Faculty & Staff

Mr. Airo is an Italian teacher who has worked at all levels of schools in the United States. Mr. Airo completed his studies at the University of Palermo in Italy with a Master’s degree in foreign languages.

Mr. Airo taught Italian in high school in Elizabeth for 6 years and then in Robbinsville Middle School for 3 years. For the past 5 years he has been teaching Italian in elementary schools in Linden and has used his vast experience at all grade levels to provide a rich learning environment for all students. He has worked on curricula and course guides and is a member of various linguistic and cultural organizations such as IACE, FLENJ and Italian Social clubs. He is very passionate about the Italian culture and tries to bring an authentic experience to all of his classes.

Mr. Jonathan Bender is a graduate of The College of New Jersey, with a major in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. During his time in college, Mr. Bender studied Mandarin Chinese due to his concentration in East Asia, and attended a semester abroad in Nanjing, China. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from college, Mr. Bender moved back to China to immerse himself in the language and culture.

During his time in China, Mr. Bender worked in various educational fields, teaching English at both private companies, universities, and in his own private tutoring practice. At the same time, he also increased his knowledge o Chinese by attending courses at Nanjing University. Mr. Bender is certified as speaking Chinese at the “Advanced High” level from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and has the highest possible score on the HSK Chinese Proficiency Exam.

Mr. Bender moved back to his home state on 2013, and is excited to pass on his expertise in Chinese to the students of Linden.

“Learning should never stop.”
– Xun Zi

Mr. Anthony Fischetti graduated from Seton Hall University with a B.A. degree in Secondary Education and Italian. He also spent a semester abroad enrolled at the Università di Pisa where he studied Italian literature. In September of 2006 he began teaching for the Linden Public Schools in the elementary Italian program. The following year he split time between the elementary schools and Linden High School. He is now one of the two Italian teachers at Linden High School. He has been teaching in the Linden Public Schools for ten years and has taught all available levels of Italian including Italian IB SL as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma program.

He is a member of the following professional organizations: NJEA, FLENJ, AATI and ITANJ. He currently serves as the advisor for the Italian National Honor Society, Italian Exchange Program and Italian Club. He is also a member of the LHS Vanguard team.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short;
but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”
– Michelangelo

Madame Foy has earned a B.A. in French as well as an M.A. in both Instruction and Computational/Applied Linguistics. She is a certified and highly qualified teacher of French K-12, and a certified IB (International Baccalaureate) teacher. Madame Foy has worked with the Linden Public Schools since 2003. She is currently teaching various levels of French.

She is a member of AATF (American Association of Teachers of French), France World, FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey), and ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). Recently, she was recognized as an NJ all-star by FLENJ. Madame Foy is the coordinator for Linden’s French Exchange Program, French Club, and the French Honor Society.

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein

Ms. Susana Garcia has earned a Bachelor’s in Spanish as well as a Master’s in Education from Rutgers University. She is a certified and highly qualified teacher of Spanish K-12, a certified IB (International Baccalaureate) teacher as well as holds an ESL (English as a Second Language) certification.   Ms. Garcia has worked with the Linden Public Schools since 2002. She is currently teaching various levels of Spanish. She is a member of the following professional organizations: NJEA (New Jersey Education Association) and FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey).

Her goal is for all of her students to be able to communicate in the target language and to be able to excel in the 21st century.

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My life journey has been long and rewarding, and like change itself, has been a true constant in my life. I attended the University Autonomous de Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, which is my country of origin. I came to the United States in 1978 to further my education, and attended Kean College of New Jersey where I received a B.A. degree in Biology, Pre-Professional Option in 1982. I was a Linden resident for twenty years and in the past, was the proprietor of a successful arts and craft business. I decided to return to school and received a degree in Spanish education in the year 2000.

Learning and has given the opportunity to complete graduate studies at the University of Cantabria, in Santander, Spain. Since then, I received my Master’s Degree in the Art of Teaching in 2003, and completed 30 graduate credits in Administration and Supervision. My involvement and commitment to the District of Linden extend well beyond the classroom, as a mentor teacher, a club adviser, and an active seeker of improvement for my school and district.

My expectations are very high, and I will do all that I can to help my students reach those goals. I firmly believe that every individual has the ability to learn, perhaps at a different pace, or through a different vehicle. As a result, it is important to give every style of learner the opportunity to demonstrate what has been acquired. Consequently, part of my goals include assisting in the empowerment of every student, and contribute in the development of a world citizen.

I have many personal interests, which include music, dance, fine and performing arts, environmental and biological sciences, nutrition, physical fitness, fashion and travel. It is my daily pleasure to include these topics in my classes. But most of all, acquiring knowledge and experiences come from the diversity found in Linden students, an integral community with strong support and respect for education , continuously growing and providing opportunities for a successful future.

“Y todo es como el diamante, antes que luz es carbon.”
– José Martí

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Ms. Li has been teaching Chinese language in private and public schools in the New York area since 2007. Ms. Li holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chinese Language and Literature, and a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

Ms. Li moved to the U.S. with her family from China over ten years ago. She became curious about the U.S. education system as she observed a group of 9th graders hold a charity drawing contest and exhibition raising funds for Indian children to go to school. It was successful, raising about $1700. This inspired Ms. Li, in 2005, to take an education methodology class at Rutgers. In 2006, Ms. Li received her teaching Chinese Certificate of Eligibility of New Jersey.

As a teacher, Ms. Li believes that every student brings to the classroom his or her unique interests, abilities and talents, and has the potential to learn and achieve his or her personal best. It is vital to provide the students a safe, informative and entertaining learning environment. A student who is respected, challenged and excited is more likely to take the ownership in the learning process. Every effort should be made for a teacher to facilitate students in developing their abilities to reach the maximum potential.

Kun Liu graduated from Neijiang Teacher’s College in China. She had professional training at all aspects regarding how to be a professional teacher in a teacher’s college in China. After graduating, she worked as an English teacher in a national model middle-high school (Long Chang #1 Middle-High School) in Sichuan, China for 3 years. Then she worked as an English teacher in a training center of Nan-Hai West Oil Corporation, Zhangjiang, Guangdong, China for 5 years.

She received her master’s degree from FDU in New Jersey in 2014. She also took education and teaching method courses at Rutgers University, Ocean County College and Saint Peter’s College. She has received the standard teaching certificate from NJ Department of New Jersey for teaching Chinese/Mandarin. Prior to her career as a Chinese teacher in Linden Public Elementary School, she had been a Chinese teacher in South Chinese School in Marlboro for 12 years. She continues to increase her knowledge as a Chinese teacher by attending oversea Chinese teaching program in Xiamen University in China this summer.

I am Tania Miguelez, Teacher of Spanish at Linden HIgh School. I have been teaching in Linden High School for 9 years. I am also a graduate of Linden HIgh School. I obtained my Bachelors from Montclair State University and a Masters degree from Kean University in Instruction and Curriculum. I am a member of many professional associations such as FLENJ, ACTFL and the Institute of Cervantes in New York.

My goal is for all of my students to be able to communicate in in the target language and to be able to excel in the 21st century.

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Sra. Peñaranda is from Colombia. She is a High qualify Spanish teacher, with a master in Spanish Language and Culture from Salamanca University in Spain. She is also a Business Administrator from USACA University, Cali-Colombia.

Sra. Peñaranda came to the U.S in 2001 and had been working at Soehl Middle School since 2005 as teacher for rotation and honors Spanish. She also serves as the Diversity Club Advisor for the same school since 2006, helping kids to understand and appreciate the diversity of our community.

Sra. Peñaranda is a member of the following professional organizations: NJEA (New Jersey Education Association), NEA (National Education Association), ACFTL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey).

Señora Peñaranda is a native speaker from Colombia and moved to the USA in 2000. She is a certified and highly qualified Spanish teacher of grades K-12 and a certified K-5 teacher. She is a Business Administrator from ICESI University, Colombia and holds a Master’s degree in Spanish Language and Culture from Salamanca University, Spain.

Señora Peñaranda has worked in Linden Public School since 2004. She is currently teaching various levels of Spanish at McManus Middle School.

She is a member of the following professional organizations: NJEA (New Jersey Education Association), FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey) and ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages). She currently serves as the advisor for the Diversity Club.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
‒Nelson Mandela

My name is Signora Principato. I was born and grew up in Italy where I attended High School. I graduated in June 1995. That fall, I took and I passed the state test to enter Law School in the University of Messina. I studied Laws for two years. In 1999 I interrupted my studies and got married and followed my husband in United States. In this country my first concern was to learn English. I had experienced the ESL Program at the local college in Union County. During those two years I taught Italian for Union County College Continuing Education Department in Cranford and Scotch Plains Campus, as well as a Summer Program for Gifted and Talent Students in Cranford at Union County College  After two years of ESL, I applied and was accepted at Rutgers University from where I graduated in 2006 with a double major in Italian and Spanish Literatures and Linguistics. I started to work for Linden Public Schools that same fall with the position of Teacher of Italian in both Linden Middle Schools.

I still live and work in Linden. During my years in Linden I participated in the process of Curriculum Writing for World Language Department for the Middle School, as well as in the revising process for the World Language Curriculum K-12. My love for learning inspired me to go back to college. In the 2012 I completed a Master Teaching Program at Rutgers University. A year later I decided that was time to start a new challenge path. I am current in a Post-Master Certification Program at Kean University.

I am a member of the following professional organizations: NJEA (New Jersey Education Association), FLENJ (Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey), ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) and ITANJ (Italian Teachers Association of New Jersey).

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Ms. Semeraro was born in Italy and moved to the United States in 1996. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English & Journalism from Montclair State University and a Master of Arts in Teaching of Italian from Rutgers University.

This is Ms. Semeraro’s third year in the Linden Public Schools District, and her seventh year teaching in grade schools. Previous to her career in public schools, Ms. Semeraro worked in publishing, private law and higher education, teaching courses at Rutgers and coordinating the Italian American Heritage Institute within the University.

She currently teaches at McManus Middle School, Soehl Middle School and Elementary School 9. She is a current member of the professional organizations, NJEA and ITANJ. She is passionate about Italian culture and language and tries to bring authentic experiences to class.

Mrs. Bozena Szulc  graduated from Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland) and Moscow University (Moscow, Russia) with a Master’s Degree in Russian Language and Literature. After moving to the United States, she completed her post-graduate studies at Kean University, becoming certified by the state of New Jersey in the following areas: ESL Teacher, Elementary Education Teacher, Bilingual/Bicultural Education Teacher, and Teacher of Russian.

She is a member of the following professional organizations: NJEA, NJTESOL-BE, FLENJ, FLEX, AATSEEL (American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages), and ACTR (American Council of Teachers of Russian). In addition, she is a co-chairperson and judge at the Russian Essay Contest on the national and international levels as well as a judge at the state Contest of Spoken Russian.

“Per Aspera Ad Astra” – “Through Hardships to the Stars”  
– Latin Proverb

In this short biography, I will describe a bit about myself, my personal and professional learning opportunities that have essentially formed who I am today. I was born in the United States, yet I spoke Spanish as my first language as I was raised by grandmother since the year I was born. Both of my parents are from Galicia, one of the many provinces of Spain. As a child and growing up I had the privilege of traveling to experience the fine culture of Spain to visit family and friends.

I graduated from Roselle Catholic High School in 1998 and went on to Rutgers, Newark receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish in 2003 to pursue by destiny of becoming a teacher of Spanish. My ultimate goal is to continue my education by enrolling in a Master’s Program to enhance my knowledge of teaching practices in Spanish. Then one fine day I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by six different individuals at Linden High School and I knew that moment this is was a place where I belong.   So the journey began at Linden High School for about 6 years where I was given the honor of being the advisor to a remarkable freshman class which I followed, planned and organized events for the next four years.

My unique ongoing story of becoming a Spanish Teacher in Linden Public Schools has also given me the wealth of knowledge and expertise having taught Spanish from grades 1-12. It is a true privilege to work in such a remarkable place. Linden Public Schools is without a doubt a district of distinction.

Mr. Wallace is a graduate of Rutgers University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in German Language and Literature, as well as the degree of Master of Education from the Rutgers Graduate School of Education. He is also a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he earned a second Master’s degree in Germanic Languages and Literatures. Mr. Wallace has been teaching in the Linden Public Schools district since 2014. He is currently teaching German classes at the High School as well as at Soehl Middle School.

He is a member of professional organizations including: NJEA, AATG, and ACTFL. In addition to teaching German in Linden, he is also the advisor to the German Club and the coordinator of Linden’s German American Partnership Program (GAPP) Exchange with Linden High’s partner school in Butzbach, Germany.

Mrs. Wang has earned a B.A. in China and also has taken some Chinese courses at Rutgers University. She had been a high school teacher in Xi’an China for 11 years. She is a certified and highly qualified teacher of Chinese K-12. Mrs. Wang has worked with the Linden Public Schools since 2014. She is currently teaching Chinese in the elementary schools.

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