Mrs. Cristina DiTaranto
Cristina DiTaranto was born October 2, 1982 in Newark, NJ. She was raised by her parents in the city of Newark where she attended Lafayette St. School. She later attended Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark, NJ. Upon graduation from high school she began her journey to become an educator. She attended Kean University where she received her Baccalaureate degree in Elementary Education with a minor in History.
As she attended college she began her career in Newark Public Schools as a substitute teacher. This opportunity brought her to Hawkins St. School where she has been ever since. In May 2005 she became the 7th and 8th grade Social Studies teacher at Hawkins St. School. Throughout her career at Hawkins St. School she worked with students in second and third grade as well.
As she was teaching she began to pursue a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision. In May 2012 she graduated from Kean University and a year later she was given the opportunity to join the administrative team at Hawkins St. School. She has worked as the Vice Principal leading grades 5 through 8 ever since. She is dedicated to the Hawkins St. School community as it continues to soar to new heights.
Mrs. Megan Cullen
Megan Cullen was born on April 15, 1994 in New Jersey. She attended North Arlington Public Schools before attending Montclair State University in Fall 2012 to pursue a career in education.
Mrs. Cullen received her BA in Dance Education in Fall 2015 and graduated with honors in Spring 2016. As result of her dedication to arts education, Megan was recipient of the 2016 Montclair State University Dance Education Award and was nominated for the NJDOE Distinguished Clinical Intern Award. Mrs. Namnama-Cullen joined Hawkins Street School in 2016, starting the dance program and rebuilding the schools performing arts department.
During her time as dance teacher, Mrs. Namnama cultivated numerous partnerships and programming opportunities for the school, including partnerships with ArtSmart Vocal Residency Program, Alvin Ailey Arts in Education Program, AIENJ Residency Grant Program, and NJPAC Dancing Classrooms Program. She served as Renew the Arts lead teacher as well as Hawkins Street School Grants Coordinator. Since 2016, Mrs. Namnama-Cullen also served on the NBOE Arts curriculum writing team and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center Teacher Resource Guide Committee.
In 2018, Mrs. Cullen was awarded the NJDOE Exemplary Educator Award for Hawkins Street School. In 2019, Mrs. Namnama-Cullen was selected for the first cohort of NBOE Model Teachers and was recognized as the NJDOE Teacher the Year for Hawkins Street School. In 2020, Mrs. Cullen was nominated to join the first cohort of Superintendent’s Leadership Pipeline and had the honor of serving as Summer Principal at Arts High School (Summer 2021, Summer 2022).
Mrs. Cullen is excited to support the Hawkins Street School community soar to new heights this year.
Ms. Lucinda Gonzalez
Lucinda Gonzalez was born August 22, 1979 in Newark, New Jersey. She was raised by immigrant parents in the city of Newark where she attended St. Casimir’s School. She later relocated to Union, New Jersey and attended Mother Seton Regional High School in Clark, New Jersey. Upon graduation from high school she went on to attend Kean University to begin her journey to become an educator, receiving her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in 2002.
Upon graduating Lucinda began her career in education teaching 1st grade at St. Genevieve School in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Later she transferred to Hillside Public Schools where she taught 3rd grade and pursued a Spanish teacher certification, which led her to becoming a Spanish teacher at Long Branch High School. While teaching in Long Branch she pursued a Bilingual Teacher certification. That certification led her to Hawkins Streets School 14 years ago to teach Spanish bilingual students.
While teaching at Hawkins Street School she began to pursue a Masters degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. In August 2012 she completed her Masters at Kean University. Two years later she became the Math Coach at Hawkins Street School. She has most recently been appointed the position of Vice Principal at Hawkins Street School. As Vice Principal she looks forward to continuing to contribute to our school’s student achievement and our student’s social and emotional growth.