Faculty and Staff » Social Studies Department

Social Studies Department

Shaquise Elie, Social Studies Department Leader and Upper House Co-Leader — Mr. Elie was born and raised in Boston, MA.  He attended the University of Massachusetts where he studied Economics and Clean Energy.  Immediately after college he joined Teach for America and began working at MESA while earning his Masters of Science in Teaching.  Mr. Elie's passions within education are de-centering whiteness in Social Studies curricula and teaching literacy as a means for liberation.  Outside of work, you can find Mr. Elie at the gym, reading a book, or taking a class.


Dillon McKeon, Social Studies Teacher  — Mr. McKeon is a Queens, NY native and graduated with his BA and MSED degrees from CUNY Queens College. Dillon comes to MESA Charter High School from working at two different Charter Middle Schools in both the Bronx and Brooklyn for the past 10 years and considers himself fortunate to help students achieve their dreams and to grapple with the complex history of our nation and world. When he is not working, Dillon loves spending time with his wife and two daughters, with his church family, or hiking and fishing outdoors!


Molly Morgan, Social Studies Teacher — Ms. Morgan grew up in Albany, NY and is a proud (upstate) New Yorker. She studied History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was also a coxswain on the women’s rowing team. After earning her undergraduate degree, Ms. Morgan attended Hunter College, where she earned a master’s in Adolescent Social Studies Education.  Ms. Morgan loves learning new languages and is currently working hard to improve her Spanish. In her free time, she can often be found reading and listening to her favorite political podcasts.


Chris Parrucci, Social Studies Teacher  Mr. Parrucci is a New York native, having been born and raised on Long Island. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in 7-12 Social Studies education from New York University and a Juris Doctorate from Maurice A. Deane School of Law from Hofstra University. He started his career in Bushwick, teaching United States History and Government and is so excited to return to the neighborhood. In addition to teaching Mr. Parrucci has spent time in the legal and nonprofit field. Throughout his professional career he has always focused on social justice and empowering communities to advocate for their beliefs. He spends his down time with his wife and cat Anacapri. They all love watching Netflix and Mr. Parrucci loves going to the movies, listening to podcasts and doing obstacle course races.


Amy Polanco, ELL At Risk Coordinator  Ms. Polanco was born in Brooklyn, NY, but was raised in Lawrence, MA. She attended UMass Dartmouth and earned a BA in Sociology and a minor in African American studies. Currently working on completing her Master of Education at UMass Boston. In her free time she enjoys sharing spoilers to her friends and family. Let just say they do not appreciate it. She is a dog mom to 4 adorable pups, who are Jasper, Kaz, Chaos and Cream. She also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, trying new foods and exploring the city. Her goal is to travel through all of Central and South America by 2025.


Julianna Rubbins-Breen, Social Studies Teacher  — Ms. Rubbins is a Vermont native but since leaving home has lived in Argentina, Canada and most recently New Orleans, Louisiana. She received her bachelors degree in Urban Geography and Communication Studies from McGill University and a Masters in Education from the University of Vermont. Ms. Rubbins recently moved to New York City from New Orleans where she taught US History and IB History of the Americas. In her free time she loves spending time with her three sisters, two of whom are also teachers! She is excited to explore her new home and is trying to visit every museum in the city!


Jaymee Veney, Social Studies Teacher  Ms. Veney is an Ohio native, but has been living in New York since 2011 when she received a basketball scholarship to St. Francis College in Brooklyn, NY. She has undergrad degrees in both Psychology and Criminal Justice, and a Masters in Childhood Education and Teaching Students with Disabilities. After her first 4 years of teaching, Ms. Veney joins MESA’s Social Studies team to drive real life understanding and connection between past and present. In her free time, you can find Ms. Veney on any basketball court or in any gym, hanging out with friends, or reading a good book in the park. Her goal is to leave each day without a dull moment, and to travel to at least one new country every year!