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Meet Our Staff

Mrs. Marlene Chidiac

Class/Position: PreK-3, Teacher 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 30 years at Saint Philip’s and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I look forward to each new class, every year!


Ms. Dot O’Brien

Class/Position: PreK-3, Paraprofessional

Mrs. Irene Chmura

Class/Position: PreK-3, Paraprofessional

Ms. Dona Jean Piasecki

Class/Position: PreK-3, Paraprofessional

Ms. Ellen Pulsinelle

Class/Position: PreK-4A, Teacher Email Website

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

Ms. Melanie Olivera

Class/Position: PreK-4A, Paraprofessional

Ms. Mary O’Brien

Class/Position: PreK-4B, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Carolyn Conway

Class/Position: PreK-4B, Paraprofessional

Ms. Kimberly Baione-Kuhns

Class/Position: Kindergarten A, Paraprofessional

Mrs. Allison Cheddie

Class/Position: Kindergarten B, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Patricia Regan

Class/Position: Kindergarten B, Paraprofessional

Mrs. Maria Slader

Class/Position: 1A, Teacher 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.

Ms. Jessica Aufiero

Class/Position: 1B, Teacher Email

This is my 5th year at St. Philip Prep. I started as a paraprofessional in one of the kindergarten classes and then began working with students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade as the Little Kaleidoscope teacher. This year I will begin my journey as a 1st grade homeroom teacher! I am a 2013 Rider University graduate. While at Rider I majored in Elementary Education and Psychology. I am certified to teach students in grades K-5th as well as students with disabilities. I’m a passionate teacher who loves working with children and I’m eager to start this next chapter in 1st grade!

Mrs. Denise Pannullo

Class/Position: 2A, Teacher Email Website

I am married with two sons, both successful, graduates of St. 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.

Ms. Ankita Patel

Class/Position: 2B, Teacher - Maternity Sub Email

Ms. Ankita Patel received her teaching certification from Caldwell University and her Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University in Linguistics.  Prior to this, Ms. Patel has worked in the Englewood Public School district, teaching third grade for three years.  Her prior experience as a paraprofessional also includes working with children in grades Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. She believes in open lines of communication, and values how the technology at Saint Philip Preparatory School, plays a vital role in the educational process.

Mrs. Janine Ataide

Class/Position: 3A, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Nancy Jarensky

Class/Position: 3B, Teacher Website

This is my first year at St. Philip Preparatory School.  I am very excited to begin my journey working in 3rd grade.  I am a graduate of William Paterson University with a BA in Psychology and I am certified as a K-5 and Special Education teacher.  I have taught Pre-K to 8th grade students.  When I am not working as a teacher, I am at home with my family enjoying sports, exercising and family nights watching our favorite movies.

Mrs. Marie Clifford

Class/Position: 4A, Teacher 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!

Mrs. Gina Perdek

Class/Position: 4B, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Jennifer Higgins

Class/Position: 5A, Teacher Email Website

I was born and raised in Barrington, Rhode Island. I am a mom to three beautiful daughters: Allison, Ella, and Sarah.  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. I am a lifelong learner and believe we learn the most when we push ourselves out of our comfort zones. I have been blessed to be a part of the SP Prep family since 2012.


Mrs. Kerry McCormick

Class/Position: 5B, Teacher Email Website

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Scranton and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Long Island University/CW Post.  As a product of sixteen years of Catholic schools, I strongly believe in the value of a Catholic education.  I am delighted to be a member of the St. Philip Preparatory School faculty.

Mrs. Debra Costanza

Class/Position: 6A, Teacher 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.

Ms. Chrisann Lucciola

Class/Position: 6B, Teacher 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.

Ms. Amanda Baca

Class/Position: 7A, Teacher Email Website

Mrs. Patricia Hogan

Class/Position: 7B, Teacher Email Website

As a lifelong resident of New Jersey, I helped to run a successful business, sold real estate in the luxury market as an agent with Sothebys in Saddle River, taught in public and private school, and published a book “Where Whispers Softly Echoed” while raising three children.  I hold a B.S. in Accounting and a B.S. in English Literature with a certification in Elementary Education K-8 and certifications 5-8 in  Math and Language Arts. I enjoy birdwatching, yoga, painting, watching the real estate and stock market, and writing..

Ms. Katherine Bennett

Class/Position: 8A, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Judith Banyai

Class/Position: 8B, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Marie McKeever

Class/Position: Kaleidoscope, Teacher 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!

Mrs. Katherine Curran

Class/Position: Kaleidoscope, Teacher 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.


Ms. Joan DeLuca

Class/Position: Kaleidioscope Website

I received my BA in Education from the College of Saint Elizabeth.  I am currently earning my Master’s in Education from William Paterson University.  My prior teaching positions range from preschool to 6th grade.  I am looking forward to a wonderful year with the Saint Philip’s family.

Mrs. Claudia Bocanegra

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Marie Lynes

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Betty Majkzrak

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher 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.

Mrs. Barbara Forbes

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher

I have been a Physical Education teacher with the Paterson Diocese for over 25 years.  I am also the Supervisor of the SAC Program (after care program).  I have been  part of Catholic Education since my own  children attended.  I am a huge Atlanta Braves fan and I also love the Giants!

Mr. Frank Hydash

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher

Ms. Margaret Viggiano

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher 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.

Mr. Justan Dakes

Class/Position: Supporting Curriculum, Teacher

Mrs. Denise DiNatale, R.N.

Class/Position: Nurse Website

Mrs. Deborah Neglia

Class/Position: School Support Staff, Director of School Services Email

I have been employed by  St. Philip Preparatory School and Parish for the past 29 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.

Mrs. Karen Powers

Class/Position: School Support Staff, 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.

Mrs. Nerida Feliciano

Class/Position: School Support Staff, Cafeteria Manager

Mr. Jim Foster

Class/Position: School Support Staff, Maintenance