Our People

MORNINGSIDE CENTER STAFF
 

Tom Roderick, Executive Director

Tom Roderick is executive director of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, a national leader in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) and a leading provider of SEL services in the New York City public schools.

During his 34-year tenure at Morningside Center, Roderick has founded an array of top-quality SEL programs, including the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP) and The 4Rs (Reading, Writing, Respect, and Resolution). Two major scientific studies of The 4Rs and the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program found that the programs have a positive impact on children’s social and emotional development and academic progress, and improve the classroom climate for learning. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has identified the RCCP and The 4Rs as among the nation’s 23 “SELect” programs.

Morningside Center is the lead nonprofit partner of the NYC Department of Education in introducing restorative practices to schools throughout the city. The organization also helps design and implement the city’s Respect for All Program; operates several exemplary PAZ afterschool programs, and provides services in SEL capacity-building for afterschool staff through  DYCD.

Through all of these efforts and others over the years, Morningside Center has helped tens of thousands of educators and hundreds of thousands of young people (pre-K to 12) learn skills in understanding and managing feelings, listening, assertiveness, negotiation, mediation, celebrating culture, and standing up to discrimination.   

Roderick has a Bachelor’s Degree in history from Yale University and a Master’s in Education and an Honorary Doctorate from Bank Street College of Education. He is the author of A School of Our Own: Parents, Power, and Community at the East Harlem Block Schools (Teachers College Press, 2001).  Tom Roderick is executive director of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, a national leader in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL) and a leading provider of SEL services in the New York City public schools.
 


Tala Manassah, Deputy Executive Director

Tala joined Morningside Center in 2009. She has led the development and rapid expansion of Restore360, a collaborative effort with the NYC Department of Education to introduce restorative practices into the NYC public schools. Tala served on Mayor De Blasio's Commission on School Climate and Culture, and on Chancellor Carmen Farina's advisory council on social and emotional learning.

Before coming to Morningside Center, Tala was the founding executive director of the Middle East Children's Institute (MECI). In 2008, MECI was recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative, and became one of CGI's Member Commitments.

Tala has a Bachelors degree in Philosophy and Masters in the Humanities from the University of Chicago. 

 


Lillian Castro, Director of Operations 

Lillian oversees administration of Morningside Center’s work in schools as well as our PAZ after-school programs. Before joining Morningside Center in 1997, she was coordinator of the Center for Collaborative Education’s Coalition Campus Schools Project and a community school board member. She has a BS degree from Empire State College.


 

Sara Carrero, Communications Associate

Daniel Coles, Senior Program Manager

Katrena Dennard, Assistant Controller

Leslie Dennis, Program Associate

Sully Diaz, Director, PAZ @ PS 24

Larry Garvin, Chief Financial Officer

Yaritza Hernandez, PAZ Program Manager

Bryanna Kolja, Program Director, PAZ @ PS 214 Middle School 

Doris Lo, Program Associate

Ann Mathews, Human Resources Director

Laura McClure, Director of Fundraising and Communications

Oshea Moyes, Director, PAZ  @ PS 214 Elementary School

Catherine Pichardo, Staff Accountant

Michelle Savory, Administrative Assistant

Kristin Stuart Valdes, Senior Program Manager

Joseph Yabyabin, Human Resources Assistant

 

Staff Developers

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