(203) 333-2211
500 State Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604

Faculty & Staff

AJLA prides itself on a highly trained and nurturing staff. 

Our PreK3 and PreK4 classes maintain an exceptional
1:7 teacher-to-student ratio.
All elementary grades will have no more than 18 students with 2 teachers.

AJLA teachers lead children to ask questions and discover connections; to think and work independently, collaboratively and creatively; and to learn by doing.


Patty Lewis

Founder and Head of School
Patty is the Founder of AJLA and also serves as Head of School. With over ten years of classroom teaching experience, she holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and is licensed by the State of Connecticut as a Head Teacher for Child Day Care Centers for Birth to 5. Prior to founding Adam J. Lewis Academy, Patty taught in the Greens Farms Academy Lower School and later worked for seven years in its Office of Admission, giving educational assessments to four-year-olds applying for kindergarten.

Julie Mombello

Co-Founder and Director
Julie is the Co-Founder and oversees all operations of AJLA. She holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and a Professional Educator’s Certificate for Pre K-6, and she is licensed by the State of Connecticut as a Head Teacher for Child Day Care Centers for Birth to 5 and School-Age Children. Prior to her work at AJLA, Julie worked at Greens Farms Academy as both a first grade teacher and Lower School Assistant Director of Admission. She also taught at Christ and Holy Trinity Preschool.

Jennifer Bargas

Preschool Teacher
Jen was new to AJLA in the 2017-2018 school year. She has eleven years of teaching experience in a variety of classroom settings, five of which were spent in Pre-K and kindergarten. Jen holds a Master's degree in Elementary Special Education from Bank Street College.

Sarah Bonti

After the Bell Teacher and Summer Camp Director
Sarah has been the Summer Camp Director at AJL for the last 4 years. She taught part-time with us for the last 3 years, and is now an "After the Bell" teacher 3 days a week. During the school day, Sarah works at Fusion Academy in Fairfield as the Post-Secondary Counselor. She holds a Master’s degree in School Counseling from Southern Connecticut State University and a Bachelor's Degree from Denison University in Education and Psychology. Sarah is also a founding member of AJLA's Junior Board.

Talli Connell

Preschool Teacher
Talli graduated from Davidson College with a BA in Economics and after working in the world of finance for 6 years, earned her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education. She taught in a Pre-K classroom at York Avenue Preschool in New York City before having her own family. Talli currently lives in Fairfield with her husband and three children.

Doreen Davis

Preschool Teacher
Doreen joined us at AJL in 2015 and has been a head teacher in the early childhood classroom for the last seven years. She is a certified teacher in the State of Connecticut, and she is licensed by the State as a Head Teacher for Children Birth to 5 and School-Age Children. Doreen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education.
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Marissa Donnelly

Director of Community Relations
Marissa joins us from The Center for Family Justice, Bridgeport, where she served as Director of Development. Previously, she was the Finance Director for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and the Deputy Finance Director for the 2006 Diane Farrell campaign for Congress. Marissa is a proud parent of two AJLA alums, as well as a past Board member.

Libby Hibbs

Preschool Teacher
Libby graduated from Connecticut College and taught at the Greenfield Hill Church Nursery School in Southport. She first came to AJLA as a late day teacher, and after 2 years, joined our preschool program in the mornings. She lives in Fairfield with her husband and has four grown children.

Lindsey Hoffman

After the Bell Teacher
Lindsey has been an elementary and preschool teacher for over twenty years. She currently teaches at Greenfield Hill Church Nursery School in Fairfield. Lindsey holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College. She is licensed by the State of Connecticut as a Head Teacher for Child Day Care Centers for Children Birth to 5.

Widlaine Lamb

Kindergarten Teacher
Widlaine has been an educator for the past 15 years. She studied Early Childhood Education at Norwalk Community College and than went on to study Human Services & Psychology at the University of Bridgeport. Widlaine taught as a Head Preschool teacher for 10 years in private preschools and then went on to teach her own children as a stay-at-home mom! She is married with 3 boys, one of which is an AJL alumni, currently attending Fairfield Country Day School with her oldest son, and her youngest son attends AJLA!

Carla Patrona

Kindergarten Teacher
Carla joins AJLA having worked in private education for the last 13 years. During those years, she taught in all of the lower elementary grades, ranging from Pre-Kindergarten to Second grade. Her most recent experiences included creating and implementing a revised early learning program for Pre-Kindergarten and teaching Kindergarten, and she is most passionate about these first school experiences. Carla holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Northeastern University where her teacher training also focused on urban education. Carla is excited to serve the community of Bridgeport and is committed to providing a year of excellence and growth to her Kindergarten students.

Saba Pina

Preschool Teacher
A founding teacher of AJLA, Saba started teaching in our preschool classroom in 2013. She holds a Master’s degree in Education, with a focus in Counseling Psychology, and has over fifteen years of experience working as a licensed mental health clinician. Saba received her Child Development Associate Credential from Norwalk Community College, and she is a certified teacher of yoga for children.

Steve Swett

Director of Physical Education


Adam J. Lewis Academy thanks the many volunteers who provide invaluable support to our program, including:

Dr. Peter Ferrara

Anne Hoover

Linda Meli-Lefebvre

Elaine Rankowitz

Martha Russell

Dr. Susan Shack Sackler

Marcy Shinbaum

Pro Bono Partnership