Jared Keshishian » North Bergen S.T.E.A.M. Academy

North Bergen S.T.E.A.M. Academy

Welcome to the North Bergen S.T.E.A.M. Academy at Kennedy School.
Our goal as educators is to empower our students with 21st-century skills and prepare them to compete and succeed with other global entities. Although the current P.E.A.K. model has been in the district for 40 years and has evolved into an innovative initiative, we believe it is time to introduce S.T.E.A.M. as our updated Gifted and Talented program, especially with the current G & T laws that took effect for the 2020-2021 school year (click here). With The S.T.E.M. Academy at the high school established and thriving, we would like to create a feeder program that can prepare students for the S.T.E.M. Academy and/or other opportunities in their academic careers, as well as retain our best and brightest students in the district.
S.T.E.A.M. 8 will be at North Bergen High School for the 23-24 school year.
Meet the S.T.E.A. M.  5 & 6 & 7 Academy Teachers

5th - 7th Grade Science

Ms. Diaz Picture

My name is Ms. Diaz and I graduated from Montclair State University. I am fluent in Spanish and have taught in diverse classrooms, including bilingual and inclusive classrooms. I address my class as Team Diaz, as I view us as a strong unit. I am incredibly grateful to have built strong and rewarding bonds with my students thus far. A key aspect of my pedagogy is that students are actively engaged in the learning process. Along this journey, I hope to enable your child to believe in themselves and fall in love with learning! (Ms. Diaz Teacher page)

5th - 7th Grade Social Studies

Ms. Lejeune Picture

Hi everyone! My name is Mrs. LeJeune and I teach S.T.E.A.M. 5 ELA and Social Studies! I am so thrilled to be part of the S.T.E.A.M. Academy! 

A little bit about me! I grew up in North Bergen and attended Horace Mann School. I graduated from North Bergen High School- Class of 2000! My incredible teachers in North Bergen inspired me to become a teacher. 

I started my career at Horace Mann School as a 6th-grade teacher. Then a wonderful opportunity arose where I became the gifted and talented P.E.A.K. teacher for grades 5 & 6. We did amazing things both inside and outside of the classroom. We explored various habitats such as Sandy Hook Beach, where we went fish seining and hiked trails at Scherman Hoffman Sanctuary, where we learned about forests, deer, and bears. We competed in multiple competitions such as Crime Scene Investigations, Academic Bowl, STEM challenges, Forensics, and Battle of the Books- where we remain #1 champs! 

I have a deep passion for teaching, and I want to share my love of learning with you! Welcome to the S.T.E.AM. Academy and congratulations! (Ms. LeJeune Teacher Page)


5th - 7th Grade ELA

Sastre Picture

Hi! My name is Ms. Sastre, and I am so excited to be a part of STEAM Academy this year at Kennedy School. More importantly, I am thrilled to be YOUR teacher! It’s going to be a fun year full of learning and new experiences. Some things I would like you to know about me is that I am very passionate about teaching and challenging young minds like yourselves to think outside the box. With this new program, we will be doing just that every day! This will be my 9th year teaching, and I have primarily taught 6th grade ELA. I have a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, with a specialization in Reading. Outside of the classroom, I love staying active with my daughter and shopping at Target. I can’t wait to spend this next year learning and growing with you! (Ms. Sastre Teacher Page)

5th - 7th Grade Mathematics

Mrs. Ricco Picture

My name is Mrs. RIcco and have been a teacher in the North Bergen school district since 2001.  I graduated from New York’s Queens College with a degree in English and Urban Studies.  After a successful tenure in the corporate world, through stints in fashion, legal, and entertainment, I found my calling as an elementary teacher in the early 2000’s.  I received a Master’s degree in the Science of Education, graduating at the top of my class.  I am a member of New Jersey STEM Pathways Network, Liberty STEM Ecosystem, and sit on the STEM Early Childhood committee. I have collaborated with STEAMTANK, the partnership between the Department of Education and the US Army for STEAM education. In addition, I was the math lead teacher for my grade level for the past five years and am a designated math teacher for the Hudson County Curriculum Consortium. I have taught statistics at Saint Peter’s University as an adjunct professor.  I am also the author of a children’s math story. (Mrs. Ricco Teacher Page)


5th - 7th Grade G & T Teacher


Hello, welcome to North Bergen S.T.E.A.M. Academy!  My name is Heather Carline and I am so excited to be a part of the S.T.E.A.M. Academy Team.  I have been an educator for 22 years and I am still a work in progress!  I believe that learning is a lifelong journey and I want my students to understand that the mind is one of our greatest assets.  Helping children discover their passions and recognize their potential is what makes teaching so rewarding for me.  I will strive to engage my students in meaningful learning experiences that will challenge them and spark creativity.  I want my students to relax and have fun.  We are going to have an AWESOME school year! My Education:  Bachelor of Arts Elementary Education: West Virginia University Master of Science in Education Specialized in Reading Instruction: Nova Southeastern University Supervisor Certification: New Jersey City University

Gifted & Talented Education Certification: Montclair University Currently enrolled in Computer Science Education Certification Program: Montclair University

Email: [email protected]

Office Telephone:  201-974-7036

Rubric for S.T.E.A.M. 5 Identification Rubric. (click here for all S.T.E.A.M. grades rubric)

North Bergen School District

STEAM Academy

Student Identification Matrix: Grade 5















NJSLA 3 Math





Screening Assessment for Gifted Elementary Students


















Linkit Benchmark Math B


Linkit Benchmark ELA B






Not App


FastBridge Math


FastBridge ELA

























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