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The Peach Pit Team

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TARA LYNN D'UVA

Director

Rumson has been our home for the past 14 years. My husband and I have three amazing little people who we are crazy about. I have 22 years of experience in education as a certified K-8 teacher. I also hold a certificate in Supervision & a MA in Curriculum & Instruction, I have been a teacher for grades K  - 7, written numerous curriculums, worked as an Academic Life Coach, and an Early Literacy Specialist coaching K-3 and special education teachers. I support administrative teams, facilitate professional development days, parent workshops, Professional Learning Community meetings and Grade Level Meetings.

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Bronwyn Bergen

Academic/Athletic Coach

Hi, my name is Bronwyn and I am the founder of The STARS Kids Life Studio.  There is no greater inspiration than empowering children. The STARS Kids Life Studio is a certified global Kids Life Coach studio specializing in building self-esteem, social skills, emotional intelligence and communication skills while also addressing growth mindset for athletes, attention disorders and divorce recovery.  Specifically I do work with students and young athletes coaching them to develop a growth mindset, confidence-building, resilience and dealing with adversity. The ultimate goal is to build a success mindset in every young person with whom I work and to inspire, motivate, and provide kids with a greater self-acceptance, self- awareness and clear understanding of their own thinking patterns. I accomplish this by assessing children’s needs, then developing a tailor-made individualized program. 

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Bridget Cassidy

Instructor/Tutor/Advisor

Throughout her 30 plus year career as an educator, literacy coach, and curriculum developer, Bridget has worked diligently to utilize data to guide not only instruction but to also support her colleagues within the classroom. From the time she received her Bachelor of Arts degree from CUNY-College of Staten Island through her graduate work at the Pennsylvania State University, where she earned two master’s degrees, she has worked tirelessly as an advocate for instruction that helps increase student learning thereby ensuring their success in literacy.

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Mikal Kuhi

Music & Media

Mr. Kuhi has been playing piano for 20+ years and teaching for ten years both privately in Rumson/Fair Haven and also at schools such as Small Factory Productions as well as Jersey Shore Music Academy.   He received his Master's Degree from Monmouth University in Education.  He has been in bands and around recording for ten years as well.  Through these experiences he has crafted a technology centered piano lesson that teaches students music theory, and helps them learn how to write and record their own music. What a great way to approach music!

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Toni Ferrone

Art Teacher

Our Art teacher, Toni Ferrone, is a certified K-8 teacher in elementary education and art. She believes that every child is an artist and should be able to learn, create, and follow their own vision. Her passion is to inspire, build confidence, and share techniques to get them there.

 

In this class your child will explore the world of two- and three-dimensional art projects. We will use multi-media tools such as pencil, paint, clay, and textiles to reinforce and enrich the elements and principles of art. Students will learn by following a step by step method that demonstrates the techniques and then I will guide them and assist in the artistic process as needed.

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Nick Jupinka

Performing Arts/Drama 

Nick Jupinka is an actor, director, musical director, choral teacher and multi-instrumentalist based out of New Jersey. Nick graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied acting, directing and voice at the Atlantic Theater Company with William H. Macy, David Mamet, Robert Bella, Neil Pepe and Karen Kohlhaas. After graduating, he starred in the Off-Broadway production of Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams at the NYC Fringe Festival, where he assumed the role created by Jason Ritter.

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Nicole Church

Miss Chess

Ms. Church has had the good fortune of teaching chess to students in Monmouth county area schools for over 20 years now. Nicole has taught all the way from Harlem, NYC to Honolulu Hawaii.
One of her Harlem classes was featured in Parent magazine named “ The Brainy Benefits of Chess”  https://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/benefits-of-chess/?utm_source 
Nicole is a semi-retired tournament chess player. Nicole has played tournaments in NJ, Las Vegas, and as far as Amsterdam. She has received years of coaching by an International master. Every summer she runs a chess camp at the Kateri Environmental Center.
She is extremely excited to participate in the Homeroom 20 program and believes chess can help any child develop strong and lasting critical thinking skills and friendships!  Our goal together is to give your child a lifelong love of this beautiful game. 
Placement criteria 
For intermediate advanced: children must be over 5 years old(unless a special case) They need to show an understanding of all chess pieces, movements and captures. Also they need to know check, checkmate, stalemate clearly.

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Karen Josselyn

Teacher/Tutor

Karen is a sought after literacy coach and tutor. She has been in education for the past 32 years and is currently working for Children’s Literacy Initiative.  She is trained in Science of Reading, Balanced Literacy, Reading and Writing Workshop, Reading Recovery, Orton-Gillingham. She not only brings these skills to her work but executes with the highest expertise. One of her most notable achievements is her success in supporting struggling readers and bringing them to grade level and beyond.

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Monica Duque

Art Therapist/Educator

Hello! I am Monica Duque, a NY and NJ licensed art therapist, EMDR trained, clinical supervisor, artist, entrepreneur, educator and a mom of 3 energetic boys.
 
I have been working in the art therapy field for over 15 years, across diverse settings with populations including children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. I was fortunate to foster the development of future art therapists by being part of NYU's and SVA's faculty teams. I am passionate about the creative process as a journey in development and growth. I believe in the power of art as a medium for social connection, expression and healing. 

Art Therapy... when words don't come easy or are not enough.

"I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration." - Frida Kahlo

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Courtney Deissler

Math Teacher/Tutor

Hi, my name is Courtney Deissler! I was born and raised in South Jersey, but moved to this area when I got a teaching job and could not be happier. I graduated from The College of New Jersey with a Bachelors degree in STEM and Masters degree in Special Education. This is currently my 6th year teaching as a 7th and 8th grade Math Special Education teacher in Marlboro Township. During the summer, I am a lifeguard in Spring Lake and am happiest being in the sun! Other than working with my students, some of my interests include traveling, running, and playing sports. I am so excited to get to know everyone and work with our members to improve their Math skills this year! :)

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Lara Wengiel

Teacher/Tutor

Lara Wengiel has been teaching for over 25 years, and still loves every second of it! Loving what she does makes it easy to do it well. She is the worthy recipient of Teacher of the Year, Monmouth County Exemplary Elementary Educator of the Year, and Cooperating Teacher of the Year. When she’s not teaching, she loves running, working out on her  Pelotons, (yes she has more than one) going to beach and reading. She has one daughter Tylar who is 24 years old, and works in importing, but wants to go back to school and study education. She also has  three dogs, two turtles, and one cat. She is so excited to embark on this new experience in education, and looks forward to getting to know all of our members!!

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Carter Costic

Instructor/Tutor

Carter Costic is currently attending Princeton University. He was the valedictorian the Academy of Information Technology at Red Bank Regional High School and heading to PRINCETON UNIVERSITY this fall. He loves to learn and share his knowledge with others. He has been practicing cybersecurity and coding for over five years, with teams winning state competitions and placing in the top 10 nationally almost every year. He has been trading stocks and options for over six years and understands the value of sparking interest early as his interest in investments began with a school project in 4th grade. His tutoring experience, patience, and understanding of these subjects allow him to break down complex terms into simple concepts, and his passion is contagious. Carter's classes are some of our most popular and have gone quickly to wait lists. 

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Christina DiFeo

Recipe Developer

Christina DiFeo is a Rumson native who recently moved back in 2020 with her husband and three children. 

After graduating from Boston College, she pursued her passion in the culinary field. She completed Italian Cooking and Chocolate programs at Apicius International in Florence, Italy. She moved on to getting her Professional Pastry and Culinary Management Degree at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. 

Christina has worked at Le Bernardin, Confetti Cakes and Eleni’s Cookies.

You can see her creations on Instagram @christina.difeo.petrella 

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     Tylar Wengiel

              Instructor

Hi, my name is Tylar Wengiel! I am a graduate of Monmouth University. I have a degree in Political Science, but realized my true passion was in education. I was an Instructional Assistant in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom in the Matawan-Aberdeen School District, for the past seven months . Upon receiving my Certificate of Eligibility, I was placed in a Pre-Kindergarten classroom of my own. I love working with young children and watching them grow and learn. During the summer months, you may see me in Asbury Park as a beach lifeguard. I am also a certified swim instructor (WSI) as well as an Emergency Medical Responder.  In my free time, I enjoy running, swimming, working out on my Pelotons, and playing with my dogs! I look forward to meeting the Peach Pit Kids and spending time with them this summer!

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Anthony Ciambrone

Wood Carving Instructor

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Matthew Leddin

Instructor/SS Tutor

Matthew Leddin is a long time Fair Haven resident. He is a former student and current History teacher at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School specializing in world and contemporary history. He graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in history and a master's in social studies education.

 

He is also a professional theater and film technician having almost 20 years of experience in set design, lighting, and sound engineering working in student, community, and professional theaters throughout New Jersey.

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