About Us

Phone: 914 376 8181

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Degrees and Certifications:

Education Doctorate (Ed D) in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher University  Library Science (MS) from Pratt Institute 

Dr. Cynthia Palmer, Director

Hello, as an educator who loves students, reading, and research, my mission is to provide resources and books to engage students and deepen their joy of reading, critical thinking, and application of skills within the world around them. My goal is to find authors & characters who mirror and reflect our scholars at all stages of growth and exploration. I have had the pleasure of teaching students from PreK to college, including returning adult learners. I also enjoy collaborating with families and community partners towards increasing academic rigor and vibrance by incorporating the cultures of our school neighborhoods and the globe into project-based learning. 

 

 

 

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Ms. Eliana Castillo

In 2012, Eliana started her career as an educator when she discovered an undeniable passion for teaching children and providing high-quality instruction. She pursued her dream of giving back to her community by opening her own home-based family daycare to assist families. By providing valuable tools and resources, Eliana was able to help children excel in school. 

 In 2016, Eliana accepted a position with the Yonkers Public School system. She enjoys serving a bigger population of families and children as a school library media specialist. Eliana prides herself on providing all students with the knowledge and the importance of developing 21 century information literacy skills to enhance their everyday lives. Eliana will be the librarian for school's `Montessori 27, Ella Academy, 9, Cesar Chavez, & Hostos

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Mrs. Brenda Francis-Knowles

Brenda Francis-Knowles is the School Library Media Specialist at Gorton High School.

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Mrs. Ann Marie Levy

Mrs. Levy has been a School Library Media Specialist in the Yonkers Public Schools for many years.  She is the Media Specialist at Roosevelt High School.  She teaches grades 9 through 12th grade.  Prior to that, Mrs. Levy was a 3rd grade teacher.  She enjoys teaching all aspects of library skills, especially research.  The students in Mrs. Levy's classes have been learning about and participating in the New York State 3 Apples Book Award, which is the only book award in NYS that is based solely on student votes.  This activity is a highlight that the students look forward to participating in year after year.

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Mrs. Karen Loia

Karen Loia is the Library Media Specialist at Lincoln High School. Born and raised in Yonkers, she is thankful she is able to give back to the community, in the city that she will always think of as home!  She attended P.S. #28 (Kahlil Gibran School), Walt Whitman Junior High School (Robert C. Dodson School) and Roosevelt High School (Roosevelt High School-Early College Studies).  

Karen holds a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design, with a Minor in Art History from Marymount College and a Master's Degree in School Library Media Science from Queens College.  She has worked as a Library Media Specialist in Yonkers for many years, teaching students in the elementary, middle and high school settings.  

She is a lifelong learner who is motivated by a passion to help others and pave the way, eliminating struggle and opening doors to a world of information and technology that is available for all.  She loves to enhance self esteem in others and is passionate about educating our students and helping them to reach their full potential. She believes that knowledge is power and together and we can do this!

​In addition to teaching students and promoting literacy, Karen takes pride in sharing her expertise with colleagues during her professional development workshops and on her Ed Tech page. She is also the school website editor and AP Testing Coordinator at Lincoln High School.  At Palisade Prep she created the Read2B initiative to promote literacy and independent reading.  She enjoys posting on Twitter for the YPS Library Media Specialists @ YO_Library Media!

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Ms. Jennifer Nero

Jennifer is school library media specialist at DiChiaro, 16, 17 and 30. Jennifer has always enjoyed reading and loves learning new things. Jennifer enjoys spreading the love of reading and learning with her students.

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Mr. James Riley

Mr. Riley is currently the Library Media Specialist for Saunders HS. He has worked as a Media Specialist for the Yonkers Public Schools in elementary, middle, and high schools for over 22 years. He has over 27 years of experience as an educator. He holds a BA from Colgate University; an MLS from Queens College; and a Certificate in School Administration from The College of St. Rose. Mr. Riley enjoys reading; skiing; swimming; and participating in book clubs. He is also serving as the President of the Yonkers City School Library Council.

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Mr. Peter Sieh

Peter Sieh began working as a librarian in Yonkers Public Schools in 2006. He worked at Enrico Fermi for four years, and he now works at Las Hermanas Mirabal Community School and Martin Luther King Jr. Academy. He teaches students in Pre-Kindergarten up through the 8th grade. Besides teaching students how to enjoy reading print books and online books, Mr. Sieh enjoys showing students how to search for information online. He also takes great pride in filming events that happen in his two schools, and posting those videos on his two schools’ websites. He is heavily involved with S.T.E.A.M. instruction in his schools, and has helped facilitate many different computer coding activities at both Las Hermanas Mirabal Community School and Martin Luther King Jr. Academy.

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Degrees and Certifications:

*Bachelors in Elementary Education *Masters in Special Education *Masters in Instructional Technology *Masters in Library Media Science Professional Certification - Teaching Pre-K -6th Grade  Professional Certification-Library Media Science K-12th Grade

Ms. Mariana Sugrim

Ms. Mariana Sugrim holds a Bachelor’s Degree  in Elementary Education, a Master's Degree in Special Education and a Master's Degree in instructional technology from  Grand Canyon University, Arizona.  Additionally, Mariana received a Master’s Degree in Library Media Science from St. John's Fisher College, New York. She has worked with children of various age groups over the past thirteen years. Ms. Sugrim also served as an elementary school teacher in New York City prior to stepping into librarianship. Mariana is librarian at Riverside High School.

 

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Ms. Ingrid Sutherland

Ingrid Sutherland is the  school librarian for Barack Obama School for Social Justice.  She has been 20 years in education, starting as a high school English teacher in Washington Heights.  She is looking forward to sharing her love of reading and the magic of literacy with all of her students.

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B.S. in Elementary Education M.S. in Library and Information Science

Ms. Nicole Wernham-Taylor

Nicole is the School Library Media Specialist at Yonkers Middle High School!  She was born in New York City and  raised in the Bronx. Nicole attended catholic elementary school in the Bronx before moving to Yonkers. She attended and graduated from Roosevelt High School  before starting her career as a librarian-in-training at The New York Public Library on Fordham Road in the Bronx. She later left the NYPL to follow her dream of being a School Library Media Specialist for Yonkers Public Schools. She have been working as a Media Specialist for over 20 years. 

After starting at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, Nicole completed  her  Bachelor of Science degree at City College of New York. She received a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science from Long Island University and has permanent certifications as an Elementary Teacher, a School Library Media Specialist and also a Public Librarian. 

Nicole is honored to serve the learning community of YMHS and looks forward to assisting in all their learning needs. 

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Destini Walker

Destini Walker is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University. While her love and drive for basketball pushed her to accomplish many things, her love for reading never faded. Destini looks forward to working in Yonkers Public Schools teaching literacy and reading with her students. Destini is at School 15, Pulaski, Gibran, Boyce and School 32. She can be reached at 
dwalker3@yonkerspublicschools.org.

Phone: 914-376-8425 x4880

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Degrees and Certifications:

*BA in Elementary Education - Iona College *MS in Special Education - College of New Rochelle *St. Nicholas Training Centre for the Montessori Method of Education *MS in Library and Information Science - LIU- CW Post Campus

Mrs. Carol Westphal

Carol is a certified School Library Media Specialist with over 27 years experience in the Yonkers Public School District.  She spent 15 years at Emerson Middle School, 5 years at Cross Hill Academy and PEARLS Hawthorne, and 5 years at Riverside High School and Yonkers Montessori Academy.  Currently, she teaches at Yonkers Montessori Academy. 

Besides teaching students, she provides Professional Development at: Parent Workshops, Faculty Meetings and Districtwide Workshops.  For the last few years, she has also taught for the Yonkers Richard Gazzola Teacher Center.  In this course, she instructs and shows colleagues how to use the Instructional Technology Resources offered through the District and the Yonkers City School Library System in their curriculum with their students.  In addition, she encourages all participants to share this information with parents, colleagues, and administrators. She is also a member of the Yonkers City School Library System Council.