Meet the Team
Community Superintendent, Rafael Alvarez
I have enjoyed over 18 years as a principal leadership facilitator, principal, assistant principal, elementary teacher, AIS teacher, lead teacher, UFT chapter leader, and both literacy and math coach.
I am eager and prepared to contribute my knowledge with New York City Public Schools, to foster leadership through the building of capacity to maximize student outcomes within the district.
With experience in program initiatives, optimizing the learning atmosphere, staff development, and promoting a safe environment, I have a proven record for exceeding goals through effective internal and external communication. I have a firm commitment to student centered learning, while engaging all stakeholders including parents, community-based organizations, local politicians, staff, students and the field support center.
My uncompromising philosophy is that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student confidence. It is my belief that a district educational mission is to create an environment where life-long learning is part of the culture, learning is enjoyable and exciting while ensuring there is academic rigor. I also believe if school leaders are wholeheartedly vested in their students those same students will be inspired, engaged, empowered and committed to learning.
Rafael Alvarez, Superintendent
Community School District 7
Deputy Superintendent, Dr. Frank Hernandez
Education has been my passion for over 16 years. As a proud product of the South Bronx and New York City public schools, I believe, that with community support and stakeholder engagement, all students can learn and achieve at high levels. The key to college and career readiness is grounded in a high quality education. Hence, improving the quality of teaching, leading, and learning is my foremost priority.
It is an honor to have served Bronx children and families in various capacities including paraprofessional, teacher, mathematics coach, data specialist, assistant principal and principal. Throughout my career, I have always placed the interests of students first in support of increasing student achievement and the education of the whole child. I have collaborated with all educational stakeholders to enhance teaching, leading, and learning and as Deputy Superintendent I have the opportunity to collaborate with our Superintendent and Executive Superintendent in support of advancing equity now. I am grateful for the opportunity to work together with district, Borough, and Central leadership to enhance leader effectiveness and overall school performance.
As a District 7 principal for the past 8 years, I have witnessed firsthand how much our district has improved. Yet, there is still much work to do to address the achievement and opportunity gaps that hinder life and educational opportunities for our scholars. I am deeply committed to this work and fully embrace this opportunity to help lead our district and believe in the capacity to do this transformational work together: teachers, staff, school leaders, parents, business leaders, and politicians.
Through a close and collegial partnership with the district community, I am determined to make Community District 7 an even better place for students to learn and grow, families to be engaged and empowered, and educators to develop professionally with the knowledge, skills, and capacity to be successful. Consider me an educational partner in the enhancement of the social-emotional and academic horizons of our scholars and district at large! I look forward to listen, learn, and partner with you.
Dr. Frank Hernandez
Director of Continuous Improvement (DCI), Maiysha Etienne
As the DCI, Maiysha’s role includes, but not limited to:
• Assists with the coordination and implementation of the
School Renewal Initiative
• Provides needs-aligned instructional and operational supports to a number of underperforming schools, including professional development, intensive
interventions, summer programming and extended learning opportunities, to ensure accelerated academic achievement for the schools served
• Supports school redesign evaluation procedures and processes to facilitate school improvement that results in a significant positive impact on student achievement
As a member of the District 7 Team, Maiysha’s goal is to support all school leaders to continually cultivate and sustain joyful learning environments that promote high levels of complex thinking and achievement for ALL students. She has over 13 years of experience in the DOE and has served as an elementary school teacher, middle school teacher, Principal, TDEC, and now Director of School Improvement. Prior to becoming an educator she practiced law for five years.
Her areas of expertise include the Danielson Framework for Teaching, Data-Wise Improvement Process, designing high impact PL sessions, CEP development, progress monitoring, teacher teams, and collective bargaining agreements. Maiysha is a team player and looks forward in helping any school within the district at any capacity.
Kaitlyn Reilly, Curriculum Instructional Support Specialist
School Instructional Liaison (SIL) - Sharin Tirado
The (SIL) role includes, but not limited to:
• Supports the work of aligning supports to school needs by ensuring comprehensive assessment of schools based on a variety of data sources, and coordinating the alignment of supports from the ISL to schools
• Supports schools with any concerns regarding ISL services and provides guidance on streamlining supports
• Acts as an intermediary between the superintendent’s office and ISL
Family Leadership Coordinator (FLC), Oliver Grullon
The FLC role includes, but is not limited to:
• Supports work related to parent leadership and community engagement
• Provides guidance for developing family involvement and leadership at the school and district levels
• Collaborates with Parent Associations/Parent-Teacher Associations (PA/PTAs) within each of the school communities and the district’s District Leadership Team (DLT),
Family Support Coordinator (FSC), Melodie Duran
As the FSC, Melodie’s role includes, but not limited to:
• Serves as the point of contact for family concerns; may be contacted directly by families for resolution and escalation of any concerns
• Supports the development and implementation of DOE policies and strategies to strengthen family empowerment at all levels of the DOE, and provide a single point of entry for families to resolve concerns
• Provides family outreach and community engagement support, and communicates DOE initiatives, programs, policies, and regulations to families.
Melodie Duran is a professional dancer who studied at The Bronx Dance Theater then moved on to The School of American Ballet where she performed on the Lincoln Center stage in ‘The Nutcracker’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, among others. She competed in the National Dance Educators of America Competition at The Waldorf Astoria and was the 1st place Ballet Solo Winner.
A 19-year veteran of the DOE, she has spent the past 3 years as the Family Support Coordinator working with South Bronx families to help link them with much-needed services, as well as presiding over mediation meetings to increase the partnership between schools and families. She has 2 sons, Richard and Jader, and looks forward to her continued work with the District 7 Team and Family.
Administrative Assistant (AA), Rose Russell
As the AA, Rose’s role includes, but not limited to:
• Work with the Superintendent and Family Leadership Coordinator to address community and parent concerns.
• Communicate with schools, parents/guardians, other DOE offices, City agencies, community organizations, and community representatives regarding Superintendent initiatives and events.
• Schedule and organize meetings with various school, parent and community constituencies
Rose Russell is a Baruch College graduate with a BBA degree in Human Resource Management. As an administrative assistant with the global consulting firm of Willis Towers Watson, she assisted with high-profile meetings and executed a myriad of deliverables for the firm's marketing team.
Rose looks forward to applying her corporate experience with the DOE. Rose is a firm believer in the power of literacy and how an education is a key to success in life; her everyday mantra is: “You are capable”.
Natalie Morman, Teacher Development Evaluation Coach
Andrew Cavagnaro, Education Administrator
Jamala Roper, Teacher Team Leadership Coach
Dena Zamore, Special Education Administrator
Yilucha Jaquez, ELL Support Administrator
Caryn Depinna, Student Services Manager
Jaymar Rodriguez, Budget Director
Amy Guobadia Payroll Specialist
John Rhames, School Safety Agent
Mildred Reese, School Safety Agent
Robert Avila, Handiman