Parents Association Executive Board

2020-2021

The Board is the decision-making body of the Parents Association, but all iSchool parents are welcome at every PA meeting and are invited to get involved with volunteering and events. Email pa@mail.nycischool.org or Lambeth at lambethhochwald@gmail.com.  We’ve introduced ourselves below so you can get a sense of who we are. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and introduce yourself to us!

President

Lambeth Hochwald P2022
My son, Zach, is a junior, and I’ve served on the PA board since his first year at the iSchool. Initially, I decided to join the board because I had never served on a PA before. What I quickly learned is that a well-run PA needs to be fueled on collaboration and organization. This year is going to be like no other, and I am so happy to lead a small but mighty group of incredible parents who are committed to taking the time to give back to our community. When I’m not answering parent emails, booking PA Zooms or interfacing with the faculty and administration, I’m a working journalist and adjunct professor of journalism at NYU. I’m known for my homemade granola, my ability to steer you to the best bagel shops in town, and my unwavering love of New York City.

Co-Vice Presidents

Susan Gargiulo P2023
I’m the parent of a 10th grader, Ian. I feel so lucky to be a part of the very special NYCiSchool community, and this year I have seen my son thrive with the support of his teachers and advisor. I joined the board as a vice president because I think it’s important to give back and to see how I can help our school, especially during this challenging time. I enjoy cooking with my son (though not cleaning up after him!). Looking forward to connecting, even virtually, with more parents and guardians throughout this year.

Holly Epstein Ojalvo P2023
My daughter, Zoey, is a sophomore. Professionally I’m an editor and former high school teacher. I joined the PA board and the SLT to try to get involved, make more connections, and help support the iSchool in this challenging time; I also volunteered in my daughter’s previous schools. I grew up attending progressive public schools founded on similar principles and practices as the iSchool’s and have great confidence in the model. I love running, yoga, and travel, and still happily get the print newspaper delivered every day (partly, I admit, for the crossword).

Gabrielle Ortiz P2023
I’m the mom of Madeline, a sophomore. I joined the board because I wanted to learn more about my daughter’s school, and use my creative skills to help the NYCiSchool community connect and communicate during this challenging time. I am a native New Yorker, a chef, caterer, and visual artist. I love to take photos and videos while cycling and walking around the city. 

Treasurer

Kevin Day P2023
I’m the father of Jasper in 10th grade. I work with a firm called Fairstead, which acquires and preserves affordable housing around the country. I’m currently the PA Treasurer, and I’m thrilled to be able to help the iSchool by keeping the PA Association books and making sure we have funds to support all the great stuff going on at the school. I’m a big basketball fan, and grew up in Connecticut watching Larry Bird play (go Celtics!). We came to NYC in 1999. I’m also an avid non-fiction reader (economics, history, finance, philosophy) and love to watch science fiction.  Happy to take or offer reading & viewing recommendations with anyone who enjoys the same!

Co-Secretaries

Ethel Germack P2022
I am the parent of Ruby, a junior. This is my second year serving as PA co-secretary. I have been a NYC public school teacher for over 20 years, and I have seen firsthand that parental involvement can add energy and a spirit of community to a school. Our whole family loves being part of the iSchool. I love to camp, hike and ride my bicycle.

Marnie Braverman P2022 and P2024
I’m the parent of a junior and a ninth grader. I joined the board last year as co-secretary because I’ve always wanted to be a part of my children’s PA board and finally had the chance. It was a great year, and I’m back for year two. I’m also part of the first-year committee. I’m so looking forward to helping the parents and students create a sense of community during this sure to be challenging school year. When I’m not helping out on the board, you can find me in Park Slope enjoying the outdoors, running, biking, and of course hanging with my kids.

Members at Large

Nancy Chinchar P20204
I am a small business owner with a son, Trent, in 9th grade. I joined the board (this is my third!) after offering over the summer to help navigate through these unchartered waters in any way I could. My biggest concern was (and still is) how the first years would develop any sense of community within the limitations of zoom and social distancing—so I’m always on the lookout for ways to break the ice during this pandemic! When I’m not thinking about that, I’m planning my post-pandemic travels.

Jennifer Poma P2024
My daughter, Parker, is a 9th grader. I have never been on a PA board before, and I look forward to helping our school in any way I can for the next four years. It’s really nice to be a part of a group of professionals working to enrich the iSchool’s educational goals and the ideals of diversity, equality, and justice. My 16-year-old son has autism, and when I’m not advocating for his education and future, we are out and about with our black Lab exploring all the amazing neighborhoods of our great city!
 

Celeste Sisson P2023
I’m the parent of a sophomore. I’m grateful for the community that the NYC iSchool has built since its inception, and am excited to be a part of continuing the growth and support of this special school for our kids and families. The other NYC thing that I am most grateful for is morning and evening walks in Central Park.

Muriel Soenens P2022 and P2024
I’m a documentary filmmaker and parent of 11th grader Lucien Haythe and incoming 9th grader Theo Haythe. Joining the board seemed the best way to help support my children’s public high school. I’m focusing on working with the first-year class families as well as the administration as they navigate the challenges particular to this year. 

Carlos Tejada P2023
My son Luca is in 10th grade. I’m grateful for the diverse community and class offerings he has found at the iSchool. My work ranges from digital media to teaching urban studies as well as designing and building low-energy passive homes.

Amy VanRy P2023
I’m a mom to Jules, a sophomore, and Sterling, a 2018 graduate of Millennium Brooklyn. A native of St. Charles, Missouri, I’ve lived in Brooklyn with my husband, Kimber, since 1996, for the past 10 years in Windsor Terrace. A non-profit fundraiser by trade, I’m currently senior director of foundation relations at the Wildlife Conservation Society. We’re members of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, where we have served on various committees.  

Marija Willen P2022
My son Max is a junior. In this strange time of disconnectedness, I joined the PA board as a way to connect with other parents, the school and most of all to find ways to help other parents connect to support our kids. My company, S&P Global, has done an amazing job of keeping employees together and engaged while we all work from home, and I hope to be able to apply some of what I’ve learned from that experience. I’m looking forward to a time when I can go back to concerts, museums, and exploring NYC by public transportation (!), but for now, I’m focused on figuring out the constraints of this new world.