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About » Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

We take great pride in attracting, developing and retaining the best staff possible to enable us to achieve our collective vision. Our staff are uniquely qualified and highly trained. They represent over 20 countries making it one of the most culturally stimulating and enriching environments for our students, parents and staff.


We support our staff with the following opportunities for development:

  • On the job training and teacher mentorship
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Visits to other schools
  • Support for continuing education
  • Teaching clubs and exploring outside areas of interest
  • Summer fellowships
  • Collaboration with universities


64% of staff have advanced degrees

63% of staff were born outside the U.S.

28% of staff are also parents in our school

30% of staff have been with us 5+ years



Educational Leadership


Irene Gallardo, Assistant Director at HudsonWay Immersion School

Irene Gallardo – Assistant Director


Irene is in her 6th year of education administration at HWIS. Prior to HWIS, she was a mentor teacher at Hoboken’s Dual Language Charter School where she developed curriculum, trained and coached teachers in best dual language immersion practices and administered and analyzed assessments. Irene holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University. She is NJDOE certified in Educational Administration. Irene holds a BA in Psychology and two teaching certifications in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from New Jersey City University.



Sherry Ma, master teacher & Mandarin curriculum coordinator at HudsonWay Immersion School

Sherry Ma – Master Teacher/Mandarin curriculum coordinator


Sherry has been at HWIS for 5 years, having taught after school, elementary prior to becoming master teacher overseeing the NY program and the Mandarin curriculum. Prior to HWIS, Sherry taught at the Brooklyn Technical High School and The Dalton School. Sherry graduated from New York University with a Master’s Degree in Foreign Language Teacher Education and holds a BA in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from Tianjin Normal University in Tianjin, China.


Portrait of Patti Summers Director of Early Childhood Education at HudsonWay Immersion School

Patti Wollman Summers – Director Early Childhood Education – NY campus/teacher


Patti Wollman Summers has been an early childhood educator in Manhattan for over thirty years. In addition to her extensive teaching experience, Patti was the founding director of two private preschools in NYC. Her Masters degree in Early Childhood is from Bank Street College, where she recently worked to help the Dept. of Education in New York City devise a curriculum for the Pre-School For All program for Pre-K. Patti is the author of three books: Behind the Playdough Curtain , I’m Afraid of the Vampire State Building and most recently Toddlers on Technology. Patti and her husband Robert live in New York City. Together they are the proud parents of six children and five grandchildren who range in age from 15 to 3-year-old twins.


Lucy Hao, preschool master teacher for HudsonWay Immersion School's Midtown West campus

Lucy Hao - Preschool Master Teacher – Midtown West campus


Originally from Beijing, Lucy graduated from the Beijing Language and Culture University, majoring in English language and literature. She has a Master’s Degree from Seton Hall University in New Jersey in Asian Studies, and received her second MA in Early Childhood and Special Education along with NY state certification in 2018. Lucy has taught at HWIS for over 10 years.

Each year, teachers across both campuses come together for our 2-week Summer Institute to reflect on and share best teaching practices, as well as to learn from leading consultants on various topics, and collaborate on unit planning for the year ahead.
This year we invited Dr. Ellen Connors, a certified social emotional learning practitioner and coach, to provide a workshop for our faculty and staff on the latest ideas on supporting students social emotionally.
And at the conclusion of this year's Summer Institute, we recognized teachers and staff with 5 and 10 year anniversaries with HWIS.