TEAK staff are talented individuals who bring diverse perspectives, breadth and depth of knowledge, and a shared passion for helping bright, motivated students access high quality education and thrive in their educational and professional pursuits. With an open door policy, staff also welcome opportunities to share our experience, expertise, and best practices. Feel free to contact us if you wish to visit the office, discuss particular aspects of our programming, or partner on projects related to our college access and success work.
- John GreenExecutive Director
Earning his B.A. from Wesleyan and his Masters in Education from Harvard, John Green brings 35 years of educational experience at some of our Nation’s premier independent schools. From 1981-1986, John worked as a teacher, coach, and adviser at the Fessenden School and Western Reserve Academy where he also served as the Director of College Counseling. From 1986-2001, John served as a history department chair, Director of Admissions, Director of College Counseling and a Dean of Faculty at St. Paul’s School. From 2001-2013, John served Head of School at Peddie School. From 2013-2015, John worked as a coach and advises independent and residential schools on strategic planning and administrative and board development. Among a wide range of volunteer activities, John has served on the boards of Choate-Rosemary Hall School, Trenton Community Charter School, American Boychoir School, Beech Hill Middle School, New Jersey Scholars Educators Excellence Dedication (SEEDS), and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Concord.
- Beth OnofryDeputy Director of Academic Programs and Student Support
Originally from upstate New York, Beth graduated from Dartmouth College and earned Masters Degrees in Education and School Counseling from Harvard University and LIU Brooklyn, respectively. Before joining TEAK in 2006, Beth worked as an Assistant Director and Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Dartmouth. Over her ten years at TEAK, Beth has utilized her college admissions and school counseling experience to support over 150 students through high school and the college admissions process. In 2015, Beth's role expanded to include oversight of 6-12th grade programming, giving her the opportunity to work with all TEAK students. She has attended numerous conferences, recently presenting at both the NPEA National Conference and College Board Forum. Beth enjoys singing and knitting, and brings staff members together through a weekly craft lunch.
- Wyndy SloanDeputy Director of External Relations
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in advertising, Wyndy moved to New York to pursue her dream of living in the big city and pursuing a career in the creative industry. After spending several years at leading fashion and entertainment magazines, she joined The Sloan Group where she spent 10 years as the creative director, leading an award-winning team of talented creatives working primarily for clients in the youth and entertainment industries. In 2008, looking for a new and rewarding challenge, Wyndy began her career in the nonprofit sector working at Madison Square Boys & Girls Club as the Director of Marketing and Communications then at the West Side YMCA as the Senior Director of Fund Development, Communications and Membership. Wyndy's passion for helping young people reach their full potential led her to join TEAK in 2015. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids, playing tennis and seeing the world.
- Michelle KimDirector of Business Operations
Michelle transitioned from finance to the nonprofit sector, when she joined The Father's Heart as Operations Manager in 2012. While working in the nonprofit sector, she saw the positive impact of education on the trajectory of a student's future. Before joining TEAK, she held a number of roles in nonprofit organizations, most recently with FoodFight as Director of Operations. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector, she was Vice President of Product Management at Deutsche Bank. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Michelle held a number of roles at OppenheimerFunds and Morgan Stanley. She holds a BA in psychology from Smith College and an MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. She has also previously served on the Young Professionals Network for Open Hands Legal Services and the Leadership Council for the Beginning with Children Foundation.
- Regina MatthewsDirector of Middle School Academy
Regina is a born and bred Manhattanite, who attended the Brearley School before earning a BA in Literary Criticism from Yale University. After a decade spent in journalism, she transitioned to teaching as a New York Teaching Fellow and earned an MS in General Education from CUNY Lehman College. She taught elementary and middle school at P.S. 50 in Spanish Harlem for ten years, before returning to the world of Independent Schools as a History teacher, Math Teacher, learning Specialist and curriculum coordinator. Driven by the commitment that public school students are capable of equal achievement given similar resources as students at New York’s premiere private schools, she recently earned an MEd. in Educational Leadership at the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Regina’s daughter, Angeline, is an active and opinionated 17-month old, who keeps her mommy busy, joyful, young and flexible.
- Lesly AfranieAssistant Director of Admissions
Lesly Afranie joined the TEAK family ten years ago, when she was admitted to the 10th class of Fellows. She went on to Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City and just recently graduated from Brown University. At Brown she became passionate about health and health disparities, earning a B.A in Biology on the "Social Context of Disease" track.Lesly's largest project at Brown was co-founding the Black Pre-Med Society, which partners with Alpert Medical School to offer mentorship opportunities, skill building workshops, and overall support to pre-med students who identify with the African Diaspora. Understanding that disparities in education and health are interrelated, she feels honored to join the admissions staff in selecting the next class of fellows. She is currently in the process of studying for the MCAT, but in her spare time enjoys exploring NYC with her friends, listening to Afro-beat music, and, of course, brunch!
- Andrew BarberDirector of High School Placement and Preparation
Andrew earned his Bachelor's degree from Carleton College in 1996 and his Master's degree in Educational Leadership from University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education in 2004. With teaching experience ranging from first grade to 12th, Andrew has also held a variety of administrative positions such Assistant Director of Admissions at Saint Ann's School and Director of Operations at the Pierrepont School. Andrew joined the TEAK staff full time in 2011, but has helped TEAK Fellows study and prepare for standardized tests, for both high school and college, since 2007. An expert in test preparation, Andrew has helped TEAK Fellows achieve average increases of more than 200 points on their standardized tests. When he isn't working with our Fellows he is chasing his two children around Harlem.
- Daniel BlednickDirector of College Guidance
Dan earned his Bachelor's degree from Amherst College and his Master's degree in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was the Assistant Baseball Coach at Amherst College from 2002 until 2004, and played four seasons of professional baseball in Germany while also serving as assistant coach for the Great Britain national baseball team. Dan joined the TEAK staff in 2006, and since that time has guided over 200 TEAK Fellows through the college admission process, while helping their families secure over $50 million dollars in financial aid. In addition, Dan has visited over 100 colleges and universities, completed the Developing Leaders Program at Columbia University School of Business, the Harvard Summer Institute on College Admissions and has presented at many national and regional conferences. Dan thinks the Yankees are awesome, is an avid stoop gardener and can recreate his Italian grandmother’s meatball recipe perfectly.
- Stefany CastrillonAssistant Director of Business Operations
Stefany graduated from The City College of New York in 2014 with a degree in Political Science. Since then, she has explored her education, journalism, and financial interests working as a special education teacher assistant, an accounts receivable specialist, and holding several intern positions at South-South News, Sirius XM, and The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. Her transition to TEAK in 2016 combines all her interests and reflects her deep concern for education and economic issues affecting minorities in the US. Stefany's passions include drawing, crafting, fashion, and all art in general. She also loves languages - Spanish and Portuguese especially - and dreams of one day experiencing Rio de Janeiro's Carnival.
- Nina GlickmanAssistant Director of High School Programs
A native New Yorker and the daughter of educators, Nina graduated with a BA in English and Creative Writing from Cornell University in 2004. She began her career in education in the summer of 2008, when she worked as an instructor with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). Upon completing her MFA in Fiction in 2010 from The New School, where she won the 2010 Chapbook Award for Short Fiction, Nina pursued a full-time teaching career by joining the New York City Teaching Fellows and earning a Masters in Special Education from Hunter College. She taught Special Education English for three years at a large public high school in Brooklyn, and in the summer of 2013, she moved to Madrid, Spain on a governmental grant, where she taught English language and test prep in the bilingual public schools for the next two years. Nina enjoys cooking, writing, game nights, and seeing the world with her husband, and can proudly complete an entire week of The New York Times crossword puzzles (in pen, of course).
- Vanessa GreerDirector of College SuccessGrowing up in Brooklyn and attending public school, with a mother who was an educator, Vanessa developed a passion for education. Vanessa earned her BA in Africana Studies with a minor in Education from New York University. After graduation, Vanessa joined AmeriCorps VISTA, where she served at Jumpstart for Young Children in New York City. After her year of service, Vanessa pursued her Master's degree in Social Work from New York University. Prior to joining TEAK in 2014, Vanessa was the Director of The Workplace Mentoring Center at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC, connecting at-risk NYC public middle and high school students with highly qualified corporate mentors to help students reach their full potential. During that time, Vanessa completed the Mentor Supervisor Certificate Program through Fordham University in conjunction with Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC and the Developing Leaders Program at Columbia University School of Business. Vanessa enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures as well as spending time with family, friends, and her adopted dog, Lola.
- Natalie GreenhouseDirector of Career Programs
Natalie graduated from Occidental College in 2010 with a bachelors in psychology and her teaching credential. After graduating, Natalie worked as an admission officer at Occidental where she recruited and evaluated prospective students for the college and managed a variety of campus programs. Growing tired of all the sunshine, she headed east to NYC! In 2015, Natalie completed her Masters in Education Policy, specializing in college access and success for underrepresented students, from Columbia University's Teachers' College. Natalie joined the TEAK staff in 2014 and has enjoyed becoming part of the TEAK Family! In that short time, she has supported TEAK Fellows in completing over 10,000 hours of service to their communities.
- Matt LatessaAssistant Director of High School Programs
Matt Latessa earned his BA in American Studies from Franklin & Marshall College in 2012. Upon graduation, Matt traveled to Boston to participate in the MATCH Charter Public High School Tutor Corps where he mentored 15 students of various ages. After finishing this fellowship, Matt returned to Lancaster, Pennsylvania to serve as the Assistant Dean of Admission & Coordinator of Multicultural Recruiting at Franklin & Marshall College. During his three-years there, he ran several recruitment programs and evaluated many applicants. In August 2017, Matt joined the TEAK team after completing his MA in Higher and Postsecondary Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Having recruited TEAK Fellows in the past, Matt is now eager to support these students as they create the educational opportunities they seek. In his spare time, Matt enjoys playing touch football, exploring new neighborhoods, and taking advantage of the myriad culinary offerings New York boasts.
- Brianna MahoneyAdministrative Assistant
Brianna graduated from Oberlin College in 2017 with a BA in Art History and a minor in Chemistry. While at Oberlin, she spent most of her time working with local elementary, middle, and high school students to ensure they were receiving the best educational opportunities possible. She started working for a college access program called the Ninde Program in 2013 and also started a group for young women at the local high school. She is happy to be joining TEAK to continue supporting students and helping them pave their own way!
- Tara ReedAssociate Director of Development
Tara graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature. After graduating, she worked as a public relations assistant at Benetton USA Group in NYC where she worked with fashion editors and managed the United Colors of Benetton collections. Looking for a career change and impactful work, Tara made her move into the non-profit world and started working for the West Side YMCA as a Development Associate in 2011. In 2014, she moved to London for an internship with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as a Corporate Relations intern working with the Leadership Giving Team in Private Sector Giving. While in London, she completed her Master’s Thesis and returned to NYU in the Spring of 2015 to graduate with her Masters in Fundraising. In the Summer of 2015, Tara returned to the YMCA as the Director of Development and Communications at the Prospect Park YMCA. Her passion for youth development and education led Tara to join TEAK in 2017. She enjoys traveling with her husband, cooking, yoga, and watching cat videos.
- Nelly SemelaAssociate Director of Admissions
Nelly graduated from Colgate University with a BA in Art & Art History, with a focus in Architectural Studies. Also a graduate of Prep for Prep and Friends Seminary, Nelly has worked in education since 2012, serving as Communications Manager and Admissions Fellow at The Spence School for four years, during which time he also taught Leadership to students in the Interschool Association. Nelly has led the design and implementation of Leadership instruction at TEAK, scaling a successful high school curriculum to middle school level, guided by TEAK’s values of impactful leadership. Currently serving as Associate Director of Admissions, Nelly is passionate about identifying and recruiting the talented students who will benefit from TEAK and its amazing partnerships.