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Meet the Lower School Faculty

“In their own words. . .”
Lower School Faculty Bios for 2019-20

 

Jackie Condie

Head of Lower School

Began at BFS: 1989

B.S., University of Utah

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

Originally from Ohio, I went to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City to ski (and study)! My first teaching assignment was in Green River, Wyoming (population 10,000/elevation 6000 feet). Set along the river, this beautiful and windy high plains city was kept alive by the oil and coal industry. A move to the east coast and a job at Newtown Friends School in Pennsylvania introduced me to Quaker education. Hooked on Friends schools, BFS has been my home for the past 30 years! It’s an honor to work with this extraordinary and committed faculty. I hope you enjoy learning about who we are in the Lower School.


CLASSROOM TEACHERS 

Kindergarten

Abbey Rueda

Kindergarten Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2012

B.F.A., New York University

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

After growing up in the Philadelphia area, my passion for the arts brought me to New York University. There, I immersed myself in cinema studies and art history. I worked in the entertainment industry for a few years and then began seeking a career I found more fulfilling. I moved to Cairo, Egypt, where I taught kindergarten and second grade—teaching had found me! I headed back to New York, getting my master’s at Bank Street College of Education and gaining experience in a variety of educational settings. I am thrilled to now call Brooklyn Friends School my home and am excited to be entering my eighth year as an educator here!

Nina Littman

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2017

B.A., Wheaton College

M.S. Ed., Pace University

I am so excited to be spending my third year at Brooklyn Friends as an Associate Kindergarten Teacher! Born and raised in Brooklyn, I am a proud Brooklyn Friends alumna, having spent three memorable middle school years at BFS from 1999-2002. For high school I attended LaGuardia High School of Music & Art as a vocal major. Singing and music are still my great passions. After college, where I had majored in history and minored in education, I entered the startup business world, initially attracted by its energy and dynamism. However, after several years in the for-profit sector, I realized that I wanted a career that was more personally meaningful to me. I recalled that my teaching experiences in college and my work with young children during the summers had always been deeply rewarding. So, I applied to Pace University’s Master’s Program in Early Childhood Education, where I have recently graduated. I am thrilled to be part of the BFS community where I have made many of my lifelong friends and hope to continue to make many more!

Amanda Welch

Kindergarten Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2010

B.A., Amherst College

M.S. Ed., Bank Street College of Education

At five years old, I remember having my life’s plans laid out. In my heart I knew that I was destined to become a pediatrician. I loved school, worked hard, and with my younger brother playing the role of my “patient”, I was well on my way. A Brooklyn native, my journey at Brooklyn Friends School began as a 7th grade student in the Middle School. After graduating as a BFS alumna (Blue Pride Runs Deep!), I attended Amherst College where a work study placement helped me to discover a deeply-rooted passion for early childhood education. Eager to begin teaching, I returned to New York where I taught and cared for toddlers in a preschool setting, and later went on to pursue a master’s degree in early childhood leadership. Returning to Brooklyn Friends as a member of the faculty has been rewarding and enriching as I continue to learn from a community of inspiring and committed colleagues and friends. I have found true joy teaching Kindergarten, a year that is full of wonder, discovery, tremendous growth, and lots of laughter! I am very much looking forward to my 10th year teaching my most favorite grade of all!

Darlitta Charles

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2019

B.S City College

M.S. E.D., City College of New York (in progress)

I’m thrilled to be working at BFS with Kindergarten Friends. I was born and raised in Harlem, New York and still remember fondly my time in my neighborhood elementary school. It was there where I was introduced to reading. Reading became, and still, is one of my favorite hobbies. After working at the New York City Fire Department for 5 years, I decided to attend City College of New York and received my Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. I am currently pursuing my Masters Degree in Special Education. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, spending time with family, and traveling.

Danielle (Dani) Clarke

Kindergarten Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2014

B.S., CUNY

M.S., Hunter College

As a little girl growing up in Brooklyn, I remember lining all of my dolls and stuffed animals on my bed and teaching them everything that I learned in school that day. Those were the moments that let everyone in my family know that I would be a teacher. I didn’t always agree with them, and decided to study psychology at Hunter College where I received my Bachelor’s Degree. But as fate would have it, I ended up getting a job as a floater in a preschool (until I figured out what I wanted to do long term), and I fell in love with the work. I loved how the twos knew exactly who they were, how the threes could debate better than many politicians, and how the fours took ownership of their own learning. It was fascinating, and it paired well with my love of psychology. I devoted eleven years to teaching preschool (predominantly with four year olds), all the while earning my Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College, getting married, having my daughter Nola, and coming to Brooklyn Friends School. I’m looking forward to the next direction that my career is heading in as a kindergarten head teacher. I can’t wait to see what happens to four year olds in the post-preschool era of their lives!

Leann Mc Grath

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2017

B.E., Queens University, Belfast, Northern, Ireland

M.E., Queens University, Belfast, Northern Ireland

I was born and raised in Northern Ireland. After graduating from Queens University Belfast with a Bachelors degree in Education, I spent a year teaching in local schools. Torn between my ambition to make a difference and a yearning for adventure I found myself booking a way one ticket to NYC with hopes of living in a place with a multitude of cultures and ideas. After years of working in the restaurant industry, and gaining a wealth of life experience, I found myself longing for a more fulfilling career. After a little soul searching, I packed up my life into a backpack and embarked on a six-month trip traveling throughout South East Asia, New Zealand and Australia. It was during this time that I began to volunteer with children of all ages, which helped me rediscover my passion for working with young people. Upon my return, I found a floater position in the Preschool at Brooklyn Friends School and started taking classes at Hunter College. After a year at BFS an opportunity arose for me to return to Queens University Belfast to do a Masters in Inclusion and Special Education, which I happily grabbed with both hands. Finishing my program in September, and starting a new position in Kindergarten, I’m excited to see where this next adventure takes me.


First Grade

Jill Fiengo

First Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2002

B.S., CUNY

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

Born and raised in NYC, I began my career teaching the very young at the beginning of the daycare boom where many families who had two parents with demanding careers left their infants in our care. My work with infants was deeply gratifying and led me to continue on my path as an educator of young children. When my husband and I had our own children, Brooklyn Friends was our first choice. We were personally moved by this community and its commitment to educating the whole child. I have had the privilege of teaching first graders here at BFS for many years. Since my own children graduated from the high school, I couldn’t be more certain of the benefits of belonging to this community both as a parent and teacher.

Jami Moore

Kindergarten Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2017

B.A., University of Pennsylvania

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

I was born and raised in New York City. When I was three years old, I marched out of my classroom and announced to my mother and the director of my nursery school that when I grew up I was going to be a teacher. Over the past twenty years, my desire to work with children has never waned. Throughout high school, I tutored students at my elementary school and taught classes at my religious school. After four years of college at the University of Pennsylvania (and a semester at the University of Edinburgh), I returned to get my masters in early childhood general and special education at Teachers College, Columbia University. I spent two years student teaching in Kindergarten, First Grade, and infant classrooms across Manhattan. As much as I love New York, I also have loved spending summers in Maine as a camper for eight years and a counselor for the last eight years. In my free time, I enjoy theater, snowboarding, skiing, exploring new cities, and watching sports (especially basketball). I’m so excited to be working in 1st Grade in my third year at BFS!

Elizabeth Machuca

First Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2014

B.A., Florida Atlantic University

M.S.Ed., Hunter College

I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey where I lived for the first eight years of my life. A couple of months into my third grade year, my entire family decided to pack up and move to sunny South Florida where I lived through college and the first couple of years of my teaching career. After graduating from Florida Atlantic University, I began as a first grade teacher at a local public school. Those first years of my teaching career were an invaluable learning experience led by amazing mentors and friends. In 2009, I made the big move back up north and landed in Brooklyn, which I am now proud to call home. Here, I continued teaching at The International School of Brooklyn until 2014 and then at Brooklyn Friends School while working on completing my Masters degree at Hunter College. As I enter my sixth year at Brooklyn Friends School, I am excited to continue my work in first grade, and look forward to another year of learning and growing in our wonderful community.

Natasha Harris

First Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A., Stony Brook University

M.S., Nyack College

M.S. Ed., Bank Street College of Education

I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn to two immigrant parents from Jamaica. I am the middle child of three girls and the proud aunt of a 7 year old nephew and a 14 year old niece. From the age of 5, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. I can remember having school in my bedroom for my younger sister and younger cousins during school breaks, no matter how much they objected, and creating different lessons for all four of them, who were in different grades. I later attended Richard R. Green HS of Teaching on the UES where we had a year long internship in a classroom and my decision to become a teacher was solidified. I spent the next eleven years working with children in many different capacities from camp counselor to a summer museum tour guide to an after school homework instructor to an assistant teacher in a UPK classroom for two years and one year as head teacher. Seeing how much your students grow, socially, emotionally, academically and even physically, throughout the year is the most satisfying part of teaching. While teaching is my career, a passion of mine is baking. I’m a self-taught baker and owner of CUPCAKERY, a baking business that grew out of my kitchen in 2011. I can’t wait to continue this adventure here in first grade at Brooklyn Friends School again this year while learning and growing with the faculty and families.

Laura Leopardo

First Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 1999

B.A., Western Illinois University

M.A., State University of New York, Stony Brook

I was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. I became an aunt at the age of nine and by the time I was fifteen, I had eight delightful nieces and nephews who brought great joy into my adolescent life. Living down the block from me, they truly were my first classroom, taking them to museums, fairs, sleepovers and various other extravaganzas. Upon entering college, I already knew what I wanted to be, a teacher, and to be surrounded by children. When I first met my husband, I told him I wanted to have twelve children. He tells me I now have more–they just change every year! After college, I studied art history, traveled and lived in Europe for a year. I then moved to New York and worked at the Leo Castelli Gallery for eight years. I first came upon BFS as a parent of a four-year old and fell absolutely in love with it because—well, you know, you chose it too! The next year, I decided BFS was where I wanted to set my teaching roots. My experience at BFS has been everything it promised to be, and with each year, even more.

Christina Konnaris

First Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.S., Ithaca College

M.S. Ed., Bank Street College of Education (in progress)

Born in NYC and raised in the Catskills, I am a former environmental educator and non-profit yoga studio manager turned elementary teacher. During my time managing the non-profit, I also began volunteering at a language, technology, and community-based center where I taught adult English conversation classes. A Thai student of mine inspired me to consider teaching ESL in Thailand and I moved, shortly thereafter, to a small rural province called Phrae in northern Thailand. I spent a year there teaching ESL to pre-k and kindergarten students and I fell in love with early childhood education. I’m now back in NYC completing a dual certification masters in early childhood and childhood education at Bank Street College of Education. I’ve found a way to incorporate both my environmental and yoga passions into my lessons and I’m really looking forward to sharing it with the BFS community as a second year associate 1st grade teacher!


Second Grade

Hannah Munger

Second Grade Head Teacher

Started BFS: 2018

B.A., Barnard College, Columbia University

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

I spent my childhood in the greater Boston area but have considered New York home since attending Barnard College for my undergraduate degree. Studying art history and practicing studio art, I went on to work in the arts in New York at a City agency and abroad at art galleries and museums. Work in art education in India and Germany ultimately led me back to New York to Bank Street College of Education to pursue a master’s degree in museum education. Through a student teaching placement while earning my degree, I began to understand the adventure, challenges, joy and fun of working in a classroom and building relationships with students over time. I have since committed myself to classroom teaching and have taught at independent and public charter schools in Brooklyn. It has been a pleasure to join the Brooklyn Friends community and I am eager to return for my second year teaching second grade!

Caroline Carr

Second Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A., Whitman College

M.S. Ed., Bank Street College of Education (in progress)

Born and raised in Berkeley, California, this will be my second year living on the east coast! Growing up, I always knew I wanted to work with children and help people, but I didn’t know in what capacity. After a 2 year stint in marketing at a healthcare technology company, I quit my job and moved to Jaipur, India to work for an NGO, The Tushita Foundation. At first, I thought I’d be helping with public health initiatives, but learned from the staff that they needed an English Teacher. I taught the youngest group of students and fell in love with the process of curriculum and lesson planning. Drawing from my Montessori upbringing, I love to bring in as much visual and project based elements to my teaching as I can. I was a 3rd grade Associate Teacher for two years at The Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco, and I have loved continuing the learning process in 4th grade at Brooklyn Friends with input from my graduate studies at Bank Street. I enjoy cooking, dancing, painting, and getting outdoors. I look forward to applying my knowledge to second grade this coming year.

Eliza van Rootselaar

Second Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2014

B.A., Hunter College

M.S., Brooklyn College, Speciality in Mathematics Education

Born and raised in Brooklyn, growing up next to an elementary school, the sounds of children shrieking and laughing feel like home to me. Nurtured and fed by two Dutch immigrant parents, I have a high appreciation for language, travel, plants, and good quality butter. Unlike most other teachers here, I was long convinced that I would be a firefighter when I grew up. As you can see, a few things have changed since then! Throughout my life I have always worked with children, and after completing an undergraduate degree in Geography, I began my teaching career. This year marks my fifth year teaching second grade at BFS and I could not love the age group, or the curriculum, any more than I already do!

Jacob Cohen

Second Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2017

B.F.A., New York University

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

Born and raised in NYC, I somehow cannot seem to get very far from home. In my younger years I dreamed of being an artist, fantasizing about a life that championed creativity, expression, and critical thinking. My interests in the arts led me to achieving a B.F.A from NYU, and two years abroad in Berlin working as a studio assistant. Upon returning to New York, I found myself painting by night and working at a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool to “pay the bills”. After four years working in a progressive child-centered environment, I realized that many of the values I believed could only be found in a career in the arts were in fact integral to working with children. This revelation, as well as the joy and reward of working with children and families, brought me to Bank Street College of Education. After a year of student teaching and a year of working as an assistant in a 1st-grade classroom, I was welcomed into the BFS community in 2017. Since then I have spent each year working with second-graders and couldn’t be happier.

Cory Meara-Bainbridge

2nd grade Associate Teacher

Started at BFS: 2018

B.A., Wesleyan University

M.S., Hunter College, Bilingual Childhood Education

I grew up in Brooklyn and currently live 10 blocks from my parents. I’ve tried leaving but it didn’t work – I missed the bagels too much. I love to dance, sing, eat tostadas, and be upside down. I first became interested in teaching through my work as a high school organizer, leading service-learning trips focused on social justice and community organizing. Beginning to teach in such a charged environment of youthful energy showed me the beautiful possibilities of education, as I was able to witness countless moments of transformation and intense growth. I left Brooklyn for Connecticut, where I got a degree in Anthropology and American Studies, and continued to find myself in teaching roles. After college I spent a year teaching in an elementary school in Spain, where I became fascinated with bilingual education. Although the universe seemed to be pulling me towards teaching, I felt I needed to try other things, so upon returning to the U.S., I worked for a few years in community organizations and the NYC Department of Social Services. In the end I couldn’t stay away from the classroom, and now I never want to leave. I spent two years working and learning at Williamsburg Northside, and having joined this incredible faculty last year as an associate teacher in 2A, I am so excited to be spending the first half of this year in second grade again, this time in 2B.

Denise Parks

Second Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2011

Many Truths and a lie! Who am I?

I am a southern New Yorker.

I am the mother of a child who has been at Brooklyn Friends since Kindergarten.

I am a person who decided to enter the field of education because I believe that change begins from within.

I love food, running, travel, singing, laughing, dancing (I used to dance with Alvin Ailey) and languages — the order changes by the hour.

I speak Italian and German.

I have an undergraduate degree that I earned in the States.

I have graduate degrees from the University of Munich and Columbia University.

I love hugs. Come talk with me and guess which ones are true and which is the lie!

Vanessa De Riggs

Second Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College

M.A., Sarah Lawrence College

M.S. Ed., Bank Street College of Education (in progress)

When I was in Pre-K, my teacher asked us to present what we wanted to be when we grew up at our graduation and I said that I wanted to be a teacher so that I could decorate my own classroom. Fast forward through years of decorating my childhood home as a classroom, giving my dolls spelling tests, and dressing up in my Mother’s work clothes, one would think that my love for teaching would be cemented. Throughout my teens I went from wanting to be a Lawyer, to an Architect, to an Art Gallery owner, until finally settling into the field of Psychology in college. My path through Psychology at Sarah Lawrence College unexpectedly led me to also pursue the Italian language for all four years which ultimately landed me in Florence, Italy for my study abroad year. When I returned from Italy and knew that I wanted to pursue my path towards my Doctorate in Child Psychology, I decided to go to graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College for Child Development. Little to my knowledge that this decision would lead me back to where my Pre-K self knew I would be – TEACHING!! I have been teaching since 2015 in Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and International Baccalaureate environments and I am in graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. I look forward to another year at BFS and getting to know, laugh, and learn with everyone!!


Third Grade

Sarah Gordon

Third Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2006

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

As a kid growing up in upper Manhattan, I enjoyed learning but didn’t really like school (I noted on a first grade assignment that my favorite part of the school day was “the end”). After studying history and writing at Sarah Lawrence and then doing odd jobs and traveling for a few years, I enrolled at Bank Street College to get a dual degree in literacy and childhood education. I was positive that I would become a private reading tutor but became enchanted with the life of the classroom and BFS. As I embark on my 14th year teaching third grade, I still love seeing how a strong and diverse community, supported autonomy and self-motivated learning can help kids become empowered learners who aren’t waiting for the school day to end! When I’m not teaching, I sing Yiddish music at festivals around the world.

Eva Warren

Third Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A., Sarah Lawrence College

M.S. Bank Street College (in progress)

Only now do I remember things from childhood that suggest my calling was education. Every sleepover had a full-blown itinerary. I begged my parents relentlessly for an overhead projector and my two favorite stores, to this day, are Michaels and Staples. It was meant to be. By my junior year at Sarah Lawrence, I had maxed out my child psychology credits, and once I stepped into the chaos and joy of classroom life, it clicked for me. The values of Brooklyn Friends in particular align with my own: that community and collaboration fuel meaningful learning.

Megan Glionna

Third Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.F.A., East Carolina University

M.A.T., Simmons College

When I was a very young girl I told my parents I wanted to move to New York City to become an actress, and I began a passionate pursuit of my dreams, acting in over 20 plays and musicals while growing up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In college I studied the Sanford Meisner technique with renowned theatre instructor, Don Biehn. I moved to New York City after graduation and acted in many productions in downtown Manhattan. In my mid twenties I was looking for a more fulfilling career, and went home to visit my parents. I observed my mother teaching a 5th grade class and immediately knew what I wanted to do. I had a new dream and I couldn’t wait to get started! I enrolled in the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Simmons College, and started teaching at The Learning Project in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. I found that a lot of the things I loved about acting – the preparation, working collaboratively, being in the moment, and being in front of people – translated well to the work of a classroom teacher. I moved back to NYC a few years later and taught 2nd and 4th grades at Harlem Academy, a scholarship school for children from underserved communities. After taking time off to raise my daughters, Mia and Gemma, I returned to the classroom last year in Kindergarten at BFS. I am thrilled to be back this fall teaching 3rd grade! I love yoga, cooking, dancing, singing, live music, and being outside and am looking forward to learning about all of my 3B friends.

Chiara Cafiero

Third Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A. Connecticut College

M.S.Ed. Bank Street College of Education

I am originally from Litchfield County, CT, where I spent most of my time reading everything I could get my hands on and exploring the woods, farms, and rivers around my house. I went to a Montessori school where we were encouraged to voice our opinions, follow our interests, and take responsibility for our own learning. From there, I transitioned to a very traditional private school (think navy blue blazer with a school crest). I ultimately wound up in the Florida public school system when our family moved in 2003, then turned right back around to attend a boarding school in Connecticut near my hometown. Each of these settings, in their own way, influenced my interest in education and desire to teach. I attended Connecticut College, where I studied Art History and worked as a peer tutor in the college writing center, which is still one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever had. I spent several summers working with children, usually in an art or museum setting. I was sure when I graduated that I wanted a job related to art and education, so I found a job as an admissions counselor for an art and design college. After two years, I decided I was ready to take the leap into teaching and accepted a job at Brunswick School, an all-boys school in Connecticut. I taught kindergarten and third grade there while working on my master’s from Bank Street. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, reading, visiting museums, and practicing yoga. I’m also a huge fan of burritos!

Julia Smith

Third Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2013

B.A., Wesleyan University

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

My roots in Quaker education began at Cambridge Friends School, where I used to loudly velcro my shoes to the rug in order to get the attention of my mother, who worked as the school librarian. After graduating from Wesleyan University, I packed up my car and moved to San Francisco where I lived, played, and worked for six years. During that time, I worked in Urban Planning until I could no longer deny my calling to work directly with children and families. After volunteering with kids at an emergency domestic violence shelter and at the San Francisco Friends School, I applied to graduate school and moved to New York to attend Bank Street in 2006. Since then, I have worked as a 3rd grade associate teacher at the Dalton School, a 1st/2nd grade teacher at Corlears, and happily found my home at BFS in 2013.

Isabel Rubin

Third Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A. Skidmore College

M.S., Bank Street College of Education (in progress)

I am a born and raised Brooklynite excited to continue teaching in my favorite borough! I have spent my life in New York City, barring a high school semester in Rome and a trip upstate to attend Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. I have always been passionate about working with children and devoted my undergraduate career to combining this passion with my interest in psychology. I spent my time at Skidmore studying developmental psychology, volunteering at the college’s daycare center, and teaching at a school for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. My undergraduate education lay the groundwork for my approach to teaching and has supplemented the invaluable education I have received through the experience of teaching. In my positions as a preschool teacher at a school in Queens, a Third Grade teacher at Packer (just around the corner!), and a Fourth Grade teacher here at BFS, I have had the privilege of working alongside and learning from incredibly dedicated, caring, and intellectually curious educators. I am so excited to continue to collaborate and learn with the brilliant teachers at Brooklyn Friends and to bring my passion for inclusive teaching, dedication to globally minded curriculum, and love of learning to the BFS community!


Fourth Grade

Razi Abdur-Rahman

4th Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2012

B.A. Bard College

M.S. Ed. Bank Street College of Education

I used to say that “I am a career-changer” after ending up in education. Looking back at all the different jobs I’ve had as cook/chef, an art handler, interior horticulturist, lobster fisherman, printer, graduate student and conga drum restorer to name a few, education was always the undercurrent in these past professions. With the encouragement from my wife, I delved into the world of education, teaching at-risk kids in the South Bronx, teaching and coaching basketball in public schools and working my way into private schools. Now after 15 years of teaching and entering my 8th year at BFS, I know that I have found my true calling. Every year I get to engage in the amazing, challenging and fulfilling task of teaching the myriad students within the BFS community, collaborating with my fellow faculty members and partnering with parents. As soon as I could, I enrolled both my children in the school and they have thrived in this environment. I am incredibly excited about what this year has in store for me, my kids and my students.

Ashley Okonma

Fourth Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A., Antioch University Los Angeles

M.S., Bank Street College of Education (in progress)

I am a Los Angeles native who recently became a New York resident. I have always been fascinated by the culture, community, and educational values of New York and am excited to soon begin a new chapter of my life here. However, I will remain a Clippers and Dodgers fan. I attended Antioch University Los Angeles for my B.A. in liberal studies as well as a Multiple Subject Teacher Education Program. I will be attending Bank Street College of Education in the fall and pursuing my M.S. in Childhood Special and General Education. During my free time I enjoy museums, libraries, live concerts, and traveling. I have been working in education in various capacities for over 10 years and I am honored to continue my journey at Brooklyn Friends School. I’m also looking forward to working with fourth grade students and helping to foster a space for their growth!

Bea Bartolotta

Fourth Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2005

B.A., Fordham University

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

Born and raised in the Bronx, I attended Fordham University while working in the entertainment industry. Following graduation, I began a career in advertising, working first on the agency side and later for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America as Director of Creative Development. It was here that I had the opportunity to engage with young people around the issue of drug use and prevention and, after three years, decided to pursue teaching. After spending a year at the Bank Street School for Children as an Assistant Teacher, I came to BFS in the same role (working in third and fourth grade) before becoming a Head Teacher in 2007. Working with fourth graders is my passion – it is a year filled with excitement, challenge, and tremendous growth. I look forward to working with your children in the coming year!

Jack Redell

Fourth Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2019

B.A., Oberlin College

I have always held teachers in high esteem. Now in my fourth year as an educator, I am consistently surprised by the enthusiasm, curiosity, hopes, fears, and desires that students bring with them to class every day. As a faculty kid, I was a “lifer” at nearby Poly Prep, after which I attended Oberlin College in Ohio. At Oberlin, I majored in Classical Civilizations, conducting archaeological field work at sites in Italy and Palestine. I also served as captain of the Varsity Swim team and cheerleader of a much less official Intramural Softball team. After a brief, hardly successful career in sales, I had the privilege of rejoining my alma mater to begin my career teaching. Before moving to 3rd grade, I substitute-taught Math, English, Art, Science, Drama, and History classes in Poly’s Middle School. I also coached Poly’s Swimming and Track teams. Continuing my career at Brooklyn Friends, I look forward to building my network of supportive colleagues and improving my craft as a teacher. Outside of the classroom, I can be found riding my bike around Brooklyn, trashing my kitchen with new culinary experiments, or desperately cheering at a Mets game.

Lauren Yi

4th Grade Head Teacher

Began at BFS: 2019

B.A., Parsons The New School for Design

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

My early enjoyment of drawing and design led me to Parsons at the New School where I received a BBA in Design & Management. However, the inspiration of my mother, a veteran teacher, and a stint as a 5th grade special education paraprofessional made me switch professional direction, sending me to Teachers College Columbia University where I completed a graduate program in Elementary Education. I am thrilled to be starting my sixth year teaching — the fourth with 4th grade — at Brooklyn Friends, cultivating empathy and nurturing natural intellectual curiosity. My students will soon learn that I love animals (especially bunnies and dogs!), traveling, reading, and exploring new adventures like scuba and skydiving.

Caroline Bannan

Fourth Grade Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2018

B.A., Oberlin College

M.A., Bank Street College of Education (in progress)

I am looking forward to teaching 4th grade again for my second year at Brooklyn Friends School! I was born and raised in Croton-on-Hudson, where my love of school and learning began. Growing up, I attended and later worked at Camp Hazen, a residential summer camp where my passion for working with children began. I went on to attend Oberlin College where I studied history and French. Post graduation I worked as an English teacher in three elementary schools near Marseille, France. After a year full of learning, teaching, and eating baguettes, I returned to New York and began my master’s degree in education at Bank Street. In my free time, I love to hike, cook, eat, and visit museums. I can’t wait to learn, share, and explore with BFS fourth graders again this year!

Melissa Poitevien

LS Assistant Float Teacher/Permanent Sub

Began at BFS: 2010

State University of New York at Albany (degree in progress)

I was born and raised in New York City and attended Brooklyn Friends School for high school (Proud Alum!). Having had such a horrid experience in my junior high, BFS was a welcomed and refreshing change of scenery. After my freshman year, I took a part-time job at the school’s summer camp working with preschool students and had such a wonderful and memorable experience. It was then that I knew that this was what I wanted to do! I gravitated towards Early Childhood with an appreciation for children’s curiosity, creativity and raw honesty. I’m fortunate to be doing what I love and to have reconnected with the school and supportive community that helped me realize my passion.


LEARNING SPECIALISTS AND MATH SPECIALISTS

Sarah Adelman

Second and Fourth Grade Learning Specialist

Began at BFS: 2014

B.A., Bard College

Graduate Teaching Credential, San Francisco State University

M.S. in Literacy, Hunter College

Born and raised in Massachusetts, I grew up enjoying a childhood filled with exploring my town of Andover on foot, bike and roller skate. I feel lucky to have had such freedom rarely enjoyed by kids of this generation – my daughter would second that sentiment. My senior year of high school, my family moved to Bath, England. I deferred my spot at Bard College and enjoyed a year abroad. I returned to the US and began studying art history at Bard College. I was certain I would work at a museum or a gallery, which I did for ten years (at the ICA in Boston and the SFMOMA in California) until the teaching bug knocked on my door. I have been teaching ever since. I’ve taught in the public schools in both NYC and San Francisco. I am excited to start my sixth year in the Lower School at BFS. I love language and reading and find great pleasure creating opportunities for children to be curious about how the English language works and to flourish as readers and writers.

Laura Hulbert

3rd-4th Grade Learning Specialist

Began at BFS: 1998

B.A., Oberlin College

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

I began teaching straight out of college. I’ve taught first graders through graduate students, and a lot of grades in between. For my reading groups, I design lots of word games, and work with students to produce games based on our readings. I love to teach kids about good writing and I enjoy trying to practice what I preach. To date I have three published children’s books, multiple rejections from a number of publishing houses, and a number of ideas for new work that I toss around in my head when I can’t sleep. On my website, laurahulbert.com, I blog about books and homemade reading games families can enjoy together. But my favorite thing is to actually engage in the hurly burly of school life with kids. I’m looking forward to another year of learning with the children!

Caroline Segarra

Kindergarten and First Grade Learning Specialist

Began at BFS: 2012

B.A., Purchase College, SUNY

M.S.Ed, Brooklyn College, CUNY

A loud and proud Puerto Rican born and raised in Brooklyn, my childhood was colored by voracious reading and a never-ending quest for knowledge while mastering a sense of “street smarts.” Throughout college, I put those instincts to the test, and was a head counselor at an urban summer day camp for three years; after graduating in 2004, I worked in the nonprofit sector all over NYC, with homeless families living in shelters. Soon after, I joined the NYC Teaching Fellows program in 2005, where I proudly served for seven years as a Special Education teacher across all lower elementary grades in diverse public, charter, and parochial schools. As a Reading Specialist here at BFS, my goal is to answer every child’s question with honesty and in sincerity, and most importantly, ensure that children love both learning to read and reading to learn. Passionate about giving back to the community, I maintain a strong connection to my alma mater, SUNY Purchase, and for three years, served as Program Director of the Horizons at BFS program.

Jonathan Edmonds

Math Specialist, K-2

Began at BFS: 2002

B.A., Oberlin College

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

Born and raised in a dairy-farming and teaching family, I grew up first in southern England and then in the Genesee Valley of upstate New York. Before coming to Brooklyn Friends, I taught ESL to migrant farmworkers upstate, reading to elementary age children in Nashville, and English to Kindergartners and aeronautics graduate students in Nanjing, China. I was drawn to Brooklyn Friends as a Quaker school, and have found a true home here with other educators striving to create a diverse and caring community committed to the education of the whole child. After a number of years teaching 2nd and 3rd grades, I moved into my current work encouraging students and teachers in math education, a subject I have come to love for the habits of mind it develops around reasoning, perseverance, and wonder. I’m excited to be starting my 18th year of teaching in this learning community.

Kate Minear

Math Specialist, 3rd-4th

Began at BFS: 2005

B.A., Swarthmore College

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

I grew up outside Portland, Oregon in a family of teachers, and I visit the Pacific Northwest at least once a year to go hiking, buy some used books at Powell’s Bookstore, and eat some freshly picked raspberries from bushes in my parent’s yard. I went to Swarthmore College, which introduced me both to Quaker education and the East Coast (both of which felt very new and different). I took a lot of math classes at Swarthmore, and was initially surprised when my professors talked about math solutions being elegant and creative. I love that I get to help our students find the beauty and enjoyment in math at a much younger age.


SPECIALIST TEACHERS

Margaret Bary

Dance Specialist and Performing Arts Chair

Began at BFS: 1991

B.A., Cornell University

M.F.A., Sarah Lawrence College

C.M.A.(Certified Movement Analyst), Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies

Growing up in Brooklyn, I developed a passion for dance at a young age. I had the opportunity to study a variety of techniques at college, and then back in NYC with Merce Cunningham and other inspiring teachers. My interest in children led me into teaching creative dance and after working at a number of schools, I found my way to BFS. An avid folk dancer, I brought traditional dances into the dance curriculum and began an annual family folk dance for the LS community. The most rewarding aspect of teaching dance, is facilitating projects that allow students to make artistic choices and reveal aspects of themselves in their creative work.

Maggie Carson

Pre and Lower School Librarian

Began at BFS: 2019

B.A., Bard College

M.L.I.S., University at Albany (degree in progress)

Having worked in both public and independent school libraries for many years I’m thrilled to be a part of the Brooklyn Friends School team as a Pre and Lower School Librarian. Born and raised in New York City, I attended Bard College where I received a B.A. in American Studies and fell in love with American music and literature. I spent many years working professionally as a musician, playing banjo and touring the States, Europe, and Canada with the band Spirit Family Reunion. I am currently pursuing my M.L.I.S. remotely through University at Albany Information Science School Library program, and continue to write, play, and sing original music. I am so happy to be a part of the community, bringing my love of teaching, librarianship, and creative arts to the BFS library.

Gabriela Alvarez Castaneda

Lower School Spanish Teacher K-2

Began at BFS: 2015

San Carlos of Guatemala University

Guatemala City Dance School

Originally from Guatemala, although born in the Fiji Islands, I have also lived in Washington DC, Peru and have traveled around the world until age 6 when my parents decided to settle back home. I have been studying dance since age 3 and never imagined becoming a teacher until 2004, when I fell in love with education. To learn to teach has been the greatest gift, one that never ends, and is always a journey filled with magic, discipline, planning, love and joy. I am the founder of the Association for Research, Education, and Performing Arts and co-founded its Certification Program in Performing Arts at Rafael Landivar University. I also managed two Cultural Centers, a restaurant and produced several art festivals and social justice rallies. Since arriving in New York in 2011, as a result of an amazing love story that didn’t work out as I had planned, I have furthered my teaching education with The National Dance Institute of New York and the Foundation of Dance Education. I dance for Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, Coopdance Inc. and Mestizo Dance Company all which include Latin American based dance, music and research. I have been on the faculty of the Ballet Hispanico School of Dance teaching Cultural Latin Dance and the Williamsburg Movement and Arts Center teaching Creative Movement, World Dance and Ballet as well as at Lango Kids teaching Spanish and Spanish through movement, Mi Atico Spanish Immersion Program and Mi Escuelita where I teach a bilingual music and dance program. Since coming to BFS, I have loved the sense of community that I found, one where there are abundant smiles in the hallways, the support of colleagues and staff and most importantly, the disposition and joy of the students who love to learn and share their energy, tenderness and growth. It is a privilege to be part of this family and its philosophy.

Tracy Chow

Lower School Technology Integrator

Began at BFS: 2013

B.A.., University of Western Ontario

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

After spending my early childhood in Hong Kong, my family and I immigrated to Toronto, Canada, just before the British handover of Hong Kong to China. Upon graduating from university, I moved to New York City to pursue my graduate studies in cognitive psychology and education, with a focus on language processing, visualizations and early childhood education. I have taught students from preschool to graduate school, but I still enjoy working with young children the best. I initially joined BFS as a First Grade Head Teacher and then moved into the role of Lower School Technology Integrator. As I begin my seventh year at BFS, I look forward to exploring the ever-changing world of technology with my students. In my free time, I love to travel, eat my way through different countries, and meet people from other cultures to learn more about their stories.

Edson Elcock

Physical Education

Began at BFS: 2015

Old Dominion University Class of 2006

I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago until the age of 10 when I moved to Brooklyn. I grew up in Crown Heights with two older sisters and my mother. I became a student at BFS in the 8th grade and graduated from the Upper School in 2003. After spending my freshman year of college at Wingate University, I transferred to Old Dominion University on a full soccer scholarship, where I majored in Sports Management, minored in Physical Education and earned First Team All-American honors. In 2006, I was drafted into the MLS by the Kansas City Wizards. The following season I spent playing and living in Puerto Rico before spending the last four years of my career playing for the Richmond Kickers. After six years of playing professionally I wanted to share my knowledge of the game. So I decided to become a coach and was hired by BFS to take over as the Varsity Soccer team head coach. Coaching turned into a couple of subbing opportunities, then the next thing I know here I am a full-time Physical Education teacher. Teaching was never something I thought I’d be doing but I’m happy to be here trying to mold our students into great human beings…as BFS has done for me.

Susan Greenstein

Lower School Art Teacher

Began at BFS 2008

B.S., Pratt Institute

M.S.Ed., Queens College

Born in Astoria, Queens, I started to love drawing and painting at a very young age. I studied at Pratt institute and later became an editorial and children’s book illustrator. Although I enjoyed being an illustrator, I discovered that I enjoyed teaching too. I was offered a position at Studio in a School, an organization that sends teaching artists into public schools throughout the city. I found that I loved working with young children. Their joy in creative exploration feeds my love of teaching and making my own art. I eventually had the good fortune to discover BFS and feel that I have found a true home in this community. I look forward to teaching art with LS students this year!

Myriam Juarbe

Lower School Spanish Teacher 3rd/4th

Began at BFS: 2009

B.A., University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

M.Ed., University of Massachusetts, Amherst

I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In January of 1988 I moved to Amherst in the middle of a snowstorm, without winter gear to attend graduate school. Living in the international graduate dorm at UMASS was the best life experience. I was hungry for culture. After graduation, I was hired as the Head Teacher for the Amherst Schools Bilingual Spanish program for grades K-5 at Crocker Farm School where I remained for six years. Later on, my husband’s job took us to Ohio and then the UK. In 2004 our family moved to New York with our two small children. My youngest child attended BFS in Kindergarten. I fell in love with the Quaker values and the school’s sense of community. When Michael Nill announced that he wanted to implement a new Spanish program in the Lower School I knew that I had to come out of “full-time mother retirement” and join this wonderful community.

Thomas Keasling

Lower School Woodshop Teacher

Began at BFS: 2016

B.A., St. Olaf College

M.A., University of Arizona

I fell in love with teaching while pursuing an M.A. in political geography in the middle of a fifteen year career as an architectural and fine art fabricator. Over the years, I have made custom furniture, large scale public sculptures in NYC and around the world, and have freelanced with architectural and design firms on numerous fabrication projects. In 2013, I returned to teaching as a founding art and design teacher at Unity Preparatory Academy in Brooklyn, where I mobilized my professional skills and experiences to create and teach separate art/design and technology curricula for 6th and 7th graders. Entering my 4th year at BFS, I remain incredibly excited to be teaching at in an art department and a school community that so clearly understands that the arts are a critical component of a well-rounded education. As the proud papa of a BFS Kindergarten student, I spend most of my “spare” time in area parks and playgrounds. I am a serious home cook, an avid cyclist and former rock climber, though I am looking forward to getting back into climbing now that my son is ready and interested.

Yvette Kennedy

Lower School Science Teacher

Began at BFS: 2012

B.S., SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

M.S.Ed., Bank Street College

I was born in South Korea, but proudly call myself a native New Yorker. During my summers growing up, my family and I would spend much of our time in the Catskills, and there my love for the outdoors and animals grew. Driven by my interest in life sciences, I attended SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a specialized science school in Syracuse, New York. Soon after graduating, I enrolled at Bank Street College to learn about museum and childhood education. After several years of teaching a range of ages in both museum and classroom settings, I found my way to Brooklyn Friends, which has been my home ever since! I feel so fortunate to be able to work with such a wonderful community and teach what I love and am passionate about.

Christie O’Brien

Lower School Wood Associate Teacher

Began at BFS: 2019

B.A., Trinity College

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

I am excited to be joining the art department at Brooklyn Friends this fall! I have always had a love for art and felt most comfortable in the art room of any school I attended. With an almost equal love for theater, I ended up at a liberal arts college in the hopes of studying both. With a degree in Theater & Dance (with a Design concentration) I moved to NYC and worked as a set designer, scenic artist, and props person for many years. It was heaps of fun, but not always consistent work, so I took a part-time job at a non-profit working with kids as they transformed their schools with paint. That led to more non-profit and museum work, and an eventual desire to work with children more full-time, so I went to grad school for Art Education. I taught Early Childhood Art for many years at the Trevor Day School and have more recently worked at the Children’s Museum of the Arts and then a small Reggio-inspired preschool in Park Slope where I got to teach art to both of my kids. I’m looking forward to being a part of the BFS community!

Piper Macleod

Began at BFS: 1999

Music Specialist

B.A., New York University, Gallatin

M.A., New York University, School of Ed.

Most of my childhood was spent in a farmhouse by a stream that connected the lake in front of my house to the lake behind my house in Belgrade Lakes, Maine. My first pupils were the baby snapping turtles and crawfish that I would catch migrating. We would spend many hours down by the beaver dam as I sat on my seat made from the roots of a large tree that suspended me over the water. I would direct my pupils in mini-productions. Who knew that that would start me directing and performing in High School. When I moved to New York for college I continued directing, writing and producing my own work as well as festivals for other artists. I produced and performed all the while teaching. My teaching took me from public to private schools; special needs schools to music schools. The bulk of my teaching before coming to BFS was at the 92nd St Y where I developed and directed the children’s music program. What links all of my experiences is my belief that we are all creative beings. It is my personal mission to create an environment and structure that empowers my students to use their own voice as creative and expressive beings. At BFS, my students develop and give back in more ways than I thought possible, creatively and expressively and with limitless oomph.

Jules Skloot

Dance Specialist, PS and Kindergarten, Fourth Grade Health Teacher

Began at BFS: 2012

B.A., Hampshire College

M.F.A., Sarah Lawrence College

I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin with parents who are also both teachers and artists. I started taking dance classes around age five and quickly knew that was where, and who, I wanted to be. I trained in modern and post-modern dance techniques at Hampshire College, and in graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College. In the summertime, I live and work at a social-justice and arts focused, Quaker summer camp in Northern Virginia. I have found that I love the balance of being both a working artist and teaching artist. I love getting to create and perform in my own and others’ works, as I also work to create space for people of all ages to experience and discover their own creative voices. I’m happy to be a part of the vibrant creative community that is BFS.

Nancy Tanney

Music Teacher, FC, PS & K

Science Teacher, Kindergarten & First Grade

Began at BFS 2006

B.S., The Ohio State University

M.S. Ed., Walden University

Growing up in southern New Jersey and Columbus, Ohio, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. It was at The Ohio State University that I fell in love with early childhood education. I couldn’t believe how much energy it took to teach four-year olds, but also how much energy the students gave to me in return. It was exhilarating and I was hooked! After teaching at various schools, and working as a producer for Channel Thirteen for many years, I became part of the Brooklyn Friends community in 2000 as a parent of two daughters. Then, in 2006, only one month after finishing a masters degree in reading and literacy, I was proud to join the BFS staff as a Lower School teacher. As I begin my fourteenth year at BFS, it is a joy for me to be teaching music in the Family Center, Preschool and kindergarten, and science in kindergarten and first grade. It is an honor to be part of such a talented and dedicated faculty.

Helen Styring Tocci

Lower School Dance Specialist, K, 1 and 2

Began at BFS: 2001

B.A., Connecticut College

I began dancing in the woods of Northern Vermont and have since danced all over the world – from D.C. dancing for Liz Lerman; to studies of African dance and music in Senegal; to improvisational dance explorations in Boulder, CO; and finally to NYC where I have worked for the last 20 years as a professional dancer, musician and teaching artist. I am passionate about creating space for people of all ages to explore their unique creativity and discover the innate strength and wisdom that lives in every body. My performance works have been presented throughout the city including Joyce Soho, Judson Church and Dance Theater Workshop/NYLA. I am a vinyasa yoga and CircusYoga teacher and travel nationally teaching workshops and sharing this innovative, playful practice. In 2012, I co-founded the band Kirtan Soul Revival and am honored to lead group singing experiences at yoga centers and festivals all over the world, including Wanderlust, Bhaktifest, Kripalu and Omega Institute. I have taught at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange/BAX since 2001, directing the Dance Performance Workshop and the teen acrobatic dance company, AcroBAX. It has been one of the great joys of my life to create and explore with the BFS community for the past 18 years.

Gili Warsett

Pre and Lower School Librarian

Began at BFS: 2016

B.A., Oberlin College

M.F.A, Lesley University

M.L.I.S., Pratt Institute

Tell me a story! Better yet, I’ll trade you. Stories are my jam, always have been. There is nowhere better to surround myself with stories, creativity, lore, imagination, art, and life than New York City. When I moved to New York thirteen years ago, I knew I had found home. I have worked as a school librarian in a public school, a college, and a small Montessori school, and have taught Creative Writing and English to all grades through graduate school. I have served on a committee for Friends of the Brooklyn Public Library, and am currently the President of the Hudson Valley Library Association. I am a voracious reader of books written for every age. My writing has been published in multiple periodicals, and I am proudest of my piece published in 2010 in the Modern Love column of The New York Times. As a Pre and Lower School Librarian at Brooklyn Friends School, I have found a home within my home.


ADMINISTRATION/SUPPORT

Katie Banks

Lower School Assistant Head for Academics

Began at BFS: 2019

B.A., Vassar College

M.S., Bank Street College of Education

M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

As a young child, I was convinced that I was going to be a doctor by day and a ballerina by night. Even then, I knew that I liked to be busy and wear many hats. Despite the fact that my mother and grandmother were both teachers, I didn’t consider a career in the classroom until my sophomore year of college. At Vassar College, I declared a major in Psychology fairly early on, but only began dabbling in education classes to “round out” my course load. After volunteering at an after school tutoring program at a public school in Poughkeepsie, I fell in love with teaching and ended up adding Elementary Education as a correlate. When I graduated, I received a Fulbright Fellowship and spent a year living in Taiwan (despite not speaking any Mandarin), teaching English to 1st-6th graders. Upon returning to New York, I put my scooter-riding, bubble-tea-drinking days behind me and taught 4th, 3rd, and 1st grade at Collegiate while simultaneously pursuing my Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at Bank Street. I moved on over to The School at Columbia and taught 1st grade for eight years there. Eventually I returned to the student life myself and got a second Master’s Degree as a Literacy Specialist at Teachers College. I am so excited to return to a Friends school (having graduated as a “lifer” from Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia), and I am completely thrilled to be joining the vibrant BFS community! In my free time, I love baking, music, pilates, reading, and forcing a green thumb by obtaining as many house pants as possible.

Rachel Maldonado, Psy.D.

Lower School Psychologist

Began at BFS: 2015

B.S., Brown University

M.S., Yeshiva University

Psy.D., Yeshiva University

I am a native New Yorker from a family full of teachers with deep Brooklyn roots. At the age of 16, I started an after school tutoring program, and from then I knew that I wanted to work with children. As I tried to figure out in what capacity, I taught dance, tutored and worked in camps and community centers. At Brown University, I decided to major in Education and become a teacher. Fast forward a few years, and I realized that becoming a psychologist was a better fit for me, as I am most interested in the social-emotional functioning of children as it relates to their lives in school, with friends and family, and in their communities. For over 15 years, I have worked as a psychologist with children and families across many different settings, and enjoy combining my interests in education and psychology here at BFS.

Trish Walkin

Lower School Administrative Assistant

Began at BFS: 1999

Born and raised in Bellmore, Long Island, I moved to Long Beach for a short time before settling in Brooklyn, where I have lived for over 20 years. My administrative career began as an Executive Assistant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton, followed by four years at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as Assistant to the Chief of Staff, as well as for Director of Budget. After working as an Administrative Assistant at Plymouth Church School in Brooklyn Heights, I came to BFS in 1999, along with my daughter, Sarah, a “lifer” and member of the Class of 2011. My passions include cooking, sports (go Mets, Jets and Rangers!), Fantasy Football, manatees and music – I’m an avid Bruce Springsteen fan, having seen him in concert over one hundred times! I am incredibly blessed to be a part of the Brooklyn Friends community and to be able to work among such a wonderful group of faculty and families.