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A warm and
nurturing team
of educators

A warm and nurturing team of educators.

At Mustard Seed School, we invest in our teachers. We believe the best educators are the ones who are continually growing and learning themselves. That’s why we commit to providing a variety of means for our educators’ professional development. We even have an endowed chair, The Agnes and Peter Steenland Memorial Chair for Professional Development, that ensures professional development is funded.

Preschool Faculty

Clara Buckley

Preschool Support Teacher

Dorota Chester

Assistant Teacher, Preschool

Sossi Essajanian

Teacher, Trees Class

Hwa Young Gluckow

Assistant Teacher

Kristen Jordan

Teacher, Rivers Class

Lower School Faculty K-3

Becca Brasser

Teacher, Grade 1

Gabriel Cuervo

Assistant Teacher, Kindergarten

Bridget O’Dowd

Teacher, Kindergarten

Cindy Kuperus

Teacher, Grade 3

Rebekah Lowe

Teacher, Grade 2

Sam Martino

Assistant Teacher, Grade 3; Math Specialist

Kate Streelman

Teacher, Grade 1

Heather Welesko

Assistant Teacher, Grade 2; Literacy Specialist

Middle School Faculty 4-8

Sam Choi

Teacher, Grade 8; History, Math, and Ethics, Sixth to Eighth Grades

Brent Harris

Teacher, Grade 7; Language Arts, Seventh and Eighth Grades

Chloe Jang

Teacher, Grade 5

Katherine Jonker

Teacher, Grade 4

Melissa McCallihan

Teacher, Grade 6; Science Grades 6-8

Academic Specialists

Dana Baker

Learning Specialist Preschool to Grade 3

Clara Buckley

Middle School Art

Nathan Johnson

Art Teacher, Preschool to Grade 3

Zachary Licato

Teacher, Physical Education and Health; Learning Support (7th Grade)

Joan Isaacs Litman


Aiko Mauldin

Coleman Fung Chair for Music; Director of Songsters, Choristers, and Music Educator for Grades K-5; Worship Leader

Tania Oro-Hahn

Spanish, Grades Two through Eight; Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

Gladys Wu

Learning Specialist, Grades Four to Eight

Administrative Staff

Nancy Aberg

Extended Day Coordinator

Reynaldo Barrera

Facilities Manager

Maya Butler

Admissions Office Manager

Chris Casazza

Director of Development

Jennifer Gautier

Technology Manager

Angela Ho

Director of Finance & Operations

Abby Liu

Director of Marketing & Communications

Kate Nordling

Development Coordinator

Sebastian Olukun

Business Administrator

Tania Oro-Hahn

Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion; Spanish, Grades Two through Eight

Imaani F. Sanders

Director of Admissions and High School Guidance

Emily Ford Sytsma

Early Childhood Director

Shakeh Tashjian

Director of Grades Two to Eight

Extended Day Staff

Nancy Aberg

Extended Day Coordinator

Hwa Young Gluckow

Extended Day Instructor

Aiko Mauldin

Director of the PROS (Percussion, Recorder, Orff, Servants)

2021-2022 Board of Trustees

A Board of Trustees provides oversight for Mustard Seed School. Composed of 10-15 members, it includes the Head of School. Each member of the Board has been nominated, interviewed, and approved by the Board. The term of office for each is three years and each member may serve for up to five consecutive terms. The board includes people from a variety of professional backgrounds, including finance, real estate, education, fundraising, spiritual
direction and business management. All share a deep commitment to Mustard Seed’s mission.

The daily operations of the educational program are under the purview of the Head of School. The primary responsibilities of The Board include:

  • Hiring, supporting and evaluating the Head of School.
  • Setting the budget and overseeing the school’s financial well-being.
  • Fundraising, networking, and guiding the school to fulfill its mission.

Kelesha Armand (2018)
Hoboken, New Jersey. Occupation: Attorney. Church Affiliation: Episcopal.

Jan Gallagher (2020)
Jersey City, New Jersey. Occupation: Writer. Church Affiliation: Lutheran.

Abby Hall Choi (2021) 
Jersey City, New Jersey. Occupation: Head of School, Mustard Seed School. Church Affiliation: Lutheran

Cara Hilton (2018)
Hoboken, New Jersey. Occupation: Psychologist. Church Affiliation: Roman Catholic.

Jessica Lambert (2011)
Vice President
Jersey City, New Jersey. Occupation: Pastor. Church Affiliation: Lutheran.

Young Lee (2013)
Hoboken, NJ. Occupation: Attorney. Church Affiliation: Presbyterian.

William McGraw (2014)
Hoboken, New Jersey. Occupation: Financial Risk Manager. Church Affiliation: Roman Catholic.

Lillian Meyer ’04 (2018)
Queens, New York. Occupation: Civil Engineer. Church Affiliation: Roman Catholic.

Raúl Pérez (2013)
Hoboken, NJ. Occupation: Business Development (Healthcare). Church Affiliation: Roman Catholic.

Mark Quiles (2015)
Hawthorne, NJ. Occupation: School Administrator. Church Affiliation: Non-denominational.

Scott Rostan (2010)
Hoboken, New Jersey. Occupation: Corporate Trainer. Church Affiliation: Episcopal.

Orlando Velez ’94 (2021)
North Bergen, New Jersey. Occupation: Clinical Social Worker Instructor Church Affiliation: Non-Denominational.


The Advisory Council is the Mustard Seed School “Think Tank.” Advisors come together once a year to offer fresh perspective and ideas to the board and staff.

2020-2021 ADVISORS

Joan Allman Bates
Terry Battaglia
Steve DeGeorge
Peter Dykstra
Mary Feury
Steve Kaufmann
Joan Isaacs Litman
Daniel Meeter
Scott Minerd
Bret Schundler
Birgit Solano Richante
Yunho Song

Mustard Seed School.

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