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.
Hope Everett, Senior Associate Dean of Students — Ms. Everett was raised in Brooklyn, New York. She grew up running track and playing basketball. She has coached Atlanta’s Red Storm AAU women’s basketball team. She also participated in running for the Junior Olympics, Penn Relays and Madison Square Garden and loves all things sports. She attended Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. She has worked with children from every age & level for over ten years and still loves to make a difference everyday here at MESA. She loves Lebron James, every genre of music, and all things Beyoncé.
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.
Matt Blake, Staff Support Teacher – Mr. Blake is a lifelong New York native, who was born and raised in Queens. From a young age he had a fascination with books and the stories that they held. He distinctly remembers coming home from elementary school and being sprawled out on his living room floor devouring mountains of books he acquired from his local library. Mr. Blake attended Hunter College to study English literature and education. Before MESA, he taught AP Language and Composition in Astoria. In his spare time, he likes exploring the city to find cool bookstores and poetry slams to support local poets. Additionally, he loves creating new dishes. Chances are when Mr. Blake is not at MESA, he's in his kitchen concocting some new experiment!