business and have been living in New Jersey for the past 8 years. I have been a part of this team for a year now and I am very fortunate to be a part of both growth and development of each and every child I have worked with."
Ms. Christina Lubrano - Pre-K
"Ms. Lubrano has been working in Hillside for 5 years as a student teacher, paraprofessional, and currently as a Preschool Self-Contained teacher at A.P. Morris. She currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Montclair State University in Family and Child Studies with a concentration in School Settings, Preschool-3rd grade. Ms. Lubrano recently received her Master’s Degree in Special Education at Rowan University. During her free time, Ms. Lubrano enjoys spending time with her dog, Stella, as well as her family and friends. She misses her colleagues and scholars so much, and can’t wait to pick up where they left off! “Together, we can get through anything!”"
Ms. Joyce Mickens - Paraprofessional
"Masters in PA, notary public, employed with Hillside 15 years; 7 with APM, live in Hillside, love our children, like our staff, certified believer. I am an educator, mother, citizen, and strive for community awareness."
Ms. Stephanie Rodrigues - PIRT Specialist
Ms. Nicole Travis - Pre-K
"I have been teaching Prek for 12 years and each year the learning and the love gets better and better every year. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education and I am currently in a master's program in Special Education/Learning Disabilities Teaching Consultant. I chose early childhood because I wanted to mold minds at the beginning of their educational journey which is very important. Teaching is my passion and my students are my joy!"
Ms. Lindsay Williams - Kindergarten-Grade 2
"Lindsay Williams has been teaching for 7 years at A.P. Morris. Ms. Williams is currently a K – 2 special education teacher. Ms. Williams graduated from Albright College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in family studies. She also received teaching certifications in early childhood, elementary with a math specialization and students with disabilities. She recently received her masters in Curriculum and Instruction: Applied Behavior Analysis. During her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and hanging out with her family and friends. Ms. Williams misses her class as they make each and every day exciting and rewarding."
Mr. Jeffrey Spychalski - Kindergarten Instructional Assistant
"My name is Jeff Spychalski. I have been with AP Morris for the past 8 years. Teaching is my passion and I truly enjoy educating our scholars. Outside of school, I enjoy music, hiking, and sports. Stay safe everyone!"
Ms. Tracy Williams - Kindergarten - Grade 2
"Ms. Tracy J. Williams, Ed.S, has had the pleasure of teaching uniquely gifted students for the last 12 years. She has served as a Special Education Teacher to students in grades ranging from Kindergarten to postgraduate students who have cognitive, physical and medically fragile disabilities. Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts degree in Special Education, and a Specialist in Education degree in Educational Leadership. Ms. Williams is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., which is the first historically African American Greek-lettered sorority. Ms. Williams is a 4-time winner of “Showtime at the Apollo” and a trained musician in organ, piano, drums and singing. Ms. Williams truly has a heart for teaching special education students. She considers it a blessing to be able to contribute to her scholars’ academic and social growth and success."
Ms. Brenda Batts - Pre-K
Mrs. Daniela Fonseca - Grade 1 Title 1
"My name is Daniela Fonseca and I am blessed to be one of the Title 1 teachers at A.P. Morris. I have been teaching first grade at APM both with my own classroom and now as Title 1 for 15 years. I adore working with all of my littles and teaching them new things each day! I attended Montclair State University where I got my Bachelor's degree as well as Walden University where I got my Master's Degree in Education. I was born in Portugal and raised in Elizabeth ,NJ. At home I have my wonderful hubby Bruno of 12 years and my two munchkins Noah and Nylee. When I am not teaching I am spending time with them, eating out, shopping or probably on my Peloton. Can't wait to see everyone again! Miss you so much !"
Mrs. Jeanie Ruban - Guidance Counselor - Grades K and 1
"I am Jeanie Perrotta Ruban, School Counselor at A.P. Morris School and Calvin Coolidge School. This is my 20th year working in Hillside! I taught 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade before becoming a counselor. I was recently inducted into the NY JETS Fan Hall of Fame! I love the New York Jets, I love my family and I love working in Hillside! :)"
Mrs. Sabina Espada - Grade 1 Title 1
"My name is Sabina Espada. I have been blessed to teach in Hillside for 36 years, as both a Kindergarten and Title 1 teacher. I am so lucky to teach the wonderful children of Hillside and work with the most amazing teachers, administrators and staff . I love, love, love my job!!!!"
Ms. Priyanka Verma - Paraprofessional
Ms. Sohyla Sayedahmed - Pre-K
"My name is Ms. Sayedahmed and this is my third year teaching. I graduated from Rutgers University in 2016 with a BA in Child Psychology and Women's & Gender Studies and graduated from NJCU in 2019 with a Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education. I am currently a Preschool Self Contained teacher at AP Morris. I am blessed to be part of the Hillside family. Teaching is a passion that runs in my blood; my mother is also a teacher at Hillside High School. In my spare time I like to go hiking, binge watch Netflix, eat out, and spend time with family and friends."
Ms. Leonela Teran - Pre-K
Mrs. Sharon Greenblatt - Pre-K
"For the past 15 years, I have had the honor and privilege to be a part of the APMECC family. I am currently teaching Prek-4 and I can’t wait to see my little friends again. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Queens College and a Master’s degree in Family and Community Education from Columbia University. When I am not tending our school garden, I enjoy walking the streets of Hillside, hiking, and spending quality time with my family."
Mrs. Vesela Manoilova - Music
"My name is Mrs. Manoilova and I feel privileged to teach General Music at A.P. Morris School because I love my job and I love working with the children! I hold a Bachelor’s degree in classical singing from The State Academy of Sofia, Bulgaria. I had the opportunity to tour Europe and the U.S.A. with a small opera company shortly after my graduation. My first teaching job was as a substitute music and general classroom teacher in several Pre-K-5 schools located in Brooklyn, NY. I graduated Hunter College in New York City and received my Master’s degree in Music Education. I had a wonderful teaching experience during my internships at Talent Unlimited High School and Hunter Elementary School located in New York City. I started my first music teaching journey at The Lorge School in New York City. I have been teaching in Hillside since 2008."
Ms. Kimberly Galvao - Grade 1 Inclusion
"My name is Kimberly Galvao. I graduated from Kean University with a bachelors degree in Special Education/Elementary Education with a content area in Mathematics. I was born and raised in Hillside, New Jersey and attended Hillside public schools. I completed my student teaching at A.P. Morris school in Kindergarten and started my teaching career as a First Grade Inclusion Teacher in January here at APM. I love working with my wonderful staff, administrators and my little ones. Teaching is my passion and I am so proud to be giving back to the same community that taught me as a young girl"
Mrs. Maryellen Hardy - Pre-K Inclusion
"I am honored to be teaching the children of Hillside Public Schools for the past 6 yrs. I have taught for the past 29 yrs, 12 yrs I stayed home with my 3 kids.I have a Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education/Special Education with a minor in Speech. I have Masters of Science degree in Special Education. Both degrees from St.John's University, NY. I am reminded everyday of my " calling" is to reach, teach and educate all children. In my spare time, I like to bike, hike, camp, beach and cook with my family!"
Mrs. Cynthia Drefko - Kindergarten
"My name is Cindy Drefko and I am blessed that I have been a part of the Hillside family for 20 years. I began teaching Kindergarten at Hurden Looker School before moving to A.P. Morris when the Early Childhood Center first opened. I've been on amazing journey! I stepped out of the classroom to work to accelerate our most struggling students as a Reading Recovery teacher for a number of years, which was incredibly rewarding. Then I returned to the Kindergarten classroom where I've been happy ever since. My students never cease to amaze me. There is nothing greater than the look on a child's face when they've learned something new. They bring me joy and make me proud to be a teacher every day."
Ms. Rosa Jackson - Pre-K
"My name is Rosa Jackson...My years in Hillside have been many. My motto is you give the best to your scholars they will not disappoint. It has been a pleasure to prepare them for their future."
Mr. Joseph Scanzillo - Paraprofessional
"My name is Joseph Scanzillo. I graduated St. Peters college in 2008, with a BA in History and Kean University in 2017 with a MA in special education. I've been working as a paraprofessional, for the last several years for Green Brook, Westfield and most recently at Hillside. At A.P. Morris School I work with Ms. Batts and together we try our to make sure each of our scholars achieves their personal best."
Mrs. Jessica Sousa - Pre-K
"I have been teaching Prek-in Hillside for the last 10 years. I miss my scholars and can't wait to play together again. "Don't give up! I believe in you all. A person's a person, no matter how small.""
Mrs. Margaret Styler - Pre-K
"Hello! My name is Maggie Styler. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kean University in 2012 with my BA in Elementary Education (K-8) and subject matter specialization in English/Language Arts. I later earned my Special Education teaching certificate through Kean University’s Nathan Weiss Graduate College and my Early Childhood (P-3) certificate through Monmouth University. This is my sixth year as a Preschool Self-Contained teacher at A.P. Morris. In my spare time, I enjoy teaching tap dancing, going for walks and spending time with my family. I absolutely love what I do and feel truly honored to be a part of the A.P. Morris family!"
Ms. Kaliopi Maris - Paraprofessional
"My name is Kaliopi Maris! I am originally from Greece! In 2001 I moved to the United States and have been living in Cranford ever since. I graduated Kean University in 2016 with a Bachelor or Arts in Spanish! I have been working in Hillside for the past five years and I absolutely love it! In my free time I like to spend time with my family and friends! I also love hanging out with my puppy and spoiling her! I like to live each day with a purpose and always ready for a new adventure!"
Mrs. Grace Ogunnowo - Paraprofessional
"I am a Nigerian-American, and I studied Education in Nigeria (NCE Cert.) before I moved to the United States. I then proceeded to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Post Bac. in Early Childhood P3 in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
I love working with Hillside schools and have been, for over 10 years. I love my APM scholars and miss them so much. I can't wait to see them all.
I want to say thank you to our parents for working hand in hand with us always. Gracias!"
Ms. Yanisbel Fernandez - Paraprofessional
"My name is Yanisbel Fernandez, but the kids Know me as Ms F. I am originally from Cuba. I came to New Jersey 10 years ago. I am a paraprofessional and I join the APM family 2 years ago now. I like my job and I enjoy spending time helping my students. I miss their smiling faces, and I miss you all."
Ms. Ariela Borgen - Occupational Therapist