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Merle Anselm

Founder, Program Manager

Merle Anselm has been an advocate for advancing educational equity for over 15 years.  In 2014, Ms. Anselm founded Mind of a Child, LLC, creating a program focused on educating children who were not exposed to foreign languages in NYC public schools. Her focus then turned to the underlying foundations of comprehension in reading and math to support opportunities for a higher level of exposure through reading, writing and math scenarios.

Ms. Anselm plays a pivotal role in consulting parents about educational opportunities for their children to have a diverse global experience in education. She holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Baruch College.   

In addition to her experience as a child-centered focus organizer, she volunteers in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to support children who sometimes seem invisible in their educational spaces.

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Dayniah Manderson

Co-Founder, English Curriculum Director

Dayniah Manderson is a veteran English educator with years of success within the NYC public school system.  


She obtained both her B.S. in English Education and her M.A. in School Building Leadership from NYU.  She is a believer in Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and in Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development, which are the cornerstones of her pedagogy. 

In addition to her experience in teaching English, Ms. Manderson also creates a nurturing environment for her students.  She understands the impact of socio-emotional health and ensures that all children have a sense of belonging and feel valued.

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Zulamis Narcisse

Co-Founder, Math Curriculum Director

Zulamis Narcisse is a certified New York State teacher who specializes in elementary and middle school mathematics for the last eight years.  She received a B.S. in Social Studies and a minor in Mathematics from St. Francis. She also holds a Masters in Education from Touro College.


Ms. Narcisse's vision for children goes beyond teaching in a classroom, she saw the necessary social impact of education and wanted to figure out a way to support academic excellence outside of the classroom.  The importance of education was always heavily ingrained. Passing wasn’t good enough, meeting students where they are helping them gain educational independence, resilience, and empowerment were always her goals. “Success is its own reward, but failure is a great teacher too, and not to be feared.”- Sonia Sotomayor.  Also, that “learning happens through different lenses, but it will happen”.


Samantha Shakes

Program and Technical Director

Samantha Shakes received a B.A. The University of North Florida in Sociology and Mass Communication. Her passion is supporting children’s creativity, educational growth, and seeing them thrive.


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Bernadette  Bosky

Instructor, SAT and  Analytical Reading and Writing

Bernadette Bosky is born and raised in the Midwestern USA. She started teaching English back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, while she was a graduate student at Duke University. Since then, she has taught students from second grade to graduate school, as well as adults otherwise done with school, on subjects including prep for a veritable plethora of tests, as well as literature, research, and writing.


She also occasionally writes professionally, including personal essays, reviews, works of literary scholarship or criticism, and a bit of fiction. She loves science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and often appears as a speaker at academic and fan conventions. She lives in Yonkers, NY. 

Ms. Bosky has a BA in English, magna cum laude, DePauw University, Phi Beta Kappa and  She has a Doctoral work in English and a MA in English from Duke University

She specializes in English, reading, writing, test preparation (ELA
tests and Regents in English; ISEE, SSAT, PSAT, SAT, SAT II in Literature, ACT; GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and GMAT).

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Alisha Bethea

Teacher, Analytical Reading and Writing

Alisha Bethea comes with 8 years of experience as a full-time educator; 7 years specifically as a classroom generalist in multi-subject areas in grades 6-12. However, her specialties are Mathematics excluding Geometry and English across grade levels. She holds two MS degrees in Special Education: English 7-12 and Educational Leadership and a BA degree in English.

In addition to teaching in urban public schools, throughout Ms. Betha's career, she remained committed and passionate about education equity.  Her hope is that every child she interacts with succeeds through targeted and relevant support.  In her most recent role, although no longer in the classroom, she collaborates with teachers/school staff bridging the gaps among instructional best practices, classroom culture and student engagement.

Ms. Bethea is eager to support students in the MOAC Program. 

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Denna Soni

Teacher, Essay Writing

Ms. Soni is excited about facilitating the connection that MOAC students have with their writing by helping to engage them in that intricate process of learning through the written word. 


Denna Soni has been a high school English teacher in New York State for the past 11 years. She received a BA in English Literature and Composition and a Master in Special Education with a Dual Certification in English for Grades 7-12. 


Ms. Soni strongly believes in a growth mindset creating culturally relevant lessons, and implementing Cassel framework to support student learning in the classroom. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York she is passionate about teaching narrative, argument,  and expository writing to young people through dialogue and reflection. She believes in empowering students to share each other's responses through collaborative discussion strategies and critical analysis of written texts.  “The hallmark of academic success is human connection and having students reflect on their experiences as a way to inspire the direction, style, and form of their writing”. 


Ms. Soni is passionate about helping MOAC students engage in the complex process of learning written language thereby increasing their engagement with writing.

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