New Teaching Staff 2021-22
Meet Our New North Merrick Teachers for 2021-22!
Sarah Anusiak - Special Education Teacher (OMR)
Ms. Anusiak received her bachelor's degree in Child Study from St. Joseph's College and her master's degree in literacy from LIU, C.W. Post. She lives in Seaford and has two young sons. Ms. Anusiak was previously a Special Education teacher in District 75 in New York City, Nassau BOCES, and the Patchogue-Medford School District. She says she has heard nothing but wonderful things about the North Merrick School District and everyone has sbeen so kind and welcoming. She is glad to be closer to home so she can be more involved with community and after-school activities. For 2021-22, her wish is for her students to love to come to school every day and to have a successful year full of growth and fun! Her hobbies are going to the beach, riding bikes and being outdoors. She loves to travel and explore New York City.
Edith Chen - ENL Teacher (Camp and HDF)
Ms. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a master's degree in TESOL (Teaching Students of Other Languages). She was previously an ENL and AIS teacher as well as a permanent substitute. Ms. Chen likes that the North Merrick School District has a diversity of students and staff. You might like to know that she enjoys learning about different cultures and new things in general. She wishes for everyone to complete the school year safely and stay healthy. Her hobby is arts and crafts.
Mara Karfinkel - WINGS teacher and building substitute (Camp, HDF and OMR)
Ms. Karfinkel has experience as a kindergarten, first grade and special education teacher as well as a STEM assistant. She attended SUNY Oneonta and Queens College. She was intrigued by North Merrick's WINGS programs and feels the district is a friendly, inclusive and passionate place to teach and learn. You might like to know that she is a Zumba instructor and dance teacher and she says she loves to be active and dance wherever she can! Ms. Karfinkel lives in West Hempstead, and, in addition to dancing, her hobbies include playing softball and volleyball and with her dog Cooper.
Kristen S. Naletilic - Special Education Teacher (HDF)
Ms. Naletilic was previously a Special Education teacher at Achieve Beyond and Aim High Children's Services and a Behavior Therapist providing ABA services to individuals with autism at ABC. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special and General Education from St. Joseph's College, a Master of Arts degee in Psychology from Adelphi University, and advanced certification in Applied Behavior Analysis from Touro College. Ms. Naletilic says she admires North Merrick's dedication to children and families with its emphasis on strong home-school connections, which she notes aligns perfectly with her teaching philosophy. She adds that parent-teacher relationships are key to maximum school success. Ms. Naletilic loves to travel and hopes to take a vacation to Hawaii next. You might want to know that her parents emigrated from Croatia, and she spent her childhood summers with family in Europe. She grew up speaking both Croatian and English and says she enjoys sharing Croatian culture, language, food and traditions with others. In addition, she loves to cook, read novels, and listen to music.
Jessica Price - School Psychologist (Camp)
Ms. Price earned a Master's degree in School Psychology from Queens College. She was previously a School Psychology in the Hicksville School District. She lives in Melville. Ms. Price says that entering a new school district is an opportunity to grow and to meet new staff and students. She feels the staff communicates well and expresses concerns and needs when necessary. Ms. Price looks forward to making a difference in students' social, emotional and academic success and will work closely with parents and staff to support student needs throughout the school year. Her interests include bike riding, yoga and traveling.
Megan Silka - Speech-Language Pathologist (Camp)
Ms. Silka was previously a Speech-Language Pathologist in the Lakeville Elementary School in Great Neck. She says that the North Merrick faculty and staff have been so welcoming to her, and she believes North Merrick is a good match for her career development. Her goal for this year is to develop a strong working relationship with her students and colleagues. Ms. zSilka received her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut and her master's degree from Molloy College. Her hometown is Sea Cliff, and her hobbies include baking, reading, and running - and she absolutely loves dogs!
Christine Vanella - ENL Teacher (OMR)
Ms. Vanella has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Hofstra University. She is currently finishing her master's degree at Hofstra in TESOL (Teaching English to Students of Other Languages) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). She was previously a leave replacement teacher for kindergarten at Old Mill Road. Ms. Vanella is a North Merrick resident and proud alumna of H.D. Fayette (Class of 2007). She says she had amazing teachers and can't think of a better way to give back to the community by teaching here. Ms. Vanella's wish for 2021-22 is that we continue to make progress in the fight against COVID-19 and that our students and staff stay safe and healthy. Her hobbies are hiking, makeup and coffee.
Erin Wan - ENL Teacher (OMR)
Ms. Wan has a bachelor's degree from Houghton College and a master's degree from Stony Brook University. She was born in California and a current resident of Merrick. Ms. Wan was a tenured ENL teacher in the Brentwood School District as well as an ENL teacher at the Master's School in Connecticut. She says North Merrick is a wonderful place to work and it feels like a family to her. She wishes that Covid will soon leave and everyone can go back to their normal routines. Ms. Wan is a mother of three children and a soccer mom. She also enjoys long walks on the boardwalk and house design. You might also like to know that she is left-handed.