Board of Directors

Maria Alonso

Board President of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School

Maria Matos

Board Treasurer of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School

Scott Sheridan

Board Vice President and Secretary of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School

Nora Lewis

Board Member

Celeste Payne

Board Member

Theresa Sardella

Board Member

Daniel Primiani

Teacher Representative

Rommel Rivera

Teacher Representative

Parent Representative

Maria Alonso – Board President of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School
Dr. Maria Alonso currently serves as Board President of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School. She has been serving on the Board since 2012 and is a founding Board member of La Academia. Dr. Alonso has served in a number of committees on the Board including Marketing, Personnel and Governance. She serves as ex-officio to all Board committees currently as Board President.

Dr. Alonso is passionate about approaching education in a holistic manner, believing that teaching and learning must address and integrate the cognitive, psychological, social and emotional dimensions of a child. Dr. Alonso is also a strong advocate of teaching Mindfulness practices in schools. She believes that Mindfulness develops a strong level of awareness that can empower children to make choices now and for a lifetime from a place of peace, clarity and strength. Her mother Antonia Alonso, for whom the school is named, raised Dr. Alonso in a bilingual home. Dr. Alonso co-founded El Jardin Español, a dual language immersion school in Delaware in 2001 and has raised her four children to be bilingual, biliterate and bicultural as well. She is thrilled to know that Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School will offer the children of Delaware a similar opportunity, to acquire the gift of a second language.

Dr. Alonso is a licensed Psychologist for over twenty years and has been a consultant to schools in Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York throughout her career. She has presented at national and at local conferences on a variety of topics related to mental health and education and has been featured on CNN International and local television channels in related topics. Dr. Alonso currently lives and works at Westtown School, a Quaker day and boarding school and has a private practice in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Scott Sheridan – Board Vice President and Secretary of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School
Scott Sheridan currently serves as Board Vice President and Secretary of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School. He has been serving on the Board since 2017. In addition to his duties as Board Secretary, Scott currently serves as the interim-chair of the Personnel committee.

Scott has been passionate about bilingual education since his undergraduate studies, receiving a German Language teaching degree from Bates College in 2002. After his graduation, Scott’s first job was in Germany as an ESL instructor for TUDIAS (Technical University Dresden Institute of Advanced Studies) where he worked for two years. After moving back to the United States, Scott took a position as an ESL teacher, dorm parent, advisor and volleyball coach at a boarding school in CT. Throughout his time as a teacher, Scott was always interested in how technology could improve language learning outcomes, and as a result of these interests, Scott was given the administrative position of EdTech Manager. While serving in this role, Scott also achieved his Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from the University of Connecticut.

In 2016, Scott and his wife moved from CT to Chester County, PA, so that Scott could pursue his doctorate in Education at the University of Delaware. Scott hopes that his research interests, which include research based policy decision making and technology integration with the focus of promoting learning outcomes, will be of benefit to Academia Antonia Alonso for years to come.

Nora Lewis – Board Member
Nora Lewis is Vice Dean for Professional and Liberal Education in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. Her prior positions include Executive Director of Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies, interim director of the University’s English Language Programs, and director of an intergenerational tutoring program serving refugee and immigrant communities in Philadelphia.

Ms. Lewis has 30 years of experience in international higher education. Her responsibilities have included teaching English as a second language, program development and coordination, marketing, recruitment, student services and advising, and general administration. Her publications include journal articles and book chapters on the role of input and interaction in second language acquisition (with Teresa Pica and Lloyd Holliday); on intergenerational approaches to adult literacy and ESL programming (with Gail Weinstein-Shr); and on language planning and policy in the former Soviet republics. Her research interests focus on the role of learner production and feedback in second language acquisition.

Ms. Lewis holds a B.A. in English from the College of William and Mary and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the Mid-Atlantic region representative to the board of directors of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

Celeste Payne – Board Member
Celeste Payne has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School since September 2017.  She is also a member of the board’s Governance Committee.

Celeste is passionate about social justice.  As a member of the MCRC@ADVIS Program Advisory Committee, she has helped to plan the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Conference for nearly 1,000 attendees for The Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS).  As clerk of the National Voices Group, she has partnered with other educators and the Friends Council on Education, which is the national association for Friends schools.  Since 2014, Celeste has been a member of the Advisory Board for Teaching Tolerance, the educational division of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).  She has also presented twice at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) People of Color Conference (PoCC), a national diversity conference by and for independent school educators of color.  Celeste also founded an educator of color affinity network at her own workplace, which serves as both a support and resource group.

A professional educator, Celeste has been a high school science teacher for over twenty years.  She currently lives and works at Westtown School, a Quaker day and boarding PK-12 school in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  Her most recent science professional development has included completing NASA Space Academy for Educators at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.

Theresa Sardella – Board Member

Lolita Hay-Currie – Parent Representative

Daniel Primiani – Teacher Representative – English

Rommel Rivera – Teacher Representative – Spanish