Faculty Profiles

Camp Directors

Carole1359CAROLE BERMAN
Executive Director and Founder

Director and Founder of the Gifted and Talented Development Center. Carole has been actively involved in Gifted Education for over 30 years, having served as a teacher of the gifted and talented students in the High and Wide and BOCES programs. She was a reading teacher in Yonkers for 23 years. She serves as President of the Gifted and Talented Foundation, Board member of New York State Camp Directors Association and member of the American Camping Association. In tribute to Carole and in recognition of thirty years of Challenge Camp she was the 2010 honoree at the annual dinner of NYSCDA. Every summer her 4 grandchildren travel from London and New York City to attend camp!

Marcy1346MARCY GEISSER-WOLF
Assistant Director

Marcy has over twenty five years of administrative experience in academic camps. She has great expertise in staff training and management and coordinates the Counselor in Training program. Marcy’s has been a part of Challenge Camp for over 15 years.

joe_tnJOSEPH FIELDS
Afternoon Director

Joseph is a full time professional magician performing over five hundred shows a year in the Tri-State area. He is an instructor in ten school districts in Westchester, teaching the art of magic. Joe has been associated with Challenge Camp for 35 years.

Faculty

LINDA ANDREWS

Linda has owned Dance Connection in New Rochelle for 18 years. She is a dancer, painter and mixed media artist. She has most recently exhibited and had artwork published in Somerset Studio Magazine.

HUDSON APOTHEKER

Hudson is an Arts Integration teacher in Baltimore. He has been teaching and coaching children for several years in subjects ranging from all sciences and fine arts to wilderness survival and soccer. When he isn’t in the classroom, he is probably at the gym or cooking.

GEOFFREY BYRNE

Geoffrey is a connoisseur of technology. Being the last of his friends to own a PC at age 16, his keen interest and natural leadership skills turned into a thriving business. Geoffrey has found that without proper communication technology can be scary for the non-techie. He feels that proper instruction is missing in today’s support sector. It is for this reason that teaching has become a way of life for him no matter what age or skills level, in or out of Challenge Camp! Geoffrey is owner at technology consulting firm G&J Tech Solutions.

SARA CHARLES

Sara has been a Social Studies teacher for the past fourteen years in the Rye City School district. At Rye, she teaches art history, world history, and civics. She is a BA graduate of the University of Michigan, a Fulbright Scholar, and has a Masters in Education from Teachers College-Columbia University. She is also a Girl Scouts co-leader for her daughter’s Daisy troop and an avid singer, gardener, and animal lover.

SAMANTHA CROCIATA

Samantha teaches Pre-K in Peekskill, and is the lead teacher of our Discover, Imagine, and Create program. Samantha received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Iona College as well as a Master’s of Science in Literacy and Special Education from SUNY New Paltz. Much like the mission at Challenge Camp Samantha is able to make project based learning fun and prepare the children for what they will be expected to achieve as they enter kindergarten.

MICHAEL DONOVAN

Michael has been teaching at Challenge Camp since 2002. He is a 5th grade math teacher with a degree from the University of Albany and a masters degree from Saint Rose college. Michael is also an accomplished piano player and performs live music locally.

TONY ELY

Tony teaches at the Center for Career Services in Valhalla and is an adjunct in Media Production at Manhattanville College. He is an independent producer currently producing a short film about the Alliance Francaise of Greenwich and doing a short spot for its film festival in April as well as several projects in development for other nonprofits.

JOHN FITZSIMMONS

John is a former police investigator with 20 years experience. He has been teaching elementary and middle school for over ten years. He enjoys incorporating all aspects STEM education in his two LEGO workshops.

ARMELLE GLOAGUEN

Armelle is an award winning artist and educator, an experienced teacher and an accomplished singer-songwriter. She provides educational multicultural musical shows and workshops at schools, libraries and private events. She has worked with international children for over twenty years and has recorded three albums of children’s music in several languages.

BRENDA GUY

Brenda is a registered nurse employed with the New Rochelle School District. She has twenty years of nursing experience at the Sound Shore Medical Center.

GEN KATANO

Gen is our Challenge Ninja! He approaches all people with curiosity, respect and a spirit of fun. He offers a holistic approach to strength training, conditioning and nutrition science to his campers and personal training clients.

FRED KATZ

Fred is a social studies teacher in the high school at Schechter Westchester. Teaching is his second career; he practiced law for 20 years, and he has now been teaching for 18 years, with the last six years at Schechter Westchester. He truly enjoys working with kids, and he finds their energy infectious. Fred loves reading – especially biographies, and books about history and politics. He is an avid tennis player and a big sports fan particularly rooting for Northwestern, his Alma Mater. Fred’s older son attended Challenge Camp as a camper and now works as a mechanical engineer.

ANNE PASQUALE

Anne, an actress and playwright, is a member of The Actors Studio. She trained at L.A.M.D.A. and the New York School for the Arts and has been creating and performing with children for over fifteen years. She is a proud recipient of the Broadway World RI best Actress and Playwright award for 2013. She most recently premiered her solo work 2B OR Not 2, an upside down inside look at Children’s Theatre at the Midtown International Theatre Festival.

KENYA PATERRA

Kenya received a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Universidad Católica Santo Domingo in her home country, the Dominican Republic. There she worked as a journalist for almost five years reporting for different media outlets before moving to the USA in 2004. She earned a Master Degree in Art of Teaching from Manhattanville College. When not in the classroom, she is spending time with her family, playing tennis or traveling.

ALLAN PEARLMAN

Allan has been teaching science for more than 40 years and still enjoys the challenge of imparting knowledge into inquisitive minds. His real joy is teaching all types of science to young students at Challenge Camp.

ANGELA PUIA

Angela holds a Master Degree in Biology/Biochemistry from the University Of Bucharest, and has many years of experience working as a science researcher, technical trainer, teacher and tutor. She loves children and enjoys sparking their curiosity and interest in science and the nature of their environment. She believes in a holistic education that encourages the development of natural abilities and passions of each child.

SABRA RIVEL

Sabra is a mom to three amazing teens. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and currently teaches 2nd grade at the Mamaroneck Avenue School. She loves to run, travel and cook!

MICHAEL SALEM

Michael Salem is an international celebrity choreographer teaching and touring for the last ten years throughout the USA. He has also recently worked in Asia, UAE, Spain, Canada, Italy, The Middle East and more with artists such as Swizz Beatz, Justin Bieber and Pitbull. He is the CEO/Creative Director of Infinite Motion Studios, creator or Hip-Fit and Moga and was named Westchester’s Best Choreographer ages 3-Adult.

ANA SAURA

Ana has a BFA degree in advertising and Commercial art from Pels School of Art/Cooper Union, as well as a teaching degree from Liceo Moderno San Carlos University, Guatemala. After a successful career in advertising/graphic design, Ana founded Children’s Creative Corner in Larchmont. She has developed and taught art programs for children at her art center and various elementary schools throughout Westchester.

LIZ STEGER-HARTZMAN

Based in New York, Liz has been shooting professionally for over 20 years. She built her career on food photography and still life by photographing many of New York’s finest eating establishments and chefs, including JeanGeorge, The Brasserie and the restaurants at the Waldorf-Astoria. Larry King, Marc Anthony and the Duke of Edinburgh have also posed for Liz’s lens. Liz’s mouth watering books, Serendipity Parties, Serendipity Sundaes and Sweet serendipity: Delicious Desserts and Devish Dish (Rizzoli) have been featured on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The New York Daily News, The Today Show and Fox & Friends. Her other published books are American Sideshow: An Encyclopedia of History’s Most Wondrous and Curiously Strange Performers and Found on eBay: 101 Genuinely Bizarre Items From the World’s Online Yard Sale (Universe,) both written by her husband, Marc. Liz also served as the photo editor and photographer for the popular guide book, Avante Guide New York (Empire Press.)

LORI STRATTON

Lori began a career as a Museum Educator at the New York Transit Museum developing curriculum for special needs children and adults. She was asked by several NYC museums to conduct Professional Development on adaptability, subsequently being recruited by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. It was there that she received extensive training with NASA and NYCCSSE and now specializes in NASA Space Education programming. Lori also was the Manager of School Programs at the Westchester Children’s Museum developing a variety of STEM based curriculum and now is the Director of Program Development with Know 2 Grow, a new inclusive STEaM enrichment company providing educational programs for EVERYONE.

YING SU

Ying is the owner/instructor at The Fashion Arts Studio of Westchester. She has also been a professor of fashion design at Parsons School of Design, where she graduated with a BFA in Fashion Design, and at The Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). After working in the industry as a designer for over 20 years, she obtained a M.A. in Education and started teaching fashion design for children. Ying Su lives in Larchmont, loves teaching kids, loves to sew and illustrate.

REGINA TALBOT

Regina holds a Master Degree in Music Education and has taught music for many years in public and international schools. She currently teaches vocal music in the New Rochelle School District and is a recent Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award recipient.

DAN TEPPER

Dan has been a math teacher for over twenty years. He enjoys exploring and utilizing new technologies inside and outside the classroom. He has a degree in Mathematics Education from Columbia Teacher’s College and a degree in Computer Science from Pace University. When he is not teaching or being a father to his two children, he enjoys hiking, biking and playing tennis.

ADAM THEISSEN

Adam is a multifaceted teacher in Yonkers Middle/High School teaching all sciences including Regents Physics, International Baccalaureate Physics and Lego Mindstorms Robotics. He established and coaches the school’s first Robotics team traveling to St. Louis with his students for a national competition. Adam is also the High School’s head football coach combining his passion for teaching and athletics.

ANATOLY TONKONOGY

Born and raised in Kiev, Anatoly has been living in the US for over 3 years and is a Senior Master in Chess. He has taught chess to children and young adults for over 30 years and and has coached many champions.

JIM WEINGAST

A Graduate of George Washington University, Jim has over 30 years of study and performance on guitar, bass, percussion and drums. He has recorded, performed and toured with various inie and major label acts including Dude of Life (lyricist for Phish) and The Great Red Shark. He owns and operates a professional recording studio where he has acted as ehgineer and producer on numerous CD projects. Jim is a successful music instructor, Director of a rock and roll camp and founding member of www.rockmitzvah.com.

LIDA Y. ZIMMERMAN

Lida was born in Shanghai and has lived in America for many years. She is a graduate of the University of China where she studied painting. She has been a student of the most famous artists in China. As an art teacher in Shanghai, she taught watercolor, pencil drawing, as well as the ancient art of “paper cutting”. She has written books on “How to Paint” and contributed to art textbooks for the elementary and middle school in Shanghai. Lida teaches art in New York. She has exhibited her artwork in Westchester.