Meet our Administrators.
Have a look Inside Blue School.
Katie Cheek hails from Baltimore (and visits frequently) but spends most of her time in Brooklyn with her friends and her cat Sadie. Katie holds a BFA from the Pratt Institute in Creative Writing and is finishing her Master's in Elementary Education at Hunter College. She also studied improv comedy for over five years at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. Katie comes to Blue from five years at Packer Collegiate Institute, where she spent her first three years in the after school program and substituting, and the last two years as an associate teacher in both preschool and third grade. In her free time Katie loves to draw and paint, read and write, build Lego projects, watch old sitcoms and most of all, sing karaoke.
Shira Newmark began supporting children when she was in sixth grade at the JCC's "special needs" camp in Miami, Florida, where she realized that she felt a special, strong connection to children with autism. Following this call, Shira continued to support children with autism throughout her high school and college career, before graduating with a Masters in Special Education. After teaching a Varying Exceptionalities classroom of two- and three-year-olds, Shira become a SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) and an Early Intervention Special Educator. As a SEIT, Shira supported children in various schools all over New York, including Beginnings Day School, Chelsea Day School, West Side Montesorri and more, while also supporting adults with disabilities at camps in Vermont and Guatemala over her summers. In working as a SEIT at Blue School, Shira discovered the school of her dreams -- amazed and inspired by all of the joy, wonder and creativity around her. Shira has since taught the two-, three- and four-year-old programs at Blue School and has also been a Floater Teacher for all grades. Shira is honored to embark upon her eighth year at Blue School, returning as the twos lead teacher and co-creator of Blue School’s Mindfulness Initiative, about which Shira was honored to present at the Omega Institute’s Mindfulness in Education Conference in summer 2014. Outside of Blue School, Shira can be found writing her book, creating music, singing, karaoking, and dancing the 5Rhythms, a moving meditation practice and practicing yoga.
Ciara Hedderman taught Pre-K for 13 years at The Children's Aid Society, in Greenwich Village before joining Blue School. Ciara has her MS in Education, specializing in Early Childhood from Hunter College and her BA in Special Education, Elementary Education and Hispanic Studies from Mount Saint Mary College. Ciara has also worked as a SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) for 12 years, where she has helped preschoolers with developmental disabilities integrate successfully into their classrooms. As a teacher, Ciara has a passion for building community, fostering creativity, incorporating culture and developing a lifelong love of learning, all while playing and having fun! Over the years the children in her class have explored the usual interests of preschoolers such as real life heroes, outer space and dinosaurs. They have also explored some unique interests such as medieval times, urban farming, fairy houses and camping. While no two years were ever the same, all of Ciara's children have learned what it means to be a good friend. Ciara was born in Ireland and spent her childhood there before moving to the Bronx. Ciara now resides in Astoria with her bunny Cinnabun and her husband Bob.
Tara Holmes is from the New England area and moved to NYC three years ago. She holds a Master's in Education with a concentration in Integrated Arts from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She also holds a BA in Dance Performance Studies and Secondary Education from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. Tara is in her fourth year at Blue School. She has been teaching in the 2s program for three years and is thrilled to be co-teaching in all the pre-primary age groups this year! Prior to joining Blue School, Tara worked with toddlers through kindergarten-age children and was an Adjunct Dance Professor at Colby Sawyer College. She believes in integrating the arts into her classroom and encouraging children to become part of a positive enriching community. Tara enjoys dance workshops, running, spinning, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. She is thrilled to be a part of the Blue School community!
Kristen Johnson was born in Tennessee and was raised in the heart of New York City. Kristen taught children ages two to four years old at The Children's Aid Society in Greenwich Village for over twelve years. Over her many years of teaching, she brought a hands on approach to daily explorations with the children, incorporating 'everyday' household and natural materials into learning and emphasizing the all of the senses in the world of the classroom. Kristen holds her BS in Psychology from SUNY Binghamton and is completing her Master's in Early Childhood Education/Special Education at Touro College. She has two children: Jack, age 12, and Olivia, age 15.
Valerie Killen has been with Blue School since the beginning, and is very excited for this, her ninth year of teaching here! The first full-time teacher and administrator at the school, Val served as the Associate Director of what was then called the Blue Man Creativity Center and helped the Founders create, develop and implement the school's founding principles, educational approach and organizational infrastructure. Subsequently, she was also the first Associate Director of Admissions at Blue School, co-constructed and taught in the first 2s program, and was the first Music Specialist. Additionally, Val taught in and helped build the first two Out of the Blue Summer Programs. Val has been an early childhood teacher and administrator for over sixteen years. Prior to Blue School, she helped to launch Citibabes in Soho as their first Director of Children's Programming. She was a Head Teacher and the Adult Programs Coordinator at the Diller-Quaile School of Music for seven years. Val has an AB cum laude in English and American Language and Literature from Harvard University, and is working towards a combined MA in General and Special Education at the Bank Street College of Education. Originally from Boston, Val has lived in NYC for over 20 years, and currently lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn with her husband, Stefan, her 4.5- and 1.5-year-old sons, and their cat. At home she can be found enjoying movement/dance/yoga/jogging, reading, and going to the playground with her kids.
Rachel Kirby has a dual Master's in Childhood and Childhood Special Education from Fordham University. Prior to joining Blue School, Rachel was the Assistant Teacher in a first grade classroom at Arts & Letters in Brooklyn, and she spent a summer student teaching in a 5th grade special education classroom at The Parkside School on the Upper West Side. She has worked with children since she was 12 years old! Rachel has been a babysitter, a swim instructor, a coach, a nanny, and a tutor. When she is not teaching or studying, you can most likely find her at the gym or playing with her puppy, Kadyn, on the Upper East Side.
Jeannine Sloane feels grateful everyday to have found her "just right" work as a teacher! She moved to NYC 13 years ago to earn her BFA in film and television production from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Jeannine completed her MsEd in Early Childhood and Special Education at Bank Street College of Education. In addition to her studies Jeannine spent 2 years as a 4s/5s teacher and one year as a 5s/6s teacher at the Bank Street School for Children. Among the myriad explorations that bring her joy in classrooms are: storytelling with children, building with blocks, using found materials to create art, guiding community problem-solving meetings, singing throughout the day, talking about feelings, hosting weekly dance parties, and practicing mindfulness. She is thrilled to continue her journey as an educator at Blue School.
Jenny Ogg attended Cornell University for her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development, with a concentration in Inequalities. She graduated from Bank Street College of Education, where she received her Master's in Infant and Family Development, Early Intervention, and Early Childhood General and Special Education. Prior to Blue School Jenny spent several years in the classroom working with children ranging in age from twelve months to three years. She most recently spent two years teaching 2s at The Children’s Aid Society in Greenwich Village. She enjoys collaborating with children and families as they experience their first school experience. Jenny has a passion for lifelong learning through exploration and discovery that shares with the Blue School community.
Sophie Laird's grandmother told her she should be a teacher when she was 5-years-old. Twenty years later, Sophie is thrilled to be fulfilling this prophecy at Blue School. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Art History from Vassar College in 2010 and completed her MA in Early Childhood Education at Teachers College, Columbia University in 2013.
Karen Levenberg loves teaching an emergent curriculum created by children. She has taught 5s, 4s and 3s. Karen especially enjoys introducing young children to science and watching their discoveries as they construct knowledge -- up to their elbows in water, sand, glue, paint, simple machines, meal worms and paper air planes. She has also worked at the Early Childhood Center of Beth Elohim and for NYC DOE in a family literacy, early childhood program in the public schools. Karen holds a master's degree in early childhood education from Brooklyn College, a master's in public health from Hunter College and a BA in studio art/art history from Oberlin College. In her free time she hangs out with her two teenage sons and husband, trying in vain to win Settlers of Catan.
Jonah Lichtash was born and raised in New York City. He studied Early Childhood Education at Vassar College and Bank Street College of Education. After two years teaching at Barnard College’s Center for Toddler Development, he spent two more at Packer Collegiate Institute’s preschool. Having written his graduate thesis on folklore and children’s literature, he developed an avid interest in storytelling with preschoolers, and has incorporated tales from the oral tradition of myriad countries into his early childhood curriculum. In his spare time, Jonah teaches piano lessons and tutors high school students.
Anna Padgett is in her third year as a Blue School 4s teacher. Before joining this community, Anna spent three years teaching Kindergarten at an Expeditionary Learning School outside Baltimore. She also brings her eight years of early childhood teaching experience in independent and public schools in New York City. Anna graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Art History and Dance; she earned her MsEd from Hunter College. Anna is a songwriter and musician who currently performs and records songs and stories for young children and their families as The Good Ms. Padgett - she thanks her four-year-old Brooklyn music students for the name! Anna cannot imagine teaching without her guitar and loves to make up songs with children. Anna is continually inspired by the wide-open minds of young children; she is thrilled to be a member of Blue School's community of joyful, creative, and collaborative learners.
Amanda Pron spent three years teaching at Packer Collegiate Institute before joining Blue School, and has spent summers working at the 92nd Street Y. Originally from Asheville, NC, Amanda pursued an undergraduate degree at Bryn Mawr College, majoring in Anthropology with a minor in English. She completed her Master's in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street College, where she became extremely interested in exploring sensory integration strategies and mindfulness classroom practices. When she is not at school, Amanda enjoys playing piano, going to baseball games and jazz clubs, and exploring the city with her dog, Bailey.
Katie Traynor is happy to be in her sixth year of teaching at Blue School. She loves her work as an early childhood educator and has a strong background in the use and exploration of materials in the classroom. Katie earned her Master's Degree in Creative Arts Therapies at Pratt Institute and her undergrad degree at Skidmore College with a focus on visual and fiber art. She has seen first hand how valuable a supportive, creative, and imaginative learning environment is to a child’s social and emotional growth. Early literacy, picture book making and composition, and block building are just a few things that fuel her love of teaching. Katie is thrilled to continue to work with the staff, families, and children of Blue School. She lives in Brooklyn where she enjoys baking, reading for fun, yoga, and eating People's Pops.
Annabelle Baylin graduated from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study from New York University with a concentration in Mindfulness in Education. Passionate about constructivist approaches to education where teaching and learning are meaningful and self-reflective, she is very excited to be a part of the Blue School community. In addition to exploring the world with kindergartners, she enjoys integrating traditional mindfulness practices into the classroom. Among her extensive travels she has visited South Africa, Bulgaria, and Ghana and spent extended time in France and India. When she is not at Blue School, she can be found playing Indian music in upstate New York, meditating, composing music, and learning foreign languages. Born and raised in Brooklyn in a family of teachers, she is happy to continue the family tradition.
Molly DeGesero earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and completed her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street College. In 2009, Molly joined the Blue School team as a kindergarten teacher. She is passionate about sensory learning and finding multiple modes of expression in the classroom. Molly is native New Yorker and lives in Harlem with her dog Uno and husband Randy.
Nancy Simko grew up in a family of teachers. After graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a BA in Speech Communications, she moved to New York City to experience the corporate worlds of advertising and graphic design. A brief move to Hawaii provided an opportunity to change direction, and an introduction to teaching young children. Returning to New York, Nancy completed a Master's Degree in Education at Bank Street College of Education, and began a 15-year career in early childhood education. She has worked in several private schools in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and currently is thrilled to be continuing her career at Blue School. In 2009, she was awarded the New York City Early Childhood Professional Development Excellence in Teaching Award.
Karen Zippler is her first year at Blue School as a teacher but her fourth year as a parent. An actor for 15 years, Karen got her first inkling that she might want to work with children while assisting in a 2s class at the Riverside Weekday School where she marveled at the intelligence, creativity and humor of young children. It would be many years before she found her way back to the classroom but she is thrilled she did. Karen holds both a bachelor's and master's degree in acting and is close to completing her Master's in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. She has taught (and learned from) four year and five year olds at All Souls School, PS 321 in Brooklyn and for the past two and a half years at the City and Country School.
Emily Weger earned her Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction at Bank Street College of Education, and then taught Kindergarten and First Grade at Little Red (LREI). Passionate about progressive education, she brings her deep experience in early literacy and curriculum development to First Grade. In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading, cooking, and scrapbooking.
Maggie Young is originally from New Jersey and received her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado. After completing her undergraduate degree, Maggie began working at Alaya Preschool in Boulder, Colorado. It was here that Maggie fell in love with teaching. After two years at Alaya Maggie decided to move back east and pursue a graduate degree. She received a Master's in Early Childhood and Special Education from Teachers College at Columbia University. In her spare time Maggie enjoys practicing yoga, skiing, reading, hiking and being outdoors. She is thrilled to be a part of the Blue School community!
Cynthia Bogdanovich left her home in St. Louis, Missouri to come to New York and be an artist. After operating a design studio, she turned to more creative pursuits, teaching. She earned her Master's in Education from Bank Street College and has been an elementary teacher for more than ten years, teaching at The Ethical Culture Fieldston School, The School at Columbia University, and Staten Island Academy. Cynthia believes in an education that honors the spirit of the child. She is committed to creating a teaching model that nurtures independent thinkers and problem solvers that are fully equipped to navigate their way through a constantly changing world. When not teaching, she spends her time lap swimming, gardening, and creating in her studio in Pennsylvania.
Diana Pisani has a bachelor's degree in theatre from Fordham University and a master's degree in elementary education from Dowling College. Before her teaching career, Diana worked as a dresser on Broadway. Diana began teaching in 2000 and spent 10 years teaching first and second grade in Brooklyn. Prior to joining Blue School, she lived in London, England with her husband Dan. Diana and Dan returned to the states in July 2013 with their baby daughter Josie. When she isn't teaching you can usually find Diana in her kitchen channeling Julia Child!
Randi Reinhold is a native New Yorker who has resided in four of the five boroughs thus far. As the oldest of 12 grandchildren, curiosity, play, learning and communication have consistently been life's key ingredients. Experiences with such a large family are at the heart of the inspiration for two life passions: teaching and writing. Randi holds a BA in Creative Writing from The College of Staten Island, and is completing a Master's in Childhood Education at Hunter College. Randi has been teaching children ages 4 to 10 for ten years, and emphasizes in his daily teaching practices the importance of children's social and emotional development as part of their learning experience. Personal interests include singing and playing guitar, drawing and writing. Randi is extremely proud to be part of the Blue School community.
Jennifer Cain is a native New Yorker, and has enjoyed studying, working and traveling abroad but somehow always lands back in the Big Apple. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College, Vermont, and a Master's of Elementary Education from Boston University. Learning foreign languages and travel are themes throughout her teaching career. She has taught business English to professionals in Paris, France and beginning English to young students in Yokohama, Japan. These experiences and others have given her insight into pedagogical practices across cultures and countries. Inspiration in the classroom, she believes, should come as much from teachers as their students. Jennifer lives in Park Slope with her husband Glenn, a French translator, and their two boys who are in 10th and 12th grade. If she’s not in a classroom, she’s probably on her bicycle!
Richard Jenkins received his BA from The New School in Creative Writing and English Literature. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, Rich is an avid reader, writer, hiker and a passionate naturalist – his expeditions have taken him from the Appalachian Trail to the wilds of the Canadian Yukon. Rich joined Blue School in 2010 after teaching at Beginnings: A Toddler Program, a Reggio-inspired pre-school. He currently lives in Manhattan with his girlfriend Chelsey and cat Leo.
Gil Grimmett Jr. received his MsEd from Bank Street College and his bachelor's degree from Rutgers University. In addition to his 13 years of classroom experience in Japan and the United States, he also runs a summer arts and science camp for children in Woodstock, NY and teaches ceramics in Brooklyn. As an artist and an educator, Gil strongly values creativity and expression in all of its manifestations and believes that children need to enjoy the process of serious learning. When he is not teaching or making art, he can be found on his bike exploring the mountains of upstate New York of the vast, sprawling canyons of the city.
Dot Woo is excited to be in her fifth year at Blue School! Dot received her BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in acting, and after several years as a professional actress, fell in love with teaching. Dot has her MA from the Steinhart School of Education at NYU and has previously taught grades 2nd – 4th in addition to middle school, grades 5th - 8th. When she is not in the classroom, Dot appreciates trying a new sport, getting lost in a good book, or surfing Netflix. She enjoys bringing her sense of humor and love of dramatic activities to the classroom and community.
Jonathan Farmer taught first and fourth grade at the Packer Collegiate Institute and Brooklyn Friends before joining Blue School, and has been writing and directing youth theatre since 2001. Jonathan brings to his classroom teaching a passion for constructivist learning and education through the arts, and he is continually amazed by the cool stuff kids can do. When he is not in the classroom, Jonathan enjoys taking photographs, writing plays, puppeteering, and taking his puppy for walks around his neighborhood in Brooklyn. Jonathan received his MsEd from Bank Street College and a BFA in Theatre from Syracuse University.
Ashley Semrick DesRochers is a native Californian and holds a MsEd degree in Museum and Elementary Education from Bank Street, as well as a BA in Theatre and Acting. Before joining Blue School, Ashley taught at Packer Collegiate Institute and the Rubin Museum of Art. Her previous work as a theatre practitioner and visual artist now daily informs her joy-infused, inquiry-based classroom practice. In addition to teaching, Ashley loves theatre, photography, museums, history, and making music. She lives with her husband and her six-year-old daughter in Brooklyn.
Caroline Choe holds a Bachelor's in Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Master's in Art Education from School of Visual Arts. Her life passions lie in the arts (art, music, and dance), exploring great food, and in education. She looks forward to supporting Keren's strengths in curriculum development, literacy and mathematics, and building on ten years of working in various one on one and group contexts with with preprimary and primary aged children. She also looks forward to integrating arts into the curriculum as well and integrating many points of view and voices.
Keren Lilu has over eight years of teaching experience in second through fifth grade. She came to Blue School from Ethical Culture Fieldston School, where she was a second grade lead teacher. Keren holds a BS magna cum laude in elementary education with a minor in psychology from the University of Delaware. She also holds an MS in literacy education (birth-grade 6) from Hunter College. Keren has taken a number of professional development seminars, among them a Lucy Calkins writing workshop for grades 3-5, a geometry and measurement seminar for grades K-8, and a responsive classroom workshop.
Caroline McAuliffe is excited to join Blue School. She has a passion for education, art, food, and travel. Caroline completed her BA at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Studio Art and Arts & Education with High Honors in Painting. Caroline developed her passion for child-centered, arts-infused education through her establishment of a free arts education program at the Boys & Girls Club in Geneva, NY during her sophomore year of college. Afterwards, she pursued her role as an artist and educator, receiving her art teacher certification in New Jersey and later her MFA with distinction from Pratt Institute in Painting and Drawing. Over the past five years, Caroline has taught art throughout New York City and New Jersey. She honed her skills as an arts educator with the Children's Museum of Art, Doing Art Together, and Wingspan Arts, Inc. teaching all ages, abilities and materials. As a paper and fiber artist, she creates embroidered paper collages and crocheted installations and wearables. She spent the summer of 2013 creating headdresses from found rope on the shores of Iceland, while in residence at NES Artist Residency. During this past July, Caroline traveled to Kenya to teach community driven art at Nkineji Primary School in the Maasai Mara. Her current projects have taken her into the kitchen as she builds goldpennyloafer, a thoughtfully made food company to share her healthful creations, one plate at a time.
Mollie McQuarrie is a parent, artist and educator specializing in aesthetic education. Over the years, she has taken on many roles: classroom teacher, freelance gallery educator, teaching artist and Director of Education for an arts integration program working with public schools and community organizations in Red Hook, Brooklyn. In 2007, with a group of parents, she was involved in founding Red Hook Playgroup, a Reggio inspired preschool for working families, eventually becoming its first Atelierista. Recently, she also started teaching art to teachers at Brooklyn College. Aside from her teaching, she is involved a few long term arts-related projects: ongoing research about multi-modal teacher/student self reflection, the production of a documentary about “trust” in schools, and Waltz Project - a band which plays only in 3/4 time for which she plays ukelele and accordion.
Anne Cohen loves working with Blue School's primary and pre-primary students. Previous teaching positions include band/chorus/general music/early childhood music throughout NYC's five boroughs and the greater New York area. In addition to her work at Blue School, Anne performs with Columbia Summer Winds, writes curricula and online teacher trainings for ABC Do-Re-ME!, and maintains a private piano studio. Bachelors of Music in instrumental music education, Bucknell; MA in music and music education, Columbia University Teachers College; Kodaly certification, NYU.
Science and Sustainability
Carrie Vaughn works with young people and faculty across the School on science of all kinds, and maintains the Bio Lab as a materials area and the Terrace as an outdoor science classroom complete with plants and other living things. She will also be works with our food program to help children think about the food they eat, where it comes from and where it is going. Carrie has worked in schools and at the Botanical Gardens, NYC Audubon, NYU Hudson River Education and Stewardship Program, and the Food Trust. She is also adjunct faculty at NYU and Pace.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math)
Maureen Reilly comes to Blue School as a veteran teacher, having taught in both public and independent schools including Packer Collegiate Institute and PS 261. Maureen holds a dual Masters of Science in Education with a specialization in Literacy from the Bank Street College of Education. Outside of school, Maureen is the co-founder and program director of the Jr. Explorers Club, a summer adventure program for children. Maureen is also involved with leading LEGO Robotics, technology integration, and Responsive Classroom professional development workshops for teachers. Maureen is an award winning robotics coach and member of the NYC FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science, and Technology) planning committee. She has coached FIRST robotics teams for over a decade. You can also see her emceeing robotics and Maker/STEAM events throughout the city. As a teacher, Maureen has a passion for building community and teamwork, fostering creativity and innovation through open ended exploration and play with materials, encouraging students to take risks, and enjoying the lifelong adventures of learning! Prior to entering the world of education, Maureen worked for the LEGO Company, where she continues to serve as a consultant on LEGO MINDSTORMS. This past year LEGO Education recognized Maureen as their featured teacher. In her free time Maureen loves to cook, travel, explore NYC, tinker with robots, write songs, see theatre, and play the ukulele.
Mónica Palma was born and raised in México City. She has been living in the USA since 2005. In parallel to her art studio practice in Brooklyn, Mónica works as an art educator in various programs around the city, including the Summer Program at LREI. At Blue School she is excited to bring the kids closer to her Spanish language and culture. Through the exploration of everyday objects, handcrafts, and music from México and other Spanish-speaking countries, Mónica seeks to bridge the disciplines of visual art and language. She enjoys planting seeds that will give her students a deeper understanding and appreciation of Latin culture in New York and elsewhere. Mónica earned her BA at the Universidad Veracruzana in México and her MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
Val DuVal has been with Blue School for several years, and beloved by everyone at Blue School. In addition to running programming during the school day for all ages, age 2-grade 5, Val offers several popular after school classes including Tumble Bugs, basketball and soccer. A highlight of last year was Val leading our community cheer at Field Day on Governor's Island, which he also helped plan.
Clare Hammoor is a theater practitioner, playmaker and performer. He has directed, designed and collaborated on musicals, plays and a number of theatrical works with thousands of children and adults. Clare is delighted to engage learners through a multimodal approach to theater and drama in workshops that range from postmodern movement to dramatic storytelling to process dramas on Mars. Clare holds a B.A from Indiana University in Theater & Drama and Religious Studies and an M.A. from NYU in Educational Theatre.
Drew Petersen has been teaching arts to children for over 11 years. In additional to being the Blue School Dramatic Arts teacher, he is currently a teaching artist with the New Victory Theater and the Park Avenue Armory. Drew is also the Associate Artistic Director of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, a theater company devoted to making high quality theater for young people and their families. In the past, Drew has worked artistically and educationally with Cleveland Playhouse Square, Roundabout Theater, The Public Theater, The Kennedy Center, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and People's Light and Theatre Company.
Movement and Dance
Mariangela Lopez, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, has been teaching movement and dance since 1999. She has built an extensive experience teaching movement to different communities and settings, from public schools Pre K-12 and high schools, domestic violence organizations, youth at risk organizations and AIDS organization such as Aid for AIDS, Latino Commission on AIDS, and Exponents among many others. Previously, Mariangela has been the Associate Director of Community Programs for Gina Gibney Dance, a teaching artist at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU Undergraduate and Graduate Summer School, and a teacher of master classes in different universities across the country as a company member of Gina Gibney Dance. Mariangela has been presenting her work as a choreographer in different venues around NYC, Europe, Australia, and Latin America since 2001. She continues creating work under her company name, Accidental Movement, and has taught workshops in places such as Movement Research, Dance New Amsterdam, Brooklyn Arts Exchange and 92 Street Y among many others. Most recently Mariangela was the Coordinator of the Adventures in Dance Program and Modern Dance teacher for the pre-professional program at Ballet Hispánico School of Dance (2010-2013). Mariangela is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) from the Laban Institute of Movement Studies (2001), a Certified Yoga Teacher from Yoga Union, NYC (2003) and holds a Certification in Foundations of Dance Education from Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), NYC (2009). Mariangela was Movement Research Artist-in-Residency 2009-2011 and Brooklyn Arts exchange Artist in Residency 2011-13. In her teaching Mariangela applies her knowledge in Modern Dance, Composition, Improvisation, Yoga, Creative Movement, Ballet, Laban Movement Analysis, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Motif Writing (Language of Dance). Her most important goal as a teacher is to provide an experience in class where each participant can feel validated as a unique individual with the ability to make choices and celebrate the joy and empowerment of Movement.