Jamie Davidson is the Founding Principal at City School of the Arts. She previously served as an instructional coach at Bronx Prep Charter School, where she oversaw literacy curriculum and instruction, managed culture and discipline, and coordinated family engagement for the 5th and 6th grade teams. Under her leadership, both grade levels made substantial gains in ELA and math. She earned her BA in comparative literature from Barnard College with New York State certification in secondary ELA, and completed a master’s degree in language and literacy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to Harvard, Jamie was a reading teacher at Brownsville Collegiate, a middle school in the Uncommon Schools network.
Kate Quarfordt is the Founding Director of Arts Integration & Culture at City School of the Arts. She previously served as the director of the musical theater program at Bronx Prep. Charter School, where she helped young people engage with the arts as a pathway to transformational learning experiences in all disciplines. Her students have gone on to win speech championships, gold medals for acting performances, and numerous college scholarships. She earned a BS in visual art and theater from Northeastern University, and an MA in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Columbia Teacher’s College.
Dr. Geoffrey Kiorpes is the Founding Artistic Director and Piano Teacher at City School of the Arts. He previously served as the artistic director and piano teacher at Bronx Prep. Charter School, where he managed a team of ten full-time arts educators and oversaw a budget for a program that served over 700 middle and high school students. He was also active in the school’s annual Broadway musical production, overseeing a department that included orchestra, jazz band, visual art, choir, dance, speech, and digital media. He holds a DMA in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music.
Sara Corona is the Founding Director of Student Support at City School of the Arts. She previously served as the special education coordinator and math and science instructional coach at DC Prep. She holds a master's degree in special education from the University of Las Vegas.
Shamie Cuthbert is the Founding ICT Instructor at City School of the Arts. She has taught creative writing to all ages for more than ten years and has facilitated educational workshops both online and in person. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood and general education from the Bank Street College of Education.
Kaitlin Francis is the Founding Science Teacher at City School of the Arts. She previously served as a science teacher at The Equity Project Charter School in New York, designing an eighth-grade science prep. course and helping teachers develop differentiated lesson plans. She holds a BS and MA from New York University.
Nina Granberry is the Founding Mathematics Teacher at City School of the Arts. She began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow and has taught mathematics for the past eight years in public, charter, and independent schools. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Nina is the first in her immediate family to earn a college degree, graduating from Lehigh University with a BA in sociology and Africana studies. She also holds an MS from St. John’s University in mathematics education.
Willow Joffee is the Founding Parent Coordinator at City School of the Arts. She previously worked with incarcerated young women at Riker’s Island, teenagers in foster care, and high school students and their parents in a variety of settings. She earned her MSW from Hunter College.
Chris Moncrief is the Founding Camp Director at City School of the Arts. He currently serves as a dream director with The Future Project, an organization that encourages young people to follow their dreams, inspire their peers, and improve their schools from the inside-out. He graduated from Syracuse University with a double degree in policy studies and sociology.
Kristen O’Donnell is the Founding Social Worker at City School of the Arts. She previously served as a social worker with Uncommon Schools, where she coached teachers and administrators on the psychological functioning and developmental needs of students. She earned her BA in sociology from the University of San Diego and holds an MSW from the City University of New York.
Palmer Smith is the Founding Operations Analyst at City School of the Arts. He previously served as a school operations associate at KIPP: New Jersey and as a policy analyst in the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office. He received his BA from Harvard University in May 2016.
Christina Taylor is a Founding Humanities Teacher at City School of the Arts. She previously served as a founding teacher at Bronx Park Middle School, where she built a social studies curriculum that fused critical thinking and student-led investigations. She holds a BA from the University of Chicago, as well as an MA in education from the City University of New York.
Josh Vargas is a Founding Humanities Teacher at City School of the Arts. He previously served as an English teacher and assistant basketball coach at Democracy Prep. Charter School in New York. He earned his BA in Music from Skidmore College in 2013.