Please scroll down to view more staff bios.  

mental health team  

Sarah Groark

Mental HEALTH COORDINATOR

Sarah is very excited to be joining Compass as the school psychologist. Sarah has been engaged in progressive education for over twenty years. She received her B.A. and an M.A. from interdisciplinary studies programs (The Evergreen State College and NYU). Sarah began her career in education as a literacy tutor at the Children's Workshop in the East Village and was introduced to the Bank Street model. She then worked as an assistant teacher and paraprofessional at several special needs elementary schools while also teaching cooking classes with children for many years at the 92nd St Y. After a decade in the classroom, Sarah realized that her introverted personality was not best suited for the classroom, and she found that the role of the school psychologist was an ideal fit. After completing her M.S.Ed at Brooklyn College, Sarah worked in Maryland and Colorado as a school psychologist in public schools. 

While in Colorado, she decided to indulge her love of learning and entered a PhD program in school psychology at the University of Northern Colorado. Through the doctoral program, she had the opportunity to work with new populations and in new settings. In particular, Sarah became very involved with supporting the growing refugee community in Colorado. Last year, she completed an APA clinical child psychology internship with the University of New Mexico Hospital working in outpatient clinic, inpatient, and integrated care settings. Throughout her career and education, Sarah's primary research and clinical focus has been on supporting diverse and vulnerable students be academically and emotionally successful. 

After seven long years away from Brooklyn, she is thrilled to be back in Brooklyn! Besides her position at Compass, Sarah also is an adjunct faculty at Brooklyn College in their School Psychology program. In her free time, she enjoys walking the city with her dog, cooking, and reading.


Cordelia johnson

Social Worker

Originally from Vermont, for over 15 years now Cordelia Johnson has been working with children and families as a school social worker, therapist, teacher, arts educator, curriculum consultant, museum docent, and camp counselor.  In 2010 she received a Master’s Degree in "Arts in Education" from Harvard University and went on to work as a collaborative classroom teacher at the Reggio Emilia influenced preschool, TriBeCa Community School.  In 2013 Cordelia completed her Master’s in Social Work as a part of New York University Silver School of Social Work’s Clinical Work with Children and Families program. Cordelia also an artist working primarily in watercolor and pen and ink, and an avid baker/crafter/sewer and has lived and worked in Clinton Hill for over six years.

 


stephanie penberthy

Social Worker

Stephanie is excited to work with the Mental Health Team this year as a school social worker. Prior to joining the Compass team, Stephanie has worked as a social worker in several school settings.  Most recently, she was a school social worker in Newark, New Jersey providing comprehensive mental health services to students across the school community.  Stephanie believes that natural exploration is an integral part of education and helping children build the skills that will ultimately lead to happy and fulfilled lives.

Stephanie completed a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences at St. Joseph’s University in 2005 majoring in sociology, and minoring in psychology.  In 2008, Stephanie moved to Brooklyn to begin graduate school at New York University.  After completing internships and course work in social work, Stephanie completed her Masters Degree in Social Work. In 2014, she completed a Post-Masters Certificate in Clinical Practice with Adolescents. Through an array of social work positions, Stephanie has been committed to advocating for social justice and equality.   In her spare time, she loves to cook with fresh CSA veggies and spend time with her two loving cats named Jelly and Homer.


Sara is delighted to join Compass as a school psychology intern this year. Born and raised in Morocco, she attended multiple education systems as a student, and developed an interest in pedagogy. She became very curious about the child’s mind and development and wondered how to create nurturing and exciting learning environments in an adult focused world.

As an international student, Sara completed a Bachelor’s degree at Hunter College, CUNY, majoring in psychology and minoring in Sociology and Mathematics.  She then completed a graduate certificate in teaching English as a second language at Teachers College, Columbia University. Finally, Sara is now pursuing a specialist degree in School Psychology, a specialist degree in mental health counseling and an advanced certificate in play therapy at Brooklyn College, CUNY.

Sara believes that children learn best through play and exploration in an environment where they feel safe and connected to full-size and tiny humans.  

When she is not in school, Sara enjoys spending quality time with her baby and taking dance classes.

 

SARAH EL

SCHOOL PSYCH      INTERN