Principal news


SCHOOL YEAR 2016-2017


Principal Welcome September 2016 from Moniquepaniagua on Vimeo.

September 2, 2016                                                                        
Dear P.S. 101Q Families,

           This summer, my husband surprised me with the wonderful gift of seeing my favorite musical, Fiddler on the Roof.  The first time I ever saw this endearing musical was in an old barn in Vermont sitting in old movie chairs with the dirt floor beneath my feet.  I have been enthralled with the musical ever since.  I have it on my smartphone, on my iPad and in my iTunes movies.  I have the original album by John Williams and on my long drive to Vermont this year; I played it as loudly as my husband could take it, as we sang, “If I were a Rich Man” and “Do You Love Me”.  I think what I love most about this musical is the idea that we are all fiddlers on the roof; playing beautiful music with our lives while trying to hold our balance.  

           As you enjoyed your summer, I hope you played beautiful music with your lives as you held your balance. Whether you played the music of the waves while you were at the beach, or the music of crickets during your summer nights, I hope you held your balance of reading every day and growing beautiful minds.  As you know we launch our school year with an amazing reading fair. Students will create a trifold of the best book they read this summer and have an opportunity to share it with classmates.  Parents will be able to meander through the museum of tri-folds that students create showcasing their summer reading.  All of the information is on our website  

           We are a REWARD school for the 2016-2017 school-year.  We also ended last year being rated “WELL DEVELOPED” on our Quality Review in every category.  For performance, 68% of students scored on or above grade level on the 2016 NYS ELA and 74% on the 2016 NYS Math, well above the city average for ELA at 38% and Math at 36.4%.  Our students also scored well above the state average of 37.9% for ELA and 39.1% for Math.  Overall, there was a 5% increase of students that scored on or above grade level on the ELA and a 4% decrease of students that scored on or above grade level in math.  For progress, our school did exceptionally well.  We have already begun analyzing our testing data thoroughly and will continue to adjust curricula plans to suit our school needs.  In addition, the New York City School Survey 2015-2016 results are above the city average for positive responses in every category; Rigorous Instruction, 93%; Supportive Environment, 88%; Collaborative Teachers, 88%; Effective School Leadership, 95%; Strong Family-Community Ties, 95% and Trust, 91% (to view full report see

We were awarded $450,000 for auditorium renovations by our Dear Councilmember Karen Kolslowitz.  Renovations began this summer and will continue for part of the school year.  As a result, all activities that took place in the auditorium will be in our beautiful gymnasium.  I want to once again thank the PA for purchasing and renting folding chairs to help us during the renovations.  Please be aware that the nurses’ office has been moved to room 260 (ext. 152) on the second floor. The PA offices have also been moved to a room above the gymnasium.  

Primary elections will be held at our school on September 13th.  The PA and the school collaborated over the summer to ensure that our students are safe on that day. Two additional DOE staff members have been hired for the day for security and will be stationed at the doors that enter our school from the gymnasium.  There will also be a police officer in the gymnasium and our regular DOE security agent will be present.  

School begins on September 8th at 8:00am.  Weather permitting, we will be lining up in the school yard.  Kindergarten will enter through the gym and Pre-K comes in through the Rotunda. In case of rain, doors will open at 7:55am and grades 1-6 will enter the building through the school yard entrances.  In the case of rain, the students will not need to line up.  They can just enter through the school yard entrances and staff members will be stationed throughout the building to direct them to their classes once they are in the building.  Just a friendly reminder; the school policy is that students remain in their assigned classes for three weeks.  If there is a legitimate reason for a class change, please make an appointment with one of the assistant principals at that time.

           I would like to take this time to welcome 8 new teachers to our community.  The number of classes at P.S. 101 has increased, we had a few retirees and a few teachers on a one year leave for study or child care.  We interviewed over 50 candidates and chose these 8 teachers for our students.  Or should I say, they chose us.  They have traveled the world, taught in other schools, one was even a literacy coach in a well-respected Teachers College school in Manhattan (see bios attached).  They have already participated in the New Teacher Institute at our school over the summer that introduced them to our curriculum.  The New Teacher Institute will continue throughout the year for them.  I am excited for you to meet them.  Please welcome them into our community.  

           We are excited to continue growing beautiful minds at P.S. 101Q; minds that understand how to be the fiddler on the roof who creates music with their lives without losing their balance.  

Ms. Paniagua, Principal, P.S. 101Q

PS 101 New Teacher Bios 2016-2017

Matthew Puma
Hello my name is Mr. Puma,

I am really excited to be joining PS 101 and being a vital part of the community.  I will be teaching fifth grade this year with Mrs. Cekic. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in business management and then went on to Adelphi University to receive my masters degree in elementary education. I worked at a few schools before joining PS 101.  I have worked at Marion Street School, Hagedorn Little Village School, and most recently JIQ School in Elmhurst.  My passions in life are sports and history!  I live and breathe the Mets, Giants, and Islanders.  When I find time I still love to play hockey, softball, football, and volleyball. This year you can expect your child to work hard and be pushed to be their best not only academically but as an individual.  Your child will have the opportunity to explore, investigate, and examine a multitude of issues and topics. These topics and issues will broaden their vision and scope in the real world.  I truly look forward to meeting you and your child this year!

Brittany Sekesan
Hello my name is Ms. Sekesan,
 I am looking forward to joining the 101 community.  I will be teaching 2nd grade this year.  I received my undergraduate degree from Wagner College and my graduate degree at Queens College.   At one of my former schools, Notre Dame Elementary School, I started a Drama Club where we put on three Broadway style shows. Musical theater runs through my veins. I also love traveling, my family, dogs, running, and anything Disney! This year I am combining two of my loves and running the Walt Disney World Marathon! Just a tidbit about me: I was a Walt Disney World Disney Cast Member for 6 years and my husband and I were married there in April of 2015 (I guess you could say I really love Disney). This year, you can expect to find me smiling all the time, laughing, singing and dancing around the classroom, working extremely hard, and taking very good care of your children. I look forward to my new adventure here at P.S. 101!  
Gina Manetta
Hello my name is Ms. Gina Manetta,

I am so excited and looking forward to joining the 101 community!  I will be teaching 1st grade in class 104 alongside Ms. Kushner.  I am a graduate of Dowling College where I obtained both my BA in Childhood Education and my MS in Literacy.  I have worked at St. Peter’s in Port Washington as well as Challenge Preparatory Charter School in Far Rockaway.  I like music of all different genres, I love to bake, I enjoy travelling and I absolutely love to read!  You can expect learning in my classroom to be engaging and fun. I will encourage your children to work as a team and support each other by being kind, respectful and helpful.  I look forward to meeting you and your wonderful children!
Kara Shelley
Hello my name is Ms. Shelley,

I am looking forward to joining the 101 community. I am so excited to be teaching third grade this year. I am a graduate of Adelphi University. I attended the reading and writing workshops at Columbia University. I worked in the Roslyn and Long Beach School Districts. I love reading, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. You can expect that your child will be excited to learn each and every day. I look forward to a wonderful school year!
Jennifer Mc Cord
Hello!  My name is Mrs. McCord and I am very excited to be joining the P.S. 101 community this year as a second grade teacher.   

As a veteran teacher, from the moment I entered the school, I felt a strong sense of community and collaboration – the perfect foundation for a great school.    I am originally from Michigan, but moved here many years ago and received a Bachelor’s degree from City College in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Literacy Education from Hunter College.  I wanted to become a teacher because I was inspired by the amazing teachers I had growing up and realized that the elementary school years are the most critical in a child’s life.  I worked at P.S 84 on the upper west side of Manhattan as a first and second grade teacher as well as a literacy coach, supporting teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade with planning and implementing Teachers College Reading and Writing units of study as well as other components of Balanced Literacy.  I couldn’t be more excited to be teaching second grade, which is a time for students to grow, build new friendships, and develop a love of learning.  I look forward to working with you and your child to make this a special year.   In my spare time, I love spending time with my family hiking, biking, and camping.  

Gina Moscatelli
Hello, my name is Ms. Moscatelli.

I am looking forward to joining the P.S. 101 community! I am excited to be teaching kindergarten! I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in General Education and Special Education from St. Joseph’s College. I received my Master’s Degree from Touro College in Teaching Literacy. I have teaching experience on Long Island in the East Meadow School District and in the Syosset School District. I was also able to fulfill my love for sports by coaching volleyball and softball. Outside the classroom, I enjoy traveling and spending time with friends and family. You can expect a year full of learning and new adventures! I am looking forward to a wonderful school year!
Jessica Kaminsky
Hello my name is Ms. Kaminsky,

I am looking forward to joining the 101 community. I will be teaching Kindergarten this year. I am a graduate of Adelphi University. I worked at Mineola Public Schools and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Catholic Academy. I love to be outside, either at the beach or taking a hike. When the weather gets cold, you may not be able to find me at the beach, but I will be skiing on the slopes. I like to spend time with my dogs, chasing them around at the park or curled up with them on the couch reading a good book. You can expect your child to be welcomed each day into a safe and warm environment. Your child will embark on a yearlong adventure filled with new learning experiences and opportunities to grow and make new friends. I look forward to kicking off the 2016-2017 school year and starting this year’s adventure!
Taylor Drozenski
Hello! My name is Ms. Drozenski (Ms. D) and I will be teaching 2nd grade.

I am looking forward to joining the 101 community this year. I am a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I worked for Mountain Brook City Schools in Birmingham, Alabama and then found my way back to NYC where I taught in Harlem. I
love spending quality time with my family & friends, reading, and learning how to cook. This year I hope to create a learning environment that allows my students to thrive and succeed. I am
looking forward to a wonderful year!


SCHOOL YEAR 2015-2016

As we address the Framework for Great Schools and monitor our student progress for Rigorous Instruction, I am happy to announce that we have a 15% increase of students scoring on or above grade level for writing, a 3% increase for reading and a 19% for mathematics. I want to congratulate all our students and teachers. As for Strong Family Ties, please take a look at our monthly parent guides created by our teachers to support parents as they help their children academically with the upcoming units of study.

There are all located by grade on the links below:

Pre-K l Kindergarten l 1st Grade l 2nd Grade l 3rd Grade l 4th Grade l 5th Grade l 6th Grade



PS 101Q participated in the first Annual College Day.

We displayed College paraphernalia on our Bulletin Boards from our teachers and parents. Teachers discussed their college experiences with their students.

Click here to see pictures of the events


Our teachers are continuing with Teachers College Professional Development.

Small group work is one of the most important parts of our reading and writing workshops. It is in small groups that we can touch base with students, supporting them in the ways they most need and targeting our instruction so that it is exactly aligned to each individual member of the group. Small-group work and conferring allow us to make our teaching responsive.


We are continuing our Positive Action program with our Positive Action Leaders.

We want to congratulate our Positive Action Leaders/ Student Council.

The Positive Action program works by teaching and reinforcing the intuitive philosophy that you feel good about yourself when you do positive actions.

Positive Action


Please check below for a link to the Grade Newsletters and Parent Guides:

Pre-K l Kindergarten l 1st Grade l 2nd Grade l 3rd Grade l 4th Grade l 5th Grade l 6th Grade


We welcome our new Parent Coordinator, Marisol Barreto to our PS 101 family.

Parents participated in a fun workshop, “Healthy Cooking for the New Year”. We look forward to many more workshops.


Ms. Paniagua

PS101Q Principal.