Our Team

Leadership Team

  • Founder & Principal

    Colin Greene is Atmosphere’s Founder and Principal. Previously, he served as the Head of Academic Program at Link Community School in Newark from 2011 to 2013. In that role, he oversaw curriculum design, instructional leadership, data systems, professional development, teacher evaluation, and all other academic operations of the school. Prior to joining Link, Mr. Greene was Director of Curriculum and Instruction with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity where he developed original programming and curriculum, hired qualified instructors, and managed successful implementation and quality control. Mr. Greene holds a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Fordham University and a Master of Arts in Teaching of English from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is New York State certified as a school district leader, a school building leader, and an English teacher.

  • Director of Student Learning

    Elizabeth Nash is Atmosphere’s Director of Student Learning. Ms. Nash holds a Master of Science in Adolescent Special Education and Literacy from Iona College and a Bachelor of Arts in Adolescent Education and Social Studies. She is New York State certified as a special education teacher, a social studies teacher, a literacy teacher, and an adolescent education teacher. Previously, Ms. Nash taught at Iona College, Mamaroneck High School, Iona Preparatory School, and The School of Immaculate Conception.

  • Director of Operations

    Benjamin Pah is Atmosphere Academy's Director of Operations. Previously, he has worked as a Vice Principal at Coney Island Prep and English teacher at Bronx High School for Law and Community Service. As a Vice Principal, he coached teachers, guided students, and partnered with families. As a teacher, he taught literacy, raised test scores, and facilitated career training. Benjamin holds a MS in Educational Leadership from Fordham University and a BA in English Education from NYU. He is NYS Certified as a School Building leader and English teacher. Overall, Ben's vision is to guide students to work as hard as possible to achieve the careers of their dreams to uplift their families and communities.

  • Director of School Life

    Christian Roman is Atmosphere’s Director of School Life. Previously, he has served as the Head Dean at Health, Education, and Research Occupations (HERO) High School and Dean of Students at Banana Kelly High School in the South Bronx. In these roles, Mr. Roman worked to provide young people with the discipline, guidance, cultural enrichment, and social-emotional development they needed to realize their full potential. Mr. Roman has also served as a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coordinator at Unitas Therapeutic Community, where he honed his counseling and management skills. Mr. Roman hired, trained, and maintained a staff of approximately 40 teen counselors and employees. He also facilitated seminars on 6-step conflict resolution that enforced the principle of peaceful problem solving. Mr. Roman holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University. Growing up in the South Bronx, Mr. Roman developed an undeniable passion for and pride in the people of his neighborhood. Mr. Roman has translated this passion into daily service and dedicated his studies and career to elevating, inspiring, counseling, and advocating for the community in which he still lives and works. Mr. Roman also serves his community through spiritual guidance by dedicating his free time to working as a religious instructor and assistant director of a youth group at St. Athanasius Parish. Each day, Mr. Roman works closer and closer to his goal of uniting and uplifting the people of the South Bronx.

  • Director of Curriculum & Instruction

    Katherine Brennan is proud to serve Atmosphere Academy as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction. A dedicated educator and administrator with over 17 years of diversified experience as a principal, central office administrator, K-12 supervisor, content specialist, mentor and classroom teacher. In addition to certifications as a supervisor, principal and chief school administrator, Mrs. Brennan holds a BA, MA, and is pursuing a PhD in education policy and administration. She is a dynamic collaborative leader who is dedicated to student success.

  • Special Education Instructional Leader

    Christine Kelly is Atmosphere's Lead Learning Specialist.  She teaches students with IEP's in the subject area of Math and Science along with creating student behavior plans and assisting with Atmosphere's Sped program.  Ms. Kelly holds a Masters in Science Education from Dowling college and a Bachelors of Arts in Marketing.  She is a New York State certified Special Education Teacher grades K-12.  Previously she taught Special Education in the New York City Department of Education in addition to consulting at various schools.

  • Science and Social Studies Instructional Leader

    Ericka Shammgod is Atmosphere’s Science and Social Studies Instructional Leader. Mrs. Shammgod holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from CUNY, a Master of Science in Teaching Literacy from Touro College, and a Master of Science in School Leadership from Touro College. She is New York State certified as a elementary education teacher and as a school building leader. Previously, Ms. Bolt taught at Harlem Children’s Zone, PS 49X, and PS 199X.

  • English Instructional Leader

    Andrew Raia is Atmosphere's English Instructional Leader. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Curriclum and Instruction from Boston College and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. Mr. Raia has over fourteen years of experience in the field of education. Previously, he was Community Service Coordinator and Ninth Grade Team Leader at Great Futures Charter School in Jersey City, New Jersey. He has also served as a Language Arts Coordinator and a Principal

  • Math Instructional Leader

    Dr. Swezey is Atmosphere's Math Instructional Leader. With 33 years of experience in the field of education (16 years as a teacher and 17 years as a supervisor/curriculum director), he brings a wealth of experience to his post. Having taught and supervised at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, he has a deep understanding of the teaching/learning process and will be a wonderful resource for his teachers as well as our scholars. Some of his prior assignments included Dean of Discipline, UFT Chapter Leader, Mentor Teacher, Assistant Principal, and Curriculum Director. Dr. Swezey holds a Masters Degree in Mathematics Education and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration from St. John's University. He is certified in several content areas, including Biology, General Science, Foreign Language (French), and Mathematics and has worked in a variety of educational environments characterized by diversity and excellence. Most important, Dr. Swezey believes in equity and access for all students and has promoted quality instruction and rigorous opportunities for all students, wherever he has worked.

Operations Team

  • Operations Manager

    Camila Gonzalez is Atmosphere's Operations Manager. Ms. Gonzalez earned her B.A. at the University of Bridgeport in International Political Economy and Diplomacy with a concentration in Non-Profit Organizations. While earning her Bachelors. Ms. Gonzalez also attended the American University of Beirut, School of Political Studies and Public Administration. Previously, Ms. Gonzalez served as the Operations Manager at Academic Leadership Charter School located in the South Bronx.

  • School Aid

  • School Aide

  • School Nurse

    Irene Bartles is Atmosphere's School Nurse.

  • Operations Manager

    Jasline Rodriguez is Atmosphere's Operations Manager. She manages the school's day-to-day HR and financial activities among other tasks. Ms. Rodriguez earned her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the City University of New York. Previously, Ms. Rodriguez was the Operations/Finance Associate at Academic Leadership Charter School in the South Bronx.

  • Receptionist | Office Assistant

  • Custodian

    Lenin Nunez is Atmosphere’s Custodian. He oversees the upkeep and maintenance of the school’s physical plant and facility. Mr. Nunez has pursued his Associate’s Degree at Hostos Community College. He is certified in janitorial services. Previously, Mr. Nunez served as Custodian at Tech International Charter School and various other businesses. He is fluent in Spanish.

  • School Aide

  • Operations Associate

  • Custodial Assistant

    Wilmer Leon is Atmosphere Academy's security guard.

School Life Team

  • Intervention Coordinator

    Carrie Sessoms is Atmosphere Academy's new Intervention Coordinator. In this role, Ms. Sessoms will collaborate with staff, parents and students in order to help students reach their full potential academically, emotionally and behaviorally. Ms. Sessoms recently relocated to New York from North Carolina to follow personal dreams and broaden her life experiences. She is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist with seven years of experience in elementary, middle and high school settings. Ms. Sessoms obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill and her Master's degree in School Psychology from Western Carolina University.

  • Guidance Counselor

    Darryl Jenkins is Atmosphere Academy Guidance Counselor Previously he worked with The Famliy Welcome Center at the NYC Department of Education. As an Enrollment Counselor, he assisted Families in Enrollment processes for grades K-12. He also served as an Academic Advisor for the Young Adult Borough Center at Herbert Lehman High School counseling over-aged and under credited students. He received is Bachelor's in Science in Psychology and Masters in School Counseling from Mercy College. He has a strong commitment to working with a diverse population of students.

  • School Social Worker

    Katherine Tineo-Komatsu is Atmosphere's School Social Worker. Previously, she worked as a Clinical Bilingual Social Worker in a day treatment program for people living with HIV. In this capacity, Mrs. Tineo-Komatsu developed and honed the clinical skills necessary to work successfully with people facing the effects of trauma, a variety of mental health issues, and substance use/misuse. Mrs. Tineo-Komatsu has extensive experience providing evidenced based therapeutic interventions and facilitating therapeutic, psycho-educational, and support groups. She is knowledgeable on the ways in which various systems operate and interact and is able to provide support to students, families, and teachers. Mrs. Tineo-Komatsu is passionate about education and youth development and is excited to join Atmosphere Academy. Mrs. Tineo-Komatsu graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies from Brown University. She completed a Master of Science in Social Work at Columbia University. She finished a year long certification program for Integrative Harm Reduction Psychotherapy at The New School. Mrs. Tineo-Komatsu is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work teaching a graduate level class on Motivational Interviewing and provides psychotherapy and counseling services in a private practice.

  • Physical Education/Health Teacher

    Kevin Salazar is Atmosphere's 6th Grade and 7th Grade Physical Education and Health Teacher. Mr. Salazar holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Manhattan college. He is also attending Manhattanville College to earn a Master’s Degree in Business Sports Management.

  • Ms. Lenne Reyes graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with her BA in Criminology and a minor in English. Ms.Reyes is the Head Coach of the girl’s volleyball, basketball and softball team. She is also an Apprentice Dean, and her goal is to make sure our scholars are focused on their academics by supporting them socially, emotionally and academically.

  • Marc-Anthony William is Atmosphere Academy's Soccer Coach. Previously, he has worked as a NationalTrainer for the US Soccer Foundation. He has coached locally with the New York Redbulls Training Program and Regional Development School, FC Harlem LIONS, US Youth Soccer, Olympic Development Program, Lehman College, NY Fusion, and St. Hope Leadership Academy. He has also worked internationally with Colleges Invitational as a director of sport and Coaches Across Continents. He has created and developed soccer programs for several schools, clubs and organizations. He is certified by National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Dutch Football Association and Johan Cruyff Institute for Sports Studies and Red Cross. Mr. William believes in professional development of all student-athletes to achieve their maximum potential both on and off the field within a fun, challenging environment.

  • Reginald Jay is Atmosphere Academy's 6th Grade Dean. Previously, Mr. Jay served as the 8th Grade Dean of Discipline/Culture at Equality Charter School in the Bronx. Mr. Jay is a dedicated and motivated educator to help all children especially those from the Bronx community to recognize their full potential while supporting them in achieving their academic and behavorial goals.

  • Tanika McCullough is Atmosphere’s 7th Grade Dean. Mrs. McCullough currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Urban Education, alongside a CASAC License in which she has used prior to becoming a Dean, as a mental health/ substance abuse counselor. Mrs. McCullough is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Work at Stony Brook University. She is most passionate about the implementation of restorative justice practice, student advocacy,and high academic achievement.

Instructional Team

  • Literacy Specialist

    Angela Turmalaj is Atmosphere’s Literacy Specialist. She supports student literacy across all classrooms. Mrs. Turmalaj holds a Master of Science in Teaching Literacy from Mercy College and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Childhood Education, and Special Education from Mercy College. She is New York State certified as a literacy teacher, a childhood education teacher, and a teacher’s assistant. Previously, Mrs. Turmalaj taught at Woodside Elementary School in Peekskill, Brookside Elementary School in Yorktown Heights, and Mahopac Literacy Association.

  • Math Lab Teacher

    Barbara Schmidt is Atmosphere’s Math Lab Honors Teacher. Ms. Schmidt holds a Master of Science in Math Education from The City College of New York as well as a Master of Business Administration in Organizational Behavior from Iona College. Previously, Ms. Schmidt served as a Math Teacher at Maria Regina High School in Hartsdale, New York. After a 20+ year career in financial services with JP Morgan Chase, Ms. Schmidt made the transition to math education. She enjoys incorporating real-life experiences into her classes and hopefully creating a positive impact on children’s futures.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Brandon Harrison is Atmosphere's 6th Grade Teaching Assistant. He has a B.S. from Eastern Michigan University in Psychology where he also studied communication and philosophy. Mr. Harrison has been working with children for over 10 years, much of which he spent tutoring both privately and at nonprofit organizations from pre-k to post graduate level. He was also an Early Learners Teacher at Kumon Math & Reading for 2 years.

  • English Teacher

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Christina DiStanislao is one of Atmosphere’s Social Studies Teachers. She teaches 5 sections of 6th grade Global Studies. Ms. DiStanislao holds a Master of Science in Special Education & Literacy and a Bachelor of Arts in Adolescent Education from Iona College. She is New York State certified as a Social Studies teacher, a Special Education teacher, and a Literacy teacher. Previously, Ms. DiStanislao was an Academic Intervention Support Intern at Pelham Middle School and Pelham Memorial High School.

  • Math Teacher

    Cynthia Correa is Atmosphere's Math Teacher. Ms. Correa holds a Master of Arts in Education from Lehman College, Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Campinas State University in Brazil. Previously, Ms. Correa was a Co-Teacher at Cross Hill Academy in Yonkers, New York and was a member of the Yonkers Public School's Teachers ofTomorrow program. Prior to teaching, she was a Private Banker with JP Morgan Chase in New York and a Strategy and Credit Risk Manager with Banco Itau in Brazil. She is New York State certified as a math teacher.

  • Learning Specialist | Teacher Leader

    Cynthia Rosa is Atmopshere's 8th Grade STEM Learning Specialist and 8th Grade Teacher Leader. Previously, Ms. Rosa has worked as a math focus special education teacher for Lighthouse Academies in grades 6-12. Ms. Rosa holds a multiple Master degrees from Fordham Graduate School of Education including Childhood Education, Special Education and Curriculum Design. Ms. Rosa is looking forward with working with our first graduating class to achieve success in Atmosphere and beyond.

  • English Teacher

    Dan Strauss is Atmosphere's 8th Grade English and Math Achievement Teacher. Mr. Strauss holds a BA in English from Rutgers University. He received his New Jersey certification as a Teacher of English from St. Peter's University in 2016. He seeks to inspire young people with the creative confidence and intellectual curiosity that will open doors for them to lead more meaningful, colorful, and fulfilling lives. Previously, Mr. Strauss has served as editor, writing tutor, and English teacher. Through his work as an Achievement teacher, Mr. Strauss equips scholars with a formidable array of test-taking skills that will aid them in navigating the data-driven environment of the 21st century.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Desirea Ribot is Atmosphere Academy’s Teaching Assistant. Ms. Ribot has worked in the education system for 12 years in various rolls. She looks forward to fostering growth and development in our students.

  • English Teacher

    Gennadiy Lisak is Atmosphere Academy's RTI/ELA 7th grade teacher. Previously, he has worked as a substitute and a leave replacement teacher at OWN Charter Middle School, Erasmus High School and Williamsburg Charter High School. As a leave replacement teacher he has coordinated with other school staff to lead ELA courses at various grade levels. Gennadiy Lisak holds a A.A in Liberal Arts from B.M.C.C , a B.A and a M.A in Secondary Education from Brooklyn College and is NYS certified in English grades 7-12. Overall, Gennadiy's vision is to work with all student's to reach their upmost level when it comes to reading and writing and being a contributing member to society.

  • Social Studies Teacher

    Henry Gonzalez has spent his career in education teaching 6th to 12th grade Global Studies, American History, Economics and Government. He is a graduate of Brooklyn College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and History. He received a Masters in Instructional Technology from the New York Institute of Technology. Mr. Gonzalez has more than 10 years experience in the charter world and has sent his two children to charter schools in Queens. Previously Mr. Gonzalez coached Social Studies teachers at New Visions School for the Humanities at the JFK campus and taught at Bronx Lighthouse Charter School.

  • ELL Specialist

  • Teaching Assistant

    Ivette Ramos is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Teacher's Assistant. Previously, Ms. Ramos worked as a Youth Counselor for Westhab's afterschool program in AAPCS. Ms. Ramos was also a coach assistant, school aide, subtitute teacher and lead teacher at AAPCS.

  • Learning Specialist

    Jennifer Bartlett is Atmosphere's Learning Specialist. She supports students with IEPs in Math, Science and Social Studies classes. Ms. Bartlett received a Master in Professional Studies from Manhattanville College. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Vermont. She is New York State certified as a childhood education teacher and a special education teacher. Previously, she worked in the Bedford Central School District in Bedford, NY.

  • Science Teacher

  • Math Teacher

  • Learning Specialist

    Katie Weinstein is Atmosphere's Learning Specialist. She supports students with IEPs in various classroom settings. Ms. Weinstein holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Behavioral Science from Marist College. She is New York State certified as a teacher and a special education teacher. Previously, she student taught in Marlboro, New York and Hyde Park, New York.

  • Math Achievement Teacher

    Lena Litvak is Atmosphere Academy’s 7th and 8th Grade Math Achievement teacher. Previously, Ms. Litvak has served as an Assistant Teacher at a school for learning disabilities, as a well as a 7th Grade Math Assistant Teacher at a charter school in Harlem. Additionally, she competed on the women's tennis professional tour for more than four years. Through her work as an Achievement teacher, Ms. Litvak will help scholars develop goals and tools to be better able to display their math content knowledge. Ms. Litvak holds a BA in Sociology from Harvard University and received her certification as Teacher of Middle School Mathematics from Harvard University in 2015. She looks forward to working with students in developing the best skills to open the door for success and achievement.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Makeda McCarthy is Atmosphere's 7th Grade Teaching Assistant. Previously, Mrs. McCarthy worked as kindergarten assistant at New Hope Acedemy in Brooklyn. Also served as an Assistant Dean at Lefferts Garden Charter school. I enjoy working with children to provide them with Educational equity and a place to express their diverse identities.

  • Math Teacher

    Atmosphere Academy's math teacher

  • Math Teacher

    Mark Akintobi is Atmosphere's 8th Grade Math Teacher. Previously, Mr. Akintobi worked as 10th, 11th and 12th math teacher at the The Paulo Friere Charter School in Newark, NJ. Before becoming a high school math teacher Mr. Akintobi was working as accountant at a law firm Fein, Kahn, and Shepard and also Stern and Lavingthal. Mr. Akintobi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from William Paterson University.

  • English Teacher

    Megan Whelan is one of Atmosphere Academy's 6th Grade English Teacher. She also teaches the 6th grade honors curriculum. Mrs. Whelan is a certified New York state teacher. She has a Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University and a Master of Communication and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fairfield University.

  • Learning Specialist

    Meghan Dunne is Atmosphere’s Learning Specialist. She supports students with IEPs in math and English classes. Ms. Dunne holds a Master of Science in Childhood Education from Molloy College and a Bachelor of Science in Childhood Education from Molloy College. She is New York State certified as a special education teacher. Previously, she taught in the West Islip School District and the North Merrick School District.

  • English Teacher

    Nyoka Newell is Atmosphere's 8th Grade ELA Teacher. Ms. Newell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English-Writing from The College of Staten Island. Previously, she worked as a Student Teacher at Park East High School in East Harlem.

  • English Teacher

    Raquel Sommerville is Atmosphere's English Teacher. She teaches 5 sections of Critical Reading and Critical Writing. Ms. Sommerville holds both a Master of Arts in Teaching (Secondary English Education) and a Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY New Paltz. She is New York State certified as an English teacher. Previously,  Ms. Sommerville was an English Teacher and a Department Chair at VOICE Charter School.

  • American Studies Teacher

    Ravyn Gilbert is Atmosphere Academy's 8th Grade American Studies teacher. Ms. Gilbert holds a Bachelor's Degree in Adolescent Education with a concentration in Social Studies and has a Master of Science in Teaching Students with Disabilities. Previously, she worked as Pre-Kindergartner teacher as Brightside Academy in the Bronx. Ms. Gilbert is excited and motivated in providing an interactive social studies experience with her students and seeks to grow and learn along with them.

  • Physical Education/Health Teacher

    Ricky Delva is Atmosphere Academy's 8th Grade Physical Education Teacher and 7th/8th Grade Health Teacher. Previously Mr. Delva served as a Physical Education Teacher at East Ramapo School District In Spring Valley Ny working with special needs students with severe disabilities in a special needs program in grades K-3 as well as regular gen Ed Grades of K-6 as a Pe Teacher. Mr. Delva holds a Bachelor in K-12 Physical Education and a Minor in Health Education From William Paterson University. He is NJ K-12 Certified Physical Education & in Health teacher.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Rosanna Pimentel is Atmosphere’s Teaching Assistant. She supports various content area classes per day via a co-teaching model. Ms. Pimentel holds Bachelor of Arts in Child Psychology from CUNY and is working toward a Master of Science in Special Education. Previously, Ms. Pimentel has served as a Head Teacher, Assistant Teacher, and Substitute Teacher at various schools in the Bronx. She is fluent in Spanish.

  • English Teacher

    Suzanne Larsen is Atmosphere's 6th Grade ELA Teacher. She has a Bachelor of Science in the Education from Penn State and an Master of Art from New York University. She has been teaching for 32 years.

  • Learning Specialist

    Tara Annunziato is Atmosphere Academy's 8th grade learning specialist. Previously, Ms. Annunziato has worked in various schools throughout New York's Capital Region, including the Albany City School District, Troy City School District and Questar BOCES. Ms. Annunziato holds a BA in Social Studies education 7-12 from the College of Saint Rose and an MS in Childhood Education and Special Education from Sage Graduate Schools.

  • Physical Science Teacher

    Travis Miecnikowski is Atmosphere's Physical Science Teacher. He teaches 5 sections of Physical Science. Mr. Miecnikowski holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Penn State University and a Masters of Education in Instructional Design from Western Governors University. He is New York State certified as a teacher. Previously, he was a Teacher at Harlem Prep Charter School and Brooklyn Scholars Charter School as well as a Nature Educator at Nature's Classroom in Connecticut.

  • Teaching Assistant

    Valine Whyte is Atmosphere Academy's 7th Grade Teaching Assistant. Whyte served as an Assistant Director with an organization known as Westhab; as well as a school aide with AAPCS. Whyte is motivated to inspire youth, helping them realize the sky is the limit.

  • Life Science Teacher

    Valini Persaud is Atmosphere's Life Science Teacher. She teaches 5 sections of Life Science. Ms. Persaud holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, and a Master of Arts in Teaching Biology from CUNY Queens College. She is New York State certified as a science teacher. Previously, she was a Science Teacher and Department Chair at Urban Dove Charter School.