Middle School » Faculty


Middle School Leadership

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Marina Galazidis
Bio coming soon.
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Brian Pew
Middle School Assistant Principal

Middle School Faculty

Rachelle Vallon
Middle School Guidance

Rachelle Vallon graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Education. At Hofstra, Rachelle became a member of Chi Sigma Iota, the National Counseling Honors Society and was awarded the John Dewey Van Buren Endowed Scholarship for academic achievement. Rachelle started her career in counseling at a charter high school serving as a Mandated Counselor and College Advisor. Joining Quest during its second year, Rachelle works as the Middle School Guidance Counselor and Wellness Coordinator. With an ongoing passion to support children holistically, Rachelle works with Quest’s Middle School students, parents, and staff to provide Social and Emotional intervention and support, build the Home Base Advisory program, and collaborate with Wellness staff to enhance school and community culture.

Suzanne McMonagle
School Psychologist

Suzanne graduated from SUNY Albany in 2005 with an Undergraduate degree in Psychology. She worked as a paralegal during graduate studies at Mercy College and obtained her Masters in School Psychology in 2011. After two years at the Committee on Special Education, Suzanne began working at Quest to Learn at the start of the 17-18 school year. As a school psychologist, Suzanne consults with teachers, administrators, parents, and students regarding behavior, academic achievement, and other important issues that pertain to education. Suzanne became a school psychologist to help students understand their own areas of strength and need; she believes in encouraging students to advocate for themselves and take an active role in their education. She is dedicated to the success of Quest to Learn students and is glad to be part of such a wonderful school environment.

Kate Litman
6th Grade, Codeworlds
Kate Litman began her career in New York City as a Teaching Fellow in 2005. Kate has taught Codeworlds at Quest to Learn for 8 years and was the founding 8th grade teacher. Kate holds a BA in English and American Literature from NYU and a Masters degree in Mathematics Education from City College of New York. She is a Master Teacher with Math for America, a former facilitator for Institute of Play, and has achieved Peer Collaborative Teacher status with the NYC DOE. In this role she acts as a curriculum developer, still teaches a full schedule, and facilitates engaging PD for her colleagues. Whether teachers are building teamwork through a BreakoutEDU puzzle, brainstorming solutions to complex problems using LEGO Serious Play, or taking on the role of a secret agent at the Spyscape museum in Manhattan – they are sure to have an inspiring experience that embodies the principles of game-like learning. Kate has designed many games at Quest including The Whole Enchilada, FracJack, Get to the Point and Lazy Triangles.
Chris Schilling
6th & 7th Grade, Sports for the Mind
Chris has been an educator in a variety of cities for close to 20 years. His last twelve years have been spent as a part of the NYC Department of Education teaching technology and social studies in Brooklyn. Chris graduated from Oswego State with a BA in American History and a BS in Secondary Education. He later earned his Masters in Educational Technology from Cambridge College. Chris believes in a Socratic or constructivist approach to education and feels that the students should be allowed to explore the content being studied and be able to build their own meaning and understanding of how it relates to the world around them.
  7th Grade, Codeworlds
Lencey Hagan
8th Grade, The Way Things Work
Lencey graduated with a BA in Childhood Education from Long Island University and earned a MA in Middle School Science Education with a concentration in Environmental Science from CUNY Brooklyn. Lencey joins Quest to Learn after teaching 6th and 7th grade Science at the UFT Charter School. During her Spring and Summer vacations, Lencey works as a teacher’s assistant at the American Museum of Natural History in the Education Department. Lencey is an energetic, outrageous and experiential individual and educator. She believes in hands on learning and creates an encouraging and challenging scientific environment where everyone matters.
Will Nicastro
8th Grade, Being, Space & Place
Will Nicastro has been teaching social studies in New York City since 2008. He has taught courses in world, American, New York City history, as well as courses in International Law & Human Rights and AP Psychology. Will has been involved with curriculum mapping, leading inquiry teams, and designing CCLS-aligned coursework. He has a BA and MA in history, with his Master’s thesis focusing on an ethnography of underground music. Will believes that an engaging and dynamic approach to history offers students the opportunity to think critically, evaluate information, and collaborate, all essential 21st century skills.
Alyssa Richman
Middle School Physical Education
Alyssa has been teaching Physical Education and Health at Manhattan schools since 2008. She has taught all ages ranging from Kindergarten to High School. In addition to her interest in Health and Physical Education, Alyssa enjoys working with students in extra-curricular activities and believes that these activities are just as important to a child’s development as the required curriculum. During her time at a Charter School, Alyssa helped to develop an internship program for students. Alyssa holds a BA in Physical Education from Syracuse University and a MA in Health Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Motivated and thoughtful, Alyssa believes that games offer students the opportunity to approach learning from a different perspective.
Suzanne Pillsbury
Pupil Accounting Secretary
Born in San Francisco, Suzanne moved East to go to Brown University. After graduation, she came to New York to attend NYU film school and begin a 20-year career in film editing. When she had her son, Sam, she decided to become an educator and attended Bank Street College where she got her degree in Early Childhood Education. After six years teaching pre-K/K classes at Corlears School, she decided to move into administration and now works in the office at Quest to Learn. She looks forward to supporting the community of teachers, staff, family and students at this visionary school.

Learning Strategists

Hallie Glickman
Middle School Learning Strategist
Hallie graduated from the University of Massachusetts where she received her Bachelors in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Prior to teaching she worked in the fashion industry and quickly realized that the corporate world was not for her. She grew up in the world of education, with her mom being an elementary school teacher and grandmother a school secretary (both for the NYC DOE). This will be her first year at Q2L. She has previously taught 8th grade ELA in Washington Heights. She will be receiving her Masters degree with a dual certification in Special Education from Relay Graduate School of Education. Hallie is excited and committed to setting high expectations for all her students and hope they are just as excited as she is to come to school everyday!