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staff_3The teachers selected by Elite reflect our long-term, fundamental approach to quality education. Elite teachers hold professional degrees in education, in addition to degrees in their fields of specialty. Many of them teach at area schools such as Stuyvesant and Bronx Science during the week.

Elite students receive quality education and adjust to their school environment because they are taught by professional teachers who love what they do. The same teacher stays with a group of students over the course of the entire semester, developing a special rapport with them and creating an atmosphere conducive to learning. At Elite, learning starts with good teaching.



Huay Chen
Huay Chen has been a teacher at Elite since Summer 2014. She received her B.A. in Linguistics and Asian Languages & Cultures from UCLA, and her M.A. in Elementary Education from NYU. She is also certified in TESOL (K-12). At Elite, she teaches students how to be creative and express themselves with words, examine the science of language, think logically and creatively, and make sense of numbers and patterns--in other words, writing and math. Outside of the Academy, Huay is currently teaching first grade at a public school in the Upper West Side. She is a recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and she hopes to inspire and encourage other students to become strong leaders in their schools and the world. 
 
Doreen Chiu

LiuDoreen has been at Elite Academy since it was founded in 1986.  She has taught all levels of mathematics during her tenure at Elite Academy.  Since 1988, Doreen has been part of the NYC Board of Education.  Doreen has a M.S. in Operations Research and a B.S. in Math and Computer Science.  She enjoys playing the violin, swimming, gardening and is fluent in Chinese.

 
Rebecca Chun
Rebecca Chun has been teaching at Elite Academy since the Fall of 2013. She holds a B.S. in Human Development from Binghamton University. She began her teaching career through her studies at Bank Street College of Education, in which she has graduated with a M.S.ED. in both Childhood Special and General Education. Rooted in Bank Street’s progressive philosophy, Rebecca creates learning experiences in which students are challenged to think critically about themselves, the world, and its peoples. Moreover, she understands that children are unique beings who are interested in learning, experimenting, and exploring. Through her teaching, Rebecca hopes that her students would be led to a lifetime of learning. At Elite, Rebecca specializes in Reading and Writing. Besides teaching, Ms. Chun’s interests include journaling, reading, rock climbing, theater, cooking/baking, and traveling.

 
Ted Cleary

Cleary Ted Cleary has been teaching at Elite Academy since near the very beginning.  He holds three degrees from Columbia University, including a B.A. and M.A. in English and Comparative Literature.  He graduated summa cum laude from Columbia College and was granted a full scholarship to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.  At Elite, in addition to preparing students for the Hunter C.H.S. Exam and the Specialized H.S. Exam, he specializes in SAT Reading and Writing.  Mr. Cleary has taught thousands of students at Elite and has his own tutoring and consulting business for SAT, college admissions, and adult/professionacommunications coaching. Regarding college admissions essays, he has given numerous seminars and edited thousands of essays from hundreds of students, both local and international, who have gone on to attend many of the top universities in the nation (www.tedcleary.com).  In addition to teaching, Mr. Cleary’s interests include writing, music, art, hiking, travel, and photography.

 
Luke Constas
Luke Constas has been teaching at Elite Academy for several years.  He holds advanced degrees from Boston University in both Neuropsychology (B.A.) and Medical Science (M.A.).  Luke graduated magna cum laude and went on to complete two years of medical school training as well as advanced medical internships in both London and Prague.  For over a decade, Mr. Constas has taught college-level biology in some of New York City's most prestigious private high schools.  At Elite, Mr. Constas specializes in training students for both the Living Environment Regents and the SAT Biology Subject Test.   Most recently, Mr. Constas made the switch to teaching middle school science in a small Manhattan private school, and is loving every minute of it.  In addition to teaching, Mr. Constas enjoys reading, yoga, traveling, singing, and performing his own original acoustic music.
 
Benny D'Aquila

NoPhoto_ImageBenny D’Aquila has been an instructor at Elite Academy since 1987.  He earned his undergraduate degree from Queens College in Mathematics and a graduate degree from Columbia University School of Engineering.  He began his career as an engineer with AT&T Bell Laboratories.  After working several years in industry, he decided to fulfill his passion for teaching.  He started teaching mathematics at Benjamin Cardozo High School and advising students in the DaVinci Mathematics Research Program entering the prestigious Westinghouse Competition (now known as Intel).  Mr. D’Aquila then pursued a degree in School Administration and worked as an Assistant Principal of Supervision at Queens Vocational and Technical High School and then at Bayside High School.  He also served as the President of the New York City Interscholastic Mathematics League.  In addition, he worked at Queens College as an Adjunct Professor in the evening, teaching all levels of mathematics.  He then went on to become the K–12 Director of Mathematics for the Jericho Public Schools and then to serve as an Assistant Principal in the Jericho Middle School.  Mr. D’Aquila is currently a Principal in the Jericho District.

 
Andrea Eaton
Andrea Eaton has been a teacher at Elite for the past 3 years. She earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts Degree from C.W Post, LIU. After working in the field of Public Relations for 3 years, Andrea returned to school and received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, grades 1-6. Upon graduating, Andrea traveled to Barcelona, Spain and completed a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Certification Program. While in Barcelona, she had the opportunity to work with native speakers as an English Language Teacher. After returning to the states, Andrea completed an additional Certification Program in Student’s With Disabilities, Birth-6th grade, at CUNY Queen’s College.  She currently works in an elementary school teaching Kindergarten Special Education. She also works with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students assisting in ELA and Math. Andrea has a passion for learning and teaching. She also enjoys reading, writing, yoga and theater. 

 
Brooke Feingold
Brooke Feingold has been teaching the Elementary Level Statewide Prep and Summer Courses at Elite Academy for several years. She holds a B.A. from Brandeis University in Waltham, MA where she majored in Sociology and minored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies as well as Education.  She also received her M.A. With DIstinction from Hofstra University in the Elementary Education Mathematics, Science, and Technology Program.  After living in several locations around the country, including California and Las Vegas, Nevada, Ms. Feingold returned to New York to continue her teaching career.  She is currently teaching Special Education in Queens.  Ms. Feingold is an voracious reader who loves to share her love of books with her students, and has been known to take book recommendations from her Elite students. She is also an avid fitness enthusiast.  
 
Kristie Innes
Kristie Innes has been teaching at Elite Academy since 2011. She holds three degrees from SUNY New Paltz, including a B.A. and M.A. in Elementary Education, Reading, and Communications.  She graduated summa cum laude from SUNY New Paltz and has been teaching for over 15 years.  At Elite, she teaches ELA, focusing on complex vocabulary, comprehension and meaningful conversation about the text. She also specializes in Writing and using higher order thinking to create a variety of writing pieces.  In addition to teaching, Mrs. Innes' interests include, reading, writing, and participating in many workshops to further her education.

 
Peter Kwon
In 1994, a young Peter attended English classes at Elite Academy. Ten years later, having fallen in love with teaching at a test prep school, Peter Kwon pursued a degree in English Literature. Soon after, he attained a M.A. in English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Now, he comes full circle to teach where he once learned. Though he is capable of preparing students for the SHSAT exam, he specializes in SAT Reading and Writing.

Peter also fancies himself a life coach, offering students a fair alternative view of their own lives as well as motivating them to work with purpose and conviction.

 
Sara Liu

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Sara Liu became an integral part of Elite Academy’s math teaching staff in summer 2007 and has since taught math to students preparing for the SAT, PSAT, SHSAT, and Hunter entrance exams.  Ms. Liu currently teaches Integrated Algebra II/Trigonometry and AP Calculus at Townsend Harris High School, where she has taught since September 2005.  She has a B.A. in Mathematics and Education and a M.A. in Mathematics and Secondary Education from Queens College.  Ms. Liu is fluent in Fujianese and Mandarin, and in her spare time, she enjoys playing sports, especially volleyball and tennis.  Her pastimes also include biking and leisurely walks around the park.

 
Mary O'Donnell
Mary O’Donnell has been teaching at Elite Academy for several years.  She received her B.A. degree from Hunter College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and received the William C. Hess Award for the outstanding senior essay. Upon graduation, she continued her English studies (M.A.) at New York University and  then did her doctoral work at Fordham University, where she served as a research assistant.

Furthermore, Ms. O’Donnell taught English and served as the departmental chair at Harrison High School for most of her professional life, worked as the teacher mentor/staff developer at Preston High School, and as a SUPA (Syracuse University Project Advance) instructor.  At Elite, she specializes in SAT Reading and Writing.  In addition to teaching, Ms. O’Donnell’s interests include her enormous extended family,  “all things Irish,” reading, gardening, and traveling; she is also an avid opera and ballet fan and delights in her seasonal subscriptions to both the Metropolitan Opera and the American Ballet Theater.

 
Kay Park

ParkKay Park joined the Elite family in April 2006 as a teachers’ assistant and began teaching in September 2006 while working on her masters.  She has since taught math, reading and writing to students in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade.  She strongly believes that children should enjoy learning at an early age and thus instills a love of learning in her own classroom.  Ms. Kay currently teaches kindergarten at P.S. 307 in Corona and has previously taught pre-K at P.S. 205 in Bayside.  She also has over 10 years of experience tutoring grade school students in math and reading.  Ms. Kay received her B.A. in Psychology from Stony Brook University and her M.A. in Childhood Education from Queens College.  When she is not teaching, Ms. Kay enjoys reading, golfing, snowboarding and rock climbing.

 
Maria Simonian

SimonianMaria Simonian has been an English teacher at Elite Academy since summer 2003 and has taught reading and writing to 3rd -10th grade students.  She also has years of invaluable experience coaching 8th graders to receive high marks on the verbal section of the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT).  Ms. Simonian is currently a college advisor at Flushing High School and is involved in the Y.A.B.C. program where she teaches English and offers college advising to teens at risk who need credits to graduate high school.  Before her transition to college advisor, she was an English teacher at Flushing High School from fall 2003 to spring 2008.  Ms. Simonian has a B.A. in English and a M.S.Ed in Counseling K-12 from Queens College.  Her hobbies and interests include the theater, reading, traveling and kickboxing.

 
Benny (Dongwahn) Suh

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Benny Suh has been at Elite Academy since July 2004 when he joined the staff as a teachers’ assistant and substitute teacher.  Since July 2006, he has taught math to 4th-8th graders and coached 6th graders to receive top marks on the math section of the Hunter test and gain acceptance to Hunter College H.S. and 8th graders to enter the Specialized High School of their choice (SHSAT).  Mr. Benny, as he is known by many Elite students, has been teaching at P.S. 175 Lynn Gross Discovery School in Rego Park since 2004 where he is currently a 4th grade teacher.  He received his B.A. in Elementary Education from Bucknell University and is currently finishing his M.A. in Adolescent Education at Hunter College.  Outside the classroom,  he enjoys playing the role of third baseman for his baseball and softball leagues and the position of point guard and shooting guard in his basketball league.  He also enjoys reading; the last book he read was "Common Sense" by Glenn Beck.

 
Matthew Suhu

SuhuMatthew Suhu has been a math teacher at Elite Academy since summer 2006.  Each summer he teaches Integrated Algebra and problem solving strategies to students in grades 7-9 and specializes in instructing 8th graders math test preparation strategies for the SHSAT.  Mr. Suhu is currently a 7th and 8th grade math teacher at M.S. 308 in the Bronx, where he has been teaching since September 2003.  He is the lead math teacher and was responsible for developing and implementing the Impact Mathematics 8th grade curriculum for the school.  Mr. Suhu has a B.S. in Financial Economics from Binghamton University and a M.S. in Middle and High School Mathematics Education (7-12) from Lehman College.  He became a NYC Teaching Fellow after many years of experience as a research assistant in Applied Economics Research.  In his spare time, Mr. Suhu enjoys putting together PCs and Japanese robot models.

 
Nicole Vasquez

Vasquez

Nicole Vasquez is a dedicated English teacher who joined Elite Academy’s teaching staff in summer 2003.  She has taught reading and writing to students in grades 3-8 over the years, but during the summer and fall semesters, she teaches 6th graders who are eligible to take the Hunter College H.S. entrance exam.  Better known as Ms. Nicole, by her students, she helps students improve their reading comprehension, grammar and writing skills not only for the sole purpose of passing this rigorous exam, but also to enrich students’ overall verbal knowledge and reasoning.  She has a unique teaching style which makes English fun for students in all grade levels.  Ms. Nicole currently co-directs and develops curriculum for the Queens College Inclusion Program which gives young adults with Intellectual Disabilities access to the college experience.  She has a B.A. in Theater Arts and Anthropology from NYU and a M.Ed. from Teachers College at Columbia University.  She is a published author and contributing editor in Kweli, a literary journal, and is fluent in Spanish and French. When she is not teaching, Ms. Nicole enjoys acting/theater, writing and traveling.  

 




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