Meet Our November Teachers and Teacher Assistants of the Month

At ICS, our diverse team of dedicated and highly qualified educators not only prioritize our student’s education but also contribute passionately to the growth and development of our charter network. This November, our talented teachers and teacher assistants served not only as leaders in the classroom but also as leaders and mentors to fellow peers and educators. In order to foster life long learning amongst students, the educators of ICS work tirelessly to reflect the values and believes of the Integration Charter School Community.

From Lavelle Prep Elementary, ICS recognizes Ashley Sinodinos and Amanda Ruisi as Teachers of the Month for November. Sinodinos, who teaches 3rd grade, said she was thrilled to hear the news of her achievement.

“My favorite part about being a teacher,” Sinodinos shares, “ is working with diverse populations of children and seeing how it can all come together in one class. Every kid is different and we get to teach kids things beyond academics. I love having small class sizes and getting to know each of my students”.

Ruisi, who began teaching at ICS as Lavelle Prep Elementary started, said she is proud to have been awarded the teacher of the month recognition.

“I love working for ICS because we are not only co-workers, we are a family. I love every person I work with and I’m so grateful to be a part of this team for three years. I love what I do and I am happy that my team recognizes that”

At ICS, we believe that every single one of our educators makes a great impact on the lives of our students. From Lavelle Prep Elementary, we recognize Paola Silva and Amanda Casertano. Silva and Casertano have created an enthusiastic and empathic classroom experience for all students from spending one on one time with them to developing a kindness mystery prize project in the fifth grade.

“It really feels like home,” Shares Silva, “We [faculty] are all so close and we have all grown together as a family.” Silva, who had the unique opportunity to be a floating TA this year, believes that she has gained a lot from this experience. “Being there to assist the teachers and seeing how they teach, how they engage students and there various teaching styles have helped me in considering teaching as a career.”

Casertano, who began her teaching career at Lavelle this school year, was excited and proud to learn of her recognition. “I am so excited about this recognition! I feel so proud but also lucky to work with such an amazing support system. This recognition means so much to me because of the support from every teacher involved.” Casertano states her favorite part about being a teacher assistant seeing her students learn, change and grow into kinder and considerate class.

From Lavelle Prep Upper, Integration Charter Schools recognizes Desiree Velasquez, Brendan Ingram, Omri Shick as November’s Teachers and Teacher Assistants of the month.

Velasquez, Ingrsm, and Shick not only lead our students towards greatness but fellow teachers and teachers assistants as well.
“This recognition has been an absolute honor for me,” shares Velasquez, “as a young teacher, I always worry if I’m effective in my methods and doing my best for the students’ success and ICS as a whole. To be given this award has made me work harder to ensure I’m always doing my very best. ICS has always given me the opportunity to collaborate with my peers and grow as a teacher and as a professional.”.

Brendan Ingram, who has been teaching as Lavelle for a decade, shared that he was flattered to have learned that his fellow educators recognized him as one of the Teachers of the Month.
“The culture & environment we have created for our students are safe and welcoming. I like having helped create our environment as well as continuing to help maintain it.”


Our third Lavelle teacher of the month is, once again, the remarkable chemistry teacher Omri Shick. Shick is so inspiring to fellow teachers that he was recognized as teacher of the month for the 2nd time in a row!
“It is an amazing experience and I enjoy the teamwork environment. Everyone helps each other and we have an open door policy that provides support to the teachers.” For income staff and faculty, Shick advises, “Think about the big picture, where do you want to be, what would you like to change and you will realize that you have a support team to help you accomplish it. Challenge yourself the same way you want to challenge your students. Believe in yourself the same way you believe in your students.”

The Lavelle Prep team of teachers has, in part, been so successful due to the sheer dedication and support of the classroom teacher assistants. Teacher assistants play a vital role in maintaining academic standards as well as in addressing classroom decorum. This November, we recognized three of our exceptional Teacher Assistants, Beth Marin, Rajsean Bell, and Ben Owususekyere.

“I feel very honored to get this recognition”, shares Marin, “I know there are so many great TAs in this school but I was chosen. That made me feel very happy that I was noticed for all my hard work.” Marin, who plans to pursue a career teaching, believes that ICS has helped her achieve her career goal. “I have learned a lot of methods and ideas on how to become an effective teacher. My goal is to become a teacher and being a TA has definitely helped me gain the guidance and confidence I need to teach soon.”

Fellow honorees, Rajsean Bell, and Ben Owususekyere shared Marin’s sentiment. Bell, who has been a part of the ICS family for 2 years, says he felt honored to learn that he was one of Teacher Assistants of the month.

“I love working with ICS, being I have the opportunity to help shape the future. I’m able to provide the support I’ve missed out on as a kid. There are many reasons I love my job. My favorite part about being a teacher assistant is the fact that every day we sharpen the mindset and skills of each student, which also helps students meet their goals and full potential as individuals.”

“I’m proud to be nominated among my peers,” stated Owususkyere, “It gives you a burst of energy to continue doing the right thing. I’m very happy to wake up and come to ICS every day because of the energy I received from the students and the teamwork us teachers have.”

From New Ventures, Integration Charter School recognizes Pazia Miller for Teacher of the Month and Anthony Wooten for Teacher Assistant of the Month. “I feel so honored to be recognized by the staff,” shares Miller, “New Ventures is not like any other school I have encountered. This is a community. We care for and support and love one another. Every staff member is passionate about coming to work every day and spending time with our students. The warmth is infectious…As cliché as it sounds, the community we have fostered here at ICS allows me to feel like I am truly helping students grow.”

From ICS’s newest addition, The Lois & Richard Nicotra Early College Charter School, we recognize, Hafida Zitouni for Teacher of the Month and Kerrin Scully for Teacher Assistant of the Month.

“I feel grateful for the recognition,” Shares Zitouni, “I like working at ICS because of the family welcoming. The diverse and supportive atmosphere of ICS has helped me grow as an educator. The Nicotra Charter School November Teacher Assistant of the Month, Kerrin Scully, felt happy to learn of the recognition.

“I like working for ICS because it gives both students and educators the chance to flourish in a small setting and in an environment with the support needed to succeed.”

We, at ICS, are beyond thrilled to honor these brilliant educators and we cannot wait to see which members of the ICS will share the spotlight next!