Parents Association Executive Board

The roles and responsibilities of the PA Board

2021 – 2022

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. 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

Susan Gargiulo P2023

My son Ian is in the 11th grade!  Boy has the time flown by. I feel so lucky to be a part of the very special NYCiSchool community, and last year, despite the challenges,  I have seen my son thrive with the support of his teachers and advisor. I joined the board a year ago because I think it’s important to give back to our community.  I enjoy cooking with my son (though not cleaning up after him!). Looking forward to connecting with parents and guardians in our monthly PA General Meetings.  Please join us!

Vice President

Marija Willen P2022

My son Max is a senior. I joined the PA board last year 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 and this wonderful school during a time when making connections was particularly challenging. This year’s PA board is a great group that will benefit from continuity – and the opportunities that this new year will bring. I’m a native New Yorker – I grew up a few blocks from the school – but I still enjoy exploring the city and all it offers with my kids, and taking long walks in Central Park with our dog. 

Co-Treasurers

Kevin Day P2023

I’m the father of Jasper in 11th grade. I work with a firm called New City Ventures, which acquires and preserves affordable housing in NYC and around the country. I’m currently the PA Treasurer, and I’m thrilled to be able to help 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 huge 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

Jennifer Weiss Friedman P2022

I am the parent of a senior this year and will be sad to say goodbye to this amazing school. This year, I hope to support the PA and the wider iSchool community as we continue to struggle with the challenges that the pandemic has brought, as well as those that it has exacerbated. I have been in the education world for my entire career and hope to lend my project management skills and bilingualism (Spanish/English) to the role of co-secretary this year.

Teri West P2022

Rachel, my daughter, is a senior this year. This is my first year on the PA Board at the iSchool, but I served two years on the SLT of my kids’ elementary school in Brooklyn. As a professional educator with over 30 years’ experience as a teacher, researcher, and program developer, I have decided to spend this last year as a parent of school age children giving what I can. Rachel has thrived at the iSchool. She has made lifelong friends and has received an outstanding education from the amazingly dedicated, thoughtful, and caring teachers and administrators at the school. I want to support them and the iSchool community in whatever way I can. I look forward to meeting many new parents and helping the school in the coming year. When I am not working,  I enjoy gardening, yoga, and losing myself in the natural world. 

 

Members at Large

Jennifer Poma P2024
 
My daughter, Parker, is a 10th 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

My son, Hudson, is a Junior this year. This is my second year as part of the NYC iSchool PA, and 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. I look forward to meeting more families and building our community together! When I’m not working, you’ll find me most of the time taking morning and evening walks in Central Park – the best backyard for NYC’rs!

Julie Fissinger P2023

I’m the mother of Caroline Mulcahy, who is a member of the class of 2023.  Caroline is our third (and last!) NYC public school child.  Throughout my years as a public school parent, I’ve enjoyed volunteering as a class parent,  serving on the SLT and as the chair of the annual fund, as well as other various other roles.  I’m really excited to be a part of this great PA Board, and to help support all of the students at the NYC iSchool.  Professionally I am the Executive Director of Fordham University’s President’s Council.  Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I’ve lived in NYC now for over 30 years.   I love to walk our dog in Prospect Park (often along with a foster dog!), practice yoga, cook dinner, read books, listen to podcasts, and visit with friends & family.  I look forward to a great school year! 

Holly Epstein Ojalvo P2023 [SLT Representative for the PA]

My daughter, Zoey, is a junior. 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).

Michele Kaufman P2025

My daughter, Jordan, and my son, Spencer, are twin 9th graders. I am beyond thrilled that they are both a part of the iSchoolcommunity. I grew up in NYC and am a clinical and forensic psychologist. I am an avid reader and enjoy hiking, going to museums, and taking long walks. I joined the PA to get involved, to help contribute where needed, and to meet other families. In the past, I served as the co-secretary on the executive board of my children’s elementary school and co-chaired the bookfair in both my children’s elementary and middle schools. I am so happy that my kids are back in school in person and I am looking forward to a great year.

Fatima Doukoure P2025

My daughter, Nyela, is a freshman, I knew I wanted to join the parent association from the welcoming picnic. I have always been involved in my children’s school. In fact, I was a part of fundraising efforts that transformed the only talented and gifted school in my community. I work for the DOE as the Coordinator for Student in Temporary Housing.  I am thrilled to be a member of this dynamic group.