Leadership & Staff

MARIA LEAO, PhD (Executive Director)
Maria has been Executive Director of PS 3 ‘til 6 since 2008. With a background in academia and extensive management experience, she has the required expertise as well as a deep commitment to youth development. Maria has fifteen years of production experience in broadcast television, having worked with the BBC, PBS, and ABC News and was the executive producer of an international performing arts series developed in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union.  A native of Portugal, Maria graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from Boston University in 1996. Her academic career includes teaching positions at Boston University and Simmons College, as well as visiting fellowships at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria and the International Summer School in Cortona, Italy.
Casey joined the PS 3 ‘til 6 team in 2009 as our Office Manager and Environmental Science instructor.  Previously she worked as an Educator for the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment and Co-Director of an afterschool and summer program in Brooklyn.  She has an extensive background and a strong interest in youth development, education and leadership.  Casey received her Masters in Political Science from The New School where she focused on immigration and labor.
Makkeda has been with the afterschool program for over a decade. During the day, she works at a neighborhood Pre-School. Makkeda first joined the 3 ’til 6 team as a group leader of grades K/1. Over time, she gained great knowledge of the program’s operations and needs. While she is currently a part of the management team, the highlight of her day continues to be the interaction with the students. It is her goal to make a favorable impact in the lives of the children, and provide the guidance and nurturing that is vital to their healthy emotional, intellectual, and physical development. Makkeda also cherishes the many friendships she has developed with families in the school community.
TERENCE POPE (Rec & Sports)
Terence has been with the afterschool program for over five years. He is an activity specialist and oversees the Rec&Sports program for grades 2 -5.  Terence also works as a recess coach at PS 3 where his day begins at 7:00 every morning. In recognition of his extraordinary talent for dealing with children, Terence was nominated for the PASEsetter Award for Outstanding Afterschool Educators in 2010. Born and raised in the Bronx, he is a passionate photographer and weekend DJ.