blue ribbon
Call : 973-779-4700

Meet Our Staff

Marlene Chidiac

Class/Position: PK3 Email Website

I am a graduate of William Paterson University, with a BA in Early Childhood Education and certification in Nursery School and Elementary School. I have been teaching more than 25 years at Saint Philip Preparatory School and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I look forward to each new class, every year!

Ellen Pulsinelle

Class/Position: PK4A Email Website

Graduated from Susquehanna University with a BA in Elementary Education. Ms. Pulsinelle previously taught grade 4 in the Ridgefield School District.

Mary O’Brien

Class/Position: PK4B - Maternity Sub Email Website

I received my B.A. and E. Ed. in Special Education from William Paterson University. I hold a N.J. certification in K-8 (Elementary Education), K-12 (Special Education), Teacher of Nursery School, School Social Worker, and Supervisor.  I retired from public education in April, 2016, after 36 years of teaching.  My previous teaching assignments ranged from the Pre-K to the 8th grade level in both general ed. and special ed. positions.  I have always been a parishioner of St. Philip’s Church as well as a graduate of St. Philip’s School.  I am so happy to return here now as a substitute.

Courtney Legg

Class/Position: KA Email Website

I love being a teacher. I went to Mount Saint Mary College and have a B.S. of Education. I am currently earning my Master’s degree in Special Education through Walden University.

Allison Cheddie

Class/Position: KB Email Website

I am a 2006 graduate of East Stroudsburg University. I have my bachelor degree in elementary education with a concentration in special education. My philosophy concerning teaching has developed over the years. I am a firm believer that students learn by doing. I also try to teach in a variety of ways; having discussions, engaging the children in activities, writing, and of course, creating new and wonderful experiences! I also think that learning never ends. Students are always discovering innovative and exciting materials, as should teachers.

Maria Slader

Class/Position: 1A Email Website

I am a product of St. Philip Preparatory School, as are my two children, so you can see I believe in a Catholic education. I am a graduate of Montclair State University and I am currently studying for my Master’s Degree in Special Education. My mission for the children is to provide a fun, safe, learning environment for all learners. I will do my best to reach every child at their developmental level and provide meaningful, multisensory activities, through differentiated instruction,and lessons to enrich learning. In 2006, I was given the dubious honor as “Teacher of The Year” by the Knights of Columbus.

Kathleen Linaris

Class/Position: 1B Website

I am a graduate of William Paterson University. I received my bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education P-3 with a teacher of students with disabilities endorsement. I also received a dual bachelors in Psychology. Previously I was the maternity leave teacher for Mrs. Allison Cheddie, a fellow teacher at Saint Philip’s. Prior to that I worked at a Ridgewood Public school as a teachers aide in a first grade classroom. I highly believe in the home to school connection and I love that Saint Philip’s really highlights that relationship. I am glad to be joining the Saint Philip’s family!

Denise Pannullo

Class/Position: 2A Email Website

I am married with two sons, both successful, graduates of St. Philip Preparatory School. This year I celebrate my 26th year of teaching at Saint Philip Preparatory School. I am a graduate of Jersey City State College with a BA in Elementary Education.  One of my ministries is that I serve as Coordinator of Religious Education here at St. Philip the Apostle Parish. I hold a certificate in Religious Education from the  College of St. Elizabeth.

Professional Awards that I have received are The Daniel Boyle Outstanding Teacher of the Year (2007) and the Knights of Columbus Teacher of the Year Award in 1999, 2009.

Debra Leach

Class/Position: 2B Email Website

I attended Montclair State University and have a BS in Marketing and Management.  I worked for AT&T/Lucent Technologies before attending College of St. Elizabeth for my Teaching Certification in Elementary Education in 2000.  I have been teaching for over 14 years in both public and private school settings.  I have taught many grade levels and also tutored for the NJ ASK.  I look forward to a rewarding year with your children full of new adventures in reading and math.

Personally, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three sons and our dog Molly.  I spend a lot of time watching my boys play lacrosse and ice hockey.  I am also a CCD Teacher at St. James School of Religion and love spending time at the beach.

Angela Blake

Class/Position: 4A Email Website

B.A. in Early Childhood Education from William Paterson College. My career started in 1980 at St. Mary’s School in Closter, NJ teaching Kindergarten. I remained there for sixteen years teaching first grade. I taught third and fourth grades at St. Vincent DePaul School in Stirling, NJ for seven years. In 2002, I was blessed to become part of the St. Philip Community. I have taught a variety of levels while here including, Kindergarten, First and Second grades.

Janine Ataide

Class/Position: 3A Email Website

I graduated from Felician College with a BA in History and Elementary Education.  I hold teaching endorsements in Kindergarten through Fifth Grade, Special Education, and PreSchool through Third Grade.  I am excited that this is my second year teaching at Saint Philip Preparatory School!  My passion is teaching and making a difference in the lives of others.

Mary Churchill

Class/Position: 3B Maternity Sub Website

My name is Mary Churchill and I am a certified teacher K-8.  I received my Bachelors degree in Economics and received my teaching certification from Ramapo College.  I have 7 years of teaching experience and was a tenured teacher prior to having my children.  I am the mother to two girls in grades 4 and 6.  I am an active parishioner in my home parish and coach soccer for my daughters.

Teresa Smith

Class/Position: 4A - Medical Leave Sub

Gina Perdek

Class/Position: 4B Email Website

As a proud graduate of Rutgers University, I obtained a double major in Economics and Business Management with a concentration in Finance.  After a 14 year career as a NASDAQ trader, I returned to school to obtain licenses in Elementary Education (K-8) and Middle School Mathematics.  I teach homeroom classes in 4B, as well as 4th and 5th grade Math.  I am blessed to be on staff here at the Prep.

Jennifer Higgins

Class/Position: 5A Email Website

I am originally from Barrington, Rhode Island. I have been married to my best friend for 16 years and we have three beautiful daughters. I have a BS in elementary Education with a specialization in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island and an MS in Education: Reading and Math from Walden University. Before coming to St. Philip Prep, I taught 3rd grade in Ringwood, New Jersey. In addition to teaching, I have worked in marketing for Pearson Education and spent several years as a stay-at-home mom.

Kerry Licciardi

Class/Position: 5B Email Website

BS Sociology, University of Scranton
MS Elem Ed, Long Island University/CW Post

Product of Catholic school education from grade one through college. Teaching since 2008.

Debra Costanza

Class/Position: 6A Email Website

I originally graduated from college with a Marketing degree. I worked in the field until my love for children enticed me to return to college to pursue a career in education. After earning a New Jersey State Teaching Certificate for grades K through 12, I was employed by a Public School System for several years. My life changed when I became a mom and relocated to Northern New Jersey. I was blessed to begin a career here at St. Philip Preparatory School, and have the privilege of working with some of the best students in the area.

Kimberly Lauren Kuhns-Baione

Class/Position: Paraprofessional KA

Chrisann Lucciola

Class/Position: 6B Email Website

I have a background in interior design and the travel industry. I have taught a variety of grades and subjects. Most recently I taught math and social studies. Previously I taught technology and literature in Hackensack. I live in Sussex County and am originally from Paramus. Technology is an important part of today’s learning and should be utilized in today’s learning environments. I am very excited to be part of the St. Philip community and look forward to working with all of my students and families.

Katherine Curran

Class/Position: Teacher Grade 7A Email Website

I am a graduate of Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.  I was a bank auditor in New York City before choosing to stay home to raise my two daughters.  I returned to school at the College of St. Elizabeth, earning my teaching certificate (Math K-12), and later earning my Masters in Special Education.  For the past 15 years, I have been fortunate to teach many children, ranging in age and ability.  Overall, my goal for each one of my students is to reach their own potential!

In my spare time, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles, gardening, going to the movies and spending time with my family.


Marie Clifford

Class/Position: 7B Email Website

I came to St. Philip Prep in 2009 from Pope John Paul II where I taught sixth grade and fourth grade.  I am a graduate of Fordham University and received my teaching certification from St. Peter’s University.  One of my favorite pastimes is reading a good book; so being able to share my interest in literature with the Kaleidoscope students is a perfect fit for me!

Katherine Bennett

Class/Position: 8A Email Website

I am a graduate of Kean University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education & Mathematical Science.  I currently hold two New Jersey State Standard Certificates in Elementary Education and Mathematics Specialization Grades 5-8.  I also hold a  Master’s Degree from Montclair State University in Mathematics Education and Leadership.  I am very grateful to have won the 2009 Saint Philip the Apostle School Outstanding Catholic School Teacher Award.  In 2012, I was honored to represent our school along with Mrs. Zito in Washington, DC for the 30th annual U.S. Department of Education Recognition Ceremony for National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Judy Banyai

Class/Position: 8B Email Website

Graduate of Felician College Nursing Program, Mrs. Banyai worked as a Registered Professional Nurse at the University of Medicine and Dentistry for 25 years. She served as the Ambulatory Care Coordinator for the Division of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and the children’s Hospital AIDS Program. In 1994, she became the Special Projects Coordinator for The Francois-Xavier Bagnoud International Training Program and was responsible for Departmental Quality Assurance and Research Study Oversight. From 1994-2002, Mrs. Banyai was the Program Coordinator for the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud International Pediatric HIV training Program, hosting over 250 Medical Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers and Health Care Providers from over 35 countries. In 2002, she became the Program Coordinator for the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials International Training Program during which time she traveled to Thailand and South Africa to assist with in country development and training of clinical trials personnel. In 2005, she enrolled at Western Governor’s University to obtain her teaching degree, and joined the faculty of Saint Philip where she has since taught middle school science and visual arts.

Marie McKeever

Class/Position: Kaleidoscope Email Website

I come to St. Philip Prep from the Catholic Academy in Sussex County where I worked for 10 years.  I taught all grades from PreK through eighth, finding a home in third grade for the last 7 years.  I live in Sussex County, but grew up in Boonton, graduating eighth grade from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel.  I received my B.A. in English/Education from Caldwell College (now Caldwell University).  Catholic education is a huge part of who I am.

I am married and have two children, both out of college!  My passions are reading, gardening and cooking.

I’m thrilled to be part of the St. Philip Prep family!

Sr. Pauline Piechocki, SSC

Class/Position: Kaleidoscope Director Email Website

Born in Massachusetts, Sister graduated from Trinity University in Washington, D.C. with a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching degree with a concentration in Mathematics. Post-graduate studies in Math Education were pursued at the Universities of Virginia, Sacred Heart, and Seton Hall. Sister Pauline, a certified teacher, has also served in the dioceses of Rockville Center, NY., Hartford, CT., Richmond, VA., and Bridgeport, CT. For Sr. Pauline teaching has always been a rewarding experience. She credits her students with sparking her passion and enthusiasm as facilitator in the learning process.

Jessica Aufiero

Class/Position: Kaleidoscope Email Website

My name is Ms. Aufiero.  This is my third year at St. Philip Preparatory School and my second year as the Little Kaleidoscope teacher.
I graduated in 2013 with a BA in Elementary Education from Rider University. I am currently a certified teacher in grades K-5 as well as certified to teach students with disabilities.  I absolutely love what I do and I am very excited for another wonderful school year!

Claudia Bocanegra

Class/Position: Spanish Email Website

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Math with a minor in Spanish, and hold a NJ teaching certificate in Spanish. On May 21, 2010 I earned a Masters of Teaching degree with a concentration in Spanish and Mathematics from Montclair State University I am looking forward to teaching your children this year and with your cooperation the students should have a good learning experience.

Frank Hydash

Class/Position: Music

Marie G. Lynes

Class/Position: Latin Website

This is Mrs. Lynes’ second year at St. Philip Preparatory School.  She has taught Latin for many years both in the elementary and secondary level.  Prior to teaching at St. Philip’s, she taught at Marylawn Academy in South Orange and St. Patrick Grammar School in Chatham.  She is also currently on the staff of All Saints Episcopal Day School in Hoboken. Mrs. Lynes has a BA in English Literature from the College of St. Elizabeth and is a member of the American Classical League.  She has traveled often to Rome and through England and France exploring the many sites dating back to ancient Roman times.

Barbara Forbes

Class/Position: Gym Website

Betty Majkrzak

Class/Position: Computer Email Website

I am the computer teacher at Saint Philip Preparatory School. I have worked for the Diocese of Paterson since 1995 teaching computers. I previously taught computers at Sacred Heart School in Clifton for 11 years.

I am also a parishioner of Saint Philip the Apostle Church. I love children, enjoy teaching and sharing my faith with them. I have five children of my own and in my spare time enjoy reading.

Margaret Viggiano

Class/Position: Art Email Website

I have been teaching in Catholic Schools for over 30 years. I taught in Jersey City for 27 years in 3 different schools. I have taught all grade levels from grade 3-8 in different capacities over those years. I very much enjoy teaching Art for the Diocese of Paterson. I have always taught my class art because we never had an art teacher in any of my schools. I love seeing the progress children make when they learn new techniques. They never cease to amaze me in their creativity and the way they see the world. I do my best to encourage the creative spirit in all children and I give positive feedback to everyone.

Denise Rinaudo-Dinatale, RN

Class/Position: Nurse Website

Carol Conway

Class/Position: Para-Professional (KA)

Dot O’Brien

Class/Position: Para-Professional (PK3)

Patty Regan

Class/Position: Para-Professional (PK4)

Debbie Neglia

Class/Position: Coordinator of School Services

I have been employed by  St. Philip Preparatory School and Parish for the past 28 years.  Prior to my position at St. Philip Preparatory School, I was an Executive Secretary for Sel-Rex Division of Hooker Chemical Company as well as Automated Data Processing.

Karen Powers

Class/Position: Receptionist

I have been the school receptionist since 2007. I am an alumnus of St. Philip Preparatory School as are my two children. I enjoy interacting with the children on a daily basis and helping families when they call.

Jim Foster

Class/Position: Maintenance