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Nativity Preparatory Academy, Rochester’s only tuition-free private middle school for underserved students in grades 5-8, is welcoming two new staff members: Charles Arnell as the Physical Education and Health Teacher and Tracey O’Brien as the Mathematics Teacher.

In Arnell’s new role as the Physical Education and Health Teacher, he will be providing wellness education for students in grade 5-8. In addition, he will provide interscholastic sports coaching.

“I am so blessed to join the Nativity community,” says Arnell. “The caring and committed family of students, teachers, and staff is unmatched!”

Prior to joining Nativity, Arnell served as a General Manager and Assistant Manager at many establishments, such as Applebee’s and PF Chang’s China Bistro where he managed various processes across departments. Arnell is a graduate of Williams College located in Williamstown, MA, where he earned his B.S. in Chemistry/Pre-Med. Arnell resides in Gates with his partner, Tina, his father, his daughter and two rambunctious dogs, Harmony and Ares.

O’Brien will be joining Nativity as a Mathematics Teacher. Her responsibilities include providing mathematical instruction to students in grades 5-8. She will also collaborate with the middle school teacher team on strategies for student achievements.

“I am excited to work with my new Nativity students and see where the journey takes us.” she says.

Previously, O’Brien served as a Mathematics Teacher at McQuaid Jesuit and at the Freddie Thomas Learning Center in Rochester, where she effectively employed various teaching practices to achieve instructional goals for math courses. O’Brien lives in Webster with her husband, Tom, and she has three children.

“We are grateful to have Charles and Tracey on the team!” says James C. Smith, President. “Their expertise, passion, and heart for the Nativity mission is a perfect addition to our amazing staff which continues to deliver an exceptional education for our students.”

Based on a nationally renowned educational model, Nativity Prep is in its 13th year of providing a tuition-free Catholic middle school education for underserved Rochester youth. Small by design, with a current student capacity of 60 students, Nativity welcomes a diverse background of faith traditions with the unifying purpose of caring about education.

An extended school day and academic year, strong enrichment program, and graduate support through college and career offers students and families an immersive experience. Dedicated and caring administrators, faculty and staff personally mentor and support students well after graduation.



Nativity Preparatory Academy
15 Whalin Street
Rochester, NY 14620