Leadership Team

Aviva Buechler, Assistant Principal, Grades Pre-K and K

Ms. Buechler received her B.A. in History from Barnard College and her M.A. in Teaching in Childhood Education from Relay Graduate School of Education. She has certification to teach K-6 from New York. She is currently completing her Ed.M. in Leadership for Educational Change at Bank Street. This is Ms. Buechler's sixth year at Harlem Link, where she previously taught kindergarten and served as Director of Family Engagement. While at Link, she enjoys speed-walking the many halls and stairwells of the building. She also loves zumba, reading all news and various nonfiction books, sharing her passion of Mo Willems' books, running, traveling, and reading with Link scholars.

Steven Evangelista, Principal, Co-Founder

Mr. Evangelista, who calls himself a five borough New Yorker and who attended city public schools from grades K to 12, began working in public education in 1998 as a Teach For America corps member. Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Georgetown University, he expected elementary education to be a temporary career stop but found it to be a calling. Initially opposed to charters, he began researching them because of feedback from parents, experience watching the system fail to serve students and the promise of the charter law.He attended several national conferences and visited schools in major urban areas to learn more before completing an independent study on a rationale for an urban charter school at Bank Street College of Education and then providing consulting to teams starting schools in other states. Mr. Evangelista earned an MS.Ed. from Bank Street College in 2001. In 2004, he completed Building Excellent Schools, a national fellowship designed to train founders of new charter schools. He holds passionate interests in baseball, popular science and being a great father.

Andrew Group, Director of Operations and Human Resources

Mr. Group received his B.A. in History from Franklin and Marshall College and his M.PA. in Public and Nonprofit Management from New York University. This is Andrew’s second year at Harlem Link. He is a lifelong New Yorker and enjoys spending his days walking the city streets or watching his beloved New York Yankees. Andrew looks forward to meeting and working with all Harlem Link Scholars!

William Harney III, Director of Finance

Mr. Harney earned an A.B. degree in Economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. degree in Finance from Columbia Business School. After a career in banking and finance (and a dozen years of observing our educational system up-close through his two sons), Mr. Harney decided to apply his skills and experience in that educational system. He was excited to discover charter schools, something he had known nothing about. He met Steve Evangelista in late 2009, and shortly thereafter, joined the Harlem Link Charter School as its first Director of Finance. Somewhat philosophical by nature, Mr. Harney has become known around the school for quoting one of his favorite writers, Jimmy Buffett, most notably with his statement “I love my job!”.

Karissa Prieto, Assistant Principal, Grades 1 and 2

Mrs. Prieto earned her B.A. in Early Childhood Special Education and Psychology from New York University in 2009. She is dually certified in both Early Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities Birth-2 in New York State. Mrs. Prieto also completed the Reading Specialist graduate program at Teachers College to earn her Masters degree and is currently working on obtaining an additional certification in Literacy Birth-12. She has taught for 7 ½ years, 5 ½ of which have been at Harlem Link. She taught first grade at Harlem Link for four years and worked as the Academic Intervention Services teacher for grade K-1 before transitioning into her current role of K-2 Interim Assistant Principal. Mrs. Prieto is fluent in both English and Spanish. During her free time, Mrs. Prieto enjoys reading, watching movies, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Margaret Ryan, Director of Curriculum, Professional Learning, and Student Support; Co-Founder

In 1995 Margaret graduated with a B.A. in English Literature from Marist College. She is a Teach For America corps member and alumna in the South Bronx and Harlem for six years in middle and elementary school. While teaching elementary she earned a master’s in teaching elementary at Bank Street College of Education in 2001. In 2003, Margaret, with Steve Evangelista, co-founded Harlem Link Charter School. Upon opening, Margaret was Co-Director Principal of Harlem Link from 2005-2011. In 2006, Margaret participated in a five week KIPP Leadership Summer Institute at Stanford University and continued her learning with other KIPP participants in a year-long Educational Leadership program through National Louis University. Currently, Margaret is a part time leadership team staff member working diligently with curriculum and professional development to ensure that Harlem Link reaches its ambitious mission and vision of well-rounded, values-driven, college-bound scholars. When not at Harlem Link, Margaret spends her time with her daughters Eleanor and Penelope and rekindling her fiction writing.

Daniel Steinberg, Assistant Principal, Grades 3 to 5

Mr. Steinberg received his B.A. in American Studies at Penn State and his M.A. in Elementary Education at Holy Family University. He is currently completing his Ed.M. in Leadership for Educational Change at Bank Street College. This is Mr. Steinberg's fifth year at Harlem Link, where he previously taught fourth grade. He loves playing music, rooting for Philadelphia sports teams, and spending time with his family.

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“Harlem Link has established strong instructional leadership...the school had in place teacher development structures to support the implementation of a high quality program.”

(SUNY renewal report, 2013)