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Meet the 5th Grade Team
5 409 ICT Catherine Pacilio and Laura Burns [email protected]
Class Website www.54092017.weebly.com
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 and Teresa Setzer [email protected]
5 412 Tara Mchugh [email protected]
Class Website 261class412.weebly.com
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.
5 415 Genoa Jones
Email [email protected]
Genoa is excited to be joining the PS 261 community this year. She is returning to New York after spending the last five years working at International Baccalaureate schools in Bucharest, Romania, and Bangkok Thailand. Before moving abroad, she taught for ten years in Washington Heights. Over the past fifteen years, she has taught grades 2-5 in both general education and special education settings. 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.
5 424 Nan O’Shea [email protected]
Nan has been working at PS 261 for the past 22 years! She has taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and now 5th grades. She was the Theater Arts teacher for two years and conducted “Community Group Sinf” for many grade levels. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from San Francisco State University and a Master’s of Science from Hunter College. She infuses her teaching with humor, singing, drama, and art. She believes that all students are gifted in some way or another and encourages each child, throughout the year, to broaden their talents.
Ms, O’Shea lives in a brick house covered in Wisteria with her husband and their two cats. Gulley & Lucy. She has a beautiful daughter, Bridget, who is a graduate of PS 261. Ms. O’Shea credits Bridget with helping her teach with empathy, patience, and love. “I treat my students the way I want my daughter’s teachers to treat her”
In her spare time Ms. O’Shea gardens, Signs with the Crace Choral Society, takes Irish step dancing classes and is currently teaching her cats to read.
If Ms. O’Shea could come back as any animal she would be an otter lying on her back in the kelp, eating shellfish.