About the Leadership


Mrs. Gigl

Head Dean – Chief School Adminstrator

Mrs. Gigl was the Founding Dean of Students at Empowerment Academy and has now moved into the role of Head Dean. She has always been driven to close the achievement gap that exists in urban education. She believes education is the tool children need to positively change our world.
She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Childhood Development, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. She also studied the acquisition of second languages at the University of Seville in Spain. After working within the realm of Social Services for a short time after graduation, she went back for her degree in teaching at Saint Peter’s University, where she continued her studies to earn a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and became a certificated Principal.
Mrs. Gigl taught a variety of elementary grades in traditional public schools in New Jersey and at a high achieving Charter School in Newark, New Jersey before becoming the Dean of Students at her placement in Newark, where she was also the founding teacher on a third grade team and fourth grade team and wrote significant portions of the school’s curriculum. She decided to leave her previous position in 2015 to help open Empowerment Academy in her hometown of Jersey City!
It is Mrs. Gigl’s mission to do whatever it takes to help create a disciplined, consistent, engaging, joyful, effective, and loving student culture where all students are able to thrive. Character Development and Community Service are extremely important to Mrs. Gigl and essential pillars of our academic program. Mrs. Gigl lives with her husband and daughter in Jersey City and truly loves this community.

Instructional Leadership


Mrs. Anthony-Hendry

Dean of Curriculum and Instruction

Mrs. Hendry was hired to be Empowerment Academy’s Dean of Curriculum and Instruction beginning with the 2017-2018 School Year. She is passionate about urban education and ensuring that every single student is equipped to succeed.
Mrs. Hendry earned her Bachelor of Arts from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. She majored in Anthropology. She then continued her studies at Seton Hall University in New Jersey where she obtained her Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy.
Before coming to Empowerment Academy, Mrs. Hendry spent 5 years at a Charter School in Newark, NJ, at which she was a Kindergarten Special Educator, First Grade Special Educator, Third Grade Reading Comprehension Teacher, and Dean of Students. Mrs. Hendry then moved to a different Charter School in Newark where she was a Lead Teacher, specializing in Guided Reading, and the Dean of Students and Families. It has always been extremely important to Mrs. Hendry to create and maintain a positive classroom culture that promotes the joy of learning. Mrs. Hendry’s experience in multiple grade levels at two extremely successful schools has prepared her to ensure our students have the highest quality curriculum and instruction possible!


Ms. Hilton

Teaching Coach

Ms. Hilton was Empowerment Academy’s founding ESL teacher and was consistently passionate in that position about helping other teachers develop their skills. She was asked to join Empowerment Academy’s Leadership Team as the school’s Teaching Coach beginning in the 2017-2018 School Year. She brings a growth philosophy to the Teaching Coach position that will support the constant professional growth and increasing mastery of every Empowerment Academy educator.
Ms. Hilton earned her Bachelors of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences in International Studies. She then continued her studies at Wilmington University in Delaware where she obtained her Master of Arts degree in Elementary Education.
Before coming to Empowerment, Ms. Hilton was a Teach for America Corp. member, during which time she took part in intensive professional development and coaching. She spent some time being a 2nd grade bilingual teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, and then moved to a high achieving charter school in Newark, NJ. She was a Lead Teacher during this placement and carefully tracked and analyzed student mastery of Common Core objectives, using data to drive daily instruction. We are extremely excited to have Ms. Hilton move into her new role as Teaching Coach on the Leadership Team.

Business Administration


Mr. Raschdorf

Business Administrator

Mr. Raschdorf is the founding Business Adminstrator Empowerment Academy. Prior to Empowerment’s founding, he was the founing School Business Administrator for our partner school, BelovED Community Charter School.

He earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in History from Alliance College in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, and a Master’s of Science in Accounting from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City.


Mr. Moeller

Director of Operations

Before joining Empowerment Academy as its Director of Operations, Mr. Moeller served as the Chief Administrative Officer and Vice President for Operations at The King’s College in New York City, where he had also earlier served as the College’s Dean of Students.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a Masters of Divinity from the International School of Theology in San Bernardino, California.

Staff & Support


Ms. Browne
Office Manager

Mr. Seetaram

Miss Shaw
Social Worker

Mr. Montanez
Head Custodian

Mrs. McCord-Bligen
Head of Security