Spring Awakening: Join us Thursday, March 9th at our annualGala & Auction!

Spring Awakening: Join us Thursday, March 9th at our annualGala & Auction!

Spring Awakening: Join us Thursday, March 9th at our annualGala & Auction!

February 2023

Tue
14

February Mug & Muffin (AM)

Location: 134 Duane St. Time: 9.15 - 10.15 a.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Heather to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Wed
15

February Mug & Muffin (PM)

Location: 55 Hudson St. Time: 1.15 - 2.15 p.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Maria to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Wed
15

Rachel Henes Parent Workshop

Mindful Parenting: Riding Emotional Waves with Calm & Compassion

 

Location: 134 Duane St. Time: 9.15 - 10.15 a.m

 

Sign up via newsletter.

Thu-Thu
16-16

Fireside Chat with Raffi

Raising Community-Minded Children

 

Via Zoom. Time: 8.00 - 9.00 p.m

 

Sign up via newsletter.

Mon
20

President Day - School Closed

Tue
21

Faculty & Staff Appreciation Day - School Closed

Wed
22

Staff Development Day - School Closed

Thu-Thu
09-09

WMS Gala & Auction

City Winery

Tue
14

March Mug & Muffin (AM)

Location: 134 Duane St. Time: 9.15 - 10.15 a.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Heather to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Tue
14

Rachel Henes Parent Workshop (Virtual)

Grappling with Achievement Culture: How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids in High-Achieving Settings

 

Time: 8.00 p.m. Sign up via newsletter.

Wed
15

March Mug & Muffin (PM)

Location: 55 Hudson St. Time: 1.15 - 2.15 p.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Maria to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Mon-Fri
20-31

Spring Break - School Closed

Mon
03

WMS Reopens for Children

Fri
07

Good Friday - School Closed

Tue
11

Rachel Henes Parent Workshop (Virtual)

Beyond Stereotypes: Understanding Gender, Socialization & Development

 

Time: 8.00 p.m. Sign up via newsletter.

Thu-Thu
20-21

Parent Teacher Conferences - School Closed for Children

Mon-Fri
24-28

Room to Grow Book & Toy Drive

Tue
25

April Mug & Muffin (AM)

Location: 134 Duane St. Time: 9.15 - 10.15 a.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Heather to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Wed
26

April Mug & Muffin (PM)

Location: 55 Hudson St. Time: 1.15 - 2.15 p.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Maria to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Wed-Fri
10-12

WMS Art Show

55 Hudson St. More details to follow in the weekly newsletter.

Tue
23

May Mug & Muffin (AM)

Location: 134 Duane St. Time: 9.15 - 10.15 a.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Heather to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Wed
24

May Mug & Muffin (PM)

Location: 55 Hudson St. Time: 1.15 - 2.15 p.m.

 

All welcome. Meet with Carrie & Maria to discuss parenting. Sign up via the newsletter

Mon
29

Memorial Day - School Closed

Sat
03

WMS Street Fair

Fri
16

Last Day of School for Children

Mon
26

First Day of WMS Summer Program

Tue
04

Independence Day - School Closed

Fri
28

Last Day of WMS Summer Program

calendar calendar

Faculty

Hudson Street

Carmen Andino

(she/her)

Alex Baker

(she/her)

Odette Botelho

(she/her)

Christine Buono

(she/her)

Nicole Draskoczy

(she/her)

Maxwell Fletcher

(he/him)

Sonya Goldman

(she/her)

Thomas Halley

(he/him)

Janie Hepler

(she/her)

Molly Kendall

(she/her)

Deanna Khan

(she/her)

Catherine Levenson

(she/her)

Marsha Neptune

(she/her)

Bridgitte Rodguez

(she/her)

Sana Vasi

(she/her)

Claudia von Nostitz

(she/her)

Hannah Weiss

(she/her)

Julie Wolf

(she/her)

Jan Wyllie

(she/her)

Duane Street

Monica Albu

(she/her)

Katie Beer

(they/them)

Lauren Bridges

(she/her)

Molly Dore

(she/her)

Biancy Garcia

(she/her)

Maria Henley

(she/her)

Linda Incantalupo

(she/her)

Jeff Johnson

(he/him)

Lyrica Levin

(she/her)

Justine Manser

(she/her)

Kayleigh McAllister

(she/her)

Ava Mozaffari

(she/her)

Noriko Okamura

(she/her)

Shiori O'Neil

(they/them)

Katherine Rattanawan

(she/her)

Sofia Schultz

(she/her)

Studios

Susan Bertram

(she/her)

Library & Extended Day

Evan Garfield

(he/him)

Music

Laurie Keane

(she/her)

Art (on Sabbatical)

Heather Lee

(she/her)

Movement & Drama

Kate Mangold

(she/her)

Art

Stina Puotinen

(she/her)

Art

Carmen Andino

(she/her)

Carmen has been a classroom teacher at The Washington Market School since 2013. What drew her to early childhood teaching is how connected she is to experiential learning. She loves watching her students discover the world around them through hands-on, inquiry-based learning. Her favorite thing about working at WMS is the ability to have an emergent curriculum. Every year, the interests of the children lead to new discoveries.

Carmen received her Bachelors’ degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Hartford, and her Master’s degree in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education. Prior to her time at The Washington Market School, Carmen taught in a variety of schools and cultural institutions around New York. She has taught pre-k all the way up to high school aged students, in both museum and school settings.

Carmen was born and raised in New York City. In her free time, Carmen loves to read and take pictures. She is also a proud mom of two curious kids.

Alex Baker

(she/her)

Bio coming soon!

Odette Botelho

(she/her)

Odette always wanted to be a teacher ever since she was little, believing that children bring joy to the world. She is drawn to young children and respects them. She loves their zest for life and how they love learning and sharing what they know.

Having taught at The Washington Market School since 2003, Odette is a huge believer in the Montessori philosophy. Her favorite thing about The Washington Market School is how the children are respected and valued as individuals, and the independence we foster in their development.

Odette received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Education and Sociology from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She also holds a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. She is New York State certified and licensed to teach from birth to sixth grade. Odette also completed yoga training for children through Karma Kids in NY and is certified to teach yoga to ages 1-18. Prior to working at The Washington Market School, Odette was a teacher and mentor for several years at Buckle My Shoe.

Odette was raised in Westport, Massachusetts. Her family is originally from the Azores, which are nine Portuguese Islands 900 miles off the coast of Portugal. Odette loves being in nature, especially by the ocean and in the woods. She enjoys swimming, hiking, and going for long walks. She is an avid traveler. Her goal is to someday visit all seven continents. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family and friends, and also likes doing yoga, dancing, and reading.

Christine Buono

(she/her)

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Christine joined The Washington Market School as a high school intern in 1998. After graduating from Hunter College with a Bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts, she immediately began working full time as a classroom teacher in 2001 and has been here ever since. Christine believes that at The Washington Market School, we are a family, and that the close knit bonds formed with the other amazing teachers are invaluable!

During her earlier years while working at The Washington Market School, Christine was also part of an organization called On Your Mark, based out of Staten Island. There, she led social groups for children with special needs as well as working 1 to 1 with some of the children outside of the larger group.

Christine now lives in Staten Island with her son JJ. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking, but what she LOVES to do the most is cheer her son on at his basketball games!

Nicole Draskoczy

(she/her)

Nicole has been a teacher at The Washington Market School since 2005. Her favorite thing about working at WMS is the amazing community of teachers, staff, and families—she loves the supportive, thoughtful, creative culture of our school!

Nicole has a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, both from New York University, and is certified by the State of New York in both fields. Nicole is an American Montessori Society trained educator for ages 3-6. Prior to working at The Washington Market School, she served as a field consultant to the West Side Montessori Teacher Education program, where she co-taught the student teaching course, and is a past participant of the International Study Group in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Nicole has also taught art at summer camps around NYC, including Sacred Heart.

Nicole is from Hollidaysburg, PA. In her free time, Nicole loves spending time outdoors, either upstate in the Adirondacks hiking, swimming, kayaking and watching the sunrise, or in Brooklyn going to the park and local farmers markets. She also loves to cook and hang out with her family!

Maxwell Fletcher

(he/him)

Maxwell has been a classroom teacher at The Washington Market School since 2021. Wanting to make a positive change in the world, Maxwell enjoys working with young children and their families at the outset of their educational journeys.

Maxwell has a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema from University of Southern California and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Sarah Lawrence College. Before coming to WMS, Maxwell worked in education for fifteen years. He has been a Head Teacher, Associate Teacher, Director of After School and Special Programs, Filmmaker Education Liaison, Tutor, Education Consultant, and Camp Counselor. He has worked with kids ages 3-17 in private schools, public schools, nonprofits, and a fine arts summer boarding camp.

Maxwell grew up in San Francisco. In his freetime, he loves reading, going on hikes, seeing plays, watching movies, drawing, playing the guitar poorly, frequenting museums and galleries, watching Giants baseball and Warriors basketball, and writing.

Sonya Goldman

(she/her)

Born and raised in Tribeca, Sonya first joined The Washington Market School in 2015 as a Summer Program assistant teacher. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Social Justice Education from Hampshire College in 2019, Sonya returned to WMS as classroom teacher.

Sonya’s favorite thing about WMS is being able to work alongside so many empowered women! In her free time, Sonya enjoys horticulture, playing bass guitar, and painting.

Thomas Halley

(he/him)

Thomas was born and raised in Tribeca and is an alum of The Washington Market School, so he has always felt at home at our school. It was a happy accident that Thomas started substitute teaching at WMS; his experience subbing inspired him to pursue early childhood education as his career. Thomas values the long lasting community that WMS fosters.

Thomas has Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from New York University.

Thomas is an avid rock climber and traveler, and loves to spend time in nature.

Janie Hepler

(she/her)

Janie started teaching at The Washington Market School in 2020 and loves watching how children grow and develop as young learners.

Janie was born and raised in Florida. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and Gender Studies from New College of Florida. Prior to working at The Washington Market School, Janie taught at a Montessori school in Sarasota and in a UPK program in Brooklyn. In her free time, she loves reading novels, gardening, and exploring the city.

Molly Kendall

(she/her)

Molly is happiest when in the classroom, learning alongside children. She is inspired by Maria Montessori's vision and is excited each year to create learning environments that make children curious and excited about all the world has to offer. She loves the wonder of early childhood. Molly has been a classroom teacher at The Washington Market School since 2018 and loves our school community.

Molly has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Seattle University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work at Fordham University. She also earned her Early Childhood Montessori Credential from West Side Montessori School. Prior to working at The Washington Market School, Molly was part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Newark, NJ.

Having grown up in the mountains of Colorado, Molly enjoys spending time outdoors, biking, running, and surfing. Molly also loves dessert, dance parties, and drinking coffee in the park on the weekends.

Deanna Khan

(she/her)

Deanna was born and raised in New York City. She first joined The Washington Market School as a Summer Program teacher, and has been teaching in the classroom since 2016. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Sociology and Master’s in Early Childhood Education, both from Hunter College. In her free time, Deanna enjoys reading and drawing.

Catherine Levenson

(she/her)

Catherine has been teaching at The Washington Market School since 2015. What Catherine adores most about early childhood education is that there are no questions that are too small or too large. Everything and everyday in the classroom is a new adventure, and she is honored to witness her students’ journeys and help guide them along the way. She also loves that there is no one way to learn something.

Catherine grew up in New York City. After graduating from the Horace Mann School, she received a Bachelor’s degree in Writing and History from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education (ages birth through 2nd grade) from the Bank Street College of Education. Before working at The Washington Market School, Catherine interned at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the New York Botanical Garden. She also spent two summers working at the Prospect Park Zoo. While pursuing her Master’s degree, she taught preschool at the Park Children’s Day School. After that, she taught Kindergarten at Brooklyn Friends. Though she learned so much from that experience, she knew she ultimately wanted to work with younger children. She was so happy to then come back to her first love, Early Childhood teaching, at The Washington Market School.

In her free time, Catherine loves to bake and try out new recipes. She enjoys reading, traveling, and keeping in touch with her former students. She also loves all things related to brunch and bakeries, especially if pancakes are involved.

Marsha Neptune

(she/her)

As a child, Marsha loved to play teacher with her cousins. As an adult, her love for becoming a teacher grew, and she decided that she wanted to make a difference with younger children in education. Marsha has been teaching at The Washington Market School since 2007. Her favorite part about working at WMS is being in a loving and supportive community filled with wonderful teachers, staff and children who are eager to learn and explore.

Marsha has an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from BMCC, a Bachelor’s degree in Children Studies from Brooklyn College, and a Master’s degree in General and Special Early Childhood Education from Concordia College. She is also Montessori certified.

Marsha was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends, do karaoke, take walks, travel, decorate and plan events!

Bridgitte Rodguez

(she/her)

Bridgitte joined the Washington Market School in 2021. She enjoys working with children and feels that seeing them explore the world around them is refreshing. She loves getting to know the children and forming relationships with them, talking to them about their days and their interests.

Bridgitte has a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree from The George Washington University in Anthropology. After grad school, Bridgitte worked in museum education at a historic house museum in Washington, DC. From there, she moved onto administration and fundraising for the museum. Later, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on fundraising events for a large hospital system. She finally landed in NYC and was a substitute teacher for various private schools in the city before joining The Washington Market School community.

Bridgitte grew up in sunny San Diego, CA. In her free time, Bridgitte loves wandering the streets of NYC, checking out new neighborhoods, traveling, and visiting family and friends. She also writes books for kids.

Sana Vasi

(she/her)

Bridgitte joined the Washington Market School in 2021. She enjoys working with children and feels that seeing them explore the world around them is refreshing. She loves getting to know the children and forming relationships with them, talking to them about their days and their interests.

Bridgitte has a Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and a Master’s degree from The George Washington University in Anthropology. After grad school, Bridgitte worked in museum education at a historic house museum in Washington, DC. From there, she moved onto administration and fundraising for the museum. Later, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked on fundraising events for a large hospital system. She finally landed in NYC and was a substitute teacher for various private schools in the city before joining The Washington Market School community.

Bridgitte grew up in sunny San Diego, CA. In her free time, Bridgitte loves wandering the streets of NYC, checking out new neighborhoods, traveling, and visiting family and friends. She also writes books for kids.

Claudia von Nostitz

(she/her)

Claudia has been a classroom teacher at The Washington Market School since 2018. Her favorite thing about WMS is the people. She loves the community, from the children and families to the staff.

Claudia has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wesleyan University and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Childhood Education and Special Education (Behavior Disorders) at Hunter College. Before teaching at The Washington Market School, Claudia completed a 2 year fellowship doing capacity building and direct service for NYC public schools through Reading Partners, a literacy intervention nonprofit.

Claudia grew up in Brooklyn. In her free time, Claudia likes biking, yoga, going to museums, and cuddling with her cat.

Hannah Weiss

(she/her)

Hannah has always loved working with children. When she was old enough to get her first job, she decided to work at a summer camp. From that moment on, she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. Hannah joined The Washington Market School as a classroom teacher in 2020.

Hannah grew up in Long Valley, New Jersey. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science from New York Institute of Technology. Prior to working at WMS, she was a tutor and nanny. In her free time, she loves traveling with friends and family, and also enjoys hiking upstate.

Julie Wolf

(she/her)

Julie adores teaching little humans and nurturing their natural sense of curiosity and wonder. She joined the Washington Market School as a classroom teacher in 2021.

Julie began life in Chicago where she grew up with a strong appreciation of the arts. In 1981 she moved to NYC to attend Pratt Institute and later worked in both the photography and film industries. Along the way, Julie’s interest in early childhood education became clear once she began teaching film and art workshops to kids. Later, she began teaching at a science center in Brooklyn, getting comfortable introducing kids to all kinds of wonderful animals, from a blue-tongued skink to Hazel the rat! Julie then headed up one of the Pre-K classes in a science-based preschool for many years. Julie has also spent time teaching in India where she used her background in art and science as a fun and engaging way to teach English to young children. Julie has had an active art practice throughout her life and continues to do so while balancing life as an early childhood educator.

Jan Wyllie

(she/her)

Jan is originally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Jan has a BS in Elementary Education from City College and a Masters in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College. Jan serves on the Early Childhood advisory board at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Jan loves to travel.

Monica Albu

(she/her)

Monica started teaching at The Washington Market School in 2017, and has been teaching in early childhood education for eleven years in New York City. Her favorite thing about WMS is the incredibly loving community. She loves to create, learn, and laugh with the children, and especially loves a good classroom dance party.

Monica has a Bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Studio Art and Art History. Before joining WMS, Monica taught Pre-K at an ongoing private school in Manhattan, and also worked in hospital settings with Art Therapists.

Monica was born and raised in New York City. In her free time, she LOVES to laugh.

Katie Beer

(they/them)

Katie comes from a family of teachers and caregivers, and was shown early on that education (both in and out of schools!) could be a path towards a more just world. Working with and alongside young people has taught them to be a stronger listener, collaborator, and community member. Katie started teaching at The Washington Market School in 2021. Their favorite part about WMS is being part of an environment where the journey is just as important as the destination. As students, teachers, administrators, and families, we all work together and learn from each other!

Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and History from Hunter College. Prior to joining WMS, they spent over a decade as a nanny, tutor, and after-school/summer teacher, and also worked in academic research and in the library and museum fields.

Katie grew up in Denver, Colorado. In their free time, they love to swim in the ocean, spend time at the library, and go dancing with their friends.

Lauren Bridges

(she/her)

Lauren grew up here in Tribeca and is an alumna of The Washington Market School! She loved preschool as a preschooler; it's safe to say that the wonder and magic of it all profoundly shaped the human she is today. Lauren feels so lucky to be a part of helping shape that experience for newer generations of young learners. She thinks children are absolutely amazing and loves being immersed in the joy that comes out of being a part of their world.

Lauren has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Smith College and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education at Brooklyn College. Lauren had been a preschool teacher for over 10 years before joining The Washington Market School in 2022. She spent 8 of those years teaching preschoolers at an independent school in Brooklyn.

In her free time, Lauren loves dancing, singing, imagining and creating things, and LOTS of yoga!

Molly Dore

(she/her)

Molly started teaching at The Washington Market School in 2019. Her favorite thing about WMS is the incredible community.

Molly has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and Psychology from Bennington College. Prior to working at WMS, she interned at the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy, volunteered at Willie Mae Rock Camp and booked bands on Bennington's campus.

Molly was born and raised in New York City. In her free time she loves to sit in Prospect Park, write music and spend time with friends and family.

Biancy Garcia

(she/her)

Biancy joined The Washington Market School as a classroom teacher in 2021. Her passion for youth liberation and advocacy led her to pursuing a career in early childhood education. Her favorite thing about WMS is the empathy and compassion that holds everyone together like family; when WMS says they meet everyone where they are, they include the staff in that statement as well.

Biancy has a Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies from CUNY Lehman College. She is also pursuing her Montessori credential through West Side Montessori’s teacher education program. Prior to joining WMS, she was a nanny in the Tribeca neighborhood for five years.

Biancy was raised in Harlem, NYC. In her free time, she enjoys reading, being active and spending time with friends.

Maria Henley

(she/her)

Maria became an early childhood teacher so that she could have an impact on children in their earliest, and most formative years of life. She finds that the most rewarding aspect of teaching young children is the ability to help them develop social emotional skills that will benefit them throughout their lifetime. She also finds it exciting to be as creative as possible in making learning fun for young children, and loves to incorporate Spanish and caring for the planet into her teaching.

Maria has a Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Prior to joining The Washington Market School in 2020, she taught at Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center as well as Trinity Preschool. Maria has also volunteered and studied in Latin America, and has worked in Spain tutoring English to children.

Maria grew up in Brooklyn. She enjoys playing guitar and singing, taking photos while she walks around the city, hiking, and traveling the world!

Linda Incantalupo

(she/her)

Linda was inspired to become an early child educator when she witnessed the impact that a high quality, loving and supportive early childhood education had on her own children's growth and development. She loves being part of a deep-thinking and curious group of educators at The Washington Market School, who are always tapping into their own creative spirit to gain a better understanding of the children and families they serve.

Linda has a Bachelor’s of Fine Art degree from the School of Visual Arts and a Master’s of Education degree from Queens College. She also completed the Montessori accreditation program at West Side Montessori. Linda has been teaching in NYC for over two decades, and at The Washington Market School since 2015. She has worked in both public and private schools teaching many age groups.

Linda grew up in Queens. When she is not at WMS, you will most likely find her making art or gardening!

Jeff Johnson

(he/him)

Jeff has always loved working with and learning from children. When the pandemic shut down live gigs, including the children's music class he was leading, he decided to make a shift to pursue child development full time. Jeff joined The Washington Market School as a classroom teacher in 2020. He loves the community that is cultivated at WMS. In the classroom, children learn to care for one another. Beyond the classroom, teachers and staff share respect for one another and a genuine love for the children they get to work with.

Jeff has a Bachelor’s degree in Music (piano) from Pensacola Christian College and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. Prior to working at WMS, Jeff worked as a music teacher for Kindergarten through High School, a Music Minister and Service Coordinator, and as a freelance pianist, guitarist and vocalist.

Jeff grew up in Clarkston, Michigan and moved to New York City from the Midwest in 2014. In his free time, Jeff still loves to play piano, guitar, and sing, and he performs occasionally. He attends friends' shows and concerts around the city frequently, and will go to any Broadway show he can.

Lyrica Levin

(she/her)

Lyrica has always loved how present she feels when she is working with children, especially young children. She finds each child to be like an interesting and unique puzzle, and she loves the process of developing a relationship with and understanding of who each child is.

Lyrica has a Master’s degree in Childhood Education from City College of New York. She first joined The Washington Market School as a classroom teacher in 2012. From 2018 to 2021, Lyrica was also an elementary school teacher (mainly 2nd grade), and returned to WMS in 2022. Lyrica values that at WMS, everyone is deeply committed to collaboration and supporting one another. She feels that she can be her truest and best self and teacher at WMS.

In her free time, Lyrica loves being a mom and singing karaoke!

Justine Manser

(she/her)

Justine has been teaching at The Washington Market School since 2016. She was led to early childhood education through volunteering at her daughter’s elementary school (NEST+m on the Lower East Side).

Justine has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from NYU, and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and Art History from Hunter College. Prior to working at WMS, Justine was an editor at The Rockefeller University Press and John Wiley & Sons, worked freelance for McGraw/Hill, and was an Assistant Preschool Teacher at Third Street Music School Settlement

Justine grew up in Holetown, Barbados and Madison, CT. She loves reading every morning with only a cup of black coffee to keep her company, and traveling with her husband.

Kayleigh McAllister

(she/her)

Seeing the “aha” moment for children when something clicks and they can finally accomplish a task or understand a new concept has always been inspiring to Kayleigh. Being a part of those moments each day at school is so important to her. The relationships she has formed at The Washington Market School, and the new families she meets each year, bring her so much joy.

Kayleigh has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from NYU and a Master’s degree in Infant and Family Development and Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Prior to joining The Washington Market School in 2015, Kayleigh spent many years working with families as a childcare provider, and continues to do that work throughout the school year and summers.

Kayleigh was raised in a military family and lived mainly in Virginia and California. In her free time, she loves to cook, bike, explore Central Park, sing and listen to music.

Ava Mozaffari

(she/her)

Ava is an alumna of The Washington Market School, and has fond memories of being a preschooler here with her twin brother.

Ava has a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Psychology from Beloit College. She has always loved working with children; after teaching through City Year, she returned to WMS as a classroom teacher in 2021. Ava plans to pursue a Master’s degree in child psychology due to her love of working with children and adolescents.

In her free time, Ava loves to plant and take care of her plant babies. She is an avid yelper and enjoys trying new restaurants and eating good food.

Noriko Okamura

(she/her)

Noriko first learned the importance of early childhood education when her son started preschool here in New York City. Her family had such magical years there - the best years of schooling - and their wonderful experiences led her to be an early childhood educator.

Noriko has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from University of California, Irvine. Prior to working at The Washington Market School, Noriko was a teacher at All Souls School for six years. She was also an English Conversation Teacher in Japan, and a Director and Line Producer for various Japanese TV programs for 15 years.

Noriko grew up in Southern California and Tokyo, Japan. She lives on the Upper East Side with her husband, son and rescued Chihuahua Brownie.

Shiori O'Neil

(they/them)

Shiori began their experience with early childhood as a freshman in college, where they worked at the Hampshire College Early Learning Center, a daycare and preschool inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Teaching in the infant and toddler rooms transformed their understanding of children, education, and life. Shiori was taught to value and honor small moments of interactions with children, and to slow down enough to notice the possibilities for connection and communication. Shiori continued to work at the center throughout college, and ultimately realized early childhood was their path.

Shiori has a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampshire College. In addition to working at the Hampshire College Early Learning Center, Shiori has also worked in a fifth grade Integrated Co-Teaching class at the Brooklyn New School, and has spent the past seven years working as a summer camp counselor.

Shiori grew up in the Bronx. In their free time, they love to read, especially science fiction. They also enjoy knitting and taking long walks in nature.

Katherine Rattanawan

(she/her)

Katherine was initially drawn to early childhood because she wanted to make art more accessible, and provide an environment for children to be able to explore their own creative spirits. She enjoys and appreciates that at The Washington Market School, there are so many opportunities for her to learn and grow as an educator. She has been teaching here since 2021.

Katherine has a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Arts with a concentration in Oil Painting from Georgia State University. Prior to working at WMS, she was the Education Programmer and Studio Lead at the Children's Museum of Atlanta.

Katherine grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. In her free time, she enjoys doing logic puzzles and painting. She is currently attempting to solve a 90 year old murder mystery puzzle!

Sofia Schultz

(she/her)

Sofia was drawn to early childhood education due to her love for children, development and the close connections made with families. She has been teaching at The Washington Market School since 2021. Sofia loves The WMS community, and the room for creativity in her classroom.

Sofia has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Connecticut College, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Early Childhood & Special Education at Fordham University. Prior to working at WMS, Sofia taught at The 4th street Y, Preschool of America and the Brooklyn Friends School.

Sofia Schultz was born and raised in Brooklyn. In her free time, she loves doing puzzles, cooking and spending time with her friends and family.

Susan Bertram

(she/her)

Library & Extended Day

Susan decided to become a teacher in her teen years. As a babysitter, she enjoyed caring for and working with small children, and when she was a senior in high school, she participated in a work-study program at an elementary school. Today, Susan has over 30 years of experience in the early childhood field.

Susan has been The Washington Market School’s Librarian and Extended Day Teacher since 2021. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Toledo, and a Master’s degree in Early and Middle Childhood Education from The Ohio State University. Prior to working at WMS, Susan was a classroom teacher in a variety of pre-schools (Jewish focused, Co-op, and IB schools) in Ohio, New Jersey, and New York. She was also a Preschool Director for a school in Sydney, Australia.

Susan grew up in Toledo, Ohio. In her spare time, she loves gardening, photography, walking in the city, riding my bike, traveling, nature/hiking, reading, and learning. Recently, She has been enjoying a new pair of roller skates!

Evan Garfield

(he/him)

Music

Evan is a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and Board Certified Music Therapist. During his undergraduate education at the University of Florida, Evan spent much of his time working and volunteering with children and young adults with special needs. Evan also studied and performed Afro-Cuban and Brazilian percussion traditions with his school’s global music ensembles, eventually helping to found three different nationally touring music groups of his own.

In 2012, Evan earned his Master’s degree in Music Therapy from New York University. Evan is inspired by how music making for preschoolers can offer so much simultaneously - profound moments for self-expression and connection, opportunities for learning about diverse music/cultural traditions from around the world, and the development of fundamental music skills.

Evan has been the Music Studio Teacher at The Washington Market School since 2016. He is grateful for the supportive community of WMS teachers, staff, and families, who he is always learning from and inspired by. His favorite aspect of being at our school is the deep respect held for the children, their individuality, and autonomy, and the way the school embodies the idea of learning as a two-way road between the children and their teachers.

Evan was born and raised in Coral Springs, Florida. In his free time, Evan loves to ride his bicycle around Brooklyn (especially for long rides around Prospect Park and to the beach!), long meandering walks around the city, dining adventures across the five boroughs, and he is always doing lots of cooking, baking, and coffee brewing at home!

Laurie Keane

(she/her)

Art (on Sabbatical)

**Laurie is on sabbatical for the 2022-23 school year.**

Laurie first joined The Washington Market School in 2011 and has been a classroom teacher at both our Hudson and Duane Street sites. In 2021, she began her new role as the Art Studio Teacher at Hudson Street.

Laurie loves the The Washington Market School community. She feels fortunate that WMS has sent her for her Montessori certification and to study the Reggio Emilia approach to learning at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Opal School at the Museum Center for Learning in the Portland Children’s Museum and The Loris Malaguzzi International Centre in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Prior to teaching, Laurie worked in television and theater production, and as an actress and puppeteer. Working with young children in these roles led her to becoming a teacher. Laurie earned her Master’s degree in Teaching from Fordham University, and also has a Montessori Certification in Early Childhood from the Center for Montessori Education. Prior to working at WMS, Laurie was a Pre-K, Kindergarten, 5th Grade and Art teacher.

Laurie was born and raised in New York City. In her free time, Laurie loves to travel, swim, scuba dive, bike, cook, and eat out with friends and family.

Heather Lee

(she/her)

Movement & Drama

Heather first joined The Washington Market School in 1989 as a teaching assistant when her son, Oliver, was a student here. Over the years, she has had several different roles at our school, including being a classroom teacher at our Hudson Street site for 12 years and Site Director of Duane Street for 2 years. In 2004, she created our Movement and Drama program, incorporating art, music, light, color, puppetry and children’s literature. Her favorite thing about working at WMS is the children, as well as her amazingly committed and ethically-minded colleagues.

Heather has a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Hunter College. Prior to working at WMS, Heather taught dance and creative movement in diverse settings in New York City and Hong Kong, and taught ESL to elementary school students in Hong Kong. Heather was also a professor of Early Childhood Education at the Borough of Manhattan Community College for two years.

Heather grew up in New York City. She loves to dance, especially flatfooting and modern dance. She also loves yoga, is getting into quilting, and loves to sing to her baby granddaughter.

Kate Mangold

(she/her)

Art

Kate has always had a deep interest in children’s play and their insights and perspective of the world. She has been the Art Studio Teacher at our Duane Street Site since 2013. Kate loves supporting and assisting the young artists at The Washington Market School, and collaborating with her fellow teachers and staff to create a loving and joyful environment for our young children to belong to. She loves the collaborative opportunities that Reggio Emilia provocations inspire between teachers, children, families and our greater Tribeca neighborhood.

Kate has a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Master of Fine Art degree from Yale School of Art. Prior to working at WMS, Kate worked as a professional artist and taught Woodshop for 3 years at Village Community School.

Kate grew up in Michigan and Kansas. In her free time, she loves to spend long hours in her studio painting, drawing, planning and listening to playlists made by friends and family. She runs to feel grounded and strong in her body, loves sitting with her kitties, and enjoys going to see art and music shows with her husband and friends in our inspiring city.

Stina Puotinen

(she/her)

Art

Stina first started at The Washington Market School as a classroom teacher in 2021, and became the Art Studio Teacher at Hudson Street in 2022. Stina loves approaching both teaching and learning creatively and collaboratively, and feels that WMS does an amazing job supporting this work through their teachers, staff and mission.

Stina has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Studio Art from Vassar College, and a Master’s in Fine Art & Collaborative Practice from Manchester School of Art in the UK. Stina has been working in Studio Art & Museum Education since 2005, teaching at leading NYC arts institutions including MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among many other arts organizations over the years. Teaching for museums brought her into public and private school classrooms from grades PreK to 12 across the city, as well as working with families and young children for studio programs, led her to write PreK arts curriculum for MoMA and the Whitney. Through this work, she was introduced to Reggio and Montessori teaching philosophies, and ultimately decided to pursue her Montessori Early Childhood Teacher Certification from the West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program.

Stina Puotinen is originally from New York City, and spent her teen years in Baltimore, MD. In her free time, she continues to pursue her own art making practice, living and working in Brooklyn with her rescue chihuahua Paco. They both love park walks, beach trips and making new friends.