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
English (AP, Regents) Teacher
Concetta Hurley is a highly motivated, enthusiastic, dedicated English teacher with a B.A. in English Literature and M.A. in Secondary Education. She has been teaching English for almost 17 years at a neighboring public high school.
During her career, she has taught every grade level and enjoys guiding students of all levels of learning. She is a talented educator with extensive experience with special education students, curriculum mapping, literary analysis, and Regents preparation.
Students who leave Ms. Hurley’s class leave with confidence in their reading and writing skills and are fully prepared for their next grade level.
Ms. Hurley looks forward to bringing her passion for teaching and encouraging students to reach their full potentials as English learners at Think & Write.
Elementary English Instructor
Anthony Heider received his B.S. in Theatre and Human Development from the University of Mount Union, and has received his MFA in Acting at LIU Post. Additionally, Anthony serves as a tutor for the LIU Post Writing Center.
His focus is on assisting students in developing critical analysis of the text, while gaining the ability to share said analysis in papers, performances, and presentations. As an actor, Anthony 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, Anthony has also developed a deep interest in Japan, leading him to live in the country and speak the language.
As a returning teacher, Mr. Heider 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.
English Teacher / Assistant Director
Ms. Rebeca Kim received her Bachelor of Arts in both Childhood Education and Anthropology from Queens College. After developing a passion for literacy during her undergraduate studies, she pursued a Master of Arts in Literacy from Teachers College at Columbia University. She has since taught in the District 26 public school programs in Queens, NY.
Ms. Kim is a strong advocate for progressive teaching methods in reading and writing subjects, which combine both conventional and unconventional techniques to engage and enrich students’ minds to not only learn but to become thoughtful readers and writers. She has mastered the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Units of Study and now applies this well reputed curriculum to her students with successes witnessed firsthand.
Her goal is for students to discover and cultivate a love for literacy by using literature as mentor texts for their own writing. She continues to perfect her teaching strategies as she absorbs novel approaches to foster interactive learning while emphasizing and celebrating the individual student successes in and out of the classroom.
Mathematics and Science Department
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.
Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics), STREAM Instructor
Vincent Cali is a passionate scholar and educator of the sciences. Having graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in Biology, he has extensive knowledge of the biological sciences which he has utilized in multiple research and educational settings.
At Queens College, worked in the Biology department, guiding students in approaching the difficult and often abstract concepts in an individualized manner. He has also taught the anatomy and Physiology Lab courses as an adjunct instructor at the college.
The main goals of Mr. Cali’s classes are to make students find Math and Science fun, relatable, and most of all, interesting. Science is about asking questions and understanding the solutions that answer them and while teaching his classes, Mr. Cali will strive to foster the problem-solving skills and elastic thinking required not only to excel in the sciences but in all areas of life.
Past Teachers and Substitute Teachers
Special Education Teacher
Jane Pigliacelli received her BFA in Drawing, Painting, and Fiber Studies from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago and has received her MS in Education at LIU Post.
Jane has worked for three years as a special education teacher at P.S. 13 Q Clement C. Moore. Throughout her journey as an artist, a student and an educator, she has honed skills in fiber and material studies, book making, collaborative, community-based projects, drawing and painting, and so much more. With a growth mindset, hard work and ambition, she continually strives to learn more and incorporate those ideas into her teaching practice. Her experiences in education have nurtured her competency to adapt learning to support the varied and complex needs of her students. At P.S. 13, she took on leadership roles in developing and running after school programs and finding STEAM professional development opportunities. One of her greatest strengths as an educator is her ability to develop a personal understanding of her students by using a whole child approach and building on that positive relationship to create better social and academic strategies.
She is committed to teaching and to providing all students with a healthy, safe, engaging, and supportive learning space.
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.
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.
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.
Ms. Oliverio has been teaching since the age of ten when she was sought after to be her neighborhood's English tutor. A dedicated student herself, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fairfield University and earned a Master's Degree with Highest Distinction from Hofstra University. Formerly a tenured teacher at Sag Harbor Public Schools, she left her position to deal with personal family tragedies - the sudden loss of both her brothers and a grieving mother. Demonstrating the unbridled resiliency of the human spirit, Ms. Oliverio became a highly regarded educational consultant in the private sector and was solicited by Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated, to write three education books, all of which hit national bookshelves. In addition to her background in teaching reading and writing, she has extensive experience in special education and has conducted workshops for teachers on how to differentiate instruction for learner success. A recipient of both the Howard Howland Brown Memorial Prize for Excellence in English and the Croteau French Award for Outstanding Achievement in Foreign Language, she is passionate about sharing her love of language with her students.
In 2010, Ms. Oliverio founded Kids Stock the House, a not-for-profit community organization that supports families of the Ronald McDonald House and cultivates leadership skills in today's youth. She has since spread the spirit of volunteerism to tens of thousands. Under her direct supervision, Kids Stock the House has presented its mission at various influential venues, including the mayor's office and superintendents' conferences. Subsequently, the group earned four congressional proclamations and numerous other prestigious community service awards. In 2016, Ms. Oliverio was named New York State Senate Woman of Distinction and received recognition at the capitol building in Albany for her role in guiding children to give back, lead and succeed.
Ms. Oliverio believes that all students have vast abilities to learn and she works diligently to create learning environments wherein even if children stumble, they never fall. She looks forward to connecting with kids at THINK & WRITE, nurturing the whole student, and creating a community of confident, eager learners.