Name: Mr. Leonardo Soliman
Position/Title: Religious Studies Teacher, Department Chairperson
AMSU Start Date: September 2005
Classes Currently Teaching: Religious Studies 11, Religious Studies 12
Extra Curricula: Asian Club
Credentials: Bachelor of Art, Our Lady of Penafrancia, Holy Rosary Theologate and the University of Santo Tomas Pontifical Seminary – Philosophy and Theology
Master of Public Administration, – Health Care Management
Bio: Academically, Leo is a product of three seminaries, Our Lady of Penafrancia, Holy Rosary Theologate and the University of Santo Tomas Pontifical Seminary all in the Philippines where he received his Philosophy and Theology degrees. From there he went to the University of the East Law School. In the United States, he obtained a Master’s in Public Administration (Health Services Management). He has also completed the Archdiocese of New York Leadership Trainings for both the Director/Coordinator of Religious Education as well as Director of the Catechumenate (RCIA).
Leo has previously taught Latin and Spanish at Cardinal Hayes High School and the same subjects here at the Academy of Mount St. Ursula together with Religion where he is now the Chairperson.
He is very active in his parish as Director of Religious Education and the Catechumenate Program, Cantor, and member of the Pastoral Council. He is also the coordinator of all Parish Ministries.
Leo’s passion for what he does springs from his commitment to caring for the children of God whom he serves in his classes.
Name: Mr. Vincent Amendola
Position/Title: Religious Studies Teacher
Starting Date: January 2011
Extra Curricular: Director of the Catechumenate / RCIA: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Personal Interests: Hiking, Skating, Swimming, Jogging, Theater (acting and singing), The Bronx Opera.
Credentials: Bachelor of Arts, Iona College – Secondary School Education/English
Master of Arts, St. Joseph’s Seminary and College – Religious Studies/Sacred Scripture
Certified Director of the Catechumenate
RCIA: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (Archdiocese of New York)
Certified Catholic School Catechist
Bio: I always say to my students, “If we have to be anywhere, this is not such a bad place to be!” The AMSU young ladies always help me to remember by their support and encouragement that religious education is my passion, Catholic education is my life, and the Academy of Mount Saint Ursula is my spiritual home!
Each day I am challenged but inspired by the culture and climate of the AMSU family community where “Four years truly last a lifetime!”
Name: Miss Mary Gratton
Position/Title: Teacher, Religious Studies
Starting Date: September 2015
Classes Currently Teaching: Religion 10, Religion 11
Extra Curricular: That’s Life! club
Credentials: Bachelor of Arts, Villanova University – Theology
Master of Education, The Pennsylvania State University – Curriculum and Instruction, concentration in Literacy
Ph.D., Fordham University – Religious Education
PA Instructional II Certifications in Elementary Edu K-6 and Middle Level English 7-9
Bio: I joined the AMSU staff for the 2015-2016 school year and am very excited to be here! I am a native of the Philadelphia area and recently moved to the Bronx to complete my Ph.D. in Religious Education at Fordham. My areas of interest include how we educate adolescents in the faith and how literature can be utilized to teach issues of morality and social justice. For the past seven years, I taught 8th grade English and Religion at an all girls’ Catholic Academy in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Now, I am teaching Religion 10 and Religion 11 and am moderating the That’s Life club. I am enjoying exploring New York City and look forward to a wonderful year with my students!
Name: Mr. Kyle Mena
Position/Title: Religious Studies Teacher
Starting Date: October 2017
Classes Currently Teaching: Religion 9, Religion 10
Personal Interests: Walking through the Inwood neighborhood and singing
Credentials: Bachelor of Arts, Seton Hall University – Catholic Studies
Bachelor of Science, Seton Hall University – Biology
Bio: I joined the AMSU community in mid-October of the 2017-2018 school year and am excited to be here! I am a native New Yorker from Inwood Heights in Manhattan. I graduated from Cardinal Spellman High School and went on to receive a B.A in Catholic Studies and a B.S in Biology from Seton Hall University.
Most recently, I worked as the Service Coordinator for St. Raymond High School for Boys and Youth Minister for St. Raymond’s Parish. I come to AMSU interested in teaching the young ladies how to maintain minds open to the possibilities of a life of prayer, joy, hard work and dedication to their dreams. This year at AMSU, I am covering the Bible and the Paschal Mystery of Jesus Christ with Religion 9 and Religion 10 respectively.
As I tell the students, “I am a perpetual student and even I am challenged daily to grow in love, patience and knowledge.” I look forward to this spiritual and emotional growth assisted by the supportive atmosphere of the AMSU community. Go Lady Bears!