Staff

Mr. Jerrod Mabry
Mr. Jerrod Mabry
Principal
Mr. Mabry earned his Bachelor of Arts from New York University in English and English Education. Afterwards he moved to San Diego, California and taught at his high school alma mater, Torrey Pines High School. While teaching those first few years, Mr. Mabry earned his Master of Science in Educational Administration from National University. In early 2003, he was made aware of an opportunity to help open a new school of music in the Bronx. Mr. Mabry reached out to Dr. William Rodriguez that spring and made arrangements to fly to New York for an interview where he was immediately brought into the team. Jerrod moved back to New York City the summer of 2003 and helped open the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. When the school opened, Mr. Mabry taught English Language Arts to the entire school which was only 90 students at that time. In 2006, after teaching for three years, the school had grown large enough to require an Assistant Principal of Supervision and Mr. Mabry was chosen to fulfill that role. While an Assistant Principal, Mr. Mabry returned to graduate work at Teachers College, Columbia University and earned a second Masters Degree in Sociology
Mr. David Fink
Mr. David Fink
Assistant Principal of Supervision
Mr. Vern Ram
Mr. Vern Ram
Assistant Principal of Organization & Safety
Mr. Ram has been a staff member of the Celia Cruz High School of Music since the school opened its doors in July 2003. Most recently, Mr. Ram held positions at Celia Cruz as the school counselor and School Business Manager. Mr. Ram started his career at the Office of the Superintendent of Bronx High Schools in 1994. Mr. Ram received his Bachelor of Arts and Master in Education at Herbert H. Lehman College. He also earned his second Master in School Leadership at Mercy College.
Mr. David Abreu
Mr. David Abreu
Paraprofessional
Ms. Sarah Arias
Ms. Sarah Arias
School Counselor
The Celia Cruz High School of Music’s counseling department was designed as a result of inquiries from students, parents, and staff about the school counseling program. In this website, you will find the following information: services that are available through the counseling office, graduation requirements, calendar of activities, mission of the school counseling program, counseling related forms, and helpful counseling related links.
Ms. Regina Batista
Ms. Regina Batista
Paraprofessional
Ms. Batista was born and raised in uptown Manhattan, New York City. She attended East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey; Regina then moved back to New York City and attended Berkeley College for Fashion Marketing and Management. After two years in college Regina realized that was not the career path she wanted to take. Regina became interested in majoring in education. Now working as a paraprofessional at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music, she is looking forward to gaining experience in the education field.
Ms. Jacqueline Bergland
Ms. Jacqueline Bergland
Teacher
There was never a doubt that music would be a big part in Jackie’s life. She comes from a large family of gifted musicians. Many of whom have performed professionally their entire lives. Starting voice and piano lessons at the age of 4, Jackie would later attend New York’s acclaimed Music and Art High School now known as (LaGuardia). After graduation she attended St. Johns University and accepted a scholarship from the school choir and received a BS in Health Care Administration with a minor in Business. Jackie has performed professionally in recitals and as a soloist in venues throughout the United States, Europe and many countries throughout the Caribbean. She has performed at the world famous Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, and the Reichold Center for the Arts as well as The Lehman Performing Arts Center. As a member The Repertory Theater Company in St. Thomas USVI Jackie performed in Camelot and Phantom of the Opera. She also performed in a production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ with the Pistarkle Theater Company also in St. Thomas. Jackie has been a soloist and member of the St. Johns University Concert Choir, SDA Deo Gloria Chorale in St Maarten, The UVI Concert Choir in
Ms. Emily Berns
Ms. Emily Berns
Teacher
Mr. Derwin Blanco
Mr. Derwin Blanco
Teacher
Mr. Blanco was born and raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood in uptown Manhattan. It was his experience in the New York City public school system that led him to becoming an educator. He attended Lehman college where he majored in History and is receiving his masters degree in Bilingual Special Education from City College. In his first year at Celia Cruz, Mr Blanco has become fond of working with his students in global history and educational resources. Aside from teaching, Mr. Blanco is a huge fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and the t.v show The Office.
Mr. Eliseo Blanco
Mr. Eliseo Blanco
Teacher
Mr. Blanco has been a math teacher in New York City since 2001. He also has been an adjunct professor at Hostos Community College since 2004. As an immigrant from The Dominican Republic, he knows the struggles immigrant students have to go through. His goal is that every student in his class passes both the class and the state test.
Mr. Brian Boggan
Mr. Brian Boggan
Teacher
Brain Boggan has been a Physical Education teacher in the Bronx for the past 17 years. He enjoys playing and teaching flag football and ice hockey.
Mr. Christopher Cano
Mr. Christopher Cano
Paraprofessional
Ms. Allison Christian
Ms. Allison Christian
Teacher
Allison Christian joined the New York City Public Schools System in August, 2002. She became a member of the Celia Cruz Bronx High School family in September 2004. She teaches Chemistry and Earth Science. She earned her Bachelors’ Degree in Chemistry from the University of Guyana, South America, and her Masters’ Degree in Science Education, with a focus in Chemistry, from Lehman College. Ms. Christian has a passion for teaching science, especially chemistry. She believes that chemistry is a stimulating and exciting subject and will like for her students to appreciate these qualities learning in chemistry.
Ms. Carliana Collins
Ms. Carliana Collins
Teacher
Mrs. Collins is a Special Education teacher at Celia Cruz High School of Music. Prior to teaching, Mrs. Collins worked in Advertising and discovered her love of teaching through developing the skills of fellow colleagues new to the industry/company. At that point Mrs. Collins made a decision to go back to school to get a Masters degree in Bilingual Special Education from City College. In addition to teaching, Mrs. Collins enjoys cooking, traveling and learning about different cultures.
Ms. Bianela Colon
Ms. Bianela Colon
School Counselor
The Celia Cruz High School of Music’s counseling department was designed as a result of inquiries from students, parents, and staff about the school counseling program. In this website, you will find the following information: services that are available through the counseling office, graduation requirements, calendar of activities, mission of the school counseling program, counseling related forms, and helpful counseling related links.
Ms. Xiomara De Los Santos
Ms. Xiomara De Los Santos
Teacher
Xiomara Delos Santos has been a vibrant and vital part of the Celia Cruz family for 16 years!! When she is not teaching, you can find this friendly Dominican native dancing, singing or in her local gym taking zumba classes. Voted "Ms. Congeniality" by her peers, her students are greeted at the classroom doorway with a smile and her one-of-a-kind "He-llo!"
Mr. Arthur Funk
Mr. Arthur Funk
Teacher
Mr. Funk is the Earth Science and Agricultural Science teacher at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music.   He moved from Buffalo to New York, earning his BA in Fine Arts from CUNY Hunter while competing on the college wrestling team.  While studying abroad, he became interested in the dynamics of our planet and began studying geology at the University of Hawaii before returning to CUNY York.  He then graduated with a BS in geology from the University of Buffalo before completing his masters at the American Museum of Natural History. In addition to pedagogy, Mr. Funk is an avid outdoorsman and musician.
Mr. Thomas Hall
Mr. Thomas Hall
Teacher
Mr. Hall came to Celia Cruz in 2006. He has a B.A. in International Relations and American History from Syracuse University and a J.D. from Louisiana State University. Before becoming a teacher Mr. Hall practiced law for three years in Louisiana. Aside from teaching American History, Mr. Hall is also the Varsity Softball Coach for Walton Campus.
Mr. Yao Jules
Mr. Yao Jules
Teacher
Mr. Jules graduated from John Jay College with a Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice. Soon after, the enrolled in the TOP program (Teacher Opportunity Program) at Lehman College, and started teaching mathematics at Grace Dodge High School. In May of 2004,Mr. Jules was called on active duty and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He received three Army commendation Medals, two Meritorious service medals, and a French citation medal.In 2007, he graduated from Lehman college with a Masters degree in Mathematics Education. He loves music and played in bands during high school and college. His favorite music is blues, classic rock, classical music, and reggae. He plays the guitar and piano. Mr. Jules joined the staff of Celia Cruz High School 2014.
Mr. Jason Kho
Mr. Jason Kho
Teacher
Ms. Patricia La Marr
Ms. Patricia La Marr
Paraprofessional
Patricia Beazer Burton La Marr was born in the Bronx New York on February 7th. Her parents are native Caribbeans of the island of Antigua and Barbuda. At the age of 7 my father passed away which left me devastated my mother who became a single parent did a fabulous job raising my brother and I. I am the mother of one daughter Christine and three grandchildren. I have been working for the New York City Department of Education as a paraprofessional for 31 years, 29 years at Grace Dodge career and Technical High School and two years at Celia Cruz High School. My plan after retirement is to become Diamond's manager when she starts her singing career.
Ms. Deborah Lopez
Ms. Deborah Lopez
Teacher
Deborah Lopez had been an integral part of the CC community from the planning stages and opening of the school in 2003. Born and raised in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, Sra. Lopez attended Binghamton University for her Undergraduate Studies where she double majored in Spanish Language and Literature, and Latin American and Caribbean Areas Studies (LACS), and went on to study teaching of Spanish at Teachers College, Columbia University for Graduate School. In addition to teaching Spanish, she is also the National Honors Society Advisor and CC Service Squad, the school's community service group, at the school.
Ms. Varvara Marinescu
Ms. Varvara Marinescu
Teacher
Varvara Marinescu has been teaching Physical Education at Celia Cruz for 8 years. She has been coaching the girl's varsity volleyball team for 6 years. My favorite sports are soccer and volleyball. “Teaching is a very rewarding job which changed my life in a positive way.”
Ms. Judith McCubbin
Ms. Judith McCubbin
Teacher
Ms. McCubbin teaches English literature and composition. She received a bachelor's and masters degree from Lehman College.  Her favorites pastimes are traveling, reading realistic fiction with lots of surprising plots twists, and the challenge of teaching students to decode the elusive language of Shakespeare.
Ms. Lorraine McFarlane
Ms. Lorraine McFarlane
Teacher
Lorraine McFarlane received a B.A. in Literature from the City University of New York in 1997 and a M.A. in English Education from New York University in 1999. She began her teaching career in 1999 at New School for Arts and Sciences and came to Celia Cruz Bronx H.S. of Music in 2009.
Mrs. Lisa Monastero
Mrs. Lisa Monastero
Chorale Director
Lisa Monastero  (ACDA, NMEA, NYSSMA) Lisa earned her degree in Music Education in 2003 from New York University. She went on to earn her Masters of the Arts in teaching from CUNY Lehman College. Lisa began her teaching career in 2003, when she started the choral program at the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music. 8 years later, the program has grown tremendously, with accolades such as NYSSMA level 6 gold and gold with distinction award winning performing ensembles. Lisa has started, and directed the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music Freshman Chorale, School Select Choir, Show Choir, Jazz Choir, Madrigal Choir, Sweet Out-of Lines, and Concert Choir. Her program has grown from 40 singers in 2003 to over 180 today! Her choirs have traveled to various festivals in the US, scoring Superior ratings each time. Mrs. Monastero's choirs have been featured on major broadcast networks and publications such as NY1, Bronxnet, Bronx 12, WB11, The New York Times, and The Daly News. Mrs. Monastero's Show Choir was recently named “New York City’s Best High School Chorus,” by the NY Daily News, WCS, and Hard Rock Cafe. Ms. Monastero was selected to be the Guest Conductor for the
Dora Morse
Dora Morse
Teacher
Dora Morse was born and raised in Southern California. They attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning a double BA in English and Black Studies. Before attending The City College of NY and receiving a MA in Education, cum laude, they worked in a small production studio in Hollywood, CA developing advertising for television and film. Morse has worked in the Bronx for 14 years, teaching English Language Arts and various elective courses. Currently teaching ELA Honors, AP Language and AP Literature.
Ms. Moira Murphy
Ms. Moira Murphy
Teacher
Moira Murphy is a New York native in her fourth year of teaching English as a Second Language.  Ms. Murphy also teaches the AP English Language and Composition class, a junior course for college credit. In addition to teaching, Ms. Murphy's talents include dancing, singing and performing spoken word poetry.
Mr. Abu Osman
Mr. Abu Osman
Teacher
Abu Osman is a native of Ghana and has lived in NYC since 2001. Abu has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in mathematics education from Lehman College. Abu has been teaching math at Celia Cruz High School for the past eight years.
Ms. Janet Overby
Ms. Janet Overby
School Aide
Mr. Wilson Portuondo
Mr. Wilson Portuondo
Paraprofessional
Ms. Gloria Ramos
Ms. Gloria Ramos
Paraprofessional
Born and raised in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Gloria recently moved to the Bronx four years ago. After being given the opportunity to be an Assistant of an after-school program, she knew working with kids was the career path she wanted to stay on. Being a part of the Celia Cruz staff as a Paraprofessional, she has grown personally and professionally. This position has allowed her to build relationships with the students and families to help them achieve both personal and academic goals through out their High School career. One of Gloria's favorite past times is making people laugh and singing Karaoke.
Ms. Ashley Rivera
Ms. Ashley Rivera
Paraprofessional
Ms. Katherine Saint Louis
Ms. Katherine Saint Louis
Teacher
Ms. Katherine Saint Louis attended Hobart and William Smith Collages for her undergraduate education. She has BA in Latin American Studies with a minor in Education and Psychology. During her undergraduate years she had the opportunity to study abroad in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. She has 10 years of experience working with teenager working in a non-profit before pursing her career in teaching. She is receiving her masters degree in Bilingual Special Education from City College. She is currently teaching Algebra and Geometry.
Ms. Penelope Smetters-Jacono
Ms. Penelope Smetters-Jacono
Music Department Chairperson and Band Director
Founding Director of Bands and Jazz Bands, woodwind player, Bronx educator since 1999.
Ms. Maria Swieciki
Ms. Maria Swieciki
Teacher
Ms. Swieciki has been teaching high school history for six years now. This is her fourth year at Celia Cruz.
Mr. Onassis Tavarez
Mr. Onassis Tavarez
Teacher
Onassis Manuel Tavarez was born in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, grew up in the Bronx, and graduated from the South Bronx High School. At Lehman College, he studied Latin American History and Bilingual, and soon after became a Social Studies teacher. He is happily married with two beautiful children.
Ms. Abby Tyndale
Ms. Abby Tyndale
Community Assistant
Mr. Dan Ward
Mr. Dan Ward
Teacher
Mr. David West
Mr. David West
Director of Orchestras
Mr. West has been Director of Orchestras and String Studies at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music since 2005. He completed his Bachelor's in Music Education at NYU and Master's in Cello Performance at Queens College. The string program at CC hosts three orchestras to suit all players' current facilities. In addition to performing concerts throughout the city, Celia Cruz string students receive consistently high marks both as ensembles and soloists at numerous annual events including NYSSMA and Music Showcase Festivals. In addition to the orchestra program, Mr. West is an advocate of small ensemble work. He directs the after-school chamber music program and rock band and produces an annual recital series each Spring. Mr West enjoys the power of music to touch each person differently and explores that through his performance and teaching.
Ms. Wendy Williams
Ms. Wendy Williams
Teacher
Mrs. Williams holds a dual New York State teacher’s certificate in Biology and General Science. For many years, she has taught in several schools in her home country of Guyana before joining the staff at the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music in 2003. Mrs. Williams enjoys nurturing her students in her care.