Faculty and Staff

Preschool Faculty Three and four year olds

Lower School Faculty K-3

Middle School Faculty 4-8

Academic Specialists

  • Dana Baker

  • Clara Buckley

  • Nathan Johnson

  • Gary Lawrence

  • Zachary Licato

  • Joan Isaacs Litman

  • Aiko Mauldin

  • Zachary Nordling

  • Tania Oro-Hahn

  • Judith Schteingart

  • Jessica Smith

  • Gladys Wu

Administrative Staff

Support & Enrichment Staff

After School Staff

  • Tony Huang

  • Matt Lepek

  • Aiko Mauldin

  • Phil Newman

  • Jessica Smith

Clara Buckley

cbuckley@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Lead Teacher, Rivers Class Academic Specialists Middle School Art; STEAM Education Manchester Metropolitan University; University of London

Sarah Chalmers

schalmers@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Assistant Teacher, Sky Class; Drama Teacher Education Eastern Michigan University

Nancy Aberg

naberg@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, First Grade Education University of California Santa Barbara

Becca Brasser

bbrasser@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher, First Grade Education Calvin College; New Jersey City University

Rachel Buys

rbuys@mustardseedschool.org Middle School Faculty Sixth Grade Literature, Language Arts, Math Education Covenant College; Covenant College

Dana Baker

dbaker@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Learning Specialist Grades Nest to Grade 3; Agnes and Peter Steenland Memorial Chair for Professional Development Education Calvin College; Bank Street College

Thomas Postema

tpostema@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Head of School Education Master of Education, Calvin College; Master of Arts in Philosophy, Columbia University of New York; Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy, Calvin College

An educator for over 35 years, Mr. Postema has taught math and been a school administrator at international schools in Japan and South Korea, as well as schools in the USA (New Jersey and Alaska). He taught at Mustard Seed from 1989-1991 when Mr. Cuervo and Mr. Johnson were MSS students! Since arriving back at Mustard Seed in 2011 as Head of School, Mr. Postema has successfully led the school through the NJAIS accreditation process and the  Together for Tomorrow endowment campaign, which raised over $3M to benefit MSS students. Mr. Postema loves to tell the Mustard Seed story and is passionate about the mission to serve families from all walks of life.  

Mr. Postema’s three children attended Mustard Seed and he would love it if his three grandchildren lived close enough to be students at the school. An avid traveler, Mr. Postema has visited over 30 countries in his adventures abroad.

Betty Ciarlo

bciarlo@mustardseedschool.org Support & Enrichment Staff Counselor

Tony Huang

After School Staff Violin / Piano

Nathan Johnson

njohnson@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Lead Teacher, Trees Class Academic Specialists Lower School Art Education Lenoir-Rhyne University

Kristen Jordan

kjordan@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Assistant Teacher, Trees Class Education Harvard College; Teachers College at Columbia University

Amy Kadota

ahitotsubashi@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Assistant Teacher, Rivers Class Education Yale University; Teachers College, Columbia University

Cinthia Santos

csantos@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, Kindergarten

Emily Sytsma

esytsma@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Early Childhood Director; Coleman Fung Chair for Creativity and Design Education Syracuse University; Webster University

Bridget Faley

bfaley@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher, Kindergarten Education St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN

Dorota Chester

dchester@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, First Grade Education University of Warsaw

Gabriel Cuervo

gcuervo@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, Kindergarten

Emma Healey

ehealey@mustardseedschool.org Middle School Faculty Lead Teacher, Fourth/Fifth Grade Education SUNY at Brockport; CUNY

Kim Knoester

kknoester@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher, Kindergarten Education Calvin College

Cindy Kuperus

ckuperus@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher Second/Third Grade; Second Education Calvin College; Michigan State University

Sam Martino

smartino@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, Second/Third Grade Education Fordham University

Kate Streelman

kstreelman@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher, First Grade Education Calvin College

Zandi Sutton

Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, Second/Third Grade Education Durban University of Technology

Heather Welesko

hwelesko@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Assistant Teacher, Second/Third Grade; Teacher, Literacy Education Shippensburg University; School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Sam Choi

schoi@mustardseedschool.org Middle School Faculty Science, History, and Ethics, Sixth to Eighth Grades Education University of California San Diego

Melissa McCallihan

mmccallihan@mustardseedschool.org Middle School Faculty Lead Teacher, Fourth/Fifth Grade Education University of Arizona; University of Idaho

Gary Lawrence

glawrence@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Coleman Fung Chair for Mathematics; Teacher of Pre-Algebra and Algebra Education Brown University

Zachary Licato

zlicato@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Physical Education and Health Education William Paterson University; St. Peter's University

Joan Isaacs Litman

jlitman@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Artist-in-Residence Education University of Georgia; Capital University; Kodály Center of America

Aiko Mauldin

amauldin@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Coleman Fung Chair for Music; Director of Songsters, Choristers, and Music Educator for Grades K-5; Worship Leader After School Staff Director of the PROS (Percussion, Recorder, Orff, Servants) Education Manhattan School of Music; San Francisco Conservatory of Music; New York University

Zachary Nordling

znordling@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Lower School Art and Math; Shared Space Coordinator Education Calvin College

Tania Oro-Hahn

torohahn@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Spanish, Grades Two through Eighth, Worship Leader Kindergarten through Eighth Grade Education Rutgers University; New Jersey City University

Jessica Smith

jsmith@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Music Teacher, Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator After School Staff Chorus Education Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance with a Minor in Voice Science & Pedagogy, University of Houston; Master of Music in Vocal Performance, University of Missouri-Kansas City; Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance & Bachelor of Music in Education, Ithaca College. Professional Certificates: Drum Circle Facilitation; Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship. Recently Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

Reynaldo Barrera

rbarrera@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Facilities Manager

Abigail Hall Choi

achoi@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Director of School Initiatives & Improvement; Director of Middle School Student Culture Education Covenant College; Teachers College, Columbia University

Lisa Galarza

lgalarza@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Middle School Director Education Florida Atlantic University; Walden University

Jennifer Gautier

jgautier@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Office Manager & Technology Coordinator Education Montclair State College; New York University

Abby Liu

aliu@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Director of Marketing & Communications Education Middlebury College

Abby Liu’s passionate about telling the Mustard Seed story.  She’s the parent of a Mustard Seed alum and a current student, so she’s seen firsthand the successful outcomes of a MSS education.  Prior to working at Mustard Seed School, Ms. Liu traveled the United States and the world as the Director of Client Service for the online services division of a Fortune 500 company.  She loves spending time with her family and walking through farmers markets; they remind her of her native Vermont.

Nancy Michael

nmichael@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Administrative Associate Education University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Gloria Miltner

gmiltner@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff School Secretary

Sebastian Olukun

solukun@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Business Administrator Education Rutgers University; Full Sail University

Shanna Pargellis

spargellis@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Lower School Director Education Calvin College; Bank Street College

Michele Boerman Postema

mpostema@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Assistant Teacher, Rivers Class Education Calvin College

Judith Schteingart

Academic Specialists Counselor Education Brandeis University (BA); New York University (MA, PhD)

Matt Lepek

After School Staff Flute / Clarinet / Saxophone

Phil Newman

After School Staff Guitar

Yukiko Tanaka

After School Staff Piano

Felicity Greene

fgreene@mustardseedschool.org Preschool Faculty Lead Teacher, Sky Class Education University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Brent Harris

bharris@mustardseedschool.org Middle School Faculty Language Arts, Seventh and Eighth Grades Education Calvin College

Katherine Jonker

kjonker@mustardseedschool.org Middle School Faculty Lead Teacher, Fourth/Fifth Grade Education Calvin College

Gladys Wu

gwu@mustardseedschool.org Academic Specialists Learning Specialist, Grades Four to Eight Education The College of New Jersey; the College of New Jersey

Imaani F. Sanders

isanders@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Director of Admissions and Community Relations Education Bloomfield College; Penn State

Kate Nordling

knordling@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Development Associate Education Taylor University

Rebekah Lowe

rlowe@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher, Second/Third Grade Education The College of New Jersey

Melia McHugh

mmchugh@mustardseedschool.org Lower School Faculty Lead Teacher, Second/Third Grade Education University of Delaware; the College of New Jersey

Angela Ho

aho@mustardseedschool.org Administrative Staff Director of Finance & Operations Education Indiana University; Duke University
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