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Our Faculty

Village East Gifted has exceptional educators who have been teaching gifted and talented students for up to thirty years. Each teacher implements the VEG Core Curriculum as well as their own curriculum areas of expertise. Many classes have VEG Mentors that work with the teachers. Many of our educators have "Mentors", VEG Alumni, who have been with the program for at least six years and have joined the staff serving as invaluable role models for the students.

Ms. Tobi J. Phillips, Ed. D. (cert.)

Founder/Headmaster

Teaching Experience: 44 years


DEGREES:
Ed. D. (cert.) Teacher's College, Columbia University – Educational Technology
U M. Ed. Boston College -Education and Special Education
M. Ed. Boston College -Peripatology/ Blind and Visually Impaired
B. A. Ithaca College – Music /Anthropology

CERTIFICATES HELD
Gifted Education
Early Childhood-Kindergarten
Elementary Education Grades 1-6 and Social Studies/English Grades 7-12
Special Education K-12
Special Education for the Blind and Visually Impaired K-12
Braille Transcription
Peripatology (Orientation and Mobility for the Blind)
License from New York State in Archaeological Excavation

Read more about our founder...

Name: Josephine S. Potucek, Ed. D.

Position: Teacher of the Gifted

Teaching Experience: 42 years


EDUCATION
Ed. D. Doctor of Education – Hofstra University
P.D. Leadership and Policy Studies – Hofstra University
C.A.S. Educational Administration – Hofstra University
M.S. Reading and Literacy – Brooklyn College
B.A. English Language Arts – Hunter College School of Education
Teachers College Reading/Writing Project – Columbia University
Teachers College Computers in Ed. Initiative – Columbia University
Ed. Internship/Adv. Studies – Hunter College/Sch. for the Gifted

CERTIFICATES HELD
NYS Common Branches: Permanent- Grades N-6
NYS Reading and Literacy: Permanent Grades N-12
NYS English/Language Arts: Permanent Grades 7-12
NYS SAS: Permanent Educational Administration

WORK EXPERIENCE
Adelphi University– Graduate School of Education
Adjunct Professor
North Bellmore Union Free School District
Elementary Teacher Grade K-5
Math Curriculum, District Coordinator/Instructor – NYS Standards (CCSS)
Social Studies Curriculum, District Evaluator/Analyst – NYS Standards (CCSS)
District Coordinator – Educational Research and Dissemination (AFT – Washington, D.C.)

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Member of NYSED Review Panel – (revision of NYSCTE standards for NYS)
Delegate to Partners in Science Education Initiative (State University of New York)
Researcher – So You Want to be a Teacher? Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century (Koch, 2008)
Research Paper on Teacher Practice – findings presented at annual AERA meeting in Vancouver 2012
Presenter – Doctoral Symposium on Educational Research (New York University)

Name: Deborah Goldfarb

Position: Teacher of the Gifted

Teaching Experience: 43 years


EDUCATION
M.S. Adelphi University: Reading Teacher
M.S. Beit Beryl University, Tel Aviv: ESL
B.S. SUNY Buffalo: Early Childhood, Elementary and Special Education

CERTIFICATES HELD
Reading Teacher: Permanent
Early Childhood/Elementary K-6 Teacher: Permanent
Special Education Teacher: Permanent

WORK EXPERIENCE
Half Hollow Hills School District, Dix Hills, NY
Chestnut Hill Elementary School-Elementary Teacher Grades K-3
Three Village Central School District, East Setauket, NY
Minnesauke Elementary School- Kindergarten Teacher
East Woods School, Oyster Bay, NY
Nursery and First Grade Teacher
YMCA, Huntington, NY
Nursery Teacher
Middletown Central School District, New Monmouth, NJ
Pre-School, Multi-Handicapped Teacher
The Walworth-Barbour American International School
Pre-K and Kindergarten Teacher
United Cerebral Palsy, Inc., Long Branch, NJ
Kindergarten, Primary Multi-Handicapped Teacher
Springville-Griffith Central School District, Springville, NY
Secondary School Resource Room Teacher

Name: Paula Giugliano

Position: Teacher of the Gifted

Teaching Experience: 31 years


EDUCATION
M.S. Adelphi University-Elementary Education/Reading
B.A. St. John's University -Elementary Education

CERTIFICATES HELD
NYS Permanent Certificate- Nursery, Kindergarten & Grades 1-6
NYS Permanent Certificate- Reading Teacher
NYS Permanent Certificate-Special Education

WORK EXPERIENCE
Half Hollow Hills School District
Reading Teacher
Half Hollow Hills School District
Elementary Teacher Grades K-5
Nassau Community College
Adjunct Professor
St. Martin of Tours School
Middle School Teacher

Name: Noah Pastula

Position: Staff Mentor (Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 8 years

GPA: 4.0

ACT: 34/36


Accomplishments
Class President 11th & 12th grade
American Citizenship Award 2021
St. Micheal's College Book Award 2021
IB Diploma Candidate
Future Business Leaders Of America Vice President 10th, 11th & 12th grade
World Language Honors Society President
Science Honors Society
North Shore High School Wellness Council
Advanced Medicine LI summer intern 2020/21
Traveled to over 40 countries

Name: Samar Iqbal

Position: Staff Mentor (Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 8 years

GPA: 3.9

ACT: 34

SAT: 1600


Accomplishments
President of Speech and Debate (11th)
Girls Learn International
AP Scholar with Distinction
State Finalist in New York Forensic League in Public Forum and Extemporaneous Speaking
Research at Columbia, Johns Hopkins, and Albert Einstein Medical Center
Global Volunteering-Medical Rotation in India (9th and 10th every Summer)
Volunteer @ VA Hospital (11th)
Volunteer at Hospitality Too Soup Kitchen (Alternating Saturdays)
Volunteer in Harlem Medical Group (8th to 10th grade)
Free tutoring for underprivileged in the district (Mon, Thurs, Fri)
Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity (11th)
Volunteer at Nursing Home for Tri-M Music Honor Society (10th and 11th)
Johns Hopkins CTY~ Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, Biotechnology Global Politics
Spanish Honor Society
National Forensic Honor Society
National Honor Society
Tri-M Music Honor Society
Pitcher for JV Softball Team

Name: Rachel Vaughan

Position: Staff Mentor (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 9 years

Attending: The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

GPA 4.0

SAT: 1600 (out of 1600)

ACT: 34


Accomplishments
DECA International Career Development Conference: 2nd Place, Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
2nd Place, Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
National Merit Commended Student
National Hispanic Award Recipient
DECA State Career Conference: 1st Place, Learn and Earn Business Plan
The President's Volunteer Service Award: Silver
DECA State Career Conference: 1st Place, Franchise Business Plan
DECA State Career Conference: 1st Place, Buying and Merchandising Operations Research
DECA State Career Conference: Top 10 Test Score, Principles of Business Administration and Management
DECA Regional Competition: 1st Place, Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
Emerging Leaders: 1st Place, Travel and Tourism
DECA Regional Competition: 1st Place, Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
Emerging Leaders: 1st Place, Hospitality Services
DECA Regional Competition: 1st Place, Principles of Business Administration and Management
Young Professionals Chamber of Commerce: 2nd Place, Hospitality Services

Name: Eric Gesulae

Position: Staff member (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 9 years

Attending: Boston College School of Business

GPS: 3.8

SAT: 2190 (out of 2400)


Accomplishments
AP Scholar with Honor
Business Honor Society of New York State
High Honor Roll (18 Times)
National Honor Society
New York State Academic Excellence Award
Future Business Leaders Of America (Grades 9-12), President
Outstanding Achievement in Behavioral Science – Long Island Science Congress 2013
1st Place of 50 teams in Entrepreneurship – Huntington Township Chamber of Youth Professionals Competition 2011
1st Place of 50 teams in Hospitality Services – Chamber of Commerce Youth Professionals Competition 2012
1st Place Varsity Extemporaneous – LIFA December Tournament 2013
1st Place Varsity Extemporaneous – New York State Qualifying Tournament 2013
2nd Place in the New York State Suffolk County Regional Competition 2014
2nd Place Varsity Public Forum – LIFA December Tournament 2013
2nd Place Varsity Public Forum – NCFL National Qualifying Tournament 2012
3rd Place in Job Interview – Chamber of Commerce Youth Professionals Competition 2010
3rd Place Parliamentary Debate, 7th Best Speaker Award
Best Delegate Security Council – Columbia University Model UN Tournament 2012
Bicycle Film Festival (Summer 2012), Intern
Charity: Water: Board of Volunteers
Citibank (Summer 2013), Intern
DECA (Grades 9-12)
French Cultural Club (Grades 9-12)
Honorable Mention in Behavioral Science – Long Island Science Congress 2012
Model United Nations (Grades 9-12), President
Pegasus Literary Magazine (Grades 10-12), Assistant Editor
Pennsylvania Liberty Bell Classic Debate Tournament 2013
Quarter-?nalist Varsity Extemporaneous – New York State Championship 2013
Recycling for Charity, Co-Founder
Science Explorers (Grades 9-12), President
Scleroderma Foundation, Volunteer Coordinator
Speech & Debate (Grades 9-12), Public Forum Debate Captain

Name: Alyson Givre

Position: Staff Mentor (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 9 years


Activities, Awards, and Achievements:
High Honor Roll – eighteen times (2007- present)
President's Education Award for outstanding academic excellence (2009)
International Mathematics/Verbal Talent Search
Distinction in Mathematics and Critical Reading (2009)
Nominated for National Scholars Program (2011)
Future Cities Competition-Best Infrastructure Award (2009)
Future Cities Competition-Best Water System Award (2010)
Building Future Leaders (2008-2010)
National Junior Honor Society (2009-2010)
National Student Leadership Conference (2012)
Excellence in Health Award (2010)
National Spanish Exam Gold Winner (2010 and 2011)
Varsity Field Hockey in 9th grade (2011)
Dolphin Macabee Swim Team-Most Improved Swimmer Award (2007)
Outstanding Judaica Student (2009)
Excellence in Attendance-Temple Beth Torah Religious School (2007)
In-school Academically High Aptitude Program (2006-2008)
Certified Lifeguard and CPR/First Aid (2011)
Odyssey of the Mind International Competition Village East Gifted team member
(2009-2010 – 2nd place and 2010-2011)
Mock Trial Club (2010-present)

Name: Pooja Pandya

Position: Staff Mentor (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 7 years

Attending: Stonybrook University; Civil Engineering

PGA: 3.8

SAT: 2250 (out of 2400)


Accomplishments:
High Honor Roll
National Honor Society
President's Award for Excellence
National Spanish Exam Honorable Mention
National Spanish Exam Silver Medal
The NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Award
Student Executive Council Elected Member
Odyssey of the Mind International Competition/Second Place (2 Years)
NYSSMA: Four Instruments
Competitive International Dance Performer

Name: Matt Mautarelli

Position: Staff Mentor (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 9 years

Finished Middle School in 7th Grade

Graduated Bard College by Age 15

Attending Columbia University: MA/Ph.D. Program

SAT: Writing 800 (out of 800) at 13 years old


Accomplishments
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth: Appointed Poetry Queen (3 years)
Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do: Age of 12
Played first trombone with the Gemini Traveling Orchestra at Lincoln Center (Age 13)
SCMEA Concert Band, Orchestra and Jazz Band (Age 12-14).

Name: Tulsi Pandya

Position: Staff Mentor (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 7 years

Attending: Stonybrook University; Civil Engineering

GPA: 3.8

SAT: 2110 (out of 2400)


Accomplishments
National Junior Honor Society
National Honor Society
National Spanish Honor Society
National Spanish Exam Gold Medalist
Piano NYSMMA Participant
Competitive International Dance Performer

Name: A. L.

Position: Staff Mentor (Seasonal Employee)

Years at Village East Gifted: 9 years

Graduated Vassar College; Art History/American Politics

GPA: 3.9

SAT: 2330 (out of 2400)


Accomplishments
Maintained solid A+ average throughout school
Suffolk County Quiz Bowl JV 3rd Place: 2013
Suffolk County Quiz Bowl JV 3rd Place: 2013
History Bowl National Competitor: 2013
Quiz Bowl National Qualifier: 2013
District's MVP Award
Science Olympiads
Peer Ambassadors/ Anti-Bullying Program
First violin for seven consecutive years in the school orchestra
Received an A in level six NYSSMA
Fastest Runner in her school district (consisting of 10,000 students)
MVP for girls cross country in sophomore year of high school
Cross Country Team Leader: 2012, 2013
Cross Country MVP: 2011
Cross Country Varsity Member: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Sportsmanship Award Winner: 2013
All-League Award Winner: 2011
Member of Thespian Society participating in stage crew
District Enrichment Program (2006-2008)
Invited to serve as a Peer Ambassador
Earned Silver Award on the National Spanish Exam
Consistent participation in Best Buddies
Volunteer at Horseability