Faculty and Board

The Administrative Team

Dr. Paul E. Semegran Lead Person psemegran@classicalacademy.org

College Names: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, University of Phoenix Classical Academy Lead Since: 9/1/2020

Educator since 2001 Love to Cruise anywhere Comic Collector, Coins, and Sports Memorabilia Fan of the NY Yankees,NY Giants, NY Rangers, and NY Knicks

Bernadette Pinto

Eric Wolf
School Social Worker

Eric Wolf is a state certified school social worker with a Master of Social Work from Fordham University, where he was a member of the Phi Alpha Honors Society for Social Workers. He has worked with youth of all ages as a social worker, specializing in middle and high school aged students. Eric believes strongly in therapeutic relationships as the key to resolving mental health issues, as well as empowering social/emotional learning. As a strong believer in emotional awareness for children, Eric has developed and implemented several seminars and activities revolving around these ideals. Additionally, as a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), NASW-NJ, and the Association of Social Workers in Sport (ASWIS), Eric has many strong connections to social work professionals and resources from across the country. When not at work, he can be found completing jigsaw puzzles or performing stand-up comedy at open mics.

The Faculty

Samantha Bohr
English Language Arts and 6th Grade

Education: BA in General Humanities with a Minor in Mythology BA in English with a Minor in Film Studies College Name: Montclair State University Classical Academy Teacher Since: February 2019

I am Ms. Bohr, and I am a cat lover. I have the most handsome black cat named Finnegan. Additionally, I am a fervent reader and I particularly enjoy the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Sara Shepard, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Experiencing the world through reading, television, and film sparked my deep passion for travel. My favorite places I have been are Iceland and Greece, and I hope to someday travel to Scotland.


Katrina M. Bolchune
English and Language Arts, Literature

College Name: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Montclair State University, William Paterson University
Classical Academy Teacher Since: 2006
Subjects Taught: English and Language Arts, Literature
Grades Taught: 6, 7, 8

All of my free time is currently spent taking care of my son, when I have moments to myself I enjoy reading and creating art, especially pottery.

Rebecca Gallanter

Education: certified to teach k-6 (generalist) and k-12 social studies
College Name: Montclair State University
Classical Academy Teacher Since: September 2019
Subjects Taught: English
Grades Taught: 6th

I was born and raises in northern New Jersey. From a young age my passions were reading, writing stories, riding horses, and supporting my teams (Jets, Yankees, and Devils). I am a huge animal lover and have two dogs and a cat. I love spending time with my family, especially all of my nieces and nephews (6 girls and 3 boys). Reading and history are two of my greatest passions. I love getting lost in the pages of a story, whether they be fiction or history related

Bill Lane
Social Studies

Education: B.S., Northwestern University, Saint Peter’s University College Name: Northwestern University Classical Academy Teacher Since: 2019 Subjects Taught: Social Studies Grades Taught: 6-8

Bill is excited to return to his second year at Classical Academy. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he loves the liberal arts, drama, and the great outdoors. His favorite pastimes: excursions and diversions with his family. He hopes to cultivate a genuine enthusiasm for historical inquiry and debate among his students.


Dr. Joseph Lurie
Mathmatics and Science

Education: BS, University of Pittsburgh, 2008 MA, University of Connecticut, 2011 Ph.D, University of Connecticut, 2018

Dr. Lurie joined the CACS faculty in 2020. He is certified to teach both mathematics and middle school science. He previously worked as an instructor at the University of Connecticut, and as a K-12 substitute teacher in various school districts, including Paterson, Midland Park, and Mahwah.

Punam Mahajan

Education: Masters in Mathematics, Masters in Education, NJ Board Certification College Name: Masters in Mathematics from MDU, Ajmer, Rajasthan, India Masters in Education from Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab, India Classical Academy Teacher Since 2016 Subjects Taught: Mathematics (Pre-algebra, Algebra 1, Middle School Math) Grades Taught: 6 -8

Cooking and Yoga


Brian Milbauer
Physical Education and Health

My name is Brian Milbauer, this is my 4th year as the Physical Education and Health teacher at Classical Academy. I have always had a passion for exercise, sports, and staying active. I have played and coached basketball, but also enjoy playing baseball, football, hockey, and tennis. Other outdoor activities that I enjoy are hiking, biking, running, kayaking, and fishing.

Devin Novakoski

Education: BA Classical Civilizations and History College Name: Loyola University of Maryland Classical Academy Teacher Since: 2019 Subjects Taught: Latin Grades Taught: 6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade

I am a voracious reader and huge admirer of the works and world of fellow Classicist/Linguist J.R.R. Tolkien. My other major hobby is music. I primarily play Bass Guitar and have a constantly expanding collection of vinyl LPs, currently over 400 albums strong! I have a lifelong love for the outdoors and the natural world. I enjoy fishing, hiking, kayaking, and the forest is my favorite place to enjoy a good book!


Tania Valdes
Social Studies & Special Education

Education: B.A. in History and Secondary Education, Graduate Certificate Endorsement in Special Education
College Name: William Paterson University
Classical Academy Teacher Since: September of 2013
Subjects Taught: Social Studies and Special Education
Grades Taught: Grades 6-8

I have a passion for helping students bring out their potential academically, socially, and emotionally. I enjoy giving my students confidence that they can succeed. During my leisure time I enjoy cooking, hiking, biking, playing the piano, and fruit picking.

The Board

Alok Shah
President alokshah@classicalacademy.org

IT Professional with 20+ years experience. Passionate about serving the community and education.


Rosa Santana
Vice President rsantana@classicalacademy.org

Advocate for professional development, women empowerment and enrichment, Latina/X Diversity and Inclusion Aficionado, avid reader and graphic design connoisseur.


Shamira Tenay Drakeford
Member sdrakeford@classicalacademy.org

MBA, Project Management
Government Relations Coordinator
Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters


Saunak Pandya
Member spandya@classicalacademy.org

Giants Fan, Indian Cricket team supporter. Hobbies of traveling, team sports, and following business and financial news


Christine Saliba

Coming Soon.


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