Fifth Grade

5th Grade Supply List on Donors Choose!

Middle School Next Steps (Updated 9/17)

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Meet the 5th Grade Team

Laura Burns and Catherine Pacilio

5 409 ICT Catherine Pacilio and Laura Burns 

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Class Website

Catherine began her teaching career as a 6th grade ICT Humanities and Math teacher in East Harlem at Isaac Newton Middle School. She is excited to be returning to the PS261 community, teaching 5th grade for the past five years. Prior to teaching she earned her bachelors degree in Marketing and Psychology at the College of William and Mary and studied Advanced Psychology for a year at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. She also earned her Masters Degree in Childhood and Special Education at New York University. Catherine worked as Marketing Director for Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association prior to becoming a teacher. Soccer is a life-long passion of hers, from playing in college to coaching all ages at recreational and advanced levels. When she is not on the soccer field she enjoys knitting with her cat Lola by her side. She hopes to use her experience working in middle school to guide 5th graders in transitioning from elementary school to the years beyond.

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.  


5 411  ICT Judy Salazar   

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Tara McHugh

5 412  Tara Mchugh

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Class Website

Tara McHugh has been an NYC public educator for 12 years.  She has taught every grade from kindergarten to fifth, though she has a special place in her heart for fifth grade.  Following graduation from Susquehanna University with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Tara taught at PS 272 in Canarsie, Brooklyn for four years. That experience guided her in pursuing a master’s degree in TESOL from Teachers College, Colombia University. During her field study in graduate school she worked at Hamilton Heights School; where she then taught second and third grade for two years before teaching overseas in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Tara continues to grow and learn with the PS261 community and feels overjoyed to work with such a passionate and smart group of educators. Her free time is filled with family/friend love, outdoor activities, and soaking in the abundant culture and art throughout the city. In a world without tennis hour regulations and annual fees, one would catch her playing tennis most days after school. Instead, you might see her bopping around town or playing with her nieces in Prospect Park.




Nan O’Shea

5 424 Nan O’Shea

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