Teaching Team

Matt Fox New Jersey teacher

Matt Fox – Philosophy/Debate, Analytical Writing, Latin & Senior Seminar

Matt grew up in Idaho. He has a BA in Classics (ancient Greek and Latin) from the University of Oregon and a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. His dissertation is a global study of oral poetry and music in ancient and traditional cultures. He has taught a wide range of literature, language, and writing courses at St. Peter’s College, Deep Springs College, Rutgers University, and Whitman College. He translates Latin poetry and Italian academic prose.

Matt has taught in a lot of big and small universities and likes the size here at FlexSchool. “We are making it work as we go. We are inventing every day, not shackled by bureaucracy or politics or unions. We are teachers, kids, and parents making a happy place of learning for our students.”

Matt found his way in the world through inspiring teachers; he loved learning and loves being around young people. All their work in class allows them to “invent and imagine the world” and it makes for a fun, challenging environment every day.

Betty Emili teacher New Jersey

Betty – Math

Betty has been teaching high school mathematics for more than twenty years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and secondary education from San Pedro Nolasco University in Argentina, where she also worked for many years writing math curriculum for high school and adult education. Throughout her lengthy teaching career, she has taught everything from pre-algebra to calculus and statistics.

Betty sees FlexSchool as a place where learning and academics are taken seriously and are the priority.
“We have seen kids change and become better, and it’s all done in a safe and warm environment.”

She always knew she was going to be a teacher and views it as a special way of relating to people. She notes that you give a lot, you never lose what you give, and you get a lot too. The process of teaching and learning transforms both the giver and the receiver. “Someone taught you something, you learned it, it made you a better you, and now you teach to someone else, he/she will be better too.” As only a math teacher can joke, “It is more than powerful, it is exponential!”Betty loves the challenge of finding ways to communicate math ideas to all kinds of learners. “I’m not a native English speaker, so sometimes that adds to the challenge too.” For her, it does not matter how much the student may dislike or hate Math. “Math is not a set of rules to solve problems created by teachers to torture kids. Math is a way of understanding a very complex world. It makes sense since it is both truly beautiful and infinitely profound. Kids are smart; they’ll see it. My work starts with finding exactly where the kids are in this process: we walk together, we’ll work through it.”

Paul Di Lena teacher New Jersey

Paul – Math/Computer Science and French/Italian

Paul teaches all levels of math, French, Italian, economics, and computer science from middle and high school through college. Paul grew up in the Wallonia (French-speaking southern region of Belgium) and graduated from the University of Mons, also in Belgium. Later, he pursued graduate business studies at Michigan State University where he worked as a teaching assistant in French.

Arpit Patel

Arpit – Science and Computer Lab

Arpit earned dual Bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and Chemistry at Rutgers University in 2013. He has researched bacterial photosynthesis and is currently pursuing teaching degrees in Biological and Physical Sciences. Arpit is also converting some of the teachers to tea drinkers.

For Arpit, the students are the whole reason he’s here and he admires how the school provides an environment for them to thrive: being taught to critically analyze data, fathom holistic ideas and apply them. Naturally, he feels we’re just as rigorous as other institutions, if not more so.

“Students are both pushed to reach their fullest potential and gently guided through scaffolding lessons. I for one, go out of my way to routinely talk to each student and really get to know them. “

Arpit feels FlexSchool is truly a fun place to teach and values how the small classes allow him to teach to each student’s strengths and adjust lessons to suit their needs. “The environment here is such that students may share all their thoughts and, as a result, I know each student’s strengths, weaknesses, interests, dislikes, hobbies, and opinions about a myriad of topics and can relate materials to what suits each student.”

“In addition to the students, the staff here truly makes this place shine.” Staff members enjoy collaborating with each other —bouncing back ideas, planning interdisciplinary projects and managing plans for each student and that fit his style to a tee. “We work tirelessly to help each learner thrive academically. “

Arpit works tirelessly in and out of the school and his hobbies include reading fantasy and mystery novels, researching “immortal” cell lines, watching anime, practicing meditation and, martial arts, Shorinjiru karate, tai chi, and Kokikai Aikido, and drinking tea. “I am the resident “tea snob” and am currently in the process of trying to convert each staff member to my way.”

Bob Kupelian teacher New Jersey

Bob – History

Bob has an undergraduate degree in history with a minor in literature and a masters in European history, all from Rutgers. Bob was a member of ROTC during college and then an officer in an elite Army Ranger Paratrooper unit. He has been a history teacher, detective, and horse farmer, in pretty much that order.

He comes from a family of teachers: his father was a university professor, his mother a high school teacher and grandfather a renowned scientist and professor. Though he has worn many hats, those professions came back to instructing, training or advising young people. FlexSchool is the perfect place – with the freedom to teach in an unencumbered way.

“Teachers have the latitude to use materials they think are relevant to the lesson at hand.”

Bob had a special moment after giving a talk about the Armenian genocide in World War I. “I had brought some Middle-Eastern food in for the students to sample; I overheard one of the students, whom I thought wouldn’t necessarily appreciate the food, explain to his mom about one of the desserts – an apricot paste that he really enjoyed eating. He described it to her as a candy that tasted like a fruit. It was personally rewarding on a number of levels: one, to see that the kids actually enjoyed the food; two, that they got to experience something unusual; and, three, that because my ancestors were Armenian, it was especially meaningful to share food with others. There was an old expression during the mid-1900s that many American parents would say to encourage their children to finish their meals: ‘remember the starving Armenians.’ Now, through me, my ancestors are feeding others.”

FlexSchool teacher Amy Arginteanu

Amy – English, Social Studies, Learning Specialist

Amy holds an MA in Counseling from New York University as well as an MS in Education from Hunter College. Her undergraduate studies were at Binghamton University where she earned a BA in English. Amy served as an academic advisor and counselor at New York University and the City University of New York. She also taught at The Buckley School in New York City and Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights. As a teacher, Amy always believed in customizing the curriculum to best serve the needs of her students without compromising the content. She has extensive experience as a parent volunteer in the Westfield Public Schools. Amy’s dream educational environment is at FlexSchool where the students, parents and faculty work together to provide the best learning experience for our students.

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