Twin Parks Montessori Schools - Preschool Manhattan, Upper West Side, New York City (NYC)

Our Team

Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Dr. Kathy Roemer, Executive Director

Central Park Montessori Faculty

Infant Classrooms
Ginkgo Room
Elm Room

Toddler Classrooms
Birch Room
Cherry Room
Chestnut Room
Redbud Room

Early Childhood Classrooms
Oak Room
Pine Room
Spruce Room
Sycamore Room
Willow Room

Central Park Montessori Staff

Penny Nadel, Director of Admissions
Liz Lowy, Education Director
Caitlin Jalalat, Infant Toddler Coordinator
Ann Haughton, Administrative Coordinator


Central Park Montessori

Central Park Montessori School is located at 1 West 91st Street at Central Park West.

Infant Teaching Teams

Ginkgo Room

Jenny joined the Twin Parks community in 2007. She has completed coursework at Grodno State University at Belarus. She found work at a summer internship in a preschool in Belarus very rewarding, which began her career as a teacher. She also taught English as a second language. She completed her American Montessori Society (AMS) Infant/Toddler training at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education/NY in 2009. Jenny is continuing her education at City College of New York.

Jillian came to Central Park Montessori in 2011. She has an A.A. in Early Childhood Education from Kings Borough Community College. Jillian has worked with young children since 1999 and previously worked at the YMCA of Greater New York with children ages 6 months to 5 years. She enjoys exercising in her free time and loves going to the beach.

Berlande Dyna “Dyna” has been drawn to Montessori since learning about the philosophy while completing her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Dyna joined Central Park Montessori in 2014 with over 6 years experience working with infants. As a mother herself, Dyna is excited to bring her warmth and passion for education to the Twin Parks

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Elm Room

Maria joined Central Park in 2011. She has a real passion for working with young children and she shows that through her natural warmth and kindness. She has experience with infants and toddlers and loves singing songs to them in both Spanish and English. Maria completed her Child Development Associates Certification in 2014. Maria is currently taking her Infant and Toddler Montessori Training at CMTE and is excited to apply what she is learning in her classroom. Reading is her number one hobby and she also enjoys walking and practicing yoga.

Alessia, an experienced Montessori teacher, joined Twin Parks Montessori in 2015. She moved to New York from Italy, where she received her Infant and Toddler Montessori Certification from Opera Nazionale Montessori and her BA in Biology. In Naples, Italy, Alessia taught young children for 6 years in the Montessori based bilingual school Sequoia scuola bilingue. Alessia is bilingual in English and Italian and has a passion for surfing, scuba diving and Montessori!

Nelcida “Niky” was first introduced to Montessori when her cousin attended a Montessori pre-school several years ago. She began as a substitute in 2012 at Central Park Montessori and most recently taught in the infant room during our summer program. As a new mother herself, Nelcida is comfortable working with young children and is eager to further her education in Montessori philosophy and teaching. She received her Associates Degree in 2015 from Bronx Community College and is continuing with classes at John Jay College. Niky is also part of the Twin Parks parent community and enjoys spending time with her son Lenny.

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Toddlers Teaching Teams

Birch Room

Daniela has been at Twin Parks since 2007 with all of our age groups. She completed her Infant/Toddler Montessori Certification from the Center For Montessori Teacher Education in 2013. She has her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College. Daniela has a special place in her heart for infants and toddlers and enjoys working with our young students. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, traveling and participating in community events in her spare time.

Carolyn has a real passion for teaching. She began her career at Twin Parks Montessori in 2011 and has worked with infants and toddlers. Currently she is studying at Mercy College majoring in Sociology. Carolyn enjoys nature, singing and spending time with her family.

Evjenia (Jenny) joined Twin Parks in 2015 with eleven years of teaching experience. Previously, Evjenia worked at the Franklin Montessori School for nine years as an assistant in an Early Childhood class. Evjenia has also worked in after school programs and has her Child Development Associate Credential. Evjenia enjoys reading, exercising, traveling and exploring the streets of New York City with her family in her spare time.

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Cherry Room

Caitlin, the Infant-Toddler Coordinator at Central Park Montessori, has been with Twin Parks since 2008. She earned her B.A. from Emory University in Psychology and her M.A. from Montclair State University is Sociology. She earned her Infant and Toddler Montessori certificate at CMTE after discovering her love for the Montessori philosophy. She continued her education by earning a second Masters in Early Childhood Montessori Education from St. Catherine University. Caitlin is currently a Montessori teacher trainer for the Infant and Toddler program at CMTE. Caitlin is the proud mother of three children(Logan, Fiona, and Eleanor) and enjoys spending time in nature, practicing yoga and reading books with her children.

Paola has been apart of the Twin Parks since 2004.  She has worked with children 3 months to five years old. She attended Lehman College for two years and is looking forward to continuing her studies in early childhood. She is also fluent in English and Spanish. Paola enjoys sharing her passion for music and art with the children, especially her daughters Zoe and Chloe (Central Park students).

Elizabeth joined Twin Parks in 2012 with experience from a Montessori school in Madrid, Spain, where she worked for ten years. Before that, Elizabeth had additional experience at an International Montessori school and working in a third grade class. She has her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Education from City College. Elizabeth has also completed Ph.D. courses and also has a post graduate certificate in education from the University of Sunderland. Elizabeth is happy to find the comfort and familiarity of Montessori after her big move from Spain to New York.

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Chestnut Room

Yackira joined Central Park Montessori in 2011. She received her B.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College. Yackira is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at Mercy College and New York State license. Yackira completed her Infant/Toddler Montessori certification in 2012 at CMTE/NY. In her spare time Yackira enjoys spending time with family and friends and volunteering for events related to Juvenile Diabetes.

Pamela has been a member of the Twin Parks community since 2006. Pam attended the University of Florida and worked many years in the airline industry where she served as a Flight Service Manager and cabin attendant instructor. This career allowed her to travel the world inspiring her to pursue her second career as a Montessori educator. Pam received her Early Childhood Montessori Credential from AMS in 2006 from West Side Montessori School. She has experience working with toddlers and children 2.9-6 years old. In her spare time, Pam loves being a patron of the creative arts throughout the city and work in her ever-growing garden.

Laura joined Central Park Montessori in 2015. With Montessori teaching experience from the Montessori School of Manhattan, Laura is thrilled to further her learning at Twin Parks. In 2014 Laura received her BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with Honors. Laura has additional experience mentoring children through volunteer organizations. Laura is bilingual in Spanish and English and enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering and playing sports.

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Redbud Room

Kimberly is an AMI certified Montessori teacher for children ages birth-3. She has been working in Montessori Schools for 13 years, and she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Kimberly also holds New York Permanent certification in Elementary Education grades birth-6th grade. She worked at the Riverside campus for 3 years, and joined the Central Park team in 2012! Kim is an avid traveler who has spent time in 6 out of 7 continents while performing in a symphony orchestra.

Alma joined Central Park Montessori in 2011 but has been associated with Twin Parks as a parent since 2007. Alma has lived in Albania and Italy and is fluent in both Albanian and Italian. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education from City College. Alma likes to explore intricate paths through Central Park and introduces the children to the wildlife and landmarks in our park. In her spare time, Alma enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her two sons.

Teresa joined the Central Park Montessori community in Spring of 2013 after moving back to New York from Switzerland, where she taught young children English. Teresa is certified in Early Childhood Montessori, in addition to having her New York State license and TESOL Certification, and was a lead teacher at West Side Montessori School for several years. She is extremely passionate about music and writing and writes her own songs. Teresa recently became a published children’s book author! Teresa also enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele, especially with the children.

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Early Childhood Teaching Teams

Oak Room

Catherine is a certified Montessori teacher for Early Childhood. She completed her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Chaminade University of Honolulu in December 2007. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting from Dongbei University in China. She had over three years experience working with children in Montessori schools before joining Twin Parks in December 2008.

Jolie joined Twin Parks in 2000. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from City College where she earned her B.S. in Early Childhood Education and went on to earn her Masters in Literacy from Teachers College at Columbia University. Jolie is New York State Certified in Early Childhood Education and Literacy. She received her Infant/Toddler Montessori Certification from CMTE and has served on AMS Accreditation teams. Jolie, the proud mother of a Twin Parks graduate, served on the Parent Teacher Association of her daughter’s middle school. In her spare time, Jolie enjoys her family, cooking, traveling, and occasional days at the spa.

Holly joined Twin Parks in 2015. A Montessori graduate herself, Holly values the philosophy and is thrilled to be a part of the Twin Parks community. Holly holds an undergraduate degree and licensure in both Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Minnesota. She is pursuing her Masters in Early Childhood at Fordham University. Holly has experience teaching pre-k through second grade and has cared for young children with special needs. Holly brings her creative side to Central Park and enjoys crafts, cooking, reading and finding DIY projects.

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Pine Room

Ellen joined Twin Parks in 2008 and Central Park Montessori in 2011. She received her BS in Childhood Education/Special Education and her MA in Literacy Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. She has completed her classroom training for her Early Childhood Montessori Certification at CMTE. At home, Ellen enjoys spending quality time with her nieces and nephew, tries very hard to train her puppy Oreo and is learning how to cook!

Zongqin (Zun-chin) joined Central Park in 2011. She earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from Beijing University and her Early Childhood Montessori certification from Dallas Montessori Academy. She has been a teacher in China, Texas, and now New York. Zongqin is getting her Master’s in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at Concordia College. Zongqin enjoys art and has experience teaching art and movement activities in our Enrichment Program.

Ramze is an experienced teacher who joined the Twin Parks team in 2011. He graduated with honors from Bronx Community College earning an A.A. in Liberal Arts/Early Childhood Education. Currently he is pursuing his B.A in English/Language and Literature in Childhood Education at City College. In his spare time, Ramze enjoys staying active by running, swimming, playing sports, visiting his family and taking long walks in Central Park.

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Spruce Room

Yayoi returned to Twin Parks in 2014 after working at another Montessori school as an early childhood lead teacher for three years. Yayoi has her School Administration certification, AMS early childhood certification, New York State Professional certification and Master’s in bilingual and bicultural education. In addition to her experience teaching since 2000, Yayoi has served on an accreditation team for AMS, has presented at various educational conferences and has consulted for educational material companies. Yayoi also taught Math for a Montessori teacher education program. Yayoi is passionate about art and cooking and looks forward to sharing these skills with the Central Park community.

Matthew joined Park West in January of 2011 and Central Park Montessori in 2014. The son of two Montessori educators, Matthew has grown up surrounded by the philosophy. He attended a Montessori school for most of his education. Matthew has an Associate’s Degree and is currently working on his Bachelor’s degree. He is presently enrolled in the CMTE Montessori Early Childhood Education program and expects to have his Montessori Certification in 2015. He has a great sense of humor and loves working with children.

Heather joined Central Park Montessori in 2013. She received her Early Childhood Montessori certification in 2011 and has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Interdisciplinary Arts. She previously worked for four years as an assistant at West Side Montessori school. Heather is currently taking classes at Hunter College towards a Masters in Early Childhood Education. Heather has a passion for paper making and collage and enjoys spending time with her husband and family in Brooklyn.

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Sycamore Room

Matti (a Montessori child) obtained her Early Childhood Montessori Credential from the Center for Montessori Teachers Education Program, here in New York in 2011.  Matti also has a Master’s degree in Education from St. Catherine’s University. Outside the classroom Matti keeps busy exploring the city with her toddler and black Labrador! Matti and her family enjoy spending each summer on the shores of Lake Superior while home in Michigan.

Isha joined Central park in 2015. She is excited to continue her passion for teaching and learning as an intern in our Early Childhood program as she pursues her Early Childhood Montessori certification from WSMS Teacher Education Program. Isha, originally from India, graduated with a Bachelors of Education degree and has taught children in nursery through high school in many countries prior joining to Central Park. Isha has worked with students with special needs and created individualized education plans based on their development. Isha enjoys music, dance, traveling, learning about NYC and spending time with her family.

Samantha has been teaching in our Early Childhood and Toddler classrooms since January 2014. She is also the Early Childhood Extended Day Coordinator and facilitates Enrichment classes. She received her Masters in Childhood and Special Education and has been teaching since 2009. She also received her New York State certification in Early Childhood and Special Education in 2014. Before joining Twin Parks Samantha taught at the Tribeca Learning Center and was a lead teacher at the Sunshine Academy Early Childhood Learning Center in Brookline, Massachusetts. Samantha, who has used her passion for singing to teach Gymboree classes, is always sharing her talents with her students.

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Willow Room

Laura is a Certified Montessori Teacher for children ages 2 to 6. When her own children went to a Montessori school she quickly fell in love with the philosophy and was soon on her way to become a certified teacher. Laura also has a Bachelor’s Degree from Plattsburgh University. She started working at the Riverside campus in 2008 and joined Central Park in 2013.

Angela joined Twin Parks in 2012. She holds a BA in Psychology with a Child Development Associate credential and received her Masters in Early Childhood Education in 2015. Angela also completed her Early Childhood AMS certification in 2013 from Princeton Center for Montessori Education. In her spare time, Angela enjoys the beach, drawing, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

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Administrative Team

Dr. Kathy Roemer, immediate past president of the American Montessori Society (AMS), has over 30 years experience as a Montessori teacher, director and consultant. She joined the AMS Board of Directors in 2006 and has served as the vice president of the Board of Directors since 2008 and president from 2011-13. Dr. Roemer was a charter member of the AMS School Accreditation Commission, and chaired the Commission for four years.

She began her career as an educator in 1985 when she was researching a preschool for one of her sons. After learning about the Montessori method, she realized it was a perfect match for her family—and a perfect match for her career ambitions.

Dr. Roemer earned a Doctorate in education from the University of Memphis; a Masters degree in Montessori education from Christian Brothers University in Memphis; and a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology and archeology from Temple University in Philadelphia. She is certified as an early childhood Montessori teacher and holds a certificate for advanced professional education from the AMS. She is also a licensed New York State teacher for birth to 2nd grade students.

From 1995 to 2004, she held the position of Head of School at Lamplighter Montessori School in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Kathy Roemer joined Twin Parks Montessori Schools in August 2004, as the executive director and has grown Twin Parks into the largest accredited Montessori program in Manhattan and the only infant-toddler program in New York State to be accredited by both the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES).

Dr. Roemer is an international speaker on topics such as Generational Indicators for Planning Professional Development, Progress Report Development, Qualities of a Montessori Teacher, Executive Function Skills, and Support for Emerging Leaders. Her most recent public speaking events include the Quality of Life Conference in NYC 2015, AIMS Conference in Chicago, 2015, Montessori in Asia Conference, Beijing 2011 and Singapore 2012, Association of Illinois Montessori Schools, Chicago 2015, American Montessori Society Conference, Orlando, FL 2013, Dallas, TX, 2014 and Philadelphia, PA 2015. Dr. Roemer is an instructor for the school management program at the Center for Montessori Education in New Rochelle, NY. Kathy’s hobbies include reading, attending theater and movies, and water color painting.

Liz, Education Director, is a Montessori certified early childhood teacher. She received her MA from The Steinhardt School of Education at New York University with a dual certification in early childhood education and special education. She has taught at the Lower Lab School and then taught at West Side Montessori School for six years. Liz has also been an instructor for a Montessori Teacher Education Program and has extensive experience working with teachers in their classrooms. She is delighted to be a member of the Twin Parks parent community and enjoys spending time with her sons (Alex and Nathan) and husband in New York City.

Carrie, our Director of Admissions, recently served as Admissions Associate at the Speyer Legacy School, where she worked from 2010-2015. Carrie joined the start-up team in 2010 in their admissions department helping to establish and refine the admissions process working closely with the Director of Admissions. In 2003 (until 2010), Carrie was hired by Columbia University as Admissions Assistant in The School at Columbia (a new Kindergarten through Grade 8 elementary school) comprised of Columbia faculty and Administration’s children and District 3 community children. Carrie helped implement and promote the Lottery system to neighborhood families in District 3, and assisted University families with the admissions process. Carrie studied theater and art and has taught art classes to elementary school children, included a class called Come Clay With Me.

Ann, our Administrative Coordinator, joined the Central Park team in 2011. She has worked in diverse industries since 1985 in both Jamaica and New York City and is well-versed in all areas of office administration. Ann has attended professional development seminars for school administrators and is completing her Bachelor’s in Business Leadership. In her free time, Ann enjoys reading, cooking, the outdoors and spending time with her two daughters.

Penny, Admissions Director, will work part time at the beginning of the year and soon retire from full time work. Penny most recently served as Director of Operations at The Speyer Legacy School. As one of the key people on the start-up team at The School at Columbia University, Penny Nadel worked closely with the Head of School as Coordinator of Administration. Past experience includes thirteen years at The Ramaz School and thirteen years at The Dalton School.  Penny served as School Placement Counselor in the Work/Life Department of Columbia University. Her work has included advocating for placement of children with special needs as well as gifted children. Penny is a proud mother of Montessori graduates.

Caitlin, the Infant-Toddler Coordinator at Central Park Montessori, has been with Twin Parks since 2008. She earned her B.A. from Emory University in Psychology and her M.A. from Montclair State University is Sociology. She earned her Infant and Toddler Montessori certificate at CMTE after discovering her love for the Montessori philosophy. She continued her education by earning a second Masters in Early Childhood Montessori Education from St. Catherine University. Caitlin is currently a Montessori teacher trainer for the Infant and Toddler program at CMTE. Caitlin is the proud mother of three children(Logan, Fiona, and Eleanor) and enjoys spending time in nature, practicing yoga and reading books with her children.