Meet the Staff

Thomas X. Brodnitzki (Mr. B.) - Principal

Thomas X. Brodnitzki is in his second year as principal of CREC Impact Academy. He had the distinct honor of opening the Impact Academy during the 2017-2018 school year with a small pilot group of students. From the outset, the goal has been to build a unique learning opportunity for students to support them in reaching their goals. Mr. Brodnitzki is in his 20th year in education and his 18th year with CREC. During his time as an educator, he has served in several different roles. He has taught from eighth grade through each level of high school, as well as an adjunct instructor at the college level. While at CREC, Mr. Brodnitzki has taught Social Studies at CREC Metropolitan Learning Center, served as a Theme Coach and Assistant Principal at CREC Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy (now CREC Academy of Science and Innovation), and worked across the district’s 16 magnet schools in the role of Social Studies Curriculum Coordinator prior to opening the Impact Academy. Additionally, Mr. Brodnitzki helped lead the Capitol Region Interdistrict Leadership Academy for students across the region. Within each different position, he has described himself as a facilitator of student learning as he strives to help students learn, grow, and make meaning of their educational journey.


Mr. Brodnitzki holds a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Montana and master’s degrees in Educational Foundations and Geography from Central Connecticut State University. He completed his Administrative Certificate program from Sacred Heart University.  

Tyra Smith - Student & Family Engagement Specialist

Tyra Smith is Impact’s Student & Family Engagement Specialist. She has over ten years of experience working for CREC. Her early years at CREC included working for the divisions of Student Services and Operations, and the Executive Director’s Office as the Administrator of Special Projects. Before Impact, Ms. Smith was the district Community Engagement Specialist for the CREC Magnet Schools Office where she worked to assist students and families with barriers that prevented students from attending and being successful at school. Ms. Smith has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration as well as a master’s in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy from Bay Path University. She is currently pursuing a second master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In her spare time, Ms. Smith enjoys spending time with her four children, traveling, and braiding hair.


Athania Ramos - School Social Worker

Athania Ramos is Impact’s School Social Worker. This is Ms. Ramos’ first year with CREC. She comes to us from Hartford Public Schools where she worked as the City Connects School and Community Site Coordinator for Simpson-Waverly School. There she helped families and students obtain services both within the school and community. She also previously worked as a Behavior Technician at High School Inc. and Burns Latino Studies Academy where she helped bring restorative practices into her daily work with staff and students. Ms. Ramos also worked at The Village for Families and Children with the Juvenile Review Board for over three years. Ms. Ramos has a B.S. in the concentration of Human Services, and a master’s in Social Work from Springfield College. Ms. Ramos enjoys music and spending time with her two daughters.

Cole Grosner (Mr. G.) - STEM Teacher

Cole Grosner is Impact Academy’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teacher. He is in his seventh year with CREC. Before Impact, Mr. G worked at CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction. Mr. G. loves the outdoors. His hobbies include rock climbing, bicycling, judo, hiking, comic books, building things, playing music, and drinking coffee.

Zenab Elzein (Ms. E.) - English Teacher

Zenab Elzein is Impact Academy’s English teacher. Ms. E. has been a part of CREC throughout her development as a teacher, beginning with student teaching at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. Before working at Impact, Ms. E. was the Capstone teacher at CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. She has a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in English from Central Connecticut State University. On any given day, you can find her painting or writing poetry. People are her passion, and she loves spending time with family and friends.

Kristen Pinsonneault - Math Teacher
Bio to follow


Ronall Cannada - Social Studies Teacher
Bio to follow


Patricia Sullivan - Special Education Teacher
Patricia Sullivan is Impact Academy’s Special Education teacher.  She has been with CREC in various roles since 2005, and in between she has taught in public, private and alternative schools, grades Pre-K through 12, in Connecticut, Hawaii and Abu Dhabi, UAE.  She holds a BS in Special Education and MS in Education. Ms. Sullivan is a published author, (Viral A True Story of Epidemic Flu, Fear and Faith by AAE Murphy and Everyone Can Write About Whales), and enjoys sharing her writing, publishing and travel experiences to help learners dig deep to master self- and written expression. She is a child, environment and animal advocate. Outside of Impact Academy, Ms. Sullivan tutors medically fragile and homebound students, cares for her rescued pets, volunteers for organizations dedicated to protection of marine and terrestrial animals, and assists with efforts to create the world’s first dolphin sanctuary in Greece. She enjoys traveling, photography, the ocean and time with her family.


Tammy Walton- Associate Instructor
Bio to follow


Jeannette Estrada - Administrative Assistant
Bio to follow





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