Click here to meet the New Staff for 2017-2018
Verona High School Special Education English Teacher
Ms. Andela earned her bachelor's degree in Visual Arts from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in the photography industry for a year she decided to pursue a career in teaching. She received her Master’s of Teaching from Drew University in 2016. She is certified in both English Education and Students with Disabilities. Ms. Andela is joining the Verona Public Schools as a second year teacher after completing her first year in West Orange, NJ. Throughout the year Ms. Andela attends workshops to further her education and bring fresh new ideas into her classroom. During her free time she likes to spend time outdoors with her fiance, hiking and kayaking, as well as traveling around the world. Ms. Andela is very excited to be starting this journey with the Verona family!
Verona High School Special Education Social Studies Teacher
Mr. Matthew Rosa is happy to join the staff at Verona High School as a Special Education teacher for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. After working as a Special Education teacher at West Essex Regional High School, he is happy to bring his knowledge and experience to the Verona School District. Mr. Rosa received his undergraduate degree from Montclair State University in History, and most recently completed his Master's Degree in Special Education. Matthew is looking forward to working with the students and respected staff at Verona High School. Mr. Rosa holds both a K-12 Certificate in Social Studies as well as a TOSD, and anticipates great strides being made by students and the lessons they will cover throughout the year. As a lifelong resident of Bloomfield NJ, Mr. Rosa is very grateful for the opportunity to serve the students, local community and the Verona School District.
Full Day Preschool Special Education Teacher
Ms. Cruz began working as a paraprofessional at Laning Avenue School in a second grade classroom in 2015.During the 2015-16 school year, Ms. Cruz again received the leave replacement position at Laning Avenue School and continued teaching second grade until the end of the school year. During the 2016-17 school year, she began teaching in East Hanover School District as a third grade maternity leave replacement teacher. Ms. Cruz returned to Verona District in November of 2017 as leave replacement in the Preschool Disabled Program and continued to the end of the school year.
Ms. Cruz received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from William Paterson University in 2013. She continued on to receive her standard k-6 teaching certification through Rutgers University. Ms. Cruz is currently completing a dual Teacher of Students with Disabilities Certification/ Master's program through Georgian Court University.
Ms. Cruz is excited to permanently join the Verona Preschool Program as the LLS classroom teacher. She enjoys teaching special populations and engaging early learners in social and sensory exploration. Ms. Cruz differentiates instruction in order to suit the needs of diverse learners and tailors lessons to promote exciting, hands on learning experiences. In her spare time, Ms. Cruz enjoys spending time outdoors, exploring nature and creating arts and crafts.
English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher
Stephanie Heard will be joining Verona Public Schools as a teacher of English Language Learners (ELLs), providing additional English language support to students who speak an additional language or languages at home. A recent transplant from the Washington DC area, she earned her M.Ed in TESOL from the University of Maryland in 2015 and taught as an elementary ESOL teacher in Maryland before moving to New Jersey earlier this year with her family. She joined the teaching profession after a five-year tenure working with an international education nonprofit in Washington DC and a year spent teaching English in China. She looks forward to joining Verona teachers at all grade levels to support their ELL students.
Speech and Language Therapist at FN Brown and Brookdale
Mara Friedman, M.A., CCC-SLP joins the Verona School District as the K-4 Speech-Language Pathologist (maternity leave replacement) at F.N. Brown School and Brookdale Avenue School.
Mrs. Friedman spent the past two years working in the Livingston School District with preschool and and elementary school students. She has worked in Early Intervention for the past 17 years. She has 20 years of experience working with a wide variety of pediatric populations including children with articulation and phonological disorders; children on the autism spectrum; and children with expressive and receptive language delays, fluency disorders, and social- pragmatic difficulties. She received her undergraduate degree from Lafayette College in 1994 with a major in psychology. She then attended graduate school at the George Washington University where she received her master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology in 1997. Mrs. Friedman resides with her husband and two children, ages 14 1/2 and 13. When she's not working, she enjoys playing tennis, and taking her two dogs on walks in the neighborhood.
Learning Language Disablitity Teacher 7th and 8th Grade at HB Whitehorne
Melissa Tempesta is a graduate from William Paterson University with a Dual Degree in English Literature and Education in 2011. She gained her Teacher of Students with Disabilities certificate two years later in Graduate School. Mrs. Tempesta has worked in both Wayne Public Schools as a Paraprofessional in an LLD class for 4 years and later moved on to teaching LLD in Paterson for 2 years. She is very excited to join the Verona Public Schools family!