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Ms. Melissa

Hello. My name is Ms. Melissa. It is my pleasure to teach the wonderful four year olds enrolled in Smart Stars Academy II. I have been here since the beginning in 2020. Educating young children has been my life since 2005. Nothing is more gratifying than looking forward to walking into my class every morning and greeting the happy faces of students in my care. When I’m not at school, I enjoy being with my family, especially my niece and nephews. I can’t get enough of them. I love coffee, going to the movies, and hanging out with my husband and friends. I am a 2005 graduate of Jackson Memorial High School and a 2011 graduate of Georgian Court University. There I double majored in history and communications. While enrolled at GCU, I continued working with young children at Kinder University of Jackson until my transfer to Kindercare, Robbinsville. Post graduation, I taught at Marlboro Prep Academy, Morganville and briefly at Steps 2 Success and Genius Kids Academy. Happily I find myself enjoying everyday as Smart Stars Academy II. Pre-K teacher.

Viktoriia Liashenko

Good day to all, my name is Ms. Viktoriia and I am thrilled to be part of the Smart Stars Academy family. I have been working with young children for over 35 years, since I graduated from a Pedagogical Institute. I take pride in having such an impact in the lives of young children and helping to mold them into wonderful little individuals. For many people, work and hobbies are two different things, but for me, my work is my favorite and most enjoyable activity in life. Children are the purest and most sincere part of humanity, I ensure that my students find a friend in me. I believe the relationship between a teacher and her students should be equal, fair, and always truthful. I strive to ensure that each child is happy to come to school in the morning and happily returns to their parents in the evening. I try to share my knowledge and skills with each child in my classroom, along with a nurturing environment. Our classroom is rich with resources, such as toys, textbooks, games, and various developmental components. I enjoy gardening and our classroom takes part in helping to grow the garden we have here, at Smart Stars Academy. I look forward to getting to know each student, their families, and having a productive school year ahead.

Tatyana Sennikova

Hello dear parents! Let me introduce myself. My name is Tatyana Sennikova. I was born on March 2, 1979 in Belarus in the city of Gomel. I grew up, lived, studied and worked in this city before coming to the United States of America. There are a lot of teachers in my family, so the choice of my profession was made in childhood. After graduating from school in 1996, I entered the Gomel State University and after graduating in 2001, I started working as a teacher of Russian language and literature. The total work experience in Belarus is 12 years. The last 7 years in the position of Deputy Director for educational work. In the United States, I continue to work as a teacher. From 2018 to June 2022, I worked as a kindergarten teacher in Brooklyn, New York. My motto in my life and in my work is: ``Learning is the way to succeed``. This is what I try to teach my child and my children with whom I work. After all, we are constantly learning. In working with young children, this is not an easy way from words to deeds. This academic year, we will definitely try and achieve our small, but so important successes for every parent!

Patricia Wilbur

My name is Patricia Wilbur and this is my fourth year teaching at Smart Stars Academy II.
I am from New Jersey and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Media Arts from New Jersey City University with a minor in Communication Design and Technique. After many years working in the Television and Film industry, a pivotal moment arrived when I welcomed my son into the world. It was then that I discovered the Montessori approach and felt a profound connection. With eighteen years of experience working in the Montessori Method, I am excited to combine its philosophy with the traditional methods here at our school. I am committed to creating a safe, engaging environment that inspires confidence and independence for your child’s unique potential and success. Outside of Smart Stars Academy II, you can find me enjoying time with my family, exploring the great outdoors with our dog, Rusty, reading a good book, and cooking a new dish!

Oleksandra Serhiivna Volkova

Hi parents, I am Oleksandra Serhiivna Volkova. I was born on September 19, 1977 in Ukraine and lived in Kyiv. I moved to the USA in May 2022. I received my higher education and graduated from Volyn State University with a major in teaching. I am married and have 4 children. On my spare time I like to travel and to visit new, interesting places.
I absolutely adore children and love teaching. I find that the little ones hold a special place in my heart, because they are so sweet and there's so many teaching possibilities with them. They are like little sponges who take everything in and the most rewarding part is when they begin to display the things they've learned.
I can't wait to get to know my students, their families, and explore all the wonderful new aspects of our curriculum with them.

Rita Federenko

Hello, my name is Ms. Rita. I have been working with Smart Stars Academy since it opened in 2020. I hold a pedagogical education degree, have extensive experience with children, and offer Russian language lessons. A large part of my approach to teaching is visual methods and didactic games. The assimilation of new material occurs in the process of active actions such as, various games, drawing, designing, and modeling. I do my best to cultivate the ability to listen and hear, look and see what is shown, in every one of my students. I know how to combine demandingness and kindness, while finding a common language with children in different situations. I try to approach each child as the individual that they are. I believe that the main aspect in the work of a teacher is love for children, the desire to make them happy, to instill love for everything around them. Some of my personal characteristics which I pride myself on are organizational skills, attentiveness, accuracy, punctuality, decency, and the ability to quickly make decisions in non-standard situations. Being a teacher, to me, means seeing the uniqueness of each child. I am truly excited to work with you, your children, and have an amazing school year ahead!


Ms Luda

Hi, My name is Ms Luda and I am the PreK teacher assistant in Smart Stars Academy. I have many years of childcare experience. I love working with children and look forward to an amazing school year ahead. My grandaughter and gradnson are also students here and the family environment here along with the academics is what truly stands out. I enjoy helping my husband with his restaurant on the weekends, exercising, and am a big fan of promoting healthy lifestyles-which I teach to my students. I also love to travel and spend time with my family. I hope to make a wonderful and positive impact on your children as their teacher, but also their friend.

Oksana Futorska

Hi everyone, my name is Oksana Futorska and I am a teacher asssitant here at Smart Stars Academy. I have been working with children for over 30 years, by education and vocation I am a teacher. I absolutely love my job and look forward to seeing my students every day. It is a pleasure to get to know each boy and girl, as well as their families. I am also a grandmother, so I approach each child as I would my own grandchildren. I believe education and a nurturing environment go hand in hand, especially at such a young age, and that is what I strive to exhibit while working with my students.

Mikayla Dvorin

Hi my name is Mikayla Dvorin. I am a Junior at Marlboro High School and play Lacrosse for the school team. In my free time I volunteer at Friendship Circle and baby sit. I’m currently in the process of becoming a volunteer in the Marlboro first aid cadet program. I have been working at Beacon for the past two years and really enjoy working with younger kids of all ages. When I am older I plan to get my pediatric doctorate nurse practitioner of anesthesia degree. It has been a pleasure working with all your kids and I can’t wait to make more memories with them!

Irina Santapaola

Hi all! My name is Irina Santapaola. I am from Kuressaare, Estonia. I have three children, two boys and a girl. As a child I went to an art school for four years. I like to draw, paint, and challenge myself with creative projects. Gardening is another hobby of mine. I have been at Smart Stars Academy II & Beacon Preparatory Academy for three years and truly enjoy working with kids. I incorporate my hobbies with the students here and together we have built a wonderful garden in the back. The children assist in taking care of it, picking the veggies, and our chef gets to use them as ingredients in the meals she serves. I strongly believe in nurturing our children whether they are 2 years old or 10 years old, it is just as important for their development. I am excited to see what the new school year has in store for us!

Nataliya Stepanivna Povoroznyk

Dear parents of Smart Stars Academy II, I am Nataliya Stepanivna Povoroznyk and am a teacher's assistant. I was born on June 5, 1962 in Ukraine, where I completed my higher education and majored in teaching.
I have worked as a teacher for 37 years, 15 of which were in kindergarten and 22 in the elementary school grades.
A little bit about myself, I am married with 2 children, and now have 4 grandchildren.
Teaching has always been my passion and I love working with children of all ages. I come to the classroom daily and am beyond thrilled to see all the little faces ready to learn. I devote my day to ensuring each student is cared for, happy, and safe. I believe this school year will be filled with fun, learning, and making memories- which I am so happy to be a part of!

Michelle Kozoubei

Hello everyone! My name is Michelle Kozoubei. I am currently a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and will be graduating very soon. I am majoring in forensic psychology and minoring in criminology. I have been working at Beacon Preparatory & Smart Stars Academy II for over three years now and enjoy working with children of all ages! I have been here from the very beginning, and it has been such a pleasure getting to watch everyone grow into such kind and creative students. In my free time, I enjoy putting my artistic capabilities to use through painting. I also like playing tennis! Most importantly, I love to spend time with my family and find so much joy in getting to travel with them. I truly love working at this school and have definitely created long lasting friendships with all of the wonderful staff.

Iryna Parakhnevich

Hi everyone. My name is Iryna Parakhnevich. I was born in the City of Gomel and graduated from the Belarusian State University, from which I hold a masters degree as a customs declarant. I also have my own children, so I always do my best to build positive relationships with the children in my classroom. It gives me great pleasure to take care of children and teach them something new.

Ms. Oksana Kavka

Hi everyone. My name is Ms. Oksana. I was born in the city of Ternopil, Ukraine. I graduated from the Financial and Economic Institute back home. I have always loved working with children and have found my place here at Smart Stars Academy. I value each small child as the individual that they are. I look forward to providing a caring and nurturing environment to each child. I enjoy helping them develop their skills and working along side the teacher in the classroom. I have been with Smart Stars Academy for a few years, I plan to remain part of this wonderful team for a long time to come, and can't wait to see what this new school year has in store!

Extracurricular Teachers

Irina Ardashnikova - Russian Language Teacher

Hi. My name is Irina Ardashnikova and I have been a teacher since 1990. I find this work to be the most rewarding. Since graduating with a Master’s Degree from Gomel State University in Russian Language Arts and Literature, I have surrounded myself with young and enquiring minds. I taught in both public and private settings and have been with Beacon Preparatory Academy and Smart Stars Academy II, from the very beginning. I believe that teaching is assisting discovery and I will work with every child to help them discover and unlock their potential. I look forward to getting to know each child and family, year after year.

Iryna Pidlypna - Music Teacher & Theater Instructor

Hi, my name is Iryna Pidlypna, but the children know me as Ms. Irchyk. As of an early age I attended a children's music studio for the class of piano. The competition ``Chervona Ruta-91`` of super-hits, ``Ukrainian Lambada`` and other hits had made me, at that time, as the No1 pop singer in Ukraine. In 1991 I released an album and in 1996 one of the songs became the laureate of the music program ``The Hit of the year``. A year later I debuted as a dramatic actress-in the theater, Zankovetska, and played Marichka in the operetta ``Sharika`` and Ophelia in the tragedy of Shakespeare's ``Hamlet``. In 1997 together with the theater ,M Zankovetska, I toured the U.S., performed at festivals ``Soyuzivka`` and ``Verkhovyna`` (USA).
In 1998 I graduated from Lviv Higher musical Institute Lysenko, speciality - actress of theater and cinema, and Lviv State University. I. Franko, Ukrainian philology.
Needless to say that I absolutely love anything and everything related to arts, whether it be music or theater. I believe arts allows us to express ourselves in ways that are not of the ``typical`` form. Being able to give this experience and opportunity to young children brings me joy, and every new student whom I get to work with is a new adventure. It is so rewarding to see my students gain knowledge, develop an appreciation for the arts, and most of all- when the students find their passion and/or talent through my classes.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and I look forward to getting to know you and your child.

Yuliya Savelyeva - Science and Logic Instructor

Hi, my name is Yuliya Savelyeva and I am so happy to be a part of Beacon Preparatory Academy & Smart Stars Academy II. I hold a Master's degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow Aviation Institute. I have also been tutoring and working with children of different ages for over 20 years. I have been with BPA & SSAII since 2020 and look forward to remaining a part of this school for many years to come. I am lucky enough to teach the logic class, Fun Science class, and so much more. I also am the Summer Camp, Spring Camp, Winter Camp, and After School lead teacher. This allows room for plenty of creativity and so many fun opportunities with the students. I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us!


Anna Dobrenko - Chef

Hi everyone. My name is Anna Dobrenko and I was born on 07/22/1988 in Ukraine, Chernivtsi. I graduated from Kiev National University in 2010 with a Master's Degree in International Economics. Currently, I work as a chef at Beacon Preparatory Academy & Smart Stars Academy II. I have always had a passion for cooking and enjoy it very much. I am married with two children, my son Nikita who is 8 years old and my daughter Katerina who is 6 years old. I strive to always prepare nutritious and tasty meals for my family just as much as I do for your children. I also really enjoy working with children and getting to know their families. Bon appetite 😉

Oleg Godin - Bus Driver

Good day all! My name is Oleg Godin and I am the bus driver for Beacon Prep and Smart Stars Academy II. I have had many professions in my life, but I find that working with you and your children is what makes me the happiest. I love seeing the smiling faces every morning and being the one to greet them. I am a professional bus driver and my main focus is ensuring safety for all the students that enter my bus. I look forward to taking the children on fun trips throughout the school year, being part of the summer camp, and getting to know all of you!

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