Meet The Teachers

Alexander Cooper
Social Studies

Originally from the Albany area, I attended Binghamton University where I gained a bachelors degree in history and a masters degree in education. Currently I am teaching United States History, Economics, and Participation in Government. During my free time I enjoy attending a variety of concerts, sporting events, and movies. 

Kenneth Knoblauch

Social Studies

Chris Shamkin

Social Studies

Upstate New York native, Mr. Shamkin graduated from Vassar College with a degree in music composition and history.  He began teaching with the upward bound program tutoring during the school year at Poughkeepsie high school and as a summer counselor at Marist College.  Upon graduation, he moved to Tokyo working as an English teacher.  After a brief stint in business, he became a doe teacher.  Mr.  Shamkin still enjoys music, chess, travel and cooking.

Regie Vergara
Math

Graduated College: University of Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines

Degree: Bachelor of Arts major in Mathematics, Master of Science in teaching Mathematics

Dietmar Cziborra
Math

Born and raised in Germany. After school, I joined the army for 4 years, taught at the artillery academy. Apprenticeship as master machinist then studied mechanical engineering - Bachelor's Degree Mechanical Engineering. Moved to US in 1996. Married, one daughter, back to college - Bachelor;s Degree in Math, Master's Degree in Teaching. Teaching at Heritage since 2011. Hobbies: everything in, on, under water, everything in nature, Motorcycling, Photography,  everything in snow and ice, teaching. Motto: if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. 

Harjeet Dhura
Math

Masters in Math Education, Teachers Opportunity Program, Hunter College. Started my teaching career in Bronx, and now has been teaching mathematics for more than ten years. The unreasonable effectiveness of Mathematics to explain the Universe, and also my daily life, drives my inquiry in this field. Originally from the land of five rivers – Punjab, India – ‘Punj’(five), and ‘ab’ means water. I did my Bachelors in Engineering there, and then crossed over the mighty waters of the Atlantic to the United States. Grew up (actually, still growing up) enjoying open wide skies, panoramic views, I feel diversity of life in Nature is exalting. I think Naturalism and Humanism are the best first steps available to understand the ever deepening mysteries of this happenstance called, Life.

John Van Duinen
Music

Ana Lopez
Science

For the past five years, I have been teaching Chemistry and Physics at The Heritage School, as well as serving as the Coordinator of Students Affairs and Senior Class Adviser.  I attended SUNY Stony Brook where I obtained Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering and a Master's Degree in Chemistry.  Shortly after leaving Stony Brook, I decided to follow my passion and go from research to education, so I become a teacher.  I attended CUNY Lehman College and graduated with a Master's Degree in Education.  In my time at The Heritage School, I have had the privilege of becoming a part of the community, and have enjoyed seeing students move from our classrooms into the world where they have become mature and responsible young adults.  When I am not working, I enjoy watching television, reading books and The Cheese Cake Factory!

Sabah Quinones
Science

I have been a Earth Science teacher for 8 years now, and I love teaching. I started off as a research scientist majoring in Geology for my undergraduate degree. I did research in paleoclimatology / paleooceanography for two years and then I decided to minor in Secondary Education Youth Services and become a full time Earth Science teacher for grades 9-12. I been teaching at the Heritage school for five years now and I really enjoy working with our students; I hope to continue teaching for many years to come.

Amilcar Fontaine
Science

I teach Earth Science. I graduated SUNY Buffalo with a BA in Geology. I got my masters at City College in Science Education. In my free time, I hunt.  

Natasha Garcia
Spanish

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Rebecca Shamsian
English

I currently teach 9th and 12th grade English at Heritage. I grew up on Long Island and received my Bachelor's in English and History from Binghamton University. I then obtained my Master's at the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching in Philadelphia, I returned to New York and am excited to be a part of the Heritage community! Outside of school, I love going to the movies, visiting museums, and reading Stephen King.

Ferva Syed
English

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I currently teach 12th Grade and AP English at the Heritage School. I grew up in New York City. I attended high school in West Harlem. I moved on to study English Literature at the City College of New York where I received my Bachelor's and Masters' degrees. After teaching in East New York for 3 years, I returned to Manhattan and became a Heritage veteran in 2011. Other than teaching, I love traveling and taking road trips in warm weather. 

Undergrad : SUNY Old Westbury - Bachelor of Arts in  Adolescent Education ( Spanish 7-12)

Graduate:  Alfred University -Masters of Science in Education ( Literacy)

Pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership.

Some hobbies include; Salsa dancing and shopping. 

Victor Ramirez

Physical Education

Danielle Hoffman
English

Ms. Hoffman grew up in Newburgh, NY, and wanted to become a teacher, but tried other careers out first.  She graduated from Binghamton University with two Bachelor of Arts Degrees, one in Psychology and the other in English with a focus in Creative Writing.  While working in business, she graduated with honors from New York University with a Master of Science in Public Relations and Corporate Communications.  Lastly, Ms. Hoffman graduated with honors from Brooklyn College with a Master of Arts in English Education (7-12).  She has been teaching English Language Arts at The Heritage School since Fall of 2012.  She currently resides in Long Island with her husband and young son.  In her free time, she enjoys being with family, reading books, watching movies, going to the beach, and creating different arts and crafts.

Addis Rojas Marin

ESL

Bachelor degree: Modern Languages

Xaveriana University - Bogota - Colombia

Master Degree: International Affairs

Xaveriana University - Bogota - Colombia

Eric Vieau

Dean

Mr. Vieau is the Respect for All (RFA) Liaison. He can be contacted at vieau@theheritageschoolnyc.com

Ingy Mohamed
Special Ed (Math)

I currently teach Special Education (Math). However, I also have experience teaching English, US History and Science. I was born in Dubai, am of Egyptian decent and was raised in  Astoria, NY. I attended college at CUNY Hunter College and received my Bachelors degree from there. I then went on to attend Touro College and received my Masters degree in Teaching Students with Disabilities Generalist, Grades 7-12. I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking and, most of all, TEACHING. An interesting fact about me is that I was born in Asia, have ethnic roots in Africa and have lived in America for most of my life-- so this makes me AFRICASIAMERICAN ;)

Jessica Ryan

Special Ed (ELA)

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I always wanted to be a teacher. Life, however, took me in another direction. Upon completion of college, I received my Bachelor's in Social Work from Fordham University with high distinction and honors. I then completed a one-year Master's Degree from Hunter College School of Social Work. After years in the field, I switched careers and started focusing more on educating children rather than counseling them. The second realization of my dream of teaching led me to go back to school to pursue a second Master’s Degree in Special Education, from Pace University, and continue to dedicate my career to the growth and education of children. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family exploring my native city!

Reuben Sinha

Art

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Mr. Sinha is the Founder and Executive Director of artHARLEM, a not-for-profit community arts organization. artHARLEM annually organizes The Harlem Open Artist Studio Tour, an intimate look at contempory art and artists’ studio’s in historic Harlem. Reuben Sinha teaches art at The Heritage School, a New York City Public High school in East Harlem, NYC. He has a EdM from Teacher’s College, Columbia University in Art and Art Education, and BFA in Art History from New York University. Mr Sinha studied painting at the Art Students League of New York under Frank Mason, where he recieved a MacDowell Travelling Grant. He has received numerous awards for his work including a Fulbright to paint and study Tantric Art in India. Mr. Sinha enjoys creating stained glass windows, riding his bike and reading science fiction. Mr. Sinha lives with his wife, daughter, one guinea pig and two turtles in New York.

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Mr. Ramirez grew up in Washington Heights and played High School Baseball at George Washington H.S. He attended SUNY Cortland and received a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology. In his spare time he enjoys working out playing sports and traveling.   

Tae Kim

Special Ed (Science)

Ms. Rodriguez

Special Ed (Social Studies)

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