SpEech & Language
Name: Ms. Ashley Feldman
Position: Speech Therapist
Hometown: I grew up in Levittown, Long Island, but now I live in Manahattan.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences from Gettysburg College and Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Hofstra University.
Years as an educator: 10
Why are you an educator? Helping children develop their ability to communicate, whether while playing with other kids, advocating for themselves within the classroom, or putting a writing piece together, brings me great joy. Being a speech therapist allows me to support students across settings to help them grow their voice.
What are STAR Academy’s best qualities? STAR Academy values community and collaboration amongst staff, students, and families. Being at STAR academy feels like being part of a team, with staff members always willing to help one another. STAR recognizes how valuable parent and student voices are in education, allowing teachers, students, and families to work together to help children succeed.
Life outside school: When I’m not at school, I love going to exercise classes (mostly spinning and dancing), trying new restaurants with friends and family, and binging TV shows on Netflix.
Name: Youie Min
Position: Occupational Therapist
Hometown: I grew up in Staten Island. Now I live in Queens.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree and Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Ithaca College.
Years as an educator: 7
Why are you an educator? I believe in the individuality and uniqueness of each child, and being an occupational therapist allows me to get to know our children's strengths and abilities. My goal is to help our students reach their full potential by improving their independence in the classroom and at home. My favorite teaching moment is when I see my students feel confident in their own work!
What are STAR Academy’s best qualities? The values of STAR Academy include empowering our children to be critical thinkers. We are raising the next
generation of leaders, and STAR Academy has a collaborative team across the entire school to help support our children to be the confident advocates we need in the future.
Life outside school: I love watching new movies, listening to music during my commute, and "water-watching" as I'd like to call it!
Name: Ms. Amy Weinberg
Position: Speech Therapist
Hometown: I grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, but I am moving to New York City soon.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science and Disorders from University of Pittsburgh and Master’s degree in Communication Disorders: Speech Therapy from Adelphi University.
Years as an educator: 4
Why are you an educator? I have always wanted to work with kids. Throughout my schooling I have learned how vital communication is and am excited to help children develop their communication skills in a school setting. I love watching children become more confident in their ability to connect with other people.
What are STAR Academy’s best qualities? STAR Academy has a collaborative staff that works together with the parents and the community to ensure that all children reach their full potential. STAR Academy is a supportive environment for children to grow into lifelong learners.
Life outside school: I enjoy traveling and cooking. I also like hiking and walking my dog.
Name: Chris Griffin
Position: Physical Therapist
Hometown: I grew up in Palmyra, NJ. Now I live in Manhattan.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Therapy from SUNY Health Science Center in Brooklyn.
Years as an educator: 13
Why are you an educator? I enjoy helping kids feel physically capable and at home in their bodies. I feel that’s important for everyone.
What are STAR Academy’s best qualities? The respect and collaboration among the staff makes it a great working and learning environment.
Life outside school: I love being outdoors – hiking, biking, swimming, playing tennis and skiing. I enjoy studying methods of movement such as yoga that feel organic, in tune with the way we naturally move. I appreciate quiet time and love spending time with family.
Name: Ms. Patricia Winter
Position: Social Worker
Home Town: I grew up in Flushing, Queens. Now I live in the Bronx.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish Literature from Clark University in Worcester, MA. Master’s Degree in Social Work from New York University. Post Graduate Degrees in Adult Psychotherapy from the American Institute for Psychoanalysis and a Postgraduate Degree in Child Psychotherapy from the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education (IPE) affiliate with NYU Medical School. Currently studying for a degree in Adult Psychoanalysis from IPE.
How long are you working in education? 24 years
Why are you in education? Children are the most underserved segment of the population when it comes to mental health. I felt that education was a good place for me to make a big impact on children's lives.
What are STAR Academy’s best qualities? The administration, teachers and support staff are some of the brightest and most dedicated professionals I've found at the NYC Dept. of Education. I learn something from collaborating with the staff and students at STAR Academy everyday.
Life outside school: I am the parent of two young adults. (One in HS, one in college). I enjoy running, yoga and cooking.
Name: Ms. Natalie Roth-Halioua
Position: School Psychologist
Home Town: Lifelong Brooklynite.
Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from SUNY Albany and Master’s Degree and Advanced Certificate in School Psychology from Brooklyn College.
How long are you working in education? 12 years (4 years as a preschool teacher & 8 years as a school psychologist).
Why are you in education? I’ve always loved kids and have worked with young children almost all my life (as a babysitter, camp counselor, and then preschool teacher) so going into the education/school psychology field was a natural progression for me. Every child deserves an advocate and that is something I strive to be for all the students I work with. For me, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing my students overcome hardships and meet their highest potential.
What are STAR Academy’s best qualities? STAR Academy is truly a family. As a staff we support, challenge, encourage, learn from and rely on one another in times of need. Our high standards for not only our students, but also our fellow staff members, enable us all to constantly grow and become the best versions of ourselves
Life outside school: I love spending time with family and traveling with my husband, who also works for the NYC Dept. of Education as a guidance counselor (we take full advantage of those summers off!) I also enjoy running, spin classes, beach reads, and having brunch with my girlfriends.
Name: Ms. Veronica Henriquez
Position: Data Entry