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Our Teachers

Erica Witherell

Technology Teacher

Ms. Witherell started her teaching career in 1996 as an art teacher in the public schools of her hometown in New York. She came to HCA in the Fall of 2003 as the Computer Applications Teacher for grades K-8. Since then, she has also added high school elective classes, such as Digital Photo Editing.
Ms. Witherell lives in New York, attends Grace Community Church in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and spends her summers at Camp Cedarbrook in the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

Kevin Standford

PE Teacher

– PhD, Accounting, Finance minor, Texas A&M University
– BA, Business Administration, University of Washington

Jodi Ramasamy

4th Grade Teacher

– PhD, Accounting, Finance minor, Texas A&M University
– BA, Business Administration, University of Washington

Virginia Philippy

Art Teacher

Mrs. Philippy is HCA’s lower school art teacher who joined the HCA faculty in 2010. She came to HCA with 27 years of public school experience, and finds true joy to now be teaching in a Christian environment.

She loves the Lord, family, art, teaching, and living life! She feels blessed to be able to interact with our young people at HCA, guiding them in the exploration of their God-given creativity.

Elaine Novak

3rd Grade Teacher

Mrs. Novak has been involved in Christian education since 1986. She has served in three separate schools over the years. She is very thankful and excited to be a part of the HCA community.

Mrs. Novak currently lives in Parsippany, NJ with her husband, George, two adult sons, and their dog, Snickers. She enjoys spending time at the shore and visiting our National Parks in her spare time.

Pamela Mirabella

Kindergarten Teacher

A teacher and childcare provider since 1989 (with time off to raise children), Mrs. Mirabella joined the HCA team in 2017 as a preschool teacher, and is now teaching kindergarten. She considers working with young children a true calling and a blessing.
She and her husband moved to New Jersey in 2014 after spending a year in California, and before that on Long Island, where they raised their two (now adult) children. Mrs. Mirabella enjoys country music, reading, spending time with family, and traveling around the U.S.

Wendy Littel

2nd Grade Teacher

With one son a graduate of HCA and two sons presently at the Academy, Mrs. Littel is a strong believer in the HCA community. She joined the faculty in 2013 as a third grade teacher, coming with six years of teaching experience.
Mrs. Littel loves guiding our lower schoolers in their growth toward academic excellence and spiritual maturity!

Stephanie Tierney

5th Grade Teacher

Mrs. Tierney grew up in Rockland County, NY, and currently lives in Sloatsburg. She has been teaching in Christian Education since 2013, with a focus on math and science in middle school grades. She loves to encourage students to discover new things and to grow in their relationship with the Lord.

When she is not teaching, Mrs. Tierney enjoys outdoor activities and traveling with her husband and two dogs, and serving in her church and town community. She works as the supervisor of her local town pool in the summer.

Shelby Tortorello

Psychology Teacher

Miss Tortorello is an HCA alumna who felt called to come back to serve HCA as a Psychology teacher. She holds an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and is actively pursuing her state counseling license for both New York and New Jersey. Miss Tortorello has worked as a counselor in both psychiatric inpatient and private practice outpatient settings. She is passionate about incorporating mental health principles into the study of psychology, as well as teaching students to view psychology through the lens of a Christian worldview.