Upper Elementary


Serving students in grades 4-5

The Upper Elementary School serves 360 children in grades 4-6 and builds on the foundational skills learned in K-3. The school focuses on providing every student with a strong academic foundation in math and language arts using integrated approaches that incorporate science, social studies and world languages.

Instructional Programs

Developing Communication Skills & Nurturing Values

  • An academic program delivered through content specialized departments to ensure that students are taught Mathematics and Language Arts by content certified teachers.
  • Strong focus on English/Language Arts skills development to ensure that students become strategic readers, writers, and oral communicators.
  • Varied opportunities for students to expand thinking skills (including metacognitive and critical-thinking skills), and to develop the necessary habits of mind, motivation to learn and independence as a learner.
  • Structured opportunities for students to develop life skills such as articulating a vision, decision making, building self-confidence and self-discipline, and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish.
  • A commitment to nurturing important values, including team-building skills, respecting alternative viewpoints, and appreciating and being aware of different cultures and traditions.

Principal's Message

Welcome to the Upper Elementary School

My name is Lisely Mendez and I’m extremely happy to join the staff of LEAP University Academy as the new 4 to 8 Instructional Principal. I’m very passionate about education and I look forward to partnering with you to provide our students with a rigorous, engaging, and high-quality middle school experience.

Before joining LEAP, I served in a variety of teaching and educational leadership roles over the past 14 years, primarily with the Puerto Rico Department of Education. Some of the roles I have held include English teacher, literacy supervisor and K-12 principal. My academic background includes a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration.

I believe that great schools are the results of great teachers, so my primary objective will be to ensure that every student is receiving high-quality instruction from every teacher at LEAP. In order to do this, I will be providing teachers with feedback on their instruction, access to professional development, and reaching out to parents for support with academic and behavioral concerns to ensure our students are prepared for college and 21st century careers.

I will be working closely with our Assistant Principals, Mr. Lunn and Mrs. McWilliams, to guarantee that all of our scholars are intellectually challenged and have access to the social and emotional support critical to students during the middle school needs.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in this role! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share.

Lisely Mendez



  • Building Administration


  • Fourth Grade
  • Fifth Grade
  • Special Services
  • Special Area Teachers (Arts, Dance, Music,Theater, GYM & ESL, Spanish)


  • Support Staff

Building Administration

Kaitlyn McWilliams

Instructional Principal 4-8


Rafael Miranda

Director of PRAC/VAPA

856-614-3292 | ext. 7124rmiranda@leap.rutgers.edu

Fourth Grade

Debra Long

Math/Science Teacher


Nicole Maenner

LAL/Social Studies Teacher


Deanna Quidachay

4th Grade CCR Teacher


Kristen Perrine

Math/Science Teacher


Summer Coles

LAL/Social Studies Teacher


Courtney Lavin

4th Grade Math/Science Teacher


Fifth Grade

Marie Green

Math/Science Teacher


Victoria DeFrance

LAL/Social Studies Teacher


Christine Skalka

LAL/Social Studies Teacher


Amy Schultice

5th Grade Math/Science Teacher


Lauren McKeown

5th Grade LAL/Social Studies Teacher


Special Services

Susan Stoneback

Special Education Teacher


Groon, Lynn

Instructional Assistant 1-1


Lora McNamee

Special Education Teacher


Alexis Cotton

ESL Teacher


Special Area Teachers (Arts, Dance, Music,Theater, GYM & ESL, Spanish)

Robin Vicino

Creative Writing Teacher


Michael DiNuova

Health/P.E. Teacher


Kathleen Dunkley

Health/P.E. Teacher


Richard Marino

Health/P.E. Teacher


Annabel Estevez

Spanish Teacher Fellow


Yvonne Grashom

Music Teacher


Support Staff

Nellybel Nunez

Office Manager 4-8


Amanda Beltran

College Access Coordinator



View & Download Menus for Upper Elementary Students

Food is cooked daily in each school. The staff works diligently to provide balanced and nutritious meals. Menus are available each week.

ESL & Special Service

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

LEAP Academy’s ESL Program aims to provide culturally and linguistically responsive education for all English language learners to ensure equitable access to opportunities that promote language acquisition, life long learning, and global citizenship.

Click here to learn more