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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.
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.
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.
Mark earned his Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, with a double minor in Sociology and Italian, from the University of Delaware. While there, he participated in biological research on the mechanisms involved in cell signaling and transduction and tutored students in biology and neuroscience courses. Throughout his career, Mark has worked with lawyers, doctors, psychologists, biologists, and neuroscientists to gain insightful knowledge about the brain, law, and society. Mark has enjoyed playing classical and contemporary guitar since he was 10 years old and piano since the age of 13. He is currently a Master of Arts candidate for Psychology at Montclair State University.
Peter teaches mathematics and physical sciences (chemistry and physics). He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics at Rutgers University and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education. He has taught an extensive range of mathematics and science courses for 6 years. Peter is excited to share with the bright minds at Primoris his love for math, physics, and chemistry.
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.
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.
Formerly of the CBS soap opera, “Guiding Light”, Kathleen is a theatre professional equally at home on stage, in front of the camera, directing, producing, writing and teaching. Graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Illinois, with a BFA in Theatre/Acting, Kathleen has received outstanding accolades for her on-stage and directing performances. Kathleen also co-founded Action Theatre Conservatory (ATC Studios) with her husband Joel Robertson in 1990 and has served as the Artistic Director since its inception, creating conservatory programming for ages 4 through senior citizens. Mother to two gifted children (now grown), Kathleen is thrilled to be part of Primoris Academy, and believes that the arts are healing, nurture empathy and compassion, and are necessary for all ages. Her bio appears in several editions of Marquis’ Who’s Who, including Who’s Who in Entertainment, Who’s Who in American Women–Millennium Edition, and she is proud to be featured in Who’s Who in American Teachers.
McKenzie is a graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in Health and Physical Education. He is currently Head Coach for Junior Varsity Basketball team at West Milford School District. As a basketball player, McKenzie was named to All-County and All-Conference teams and set the all time record for most assists at his school. He has led his team to two state sectional playoff finals and won the conference championship for 2 consecutive years. McKenzie is excited to incorporate games into skill development to allow students to learn and have fun.
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.
Dr. Ida Jeltova is a licensed psychologist as well as a mother of three gifted children. She received her PhD in Educational Psychology, Specialization in School Psychology from Graduate School and University Center, CUNY. She also furthered her post-doctoral research training in Educational Psychology from Yale University. She published numerous publications regarding gifted students: Conceptions of Giftedness, The Routledge International Companion to Gifted Education, Preventing Academic Failure in Inner City Gifted Minority Children, Enrichment Programs and Gifted Learning Disabled Students: Preventing Failure and Promoting Success and so many more.
Rebecca Connolly is the Vice Principal and a Science Teacher at Primoris Academy and earned her Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Microbiology, from San Diego State University. She is the mother of two gifted children and knows firsthand how important it is to provide the correct learning environment for these children. She spent a year studying abroad at Regent’s College in London, England and has been inducted into the Phi Beta Delta honor society. She is currently working towards a Certification in Gifted and Talented education. Rebecca comes to Primoris with over a decade of experience in developing and conducting international scientific training modules in Microbiology and Cellular Biology. She approaches teaching science with enthusiasm, has a hands-on approach and hopes her passion for teaching makes learning contagious. She is thrilled with the opportunity to have a positive impact on Primoris Academy students and our future scientists.
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.
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 ourcontact us form.