Twin Parks Montessori Schools
Dr. Kathy Roemer, Executive Director
Park West Montessori Faculty
Park West Montessori Staff
Stephanie Whalen, Education Director
Jessica Anub, Admissions Director
Judith Kineke, Administrative Coordinator
Park West Montessori
Park West Montessori is located just across the street from Central Park at 103rd and is accredited by the American Montessori Society (AMS) and the Middle States Commission on Elementary Schools (MSCES) and is an affiliate school of Columbia University. All our lead teachers are Montessori certified and have training in early childhood education.
Infant Teaching Teams
Gabriela joined Park West Montessori in 2006 and had been working with young children since 1989. Gabriela worked for five years in another Montessori environment with children aged 18 months through 3 years. She is originally from Mexico and received her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from the Universidad Nacionale Autonoma de Mexico and her Montessori Certification from CMTE/NY. Gabriela has also been a preschool through elementary Spanish teacher. Gabriela is a mother of twins, both Park West graduates.
Maria has been with Park West since 2006, working with Early Childhood students and toddlers. She received her Infant/Toddler Montessori Certification at CMTE/NY. She is originally from Romania where she worked with preschool children in traditional and summer camp programs. Maria also worked with foreign students visiting Romania in the Exchange Experience Program.
Ariana has been with Park West since September 2013. Ariana has a degree in Psychology from Hunter College and a Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA) from CUNY. Before joining the Green Room, she had worked with infants through 5 year olds for over 5 years at the Bellevue Child Care Center. Ariana also works in our summer camp program and is gentle, caring and patient with the children.
Mirella has been working at Park West Montessori since 1998 with both infants and toddlers. As a proud mother and grandmother, she especially enjoys working with our infants (with whom attachment comes quickly and mutually). Mirella has an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and plans to continue her studies in Early Childhood Education.
Yolanda has been at Park West since 1994 and has always taught in the Green Room. She has watched many of her former students graduate our program and is often the first stop when alumni come back to visit Park West.
Yolanda earned her Montessori Certification through CMTE/NY, is CDA trained and has been working with young children since 1987. She is the very proud mother of three sons, Ta-ron, Michael and David.
Marianny has been with Park West since 2014 and began her Montessori experience at our Central Park Montessori campus. She worked last year with our youngest community sharing her passion for children as well as her strong belief in the Montessori philosophy. She has a Bachelors degree from Lehman College and is a mother of two young girls, one of which is a member of our E C program.
Toddler Teaching Teams
Antonia came to Park West Montessori in 2002 and previously worked with young children at New York River School. She completed her Montessori Infant/Toddler Certification at CMTE/NY and received her Child Development Associate credential from Touro College. She is a licensed practical nurse and worked for four years in the intensive care unit of a clinic. Antonia has three children and three grandchildren and has been a foster parent to many more.
Valerie came to Park West in 2008. She graduated from John Jay College with a BA in Criminal Justice. Previously, Valerie volunteered with a peer-mentoring group where she assisted students with problem-solving and aided students with homework assignments. In high school, Valerie won numerous awards in the ROTC. In her free time, Valerie enjoys being an aunt to her three young nieces and her nephew.
Yesenia joined Park West in 2007. She has an Associate Degree from Boricua College and is continuing her education in Early Childhood. She has many years of experience working with young children and is the proud mother of three! Her mother, Maria, had also worked at Park West for fifteen years. Yesenia enjoys music—especially jazz and Spanish music.
Anany has been at Park West Montessori since 2000 and received her Infant/Toddler Montessori Certification from CMTE/NY. She received her Child Development Associate Credential from Touro College. She has worked with the Toddler community as an intern supervisor as well as a head teacher. Anany has one daughter who is a Park West graduate and enjoys spending time with her family.
Claudette joined the Park West in 2007. Affectionately known at Park West as “Cookie”, she has worked with infants and school age children throughout the Park West community as well as with our late day children. As the mother of three boys, and a grandmother of one, Cookie is quite busy outside of school. She enjoys sports, reading, and puzzles.
Xiaoxi (“Xixi”) is a third generation early childhood teacher and grew up in her mother and aunt’s Montessori schools in China; the first and largest chain in Hainan Island. She has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Technology from Tianjin University of Commerce and is on track to complete her American Montessori Society (AMS) Early Childhood Certification at WSMS-TEP/NY in 2016. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, is an avid practitioner of meditation and qi-gong, and teaches Chinese folk dance. Joining Riverside this year she is excited to share her passion for the Montessori Way with both children and parents alike.
Maria (Genny) joined Park West in 2007 and received her B.A. in Childhood Education from Boricua College as well as completing her Masters Degree in TESOL from Boricua College in June 2015. She received her AMS Infant/Toddler credential at the Center for Montessori Education/NY (CMTE). Maria worked with preschool children at Bloomingdale’s Head Start program before coming to Park West. During this time, she was also a member of a team that cared for young infants. She is the proud mother of one daughter.
Aarti joined the Park West community in September 2013. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in 2009 and her Masters of Arts in Early Childhood Education in June 2013 from Queens College and has a New York State Birth-Grade 2 Certification. She received her AMS Infant/Toddler credential in June 2015 from the Center for Montessori Education/NY (CMTE). Aarti has four years experience teaching in early childhood classes with children from ages birth through 5 years. She also has over twelve years experience in the corporate world, which she left to pursue a career working with young children. Aarti is the mother of two daughters and loves music, baking, sewing, and research.
Mindy has been with Park West since 2008 and has worked in different toddler classes with our young children. She has a Bachelors Degree from John Jay College and is presently enrolled at the Center for Montessori Education (CME) pursuing her AMS Infant/Toddler Montessori certification. Mindy has worked at the New York Public Library, been a nanny and enjoys reading and going to the gym in her spare time.
Eve has been at Park West Montessori since 2001 and has worked with infant, toddler, and pre-school children in the Park West community. She received her Infant and Toddler Montessori Credential through CMTE/NY. Eve continues to work on her degree in Education and Social Work at Hunter College. She is a devoted mother of two boys.
Alyssa began at Park West Montessori in 2011. Having received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education from the College of Staten Island, she is also certified by the State of New York to teach in an Early Childhood environment (Birth- 2nd grade). Alyssa is from Staten Island with 6 years of experience as an assistant teacher in a Montessori school. She enjoys camping and cooking in her spare time.
Beatrice has worked at Park West since 1997 in many of the different classrooms, in our summer camp program and with all age groups. She completed the Introduction to Montessori Course at CMTE/NY and before joining Park West, she worked for Head Start and with the American Red Cross. Beatrice is a mother and grandmother, which keep her busy in her free time.
Astrid is Park West’s Infant/Toddler Coordinator and has been at Park West since 1994. In addition to being certified as an Infant/Toddler Montessori Teacher by CMTE/NY, Astrid has a degree in Early Childhood Education. Before moving to the United States from Colombia, she earned a degree in Social Work. Astrid was the Child Care Inc. 2005 Golden Heart Awardee at the Champions for Children Awards.
Tracey has been in the education field since 1988, and has worked many years with young children. She received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Old Westbury and her Infant/Toddler Montessori Certification at CMTE/NY. Tracey worked in the infant and toddler programs at our sister school, Riverside Montessori since 2004. She has been at Park West since September 2013 and has worked in our preschool as well as our summer program.
Early Childhood Teaching Teams
Mariel joined Park West Montessori in 2001. She received her Master’s Degree from CCNY in Spanish Literature in May 2015. holds a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences from City College and an AMS Early Childhood Montessori Certification from the West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program. In addition, she received a Certificate of Childcare from NYU and has an Associate of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Borough of Manhattan Community College. Originally from Argentina, her pastimes include gardening and painting.
Sheila joined Park West in 2012 with many years of experience in the classroom and in administration. She has a Bachelor of Science and Special/Elementary Education from Green Mountain College in Vermont. She received her Montessori Certificate (Primary: 2.6–6yrs) in 2006 from the North American Montessori Center. She is presently enrolled in the West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program/Concordia College pursuing her Masters in Montessori Education. Sheila has also worked at various Montessori Schools in New Jersey and Maryland.
Joseph (Joe) joined Park West in 2007 after conducting his student teacher practicum at Brooklyn Heights Montessori School in an Early Childhood classroom. He received his BA in History from Lehman College and has finished his classroom training for his Montessori Certification from CMTE/NY. Before becoming a Montessori teacher, Joseph taught history for the New York City Public Schools. Joe has been our Movement/Sports enrichment teacher for many years.
Alicia joined Park West in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Masters of Arts in Education from Goucher College. Alicia earned her AMS Early Childhood Certification from the Center for Montessori Studies in Maryland. Before coming to Park West, Alicia taught for 6 years at a Montessori school in Maryland. In addition to classroom teaching, Alicia has been our Music enrichment teacher for many years.
Ellen joined Park West in 2010. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from State University of New York at Oneonta in Elementary Education with a concentration in General Science. Ellen is New York State Certified to teach children from Birth to 2nd grade. Ellen is presently enrolled at the Center for Montessori Education (CME) pursuing her AMS Early Childhood certification. In addition to working as a teacher in the Blue Room, Ellen is also the Science enrichment teacher. Ellen is from Long Island and she enjoys boating, gardening and loves to sing.
Gladys joined the Park West community in 2007. Gladys has worked throughout the different classes in Park West as well as in our summer camp program. She earned her Associate of Science Degree in Elementary Education and additional credits in bilingual education. She was previously a family day care provider here in New York City as well as an assistant teacher in an elementary school in Puerto Rico.
Natalie began at Park West early in 2012. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Rollins College and received her AMS Early Childhood Certification (2½-6yrs) from the Maitland Montessori School Teacher Education Program in Florida in 2010. She worked at the Lake Mary Montessori Academy as well as at the CA Montessori Children’s Center. Natalie is also our Spanish Enrichment teacher. She is fluent in English and Spanish, enjoys traveling and water and downhill skiing.
Melina has been working at Park West since 2015 in our early childhood community as well as with our summer camp. She received her AMS Associate Early Childhood Teaching credential from the West Side Montessori Teacher Education Program in June 2012. She did her undergraduate course work at San Diego City College and has over 5 years teaching experience working with young children in San Diego and New York City. Melina reveals that she loves reading and collecting children’s books.
Gemma joined Park West in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and her Montessori Teacher Certificate from O.B. Montessori Center also in the Philippines. She has a Master’s Degree in Special Education from the City College of New York and holds a New York State Teacher Certificate in Special Education. Gemma has taught and held other administrative positions in Montessori and Special Education for the last 25 years.
Cherrel has worked with the different age groupings of our programs at Park West since 1999. She is originally from England and has two children who are alumni of Park West. Cherrel is in the process of completing her degree at Teachers College.
Jean came to Park West Montessori in 2006 and is in New York while her husband serves as a UN Diplomat. She received her Montessori training in Kenya where she introduced children to the Montessori methodology and completed her classroom training for her Montessori certification through CMTE/NY. Jean sought out a Montessori school upon arriving in New York and we are so fortunate that she found Park West. Jean is also our Arts/Language enrichment teacher.
Stephanie, Education Director, joined Park West Montessori School in 2010. Stephanie comes to us with 30 years of educational experience, most of those as the head of the Staten Island Montessori School. She earned a B.A. in Psychology/Sociology and an M.S. in Elementary Education at CUNY and has done post-graduate work in administration and supervision at St. John’s University. Stephanie received her Early Childhood Montessori Certification in 1981 from Project CHAMP and is NYS certified. She has also served in a long list of roles including workshop coordinator, education consultant, chairperson for early educator workshop programs, adjunct instructor at NYU, instructor with the West Side Montessori School Teacher Education Program (WSMS-TEP), parent/teacher association vice president, executive committee member, co-chair for a school leadership team, newsletter editor, and federation delegate to name but a few–and all of this while raising three children!
Jessica, Admissions Director, began working at Park West Montessori School in 2001. Prior to joining the Administrative team as education director, Jessica taught for six years in an early childhood classroom at Park West. She earned her undergraduate degree from Marymount Manhattan College and her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Jessica holds her permanent NYS certification (birth- 6 years) and the AMS early childhood certification. She completed the Course for School Management through CMTE/NY. Prior to her career in education Jessica danced professionally for the New York Theatre Ballet. She is the proud mother of her daughter, Charlotte, a graduate of Park West Montessori School.
Judith has been Park West Montessori’s administrative coordinator since 2002. She feels privileged to be part of Park West Montessori’s community of lifelong learners and enjoys working with the families and staff. Before Park West Montessori, Judith worked in Finance. She received a BA in Music from Oberlin College and has sung with various choral groups throughout the city.