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2012-2013 Teacher Exchange

About the Participants

2012-2013 Teacher Exchange Participants, April 2013. Photograph by Liz Gillroy

2012-2013 Teacher Exchange Participants, April 2013. Photograph by Liz Gillroy

Helen Barry, General Education Teacher

After working as an architectural historian and preservationist for many years, Helen became a teacher to see if she could share her love of art, architecture, and New York City with her students. She has been teaching for nine years at an elementary public school in Brooklyn. In 2010, Helen participated in the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program where she spent an academic year in the United Kingdom.

Valerie Bove, Global History, Art History and French Teacher, and Library Media Specialist

An independent school teacher and librarian, Valerie received her Master of Library Science degree from St. John’s University, New York, and Master of Arts degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. Prior to joining the school, Valerie spent a year teaching in the Republic of Moldova. She has also participated in travel fellowships offered by various cultural institutions in New York City such as the China Institute, Japan Society, and the East-West Center.

Catherine Campanale, Special Education Teacher

Catherine co-teaches a fifth-grade, integrated special education class at a public elementary school in Jamaica, New York. Using the visual arts, she motivates students to think deeper and encourages them to build on each other’s ideas in open-ended discussions. Catherine believes that exposing students to art is a profound experience for teachers and students alike

Stephanie Caruso, English, History, and English as a Second Language Teacher

Stephanie team-teaches seventh grade English and American History at a public middle school in Manhattan. She also team-teaches Arts Lab, where students have opportunities to explore art museums and art installations throughout New York City. She believes a connection to the arts incites awareness, curiosity, and most importantly, community.

Tammy Dunn, General Education Teacher and Afterschool Specialist

Tammy teaches kindergarten and first grade at a private elementary school in Greenwich Village, Manhattan. With fourteen years of classroom teaching experience, she continues to challenge herself and present her curriculum in new and creative ways. Her goal is to integrate art into classroom learning across subject areas.

Ali Economou, Social Studies Teacher

For the past three years, Ali has been a social studies teacher at a small, progressive, arts-driven public high school in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Binghamton University, New York. Last spring, she graduated from Queens College, New York, with a master’s degree in social studies education.

Alison Epstein, Gifted and Talented Education Teacher

Alison has taught gifted and talented students in public schools for the past twelve years. She currently teaches a second grade gifted and talented class at a public school in Chelsea, Manhattan. She has a keen interest in incorporating visual arts into all facets of her curriculum. Alison studied jewelry design at Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, and in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Pearl Lau, Art and Art History Teacher

For twenty-five years, Pearl was an award winning executive art director in a publishing company. About ten years ago, Pearl decided to switch careers! She became an art teacher at a Brooklyn elementary school with more than 1400 students from twenty-six countries. Pearl received the New York City Elementary Art Educator of the Year award in 2011 and New York City Art Educator of the Year award in 2012.

Jennifer Miller, English Language Learners Teacher

For the past twelve years, Jennifer has taught sixth through twelfth grade English Language Learners at a small public school in Brooklyn. She engages her students with a variety of arts media, including paintings, sculptures, film, theater, and music. She enjoys watching her students increase their language acquisition, and fosters an appreciation of their native countries and languages. Jennifer has also taught in a variety of settings in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Phoenix, Arizona. 

Joanne Riina, Visual Art Teacher

Joanne has taught visual art for the past eight years at a public middle school in Chelsea. She uses an interdisciplinary approach that focuses on the creative process, the opportunity for revision, and imaginative risk-taking. She strives to keep her students connected to the art world by taking them to various art exhibitions in the city throughout the school year.

Cory Schneider, English and History Teacher

Cory teaches seventh grade English and history at an independent school on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where he has worked since receiving his Masters degree in Education from New York University in 2011. He often uses unconventional texts and projects to help his students explore and learn.

Jonathan Wang, English Teacher

Jonathan teaches English at a private school in Lower Manhattan. He hopes to enrich the school’s interdisciplinary approach to learning by taking advantage of the myriad opportunities offered by New York City’s diverse arts community.