Meet the Staff

Thomas X. Brodnitzki (Mr. B.) - Principal

Thomas X. Brodnitzki is the principal of the CREC Impact Academy. He had the distinct honor of opening the Impact Academy during the 2017-2018 school year with a small pilot group of students. From the outset, the goal has been to build a unique learning opportunity for students to support them in reaching their goals. Mr. Brodnitzki is in his 20th year in education and his 18th year with CREC. During his time as an educator, he has served in several different roles. He has taught from eighth grade through each level of high school, as well as an adjunct instructor at the college level. While at CREC, Mr. Brodnitzki has taught Social Studies at CREC Metropolitan Learning Center, served as a Theme Coach and Assistant Principal at CREC Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy (now CREC Academy of Science and Innovation), and worked across the district’s 16 magnet schools in the role of Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator prior to opening the Impact Academy. Additionally, Mr. Brodnitzki helped lead the Capitol Region Interdistrict Leadership Academy for students across the region. Within each different position, he has described himself as a facilitator of student learning as he strives to help students learn, grow, and make meaning of their educational journey.

Mr. Brodnitzki holds a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Montana and master’s degrees in Educational Foundations and Geography from Central Connecticut State University. He completed his Administrative Certificate program from Sacred Heart University.  

Tyra Smith - Student & Family Engagement Specialist

Tyra Smith is Impact Academy’s Student & Family Engagement Specialist. She has over 12 years of experience working for CREC. Her early years at CREC included working for the divisions of Student Services and Operations, and the Executive Director’s Office as the Administrator of Special Projects. Before Impact, Ms. Smith was the district Community Engagement Specialist for the CREC Magnet Schools Office where she worked to assist students and families with barriers that prevented students from attending and being successful at school. Ms. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration as well as a master’s in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy from Bay Path University. She is currently pursuing a second master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In her spare time, Ms. Smith enjoys spending time with her four children, traveling, and braiding hair.

Athania Ramos - School Social Worker

Athania Ramos is Impact Academy’s School Social Worker. This is Ms. Ramos' third year working for CREC. Prior to working for CREC, Ms. Ramos was employed with Hartford Public Schools where she worked as the City Connects School and Community Site Coordinator for Simpson-Waverly School. There she helped families and students obtain services both within the school and community. She also previously worked as a Behavior Technician at High School Inc. and Burns Latino Studies Academy where she helped bring restorative practices into her daily work with staff and students. Ms. Ramos also worked at The Village for Families and Children with the Juvenile Review Board for over three years. Ms. Ramos has a B.S. in the concentration of Human Services, and a master’s in Social Work from Springfield College. Ms. Ramos enjoys music and spending time with her two daughters.

Cole Grosner (Mr. G.) - STEM Teacher

Cole Grosner is Impact Academy’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teacher. He is in his eighth year with CREC. Before Impact, Mr. G. taught Science at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering. He has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and a master's degree in Curriculum & Instruction. At Impact Academy, he has taught courses such as Urban Farming (growing fresh produce in the city), CT Rocks! (exploring the state's geological history through field trips), and Lifehackers: e-Nable (3D printing working prosthetic hands for children). Mr. G. lives with his girlfriend in a 100-year old farmhouse in Suffield. He has bicycled across the country twice, hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, and has a Black Belt in Judo.

Kristen Pinsonneault -
Math Teacher

Kristen Pinsonneault is Impact Academy's Mathematics Teacher.  She is in her seventh year with CREC and before Impact Academy, she taught for five years at CREC Civic Leadership High School in Enfield. She has been teaching dance in Hartford with Spectrum in Motion Dance Theater Ensemble for more than 20 years.  Miss Pinsonneault is a graduate of CREC's Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and moved on to obtain her bachelor's degree in Mathematics, specializing in secondary education from Central CT State University.  She also has a master's degree in STEAM (science technology engineering arts & math).  In addition to dancing, Miss Pinsonneault also loves; yoga, art, hiking, being outside, traveling, singing, writing poetry, learning about personal finances and investing, helping others, volunteering for the Red Cross and smiling!

Jose Feliciano - Social Studies Teacher

Jose Feliciano is Impact Academy’s social studies teacher. Throughout his career he has had experiences teaching 7th through 12th grades as well as working as an adjunct instructor at the university level teaching international studies. Along with teaching, he has worked in the field of arts and culture and used to travel around the country to do his work. He has a B.S. Ed. in history with a minor in psychology and an M.A. in American Studies. For grades 7-12, he has taught courses such as U.S .History, Civics, Geography, Mythology, and Food Systems (exploring where our food comes from and impacts society).  Mr. Feliciano has also studied abroad in Japan and Austria. He is a movement enthusiast and has practiced/practices dance, Tang Soo Do, rock climbing, acrobatics/circus arts, archery, and axe throwing.

Marissa Perrone- Health & Wellness Teacher
Marissa Perrone is Impact Academy's Wellness teacher whose nine years at CREC started at the Academy of Science and Innovation. She has an extensive background and experience teaching fitness, nutrition, adventure education, social-emotional health and  whole family child development. Before becoming a teacher Marissa was a certified fitness instructor who specialized in cycling, aerobics, circuit training and weightliftin at local gyms and for the CCSU recreation department. Her hobbies include hiking, camping, weightlifting, yoga, traveling, reading, cooking, going to the beach and of course, being with her dog Rufus as much as possible. 

Nicole Baskerville - English Teacher
Nicole Baskerville is Impact Academy's ELA teacher. She is in her fifth year at CREC and spent the last four years teaching 7th and 9th grades at Two Rivers Magnet Middle School. Nicole received her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Central Connecticut State University in 2010 and received her master's degree in Literacy from the University of Saint Joseph in 2020. She is passionate about employing the power of literature to create and foster empathy and hopes to instill a sense of community and pride in her classroom. She is a horror film enthusiast and enjoys all things spooky. In her spare time, you'll find her curled up with a good book and her black cat, Duke.

Jeannette Estrada - Administrative Assistant

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