Director of Teaching & Learning
718-599-7300, ext. 6030
San Francisco State University, BA
Columbia University, MEd, Penn State University, MA
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year. I am thrilled to be joining you as the Director of Teaching & Learning and am thoroughly excited to become a member of the Northside community. In preparation for the new school year, I worked closely with Tara Mastin and Elie Déu, and other members of the team, to get up to speed and to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the cultural history and philosophy of Williamsburg Northside School. It is quite evident that the faculty and families, together, have created a special school community, one that truly nurtures the individual needs of each child.
As we journey into the new school year, I am eager to get to know your child and family, and most importantly, to learn about your hopes and dreams for your child. I believe that at the heart of every great school is a strong relationship between family and school faculty, a trusting partnership that we build through open communication. This partnership creates the foundation for your child that will ultimately support their academic and social growth, their willingness to take risks, and their pursuit of passions and interests in the world. I invite you to engage with me in developing this partnership, to share your hopes and dreams, knowing that I will be an additional support to guide your child’s education over the years.
As a long time school leader and classroom teacher, I bring an understanding for the traditions of schooling, as well as a passion for the possibilities and opportunities that a school can provide for each child. As educators, we are tasked with a great responsibility to prepare our students for an unknown future. What our graduates will need for the world is something we must imagine and prepare for. To do so, we embrace a trust in the best pedagogical practices, a flexible mind – set to new and innovate educational ideas, and a deep inquiry into the unique strengths and needs of each student. It is with this philosophy that I will work with the team to carve out a vision for the future of Northside.
I look forward to a great year ahead!
Director of Teaching & Learning
The Prekindergarten at Northside welcomes students as they transition into our Lower School program. In our classes, we balance the emergent-driven pedagogy of our preschool with the intentional integration of academic skills that prepare students for future subject-based learning and interdisciplinary explorations. The Prekindergarten is a full day program where students experience a true sense of community in their classroom and while they experience special classes in Visual Art, Physical Education, Library, Spanish, and Music.
Northside’s Lower School is founded on the belief and experience that engaging children’s powerful curiosity and passion for learning is critical to the development of higher order thinking. This includes integrating and applying knowledge from multiple disciplines, as well as the ability to approach complex problems with novel solutions. Northside fosters the development of creativity and flexible thinking, as well as students’ abilities to collaborate and communicate. This is accomplished through project-based explorations. The core idea that children are strong, capable learners, who are agents in their education, encourages self-confidence, independence and individuality. Balanced with respect for others in the community and for a collaborative work process, these beliefs provide the foundation for an education that is enriched and rigorous. Every day in the Lower School is a full one and includes instruction in reading, writing, word study, and mathematics. Student schedules are further deepened with specials in Science, Visual Arts, Music, Library, Spanish, and Physical Education.
Project Work Explained
The essential questions derived from and posited by our social studies curriculum forms the core of our integrated approach to instruction. The questions classrooms pursue are mutually informed by student inquiry and nationally established academic standards. Our projects provide students the opportunity to acquire mastery of academic benchmarks through self-directed learning. Our teachers are expert facilitators in this work, by bringing questions and ideas to life from which our students can research, discuss, debate, interview, investigate, share, listen, and create. The long and short-term projects that emanate from our classrooms provide comprehensive learning and exposure to age-appropriate concepts in history, geography, political science, and economics inculcating in our students the belief that they can view themselves as effects agents of change in the world.