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What I Do

Kenneth McLaughlin

Kenneth McLaughlin, Attendance teacher

Attendance teachers ensure that students and their families have the support they need so students attend school every day or participate using technology during this remote-learning period.

LaWanda Riddick

LaWanda Riddick, Home instruction teacher

LaWanda Riddick provides science instruction — and a listening ear — to junior high and high school students in Brooklyn who qualify for home instruction for medical reasons.

Zully Brons-Baily

Zully Brons-Bailey, School nurse

For nearly two decades, Zully Brons-Bailey worked simultaneously as a school nurse and a hospital nurse in the Bronx. Now serving 640 students in grades pre-K through 8 at the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action in the Bronx, she tackles everything from routine care to medical crises.

Diana Gorda listing image

What I do: Diana Gorda, Lab specialist

Diana Gorda is a lab specialist at James Madison HS in Brooklyn, where she works to make sure that science teachers and the school’s 4,000 students have everything they need to perform safe and engaging laboratory experiments.

Leandra Bates

What I do: Leandra Bates, Administrative education analyst

Leandra Bates, an administrative education analyst in the Department of Education’s central Bronx office, serves as the human resources director for 34 elementary schools in the Bronx. 

Christina Gavin

What I do: Christina Gavin, School librarian

Christina Gavin is the librarian at the Herbert H. Lehman HS Campus in the Bronx, where she serves 3,200 students and more than 300 staff members in the seven schools that share the building.

Desiree Mark

What I do: Desiree Mark, teacher’s aide, ADAPT

Desiree Mark has worked for nearly 30 years at the Lawrence Avenue school of ADAPT Community Network, formerly United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, working with children whose medical, cognitive, emotional and/or physical needs require a more restrictive setting than a public school. Since 2003, the UFT has represented ADAPT employees, who now number more than 900 at schools and residences citywide.

Melissa Toribio

What I Do: Melissa Toribio, speech therapist

Melissa Toribio, a bilingual speech language therapist at PS 531, PS 536 and PS 691 in the Bronx, works to ensure that all her students are able to express themselves and understand others in the classroom and in their daily lives.

Kathy Zeltmann

What I do: Kathy Zeltmann, occupational therapist

Kathy Zeltmann works at PS 71 and Grover Cleveland HS, both in Ridgewood, Queens, helping students to discover the skills they have and develop them so they have the best possible chance to learn and to achieve their best possible life.

Janet Caba

What I do: Janet Caba, college counselor

Janet Caba is a college counselor at West Bronx Academy for the Future, a small Grade 6–12 school where each year she helps the graduating class of about 50 students make decisions about their higher education.