Meet Our Team

Head of Preschool at Williamsburg Northside Private School in Brooklyn

Head of Preschool

Amanda DiMeo


I was born and raised in South Brooklyn, and after spending several years living in both North Carolina and Texas, I am proud to be raising my own family back in Brooklyn. I grew up in a household where academics and the arts were considered equally valuable, and after finishing my public school education at Midwood High School I moved on to graduate from the UNC School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Studies. From there I began gigging as an opera singer, traveling to and singing in some truly amazing places. I eventually got my Master of Music from the University of North Texas, and it was while teaching and performing in educational outreach programs across Texas that I first fell in love with the energy and curiosity of young children. I eventually moved on to spend several years teaching both music and general education preschool to toddlers, and ultimately found my niche at Northside, head teaching in a 2s classroom while finishing up my Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Brooklyn College. I was completely inspired by our Reggio-inspired philosophy and committed fully to the capable and creative image of the young child. I continued as a head teacher at Northside for 7 years, also taking Adjunct Professor positions at both BMCC and Queens College, before stepping into the role of Head of Preschool in the fall of 2020.  I currently live in Carroll Gardens, just a two minute walk from my childhood home. Our home is filled with laughter and chaos caused by my son, who just started as an Owl this year, our rambunctious pup, and my husband, who is a New York City firefighter. Although I still enjoy making music with friends and taking in the NYC Arts scene, I now spend most of my free time singing Cocomelon, learning about rare dinosaurs, crocheting, rooting for the Yankees, and relaxing at the lake. 

Director of Admissions (Preschool) at Williamsburg Northside Private School in Brooklyn

Director of Enrollment & Administration

Teresa Smith


Born and raised on Long Island, I currently reside in Huntington with my wife and partner of 21 years and our twin girls (9). I started my career at Williamsburg Northside School over 20 years ago as a Head Teacher in the Preschool 2s program. Over these past two decades at Northside I have worn many hats, including working in Admissions for over 10 years (currently my title is Director of Enrollment and Administration for our Preschool 2s, 3s and PK program). I began my Early Childhood Education studies while in Santa Cruz California in 1995. This experience further cemented my desire to move back to New York and continue my work with young children. I have a strong passion for teaching and making sure every child’s needs are met, respected and validated. I have dedicated a huge portion of my life to working with preschool children and creating a sense of community for the families we serve here at Williamsburg Northside. I am a proud Owl!

Head of Facilities & Building Operations

Ramon Valle




Director of Student Life & Art Studio Specialist PK&K 

Maggie Uschakow


I was born and raised in Westchester, NY and I am now pushing my 7th year living in Brooklyn. I started at Northside in 2015 as an assistant teacher, and then moved on to head teach both 2s and 3s. Finally, just three years later, my dreams came true and I became the in-house Art Teacher at the preschool. I graduated from Saint John’s University with a degree in Graphic Design, but after realizing I did not want to spend all of my time in front of a computer, I decided to return to school to get my Master’s degree in the area that combines two of my biggest passions: Art and Children. My other passions include my rescue pup, Gator, and my sleepaway camp, at which I have both attended and worked at since 2001, and just a few years ago becoming the Assistant Director. I strive to make the Art Studio a place for ALL children to feel welcome and safe, to be creative, to explore and to get messy!

Student Information coordinator at Williamsburg Northside Private School in Brooklyn

Student Information Coordinator

Adeline (Ally) Sanchez


I am the Student Information Coordinator for both campuses and am based at the front desk of the Preschool. I was born and raised in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint area and have lived in Williamsburg ever since. I started my career at Williamsburg Northside School over 22 years ago as a teacher in the summer camp program. Since then I've been a camp counselor and co-teacher, and after years of working with children, I decided to shift over to Administrative work. I have two boys (men), Justin and Jeremy, who came through the Preschool themselves, many moons ago. In my free time, I enjoy sketching and digitally creating comic-book Sci-Fi style characters - A few of my pieces have actually been auctioned at our annual school gala!

Music Specialist

Julie Rapoport


I grew up on the Upper West Side, and moved to Williamsburg in 1996. From age 8 through middle school I performed with a children's theater company; a truly formative experience. I began studying music as a vocal major at LaGuardia HS, and majored in Theater at SUNY Binghamton. I have at least 25 years experience teaching theater and music to children of all ages in camps, afterschool programs, and schools. I have also worked extensively in intergenerational theater, bringing senior citizens and teens together to create plays based on personal shared stories.I believe that all people, no matter their age, have creative impulses that are worthy of nurture and attention. I aim to create an atmosphere of joy where children can explore the full range of their natural musical abilities, and take pride in mastering new skills.

2s & 3s Art Studio Specialist 

Rhonna Ly


I was born in Columbus, Ohio, but grew up in both Jacksonville, Florida and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am a first generation Cambodian American, and the youngest, and only daughter, of my siblings. I grew to love educating children through my first few jobs as a teenager, working as a summer camp counselor, babysitter, and tutor of children of various ages. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology with a double minor in Gender and Women's Studies, and Studio Arts. Outside of the classroom, I love to tend to my plants, try new recipes in the kitchen, and travel to new places far and wide.

Spanish Specialist

Mónica Avendaño


I was born in Medellín, Colombia, and I got my Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts and the teacher certification in Colombia. Before  becoming a WNS member, I worked in NYC for several years as a Preschool through 8th grade Spanish teacher. In my instruction, it is very important to develop and implement a curriculum based on the school's philosophy and students’ needs, while assisting students to advance in their understanding of the Spanish language and its culture. I believe the connection with other cultures, beliefs, and ways of life are important pieces of a person's development. “Learning Spanish, and any other language, is not just about the language itself, it is a vehicle to connect with people, their culture and open up more opportunities for personal and professional growth”.

Athletic Instructor Pre-K

David Gurreri


I was born and raised in Astoria, Queens. I attended college at St. Francis College in downtown Brooklyn. I had various coaching jobs throughout my college career that included gymnastics, baseball, soccer, and basketball for elementary school students. After completing my B.S. in Physical Education from SFC, I taught P.E. and gymnastics at LREI for 1st-4th grade. Before joining WNS, I taught P.E. at Léman Manhattan Preparatory School for grades 6th-12th. As a physical educator, I believe that a “sound mind in a sound body” is the key to success. I learned that at an early age and still hold it true. I enjoy playing sports in recreational leagues or attending sporting events throughout the city outside of school and work.

Mandarin Specialist    Pre-K

Ruomu Wang


I was born in Wuhan, China, and spent most of my childhood and youth there until coming to the U.S. to pursue my graduate degree. I earned my Master's degree in Teaching Languages Other Than English and English as a Second Language at Hofstra University. After graduation, I worked in different Chinese language schools and immersion programs to teach Chinese Mandarin to students from elementary school students to adults. As an immigrant and a world language teacher, I like to use engaging activities and authentic tasks to have students experience and appreciate the beauty of various languages and cultures in the world. When I am free, I like to explore the neighborhood of New York City with my friends.