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

Our Team

Twin Parks Montessori Schools

Dr. Kathy Roemer, Executive Director

Park West Montessori Faculty

Infant Classrooms
Green Room

Toddler Classrooms
Orange Room
Aqua Room
Rainbow Room
Tangerine Room
Turquoise Room

Early Childhood Classrooms
Red Room
Blue Room
Purple Room
Yellow Room
Magenta Room

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

Green Room

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 P. 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.

Adriana D. has worked as a substitute teacher and as an assistant in the Green Room since September 2012  Adriana is warm, caring and gentle with your children.  Before coming to Park West, she worked at the Community House School and Summer Camp in Forest Hills gaining many years of experience with young 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.

Maria O. joined Park West Montessori in 2000 and is studying Early Childhood Education at Brooklyn College. She received her Child Development Associate degree from Touro College. Maria has three children and six grandchildren

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Toddler Teaching Teams

Orange Room

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 four children 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 Lehman College and is continuing her education in Early Childhood. She has much experience working with young children and is the proud mother of three! Her mother, Maria, has also worked at Park West for many years. Yesenia enjoys music—especially jazz and Spanish music.

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Aqua Room

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. Anany has one daughter who is a Park West graduate and enjoys spending time with her family.

Aarti joined the Park West Montessori community in September. 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. She also has a New York State Birth-Grade 2 Certification. Aarti comes to us with four years of 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. We are all delighted to welcome Aarti.

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Rainbow Room

Maria (Genny) joined Park West in 2007 and received her B.A. in Childhood Education from Boricua College. She completed her Infant/Toddler Montessori Education at CMTE/NY and has an AMS Infant & Toddler Credential. 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.

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, received her Montessori Certification at CMTE/NY and worked in the infant and toddler programs at Riverside Montessori since 2004. We are glad to welcome Tracey to Park West.

Claudette joined Park West in 2007. Affectionately known at Park West as “Cookie”, she has worked with infants to school age children since 2000. As the mother of three boys, and a grandmother on one, Cookie is quite busy outside of school. She enjoys sports, reading, and puzzles.

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Tangerine Room

Eve has been at Park West Montessori since 2001 and has worked with infant, toddler, and pre-school children. She received her Infant and Toddler Montessori Credential through CMTE/NY. Eve is working 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.

Mary received her Bachelor of Arts from The College of New Jersey in May 2012 majoring in Psychology and has been involved in many volunteer experiences with children. She has worked in summer camps—including Park West and in the Chester N J school District. She is presently enrolled in the WSMS Montessori Toddler Education Program and expects to receive her AMS Toddler Credential in June 2014. She loves outdoor active sports especially hiking and kayaking.

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Turquoise Room

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.

Mindy came to Park West in 2008. She has a Bachelors Degree from John Jay College. Mindy has worked at the New York Public Library, has been a nanny and enjoys reading and going to the gym in her spare time.

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Early Childhood Teaching Teams

Red Room

Mariel joined Park West Montessori in 2001. She 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. She is presently working on her Master’s Degree. Originally from Argentina, her pastimes include gardening and painting.

Beatrice has worked at Park West since 1997 in many of the different classrooms, 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 keeps her busy in her free time.

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Blue Room

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. She is from Long Island, New York and she enjoys boating, gardening and she loves to sing.

Jeffrey completed his AMS Montessori Teacher Education in Early Childhood at WSMS-TEP and has an AMS Associative Early Childhood Credential. He had worked at Riverside Montessori for two years. Jeff graduated in 2001 from the Florida School of Massage and has 10 years experience as a massage therapist and structural integration therapist. Jeff is the father of two young sons, one who attended our program and an infant son born last year.

Gladys joined the Park West community in 2007. 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.

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Purple Room

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.

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. She is fluent in English and Spanish, enjoys traveling and water and downhill skiing. We are happy that Natalie has joined our Park West community.

Sheila joined Park West 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 has also worked at various Montessori Schools in New Jersey and Maryland. We are glad to welcome Sheila to Park West.

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Yellow Room

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 24 years.

Cherrel has worked in all 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.

Joseph 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.

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Magenta Room

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.

Matthew joined Park West in January of 2011. 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 June 2014. He has a great sense of humor and loves working with children.

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Early Childhood After-School Coordinator

Lucinda began her work at Park West Montessori School as a substitute teacher, and joined our staff full-time as a teacher in 2005. Additionally, she has three years of teaching experience from preschools in England, where she obtained her Montessori International Diploma in 1998. Lucinda teaches the ever-popular cooking class in our After-School Enrichment program. Lucinda also serves as the Early Childhood After-School Coordinator. Lucinda is currently on leave to complete her studies at Columbia University but will remain with us for the after school program.

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Administrative Team

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.