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Humane Education Committee Board

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Gail Frydkowski

High School for Health Professions and Human Service, Manhattan

Gail Frydkowski has been a high school special education teacher since 2005. As an educator, she has used humane materials to help students prepare for New York State English Regents exams and for college research work. She had students sponsor orphaned chimps with In Defense of Animals. She was previously a New York Humane Education Ambassador for Best Friends Animal Society and has held their ‘I Read to Animals’ programs in venues across the city. She has been a volunteer for Best Friends, Animal Haven and Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers, helping to carry out the Caring Kids program held weekly at Animal Haven. She has run a teen animal lovers club in her school and in 2015 she will be a certified humane education specialist through the Humane Society Academy.

Executive Board

Lisbet Chiriboga

Lisbet Chiriboga is currently the Coordinator for TeachKind, PETA’s humane-education division. Prior to this position, she was a New York City teacher for 12 years. During her time with NYCDOE, she taught students in grades K-5 and also served as an English as a Second Language Coordinator at PS 111 in the Bronx. She incorporated humane education throughout the curriculum daily as well as during afterschool clubs focused on helping animals. Additionally, she taught children at the summer camp for Catskill Animal Sanctuary in 2013. Ms. Chiriboga has conducted numerous teacher workshops on humane themes over the past 16 years. In 2008, Ms. Chiriboga was selected as Educator of the Week by the New York State Lottery and Univision. In 2014, she was a semi-finalist in NYCDOE’s Big Apple Awards. She is also one of the founders of Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART).

Carolyn Dimitriyadi

Carolyn is a District 75 Special Education Teacher in Manhattan. Understanding the interrelationship of people, animals and the planet; Carolyn began introducing Humane Education into the classroom as a way to help her students grow academically, socially and emotionally. Carolyn's class had a number of successful service learning projects with the help of Roots & Shoots, The Battery Urban Farm and Mutt-i-grees. Carolyn's class was featured at the 2014 STEME Education Showcase at NYU and had the honor of leading the peace parade at the United Nations International Day of Peace

Stephanie Itle-Clark

Ed.D., CHES Academy of Prosocial Learning

Stephanie is the President and Chief Academic Officer of the Academy of Prosocial Learning. Her work focuses on humane pedagogy and she facilitates training and development for educators across the globe. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Change in 2013 from Fielding Graduate University. Dr. Itle-Clark’s research interests includes infusion of humane education in teacher professional development, reforming the standards-based classroom to include more prosocial learning, as well as distributed learning practices. She is a Certified Humane Education Specialist and is the Board President for the Association of Professional Humane Educators and also serves on the board for the Humane Education Coalition.

Miriam Mendoza

Miriam Mendoza has been working as a New York City Department of Education Vision Teacher in Queens, NY for 19 years. As an itinerant teacher of the visually impaired, she instructs students one-on-one, often in several schools a day, in an expanded curriculum that includes orientation and mobility, use of assistive technology, independent living skills, social interaction, compensatory skills for the visually impaired, sensory efficiency and other related topics. Her students are all visually impaired or blind. She holds a Master's degree in Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Baruch College, City University of New York. She volunteers for organizations dedicated to animal welfare and rights.

Sheila Schwartz

Ed.D., Retired

Sheila was a primary school teacher for the New York City Department of Education for 30 years. She holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.

In 1984, Sheila led a successful lobbying effort resulting in the development and free dissemination of thousands of copies of the New York City Board of Education’s 1985 Humane Education Resource Guide. Sheila was one of the principal writers of that manual and also the Humane Science Project Manuals (2000) and the New York State Humane Education Resource Guide (2003).

Sheila Schwartz is the founder and former chair and co-chair of the UFT Humane Education Committee (UFT/HEC). The purpose of this group is to support educators, grades pre-kindergarten to twelve, in the process of bringing humane philosophies and materials into their classrooms. UFT/HEC has provided staff development conferences and newsletters since it’s inception in April 1989. UFT/HEC has developed two Humane Science Projects Manuals and was co-writer of a 2006 Humane Education Resource Guide in conjunction with the ASPCA and Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART). UFT/HEC also judges a variety of student big-book and essay contests and has judged humane science fair projects developed in conjunction with New York City’s annual science fair from 1990 to 2007.

Kimberly Spanjol, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LMHC

Kimberly Spanjol is a Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D), New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and Humane Educator with more than 25 years of experience working with children. Dr. Spanjol specializes in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), working with young people to develop social emotional skills using behavior modification techniques and cognitive behavioral interventions through a lens of humane education and mindfulness practices. She has served as a researcher, consultant and clinician. Her clinical work has focused on children, teens and young adults with a variety of behavioral, developmental and mental health issues as well as their families in private practice, educational and correctional settings. She earned her doctoral degree from the City University of New York Graduate School and University Center, holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from City College in New York City, and a certification in Animals and Human Health from University of Denver's Graduate School of Social Work.


Humane Education Learning Programs, Inc. (H.E.L.P.) 501(3)(c), parent organization of Youth Animal Protectors (YAP)