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Meet the Kindergarten Team

Mr Cook

K 117 Francis Cook  [email protected]

This is Mr. Cook’s first year at P.S. 261 and 10th year teaching.  Mr. Cook has been teaching early childhood education for the past 10 years.  Mr. Cook has taught Pre-K in Washington Heights and in Manhattan’s Chinatown.  Mr. Cook received his Bachelors Degree from Hunter College in Elementary Education and History and his Masters Degree from City College in Early Childhood Education.  Mr. Cook speaks Spanish.  Mr. Cook loves learning and teaching about Science and animals.  Mr. Cook enjoys music, dancing, traveling, and having fun!



K 119 Christopher Capobianco

Chris Capobianco

Chris is a passionate early childhood educator and loves watching his students develop their unique personalities and talents. He has been working in education and development for the past 20 years and has taught kindergarten, 1st grade and even high school English (a long time ago….). He has a Bachelor’s in English and Education from Boston College, a Master’s from Columbia University in International Affairs and a Master’s in Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street College. Chris brings his love of music and the arts into the classroom – there won’t be a day you’ll see him without his guitar. He loves biking, cooking, traveling and has lived overseas in East Africa and India. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three curly-haired daughters. 



K 124 ICT Robyn Taragan  [email protected]

K 124 ICT  Mariel Casey


Robyn Taragan

This is Ms. Robyn’s 12th year at PS 261.  She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelors in Child and Family Studies.  Then, straight from there she went to grad school at New York University where she got her Dual Certification in Childhood and Special Education along with an Early Childhood certificate.  Ms. Robyn grew up on Long Island, but currently lives in Manhattan. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new sites, reading, and spending time with friends and family! She is happy to be a part of the PS 261 community!

Mariel Casey

Born and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn, Mariel attended Brooklyn Public schools from Elementary through High School.  She is very excited to be in her fifth year at PS 261. She studied Early Childhood Urban Education at LIU, Brooklyn Campus, and has her Special Education Extension Certification through the College of St. Rose.  Mariel is also a fully certified Pilates Instructor with credentials in pre and post natal. Mariel now lives in Bay Ridge with her husband Chad, their daughter Edie, and dog Sophie.

Melissa Farran

K 212 Melissa Farran  [email protected] 

This is Melissa Farran’s twelfth year of teaching at PS 261 and her third year teaching kindergarten. She is a native Brooklynite who loves going to museums, seeing plays and rooting for the Brooklyn Nets.



K 213  Maria Lopez [email protected]

Maria Lopez

This is Ms. Lopez’s  second year at PS 261 and 16th year teaching. Ms. Lopez has taught PRE-K, K, 1, 2 and 5th grade. She was also a reading specialist for 2 years.  Ms. Lopez has taught in Brooklyn, the upper east side of Manhattan and at Willard Model Elementary in Norfolk, Virginia.  She received her Bachelors Degree from Hunter College in psychology and English literature and a Masters Degree from Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry in elementary education. Maria is a Brooklyn native, fluent in Spanish. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with her family, concerts and cheering on the Brooklyn Nets!



Patrick Fryman



K 224 Patrick Fryman [email protected] 

Patrick is excited to be starting his fourth year of teaching Kindergarten at PS261. He has taught third, first, kindergarten, pre-kindergarten and physical education. Patrick holds a B.A and M.S in Organizational Communication and a B.A. and M.S. in Elementary education and teaching reading. In his spare time Patrick enjoys Bikram yoga. traveling, reading and dining outdoors!