Abigail (Abby) Cook joined the Beginnings community in 2015. Abby received her BS from University of Vermont (UVM) in Early Childhood Special Education and Environmental Studies. Most recently, Abby has worked as an assistant preschool teacher at The Green School Sagaponack and at the Children's Center at UVM. While at UVM, she student taught in an Essential Early Education (EEE) Preschool Classroom in South Burlington where 50% of the children had special needs. She also has experience writing curriculum and managing summer programs for different schools on eastern Long Island. In 2013, Abby was fortunate to attend a Students and Professors Study Group to Reggio Emilia, Italy. Abby is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education at Bank Street College of Education.
Alanna joined the Beginnings community in September, 2013. She received her BA in Environmental Design with a minor in Environmental Studies from University at Buffalo. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. Prior to joining Beginnings, she worked in urban planning, community development, and environmental education. She also worked for many years as a children's garden instructor at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Alice joined the Beginnings community in September, 2015. She has a BA in Sociology from Middlebury College and a Certificate in Labor Studies from CUNY's Murphy Institute. She has previously worked with young children at Mary Johnson Children's Center in Vermont and the Horizons National Summer Enrichment Program in Brooklyn.
Amy joined Beginnings as the Studio Teacher in 2009. She has a BS in Visual Art with a minor in Art History from Pace University and a MA in Art Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. In 2010, Amy co-presented her work with children, "Living in Spaces: Children translate ideas about iconic architectural spaces through various artistic media," at the European Early Childhood Education Research Association's annual conference in Birmingham, England. Most recently, Amy was published in the March 2015 issue of "Innovations," NAREA's journal of education, with an article about collaborative work done with the AM 2/3s class. Amy has taught art classes for a variety of ages, from 2-3 year olds to adults with disabilities. She has also taught architecture courses to middle and high school students. Amy is a visual artist who specializes in stone carving and sculpture.
Beau has been a part of the Beginnings community since 2008. He can be found in the classroom and sound studio teaching music or at his desk working on all things digital communications. Prior to working at Beginnings, he received his B.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in Theater Performance and English Literature and his front-end web development education from General Assembly in New York City. He began his teaching career at a Brooklyn Heights Montessori School as the music teacher for first through eighth grades. There, he taught classes and led performances for chorus, songwriting, music theory, piano and guitar. He also collaborated to write an original musical for the upper school. At Beginnings, he has developed the sound studio and music website for which he presented his work on the evolution of the music studio program at Blue School's annual conference on Innovation in November 2013. This led to the development of the current Beginnings website which he also created.
Bethany joined Beginnings in 2013. She previously taught at The Family Annex Nursery School and has worked for many years as a water safety instructor at Hillard summer camp. Bethany has a BA in Liberal Studies from SUNY Purchase.
Originally from Iowa, Cassie moved to Brooklyn in 2012 in search of a supportive, creative community of educators and artists and to share her love of music, yoga, art, and theater with students of all ages. As the daughter of a Montessori Preschool director, Cassie was steeped in the importance of a holistic, play-based system of early childhood education from a very early age and has been educating toddlers and preschoolers for over a decade as an enrichment specialist and preschool teacher. One of Cassie's priorities in her lessons is to address social-emotional development through creative dramatics, song, movement and art projects. She knows this will help instill the qualities of empathy, self-awareness and mutual respect in each child as they grow and change throughout their lives. Cassie received her bachelors degree in Music Performance and Music Education and her Masters Degree in Music Performance from the University of Northern Iowa. She is a certified Children's Yoga Instructor, Kindermusik Teacher, Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga Instructor, and GoGo Babies Movement Instructor. Cassie recently taught four preschool classes of three-year olds at Studio Creative Play, an arts and mindfulness based preschool program in Park Slope, from 2013-2015. She now works as an enrichment teacher at various locations in Brooklyn, including Ladybug Day Care, Bend and Bloom Yoga Studio, Williamsburg Montessori School, Daisy Day Care, Hootenanny Art House and the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
Daniella joined Beginnings in the fall of 2017. She received a BA in Psychology from Skidmore College. Additionally, she minored in Theater and was in several performances throughout her college career. Before coming to Beginnings, Daniella also worked with young children in preschools, summer camps, therapeutic environments, and most recently a daycare in Costa Rica.
Debbie joined the teaching staff at Beginnings in 2010. She has a BS in Nutritional Science and Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell University and an MS in Nutrition and Public Health from Teachers College, Columbia University. Subsequently, she spent many years working as a nutrition educator in New York City. Debbie has been an Assistant Teacher at Trevor Day School and an instructor at the "Parkbench at the Y" program of the 92nd Street Y. Debbie has a Master's degree in Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education.
Denise worked at Beginnings from 1999-2006, primarily as a teacher with the 2s and toddlers. She returned to our teaching staff in 2011. Denise has a certificate in childcare from NYU as well as a Child Development Associate certificate. In addition to her work at Beginnings, she has also worked with children in private playgroups, taught Sunday school and started a summer program for young children at a church. Denise is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education at Empire State College.
Diana started teaching at Beginnings in 2011. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Hunter College of the City of New York. Prior to joining Beginnings, Diana taught Pre-K at ABC Preschool and Kindergarten Center in Woodside, NY and taught Spanish to children for eight years at Language Workshop for Children in NYC.
Jane has worked at Beginnings since 1992. She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Vermont, a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Supervision and Administration from Bank Street College. Jane has had extensive training in the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education. She has attended workshops at Reggio inspired schools in the United States and been to Reggio Emilia, Italy to visit their early childhood programs and study their philosophy. Jane spearheaded a two-year relationship between The University of Vermont Campus Children's Center and Beginnings Nursery School. She has presented at the 92nd Street Y, Kean University, and The European Early Childhood Research Conference in Birmingham, England. Jane has been an adjunct lecturer in the department of Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. In 2013, Jane started Teaching Beyond the Square, a non-profit dedicated to improving early childhood education for all children, especially in high-risk communities. She also was the exhibit chair for New York City's 2015 Wonder of Learning Exhibit, the traveling exhibition from the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Jeanne has been teaching at Beginnings since March, 2007. She received her BA in African American Studies and Sociology from the State University of New York at New Paltz. Before working at Beginnings, Jeanne worked with young children in day care settings, after school programs and summer support children's centers. Jeanne is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Early Childhood and Special Education at Hunter College.
Jennifer started teaching at Beginnings in 2009. She has a BA in English from Barnard College and spent six years working in children's book publishing. Jenny has a long history of working with children, including leading school tours through the Children's Museum of Manhattan and tutoring. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College.
Jessica has been teaching at Beginnings since 2006. She received a BFA from SUNY Purchase in sculpture and photography and minored in art history. Jessica received a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College in 2014. Jessica presented her work to instructional coaches from the New York City Department of Education in May 2015.
Jessica joined the Beginnings staff in 2013. She moved to New York in 2011 from Mexico, where she taught private English lessons to children and received a BA in Communications. She has a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. In New York City, Jessica has had fieldwork experience at Beginnings, the Washington Market School, P.S 183 and El Pequeno Artista.
Justyna joined the Beginnings staff in September, 2014. She is originally from Poland and has lived in New York since 2002. Justyna has a Master's in Sociology from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She has worked as a Production Coordinator for the New York Polish Film Festival, taught Polish as a second language and Polish art and culture at the Polish Supplementary School in Brooklyn for the last seven years and written about education for Polish newspapers in the U.S.
Kris has been working at Beginnings since 2005. He has a BA in Literature and Creative Writng from Fairfield University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the New School. His second novel, The Antiques, will be published by Scribner in January 2017.
Laura Araman earned a dual degree in social work and education from Columbia University and Bank Street College. Laura currently works at the New York Center for Child Development as a Developmental Therapist, Special Education Itinerant Teacher, and Collaborative Program Developer. In these multiple roles, she has provided counseling for children, coached parents in using strategies to help support the growth and well-being of their children, and has been a collaborative member of a team of psychologists, social workers, and special educators. Laura has taught children from ages 3-8 years old in diverse settings including The Learning Spring School, Jewish Board of Health and Human Services, Little Red Schoolhouse, and public schools in Durham, NC.
Laura started working at Beginnings in 2010. She holds a BA in dance and philosophy from Hamilton College. While dancing for a company in Albany, NY, she taught modern and ballet technique to children ages 3-18. Laura also worked for many years as a teacher and artistic director at a performing arts camp. Laura is currently pursuing a Master's in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. Laura presented her work to instructional coaches for the New York Department of Education in May 2015.
LeeAnn has been a part of the Beginnings community since 2004 in a variety of roles. She received a B.F.A. from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in Drama and Psychology and has a Master's degree from Hunter College in Early Childhood General and Special Education. She is also a certified adult and children's yoga instructor. She has taught drama and yoga in many different schools and was the Lower School Drama teacher at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School where she collaborated with the children to write and perform original theater pieces. She has worked as a private Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) and taught yoga privately to children with special needs. In addition to her work with children, LeeAnn was the Assistant to the Director of Special Events for the V Foundation for Cancer Research, focusing on fund raising and event planning.
Lilla has worked at Beginnings since 2006. She is originally from Poland, where she studied Literature Education at University of Zielona Gora and was a middle school Polish grammar and literature teacher. Lilla also worked as a volunteer in a kindergarten class for developmentally disabled children.
Lily joined the Beginnings community in September, 2015. She received a BA in Psychology from Wellesley College and has spent her college and post-college years working with preschoolers, adolescents and college students in various settings. She has spent the last three years at the Wellesley College Child Study Center, a laboratory preschool, teaching children ages 2-5. Lily is currently pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood at Bank Street College of Education.
Madeleine (Maddy) joined Beginnings in 2012. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Dance from Hamilton College and is pursuing her Master's in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. Maddy has worked in the children's publishing world and with young children as a caregiver and lead Dance Counselor at a Performing Arts camp in Brooklyn.
Mallory started working at Beginnings in 2013. She graduated NYU with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Creative Writing. Mallory worked with children as a part of the America Reads program, and she fronts a rock band called The Grasping Straws.
Robin has been teaching at Beginnings since 2001. She started as a classroom teacher with the 2s and 4/5s, and then as Studio Teacher in 2006. In 2007, she helped establish the Materials Floor at Beginnings, which she continues to coordinate, in addition to coordinating a second location downtown that is open to the public. Robin also serves as Program Director of Teaching Beyond the Square, the non-profit organization which Beginnings founded in 2013, and spends time training teachers in schools throughout the city and helping them implement a play- and arts-based approach in their classrooms. She is an adjunct instructor at NYU's SCPS Childcare Management Program, and teaches two courses for their diploma program. Robin has a BA in Visual Art and Art History from Bowdoin College and received her MA in Studio Art & Art Education from Teachers College in 2009.
Rosalva has been teaching at Beginnings since 2007. Before working at Beginnings, she taught for five years at the Language Workshop for Children as a Spanish teacher to children aged 6 months to 9 years. She holds a BA in Psychology and English Language Arts and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education, both from Hunter College.
Tania started working at Beginnings in 2007. She moved to New York in 2005 from Puerto Rico, where she studied Theatre and French. During college Tania volunteered with children in low-income communities, which later evolved into teaching theatre to youth across the island. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Puerto Rico and a MFA in Theatre from Columbia University.
Tori joined the Beginnings staff in September, 2017. She received her B.A. In interdisciplinary studies focusing on early childhood education, psychology and sociology at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Tori has worked as a lead teacher/assistant director in an early childcare center in North Carolina. She also has experience working as a nanny in NYC for almost four years.
Zachary taught at Beginnings from 1998-2004 and returned in 2008 after living upstate for a number of years. In addition to his years at Beginnings, Zachary has also been a head counselor at Friends Seminary summer camp.