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Amy has a Doctorate in Psychology and is certified as a school psychologist, learning consultant, and teacher of reading. She has worked on the Child Study Team for more than twenty-six years. She has two Masters Degrees including one in school psychology and reading and one in early childhood and elementary education. She has taught kindergarten for almost nine years. In addition, Amy has coordinated and implemented an enrichment program that helps develop fluid reasoning, abstract thinking abilities, strengthen problem solving skills and executive functioning skills as well as increasing creativity. She has extensive experience in classroom management and behavior interventions as well as specific ways to differentiate instructional material to meet individual student’s needs.
Fay Sharit is an Associate Director at Primoris Academy. Fay has over twenty years of experience in gifted education. She has been a member of the board of The Gifted Child Society for twenty one years. Certified in New Jersey to teach both the biological and physical sciences, Fay has taught genetics, ecology and science news to gifted students. Dr. Sharit is a practicing podiatrist and uses science on a daily basis. While president of the Math Boosters of the Bergen County Academies (BCA), she co-founded The BCA Math Competition for 4th through 8th graders. Fay is excited to be involved in providing gifted students the opportunity to attend a school that appreciates their gifts and nurtures them.
Amali Premawardhana is the Cello Teacher at Primoris Academy and a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music. During her studies she had the privilege of working in master classes with such great musicians as Yo-Yo Ma and Ron Leonard, and in orchestral workshops with world renowned orchestral conductor, Kurt Masur. Her performing career has taken her to major venues in New York City including Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, to tours across the United States and Western Europe. While performing brings Amali much joy, she finds great inspiration from teaching and sharing her love for music with her students.
Cara Ruggiero is a state certified elementary teacher who has Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Hofstra University and Master of Arts in Elementary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is excited to be a creative curriculum developer and history teacher. Before joining Primoris Academy, she was the curriculum coordinator and developer at The Greenshire School and taught at Garden City Park Elementary School and at School 11. Utilizing her love of music and performance background at Carnegie Hall, she also has arranged, taught, and served as musical director at Hofstra Show Choir. She is thrilled to be part of Primoris Academy and in helping make a difference in the lives of gifted children.
Lynsey Brimigion has her bachelors of science degree in elementary education. She created and implemented science curriculum for the Montclair State Gifted and Talented program for several years and has developed and taught an engaging hands-on science program for early elementary students for over 6 years. She is excited to bring her love of learning to Primoris Academy.
Mia S. Howard received her Masters in Elementary Education at renowned Bank Street College of Education in N.Y.C. Mia taught first grade at Blue Rock School in West Nyack, AMBRIT International School in Rome, Italy, and English at the Lycee Francais de New York, in NYC. She taught third grade at the Little Red School House in NYC. Mia worked as a Literacy Staff Developer for Bank Street College, and was a Professor of English Language Arts at Nassau County Community College and Mercy College. Mia graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a Bachelor’s in English. She also has two Masters Degrees in social work and clinical psychology and is dedicated to meeting the whole needs of the child.
Natalia Lukina received her Masters Degree in Biology from prestigious California Institute of Technology as well as Applied Mathematics and Physics with honors from Moscow Institute of Technology. She has taught mathematics and sciences in a wide range of settings. She has been educated in a gifted school herself and had been an active participant in various math competitions throughout her school years. Natalia loves teaching challenging math problems and preparing students for the competitions to build stronger critical thinking and application skills. At the same time, she strives to help each student see the fun and beauty in mathematics and reach their true potential.
Nadia Khodakovska acquired both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Performing Arts and teaching. While studying in National Music Academy, she had an opportunity to hold a number of professional roles including music teacher, orchestra performer, string quartet leader, and music instructor. She completed Suzuki violin training, which gave her understanding how to work with young children to help them flourish into well rounded individuals and to instill in them love and appreciation for music as well as practicing routine. As a versatile individual, she a high level of confidence in ability to teach students of various grades. She enjoys working on creative projects and hopes to put together various student ensembles and being involved in faculty recitals.
Merion is a certified elementary school teacher with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Literacy, and a lifelong love of teaching. She has also been a certified swim instructor for 19 years and always enjoys watching the reaction of a child when they “get it”. Merion is excited to lead our early education program Launchpad, where she fosters pre-school children to students adjusted for successful school life.
Victoria has obtained a NJ state certification with advanced standing in Elementary Education. Since she graduated Cum Laude from St. Thomas Aquinas College, Victoria has gained valuable experience working in the field of Clinical Neuropsychology. More recently, she has worked with students at a school in the northern Bergen County area. Victoria is delighted to help educate and enrich the lives of the students at Primoris Academy.
Coach McKenzie attended Montclair State University where he studied physical education and health. In his classes the students are working to become their own coach. He stresses focusing on body awareness in order to recognize what you can change to get your desired outcome. Sportsmanship is high priority and he helps the students develop skills to be a good teammate and leader. His positive attitude allows students to not fear trying new things and making mistakes. He also coaches basketball at West Milford High School, his home town.
Boris Sotnikov also played a crucial role in preparing students for our National Mathleague competition. He graduated Rutgers University, New Brunswick with a degree in Genetics and a passion to share the knowledge he attained with others. Boris has taught calculus and chemistry at Rutgers as part of the LSAMP program dedicated to encourage success for math and science for freshmen. Boris also worked as a research assistant at the Rutgers Biomedical engineering lab on a project that was developing a technology for artificial liver support. His eclectic experiences and passion for science education translates to a unique and interesting classroom experience, one that encourages imagination and critical thinking.
Ji Seon has taught Mandarin for over 12 years, after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in International Trade at Tam-Kang University in Taiwan. She has an extensive experience in teaching students in all ages from pre-K to adult learners, at various learning environments. Ji Seon emphasizes on tones in her Mandarin lessons, as they can completely change the meaning despite the same pronunciation of some words. More importantly, she makes sure all her lessons are fun to keep the students engaged and maximize their learning potentials, through rhyme songs and active participation.
Kimberly is a graduate of Elizabethtown College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Minor in Theater. She graduated with honors in education. Before working at Primoris Academy, she helped develop the third grade English curriculum. She has used her theater background to teach drama at a YWCA camp for six years. Kimberly is excited to be a part of the Primoris Academy team and spread her passion for learning to her students.
Ivan Rojas is the soccer instructor at Primoris Academy. “Coach Ivan” has played soccer for 15+ years as Captain of New Jersey’s top-ranked club program. Using experiences domestically and those from competitive play abroad (Mexico and Brazil), Ivan has since become one of Bergen County’s leading coaches. As a trainer in a number of highly talented organizations, namely World Class Soccer, Arsenal Soccer, and Bergen County’s Soccer Institute programs, Ivan has applied his great knowledge of the game by tutoring an array of boys and girls teams, ages ranging from five to sixteen. Through an unrelenting enthusiasm for the game, Ivan aims to always establish a fun atmosphere for his players, one conducive to individual improvement both on and off the field.
Jenya began his studies in fine arts since early childhood in the former Soviet Union. Continuing his work in the United States, Jenya earned a BFA at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute. Then, he went on to receive a graduate degree in Fine Art Education at Hofstra University, along with a certificate for K-12 art teacher. In addition to the fine arts, Jenya also built a career in graphic design and illustration in New York City. Through the years, he traveled extensively to various parts of the world, staying involved in many aspects of art and its implementation in different cultures, which he values in his lessons. Jenya is excited to be a part of Primoris Academy and to share his love for the arts with the students.
Primoris Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donation is tax-deductible. Gifts in all amounts are deeply appreciated. Please send questions regarding donation by email using our contact us form.