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Our Staff Is Like Family

Faculty & Staff

Diana Caporino
Founder & Teacher

Diana Caporino is a dedicated and passionate professional who wants to unlock the potential in every child.  Diana’s extensive experience in special education, coupled with her Orton Gillingham IMSLEC certification and training, makes her a teacher you can trust to help your child with their needs. Diana’s enthusiastic personality, her sensitivity toward others, and her desire to help children succeed make her an excellent choice to guide the efforts of Corner Your Senses. She is interested in providing a positive learning environment that will make a valuable difference in the lives of her students.

She is a dedicated, experienced educator who is elated to welcome you to her center! Throughout Diana’s 20 years of experience in education, her vision has always been to encourage the uniqueness of every child.  She is dedicated to creating a positive environment where children can explore and learn without the pressures of performance. Diana is committed to helping each child reach their fullest potential  educationally, emotionally and socially.  To achieve this, Diana believes multi-sensory learning combined with positive reinforcement and a nurturing, stress-free, fun environment  are essential.  By enrolling in a center dedicated to this goal, your child will have the opportunity to grow and thrive in a caring, supportive environment.

Diana Caporino earned her Orton Gillingham certification in the two-year, 100-plus-hours certification program  through the International Multisensory Structured Language Education Council (IMSLEC) and Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU).  Additionally,  Diana has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Special Education and Psychology from Felician University.  She is highly-qualified in English Language Arts and Social Studies.  

Diana’s educational experiences encompass children’s ages 3-18 who possess a wide range of abilities:  general education students and those with learning needs such as specific learning disabilities, dyslexia and dysgraphia, ADD/ADHD, Down syndrome, autism, and other health impairments.  

Diana is continuously seeking new professional development opportunities and researching best practices to implement with her students. She is constantly reflecting on and working toward improving her instruction techniques so all of her students succeed.

You can put your trust in her to create an intriguing, loving, and nurturing multi-sensory learning experience for your child.  


Judi Agnew
Teacher

“For as long as I have been able to speak I have wanted to be a teacher. My name is Judi Agnew and I have been teaching for thirty-six years, the last eight of which have been at St. Peter Academy in River Edge, NJ. My degree is in Applied Science (BASc), Elementary Education and Teaching, K-8 from Bloomsburg University. I also have a minor in Learning Differences. At St. Peter Academy I am the advisor for the yearbook and also the National Junior Honor Society. I also coordinate the St. Joseph Regional High School Scholastic Olympics, and all of the events for 8th grade graduation. I have taught every grade and I love them all. For the last sixteen years, I have taught the eighth grade.  I LOVE what I do and enjoy creating lasting memories with my eighth graders before they graduate. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, reading, going to Broadway Shows, swimming and spending time with my yorkie, Watson. I am excited to share my love of learning with all of the children at Corner Your Senses.”


David Rimelis
Enrichment Teacher

David Rimelis’ music has been performed by orchestras internationally, including the Boston Pops, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, San Francisco Symphony Louisiana Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Saint Louis Symphony, Western Australia Symphony, Minnesota Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, New York Pops,New Jersey Pops Jazz and the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra.


He has been featured artist with the Colorado Symphony, Eugene Oregon Symphony, Waco Texas Symphony, Concordia Orchestra, Plainfield New Jersey Symphony, The Cascade Festival of Music Orchestra, the New Sussex Symphony, the New Jersey Pops, the Oregon Festival of American Music Orchestra, and the Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestra.


Rimelis is artist-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on The Arts and Professor of Jazz at The New Jersey Institute of Technology, His music is featured in the film about violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg “Speaking  in Strings”, PBS and New Jersey Network documentaries “Summer Camp”, “It’s Red It’s Edible It Bounces”, the Mo Willems cartoon “The Man Who Yelled,” and the feature film “She Devil”.


National Television appearances as featured musician include “Emeril Live”  (improvising original music as “Dr Strings), CBS’s “The Guiding Light” (fiddler and country band leader), and NBC’s “Four Stories” (volunteer music teacher to HIV affected children).The View, Fox 5 and the Tony Danza show.


As a guitarist and violinist, Rimelis has toured the United States, South America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East.


His unique Charanga violin style has been featured with many prominent Latin ensembles, including Jose Fajardo, Johnny Pacheco, Roberto Torres, Orchestra Broadway, and Africando.


Rimelis is the founder and leader of the band “Life,” which performs original world jazz.  The son of country western singer “Idaho Ed,”  Rimelis was raised on American folk and popular music; he has won prizes in a number of regional fiddle contests.


Francine Colaneri
Enrichment Teacher

Francine Colaneri has spent her career focusing on two of her passions – children and reading. Francine started her career at McGraw-Hill Inc. working on educational books and products for students in grades K through college. She then moved on to her dream job at Scholastic Inc., the largest distributor of children’s products in the world. At Scholastic, Francine worked on a range of products – everything from the simplest book to the most complex multi-media program.  


Francine played a key role in helping Scholastic become an industry leader in environmental initiatives and in the development of a comprehensive environmental procurement policy. Francine was inducted into the Publishing Hall of Fame in recognition of this accomplishment.


The highlight of Francine’s career was the opportunity and challenge of working on all seven Harry Potter books…and meeting JK Rowling!!! Francine managed the manufacturing and supply chain process for these books which included all of the purchasing and scheduling related to raw materials and manufacturing. This project was, and still is, the largest publishing project ever accomplished.


Throughout Francine’s career, she worked with publishers and educators to bring the most relevant material to our children both at home and at school and to encourage a love of reading.


Alyssa Fiume
Teacher

Alyssa Fiume has significant experience working with individuals with disabilities and students of all ages for more than 10 years. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2013 with a degree in Clinical Human Services and Disabilities Studies. While there, she interned at the Career and Life Studies Certificate program where she developed a technology program for college-age individuals with developmental disabilities and served as a life coach for the program. She served as a staff member for Junior Partners in Policymaking, a policy advocacy program for individuals with disabilities, served as President of the Student Association for the Education of Young Children, and was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity. In addition, she interned at a medical facility for children and ran the Artsmarts After School Program at a local dance studio in Delaware. 

 

Alyssa’s formal experience began in 2010, when she became the Music and Movement Director and a personal counselor for Elks Camp Moore, a summer camp for children and adults with special needs. She has worked at a special education school and at a therapeutic nursery with individuals from ages 2.5 through 21 with various levels of disability, and she has provided private tutoring for individuals with autism. Alyssa has studied various types of dance since she was 3 years old and studied piano for 10 years. Currently, she is the Coordinator of Tutoring Services at Felician University in Lodi, where she works with professionals in the higher education field to create and manage effective support services for all students. All of her experiences have taught her best practices for working with children and young adults, no matter their age or challenge. 

 

Alyssa enjoys volunteering her time outside of work as a peer mentor for a military loss program called Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and is the Vice-President of the mental wellness awareness non-profit, the Alfred M. Fiume Foundation. In her spare time, she enjoys creativity in various ways including crafting, painting, photography, and creating and editing photos and videos. She is a devotee of Broadway shows and an avid fan of New York Rangers hockey. In a strange twist of events, Alyssa is in the early stages of a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and loves the challenge that brings. 

 

Alyssa has a passion for supporting others and using creative thinking skills. She is excited to bring the Movin’ & Groovin’ program to Corner Your Senses and go back to her roots with a passion she has felt for many years.


Alexia Eleni
Teacher/Art Therapist

Alexia is an experienced educator in special education and a future art therapist. Alexia received her Bachelor of Arts in The Arts from Felician College and is currently working on her Masters in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Art Therapy from Caldwell University. While completing her studies, she worked at an aftercare program where she served the community of Bergen County for seventeen years. During her seventeen years of serving the

community, Alexia worked in a multiple disabled classroom. She continues to combine her education, knowledge, skills, and training in the field of

education and art therapy to effectively provide a therapeutic environment and treatment to her students. Alexia implements her vision by encouraging and

inspiring others to heal through classes such as tapping into one’s creative process through; painting, drawing, collage, clay work, and other mediums. She

also uses strategic approaches such as; coping skills, therapeutic tools, empowering techniques, and meditation. Alexia is goal-oriented, flexible, compassionate, and enthusiastic. Her personal goal is to help children achieve their learning and individualized growth in a therapeutic environment.


Michelle Bressack
Reading Teacher

Michelle Bressack comes to Corner Your Senses with an extensive background in education.  Michelle worked with students with specific learning

disabilities, in the public school setting, for over 13 years. She fell in love with teaching reading, which inspired her to pursue a Masters of Arts degree in Reading Education. Michelle has significant experience working with a wide range of ability levels and is a firm believer that “one size does not fit all” when it comes to learning .

Michelle is Wilson Reading Certified and is pursuing additional Wilson education and training. This rigorous certification program entailed 90 hours

of coursework and a supervised practicum of 60 lessons. Michelle also holds a Bachelor’s degree in English.


Michelle enjoys volunteering her time as a Girl Scout leader , school library helper, and class mom at her daughter’s school .

“I am so excited to bring my love of teaching reading to Corner Your Senses!”


Callie Negro
Homework Help Tutor and Assistant

Callie Negro is a Felician University second year student who cannot wait to educate future generations. She has been around teachers her whole life so she has a passion for it. She is majoring in Early Childhood Education with her focus in Psychology.


Callie has lots of previous work with children. She has been and is currently a camp counselor. She also babysits and volunteers with her town’s recreation cheerleading program.


Callie’s interests include singing, dancing, running, and cheerleading. Callie can’t wait to be a part of the CornerYourSenses faculty and is so excited for another opportunity to work in the field!


Stefanie Dunnigan
Teacher

Stefanie Dunnigan is an educator who is passionate about helping others feel empowered and finding ways to bring a little more peace into their lives. She is

dedicated to learning and has an innate need to give her very best. She loves sharing her learning and inspiring others to think outside the box, outside the classroom, and into the future.


Stefanie is a motivational speaker and teaches classes about mindfulness and meditation as part of the Rodgers Family Meditation program at the Graf Center for Integrative Medicine located within Englewood Hospital. Additionally, Stefanie creates and facilitates professional development as well as writes curriculum to support her colleagues in their work with their students throughout the school year. During the summer, she provides classes that focus on mindfulness, personal growth, and meditative practices for children and adults seeking to make and sustain positive changes in their lives. 


The strategies that Stefanie utilizes in her motivational work are derived from her personal journey and practice, professional development, and experience working with others. Those strategies include shifting your mindset and developing positive life skills. Stefanie is on a mission to continue to learn healthier ways to manage life stressors and share them through all aspects of her life, including her work with children and adults.  


Valuing the importance of SEL (social-emotional learning) and the development of character education, Stefanie was inspired to co-publish the children’s book, “Travel Tails: All Bark and No Bite.” She has also co-published the book, “I Choose Gratitude” to encourage others on their personal development journey. Stefanie is an Associate Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. 


Stefanie has earned a B.A. in Psychology at William Paterson University and a Master of Science in Education for Reading and Literacy. She has been teaching in Bergen County for twenty years and has been recognized as Teacher of the Year in her school in 2006, 2010, and 2016.  Most recently, Stefanie has stepped into a new role as her district’s Elementary Gifted and Talented Teacher and works with K-5 students in five elementary schools. 


Stefanie is excited to be joining the Corner Your Senses community to continue the lifelong journey of learning, sharing, and growing together.


Liz Scholl
Teacher

Liz Scholl is a NJ and NY state certified N-6 teacher, with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from NYU, and over 25 years of classroom teaching and private tutoring experience. Liz is Orton Gillingham trained, and supports multi-sensory learning. She embraces hands-on learning experiences, and encourages her students to ask questions and think outside the box.

Liz is passionate about nature and gardening (she is a certified Master Gardener) and enjoys exploring in the woods with her husky, Nico. She lives in Northern New Jersey with her family and two very cute but naughty cats.

Liz Scholl is a NJ and NY state certified N-6 teacher, with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from NYU, and over 25 years of classroom teaching and private tutoring experience. Liz is Orton Gillingham trained, and supports multi-sensory learning. She embraces hands-on learning experiences, and encourages her students to ask questions and think outside the box.

Liz is passionate about nature and gardening (she is a certified Master Gardener) and enjoys exploring in the woods with her husky, Nico. She lives in Northern New Jersey with her family and two very cute but naughty cats.


Maya Petermann
Receptionist & Teacher Aide

“My name is Maya Petermann and I’m a 16 year old rising Junior in high school. I am an honors student despite my learning disability and I understand first hand the importance of receiving services such as the Orton-Gillingham reading support in a child’s growth. As with many children with differences in learning, I also know how developing positive coping mechanisms can be crucial in a child’s development. In my case, I found that in art at a time when words never came right.

Later on, theater became another outlet for me where I learned important skills. They say “it takes a village” for a child to blossom and now so close to adulthood, I have seen my teachers’, my parents’, and my own hard work pay off; only making the success all the more satisfying. This is why when I learned about this center I was interested in getting involved. As I join this center, I will bring in skills the Orton-Gillingham reading method has taught me such as organization, breaking

down daily challenges into more manageable pieces, responsibility, the importance of hard work, and how to advocate for one’s self. I am excited to be a part of the children’s growth here and am looking forward to see new blossoms develop. “