Dear Families of P.S. 398 Jackson Heights Community,
I can not think of a greater privilege than nurturing the education of your children and starting this journey together of growing our new school alongside all of you and our Jackson Heights Community. I know how important the first years of education are to the foundations and development of a child and how it feels to be in search for the perfect school that can provide your child with everything they need to grow into independent learners.
Please know that I believe in being open, honest and transparent. I am looking forward to meeting and working with all of you throughout the school year. I am excited to serve the children and families of P.S. 398 Community! This is going to be a sensational year!
Erica Ureña-Thus, Principal
Hello Everyone! My name is Janette Ortiz and I am the School Secretary. I have over 10 years with the DOE and have experience in pupil accounting, payroll, and procurement. I have lived in the Jackson Heights for over 20 years and I'm still loving it! I am nine of eleven children and enjoy spending time with my family, playing board games (yes, we still do that). Can't wait to meet all of you in person!
Hello Everyone! My name is Michael Venezia. I have worked for the N.Y.C. Department of Education for four and a half years. I am happily married for 25 years with two daughters. I enjoy listening to music, watching sports, traveling and going to the beach. I look forward to beginning the school year and assisting the students and families of P.S.398.
Meet Our Teacher Team
Hi, my name is Marwah Abdelmohsen. I am excited to be a part of the P.S. 398 staff. I have been working with children for four years. I have my bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Alexandria University in Egypt. I am currently attending City College of New York, where I am working towards my master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I am from Egypt and grew up between Egypt and New York. I speak Arabic and English. My hobbies are swimming, running, walking, dancing, kickboxing and drawing. I am a positive person, and I enjoy every aspect of life.
I believe the children are our future. I will help children develop their potential by believing in them as capable individuals. I will assist children in discovering who they are, so they can express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas. Teaching is a lifelong learning process of learning about new strategies, learning from the parents and community, learning from colleagues, and especially learning from the children. Children have taught me to open my mind to the diversity of ideas in the world!
Hello everyone! My name is Mariah Chaudry and I am excited to be teaching Pre-K this year at PS 398Q! I feel grateful to be in our beautiful school with our amazing students and families for our 2nd year. I graduated from Queens College with my Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. I acquired my certifications in Grades 1-6 as well as my Birth-2 extension to teach our young minds. I enjoy spending time with my friends and family as well as hanging out with my dog, Toby. I look forward to having a wonderful second year at PS 398Q filled with learning, laughter, and memories to last a lifetime!
Hello! My name is Yuri Choi. I graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree and have certifications in Early Childhood/Childhood and Special Education. I have a cat named Vader who thinks he’s a dog! I also enjoy traveling. When I am not teaching, I enjoy playing sports or going hiking. I was born and raised in Woodside so; I am thrilled to teach in a community that is close to home. I can’t wait to embark on this special journey with everyone!
My name is Mrs. Filippi and I am very excited to start my new journey at PS 398. I can’t wait to get to know the students and parents within this diverse community. I am so excited to be working in Jackson Heights, the neighborhood where I grew up. Jackson Heights has a special place in my heart!!!
I would also like to share with you some information about myself. Some of my hobbies include listening to music and dancing which I love to do. I come from a big soccer family where we all enjoy watching soccer games together. I am fluent in English and Spanish. I am also a mom to a beautiful daughter. My daughter and I love READING books together!!! I received my Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College. I received my Master’s degree in Education at Touro College. One of my favorites quotes is- The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. -Dr. Seuss
As a teacher, my ultimate goal is to provide a warm, nurturing, and kid-friendly environment for my students. I look forward to bringing out the best in my students each and every day! Looking forward to making memories and history with my PS 398 family.
Hi, my name is Ms. Guadarrama and I am very excited to be a part of the Hector Figueroa school, the BEAUTIFUL P.S. 398Q! I graduated from Queens College with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education with a Bilingual Specialization as well as a certification in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Certification. I have been an early childhood educator for over 16 years. Teaching children is my passion! I believe that when teachers build a genuine rapport with their students in a loving environment, students will go above and beyond, and eagerly rise up to high expectations and standards. When I am not teaching, I love cooking for my family, dancing and bird watching on hiking trails.
Hello Everyone! My name is Christy Gómez. I was born and raised in Woodside, Queens. I have a beautiful daughter and two adventurous cats, all of whom I enjoy spending my time with. I enjoy traveling, visiting places I have never been to before, and learning about other cultures and traditions. I am excited to be serving the diverse community of learners in Jackson Heights, Queens. I will be teaching the Pre-K Dual Language at P.S.398. I am delighted to be a founding teacher and foster a learning environment that is nurturing and empowering for all of our children.
I am glad to join P.S.398’s faculty as a Kindergarten teacher. I have my Bachelors degree in Childhood Education as well as English Literature. I graduated from Queens College with a Masters in Special Education. I was raised in the Jackson Heights community and I am excited to serve my community. My hobbies include playing tennis, singing, and spending time with my family and friends. I strongly believe in teaching students to apply their learning to real-world situations. I see the importance in hands-on learning, student-centered activities, and differentiated instruction to make lessons purposeful for diverse learners. Having a fun, exciting, and safe learning environment is very important to me, as I use student interests to connect with young minds.
Hello! My name is Kaitlynn Kelly and I am so grateful to be at PS 398Q another year! It is so heartwarming to watch all of our students grow and become more independent as they journey through their educational journey. I graduated from Queens College with a Master's Degree in Childhood Education and have an additional certification in Early Childhood as well as Gifted and Talented Education! When I have free time, I am always hanging out with my family and I am super close to my younger brother and sister. I also love cooking and I enjoy trying new recipes and different foods, especially when traveling to new places. I look forward to continuously creating lots of memories with a wonderful group of staff and students!
Yi Jin Kim
Hello, My name is Yi Jin Kim. I am so excited to join the PS398 TEAM. I will be teaching PreK. I love learning new languages and cultures. I look forward to meeting all the staff and students!
Hello! Hola! My name is Johanna McNeal. I am absolutely excited to be a Founding Staff member here at P.S.398Q. I am a Dual Language Pre-K teacher and I have been teaching since 2008, and couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I truly love being in the classroom and helping my students grow and learn. I have a Masters Degree in Early Childhood from Touro College. Aside from being a teacher, I am also a mom and wife. I have two children, Aiden and Aria. We also have a pet dog, Juno. When I am not in school, you will find me spending time with my family, at Target (probably looking for classroom supplies), or sipping my iced coffee!
Hello Everyone! I would like to start by introducing myself. My name is Nahim Mishi and I am tremendously excited to become a part of the P.S. 398 staff. I will be working closely with first grade supporting the ENL department. I was born in Bangladesh and raised in Queens, New York. Some of my hobbies outside of school include playing basketball, spending time with family and friends, and cooking new cultural dishes. I look forward to being a part of such a culturally rich community of staff and students at P.S. 398.
Hello! My name is Mrs. Natsis and I am excited to be joining the PS 398Q school community! I attended St. John’s University for both my Bachelors and my Masters degree. I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Childhood Education and my Masters degree in Special Education. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I like to travel to different places and learn about the different cultures. I especially love travelling back to my homeland of Greece! I love to motivate my students by tapping into their inner strengths, abilities, and creating learning experiences that truly inspire them. My goal is to provide a stimulating learning environment that fosters confidence and encourages children to reach their full potential!
¡Hola! My name is Ms. Sosa and I am very excited to be a part of the P.S. 398Q family as a Dual Language teacher. I have been working with young children for over 10 years. I have a bachelor's degree in Childhood Education and a master's degree in Early Children Education, as well as a Bilingual (Spanish) Extension from Queens College. I am also currently considering taking courses in interior design to learn more about ways to keep things neat and inviting because I have a love for organizing! I have three beautiful children of my own. I love spending time outdoors with them and staying active through play (dancing is one of our favorites!). My children remind me every day that it truly “takes a village!” I look forward to working together with fellow teachers, parents, and families to ensure we provide the best learning experiences for our growing learners. I value working together to set a solid foundation and love of learning in our children that will support their success, not only in school, but through life!
Hello, my name is Ms. Xhaxhi and I am so excited to be part of the P.S. 398 team. I graduated from Adelphi University with a Master's degree in elementary education, and also have an advanced certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). I was born in Albania and immigrated to the United States in 1996. Although I grew up in Astoria, I have lived in East Elmhurst for the past seven years and am delighted to serve the diverse learners of Jackson Heights! I love spending my days outdoors, and particularly enjoy hiking with my family and friends. I also love to travel and experience the beauty, food and culture of different regions. I cannot wait to impart my knowledge onto my students, and nurture their creativity this school year. I am confident that we will have a year filled with unlimited learning experiences and fun!
Meet Our Paraprofessional Team
Hello everyone, my name is Benita Holland, I am originally from Brooklyn but reside in Queens since recently getting married. I am excited to join the P.S.398Q family as a Paraprofessional in Pre-K. I have received my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Borough of Manhattan Community College and my Bachelors degree in Studio Art from Brooklyn College. I have over 10 years experience in helping to educate young minds while providing a fun and safe environment. I have experience in painting, drawing, screen printing, photography, digital art and sculpture. I am very passionate about art and believe that children are able to open their imagination through creativity along with building their confidence, becoming strategic thinkers, developing patience and strengthening their fine motor skills. I look forward to creating with our young artists!
Hello! My name is Christina Ramos. I am a Queens native and currently reside in Manhattan. On my free time, I enjoy cooking and culinary tasting. I love trying diverse cuisines in NYC! I received my Associate’s Degree in Childhood Education from Borough of Manhattan Community College and my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Queens College. Currently, I am a graduate student enrolled in a School Counseling program. I truly enjoy working as a paraprofessional and I am looking forward to continuing my career within the DOE as a School Counselor. I love children and watching them grow as learners. I believe all children can succeed and I am so happy to be a part of the P.S.398Q team!
Hello Everyone! My name is Lisa Soto and I am thrilled to be a part of the P.S.398Q community as a Pre-K Paraprofessional! I received a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in English Literature. I plan on continuing my education further and seeking dual certification in Early Childhood Special Education. I live in Maspeth, Queens with my husband and our two amazing kids. I enjoy creative writing, music, and traveling with my family to help my children gain new experiences. I truly love being able to take my passion for education and create a fun, safe, nurturing, and educational learning environment for all different students. I am looking forward to a successful year!
Meet Our Enrichment Team
Visual Arts Teacher
Hello! My name is Ms. Liso and I'm thrilled to be part of the P.S. 398Q school community and have the opportunity to share my knowledge and love of art with my students. I come from a proffessional art, illustration and design background and love teaching. I have a BFA from Parsons School of Design, a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Bilingual (Spanish) Extension degree from Queens College. I am NYS certified in Visual Arts PK-12 grade, Early Childhood, and Bilingual Education.
Physical Education Teacher
My name is Terry Thai. I am the physical education teacher at PS 398Q. I was born in Vietnam and came here in 1993. In my free time, I enjoy playing volleyball competitively and going on many fun-filled adventures with my doggy (pitbull/husky), Arty. I'm looking forward to building a foundation for physical and mental wellness in early childhood. Let's us learn together via playing and social interactions.
Hello! I am very excited to join the PS 398 community teaching music. As someone who grew up in Canada, went to school in Saudi Arabia, and worked in Poland and Senegal, I take joy in teaching and playing music from around the world. It is inspiring to join such a diverse learning environment, and I look forward to highlighting the rich musical traditions that are already present in our community. I live down the road in Astoria, and have performed and taught music in Queens for the past 8 years. I have a Master’s in Piano Performance from Rice University, and an Advanced Certificate in Music Education from Brooklyn College.