2019 Night of Champions’ Outstanding Teachers and TAs


It has been an incredible year for Lavelle Prep—and it’s not even over yet!

This year we are proud to present four of our best educators as the 2019 Night of Champion’s Outstanding Teachers and Teacher Assistants. From Lavelle Prep Elementary, we recognize Alessandra Demeo and Paola Silva.

Alessandra DeMeo – Outstanding Teacher of the Year 

Alessandra DeMeo, Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Alessandra DeMeo has been part of the ICS family for 3 years. She is currently a 4th-grade teacher in the elementary division, where she teaches Reading, Writing, and Orton Gillingham. Before working at ICS, Alessandra received her Bachelor of Arts in General and Special Education grades 1-6 and her Masters in Literacy B-6 from Wagner College. Throughout the year, Alessandra was a participant of the NEW Educators of Wagner Program as well as a chosen participant in the Accelerated Literacy Learning Training with Literacy Specialist, Bebe Morissey. These programs have taught her how to promote and develop life long learning and leadership skills. This year, Alessandra has strived to engage both students and parents by creating a Parents as Partners in Literacy Program and Mystery Reader program. These two programs allowed parents to visit classrooms to learn a variety of ELA skills. She understands and demonstrates the importance of the ICS values and enjoys mentoring staff. When she asked her 4th-grade students to identify her character traits, they described her as passionate, generous, brave, ambitious, kind, and knowledgeable. Alessandra is honored to receive this award and to be recognized by her amazing colleagues.

Paola Silva – Outstanding Teacher Assistant of the Year

Paola Silva, Outstanding TA of the Year

Paola Silva started her ICS journey working at Lavelle Prep – Elementary Division in 2016 as a 3rd-grade Teachers Assistant. This year, she assists in every 3rd-grade class as needed and is always willing to help her colleagues in any task. In addition to her TA role, she coordinates the Elementary After School Program, schedules coverages for absent staff members and takes pictures at Elementary School events, such as Field Day and the Science Fair. Paola found her way into the education field when she was in high school. She went to different elementary schools to help students better understand the importance of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. Paola was awarded Outstanding Teen Teacher of the Year for the Junior Achievement program her sophomore and junior years of high school. She then continued to work in after-school programs and Universal Pre-K’s while attending college. Paola feels honored to be named Elementary’s Outstanding Teacher Assistant for the 2nd year and is excited to continue her career at ICS. She would like to thank her wonderful family for their constant love and support. She’d also like to thank her amazing colleagues who have become family and make every day at Lavelle Elementary feel like home

From Lavelle Prep Upper, we recognize Souad Outarid as the Teacher of the Year and Margarita Cortes as the Teacher Assistant of the Year.

Souad Outarid – Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Souad Outarid, Outstanding Teacher of the Year

Souad Outarid believes that the best part about being an ICS teacher is the work environment. Co-workers feel like family, and coming to work, feels like home. She appreciates being a part of an awesome team for over seven years. Outarid gives 100% every single day. Her passion grows each day and her hard work does not go unnoticed.  She is not afraid to take risks or trying new things in the classroom to help her students to improve and gain confidence. She challenges herself to become a better educator and tries to figure out what works best in the classroom. The recognition as “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” for the second time has been an absolute honor for Outarid. Her husband and two sons have helped her reach the position that she has today. She hopes to thrive as an educator through the continuance of hard work, and continuous learning. As Simon Sinek stated, “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” There is no doubt that Outarid’s passion is her dedication to her students, coworkers, and family.

Margarita Cortes – Outstanding TA of the Year

Margarita Cortes, Outstanding TA of the Year

Margarita Cortes is one of the most dedicated and valued educators of Lavelle Prep Charter School. After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the College of Staten Island, Ms. Cortes attended Touro College to complete her masters in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She has been a part of the ICS family since graduating from Touro in 2016. 

As a vital member of the ICS team, Ms. Cortes is an active leader of the Lavelle Prep After School program, the Lavelle Prep Testing team and the ICS Adult ESL program. Ms. Cortes considers her day to day interaction with students and developing her students’ problem-solving skills as the best parts of her career. She grateful for the incredible staff of Lavelle Prep that has always supported her and stood by her side