Charles Ortiz: Executive Director
Charles Ortiz joined the founding team of WHIN in late 2015 and was instrumental in writing the final version of the WHIN charter application. Prior to joining the leadership team of WHIN he served as the Director of Academics at the Harlem Children’s Zone for three years where he oversaw HCZ’s afterschool elementary, middle, and high school academic programs.
Prior to HCZ Charles spent seven years teaching in public and charter schools in Brooklyn, Harlem, and his hometown of Philadelphia. While teaching Charles was asked to be Village Lead, served on school leadership teams working on such things as creating policies for a restorative school culture, interdisciplinary curriculum development, conducted Professional Development sessions for fellow teachers, and was a teacher mentor. Additionally, he created and maintained a contemporary band program growing it from serving twenty students in one grade to serving over 100 students in 6th-12th grade. The program enjoyed large parental involvement, performances at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and provided scholarships to students for additional study.
Charles recently completed the Leadership New York fellowship at Coro where he received training in Adaptive Leadership, Intersectionality, and group leadership and uses these skills to fulfill his commitment to create educational equity for the students and families of New York City. Reporting directly to the WHIN Board of Directors, Charles is responsible for establishing and maintaining all aspects of WHIN Music Community Charter School.
Annie Huynh: Principal
Annie Huynh joined the founding staff of WHIN in the spring of 2017 as the Founding Director of Curriculum and Instruction-ELA and has been in the field of education for fourteen years. Previously, she served as the Founding Director of Curriculum and Assessment at an all boys charter school in the Bronx for two years where she oversaw the elementary academic and assessment programs.
Prior to school administration, Annie taught elementary students at a high-performing K-8 Blue Ribbon independent charter school in Philadelphia where she was also asked to be the Literacy Coordinator, served on the Curriculum Council, and led professional development on integrated literacy, anti-bias education, and Responsive Classroom. In addition, Annie was an active teacher leader who served on the founding Board of Teachers Lead Philly, the Mayor’s Teacher Advisory Council in Philadelphia, and was nationally selected to join the Emerging Leader cohort of the ASCD in 2014. Moreover, she enjoys writing and has been published in ASCD Express, Schools: Studies in Education Journal, and Teaching Tolerance. She holds a Masters in Elementary Education from Temple University.
As Principal of WHIN, Annie has a passion for empowering all students and teachers to fulfill their potential and use their learning for authentic purposes and advancing social justice. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family.
Dioffre Cruceta currently serves as the Director of Student Culture at the WHIN Music Community Charter School where he ensures WHIN is a safe, predictable, and responsive environment for all students. Dioffre is a key member of the school’s leadership team who actively supports students, families, and staff members on how to build and maintain a positive school culture in support of a rigorous academic and music program.
Dioffre is a product of Washington Heights and has served the neighborhood as a Youth Development Advocate for the past 15 years. He previously served as a Site Director for the B.E.L.L (Building Educated Leaders for Life) Foundation as well as multiple Dean of Culture roles at various charter schools throughout NYC.
Dioffre has helped craft and manage systems to reinforce explicit and high behavioral expectations for students, families, and staff by ensuring fidelity and accountability through clear and frequent communication.
Anne Cohen is WHIN’s founding Director of Music. Prior to WHIN, Anne served as music specialist at the Blue School, where she wrote K-8 vocal/instrumental curricula and created the school’s first concert band program; served as co-curricular team leader; produced school-wide events; led family workshops; and served on the school accreditation committee.
Anne has served as an workshop clinician and/or guest conductor for groups including Organization of American Kodaly Educators, New York State School Music Educators Association, Kodaly Organization of New York, and Harmony Program. In 2018, Anne received the OAKE’s Outstanding Emerging Educator Award as well as an honorable mention for the Liz Swados Inspiration Grant for influential female New York City-based music educators.
Anne holds a Post-Masters Advanced Certification in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University; a MA in music and music education from Columbia University Teachers College, and a BM in music education from Bucknell University.
Dacia Sigler joined the WHIN team in July of 2018. Prior to joining the leadership team of WHIN she served as the Special Education Coordinator at Uplift Luna Preparatory Charter School for four years. In this role, she oversaw Special Education services and managed the Special Education team at four campuses from Pre-K-12th grade.
Prior to her role as Special Education Coordinator Dacia taught Special Education in Inclusion, Content Mastery, and Resource settings for 4 years at Uplift Education. While teaching in her third year, Dacia was asked to join a leadership residency and began working with the leadership teams at the campus and on the network level. Dacia conducted Professional Development sessions for teachers and administrators, managed compliance and Special Education budget for the K-12 campus, and collaborated with leadership teams at each campus to ensure students with disabilities were receiving high quality instruction using best practices.
Ivelisse Sosa joined WHIN in the summer of 2019 as the Director of Operations. She began her career in school operations well over 8 years ago in the Bronx, NY. As a product of her community, educated by New York City Public Charter Schools she has been motivated to pay it forward and provide service to inner city public schools providing streamlined systems and procedures, facilities construction management, and staff/student recruitment.
Ivelisse loves to work in her home community of Inwood. You can often spot her on long walks exploring the community and neighborhood events with her family including a French Bulldog named Lucy.