Catherine Cordero is enthusiastically going on her second year at The Greene School and her 12th year as an educator. Catherine is a shining example of how procedures, routines, and fairness can lead to a successful school year. Having procedures in place early on in the school year help her focus on teaching and enjoy her rewarding career.
Ms. Cordero was born in New York and moved to Florida with her parents when she was a toddler. She was raised in Miami and resided in Bay Harbor Island for the last 11 years where she was a Teacher of the Gifted. She has taught first through fourth grade with an emphasis on third and fourth-grade students.
As an educator, Ms. Cordero has participated in multiple projects that not only addressed academics but core values. Her students have been annual participants of multiple community partnerships such as H.O.P.E (Help Overcome Pet Euthanasia), K.A.P.O.W. (Kids and the Power of Work), Fairchild Tropical Challenge, and Relay for Life. Ms. Cordero is a firm believer in Henry Adams’ quote, ”A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Ms. Cordero graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education. After obtaining her degree, she completed her Postbaccalaureate certification in Gifted Education in 2006 and her ESOL endorsement in 2013. Ms. Cordero's steadfast interest in education has led her to continue pursuing knowledge and expertise in the area of Curriculum and Instruction.
When she is not teaching, Ms. Cordero enjoys any and all beach activities, fitness, and spending quality time with her family, friends, and fur babies. She is a founding faculty member and is our Fourth Grade Teacher.
Dina Scellato - 2nd Grade
Mrs. Scellato received her Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in Education and Psychology from Kean University in New Jersey, her Master of Science Education Degree in Teacher Leadership, and has her Florida Gifted Endorsement.
Mrs. Scellato began her teaching career in a private school in Northern New Jersey, where she taught Kindergarten for five years before relocating to Florida. She taught Kindergarten for another seven years before realizing her true passion, Second Grade. Mrs. Scellato was a teacher at The Pine School in Stuart, Florida for eleven years prior to joining The Greene School team.
A continuous goal of staying current in the field of education has inspired Mrs. Scellato to attend professional development totaling 500+ hours over the span of three years. This passion led her to Project Zero at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, The Conscious Discipline Institute for Brain Based Research, workshops focused on Kagan Cooperative Learning Structures, and a myriad of curriculum development courses, including Writers Workshop.
Mrs. Scellato was the recipient of the Teacher of Excellence Award at her previous school in 2016. She was the Primary Division Leader, Grade Chairperson, has served on numerous committees focused on school improvement, curriculum development, and student success, all while mentoring many new teachers. Her interest in high-ability learners encouraged her to be an advocate for Gifted Education for students, parents, and educators. Mrs. Scellato joined The Greene School in its inaugural year in 2016 and is returning as a Second Grade Teacher.
Samantha Smith - 3rd Grade
Ms. Smith received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Central Florida. She has her Reading and ESOL Endorsements, and upon graduating was recognized with the Top Honor Graduate Award, the Summa Cum Laude distinction, and the UCF Founders' Scholar Award for Excellence in Academic Performance.
Ms. Smith began her teaching career for the Palm Beach County School District in 2013. She taught Kindergarten for three years at Binks Forest Elementary School. After completing her first year of teaching, Ms. Smith was chosen as a lead teacher and member of the principal's leadership team for her remaining two years at Binks Forest. Miss Smith had the distinct privilege of joining The Greene School family in the Spring of 2016.
During the 2016-2017 school year, Ms. Smith taught our inaugural class of second-grade students. She is a dedicated, creative, goal-driven educator who is passionate about investing in children and devoted to seeing them succeed. We welcome Ms. Smith as one of our Third Grade teachers for the 2017-2018 school year.
Farrah Weiss - 1st Grade
Mrs. Weiss received her Bachelor's of Science degree in Human Development from Binghamton University, and a Master's degree in Elementary Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities from Columbia University. She holds her Florida Permanent Teaching License in Elementary Education, Exceptional Student Education, and Early Childhood/Primary Education, and has endorsements in Early Childhood Disabilities and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).
Originally from New York, Mrs. Weiss began her teaching career as a special education teacher in Flushing, Queens, working for the New York City Department of Education. During this time, Mrs. Weiss taught in a Kindergarten/First Grade classroom with students of varying needs and abilities. After three years, she moved to Florida and began working for the Palm Beach County School District. While working there, Mrs. Weiss taught early childhood education and also at the high school level. She is credited with teaching high school students how to become preschool teachers and has had many of her former students go on to receive their Early Childhood Professional Certificate. After a few years, Mrs. Weiss left the classroom and became a college counselor, helping many students gain acceptances into the colleges of their dreams. Mrs. Weiss joined The Greene School as an Early Childhood teacher in 2016 for its inaugural year, and is excited to return to teach First Grade.
Katie Petronio - Dance/Mindfulness/Yoga
For more than a decade, Ms. Petronio has had the privilege of working with students in early childhood through higher education within the private schools, public schools, university, and private studio settings. Ms. Petronio has a multifaceted repertoire of skills as a working dancer, musical theater performer, choreographer, dance educator, and yoga and mindfulness instructor. In her years of teaching, she has founded, created, designed, developed, and implemented interdisciplinary dance and yoga curricula and programs for Early Childhood through 12th-grade students. She has also created, designed, developed, and implemented Mommy & Me Yoga and Mommy & Me Dance programs for walkers through age 3.
Ms. Petronio received her Bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, Master’s degree from New York University, and Postbaccalaureate Business Certificate from Columbia University. She also holds two yoga certifications and a mindfulness certification.
In addition to teaching, Ms. Petronio continues to perform and choreograph professionally around the South Florida area in productions such as Legally Blonde, High Society, Rock of Ages, Evita, Paint Your Wagon, and Saturday Night Fever. She has also been an active member of the Junior League of Boca Raton, volunteering and giving back to the community, since 2011.
Prior to moving to Florida, she lived in New York City where she was a professional dancer, musical theater performer, choreographer, and dance educator. While living in New York City, Ms. Petronio performed in regional musical theater productions, many dance productions, and modeled for the Capezio dance catalog.
Ms. Petronio looks forward to working with your child and hopes to continually inspire them to use the knowledge learned from dance, yoga, and mindfulness in whatever career path they choose in the future.
A founding faculty member, Ms. Petronio teaches Dance, Yoga, and Mindfulness to all students at The Greene School.
Amber Schullstrom - Art
Amber is a native south Floridian growing up on the west coast of Florida. She began her post secondary schooling at the University of Florida. It was at UF where the Basic Survey of Art History class changed her career path. There, as Brancusi’s Bird In Space was presented in an overwhelming scale, she knew Art and Art History would be her focus and she went on to receive her B.A. in Art History. After attending UF, Amber backpacked through Europe in order to see some of the greatest works of art first-hand. While in Europe, she received a placement with Americorps and was transferred to Atlanta, Georgia. She spent her year of service in Atlanta with Literacy Volunteers of America; teaching adult non-readers and giving them the tools to enable reading and writing. After Americorps, Amber began her Master's Degree study at Georgia State University where she received her M.E. in Early Childhood Education.
After Georgia State, Amber began her teaching career. She began teaching fourth and fifth grade at Mary Lin Elementary School, a Discipline Based Arts Education (DBAE) school. The philosophy of DBAE is teaching all subject areas by infusing the arts into the core curriculum. For Amber, it was a perfect fit. However, after the birth of her second child, she decided to return to Florida to be closer to family.
After returning to Florida, she opened a children’s art studio in West Palm Beach called "Petite Picassos." At "Petite Picassos", students received instruction focused on art techniques and mediums while integrating art history into almost every lesson. The studio received South Florida Parenting Magazine’s award for Best Children’s Art Studio.
After running the art studio for a few years, Amber decided to expand her work with local schools and community centers throughout Palm Beach County as an independent contractor. Here, she began a daily preschool called Pixies while continuing afternoon art classes at multiple community centers and schools extending her love of art throughout the county.
Amber is thrilled to be a member of The Greene School family. Her focus at The Greene School is to continue art history based lessons while engaging students with new materials and techniques that allow them to feel confident and adventurous with their creative spirit and inclinations. It is her belief that having the confidence to take risks in the art room translates to confidence in ideas and risk-taking in other subject areas.
Kimberly Fischer - 5th & 6th Grade
Mrs. Kimberly Fischer grew up in Baltimore, Maryland. She has her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communication and a Minor in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, she received her Master’s of Science degree in Childhood General Education and Special Education from New York University: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and is currently working toward her Gifted Endorsement in Florida. Mrs. Fischer worked in marketing and advertising for several years before receiving her Master’s in Education. In 2008, she began her teaching career in New York City where she taught in a Collaborative Team Teaching Classroom at P.S. 38. In 2009, she began working at P.S.9, in Manhattan, as a General Education Teacher, SETSS (Special Education Teacher Support Services) Provider, and a Special Education Teacher. In 2014, Mrs. Fischer and her family moved down to Florida, where she began teaching in a Gifted classroom at Calusa Elementary School in Boca Raton.
During her tenure at Calusa Elementary, Mrs. Fischer was selected as a lead teacher in a Marzano pilot program to model lessons for her colleagues, demonstrate approaches to accountable questioning, facilitate group discussions, and suggest monitoring techniques.
Mrs. Fischer joined The Greene School in their inaugural year and taught third and fourth-grade English Language Arts and Social Studies. Mrs. Fischer looks forward to continuing her exciting journey at The Greene School.
Kaye Ebelt - 5th & 6th Grade
Ms. Kaye Ebelt is a 29-year veteran in Elementary Education in Montana. For the past 23 years she has taught at Target Range School in Missoula. She began her teaching career as a primary teacher. In 1996, she moved to middle school, to teach sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade Ancient, Montana, and American History. For the past eight years, Ms. Ebelt has taught fifth grade math, science, language arts and robotics.
She has mentored pre-service teachers from The University of Montana. [Throughout her career she has been involved in aerospace and aviation education.]
Ms. Ebelt was among the first group of teachers to be selected from Montana to participate in NASA's MicroGX and Reduced Gravity Flight in 2011. She and her team designed and engineered a liquid density experiment suitable for microgravity. She earned national recognition and received the A. Scott Crossfield Award in 2003 and was inducted into the Crown Circle for Leaders in Aerospace Education in Cincinnati, Ohio. Montana Aeronautics also recognized her efforts by awarding her the Aviation Educator of the Year in 2001.
Learning to fly airplanes helped Ms. Ebelt to generate an interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education. "The issue of increasing STEAM proficiency, especially in engineering, for students, current and future teachers are of great interest to me." Seventeen years ago Ms. Ebelt created a youth space camp with a strong STEAM focus due to her participation in LiftOff - Extreme Life and LiftOff - Return to the Moon. As a LiftOff Alumni, she has spent her eight summers putting on these camps all over Montana. The camp, "Return to the Moon/Mission to Mars" is now a permanent summer youth program at the Missoula Family YMCA.
Josephine Camacho - Music
Music is a part of what it means to be human, and Josephine Camacho has been teaching music from that perspective since 2001. She began her musical journey through singing at home and in school choirs. In middle school, she began playing the French horn, and by the time she was a senior at Santaluces High School in Lantana, Florida, she was Brass Captain of her school’s marching band and a Palm Beach Post Pathfinder Scholarship nominee in Instrumental Music. She was accepted into the University of Miami’s prestigious Frost School of Music, where she studied classical composition and graduated in the inaugural class of the Media Writing and Production department under Raul Murciano Jr. (of Gloria Estefan and The Miami Sound Machine).
Josephine approaches music education from a position of going beyond technical savvy and digging into the meaning and art of music. She believes in the importance of music as a powerful mode of self-expression, freedom, and communication, and her lessons are diverse and creative. She has taught privately and in the public schools of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Miami/Dade County, Florida; and Palm Beach County, Florida. She has reached students of all demographics with her passion for the art. While in the public-school system, Josephine has given many workshops on the use of ClassDojo and positive classroom management approaches that reflect her position that all children deserve love and respect in the classroom.
Throughout her journey, family has been important. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, Manny (also a musician and music educator), and they have three children. She received her Master of Science degree in Music Education in 2005 from Florida International University. A founding faculty member, Josephine is currently the Music Educator at The Greene School.
Nate Vera - Fitness
Nate Vera received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he also competed on the collegiate men’s basketball team.
Coach Vera began his teaching career at Forest Hill Community High School in West Palm Beach, serving as a Social Studies teacher and Dean of Discipline. He also served as the Varsity Boys Basketball coach and Assistant Athletic Director from 2013-2016. While at Forest Hill he led a campaign to revamp the athletic programs through establishing an Athletic Alumni program, fundraising over $100,000, and rebuilding the weight room in his three years of service.
During the 2016-2017 inaugural year, Coach Vera accepted a job as the Physical Education instructor at The Greene School. His goal is to establish a phenomenal physical education and athletic program for years to come. Additionally, he furthered his coaching career at Cardinal Newman High School, where he served as the Assistant Varsity Boys Basketball Coach for the 2016-2017 year.
Coach Vera is also the founder and operator of Perseverance Basketball, an organization dedicated toward teaching basketball fundamentals to the youth of South Florida. He has organized camps, clinics, academies, and youth leagues for thousands of young athletes in the proper teaching of basketball. Perseverance Basketball has become one of the leading youth basketball organizations in Palm Beach County.
Coach Vera teaches Physical Education to Early Childhood through Sixth Grade students.
Erin Sayer - Foreign Language
Senora Sayer received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Studio Art from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, followed by her Master’s Degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. During this time, she lived in Madrid for several years. She has also earned her TESOL Certificate from Cambridge University while living in Madrid and is licensed to teach English as a Second Language. Prior to teaching at The Greene School, Senora Sayer lived in New York City and taught Spanish at The Horace Mann School for 18 years. In addition to teaching in both the Middle and Upper Divisions, she was Chair of the Middle School Foreign Language Department for the last five years of her tenure and was responsible for managing a department of 12 teachers and 4 languages.
During her time at Horace Mann, Senora Sayer received several faculty awards and was the recipient of a prestigious faculty travel grant. She loves to travel and has organized many student trips to Spain as well as her own extensive travel in Central and South America. Senora Sayer is a member of several foreign language associations, including AATSP, and enjoys attending yearly conferences, such as the NECTFL in New York City. Senora Sayer joined The Greene School during its inaugural year, 2016-17, upon relocating to Palm Beach and teaches fourth, fifth and sixth grade.
Kristina Hambrock - 2nd Grade
Born and raised in Bangor, Maine Mrs. Hambrock moved to Florida in the Spring of 2013. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education, with a second Major of Child Development and Family Relations, from the University of Maine. She spent her college summers at a summer camp combining her love for working with children, the outdoors, and sports.
Mrs. Hambrock began teaching in the public school system in 2013. She began in first grade and then moved to second grade where she strove to create a classroom community that encouraged active parent involvement and communication. She joined The Greene School team in 2017 and looks forward to teaching Second Grade.
Alexandra Rick - PreK3
Mrs. Rick is a New York City native, who recently relocated with her husband to South Florida. She is enthusiastic about the arts and community engagement. She enjoys going to museums, theater, and dance performances and loves to share this passion for life and learning with her students.
Mrs. Rick has been teaching for the past ten years in a variety of settings and environments, including coaching an after-school figure skating program. She received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (M.S.Ed) in 2013, and is CPR certified. For the past five years, she was a Head Teacher in Brooklyn, New York, working with Early Childhood students. She loves to give back to the community, keeping parents apprised of cultural opportunities for their children, and promoting parent involvement activities. She encourages and creates a home-to-school connection to support classroom learning units.
Mrs. Rick was also chosen to participate in The Children’s Program Collaborative, a year-long workshop and seminar created by The New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute. There, she learned different methods for incorporating movement into the classroom and bringing learning to life. She was honored, and received a certificate from the Master Teacher Institute for her portfolio in this program. She has also received recognition in teaching from the New York State Senate, New York City Council and New York State Assembly.
Mrs. Rick is excited to be in Florida, and thrilled to join The Greene School team as an Early Childhood Educator.
Megan Walsh - Kindergarten
Ms. Walsh is originally from Long Island, New York. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, where she double majored in Early Childhood Education and Psychology. In 2016, she received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Cambridge College. She started her teaching in a public elementary school South of Boston in 2013, where she taught Second Grade for three years. The school has a large population of English Language Learners, which was great preparation for her next adventure. In August 2016, she moved to Dubai in The UAE. She taught Kindergarten at a private international school, which is an American curriculum school with students from over 80 different countries. She cherishes this experience as she has learned so much from her students and families, and even had the opportunity to ride some camels. While Ms. Walsh was in Dubai, she became certified to teach kids yoga through GroovyKids Yoga and was able to work with elementary school students on yoga as an afterschool activity.
Ms. Walsh looks forward to getting to know the students at The Greene School and to help create a safe and nurturing environment that encourages a growth mindset, blossoming friendships, and goal setting.
Ryan Smith - Third Grade
Mr. Smith received his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Arizona State University and his Master of Arts in Teaching from Kaplan University. He is currently enrolled in Kennesaw State University’s Educational Specialist in Instructional Technology program. Mr. Smith began teaching at Polo Park Middle School in 2011, and for the past six years has taught seventh and eighth-grade science, as well as a STEM elective course for which he wrote the curriculum. He has written over $50,000 in successful grants that have funded a wide range of innovative STEAM projects.
While at Polo Park, Mr. Smith was named the 2014 Science Teacher of the Year by the Palm Beach County Science Educators Association. In 2015 and 2016, he was the winner of the School District of Palm Beach County’s Innovative Educator Competition. He has been recognized nationally as a finalist for the 2016 Tom’s of Maine Green Your School fund and is currently a finalist for the AdoptAClassroom/PCMG Star Teacher Award.
In addition to his work in the classroom, Mr. Smith is a passionate advocate for informal STEAM education. For the past six years, he has worked for the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium as a camp counselor and, most recently, as the founding manager of the STEM Studio summer camp in Jupiter, FL and the co-creator of the Stiles-Nicholson STEM Inventor’s Challenge. He is looking forward to bringing his passion for education to The Greene School. Mr. Smith is one of the Third Grade homeroom teachers and will also teach Fourth Grade Science.
Connie Giles - 1st Grade
Ms. Giles has been teaching for nearly twenty years, with a tenure that spans Early Childhood through Third Grade, in private schools, throughout the state of Florida. In addition to her experience in the classroom, she has had the opportunity to teach after-school clubs focusing on Art, Soccer, and Drama. To accompany her extensive teaching experience, she holds two educational degrees; the first in Child Development with a minor in Education from Florida State University, and the second in Elementary Education with ESOL endorsement from Florida Atlantic University.
As an educator, Ms. Giles views herself as a facilitator of learning. She tries to set the stage by creating a stimulating and energetic environment in her classroom. She has found that the most learning takes place when there is both interest and motivation. Therefore, her aim is to instill a love of learning in her students, with the goal of helping them to be life-long learners. In line with The Greene School philosophy, she believes that it is essential to differentiate the lessons she teaches, to better meet the varying needs of students; while building a positive rapport with both students and their families, which is essential for trust to be gained and learning to thrive.
Ms. Giles believes that enthusiasm, when delivered honestly, is contagious, and she works hard to demonstrate her passion for teaching each and every day. She joined The Greene School team in their inaugural year as an Early Childhood educator, and will be teaching First Grade this year.
Christine Pucillo - Kindergarten
Ms. Pucillo earned her Bachelor of Education degree, with magna cum laude honors, from Florida Atlantic University in 2003. She received her Master of Arts degree in Elementary Reading from Nova Southeastern University in 2008. Ms. Pucillo has her science certification for fifth through ninth grade, and an ESOL endorsement.
Ms. Pucillo started her teaching career at a private Early Childhood-Eighth grade gifted school and received the North Palm Beach County Teacher of the Year award. She also taught in the Dioceses of St. Petersburg for eleven years and was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Education Committee of the City of Seminole.
Ms. Pucillo is excited to join The Greene School team as one of the Kindergarten educators.
Beth Vaides - Early Childhood
Beth moved to south Florida and began her teaching career in 2001 after graduating from Ball State University in Indiana. She and her husband are kept busy with three active, young children and enjoy taking them outdoors as they all enjoy nature. Beth is a lifelong learner and believes that health and happiness is a journey, not a destination. Her hobbies include reading, meditating, and exploring new places with her family.
Most of her career has been in an intensive dual-language program that provides students with the environment and tools to become bi-literate and bilingual. Throughout all of her career, she has been an active participant in many professional learning communities such as the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), School Advisory Council (SAC) and the Five Star Program that awards schools who consistently and effectively collaborate with all stakeholders, including school staff, student families, and the community. Beth is a firm believer that when schools, families, and communities work together, students will reach their full potential.
During her career, Beth has sought out many programs that gave her the opportunity to collaborate and lead. The Literacy Center Project was a year-long training and modeling program that had Beth model guided reading lessons for teachers, coaches, and administrators from across the district. In her role as Grade Level Chair, Beth utilized her ability to plan, implement, and assess activities in her grade level.
Olga Cones - Spanish
Señora Cones received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineer from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela. She has her Master’s degree in Information System from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela.
Señora Cones worked as a Software Developer at SoftwareFx Inc in Boca Raton, a company that dedicates to develop data visualization and business intelligence tools for developers. Señora Cones was also part of the team at Nova Vision Inc in Boca Raton. NovaVision provides vision solutions targeting people who have lost their sight as a result of Stroke or Traumatic Brain Injury.
Before moving to United States, Señora Cones worked as a Software Consultant at PDVSA, an oil company in Venezuela. Señora Cones also worked as a Software Consultant at Banco Central de Venezuela.
Señora Cones obtained her certification to work as a Spanish Teacher and Computer Science teacher from The Florida Department of Education.
Señora Cones helped for several years at Pine Crest School on the Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale campuses as a substitute teacher for Spanish and Computer Science from PK to 8th grade.
Señora Cones is passionated about language learning and technology integration.
Senora Cones started working during the 2017 school year as a Spanish Teacher for Pk- 3rd grade at the Greene School.