New York City

New York City

(in partnership with Math for America)

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Rayhan Ahmed

District 2

Rayhan Ahmed earned his BS in Biochemistry with a Minor in Computer Science from Binghamton University and MS in Bioengineering from City College. Mr. Ahmed began his decade long career teaching inquiry-based and culturally-relevant mathematics in the South Bronx. He currently teaches project-based inquiry chemistry and an innovative STEM course, with a dual emphasis on climate change and common-core aligned mathematics, at the Expeditionary Learning School for Community Leaders High School in Coney Island. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he serves as a crew leader, member of the team facilitating restorative justice practices, and is responsible for creating a professional learning community, one of his duties as an NYC Department of Education Model Teacher to support the development of his peers through meaningful, authentic and job-embedded professional development. Mr. Ahmed is a Nationally Board Certified Science Teacher, Math for America Master Teacher, New York State Master Teacher, a Senior Science and STEM Common Core Fellow for the New York City Department of Education as well an America Achieves Fellow. As a NYS Master Teacher, he is looking forward to participating in mini-courses, facilitating a National Board Certification Professional Learning Team, and collaborating with Master Teachers across the state.

Anna AnninaAnna Annina

District 14

Anna Annina earned her BS in biology with a minor in education from the City College of the City University of New York, MS in Biology from Long Island University and teaching certification in physics from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Prior to teaching, Ms. Annina worked as a research scientist at City College and at New York University. In the classroom for 20 years, she teaches Regents Chemistry and Regents Physics at Williamsburg Prep High School in Brooklyn. She has also taught Living Environment and Earth Science. Ms Annina is an active member of professional organizations such as Math for America serving as a Professional Learning Team (PLT) facilitator for chemistry. Within the NYS Master Teacher Program, she is looking forward to facilitating a PLT on “Core Six in the Science Classroom,” participating in upcoming mini-courses in the fall and attending in the Ashokan Retreat in August.

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Kate BelinKate Belin

District 2

Kate Belin earned her BA in Mathematics and Master of Arts in Teaching from Bard College.  For the past ten years, she has been teaching at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School, a small public school in the south Bronx that uses project based learning.  As a member of the New York Performance Standards Consortium, she is an active facilitator of workshops for teachers using projects and other formative assessments.  Ms. Belin works as a national trainer for their geometry curriculum with the Algebra Project, and has also taught courses as an adjunct professor in mathematics, teaching practice and classroom inquiry at Bard College and the City College of New York. Ms. Belin was a Math for America Fellow before joining the NYS Master Teacher Program, and was awarded the Sloan Award for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics. As a Master Teacher, Ms. Belin has facilitated multiple PLTs around project based learning, geometry and modeling in algebra.

Lauren BradyLauren Brady

District 9

Lauren Brady earned her BA in Psychology from New College of Florida and Master of Science for Teachers in Secondary Math Teaching from Pace University as a NYC Teaching Fellow.  At Park East High School for ten years, Ms. Brady teaches 12th grade Statistics and provides Academic Intervention Services to 9th graders, serves as Head of the Math Department, Programmer, and Advisor to At-Risk Seniors.  She is also part of the NYC Department of Education /United Federation of Teachers “Lead Teacher Program.”  As a Master Teacher, Ms. Brady participates in PLTs and mini-courses such as Data Analysis in the Math and Science Classrooms, Writer’s Workshop, and a Leadership Training Course.  She was also a Panelist for 100Kin10: ‘Extraordinary STEM Teachers across New York State’ and helped plan the 2014 NYS Master Teachers Professional Development Retreat at Ashokan.  Outside of the classroom, Brady consults on the Statistics in Schools program for the U.S. Census Bureau.  Ms. Brady is a published poet and former Nuyorican National Slam Team Member; her work has appeared in a feature film spoken word documentary, an Off-Off-Broadway play and the New York International Fringe Festival.

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Cesar Ebonia

District 32

Cesar Ebonia earned both his BS in Mathematics and Master of Science in Teaching in Mathematics from Mindanao Polytechnic State College. In the classroom for 11 years, Mr. Ebonia teaches math at Voyages Prep – South Queens.

Geoffrey EnriquezGeoffrey Enriquez

District 2

Geoffrey Enriquez Jr. earned his BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California, Irvine and MS from St. John’s University. He has taught mathematics for the past 10 years in New York City public schools and currently teaches at Vanguard High School. Mr. Enriquez is an organizer for the Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference on Math Education and Social Justice, facilitates trainings as a Teacher Leader for the College Preparatory Mathematics program and has worked as a consultant for the Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity. As a teacher of a school in the New York Performance Standards Consortium, he has a focus on developing and implementing project-based learning to deepen student understanding of mathematical concepts.  He shares with his students that mathematics helps explain how the world works and that the ability to do mathematics is built into every human brain. Mr. Enriquez hopes to share, learn and discuss successful pedagogical practices from other educators in NYS to improve mathematics education for all students through the NYS Master Teacher program.

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Neil Farley

District 10

Neil Farley earned his BS in Civil Engineering from Drexel University, MS in Civil Engineering from University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and MA in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. In the classroom for 17 years, Mr. Farley teaches Regents Physics, Honors Physics and Advanced Placement Physics at Bronx High School of Science.

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Maria GiambancoMaria Giambanco

District 20

Maria Giambanco has always been fascinated by how and why things work.  As a child she remembers digging up worms and sticking them in jars so that she could see them build tunnels. She received her first microscope for her eighth birthday, which she still has.  Ms. Giambanco majored in biology at St. Joseph’s College and earned her MS in Biological Sciences from Hofstra University and her MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Ohio University. Having realized that she enjoyed teaching far more than her research interests, she applied to, and was accepted as a NYC Teaching Fellow in 2006, where she earned a third MS in Secondary Science Education. Ms. Giambanco has worked in the same NYC public school for the past nine years. Of her journey towards teaching, Ms. Giambanco says “I feel that my research experience has been a great asset for my students. It helps make science more real and relevant.”  In addition to being a NY State Master Teacher, she is a Math for America Master Science Teacher, a Fund for Teachers Travel Fellow and has been a New Visions for Public Schools mentor teacher.

Stacy GoldsteinStacy Goldstein

District 22

Stacy Goldstein earned her BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Binghamton University and MA in Science Education from Columbia University College, and is also a fellow in the New York City cohort at Math for America. In the classroom for ten years, Ms. Goldstein holds a dual certification in chemistry and biology and has taught both subjects, Science Research and Middle School Science. She currently teaches at Midwood High School in Brooklyn. Last year, Ms. Goldstein mentored a group of students to finish amongst the top groups in NYC in the Urban Barcode Project, a genetics research competition. Ms. Goldstein’s philosophy of science education emphasizes inquiry and development of deep content knowledge while students work collaboratively in a group. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Goldstein is looking forward to sharing her passion for science education with her colleagues and learning from them as well.

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Heather Hanson-Mohammed

District 8

Heather Hanson-Mohammed earned her BS in Biology from Norfolk State University and BA in Education from Adelphi University. In the classroom for eight years, Ms. Hanson-Mohammed teaches Chemistry, Forensic Science, Living Environment and Environmental Science at Holcombe L. Rucker School of Community Research.

Michael Holmes

District 28

Michael Holmes earned his BS and MS in chemistry from North Carolina Central University.  He became a chemistry teacher in New York City in 2003 and has been teaching for 12 years.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he has worked at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) developing science educational curriculum to create enhanced lesson plans for teachers using PBS episodes of Nature and AMNH exhibits. Mr. Holmes’s past accolades include selection as a New York University’s Jhumki Basu Fellow, a yearlong program to build expertise in teachers to successfully engage low-income minority youth in STEM education, and selection as an Astor Fellow at New York University to examine STEM education in China. As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Holmes facilitated a mini-Professional Learning Team on how to implement case studies in the classroom for his peers at the August NYS Master Teacher Program Ashokan professional retreat. Outside of the classroom, he is an active swimmer and runner competing in races for the last seven years.

Patrick HonnerPatrick Honner

District 13

Patrick Honner earned his BS in mathematics from Wayne State University, MA in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and his MEd in Mathematics Education from the City College of New York.  Mr. Honner has been teaching math in New York City for 13 years, covering everything from Introductory Algebra to Multivariable Calculus.  Throughout his career, Mr. Honner has been active in promoting mathematics around New York City, and has served in a variety of leadership roles in and outside of schools.  He has been a member of New York City's Math for America (MfA) since 2000, leading workshops on mathematical writing, mathematical art, technology, and social media over the years. Mr. Honner has also benefitted greatly from his participation in the MfA community. Mr. Honner frequently presents and writes about mathematics and teaching; he presents at local, national, and international conferences, and his work is featured in publications like, The New York Times and Math Horizons. In addition, he is very active in a variety of digital communities, and he shares his passion for mathematics and teaching through his personal website,  As a NYS Master Teacher, Mr. Honner looks forward to working with and learning from his fellow New York State Master Teacher colleagues.

Pheona Hunt

District 3

Pheona Hunt earned both her BS in Chemical Engineering and MS in Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and her MA in Education from The City College of New York. In the classroom for five years, Ms. Hunt teaches Chemistry and Forensics at the High School for Arts, Imagination and Inquiry.

Lavonne HunterLavonne Hunter

District 11

Lavonne Hunter earned a dual BA in psychology and Special Honors Curriculum, and MS in Secondary Adolescent Education in Biological Sciences from Hunter College. Trained as a research scholar in neurobiology, Ms. Hunter served as the Science Learning Coordinator of the Minority Access to Career (MARC) program coaching MARC scholars, and taught the fundamentals of biomedical research to undergraduate students for two years before teaching adolescents. Celebrating her 11th year in the classroom, Ms. Hunter teaches 8th Grade Science at Baychester Middle School. Over the last three years, she has spearheaded outreach events to showcase students as experts and to provide curriculum and science enrichment for parents. Known by her students as Coach Hunter, shemanifests her passion for cognitive science through continuous study and application of the growth mind-set model to advance students from learners to doers. Ms. Hunter actively shares her insights presenting workshops on student-led and place-based learning for the World Maker Faire, Alternative Education Resource Organization, and Math for America. Ms. Hunter garners inspiration from the quote: “The problem with the US educational system is that it rewards students for answering questions they never asked”. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Hunter is looking forward to learning from her peers, and presenting at the upcoming NYS MTP 2nd Annual Summer Ashokan Retreat.

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Alia JacksonAlia Jackson

District 21

Alia Jackson earned her BA in Physics from SUNY Plattsburgh and Master of Arts in Teaching in Physics from Stony Brook University. She is in her ninth year at Curtis High School, on Staten Island, NY, teaching International Baccalaureate Physics, Regents Physics and Regents Earth Science. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Mrs. Jackson mentors the Astronomy Research Club in collaboration with Rooftop Variables at Columbia University, as well as the Engineering Club.  Recent professional projects include research with the Columbia University, Cornell University, the Maria Mitchell Observatory in Nantucket, MA, and James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, preparing several academic papers for publication, and presentations at American Astronomical Society meetings and the Partners in Science National Conference.  Passionate about astronomy, Mrs. Jackson constantly encourages her students, friends, and fellow teachers to 'LOOK UP!’  As a Master Teacher, she has co-facilitated the Astronomy Professional Learning Team and has taken several mini-courses. She is looking forward to forming a relationship with other teachers not only in New York City but across NYS.

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George LudoviciGeorge Ludovici


George Ludovici earned his BA in Computer Science from SUNY Oswego, MS in Computer and Information Science from Syracuse University, MS in Math Education from CUNY Lehman and MEd in Public School Building Leadership from Columbia-Teachers College.  Prior to teaching Mr. Ludovici worked in Upstate and Central New York in information technology as an Assistant Director of Programming, a Senior Computer Scientist and as a Support Group Manager for nationally known websites.  Mr. Ludovici is active in Math for America, the National Council of Mathematics Teachers, and the Association of Mathematics Teachers of NYS.  As a math teacher, Mr. Ludovici strives to teach students to be persistent and to value this as a skill in its own right.  It is a skill that carries over into every area of a student’s life.  It is probably the skill which correlates most closely with success in college.  Mr. Ludovici, as all teachers do, looks down the long road appreciating the future successes of his students.

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Bridget MahoneyBridget Mahoney

District 2

Bridget Mahoney earned her BA in geology from Mount Holyoke College, MA in Secondary Science Education from the City College of New York, and is currently working on her MSEd in school counseling from Hunter College. Ms. Mahoney also studied archeology and climate change for a semester at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. A product of New York City public schools, Ms. Mahoney has been in the classroom for nine years, teaching earth science at the High School for Language and Diplomacy. She serves as a teacher mentor and is the co-facilitator of the Peer Group Connection program through the Center for Supportive Schools. Ms. Mahoney continues her work with the New York City Teaching Fellows as a Fellow Ambassador and volunteers for Mount Holyoke College as both classes and reunions committee member and her class treasurer. Ms. Mahoney enjoys exploring the natural world around her and is an enthusiast for the urban environment that is New York City. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Mahoney is excited to continue participating in professional learning communities surrounding earth science as well as take advantage of the astronomy offerings available.

Bushra MakiyaBushra Makiya

District 4

Bushra Makiya earned her BS in Materials Science and Engineering from M.I.T. and MS in Teaching from Pace University.  She is currently a candidate in the Math Leadership Program at Bank Street College.  In the classroom for eleven years, Ms. Makiya is a 7th and 8th grade teacher at CIS 303: The Leadership and Community Service Academy, in the Bronx.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Makiya is a Lead Math Teacher and a member of the school’s coaching team, responsible for mentoring new teachers to the school.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Makiya truly values the constant collaboration with her colleagues and was co-facilitator of the Middle School Common Core: Standards for Mathematical Practice Professional Learning Team for several years.

Elisa MargaritaElisa Margarita

District 13

Elisa Margarita earned her BA in Biochemistry with a minor in Child Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook and Doctor of Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College. Her passion for the environment was cemented as a teenager working for the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act Highway Beautification Program. Dr. Margarita’s journey into teaching began 12 years ago when she was invited to collaborate on curriculum writing under the guidance of Understanding by Design expert, Janie Smith. She teaches Advanced Placement Environmental Science in a New York City public school and is the Environmental Club Advisor. Dr. Margarita was a member of the Math and Science Partnership in New York City designed to increase student achievement through teacher professional development. She is a core member and educational consultant to the Eastern Queens Community Composters, which strives to inspire New York City students to bring sustainability practices into their schools and communities. During the summer of 2014, Dr. Margarita became a WindSenator, learning from wind energy experts in the industry, which inspired her to create new adventures for her students in environmental science. Dr. Margarita has been facilitating the Field-Based Science Inquiry Professional Learning Team which investigates and shares ways to capitalize in the classroom on New York City’s rich natural environment.

Phiola McFarlanePhiola McFarlane

District 19

Phiola McFarlane earned her BA in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College, MA in Public Administration from Baruch College, and a four year Fellowship from Math for America. Prior to teaching, Ms. McFarlane was a Youth Minister at her home church. In the classroom for nine years, Ms. McFarlane leads a girls group called “Conversación de Niñas,” teaches Advanced Placement Statistics, Algebra 2 & Trigonometry at East New York Family Academy: "I had such a meaningful experience during Junior High School that I came back to teach!"  Ms. McFarlane is an active member of professional organizations and was a presenter at the Annual Conference on Math Education and Social Justice "Creating Balance in an Unjust World Conference" in California. Ms. McFarlane finds inspiration in the words of Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr.: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus”. As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. McFarlane is looking forward to presenting to her peers at the NYS Master Teacher Program Summer Leadership Retreat designed and hosted by the Master Teachers in the Mohawk Valley.

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Emily Powell

District 84

Emily Powell earned her BS in Earth Science from University of Mary Washington, MS in Chemistry from Stony Brook University, and MA in Education from Teacher University at Hunter College. In the classroom for five years, Ms. Powell teaches science at Harlem Village Academy Charter School.

Lauren PrentissLauren Prentiss

District 3

Lauren Prentiss earned her BS in Environmental Science and Ecology & Biodiversity and minor in Geography and Leadership Studies at the University of Denver, and her MSEd in Secondary Adolescent Education from Pace University.  Mrs. Prentiss’ passion for science stemmed from a childhood filled with backpacking and insect collecting, ultimately, leading to her undergraduate fieldwork in Australia and Ecuador.  Her teaching career began as a Teach for America Corps member where she was placed (and has stayed for eight years) at Dual Language Middle School in New York City.  Seeking a greater understanding of the complexity surrounding education, she applied for and was selected as a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow in 2013. She represented teachers in the national education policy conversation. As a Math for America Master Teacher Fellow, Ms. Prentiss participates in professional development with other math and science Master Teachers. Outside of school, Ms. Prentiss is a lover of everything outdoors – so much so that she spent her first summer off from teaching, bicycling from NYC to Wisconsin. She’s looking forward to collaborating with loving teachers and enhancing the teaching profession.

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Carlos Rivadeneira

District 2

Carlos Rivadeneira earned his Bachelor of Accountancy from CUNY Bernard Baruch College and Master of Science in Education in Mathematics from The City College of New York. In the classroom for seven years, Mr. Rivadeneira teaches math at High School for Environmental Studies.

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Bruce SamuelsBruce Samuels

District 12

Bruce Samuels earned his BA in Computer Science from Hunter College and MA in Mathematics and Advanced Certificate in Mathematics Education from City College of New York. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr. Samuels pursued a career as a professional musician, a trade he plied for more than 30 years with extensive touring, recording and Broadway experience. Mr. Samuel’s long-time fascination with computers led to his advanced study and publication of a paper in the “Journal of Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming.”  Bruce entered the 13th cohort of New York Teaching Fellows and has been teaching mathematics in public schools since 2007. In 2013, Mr. Samuels was selected to join the Master Teachers Fellowship of Math for America where he has been a regular participant in calculus and geometry PLTs as well as an attendee to many fine workshops and courses. As a NYS Master Teacher, he continues his fascination with all things computerized, and plans to lead his own mini-course this spring in using the typesetting program for scientific and technical documentation.

Molly Shabica

District 12

Molly Shabica earned her BA in Biology from Brown University and MA in Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. In the classroom for 10 years, Ms. Shabica teaches Biology, Living Environment, Algebra, Chemistry and Physics at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom School.

Uzma Shah

District 2

Uzma Shah earned her BA in biology and religion from the University of Rochester, MA in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and MA in Public Administration from Baruch College.  Prior to teaching, Ms. Shah served as an Americorps/VISTA volunteer in Seattle Public Schools.  In the classroom 15 years, Ms. Shah teaches Regents Biology and Advanced Placement Biology at Baruch College Campus High School.  In addition to teaching, she serves on the school’s Professional Development Committee and advises Baruch’s Environmental Club, The Lorax.  Outside of school, Ms. Shah serves on the Advisory Committee of the Columbia Science Teacher Program.  An alumnus of the program, she conducted microbiology research at Columbia and Thalassemia research at Mahidol University in Thailand.  Ms. Shah is passionate about traveling and learning from others.  She has collaborated with teachers in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Africa, exchanging ideas and pedagogy.  Raised in a small town in Wyoming, Ms. Shah’s other passion is nature and enjoys hiking and exploring the world’s ecosystems.  She hopes her teaching inspires a similar curiosity and wonder in her own students.  As a NYS Master Teacher, Ms. Shah looks forward to working with and learning from her peers from across the state.

Deborah Stephenson

District 24

Deborah Stephenson earned her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto. At the Hospital for Sick Children and York University, she researched genetic diseases, cystic fibrosis, cataracts and diabetes. Following a stint in the corporate world, she decided to try teaching in New York City and hasn't looked back. Having taught science and research for over 20 years, Ms. Stephenson completed an MS in Computer Science, teaching certificates in Chemistry and Biology, and her School District Administrator and School Business Management certificates. She was a full time new teacher mentor and teacher trainer in a collaborative project offered by the Department of Education, United Federation of Teachers, and the University of Santa Cruz. She enjoys observing her students' curiosity and awe as they discover science relevance. She believes more than ever that STEM education is crucial to our future and science education needs a paradigm shift towards producing lifelong citizen-scientists: “The more you know, the less you need” (Aborigine saying). Ms. Stephenson looks forward to participating with fellow teachers in the NYS Master Teacher program and plans to pursue studies in cognitive neuroscience.

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Laginné WalkerLaginné Walker

District 13

Laginné Walker earned her BA in mathematics from Wesleyan University, MA in Math Education from Brooklyn College, and MS in Educational Leadership from Pace University. After spending a year teaching high school math in Oakland, CA, she moved to New York City, where she has been teaching grades 6th through 12th grades at Humanities Prep High School for the last 11 years.  In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Walker has been a Faculty Advisor for pre-service Teaching Fellows at City College New York for four years and a New York City Common Core Fellow for two years. During that tenure, she authored two of the Common Core Learning Standards sample units featured on the website.  Ms. Walker is an avid traveler who has visited over 25 countries, eight in the last year alone.  Being familiar with so many different cultures helps her to relate to her diverse group of students at Humanities Prep.  As a Master Teacher, Ms. Walker enjoys participating in mini courses that focus on integrating technology and meeting the needs of English Language learners in math.

Steve WatsonSteve Watson

District 17

Steve Watson earned his BA in Speech Communications and MS Ed in Counseling from Purdue University, MS Ed in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College, and PhD in Urban Education (math, science and technology) from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Prior to teaching, Dr. Watson held senior management positions in the insurance industry. Dr. Watson is also a decorated US Army veteran and, after serving in the Second Armor Division, Third US Army, he taught advanced individual training courses at the United States Academy of Health Sciences.  In the high school classroom for 12 years, Dr. Watson teaches Advanced Algebra to English Language Learners at the International High School, in Brooklyn.   For the past nine years, Steve has been an adjunct professor of mathematics education in the MS Ed programs of Brooklyn College and the City College of New York, where he has sponsored more than 100 New York City mathematics teachers in the completion of their capstone MS Ed research projects.  As a Master Teacher, Steve is currently developing a mini-course that relates New York’s mathematics teacher certification standards from 1891 through 1916 to the Common Core Learning Standards.

Eleanor Williamson

District 2

Eleanor Williamson earned her BS in Sciences from University of the West Indies Mona Campus and MS in Biology Education from CUNY Lehman College. In the classroom for 15 years, Ms. Williamson teaches science at The Urban Assembly School of Design and Construction.

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