Academy Directors

Board of Directors – Governing Body of the Academy

MITCHELL R. WEISS- Board Chairman

Born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. Mitchells whole life was committed to working for the community and the needs of the people for the City of New York in which he lived. From his early days as an Executive with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, working in the implementation of the then uninsured programs for the State of New York in the Harlem area of the City. Moving on as a consultant on government and political affairs for the Little Flower Children Services of New York, a child care agency in Brooklyn/Wading River, L.I. Committed to the church and working very closely with the Italian Community. Mitchell moved on to be the Director of Development for the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Brooklyn, being a vital part of the annual Feast of the Giglio. Mitchell continues to do consultant work as a Director of Business Development for a security firm in Brooklyn.

Mitchell serves as Board member for the American Academy of Professional Law Enforcement (AAPLE), member of the American Management Association, Board member of the United States Selective Service System and proudly serves as Clergy/Community Liaison for the First Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of the Department of the NYPD as well as numerous committees in regards to cultural diversity, race relations, health care and committees for the disabled. Mitchell has been honored by many groups in the Professional Field of Law Enforcement: receiving the Community Affairs Award from Brooklyn Law School Enforcement Association, The Robert Colangelo Award from the American Academy of Professional Law Enforcement of New York, The Humanitarian Award from the NYPD Columbia Association, Man of the Year from the Ferrani League for his work with the Italian Community, the UBI Caritas Award from the former Bishop of Brooklyn, Francis J. Mugavero, Honoree of the Howard Beach Columbus Day Foundation Parade. 2014 Honoree of the Lt. Det. Petrosino in America Association, 2014 Honoree of the Italian Charities in America, Inc., honored by the Republic of Italy with the decoration of Cavaliere and many others.


SR. FILIPPA LUCIANO- Vice Board Chairwoman

Sr. Filippa Luciano, CSJ is a Sister of Saint Joseph of Brentwood who served as the Assistant Principal for Admissions at The Mary Louis Academy until June 2015. She earned a BA in History with a Minor in Spanish from the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and got her MA from New York University. Sister later received her NYS Certification in Administration and Supervision from Fordham University. Her teaching ministry began at Holy Name of Mary School in Valley Stream. She later went on to teach in Brooklyn and Puerto Rico. Prior to her work at Mary Louis, she served as Principal of Transfiguration School in Williamsburg and as a Supervisor of Elementary Schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens. Sister Filippa serves as a Minister of Communion and a Lector at the parish in which she resides and worships.



Christine Modafferi has been in the banking industry for more than 30 years. She is Vice President and Regional Market Manager for TD Bank. Christine currently oversees 15 locations on the Westside of Manhattan and the Bronx Region. In this role she is responsible for driving business, maintaining the banks relationships with customers and community groups, oversees a staff of 200, and manages a portfolio of $1.6 billion throughout the 15 locations. Christine is a Howard Beach native and her love for Our Lady of Grace Parish began at an early age. She attended Our Lady of Grace School and absolutely believes that her Catholic Education is the foundation of her strong faith. There is nothing more important to Christine then her faith, her family and her Parish Community.



Katherine Samuel is a long time Brooklyn resident of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Katherine attended Catholic schools in Brooklyn and currently serves as the second grade Communion teacher at Our Lady of Angels Parish Faith Formation program. She is also a minister of the Eucharist of this parish. She attended The University of Scranton to obtain her degree in Elementary and Special Education, as well as her Masters degree in Reading Education. While pursuing her degree, Katherine worked with local social service organizations to establish an after school program for students in nearby low income housing. In addition, Katherine has traveled extensively, spending time working with students and faculty in Kenya and Uganda. For the past three years, Katherine worked as a Special Education teacher at a high school located in East Harlem. She is currently a special education teacher adapting the science curriculum to individual student needs at Millennium High School in NYC. In addition, Katherine is currently working towards a Doctoral degree in Instructional Leadership at St. John’s University.




Maria has lived in Ozone / Howard community since 1986 and has worked in NYC as an Executive Assistant since 1982. Maria is the mother of Gianna and Nicholas. 

Gianna and Nicholas went to Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy since they were in the Mommy & Me program through their 8th grade graduation. They were taught the love of God, to love their neighbors and to love themselves.  The safe, secure and disciplined environment that Our Lady of Grace Catholic Academy provided through the years and continues to do so has provided Maria to be peaceful and worry-free.  Her children have received a wonderful academic education, through the challenging curriculum and quality of teachers.  Gianna and Nicholas and have made lasting friendships at OLGCA and continued on to attend Catholic High Schools and a Catholic University.

Maria is the proud product of parents who migrated from Italy to find a better life in America where she learned to be strong, independent, hard-working and have a strong faith in God and have a deep love for her family. Maria’s Mom who was widowed at 23 years old, through her love and sacrifice gave Maria a Catholic eduction where she attended St. Sylvester’s Elementary School in City Line, Brooklyn and Dominican Commercial, High School in Jamaica, Queens. Maria cherishes her family, family roots, her firm faith foundation, her strong work ethnics, her community and her parish.