District 26 Team

Danielle Giunta

Superintendent, CSD 26

Danielle Giunta has been the Community Superintendent in District Twenty-Six in Queens since 2014, serving over 18,000 students and their families across twenty-eight (28) Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade schools, where she prioritizes her work in nurturing an inclusive environment, building coherence of experiences, and growing leadership, capacity and sustainability at every level in pursuit of equity and excellence for all. Mrs. Giunta conducts Principal Performance Observations and informal support visits, providing schools with accurate, fair and credible review experiences, coupled with high-quality feedback in an effort to advance the work of ongoing school improvement.

As an experienced early childhood teacher, assistant principal, and principal Mrs. Giunta was committed to strengthening her school community and recognized for her efforts in expanding parent engagement, supporting teacher development through nurturing teacher leaders, and mentoring aspiring school leaders; all of which she continues to prioritize in her current role. Mrs. Giunta is a 2011 Cahn Fellow, having participated in the program that honors distinguished principals at Teachers College, Columbia University. Previously, she served as Network Leader for a portfolio of 28 diverse schools across four community school districts in NYC.

Mrs. Giunta received her master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College of Education. Mrs. Giunta is also a former mentor for the NYC Leadership Academy’s Aspiring Principals Program and has worked as an adjunct professor in the CUNY Queens College Educational Leadership department. In 2016, Mrs. Giunta joined the adjunct faculty at Baruch College as part of the Advanced Leadership Institute, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. In this role, Mrs. Giunta served as an instructor and faculty advisor for a cohort of distinguished principals, district, Field Support Center and central leaders in pursuit of advancing their knowledge and skill set in leading system level change.

Anthony Inzerillo

Deputy Superintendent

In his career spanning over 22 years, Anthony Inzerillo has served as a paraprofessional, teacher, assistant principal and, for the last 15 years as the Principal of the Maurice Fitzgerald School, P.S. 199 in Queens. Under his tutelage, P.S. 199 consistently made impressive gains in student achievement and excelled in progress across all student groups. Through a commitment to fostering “strong family and community ties,” Mr. Inzerillo nurtured partnerships with Community Based Organizations, leading to recognition as one of the city’s largest Arts partnerships with NYC Ballet among others. Additionally, P.S. 199Q has hosted over 75 visits from educators across NYC and the country to highlight their approach to a balanced literacy program, resulting in visiting educators who leave inspired to replicate and create strategies, structures and routines for their respective communities.

Mr. Inzerillo’s experience has provided him the opportunity to take on additional leadership roles inclusive of mentoring new leaders. Over his tenure as Principal at PS 199, Mr. Inzerillo received recognition for his leadership in many ways, including: Recognition of 15 Years of Exceptional Service as a New York City School Principal from the New York City Elementary School Principals Association, Educator of the Year Award from the United Federation of Teachers, Continued Dedication and Commitment to District 24 Schools from D24 Community Education Council, Commitment to the Community Award from Tibetan Language School of New York, Educator of the Year Award from Kiwanis Club of Sunnyside, Ongoing, Exemplary Leadership Award from Chancellor Joel Klein, Commitment to the Community Award from Chancellor Dennis Walcott and Collaborative Community of Practice Award from Chancellor Carmen Farina. Mr. Inzerillo was born and raised in NYC and proudly attended NYC public schools from Kindergarten through Grade 12.

His greatest joy is spending time with his family and riding his motorcycles. 

Matthew Angell

Executive Director of School Support and Operations

Matthew Angell has worked for Department of Education for 19 years. In that time, he has been a teacher, middle school principal, measures of student learning specialist, deputy cluster leader, and most recently, since 2015, the field support liaison in District 3.

Mr. Angell’s experience in District 3 has provided him the opportunity to assist principals and schools across all areas of support. His commitment improving student outcomes has guided him through larger efforts such as rezoning projects and fairer processes in middle school admissions, as well as more focused efforts in service of student’s social emotional needs or services in special education. He has worked across specialties at the district level to ensure all voices are heard and offer perspective on the issues schools are facing.

Mr. Angell is a product of multiple DOE programs, including the NYC Teaching Fellows and the NYC Leadership Academy. He earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Canisius College. He product of the State of New York having grown up in upstate NY, attended Binghamton College, worked across all five boroughs throughout his career, and currently living on Long Island.

Mr. Angell is excited and honored to be joining the District 26. He looks forward to continuing to work with great leaders in supporting the needs of all students.

Holly Shimer

Early Childhood District Administrator

Holly Shimer is the Early Childhood District Administrator for District 26. She received her B.A. in Child Study from St. Joseph's College, her M.S. in Literacy Education from Long Island University and her Advanced Certificate in School Building Leadership from St. John's University.

Holly is passionate about early childhood education and has been in the field for over 10 years. Before joining the District 26 team, Holly taught both general education and special education students from Pre-K to Grade 1. She has experience as a special education itinerant teacher, an instructional coach and is a certified CLASS observer. Holly served as the Educational Director at one of New York City's Early Childhood Education Centers in which she oversaw daily operations, curriculum and instruction, enrollment, and supported families of a preschool serving children from ages 2 to 5 including some with special needs. Holly also worked as a Committee of Preschool Special Education Administrator for the NYC Department of Education.

Holly is honored to be part of the District 26 team as the Early Childhood District Administrator. She strives to provide the district's youngest learners with a high-quality education that is developmentally appropriate and instills a lifelong love for learning.

Kimberly D'Angelo

Family Leadership Coordinator

Kim D’Angelo is the Family Leadership Coordinator for District 26. Born and raised in Queens, Ms. D’Angelo is a proud graduate of District 26 and New York City public schools. She received her B.A. in English from the State University of New York at Albany and, after a short career as a medical editor, returned to District 26 to raise her children.

As a parent leader in the district, Ms. D’Angelo collaborated with school administrators, community organizations, and elected officials to advocate for our parents and families. For more than a decade, she held various positions on School Leadership Teams and PTA executive boards. She presided over Presidents’ Council District 26 and represented District 26 PTAs on a citywide level at the Chancellor’s Parent Advisory Council.

Ms. D’Angelo is honored to be a part of the District 26 Team where she continues her work empowering parents and engaging families.

Wendy Mo

Family Support Coordinator

Wendy Mo is the Family Support Coordinator for Community School District 26.  She is a proud product of the NYC public school system, and received her Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from New York University.

As a Bayside parent, Mrs. Mo has taken on informal and formal parent leadership roles in service of supporting her three children, their respective schools and the District 26 community at large.  She has partnered closely with the PTAs, Parent Coordinators and local elected officials championing our schools in service of ensuring the legacy of “Excellence in Education” continues. She has served on the PTA for the last eight years, has participated in the C-30 process, served on various committees and worked closely with the PS 41Q community as part of the participatory budgeting process resulting in one of Councilman Vallone’s largest allocations supporting critical upgrades to the school facility.

Mrs. Mo was excited and honored to join the District 26 team in January, 2019.  She comes to us with experience in the private sector where her roles and responsibilities were focused on customer service and human resources which provided her with rich opportunities to hone her skills as an organizational and relational leader. She values the importance of teamwork and strong family-community ties in the efforts of enriching our children’s lives and education.  She is wholeheartedly committed to our community and looks forward to working collaboratively in her role to help strengthen our schools and foster a warm and inclusive environment for our children and families.

Darnell Weir

Academic Policy, Performance and Assessment Specialist 

Darnell Weir is the Academic Policy, Performance and Assessment Specialist (APPA) for Community School District 26. He is a native New Yorker, and received his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from the College of the Holy Cross, his Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Manhattanville College and his Advanced Certificate in School Building/School District Leadership from SUNY Stony Brook.

Mr. Weir began his career with the New York City Department of Education at MS 337 in the Bronx as the school’s first Parent Coordinator, helping to graduate its inaugural class in 2007. He served as a Parent Coordinator for 2 years, and during this time, he engaged parents through workshops, informal events and being a visible presence in the community. He was at the school for 8 years and during this time, he served as a Math Teacher, Dean, Data Specialist, Building Response Team Member and as a member of the Hiring Committee.

Mr. Weir then transitioned to PS 146, an elementary school in the Bronx. During this time, he helped to launch the District 8 Science Fair, providing support to teachers, students and District staff to ensure the event was a success. He also served as the School Leadership Team Chairperson, helping to write the schools CEP. He also created and delivered professional development to teachers, in particular when schools transitioned to remote learning.

Mr. Weir was elated and honored to join the District 26 team in November, 2021. He comes to District 26 with a focus on data driven instruction, looking to support school leaders and staff with thinking creatively about ways to maximize student achievement while ensuring equity of access.

Sean Brandeis

Student Services Manager

Sean Brandeis has been working with the Department of Education for the last 20 years. He began his career as an English literature teacher in Queens, and CUNY adjunct, before taking on the role of Dean of Students at The Scholars' Academy. After being in that role for four years, he then served as Guidance and Climate Manager for the Queens North Borough Office, where he first had the opportunity of working with, and supporting, District 26. 

Following this role, he returned to The Scholars' Academy, serving as assistant principal for the last three years, supporting school safety and climate, supervising the school counseling team, and providing instructional support to the Music and Arts Department.

He is super excited to now be returning to District 26, as the new Student Services Manager - a district very near and dear to his heart. He looks forward to working with the leadership, teachers, staff, students, and overall community that comprise the district and providing the supports to keep D26 as one of the finest districts in New York City.

He is grateful to have been welcomed back.

Michele Allen

Administrator of Special Education

Michele Allen has worked with the City of New York for thirty- years, this includes 19 years as an educator with the department of Education. She has collaborated with public and nonpublic schools to improve instructional practices that directly impact academic and social outcomes for students with disabilities. She has worked with the family and community engagement centers to provide capacity-building focused on ensuring parents are engaged as meaningful partners in the special education process. As an Administrator of Special Education, she supports school leaders with design and implementation of special education compliance practices, and ensure appropriate instructional programs and special education services are in place for recommended students. 

Susan Mahl

ML/ELL Services Administrator

Susan Mahl is the ML/ELL Services Administrator for District 26. She received her B.S. in Economics with a minor in Chinese from the University of Vermont and Yúnnán dàxué, her M.Ed with a concentration in English as a New Language from Long Island University, and her Advanced Certificate in School Building and District Leadership from the College of St. Rose.  

In New York City, she has worked as a Middle School TESOL Teacher and ML/ELL Services Administrator with the former Queens North Borough Office.  During her time with the Borough Office, she worked closely with District 26 in strengthening multi-tiered systems of supports with a focus on English Language Learners, core instruction, intervention, and data analysis.

Ms. Mahl is honored to be a part of the District 26 Team where she continues her work supporting continuous improvement of instruction, tiered supports, and equitable access for all students.

Susan Ackert

District Achievement and Instructional Specialist 

Susan Ackert is a district achievement and instructional specialist for District 26. She received her B.A. in Psychology from NYU, her M.Ed in Elementary/Childhood Education and Teaching Students with dis/Abilities from Teachers College, Columbia University and her Advanced Certificate in School Building and District Leadership from the College of St. Rose.

Before joining the District 26 team, she worked as an elementary special education teacher and an Instructional Lead with the former Queens North Borough Office. During her time with the borough office, she worked closely with District 26 in strengthening multi-tiered systems of support to support data analysis, core literacy instruction, and interventions. 

She is honored to continue her partnership with the District 26 team and continues to support the continuous improvement of literacy instruction, tiered supports, and equitable access for all students.

Andy Yuen 

Advance Lead

In his 20 year career with the Department of Education, Andy Yuen has served as a teacher, Assistant Principal, Acting Principal at PS 133Q, and currently the Advance Lead for District 26. He received his B.A. in History from Fordham University, M.A. in Education from Brooklyn College, and his Educational Leadership Administration degree at The College of Saint Rose.

As the Advance Lead for District 26, Andy is passionate about enhancing instructional pedagogical practices with the Danielson Framework for Teaching. His partnership with District 26 began in 2017 when he led professional learning communities to support Assistant Principals to develop best practices in planning and preparation, formative assessment, and social emotional learning. In addition, Andy has mentored new Assistant Principals to develop their leadership skills and knowledge. He also led the JESA - Job Embedded Support for Advance - with District 26 Principals to enhance school leaders' process with teacher evaluation and pedagogical development.

Recognized for his excellent work and leadership, Andy was given the opportunity to serve as the Acting Principal at PS 133Q. During his tenure as Acting Principal, Andy closed the achievement gap in reading and math by achieving an 11% reading diagnostic growth and an 29% math diagnostic growth by upholding high instructional expectations. He also increased the overall attendance rate from 90% to 92% and decreased the total number of OORS school incident cases by more than 50% by establishing strong partnerships with students and parents. Furthermore, he was able to secure a $350,000 grant to renovate the current school playground with a special needs accessible playground.

In his spare time, Andy enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and going to auto shows and driving events.

Rajeev Bector

Teacher Development and Evaluation Coach/Advance Lead 

Rajeev Bector has been a Teacher Development and Evaluation Coach / Advance Lead since 2012, serving districts 24 and 26 and high schools across Queens. Mr. Bector supports school leaders with all aspects of the observation and feedback cycle with an emphasis on equity and culturally responsive sustaining education. He also supports school leaders in increasing student learning by using assessment data to inform planning and instructional decisions.

Mr. Bector has previously served as a teacher of English, Assistant Principal, and Deputy Cluster Leader for Instruction. He has conducted School Quality Reviews and helped school leaders establish and maintain a culture focused on student learning and achievement, leadership development, and empowerment. Mr. Bector is passionate about education and believes all students can succeed, develop agency and criticality, and take ownership of their learning.

Mr. Bector earned his educational leadership credentials from the NYC Leadership Academy and Queens College of the City of New York. He is a product of NYC public schools and dedicated to making a significant contribution to the lives of our students and their families.

Vanessa Figliozzi

Implementation Team

Office of School Wellness

Vanessa Figliozzi has been serving and supporting New York City students and teachers since 2006 as a Physical Education Teacher at both the middle and high school level. Vanessa brings extensive experience in both Physical Education and Health Education, and a passion for creating curriculum that merges the two academic areas (and worked on a team that developed the PE Scope and Sequence). The last 5 years she has worked as a wellness coach with the Office of School Wellness programs where she supported K-12 with instructional coaching, programming, implementation, and sustainability of wellness programs such as School Wellness Councils, Move-to-Improve and CHAMPS. She also worked closely with the alternative certification programs and teacher recruitment initiatives.

Vanessa has worked with educators and administrators to implement best practices in PE through facilitating professional learning workshops and presenting at both State and National conferences. Through this work she developed a passion for Social Emotional Learning, recognizing the importance for all. She even tries to implement SEL practices with her 3 little children. She wrote and facilitated various professional learning opportunities in Social Emotional Learning for teachers and school administrators.

Vanessa holds a Bachelor’s in Physical Education from Adelphi University, a Master’s in Health Education from Hofstra University, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Brooklyn College – where she is still active in networking with the community of incoming PE teachers.

Vanessa is excited to be part of the District 26 team.

Carissa Berliner

Academic Intervention Specialist

Carissa Berliner has been an educator in the NYCDOE for 18 years. She began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow in 2004 and went on to teach in elementary school for 14 years in Queens, NY. Carissa taught both general education and special education students in kindergarten through grade 3. She also attended NYC public schools in Queens from K-12. 

Discovering a passion for literacy instruction and coaching, in 2018 Carissa joined the Universal Literacy Initiative within the NYCDOE as ULiT Reading Coach where she supported P.S. 182 in District 28, Queens. During her 4 years with the Universal Literacy Initiative, she became highly trained in early childhood literacy pedagogy, content, and assessment. She worked to build capacity among staff within several areas, one being administering literacy screeners and using screening data to make instructional decisions. She conducted professional learning experiences and coaching cycles around phonemic awareness and phonics, resulting in improved student outcomes according to the screening data.  

Carissa’s most important role is as a mom to a 3rd grader. Carissa and her daughter can be seen on the WNET/WLIW television show “Let’s Learn” in segments teaching foundational reading.  As a reading coach and a mom, in 2020 Carissa began to advocate for changes to reading instruction in grades K-2 on public forums. She participated as a panelist on the webinars “Literacy: A Social Justice Issue” and “Learning to Read is a Civil Right: How We Drive Change.

Carissa is looking forward to joining the District 26 Team as their AIS Coordinator and continuing efforts towards closing the reading gap.  

Lisa Howell

Social Worker

As a Licensed Social Worker, Lisa Howell has worked in several capacities within the New York City Department of Education. Prior to joining the District 26 Team, Lisa worked with the Office of Safety and Youth Development (OSYD) serving as a crisis social worker where she provided social/emotional support and direct service to students throughout Queens North elementary, middle and high schools. Lisa then transitioned to the former Queens North Borough Office where she continued her work of providing direct support to students and also provided parent workshops and staff training on mental health related topics within Districts 24, 25, 26 and 30.

As a Queens native, born and raised, Lisa attended public school in Queens from grades K-12. Lisa received her B.A. in sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park and her MSW from CUNY/Hunter College School of Social Work. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys traveling and spending time with loved ones.

Justin Stark

Attendance Coordinator

Justin Stark is the District 26 Attendance Coordinator. After working for 9 years as Teacher and Dean of Students at The School for Legal Studies, and then participating in the NYC Leadership Academy (APP #8), Mr. Stark has been an Assistant Principal within New York City Public Schools for the past 10 years. Through these years Mr. Stark has worked in both in Central and School-Leadership roles, highlighted by his leadership roles in District 26 as Supervisor of REC 332 (Bayside School of Excellence) during the 2019-2020 school year and as AP of the Summer Rising program at P.S. 115 during the summer of 2022.  

Mr. Stark is joining us as the District Attendance Coordinator,  bringing his experience in building attendance teams and systems for outreach. He is looking forward to supporting our students and school in developing higher levels of engagement for all stakeholders. 

Yun Kim, PhD

Senior Attendance Officer

Sydney Correa

Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent

In her career with the Department of Education, Sydney Correa has worked across PS 31 and PS 188 as a Family Worker, bridging the gap between parents and the special education team to ensure that parents feel included in an integral part of their child’s education. She has worked often behind the scenes to guarantee that special education evaluations run smoothly and that parents feel welcomed by the team that works closely with their child so that they can achieve their best. 

Sydney received a BA in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminology from John Jay College’s Honors Program. During her academic career she obtained a wealth of experience in research methodology and peer reviewed data analysis.