5th Grade

Class 5 319


Marie Hoffman

This will be Marie’s sixth year teaching at PS261 and her first teaching fifth grade. She has been a literacy coach and taught in schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn for twenty years. Marie loves to travel and write and enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is very excited to be teaching fifth grade.


Class 5 409

Ina Pannell-St.Surin and Laura Burns

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Ina Pannell-St.Surin

Ina Pannell-St.Surin has been teaching in the public school system in Brooklyn for the past 21 years as a special education teacher.  Specifically, she has been teaching in Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) settings for 19 of those years. Ina was born and raised in New York City and attended New York City public schools in The Bronx throughout her childhood.  She received her M.S. from Bank Street College of Education. Ina has also worked in the Arts in Education field for five years in New York City. She enjoys the arts — visual, music and especially dance. When not teaching, you may find Ina attending dance class, particularly in Haitian Dance. 

Ms. Laura was born in New York City and spent her formative years in Greenwich Village where she lives now.  After graduating with a degree in English from Smith College, she worked for several years in the arts then became a foster care caseworker for the city.  It was here that she discovered that she enjoyed working with children and decided to become a teacher. Laura received a degree from Bank Street and spent the last twenty years in Ocean Hill-Brownsville at (the recently closed) PS/IS 73 where she taught grades 1,2,4,5 and 6 (both ICT and General Ed). In her off-hours, Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, making things (cooking, baking, knitting, photography), reading, riding her bike and cheering for the Mets, Knicks and the Cleveland Browns.  [email protected]


Class 5 411

Teresa Setzer

Ms. Setzer was born in New Orleans but raised right here in Brooklyn. She attended the University at Albany, SUNY graduating with a BA in Political Science. She then went on to achieve her MS in Childhood Education and Special Education from Hunter College. This is her 6th year teaching in NYC public schools as a general education teacher. Her passion for social justice, mindfulness, and the arts can be found throughout her classroom. Outside of school, she loves to stay active running and hitting the park with her dog Nola, spending time with family and friends, and traveling!. She is also a dedicated and passionate actor, who can be found in scene study class or rehearsal.


Class 5 412

Megan Kane

Megan received her Bachelor’s in Visual Arts with a concentration in Ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz and her master’s degree in literacy from Alfred University. She grew up and lives in Bayridge, Brooklyn. Megan loves to practice yoga and is an RYT200 certified yoga instructor. She has been at PS261 since 2005. While at PS261 she has taught Kindergarten, second, third, and fourth grades. She is excited to join the 5th-grade team
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Class 5 415

Kady Safar and Genoa Jones

Kady Safar

Kady has been teaching and working in education since 2000. She is a Math for America Master Teacher and loves using investigations, number strings, and math congresses to bring mathematics alive for students. Kady holds a degree in elementary education from the University of Wisconsin, a bilingual certificate from Wayne State University and a master’s in special education from Bank Street College.  She is passionate about social justice and equity in the classroom and loves seeing her students grow and learn together. Kady is originally from East Lansing, Michigan and loves going back in the summer to swim, waterski and spend time with family. She lives in the neighborhood with her husband and two daughters.

Genoa Jones

This is Genoa’s second year at P.S. 261 and 17th year teaching grades 2-5 in both general education and special education settings. She is originally from Ohio and moved to New York after college. She took a 5-year break from the Department of Ed. to teach at IB schools overseas. The diversity she has experienced through her own upbringing and travels reinforces her drive to help her students develop an appreciation and acceptance of differences on both the local and global level. Genoa views her role as an opportunity to facilitate the development of problem-solving skills, an understanding of empathy, and the chance to help students take action. When she’s not planning her next trip, she can usually be found trying a new restaurant, playing lawn games (an interesting pursuit in an urban setting), rescuing animals, or cycling.