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In the current Covid-19 world, essential workers are those whom others cannot function without. On this page, we recognize people in our WESS community who are doing essential work, often at risk to themselves. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts. If there is someone you would like to see recognized here, please email

(And here is a wonderful video tribute from Governor Andrew Cuomo to all NYC essential workers.)


WESS’s essential workers, in alphabetical order…


Brigitte Alexander, mom to 10th graders Ryan and Sophie, is an ER Physician at the Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn and tending to incoming patients on the frontline.  In addition to patient care Brigitte works hard to keep up her staff’s spirits.

Ken Botte, father of 10th grader Jayden, is a Resident Manager for an UWS building with 123 units and 12 employees for 28 years on the job in the same building! Once attended art school and wanted to be an art teacher, he’s now keeping 123 families safe and their building running efficiently with his team of frontline employees.

Adriana Caballero, mom to Pablo (8th grade), works as a Medical Interpreter at NYU Langone. She provides medical interpretation services for patients and family members who are not English-language proficient. In addition, she’s also a volunteer with the COVID-19 “Navigation Interpreting Project” and “A Call to Care.” Getting information to people in their own language is absolutely paramount during this unprecedented time, she would like to encourage anyone that speaks a second language to find places where they can volunteer and help others that are having difficulties communicating and receiving information because they are not English-language proficient. Here is also a website with multiple options to help others and volunteer –

Michael Carullo, father of WESS School Counselor John Carullo, has been a Funeral Director at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on the Upper East Side for the last 40 years. He has helped families from across the tri-state area during their most challenging times as they deal with the loss of their loved ones. Since the Covid 19 outbreak, Mr. Carullo has been working long hours, six days a week assisting families who have faced the tragedy of losing the people closest to them. He has continued to be both compassionate and dedicated to the people of NYC during this pandemic.

Nancy Corona, mom of Aidan Corona in 10th grade, is a community health nurse caring for Covid-19 patients at home, for end of life care. She’s been a nurse for more than 30 years and she currently visits as well as care for patients in their homes.

Elizabeth Elohim, mom to daughter Alayja Richardson (9th grade) is currently providing services to individuals who have developmental disabilities that need 24/7 supervised care. These individuals are doing well and have the support of a dedicated staff who insure their safety and well-being day in and day out.

Philipp Houck, father of Sophia (6th grade) and Tamara (10th grade), is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist at New York Presbyterian / Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. He is currently covering the makeshift adult Covid-19 Intensive Care Unit converted from operating rooms to serve an additional 80 patients to accommodate the overflow during this pandemic.

Alex Huang, uncle to Thomas Aabo (9th grade), is the Logistics and Receiving Manager at Fairway Market.  In addition to his day of meetings, scheduling, and orders, he stepped in to cover the loading docks with daily interaction with various outside drivers, vendors and farmers, for timely and smooth incoming deliveries so they can continually stock the store for the community.

Nicole Izsak, mother of 10th grader Elisha, was moved by the plight of the nurses and patients at the emergency Covid hospital that was hastily set up on Roosevelt Island where she lives. She saw messages on Facebook, from nurses, asking for an array of essential items as well as food for nurses since many services or equipment were not yet installed when the hospital hastily opened. She galvanised the local community who readily responded to an Amazon wish list and to date all the needs have now been met.” it’s just about joining the dots” between those who need and those who can donate. Nicole also managed to get 30 ipads donated from an organisation that was rehoming donated ipads for use in Covid wards. In addition to the Covid hospital Nicole has also been helping to get much needed PPE into the existing hospital on the island, Coler Rehab and nursing home where staff and patients were desperate for protection. In conjunction with an amazing donation of 1000 masks from a stranger on Facebook, Nicole receives donations from HongKongers since she moved to New York from Hong Kong 8 months ago.   

Regina Kachkoff-Enk, mom to 6th grader Kira, is a registered nurse at NYP Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital Emergency Department was deployed to help colleagues at Columbia University Medical Center Emergency Department, where the ravages are clearly visible.

Tony Kovacevic, father of 10th grader Emilia, is a Resident Manager for an UWS building with a staff of 10. He’s been diligently working every day to ensure the safety of everyone and make sure things are running smoothly during this difficult time, as well as helping out in two other buildings in Chelsea and on the UES.

Roseline Lafleur, wife of WESS French and Spanish teacher Evens Lafleur, is a Registered Nurse. She works at a nursing home in New Jersey as a night-shift supervisor and has been very courageous facing this challenging moment along with other essential workers.

Laura Lavicoli, mom to Isabella Allensworth (7th Grade) and soon-to-be WESS student Lucy Allensworth, is a board certified emergency medicine physician and Associate Director of the Emergency Department of Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens.

Kieran O’Connor, father to Jonathan (10th), Alanna (8th) and Aine (6th), is one of the silent and sometimes unseen employees working tirelessly 7 days a week to keep the 164 unit building he manages running smoothly during this unprecedented pandemic. Everyday Kieran works in the building, among many employees who commute in from all over the tri-state area and tenants who are sheltering in, some with the virus, and covers for anyone unable to come into work on any given day. For the past five weeks Kieran has lived alone so he can keep his family virus free and has been helping another building on the UES who recently lost their superintendent due to fallout from Covid-19. Like many in similar situations, his priority is to maintain the building standards while trying to remain healthy and positive.

Timothy Pruce, father to Eden in the 10th grade, is an Outreach Coordinator/Counselor/TBI Advocate at Mount Sinai Hospital.  Timothy works remotely holding sessions with various clients making sure they keep their sanity during this pandemic, and has weekly virtual meetings with his colleagues at Mount Sinai to better coordinate and adjust treatment as requirements change.

Patrick Regan, dad to 6th grader Charlie and 10th grader Cash, is the Program Director for The St. Francis Breadline in midtown Manhattan, operating 7 days a week on the frontline serving over 300 hungry people daily. The breadline is serving even more people during the pandemic as soup kitchens are temporarily shut down.

Ken Shapiro, dad to 6th grader Amelia, is a surgeon and he is continuing to go to work to save lives, putting himself on the frontline of the pandemic danger.

Roberta Solomon, mom to daughter Jordan Citron in the 6th grade, is a Deputy Executive Director of Adult and Community Development at Goddard Riverside, a non-profit settlement house serving over 22,000 vulnerable New Yorkers in 27 programs across 22 sites.  She continues to work during this pandemic and spearheads homeless outreach teams, works with her on-site case managers, social workers and nurses to support homeless adults with medical needs, mental health and substance use. In addition, she supervises an ACT team (licensed mobile mental health clinic), multiple remote and virtual programs that provide services such as: tele-mental health, legal advice, NYC benefits and resources, psychosocial support and wellness checks, as well as food and meals to seniors and the larger community.

Samrat Worah,
father of 8th grader Aarav and 4th grader Arshya, is an intensivist & anesthesiologist working on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus at his hospital SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn. (a governor mandated COVID only hospital). This collage is inspired by the reality we are living as a family. Our daily interactions revolve around how many patients are gone and how many survived, whether there is enough protection and whether he is eating well.  The word cloud images were done by our kids to honor Samrat. One way we are coping as a family is through our blog. We welcome reflections from anyone who wishes to participate and send in an entry: