Meet Our School Staff

Dionne Williams, Principal

    

Welcome to our 2020-2021 school year. I pledge to devote the love and loyalty of my heart, the wisdom and courage of my mind and the strength and vigor of my body, in the service of my parents, students, community and IS 217 staff.  I promise to stand up for justice and brotherhood.  I will work diligently and creatively and think generously and honestly, so that the School of Performing Arts will increase in beauty, fellowship, community, and prosperity.  We will advance the welfare of every student who walks through our doors. 

 

 

 

Bertram Knight, Assistant Principal

   

Biography coming soon

 

 

MR. SPIVEY

  

is excited to return to I.S. 217 – School of Performing Arts for the 2020-21 School Year! Originally from Brooklyn, NY; Sean is the son of SFC Darlene Spivey (US Army Ret.) where Military life made it that his family lived many places within the United States as well as Seoul, Korea and Berlin, Germany at the end of the Cold War. Sean graduated from Menchville High School in Newport News, VA where he was an active member of Menchville H.S. Show Choir and Menchville H.S. Vocal Jazz Ensemble. He holds a B.M. in Music Education from Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA where he majored in general, choral, and vocal music. He has served as a music educator, a choreographer for show choirs, and has been a featured jazz vocalist and dancer with Shenandoah Singers. Sean has toured the United States and Canada performing in Clifford, The Big Red Dog Live! (Male Swing) and Arthur Live! (Brain). At Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, Sean’s previous credits includes: Dreamgirls (Earl, M.C. Ensemble) and The Drowsy Chaperone (Aldolpho). Currently in his fourth year on staff at I.S. 217, Mr. Spivey has served as a Music Educator and is the Choral Director of the I.S. 217 Choir. This is Mr. Spivey’s second year as the Director of Performing Arts and he continues to strive for excellence through Arts Education and Academic Programs for each and every I.S. 217 student.

MR. COWIE

  

is a musician, composer and educator based out of Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in 2013 with a degree in Jazz Saxophone. After graduation, Andrew moved to Brooklyn where he freelanced as a musician and educator. During this time, he played throughout NYC as a member of many music projects which ranged in genres from pop, rock, jazz to musical theatre. In the winter of 2016, Andrew had the honor of joining the ska band The Toasters on a six week tour around the United States. In 2019, he returned to school at Brooklyn College to obtain his teaching certification. He is currently pursuing his masters in Music Composition at Brooklyn College. Andrew’s current projects include works composed for traditional concert and chamber music as well as his solo singer-songwriter project under the pseudonym, Patches.

 

Mr. Nuhann, Networks / Website administrator

   

Growing up poor in Liberia, striving for the privilege of getting an education, he graduated from the St. Francis High School in Paynesville, Jacob's Town and dreamed of coming to the United States. Once in the United States, he continued to struggle for a better life, graduating with his Bachelor’s degree from the College of New Rochelle in New York and embarking on his career in education. He currently work with The New York City Department of Education and also enjoys working with and teaching children how to build games and computers during after school.  He also graduated with a MBA degree from Colorado Technical University and got a MS in Cyber Security, specializing into the IT area from Mercy College.  He's a Liberian artist and the founder of Vision for Children in Liberia, Inc. e  He's  also the Executive director of Oneplace Onevoice tv studio & web designs, a register studio in the Bronx that serves as the voice of the African Immigrants' Commission of New York and Connecticut, Inc. where he serve as The National Vice President.  His dream is “to build schools for children in Liberia to enhance their lives for free. 

KATHERINE JIMENEZ

  

Born in New York City, Katherine began her dance training at The Ailey School in the Junior Division at a very young age. Soon after, she continued on scholarship at the Professional Performing Arts School and The Ailey School Pre-Professional Division.

While at Ailey, she had the opportunity to work with prominent teachers, choreographers, and dancers from around the world, though never forgetting her first love, Mambo. At the tender age of 7, she began training and studying with renowned masters on NY Style Mambo. After years of training, she began to tour around the world performing and teaching Mambo workshops.

With over 17 years of experience, Katherine is able to break down complex patterns so that everyone can understand them while teaching traditional technique with contemporary style.

 

MS. SMYTH

  

is an actress, writer and educator living in the Bronx, NY. She studied English and Theater at Hunter College in Manhattan, holds a Master’s in English Education from St. John’s University and is pursuing a MSEd in Educational Theater at CCNY. Serving as the educational editor for Westview News, she was granted the opportunity to share her passion and beliefs about education with the city. Sarah has performed in a wide variety of shows--both classical and contemporary--in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Most recently, she works with a NYC theater collective focused on emerging playwrights with diverse backgrounds. With New York City theater evolving during these times, Sarah wrote a play that was accepted by the Spark Woman Writer’s Festival in summer 2020. You can also hear her as the voice of Sheila, a talking portal to an alternate dimension, on a science fiction web series premiering weekly on IGTV. 

MS. AMANDA

   

I am very excited to be joining the I.S. 217 team. I am teaching 6th grade math and 7th grade math this year.  I received my Bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island, where I studied Childhood Education and Human Development. I recently received my Master's in Special Education from New York University. I can't wait to spend this year learning and growing with you!