Meet the Team

Dedicated to Education

School Leadership

Mr. Craig Mercado


As a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, this neighborhood is in my blood.  It is my great pleasure to lead St. Ephrem Catholic Academy.  I have dedicated my life to Catholic education and I firmly believe that the mind, body, and soul should be equally fulfilled through education.  I, along with our faculty, work tirelessly to live up to the long traditions established by St. Ephrem School and hope to build an institution that will make all members of our community proud.

M.S. Ed.

Administration and Supervision


Very Rev. Robert B. Adamo, V. F., KCHS


Father Adamo leads the faith community of St. Ephrem Parish.  His work, along with his staff, to help the school has been instrumental in the Academy’s transition from a parish school.  His role as faith leader will continue to prove vital to our continued success. 

Father Adamo has been Pastor at both IHM and St. Ephrem parish.  His commitment to Catholic Education through words and actions inspires us daily.

Office Staff

Donna Colon

School Secretary

Mrs. Colon serves as the school administrative assistant.  Her warm rapport with the students ensures that they are greeted with a smile each day. If you’re calling us you’re probably speaking with Mrs. Colon.  Her dedication to St. Ephrem extends to her work with the parish community as well.  Her children are St. Ephrem alum and we are pleased to have her granddaughter here as well. 

Michele James

Business Manager

Michele James is the business manager for St. Ephrem Catholic Academy.  In addition to her work, in maintaining the day to day financial operations of the school she works with parents in securing financial aid.  If you have questions about tuition or financial assistance she is always willing and ready to lend a friendly hand.


Ms. Rosa Ameno


Knowing that I am making a positive difference in the life of a child, partaking in their physical and emotional growth is the most gratifying gift I can receive. As an Educator, I always strive to do my very best, giving the students my absolute all.  It is extremely important for me to create a positive, comfortable and secure environment for my students; one that supports their cognitive, social and emotional growth as they embark on their very first academic journey.

B.A. - (SLS)Education

CUNY - College of Staten Island

Mrs. Giovanna Marchese


I believe children learn best through positive encouragement and reinforcement. It is my personal goal as an educator to embrace every student so I am able to accommodate their learning style.

B.S. - Early Childhood Education

Pace University

Ms. Marie Pascarella


I teach because I want to make a difference in the lives of as many students as I can. I encourage my students in a positive way to help them realize their potential. A great motivational quote I like to instill in my students is “The road to success and greatness is always paved with consistent hard work. Outwork your competitors, be authentic and above all else…chase your dreams”-Dwayne Johnson

B.S. - Education 

St. John's University

Ms. Nicole Kokkinos


Due to our rapid growth, we were able to add an additional kindergarten class. Ms. Kokkinos joined us as the new kindergarten teacher and has been a great addition to our school. She is able to work with a small group of students to make sure that each child who wants a Catholic education can get one. 

B.A. - Early Childhood Education

St. Francis College

Mrs. Donna Polizzotto

First Grade

 Educating children with academic, spiritual, and life skills is a valuable part of my life. It gives me great pleasure to help children learn to read, write, and understand math skills. Throughout my career, I have been a dedicated Catholic School educator recognizing God is the center of our lives. My goal is to be a role model for all children so they can make good choices in life. 

M.S. - Education

Fordham University

Mrs. Gina Costagliola

Second Grade

Being a teacher has and will always be a part of who I am. Teaching brings me happiness and fulfillment. I have been a Catholic School Teacher for all of my career and love that I have the ability to share God’s love with my students in all aspects of learning. There is no greater feeling than seeing a child smile because of something they have accomplished. 

M.S. - Special Education

CUNY - College of Staten Island

Ms. Veronica Ruggiero

Third Grade

I’ve known since my first day of kindergarten that I wanted to be a teacher. Knowing that I can make a difference in a child’s life is everything to me. I’ve been working with children since my teenage years.  I am happy to be a part of St. Ephrem Catholic Academy, and I’m looking forward to continuing my journey!

B.S. - Education

Western Governors University

Ms. Susan Maher

Fourth Grade

Fourth and Fifth Grade ELA

Fouth Grade Social Studies

I have been a teacher in the Diocese of Brooklyn for 22years. I love teaching and I am proud of the accomplishments I have made. I continue to strive to bring the best of me to all my students. I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I love every day.  

B.A. - Education

Marymount Manhattan College

Mrs. Barbara Stella

Fifth Grade

Fourth and Fifth Grade Science and Religion

Fifth Grade Social Studies

Helping students study meaningful things that are relevant to one’s life and interests is just as important as teaching the required curriculum. This motivates students to learn, and have a love for learning. Teaching provides an opportunity for me to learn and grow as an individual as well as an educator. As a teacher, I hope to instill a love for learning to all of my students.

B.A. - English

St. Francis College

Mr. Keith O'Hare

Fifth Grade

Fourth and Fifth Grade Math and Religion

I have been teaching in Catholic schools for the last 6 years. I try to create a relaxed atmosphere where students understand that mistakes are an expected and necessary part of learning. I am very grateful to be a part of the community here at St. Ephrem Catholic Academy.

M.S. - Special Education

Touro University

Mrs. Mary Curry

Junior High ELA

After a career at Columbia Pictures, I chose to become a teacher because I wanted to do work that made a difference in children’s lives.

I have been teaching at St. Ephrem School since 2004, beginning as the Jr. High Science teacher, spending 10 years in 4th grade, and now returning to Junior High as the ELA teacher. I get to spend my days encouraging students to love reading and writing. 

M.S. - Education

Fordham University

Mr. Anthony Martinez

Junior High Social Studies

Mr. Martinez joins us for his first year of teaching. He comes highly recommended fresh off of earning his BA from St. John's where he earned his degree in teaching social studies for the junior high level. His youth and exerberance are a welcome addition. We are sure he will prove to be an outstanding member of our school community.

B.A. - Education

St. John's University

Marcello De Carvalho Ph.D

Junior High Science

Dr. DeCarvalho joins us after a career of teaching at the university and high school levels. We are happy to have someone with such a wealth of knowledge in his field. Our students will learn much under his leadership.

Ph.D. - Evolutionay Biology

CUNY Graduate Center

Mrs. Michelle Emeh

Junior High Math

I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since second grade when Sr. Mary Augustine asked me to work with children in my class who were slow readers. With the exception of only two years in my career, I have been an 8th-grade homeroom teacher which means that I am responsible for high school admissions as well as all 8th-grade activities in addition to my academic classes. The most important thing I want my students to learn from me is that they are more than a grade on the report card, they are more than their reflection in a mirror; it’s who they are inside that counts.

M.S. - Education


Ms. Jennifer DeGaeto

Junior High Religion

Computer Teacher

I love to learn and teach something new every day, even if it is outside of the classroom. It brings me great satisfaction to explore the use of technology with students and help them to improve their self-learning skills. My goal is to teach the students the most current technological applications, such as Excel and Powerpoint to upperclassmen, and Microsoft Word to underclassmen.  It is rewarding to know that every lesson I teach will have an impact on their future technological endeavors as well as fulfill their spiritual needs.

B.S. - Business Managment


Mrs. Peggy Tomasi

Resource Room Teacher

Orton Gillingham Certified Specialist

I have had the privilege to work in Catholic schools for over twenty years. I have taught many grades and subjects over the course of the years, but I have spent the last twelve years focusing on working with students who struggle with reading. I spent 3 years training with the Orton Gillingham Academy for Practitioners and Educators and it has been such a rewarding experience to be able to help children who need a different way to learn. I also implemented a writing program for all students which I saw tremendous positive results. I am so happy to be on board in this new endeavor at St. Ephrem Catholic Academy.

M.S. - Education

Fordham University

Mrs. Rosanne Parchment

Visual Arts

I have a background in fine arts and over twenty years of experience in graphic design. While my focus is on teaching classic fine art techniques to the students, I bring an introduction to graphic design to the upper grades through typography and hand lettering techniques.

I also teach digital art classes to the junior high using adobe based software giving students a leg up on their next step in education. I am also an alumna of St Ephrem School.

B.F.A. - Communication Design

Parsons School of Design

Mr. Kerrin Quinn


A classically trained musician, Mr. Quinn joins us for his first year as a classroom teacher. He has continues to serve as band director for our school as well as several others through the Paul Effman Music.

M.S. - Music Education

Five Towns College

Claudia Nigro

Physical Education

I have been a Physical Education teacher for 11 years.  As a Physical Education teacher, it is my unique responsibility to promote physical fitness and introduce students to new sports every year.  All students run in Rising NYRR races through the Presidential Active Lifestyle challenge, I encourage students to become active.  It is my belief that that daily physical activity fosters physical, spiritual, and mental wellness.  I also teach my students about personal growth and how to set goals for themselves. I have two children who attend St Ephrem Catholic Academy because of the excellent Catholic education it offers as well as a myriad of sports programs. 

B.A. - History

St. John's University

Teaching Assistants

Mrs. Angela Micalli


Mrs. Angela helps our littlest students do their best every day. She is an indispensable part of what keeps Pre-K3 running.

Ms. Anna Accetta


Ms. Anna has served as an aid for our students since 2016. She is always helping students achieve their best by making pre-k great. 

Mrs. Arianna DeVito


Mrs. Arianna has been with St. Ephrem since 2016 and has proved herself invaluable to Ms. Pascarella and the kindergarten. She also co-runs our very successful summer camp. 

Ms. Maria D'Alessandro

First Grade

Ms. Maria joins us this year because of the extra space needed due to COVID regulations. She has proved herself as a wonderful teacher's assistant in our first grade. We wish her great success as she finishes her teaching degree in June. 

Ms. Gina Leshi

Third Grade

Ms. Gina has been with us for two years serving as an aid for the second and third grades. She has been a true jack of all trades for us. Her ability to move throughout grade levels has given us the flexibility we have needed in such difficult times.