Meet Us

Staff

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Kim Turnbull

Founder & Director, Brooklyn Schoolhouse

Kim Turnbull founded Brooklyn Schoolhouse in 2015.  Kim was the Lead Teacher of the first class, and is the Director of the school. Before starting Brooklyn Schoolhouse, Kim was a Lead Teacher at Beginnings Nursery School from 2009-2015. She taught the 4s group for two years, the 2/3s group for four years, and the 5s group Summer Program each year.  Kim completed the First International Summer School program in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2010.  Before Beginnings Nursery, Kim taught at the Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center, ABC Cassidy’s Place, Central Park East School, and City & Country School.  She earned a BA in Literature and Painting from Sarah Lawrence College in 2004 and a dual MS in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from Sarah Lawrence College in 2009.

 
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Melanie Muskin

Associate Director

Melanie Muskin joined Brooklyn Schoolhouse as the Associate Director during the summer of 2019.  Prior to joining Brooklyn Schoolhouse, Melanie worked with early elementary school teachers as an Assistant Principal at La Cima Elementary Charter School and Success Academies.  Melanie has a passion for cultivating collegiality within school communities, and ensuring that all teachers feel collectively supported and challenged. She believes deeply in the power of a developmental approach to adult learning and has used this philosophy to foster meaningfulness in professional relationships across the city.

In addition to school-based administration, Melanie worked as a Director of Programs at Literacy Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing high-quality professional development to literacy teachers across the city.  While in the classroom, Melanie taught science and literacy intervention to kindergarten, first, and second graders and was a first grade teacher in an integrated co-teaching classroom. Melanie is a certified School Building Leader for nursery through secondary public or non-public schools in New York State.  She completed her MA in Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University and her BA in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Education at Vassar College.

 

ANNA ELLIS NESSER

School Naturalist | Lead Teacher of the Twos-Threes Class, Together Time, and Nature School | Administrative Associate

Anna Ellis Nesser has been teaching at Brooklyn Schoolhouse since the Fall of 2016. Before moving into the classroom she spent 10 years working in the field of Environmental Education. She has brought her experience running and creating farm-based programs to Brooklyn Schoolhouse through work with the Twos-Threes Class, Multiage Pre-K and Nature School. As a child growing up in Brooklyn, Anna was happiest outdoors and would like to facilitate a connection with nature for the next generations of Brooklyn children.

Anna earned a BS in Biology, with a minor in Studio Art from Beloit College. Anna completed her dual Master's in General/Special Education, and Early Childhood Education at Concordia College - New York. She also received her American Montessori Early Childhood credential through The Westside Montessori School Teacher Education Program.

 

sandy gonzalez

Lead Teacher of the Multiage Pre-K Class

Sandy Gonzalez has been a Lead Teacher at Brooklyn Schoolhouse since 2016. In 2018 she attended Reggio in Focus: The Atelier, The City, and The Schools. This was an incredible conference in Reggio Emilia Italy that continues to influence her way of teaching. Sandy is also a Prospect School Fellow as of July 2018. This fellowship in Burlington, Vermont provides teachers with the opportunity to research and explore school philosophy, and documentation of children's work through the Prospect Archives. Before joining Brooklyn Schoolhouse, Sandy taught at Greene Hill School, Central Park East 1 Elementary School, The Earth School, and the Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center. Sandy also taught a cooking class and a dance class at the 14th Street Y Preschool, where she was also a Summer Counselor. Sandy earned a BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Dance, Psychology, and Spanish in 2013, and a dual MS in Childhood and Early Childhood Education from Sarah Lawrence College in 2015.

 
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TYHESHA COLEMAN

Associate Teacher of the Multiage Pre-K and Twos-Threes Class

Ty begins her second year at Brooklyn Schoolhouse as an Associate Teacher in the Multiage Pre-K and Twos-Threes Class. She is currently working towards her Child Development Certificate at the School of Professional Studies, and she is the mother of a wonderful son. Before starting at Brooklyn Schoolhouse, Ty was an Associate Teacher in the Universal Pre-K Class at Little Scholars Early Development Center. She was also an After School Counselor at PS. 75 Dickson School, where she lead art workshops that developed social-emotional and team-building skills for children ages 6 and 7. She completed her Associate Degree in Business Administration at Monroe College and has also completed Art Education courses at City College.

 
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SHERYL RIVAS

Associate Teacher of Nature School and Twos-Threes Class

Sheryl joins Brooklyn Schoolhouse as an Associate Teacher in the Twos-Threes class and Nature School. Before joining the Brooklyn Schoolhouse team, Sheryl was a Culinary Instructor at Keys to Abundant Life, where she facilitated hands-on cooking lessons and demonstrations for middle school aged students. Prior to that, she worked as a gardening instructor at the Children's Garden in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, where she taught a Fall-themed curriculum to two- and three-year-olds and led cooking classes with ingredients sourced from the Children’s Garden. She felt honored to facilitate these experiences, helping children form relationships with their natural environments. Both teaching experiences led her to become passionate about nature-based, edible education, one which empowers children to make independent decisions through experiential learning. Sheryl received her BA in Psychology from Wesleyan University in 2015. She is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Food Studies at NYU Steinhardt.

 
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YARITZA GONZALEZ

Associate Teacher of the Multiage Pre-K

Yaritza Gonzalez begins her third year at Brooklyn Schoolhouse an Associate Teacher for the Multiage Pre-K Class. For the previous two years, Yaritza was a teacher in both the Multiage Pre-K and the Twos Class. Before joining the Brooklyn Schoolhouse team she worked at Ralph Hirschkorn Child Care Center as an Assistant Teacher in a Pre-K class, and also spent two years working as a Childcare Provider Assistant in a family daycare. In her own childhood, Yaritza saw that caring, supportive, and inspiring teachers can have a great impact on a child’s life, and from there her passion for education developed. She is now working towards completing her BA in Early Childhood/Special Education as well as her second major in Children and Youth Studies at Brooklyn College.

 

Board of Advisors

 

Mary Hebron

Former Director, The Art of Teaching Graduate Program, Sarah Lawrence College

Mary is the Interim Director of The Art of Teaching Graduate Program at Sarah Lawrence College. She has been a professor in the program since 1985 and was previously the Associate Director of the Graduate Program. Mary is a former elementary teacher and coordinator of primary education in the Mamaroneck, New York public schools; curriculum and assessment consultant in New York City and Westchester; and coordinator of teacher study groups, including The Sarah Lawrence College Art of Teaching and Learning for the Classroom Professional Saturday Series. She served on the Board of The Prospect Archive and Center for Education and Research in North Bennington, Vermont. Mary has a BA and an MA from New York University.

 

Jane Racoosin

Director, Beginnings Nursery

Jane has been the Director of Beginnings Nursery since 2005 and took ownership of the school in 2011. Jane has over twenty-two years of teaching experience and has had extensive training in the Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education. She has attended workshops at Reggio-inspired schools in St. Louis, Missouri, Boulder, Colorado Northampton, Massachusetts, and has attended two study tours in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Currently Jane is the exhibit chair of the 2015 New York City initiative to bring to New York The Wonder of Learning Exhibit, the traveling exhibition of the infant-toddler centers and preschools of the municipality of Reggio Emilia, Italy.

In 2010 Jane presented “Living in spaces: Children translate their ideas about iconic architectural spaces through various artistic media” at the Educating the Creative Mind Conference at Keene University where Howard Gardner was the keynote speaker, and The European Early Childhood Research Conference in Birmingham, England. Jane 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. She has served as an adjunct lecturer in the department of Early Childhood Education at Hunter College and has a seat on the Board of the College of Education and Social Services at The University of Vermont.

 

Laura Sedlock

Pre-Primary Program Director, Blue School

Laura Sedlock is the Director of the Pre-Primary Program at Blue School in New York City, and was the Educational Director at Beginnings from 2008-2014. She has also been an adjunct lecturer in the department of Early Childhood Education at Hunter College. Laura has over fourteen years experience in the field of early childhood education, having taught at the Bank Street School for Children, City and Country School, P.S. 321 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and Beginnings Nursery School. Laura has a BA in English from Wesleyan University and a Masters in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Bank Street College. Before entering the field of childhood education, Laura taught English to adults in New York and Indonesia, where she lived for four years. Laura grew up in New York City, where she attended the Bank Street School for Children and the Fieldston School.

 

Consultants

COLLEEN GODDARD, PhD

Child Development Consultant

Colleen Goddard, Ph.D. works as the Child Development Specialist at Beginnings Nursery School and The Brooklyn Schoolhouse. She has over 22 years experience in early childhood education. Colleen received an Excellence in Teaching Award from the NYC Early Childhood Professional Development Institute in 2009. She also received a Parent’s Choice Award for Excellence in Educational Programming for a film she wrote and performed in, which addresses the social-emotional and psychological aspects of childhood cancer. She has worked as a contributing writer for the New York State Early Learning Guidelines as part of the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council and has been published by Psychology Today Online and Changing Minds.Org.  Colleen presents parent and teacher educational workshops and roundtables, at early childhood schools and centers, on a variety of topics related to human and child development. Colleen also works as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Hunter College, Brooklyn College and with the NYU School of Professionals Studies CDA Program and as a fieldwork supervisor for New York University graduate students in general and special education programs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Development with a Specialization in Early Childhood Studies from Pacific Oaks College and earned an additional Master’s Degree in Human & Organizational Development from Fielding Graduate University where she completed her Ph.D. in Human/Child Development - her dissertation examines the significance of transitional objects at the beginning and end of life.

 
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Andrew Lerner PHD

School Psychology Consultant

Andy has been consulting with Brooklyn Schoolhouse since 2016.  Andy is also currently working as a School Psychologist for the Brooklyn College Early Childhood Center and also teaching a course at Brooklyn College in the value of Children’s Play for early childhood educators in training.  Prior to this work Andy spent many years as a School Psychologist, much of it working with children with hearing and/or vision loss as part of the NYC Department of Education.  He also taught courses in Learning Theory, Cognition and Psycholinguistics at numerous institutions of higher learning in the region, including The New School, Touro College, William Paterson University, and will teaching a course in Designing an Early Childhood Environment at NYU in the Spring of 2018.  Andy earned a Ph.D. in Clinical-School Psychology from Hofstra University in 1988.  

 

MOHINI SHAPERO-ARDITI

Program Consultant

Mohini Shapero-Arditi is the Assistant Director of the Virginia Marx Children's Center at Westchester Community College in Valhalla, NY where she works with teachers, parents, college students and children. Formerly, Curriculum Coordinator/Staff Developer at the Eliza Corwin Frost in Bronxville, NY, she assisted the school in transitioning to a Reggio Emilia Approach. Mohini taught at Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center, Central Elementary School in Larchmont, NY, and Central Park East School. She has taught at Allegheny College, and worked in the Education Department of The Jewish Museum. She earned her BA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia, and holds a dual MS in Early Childhood and Childhood Education from Sarah Lawrence College.