Our Staff

Leadership Team

Head of school

Meghan Barrios

Meghan is the current Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Math at Hebrew Public. When Meghan started with Hebrew Public in 2016 she joined Harlem Hebrew as a member of the school leadership team. Meghan has over fifteen years of teaching, coaching and leadership experience. She successfully completed both the NJ EXCEL and New Leaders Aspiring Principal school leadership programs. Meghan earned a masters degree in education from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from King’s College. She is looking forward to working with the staff, students, and family members to continue the meaningful work of designing a truly wonderful school at Harlem Hebrew.

Assistant Head of School

Melanie Hinds

Melanie is very excited to serve as the Assistant Head of School at Harlem Hebrew. Melanie brings over twelve years of experience as a teacher, Dean of Students, and administrator. Melanie received her Master’s in Educational Leadership and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education at The College of New Jersey. Melanie resides in New Jersey with her family, including her fourteen year old daughter and twenty one month old son. She is looking forward to meeting and getting to know the Harlem Hebrew team members and students this school year!

Assistant Head of School

Shlomit Levy

Shlomit Levy, LCSW, SBL, Assistant Head of School, has been a strong leader of Harlem Hebrew Language Academy team since its inception in 2013. Ms. Levy joined Harlem Hebrew as the Social Worker and continues to be committed to improving the experience of children and families at HHLA by working collaboratively with teachers, parents/guardians, staff, and organizations to support students’ academic and social development. Ms. Levy has 11 years of experience coaching and working with children and families in the educational system. Ms. Levy earned her BA in Family Psychology (Summa Cum Laude) from the Cuny Baccalaureate Program and is a member of the Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology. Ms. Levy graduated from Lehman College with a masters degree in social work and received her School Building Leader at The College of St. Rose. Ms. Levy is a board certified Clinical Social Worker as well as a board certified School Building Leader in New York State. Ms. Levy believes in the importance of leading by example.

Dean of Culture

Taharah Smalls

With over 10 years in the social service field, Taharah is adept at understanding and responding to the unique needs of a diverse student population.  Taharah joined the Harlem Hebrew community in 2017, as the Behavior Specialist, and her passion to support academic achievement, as well as social development, continues to take shape everyday in her new role as Dean of Culture.  Prior to joining Harlem Hebrew, Taharah worked as a Lead Behavior Specialist at a residential-school for children with various developmental disabilities. Additionally, Taharah provided in-home therapy services to children and families.  Taharah earned a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from The College of New Rochelle, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. John’s University.

Director of Mathematics

Rachael Besser

Rachael is excited to be taking on this new role as she begins her fourth year at Harlem Hebrew. Rachael was a founding 2nd grade teacher in 2014 and then spent a year in Israel with her family. She returned to Harlem Hebrew in 2016 as a founding 4th grade teacher and continued in that grade this past year as well. Prior to joining the Harlem Hebrew team, Rachael spent four years teaching at a private school in Boston. Rachael received a Masters in Literacy from Wheelock College and an undergraduate degree from Boston University in Elementary Education. She lives in Washington Heights with her husband and their 8 month old daughter.

Director of Literacy

Stephanie Fox

Stephanie began her teaching career through Teach for America as a Writing teacher in Memphis, TN. Eager to return to her hometown of NYC, she took on the role of teacher, curriculum writer, and coach at a charter school in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Upon leaving the classroom, Stephanie had the opportunity to work for both the New York State Education Department and New York City Department of Education, focusing on diversity initiatives and fair ELA assessments. Stephanie received a Masters in Education and Applied Statistics from New York University, a Masters in Literacy Education from Christian Brothers University, and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. She is eager to bring her work from both inside and outside of the classroom to the Harlem Hebrew community.

Director of Operations

Ursula Vericain

Prior to joining HHLA, Ursula supported both established organizations, entrepreneurial ventures and non-profits managing them through their stages of creation, growth, finance and human resources. Ursula is most proud of her ability to successfully bring on board a range of experiences to HHLA in finance, human resources and operations. In her role at HHLA, Ursula will continue to manage the day to day HR needs of the staff and to also meet the operational aspects of the school. Ursula holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and plans on continuing her studies in obtaining her Master’s degree

Director of Hebrew Curriculum and Instruction

Alona Mor

Alona Mor has years of experience in education. She received her masters in Education from Hunter College, where she did research on students who are Hebrew Heritage Language Learners. She is proud to be part of the founding team of Harlem Hebrew, where, as the director of Hebrew instruction and curriculum, she leads a team of excellent educators teaching Hebrew in one of the most diverse and exciting schools in NYC. Alona is also a parent at the school: her son is an in-coming kindergarten student this school year.


Haifa K-11

Jared Waters

Jose Silva

Sufa Friedman

Netanya K-12

Sheralyn Camacho

Elana Weinberg

Tracey Cohen

Tel Aviv K-13

Carly Koress

Yris Bilia

Asia Beacrucis

First Grade

Yerushalayim 1-101

Dionnedra Davidson

Jane Lake

Shiran Achrak

Ashkelon 1-102

Amber Danner

Rebecca Corrigan

Gat Gabriel

Second Grade

Be’er Sheva 2-201

R. McKinley Walton

Rikki Cohen

Metulla 2-202

Kara-Renee Logan

Akko 2-203

Dana Nassau

Third Grade

Yafo 3-301

Melissa Zhu

Nicole Angrisani

Ashdod 3-302

Alisa Mariano

Rahat 3-303

Taryn Wrotny

Fourth Grade

Eilat 4-401

Tiana Guillermo

Rachel Zekry

Tveriyah 4-402

Stephanie Vedral

Audrey Vogel

Nahariya 4-403

Tara McHugh

Amanda Iturbe

Ra’anana 4-404

Patricia Ruiz

Fifth Grade

Chatzerim 5-501

Dina Duval

Majorie Levinson

Natzrat 5-502

David Jonovksy

Emily Shelton

Binyamina 5-503

Jamie Garzon

2nd-5th Grade Hebrew Teachers

Merav Ben-Nun

Esttie Yosef

Maya Stein

Adi Zouzout

Rivka Kisling

Seth Abramson

Ziona Bar

Merav Ben-Nun

Hirut Yosef

Sixth Grade

Arad 6-601

Pamela Butler

Vicky Patlias

Usafiya 6-602

Michelle Bontemps-Lindsay

6th Grade Hebrew Teachers

Marissa Kaplan



Amir Moussavi

Physical Education

Henry Freire


Hannah Tejeda


Kenya Gibson

Special Areas

Social Worker

Aisha Breland-Henry

Coco Faiella

Special Education Coordinator

Tyisha Owususekyere


Office Manager

Janice Smith

Community Relations Coordinator

Sarah Guthartz

Sarah is an LMSW who has extensive experience working with children and families. Sarah has been working in the nonprofit world her entire career, but this is her first school experience. She has been a camp counselor, a camp director, a crisis intervention social worker and an executive director. She has her MSW from Yeshiva University – Wurzweiler School of Social work and her undergraduate degree from Central Connecticut State University. She has two HHLA students, Jonah, a founding Kindergartener who is entering 5th grade this year and Stella, an enthusiastic rising 2nd grader. Sarah lives in Washington Heights with her HHLA students, husband Seth and devilish Chocolate Lab, Cocoa.

Contact Info: sguthartz@harlemhebrewcharter.org

Data / Technology Associate

Jase Cruz

Finance Associate

Charita Whitaker

Operations Associates

Christine Prosper

Nashaun Lemay