Faculty

Teachers

Think & Write teachers are dedicated, passionate, altruistic, and accessible.

Our teachers go beyond academics.

The interpersonal skills and the emotional quotient of the students are developed by the realistic advice, smiles, side hugs, and close attention of our dedicated teachers.

Think & Write teachers are dedicated, passionate, altruistic, and accessible

English Department / College Consultation / SAT Verbal, AP English

Veronica Spettmann
ENGLISH / SAT / Debate TEACHER

Veronica Spettmann achieved her B.A. and M.A. In English Literature and Language from LIU Post, where she is also an undergraduate English professor. She has worked for several writing centers and as a private tutor for most of her career.

Her academic focus is on preparing students for the multi-faceted writing tasks that will be presented to them as they continue on through higher education, including literary analysis and conference-style papers in the MLA format. Miss Spettmann has presented such conference papers herself for “Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders,” an academic conference for Binghamton University (2015), and the prestigious 2016 MELUS Conference (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States).

She is thrilled to bring this varied expertise to the students at Think & Write and to help them along their academic paths.

Barrie Stevens
English / SAT Teacher

Barrie Stevens received her undergraduate degree in English Literature from Barnard College and a Master of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. She has over 25 years of experience in education, educational publishing, and public service.

Miss Stevens taught English at Boston College, Georgia Southern University, and North Shore High School, and for the past 15 years taught Freshman Composition for Stony Brook University’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric. She was writer and Associate Editor for Scholastic Magazine, and comes to us most recently from the Office of Congressman Tom Suozzi, where her teaching, writing, and communication skills were put to good use to serve New York’s Third Congressional District.

Miss Stevens is looking forward to sharing her unique perspective, background, and experience with all those students seeking academic assistance and enrichment at THINK & WRITE. Her mission is to help students become intellectually curious, confident, and happy young learners, writers, and thinkers.

Anthony Heider
Presentation & Debate / Theater / English Teacher

Anthony Heider received his B.S. in Theatre and Human Development from the University of Mount Union and is currently finishing up his MFA in Acting at LIU Post. Additionally, Anthony teaches at the LIU Post Writing Center, assisting college students in writing essays.

Mr. Heider's focus is on guiding students in developing critical analysis of the text, while gaining the ability to share said analysis in papers, performances, and presentations. As an actor, Mr. Heider has had the opportunity to perform in a plethora of productions. Most recently, he has been seen in a production of Twelfth Night in New York City. As an intercultural educator, Mr. Heider has also developed a deep interest in Japan, leading him to live in the country and speak the language.

He is excited to share the many facets of his experience with the Think & Write students and faculty, while also learning from them along the way.

Mathematics and Science Department

Abraham Mantell
AMC DIRECTOR / MATHEMATICS PROFESSOR

Abraham Mantell has been in the education field for more than 25 years. He is currently a mathematics professor at Nassau Community College. He teaches all levels of mathematics, advises students, and serves the mathematics department at NCC.

Professor Mantell is actively involved with local and regional mathematics organizations (currently Governor of and Newsletter Editor for the Metropolitan New York Section of the Mathematical Association of America – MAA, and Math League Coordinator for the New York State Mathematics Association of Two-Year Colleges – NYSMATYC). In addition, as an adjunct assistant professor at Hofstra University, he has been teaching undergraduate math for more than 18 years and taught at the Webb Institute, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and Polytechnic University.

His publications include CliffsNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests; CliffsNotes GMAT Cram Plan; CliffsNotes GRE General Test Cram Plan; CliffsNotes SAT Cram Plan; Hyperoxia Inhibits Oxidant-induced Apoptosis in Lung Epithelial Cells, Journal of Biological Chemistry; and Mathematics and Computer Education.

Bryan Nevarez
Math/Physics Teacher

At THINK & SOLVE, Bryan Nevarez has been teaching a wide range of students in math courses such as Algebra I & II, Geometry, Precalculus,and AP Physics not only to help students do better in schools, but also to further strengthen mathematical skills for those students who show passion in math. In addition, he has been successfully preparing his high school students for SAT and SAT Math Levels 1&2 subject tests. His students have been raising significant points on their standardized exams, if not perfect scores. The students feel his fervor in math as he teaches, especially when he prepares students for mathematical competitions, such as the AMC.

Mr. Nevarez has received his undergraduate degree in Pure Mathematics from Queens College. His research experience includes a stint at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and at Berkeley National Lab. To further delve into the field of mathematics, he attended the University of Michigan to obtain M.S. in Applied and Interdisciplinary Mathematics where he began his teaching career as an instructor, teaching Calculus I & II.

In addition to teaching at the university level, he has extensive private tutoring experiences with
elementary through high school students in math courses under the common core curriculum. Along with being an instructor at THINK & SOLVE, he is concurrently teaching at Queens College as an adjunct lecturer and at Queensborough Community College as a math workshop leader.

His primary goal is to impress upon the students how learning mathematics develops critical thinking skills, sharpens attention to detail, and fosters the mental fortitude and inquisitiveness needed to becomes a problem solver that excels in the classroom and beyond.

Marcus Johnson
Chemistry / STEAM Teacher

Marcus Johnson earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Clark Atlanta University. At Clark Atlanta University, he assisted students in fundamental STEM courses to attain experimental and analytical skills at a mastery level. He strongly believes the pedagogy of mastery learning, in which a basic knowledge naturally bridges the gap to help understand the higher level of complex topics.

Additionally, Dr. Johnson obtained his PhD in Physical Chemistry from The University of Alabama. While conducting research in the field of molecular electronics as a doctoral candidate, he actively taught, trained and guided undergraduate students all throughout his stay in Alabama. He is an expert experimentalist and is fully trained in conducting chemical demonstrations for students, ranging from kindergarten to undergraduate.

Dr. Johnson also has successfully instructed students in all kinds of standardized exam preparations including SAT, ACT, SAT Chemistry, and ASVAB. He not only specializes in teaching science, but also mathematics. He is an avid learner, passionate teacher, and a profound thinker. He is pleased to bring his skillset and sophistication to THINK & WRITE teaching team.

Joan Shakes
High School Biology Teacher

​Joan Shakes earned her Bachelor's degree in Biology and has also obtained a Bachelor's degree in Adolescent Education Biology grades 7-12 from SUNY Old Westbury. Additionally, she has a Master's degree in Science/Technology from New York Institute of Technology.

Ms. Shakes believes in integrating technology in her classrooms and delivering 21st century lessons for grades k-12. She has also conducted research while earning her Master’s degree on “How Teachers Integrate Technology in the classroom.” With this background in research, she has perfected the tools and use of technology in the classroom to benefit learners across multiple grade levels. Ms. Shakes has also taught computer science where students have benefited from grades K - 8. They were trained to make use of science and technology to build their projects and use Scratch Coding Robotics projects to clean up oil spills in Makerspace.

Ms. Shakes specializes in teaching biological science with new and improved skill sets. She has successfully taught inner city children for 7 years bridging the gaps in their science education and higher order thinking skills. Ms. Shakes has also successful instructed advanced students in New York State Standardized exams, such as SAT Biology, with outstanding scores. With her vivacious personality and posh London English accent, she gets her students’ attention as she passionately teaches away.

Summer Assistant Teacher & ELEMENTARY TEACHER

Matthew Agrall
ELEMENTARY TEACHER

Matthew Agrall received his Masters degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education from Northeastern Illinois University.

Mr. Agrall taught in a bilingual classroom for the past three years. He has taught both fourth and fifth grade classroom, as well as a 4/5 split grade classroom. For the past four years, he has taught in general education 5th grade classroom. Additionally, Mr. Agrall has taught summer school for the past five summers for first, second, and fourth grades.

As a bilingual teacher, Mr. Agrall creates and implements curriculum and lesson plans that serve the needs of English language learners, which are aligned with the Illinois Learning Standards and the Common Core Learning Standards. He has also developed the curriculum for the 4th grade bilingual program. Mr. Agrall utilizes differentiated instruction to reach each student’s individual needs.

Through differentiated instruction, whole, small, and individual instruction is provided according to needs of the student.

Caroline Kim
Summer Assistant Teacher

Caroline Kim is currently pursuing Elementary Education at Queens College, City University of New York. Miss Kim is experienced in teaching both English and Mathematics to elementary and middle school students. She strives to create a better
learning environment for the younger generation.

Miss Kim aims to become a diligent teacher to provide young students with a joyful learning experience so they can fully explore their creativity and potential. With a great passion for educating, she promises to bring a positive, yet earnest energy to the classroom. She will show her students how to be compassionate, considerate, and open-minded through her guidance and storytelling. The rapport that the students will build with Miss Kim over each summer will be everlasting.

Eager to be a part of the THINK & WRITE community, she desires to encourage her students to exceed their own expectations and create a good foundation for their future.