Student Support Team
Anthony Velez, Dean of Students — Mr.Velez was born in Brooklyn, NY. At the age of 17 he graduated from Dorchester High School in Massachusetts and enlisted in the Marine Corps just three weeks later. In the following 8 years, he reached the rank of Staff Sergeant and became one of the youngest squad leaders to lead a team into Iraq during Operation Endure Freedom in 2004. After three combat tours, he was selected to be an instructor at the Corporals Leadership School in Quantico, VA. This is where his love for teaching and coaching young men and women flourished. At the end of his military career, he moved back to New York and set his sights on the education field. He earned his Associates degree in Liberal Arts and Science from Queensborough Community College and is currently attending Queens College for a degree in Psychology. Mr. Velez secretly writes poetry, trains in Mixed Martial Arts, loves Motown music, and is fascinated with astronomy.
Khary Huggins, Associate Dean of Students — Mr. Huggins has lived in this Bushwick neighborhood since he was two. His mother has been a special education teacher for over 25 years and this inspired him to get into the education field. He graduated from St. Johns University in Queens, NY with a degree in Psychology and from Sacred Heart University with a Master's in Applied Psychology. Before coming to MESA Charter High School, Mr. Huggins worked at Capital Prep Harlem and at the Achievement First Network. He has held several roles throughout his career, ranging from a school counselor to science teacher and behavioral specialist. He enjoys working with kids from inner city communities because he can relate to a lot of the challenges they face daily. His goal is for all students to get equal opportunity to succeed in school and in life. He is ecstatic to get a chance to work in the community he grew up in. He looks forward to doing great things here at MESA.
Yadira Martinez, Associate Dean of Students — Ms. Martinez's parents were born in the Dominican Republic and Ms. Martinez was born and raised in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. Ms. Martinez graduated with a BS degree in Human Services and a Master’s in Public Administration specializing in Public Policy and Inspection/Oversight. Before coming to MESA Charter High School, Ms. Martinez worked in the New York City Department of Education (DOE) as an Equal Opportunity Investigator investigating sexual harassment and discrimination cases. Prior to working in the DOE, Ms. Martinez worked for the New York Law Department where she investigated abuse, neglect, and excessive force cases that were committed by the New York Police Department and the Department of Corrections. While working for the DOE, Ms. Martinez realized that she wanted to interact more with children to help them get through high school, what she considers some of the toughest years they will endure as youth. Ms. Martinez plans to support MESA students with anything and everything they need to become successful. As someone who was born and raised in Brownsville, Brooklyn, Ms. Martinez believes that she can relate to the children at MESA and plans to help them reach their highest potential. Ms. Martinez looks forward to making a difference in the lives of all students.