Our Staff


Sonia Acevedo Suarez
Sonia Acevedo Suarez has been teaching at PS 170 since 1995.  She has taught first grade, science, and math.  She is part of the SEM program where she exposes our children to cooking and selecting healthy food alternatives.  Ms Acevedo Suarez enjoys yoga and pilates.

Keshma Benjamin
Ms. Benjamin has been a teacher at PS 170 since 2001.  During this time she has been dedicated to exposing the arts to our students.  Ms. Benjamin is currently the Visual Arts teacher, Art and Drama Instructor, and Visual Art Liaison.  She also teaches baton twirling during our after-school program.  Ms. Benjamin believes that an educated person should also be a well-rounded person and is committed to this belief by introducing our school to International Week and world cultures via the arts.

Nicole Bonaventura
Nicole Bonaventura, better known as Ms. B,  grew up in Long Island and graduated from Fordham University.  She has been teaching at P.S. 170 for six years.  She taught kindergarten here for 4 years and this is her second year teaching second grade.  She is also one of the Art & Drama teachers.  In 2005, she took a year off from teaching and backpacked through South and Central America.  Ms. B also spent five months teaching English in Mexico. 

Annie DiPalo
Annie DiPalo is beginning her second year as a kindergarten teacher at PS 170.  Prior to teaching at PS 170 she taught second grade for four years in Manhattan.  She is proud to be a part of the Esteban Vicente community.  Ms. DiPalo lives in Manhattan and enjoys spending time with her niece Olivia and nephew Frankie.

Erica LeRea (Web)
Ms. Web is currently our school’s library teacher.  She has been teaching at PS 170 for 12 years and has found it to be a challenging, exciting, and rewarding experience.  During her time here she has taught kindergarten for 2 years and first grade for five.  However, when the library was built there was a new experience waiting for her.  Ms. Web enjoys seeing and teaching all of the children at PS 170.  She looks forward to this year and many more.

Joseph LeRea
Mr. LeRea has been teaching for 11 years, all at PS 170 and at the second grade level.  He decided to become a teacher when he was a sophomore at Syracuse University.  During the summers, he was working at a sports camp and became aware that coaching and teaching children is where his future lies.  He attended Long Island University to study Elementary Education where he received his Master’s Degree.  In the future he hopes to become an Assistant Principal or Principal of a school.  Mr. LeRea loves all sports, especially basketball and hockey.

Galit Shalhon
Ms. Shalhon is a first grade teacher at PS 170, this is her second year here.  She received a Bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Oneonta and a Master’s Degree from Dowling College.  “I believe that we never stop learning and as I teach my students, I also learn from them every day.”

David Taylor
Mr. Taylor is a recent college graduate from Alfred University in upstate New York where he received his B.A. in Early Childhood/ Childhood Education and M.S. in Literacy.  He was born and raised in Elmira, NY with his mother Brenda and siblings.  This is his first year as a kindergarten teacher. 

 Amanda Wechter
Ms. Wechter has been the dance teacher at PS 170 for the past 7 years and has loved every minute of it.  In addition to her regular school-day dance classes, Ms. Wechter teaches ballet and Art and Drama in the after-school program and fencing in our school’s SEM program.  She is also the school webmaster, data entry/ analyst and SEM coordinator (a jack of all trades).  She graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a BFA in Modern Dance and is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Childhood Education at Lehman College.  She is looking forward to her upcoming wedding in February 2009.

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