Our Staff

Administration and Office

Mrs. Daniela Sarbu

Founder and Owner

With a spark in her eye and a vision to bring a change in young lives, Daniela Sarbu, a mother of three beautiful children, has been successfully running the prestigious World of ABC, The Waldo School for over 11 years now. Starting in the fall of 2020, Mrs. Sarbu introduced the concept of The Waldo Preschool, a program that focuses on the social-emotional development, and well-being of students and staff, in addition to the World of ABC’s historic academics and milestone development. Additionally, since 2020 she started focusing on revolutionizing the Waldo International School – Middle School Program with emphasis on STEAM, Public Speaking and Drama and rigorous academics. 

World of ABC, The WALDO School is an International Baccalaureate accredited and certified school and is located in Downtown Jersey City, NJ. As per Mrs. Sarbu: “My kids are my biggest inspiration behind the foundation of this school! I’m excited about creating well-rounded students who become successful adults”.  Mrs. Sarbu believes every single child deserves to receive a world-class education to open up opportunities throughout their lives. This is why she gives back to the community and offers scholarships to her school for children less fortunate. Mrs. Sarbu was born and raised in Romania. She graduated from high school with a degree in Informatics and Technology and was accepted into New York University, however, decided to stay in Bucharest to continue her education. She completed her Bachelor’s degree with a major in International Economy and Business at the International Economic Relations School within the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest, Romania, graduating with honors. In 2004, she decided to move to the United States and enrolled at the Baruch College – Zicklin School of Business. Also, since then she has completed several business certifications at eCornell University and Harvard Online School of Business. Mrs. Sarbu has been holding the position of Member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Phoenix, Jersey City campus since 2015. She is also serving on the Board of The Youth Foundation of Jersey City since 2023.

Mrs. Courtney Vitale


Mrs. Courtney graduated from Rutgers University in 2012 and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, with a concentration in child development. She joined the school soon after, starting as a lead teacher before being promoted to head teacher. In 2016, she began her position as school director, first at the World of ABC Preschool campus for two years before moving to the World of ABC Waldo School campus in 2018. In addition to her role as director, Mrs. Courtney is also the International Baccalaureate PYP Coordinator, and works to ensure students are learning in an inquiry-based, collaborative, and caring environment, where the goal is to prepare each student to be successful in an ever changing world. Her passion is to help teachers and students succeed with best practices in education in mind, and to make sure students love learning and coming to school each and every day!

Ms. Danielle Larsen

Assistant Director

Ms. Danielle is a graduate of La Salle University with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and Special Education, with a minor in American Studies. She taught in the early childhood education field for three years before coming to The Waldo School in 2018. As a first grade teacher, she strived to ensure her students were both kind and well-educated learners. She believed in using hands-on experiences in the classroom where students actively learned about the world around them and could ask questions in a secure environment. Along with teaching, Ms. Danielle has taken her experience into her new role as Assistant Director. She works with the students, teachers and parents to create a positive environment at the Waldo School.

Mrs. Ishwari Parvate

Director of Education/IB Coordinator

Ms. Ishwari earned both a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a bachelor’s degree in French language. She furthered her education by obtaining an MBA with a specialization in Human Resources. Over the past 13 years, Ms. Ishwari has built an international career in education, primarily within various IB world schools. Her journey began as a language teacher, and she subsequently served as the Head of the Department for French language across all IB programs at the school. Throughout her career, she has received numerous awards for her outstanding performance. Ms. Ishwari firmly believes that the ultimate objective of education is to nurture global citizens who possess knowledge, empathy, responsibility, and the ability to confront the challenges of the modern world. Initially, she joined Waldo School as a 5th-grade teacher but has since assumed the role of PYP/MYP Coordinator. During her leisure time, Ms. Ishwari enjoys indulging in humorous videos, spending quality moments with her family and friends, traveling, and exploring her culinary skills in the kitchen.

Ms. Lyliana Santos

Counselor/PreK 3 Teacher

Ms. Lyliana was born and raised in Newark, NJ where she watched teachers who failed to support students with learning disabilities. She is a graduate student at Saint Peter’s University, and has obtained her Master’s Degree in School Counseling. Ms. Lyli’s objective with her Master’s degree is to be an advocate for individuals who needs guidance and one-on-one support.

Ms. Kiara Suero

Extra Curriculum & Club Coordinator

Ms. Kiara graduated from Saint Peter’s University in May of 2022 attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Media Culture. Currently, she is enrolled in the graduate program for higher education at Saint Peter’s. Although, her future within her degree deals with older students, she wanted to experience education within the younger ages. At the Waldo School, she loves being with the student and lending a helping hand to them on their academic and personal development. 

Ms. Thalia Garcia

Summer Camp Coordinator

Ms.Thalia Garcia is presently working at the Waldo School, as a coordinator, for the Summer Camp 2022. Thalia has effectively established her educational career in schooling with experience working with all students in the Early Childhood educational field. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Early childhood education, and she maintains a P-3 teaching certification in the state of New Jersey. She has over 7 years of experience in coordinating, managing classrooms, and maintaining a safe and healthy environment to boost academic and emotional permanence for all students. 

Ms. Angela Mohabir

Marketing Associate

Ms. Angela has been working with the Waldo School for 7 years. We are proud to have Ms. Angela with us as our Marketing Associate. Ms. Angela graduated from The New Jersey Institute of Technology, majoring in Electrical Computer Engineering Technology and a minor in Business. Along with her beautiful laugh, Ms. Angela gives the children love and care that is above our imagination. She is a wonderful addition to our school family. Ms. Angela loves to see all the children grow educationally and socially and we at the Waldo School community love to see her grow with us!

Ms. Bianny Ortega

Office Manager

Ms. Bianny studied at LIM College for a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Fashion Marketing and shortly after started interning at Refinery29 and Movado Group. During the end of her internship she was treating with a chiropractor and was offered a position as a liaison and that’s where her career started in the healthcare industry. Within a few years she transitioned into office manager and moved forward into managing multiple specialties in varies locations for over five years. Now working with The Waldo School she is thrilled to work in a different form of office management. Aside from work, Ms. Bianny enjoy event styling/décor and raising her four year old!

Mrs. Cathy Melando

School Nurse

Miss Cathy, a graduate of The Bayonne School of Nursing, has been a nurse for over 30 years. Although she has experience working in the Emergency Room, Operating Room, and Same Day Surgery units in several of our local hospitals, she found her true calling and professional passion in Pediatrics and has devoted more than half her career to caring for children. Miss Cathy was the World of ABC nurse at the schools inception, and now returns to the Waldo school after a 9 year hiatus. “The health, well-being, safety, and security of your child is my #1 priority”. She lives in Bayonne with her husband Dan. In her spare time she enjoys music, travel, dining out, and spending time with her grandsons.

Elementary School

Ms. Meghan Riffle

Kindergarten Teacher

Ms. Meghan graduated and received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Elementary Education from the University of Florida in 2016. Upon graduation, Ms. Meghan moved to Manhattan, where she taught Kindergarten at a charter school for five years. Ms. Meghan joined the Waldo School in 2021, after moving to Jersey City. From the very first day of school, Ms. Meghan fosters a sense of community and family within her classroom. She strives to create a learning environment where students feel welcome, excited to learn, and unafraid to make mistakes. Ms. Meghan brings joy to learning through songs, partner and group work, open-ended questions, and group discussions where children are invited to ask and answer questions. The main goal of Ms. Riffle’s teaching is to foster the love for learning in the very earliest years of school!

Ms. Holly Silverman

Kindergarten Teacher

Miss Silverman graduated from Susquehanna University and earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She is extremely excited to join The Waldo School as a kindergarten teacher! Miss Silverman has always had a passion for teaching. She knew she wanted to be a teacher since she was a little girl. She feels teaching is such a rewarding experience, both inside and outside of the classroom. Miss Silverman believes it is essential to create a classroom environment where her students feel mentally, physically and emotionally safe. She strives to make her students love learning and love coming to school! She feels very grateful to have this opportunity to teach at The Waldo School. In her free time, she likes to cook, practice yoga, and spend time with her dog, Luna! 

Ms. Jessica Mullany

Kindergarten Teacher

Miss Jess graduated from Providence College with a degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education. After school, she taught Kindergarten and 1st Grade in Connecticut for a few years, while getting her Master’s Degree from Southern Connecticut State University. Above all, she is thrilled to join the Waldo School community. Miss Jess loves to make learning fun and interactive for her students by incorporating movement, hands-on activities, and working with peers. Her goal for her kindergartners is to strengthen their social emotional learning and to feel welcomed into her classroom so they can be their very best! She looks forward to making great relationships with the Waldo students, families, and staff.

Ms. Maria Gregorio

1st Grade Teacher

Ms. Maria joined the Waldo School in 2014 shortly after graduating from New Jersey City University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. Ms. Maria has been a visual part of our school system, being a head teacher in the Preschool program and last year accepting a position as a Kindergarten teacher. She brings a great sense of health and wellness to her classroom, along to all the students of the Waldo School. Ms. Maria’s background, experience, and love for children is felt the moment you walk into her classroom. She is currently working on a mastered level nursing degree from William Paterson University. In her spare time, Ms. Maria likes to read and spend time with her friends and family.

Ms. Claudia Guglielmo

1st Grade Teacher

Claudia Guglielmo is excited to join our staff in her first year here at The Waldo School. Ms. Claudia is a recent graduate of Montclair State University with a degree in Family Science and Human Development. Her concentrations were Child Advocacy and Child Development. Prior to joining the Waldo family, Ms. Claudia had been working with children in a variety of settings for over 6 years! She’s very enthusiastic to be on board and is so excited for the upcoming school year.

Ms. Danielle Manno

2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Danielle is a graduate of Farleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor’s in Humanities. Ms. Danielle graduated in 2015 with her Masters degree in Arts and Teaching, also from Farleigh Dickinson University. Before joining the Waldo community in 2018, Ms. Danielle was a teacher at the Bayonne Board of Education and continued to work for the BOE for three years. During that time, she gained very insightful knowledge on not only teaching but how dedicated she was to this profession. Ms. Danielle’s hard work shines in all she does in the classroom and her senior level mastering of developmental education is translated to her students. Ms. Danielle is always willing to give a helping hand and especially thoughtful to all the students at the Waldo School.

Ms. Leana DeSimone

2nd Grade Teacher

Ms. Leana is very excited to start her first year at The Waldo School. She has always had a love for children at such a young age.  Her diligence, determination, and dedication are her trademarks. In 2014 she graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She then studied at Sage Graduate School, where she earned a Master of Science degree in Childhood Education. She has taught many different grade levels, and has worked with many different age groups. She is currently going on her sixth year of teaching. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Leana enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, and traveling.

Mr. Erik Vitale

3rd Grade Teacher

Mr. Erik is a graduate of Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Education. His interest in STEM and teaching began in high school, where he began taking courses in computer science, mathematics and physics. In college, Mr. Erik also participated in a mentoring and tutoring program for local 3rd and 4th Graders in math and science. After graduating college, Mr. Erik joined the Waldo School as the Robotics and Technology teacher, before becoming the 3rd Grade teacher. He is passionate about science and technology and integrating it into his daily teaching, ensuring his students are also excited and motivated about STEM! In addition to teaching, Mr. Erik also leads a variety of after school activities, including basketball.

Mrs. Shweta Sharma

4th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Shweta has over five years experience in teaching. She is a post graduate in Mathematics and is a mother to a 3-year-old. Mrs. Shweta enjoys every moment of working at the school, and has taught both 1st and 4th Grade at Waldo. To her, the most amazing thing is to see or hear when students apply the skills that they have been taught. Mrs. Shweta believes that The Waldo School is a wonderful place for your child to grow both academically and emotionally.

Ms. Alannah McGettigan

5th Grade Teacher

Ms. McGettigan graduated with her Bachelor of Arts and Major in Human Development and Gaeilge from Dublin City University, and after obtained her Masters of Primary Education from Hibernia College in Ireland. Upon graduating, she has taught 5th Grade for a few years in Dublin before arriving in the United States. Ms. Alannah is excited to join the Waldo School this year!

Ms. Kaydee Collazo

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Kaydee, is a Jersey City native and her family’s background is Puerto Rican. She has worked with the Waldo School for 10 years. Ms. Kaydee work with all age groups, but mostly with toddlers. She started working in a school setting as part-time and decided she wanted to continue helping young minds grow. When she is not in the classroom, you can find her in the school helping with anything from classroom décor, dismissal, or working at the front desk. Ms. Kaydee loves working in a school environment!

Ms. Nashwa Ismail

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Nashwa is a graduate from New Jersey City University with a Bachelors in Psychology. She loves working with children, getting to know them and being able to watch them grow throughout the year. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.

Ms. Ashley Manno

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Ashley attended New Jersey City University. This is her first year working at The Waldo School as an assistant teacher. She loves working with children and has many years of experience. She is excited to watch the students in her class grow throughout the year. She loves to cook and enjoys watching football and cheering on the New York Giants!

Middle School

Mrs. Geetika Sharma

6th Grade Teacher

Ms. Geetika has earned her Masters’s degree in English Literature, Bachelor’s degree in Education, and Bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Mathematics, and Economics as her major subjects from Punjabi University, Punjab, India. While studying, Ms. Geetika has been awarded a ‘College Color’ – a prestigious award given to a student who has done exemplary work in academics as well as extracurriculars. She is working as a teacher for the last 11 years and this is her 6th  year working with The Waldo School. During her teaching career, Ms. Geetika has worked with students of different age groups, including PreK, Elementary, Middle and High School, B. Tech, and MBA. She believes that nothing is as precious as spreading knowledge and looking out for each student’s best interests. She has a keen interest in Art, Literature, and Mathematics. She considers Pulitzer Prize Winner American African author Toni Morrison as a great author and her role model.      


Ms. Amrita Mohabir

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Amrita is a bright and enthusiastic freshman at New Jersey City University, where she is pursuing her degree in Education. With a heart full of dedication and a mind eager to learn, Ms. Amrita is determined to make a meaningful impact in the field of education. Her journey towards this goal began three years ago when she started working at the Waldo School, where she contributes to nurturing young minds. Ms. Amrita loves playing video games and spending time with her family and friends!

Ms. Gianelle Cepeda

PreK 4 Teacher

Ms. Gianelle graduated with her Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from Hudson County Community College and a Bachelors in English with a concentration in Literature at New Jersey City University. This is her fourth year teaching at The Waldo School. Being granted the opportunity to aid in shaping young minds is something never taken for granted in her classroom. Ms. Gianelle sees herself lucky to be entrusted with each student as it is not only an academic setting, but one where the foundation of social, emotional development, and life skills are being initiated.

Mrs. Vanessa Dominguez

PreK 4 Teacher

Ms. Vanessa Dominguez joined the Waldo school in 2012. Since then she received an associates degree, in Elementary and Secondary Education from Hudson County Community College and a Bachelor of Arts degree, in Psychology from New Jersey City University. 

She has taught various ages, from infants to first grade since being on our team. Her passion is to help children become inquirers and worldly people. Her hope is to shape future world leaders, who lead the world with truth and compassion. 

She spends her free time with her husband and baby boy. They spend lots of time in New York City exploring. She love’s seeing her son’s reaction to new things, being in the moment, and having quality time with him is what’s most special to her.

Ms. Johanna Ramos

PreK 3 Teacher

Ms. Johanna has been in the teaching field for 17 years. She studied at John Jay of Criminal Justice for her undergrad degree in Forensic psychology and is beginning her journey on her higher degree in Early childhood education. Some of Ms. Johanna’s interest include dancing and musical theatre. She has a background in studying at schools such as the Third Street Music School, Alvin Ailey, C.W. She is currently taking dance classes at the Latin Groove dance Academy!

Ms. Alyssa Moyeno

PreK 3 Teacher

In 2013, Ms. Alyssa earned an Associate of Arts degree  from Hudson County Community College. She made the move to New Jersey City University in 2013, where she earned her Bachelor degree in history and women’s studies. She completed an internship with the New Jersey Youth Program.   She started working at The Waldo School in 2021.  She loves animals, museums and traveling! In addition to that, she is a caring mother to her American Pitbull named Luca, who weighs 75 pounds!

Ms. Aseefa Ali

PreK 2 Teacher

Ms. Aseefa graduated from Hudson County Community College with her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She is currently enrolled at New Jersey Cit University, pursuing her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Psychology. She first began working with the school in 2012, and has worked with all of the various ages in the school, from infants to 5th Grade. Ms. Aseefa strongly feels that “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” Being there to witness the growth of each of her students that she has cared for has brought her joy. She cannot wait to see the impact and types of changes her students will have on their community.

Ms. Rovina Sawh

Assistant Teacher

As a young girl I always dreamt of becoming a teacher. My house was always filled with kids, which led me to figure out what I wanted to do when I got older. Every afternoon, after finishing my homework I would help all the kids with their homework and then tutored them with any subject they felt that were struggling in. I loved playing teacher and it made me happy knowing I was making a difference in other kids lives. 

I started college at New Jersey City University in 2014 and also became an assistant teacher at World of ABC, The Waldo School in 2014. I loved the school and couldn’t see myself anywhere else. After taking a breaking in 2016 and focusing on my degree I graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in psychology and have been at the school ever since! On my spare time I loved to learn more about psychology and how the brain works. I am also looking to pursue Masters degree in psychology and become a school psychologist! 

Ms. Corinthia Blake

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Corinthia attended Hudson County Community College majoring in Liberal Arts. She is now currently enrolled for spring 2023 classes to obtain her bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. This is Ms. Corinthia’s first year at the Waldo School and she is enjoying every minute of working with the children! Ms. Corinthia have six years of experience working with children and couldn’t see herself working in any other field. She is excited to grow here at the Waldo School and most importantly, being able to assist in the growth of the children!

Ms. Emily Diaz

Assistant Teacher

Ms. Emily grew up and resides in Jersey City. She is currently pursuing her nursing career at Hudson County Community College. However, she has always enjoyed watching children grow and learn. She looks forward to graduating with a degree in early childhood education. From babysitting family members to becoming a PreK assistant, Ms. Emily has fallen in love with helping children become educated in their own ways.

Specialist Teachers

Mrs. Anna Podolak

Drama Teacher

Ms. Anna has received her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Performance from Fordham University. She has performed on many stages in the US and Europe. She has appeared in various films and TV productions. Her most recent film The Earl Prince opened the Gdynia Film Festival in Poland. She also does voice-overs and has recorded numerous commercials and industrials.  Anna also works with children preparing them for theatre, film and commercials, helping them freely express their imagination and creativity,  gain confidence and stage presence. This is currently her third year teaching drama at the Waldo School!

Ms. Staver Klitgaard

Art Teacher

Staver Klitgaard has their MFA in painting from Hunter College and their BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Staver is a professional painter but started teaching art as a way to share their knowledge of art history and art making to excite kids. Their first experience as a teacher was as a teaching assistant in grad school for Joachim Pissarro and felt such joy in it that they decided to delve deeper into teaching. For Staver, art making as a child was something that was really important in finding ways to communicate with others and to find ways to express themselves. Art should be something explored and celebrated fearlessly and with support. Staver has shown at Hooloon art gallery, Steven Harvey Fine Arts, M. David and Co. Royal Society of American Art as well as, Half Circle Gallery.

Mr. Luke Grande

Music Teacher

A versatile all-around entertainer, Mr. Luke Grande has recorded four albums as a singer/songwriter and producer: Poder Pandémico, Canción Jardín, Bienvenida La Utopía (Luky), and Todo es Rosa (with his former band Los Astrolabios); and has a long career as a stage, TV and film actor in his native Venezuela and Miami. He was a cast member in some of the most successful musicals staged in Venezuela, The Producers, The Fidler on The Roof, and Jesus Christ Superstar, in which he played an unforgettable Judas. He has also studied Illustration at Institute of Design Caracas, Music at Ars Nova, Theater and Arts at Universidad Central de Venezuela. Currently, he is a Teaching Artist in NYC with Coalition for Hispanic Family Services, and Music Teacher of the Waldo School.

Ms. Magali Maneiro

Spanish Teacher

Ms. Magali has over 40 years of teaching experience. Born in Venezuela to a family of teachers, she realized at an early age that teaching was what she was destined to do. She received her degree in Education from Simon Rodriguez University in Caracas and she has also received a degree in Fine Arts and Artistic Painting at Yssy Academy. Ms. Magali believes that being a teacher goes beyond the actual act of teaching, and is about transforming students and guiding them to success. She enjoys the challenge of teaching a second language and loves to see the progress that each student makes.

Jersey City Preschool, Elementary and Middle School. Private School Infants to 8th Grade.