Meet Our Team | Instructional Support

At Kuumba Academy, we believe in the importance of recruiting, retaining, developing, and supporting great teachers and leaders who can help our students meet high standards.  Read on to meet them!

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"When you give them avenues to compose, the stuff that comes out of them is interesting and it is deep and you just think... WOW."

- Darnell Miller | Music Instructor

Angelina Peterson

Reading Specialist

apeterson@kacsde.org

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Angelina Peterson

Reading Specialist

Education: Early Childhood and Elementary Education Degree- BS-  from Lincoln University Reading Literacy Education- M.Ed - Cambridge College
Experience: 18 years in Education; worked as a Kindergarten teacher, 1st grade, 3rd, 4th grade, Reading Specialist, Literacy Coach and an Adjunct Professor at Harcum College.
Fun Fact: Likes to travel
Hunter Kleiner

Special Education/Co-Teacher 4th Grade

hkleiner@kacsde.org

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Hunter Kleiner

Special Education/Co-Teacher 4th Grade

Education: Hood College B.A. 2017 - Elementary 1- 6 /Special Ed K - 8 / Mathematic Minor/Endorsement (up to 9th); McDaniel College - Special Ed MS 2020
Experience: Special Education Resource Teacher : K - 5 and social/emotional/behavior support centered, Maryland - 3 years 
Fun Fact: I have a different holiday outfit for each day, the whole month of December! This includes sweaters, vests, t-shirts, skirts, and socks, and leggings and I’m sure going to be masks, this year!  :) I have jumped off a 50ft cliff into the ocean on the southernmost tip in Hawaii ( on Oahu) and I went indoor skydiving!
Briana Chudley

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Special Education

bchudley@kacsde.org

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Briana Chudley

Kindergarten and 1st Grade Special Education

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Meghan Serres

Math Support Specialist / Special ED Math 5 & 6

MSerres@kacsde.org

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Meghan Serres

Math Support Specialist / Special ED Math 5 & 6

Education: Masters from Wilmington University
Experience: I have taught at Kuumba Academy for 9 years! I taught 1st and 2nd grade for rive years and now have shifted to a math focus, providing small group math intervention and teaching 5th and 6th grade math.
Fun Fact: I love hanging out with my husband and dog Esme. I enjoy reading and trying new things like sketching.
Christopher Bradwell

Special Education Teacher 7th & 8th Grade

cbradwell@kacsde.org

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Christopher Bradwell

Special Education Teacher 7th & 8th Grade

Education: Wilmington University Masters Candidate for  Special Education; K-12 Elementary K-6 ARTC PRogram  
Experience: 2018- 2020 present paraprofessional for Red Clay Consolidated School district. Substitute teacher 2016-2017 Eastside Charter school. I have worked for the Boys and Girls club school site  from 2018-2020.
Fun Fact: I love watching movies and playing sports. I am from Philadelphia. 
Chelsea Slusher

Reading Intervention/Coach

cslusher@kacsde.org

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Chelsea Slusher

Reading Intervention/Coach

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Kimberly Heeman

Special Education Coordinator

KHeeman@kacsde.org

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Kimberly Heeman

Special Education Coordinator

Education: Bachelors Degree in Education from Molloy College Masters Degree in Special Education from C. W. Post Long Island University
Experience: Mrs. Heeman has spent twelve years teaching. She has taught in NYC, Maryland, and Delaware. She has taught everything from preschool to eighth grade, and mostly worked with the special education population in each position. This is her 4th year working as a special education coordinator for Kuumba.
Fun Fact: Outside of working with students and families, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family, including her two boys and her two dogs.
Danielle Crofton

Special Education- 2nd Grade

dsamra@kacsde.org

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Danielle Crofton

Special Education- 2nd Grade

Education: Graduated from University of Delaware 2009; earned Masters degree from Wilmington University in 2014.
Experience: Ms. Crofton has been working at Kuumba for 10 years. She was formerly Ms. Samra, and has worked with grades 2, 3, 4, and 5. This year she will be working as 2nd grade math special education teacher and math interventionist for K-5.
Fun Fact: Ms. Crofton loves to travel! She recently got married this summer and went to Hawaii for her honeymoon.
Bonita Turner

Special Education - 3rd Grade

bturner@kacsde.org

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Bonita Turner

Special Education - 3rd Grade

Education: BA in Political Sciences Cheyney University; MA In Curriculum and Instruction/Educational Leadership Delaware State University; Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership Wilmington University
Experience: 13 years teaching students with mild to severe disabilities also instructional coach experience in the Delaware Elementary Public School System.
Fun Fact: I am learning to play the acoustic guitar after playing the violin for many years.
Eula Hooten

Special Education - 3rd Grade

EHooten@kacsde.org

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Eula Hooten

Special Education - 3rd Grade

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Chelsea Coutts

Special Education - 8th Grade

ccoutts@kacsde.org

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Chelsea Coutts

Special Education - 8th Grade

Education: Bachelors degree in History and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently pursuing a Master's degree from Relay Graduate School of Education.
Experience: I previously served as a Team Leader with AmeriCorps's Jumpstart program teaching language, literacy and social-emotional skills to preschoolers in Pittsburgh. As a Teaching Fellow with Breakthrough Pittsburgh, I instructed 7th and 10th grade literature and writing courses.
Fun Fact: I love history and I know every word to every song from "Hamilton"!
Diamond Lee

Nia Academy

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Diamond Lee

Nia Academy

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Nicole Branche

Nia Academy

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Nicole Branche

Nia Academy

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Pamela Barbo

Special Education - 5th & 6th Grade ELA

PBarbo@kacsde.org

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Pamela Barbo

Special Education - 5th & 6th Grade ELA

Education: Graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelors then continued onto Wilkes for her Masters degree in Elementary Reading
Experience: Mrs. Barbo has taught multiple grade levels from K up to 6th grade. She has taught in a variety of school in Philadelphia, Chester , Upper DArby and Appoquinimink
Fun Fact: Mrs. Barbo has been married for 12 years with 2 children, ages 6 and 8. This summer her family welcomed twop new pets! A guinea pig named Marshmallow and a bearded dragon named Godzilla.
Terrone Warren

Middle School Math Support

twarren@kacsde.org

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Terrone Warren

Middle School Math Support

Education: Mr. Terrone V. Warren is a long time resident of the city of Wilmington. Graduating from Glasgow High School and Delaware State University. 
Experience: Mr. Warren is the owner of Black Visionary Designs (BVD) Barber Salon located downtown Wilmington, Delaware serving the tri-state area. Mr. Warren is very involved in our community sponsoring for the past nine years the annual "coat and jacket" giveaway, "shoe and sneaker" giveaway, "Unity Community Day" and holiday turkey drives. Terrone has a passion for working with and supporting our youth by tutoring not only in math, but whatever subjects they may need assistance with. Keeping our community children busy and focused Terrone has formed a "Chess on the Square" which has resulted in positive energy with many neighborhood children.
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Salimata Linguer

Drama Teacher

slinguer@kacsde.org

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Salimata Linguer

Drama Teacher

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Stacey Harcum

Music and Band Instructor

sharcum@kacsde.org

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Stacey Harcum

Music and Band Instructor

Education: BA in General Music and Instrumental Performance at Eastern University
Experience: I’ve taught music performance and education in the Philadelphia and Delaware Charter,Cultural Arts communities and private instruction for over 20 years. I’ve been a professional recording and touring musician for over 40 years, and have established my own online and mobile music school for 7 years. 
Fun Fact: I’ve traveled  to Africa four times
Darnell Miller

Music Instructor

dmiller@kacsde.org

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Darnell Miller

Music Instructor

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Noelle Picara

Arts Integrations Specialist/Music Theatr

npicara@kacsde.org

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Noelle Picara

Arts Integrations Specialist/Music Theatr

Education: M.Ed, MFA Naropa University
Experience: 10 years as a choir, ELA, and musical theater teacher in public and private schools in Delaware and Ramstein, Germany. 16 years teaching dance, music, and theater in after school programs.
Fun Fact: Ms. Picara is working on becoming fluent in Spanish and loves learning salsa, African, and hip hop dances. She has played the piano since 1984 and performs as a singer-songwriter. Ms. Picara often travels solo and in the last year has visited Colombia, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
Christopher Caldwell

Physical Education Teacher

ccaldwell@kacsde.org

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Christopher Caldwell

Physical Education Teacher

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Derick White

POD Guide

dwhite@kacsde.org

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Derick White

POD Guide

Education: EDUCATION
Experience: EXPERIENCE
Fun Fact: FUN-FACT
Matthew Backer

Physical Education Teacher

mbacker@kacsde.org

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Matthew Backer

Physical Education Teacher

Education: Graduated from Wesley College
Experience: Delaware College Preparatory Academy, EastSide Charter, Kuumba Academy Health and PE Teacher
Fun Fact: Loves camping and Hiking
Ariel Harper

Spanish Teacher

AHarper@kacsde.org

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Ariel Harper

Spanish Teacher

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Kiara Richards

Hip Hop Teacher

KRichardson@kacsde.org

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Kiara Richards

Hip Hop Teacher

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Nikia Jackson

Dance Teacher

njackson@kacsde.org

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Nikia Jackson

Dance Teacher

Education: Received Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Howard University
Experience: Has choreographed and taught various style of dance throughout the tri-state. Has 12 years of experience working in the Mental/Behavioral Health Field.
Fun Fact: Loves to travel! She is also a writer and actress.