And so we discovered that education is not something which the teacher does but that it is a natural process which develops spontaneously in the human being.
“A teacher must be consecrated to bettering humanity. She must be like the vestal who kept the sacred fire that others had lighted pure and free from contamination; the teacher must be dedicated to the fire of the inner life in all its purity. If this flame is neglected, it will be extinguished–never to be lighted again.”
REDS faculty include positions of Directress, Assistant, and Specialist. Our faculty hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree with many faculty holding higher degrees in early childhood, art and related fields. In addition, all classroom faculty are Montessori trained, holding diplomas from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) or the American Montessori Society (AMS). Teachers are selected for their professional talents. Teachers (guides) are artful organizers of experiences for the children to discover, process and practice. As teachers and observers they prepare an environment and conduct ongoing observation of the child; a foundation of the Montessori program.
All staff participate in local and regional workshops and conferences. Emergency First Aid and CPR training is provided on a bi-annual basis.
Faculty and Staff Bios
Head of School
Sharon Lickerman has deep experience in child development from a social, emotional and intellectual perspective and is dedicated to the growth, development and well-being of children. She has been an A.M.I. Montessori Educator for more than 15 years, following completion of her training under Dr. Silvia Dubovoy, at the highly-regarded Montessori Institute of San Diego. Sharon was a Directress at REDS from 2000-2013, and has been involved across various areas of the School beyond the classroom, including as a member of the School's Outreach and Transition committees, and as a faculty representative on the Board of Trustees. In the 2014-15 academic year, Sharon served as an Education Specialist at REDS, where she provided guidance and support to the REDS community, working in collaboration with faculty, staff and parents to be a strong advocate for REDS students.
From June 2013-August 2014, Sharon was Associate Director of reachwithin, whose mission is to improve the emotional and social well-being of abused and neglected children by helping them access, cherish and build their inner strength and character.
Sharon earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from New York University.
Directress, Casa A
Shahlla is thrilled to be a part of REDS community. She is passionate about education and working with young children. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and Arts, a Master’s Degree in Political Science, a Diploma in Public Administration and an AMI Teaching Certification. She has dedicated over 20 years to teaching, starting her career as a middle school teacher. After learning about Maria Montessori's philosophy of education, she decided to pursue an AMI Primary Certification. The Montessori philosophy and its approach inspire her deeply and she has been working as a Montessori Directress for the past 15 years. Shahlla strongly believes learning is a natural process. Her focus is to create a warm, loving, unique and beautiful learning environment which fosters the fulfillment of the children’s highest spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual potential.
Shahlla enjoys spending time with her family, going to museums, cooking, painting, writing and reading - philosophy, spirituality, life and education are her favorite topics. Shahlla lives in Queens with her husband, their three children and their cat, Tiger.
Movement Program Director
Rebecca has been teaching movement at REDS since 1994. She holds a BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In addition to teaching at REDS Rebecca is a professional photographer who specializes in children and family portraits. Throughout her life she has made children, the arts, and movement central to her work. As an arts educator Rebecca has conducted extensive evaluation and research for non-profit organizations on the impact of the arts on children’s education. She lives with her husband, J.T. Rogers, son, Henry, and dogs Coco and Boots.
Sangeeta is excited to be a part of the REDS community. She was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She has a Bacherlors in Education and a Teacher's Training Certification from the University of Calcutta. She worked as a kindergarten teacher for 11 years in Kolkata before relocating to USA in 2009. She also worked in the after school programs in Statesville, North Carolina.
When she's not at work she enjoys cooking Indian food, going for long walks, making new friends and watching the News. She lives in Queens with her husband and their son, Neil.
Veronica Blank - Goldzberg
Assistant Business Manager
Veronica is the Assistant Business Manager and has been with REDS since 2012. Prior to REDS, Veronica worked as a financial analyst and an accountant. Veronica holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting. She enjoys spending time with friends, family and her dog, Blake. Veronica loves going to the beach and swimming.
Arts Program Director
Pilar has worked at REDS since 2007. She earned her MFA at Columbia University and her BFA at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has participated in residencies at PS1, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and Socrates Sculpture Park. Pilar has exhibited widely including High Desert Test Sites, ACME, Cirrus, Welsh/Beck, Kristi Engle Gallery and Claremont University. She has contributed to the Museum of Commerce and curated “The Fuzzy Set” at LAXART. She also teaches undergraduate studio art courses at Columbia University and enjoys making art in her studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Pilar likes to swim at the beach with her husband and son. She and her family live in Brooklyn with their two cats, Jack and Leo.
Karen Davenport joined REDS in 2002 as the Business Manager. She has a B.S. in Business Administration, minors in Chemistry and Math, a Master’s Degree in Accounting from UM – St. Louis and has passed the CPA Exam. She was the first female Deputy Sheriff for St. Charles County, Missouri, qualified as a sharp shooter and finished at the top of her academy class. She grew up dancing and is still a partner in a performing arts centre with her two sisters. Her favorite genre has always been rhythm tap which she has also taught at several studios in New York City including a brief stint at Steps on Broadway. She was born in Louisiana and grew up in the South as an Air Force brat. She loves to read, bake and do anything that involves big furry animals. In New York she can usually be found in the company of her current children, Maizie Lu and Muffin, both Bernese Mountain Dogs, spending time in Central Park and training to pull their carts.
Directress, Casa E
Andrea is a dedicated and passionate educator with more than 20 years' experience working in schools with children and their families. She holds an AMI Montessori diploma from Association Internationale, a B.S. in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education, a M.Ed. in Curriculum Design and an IMSLEC certification (International Multi-sensory Structured Language Education Council) from Windward School in White Plains, NY.
Andrea is delighted to re-join the community of REDS and feels very fortunate to be working in a school that values and respects each and every student. When not in the classroom, Andrea enjoys biking, hiking, and cooking as well as travelling and experiencing different cultures. Her dream is to travel to Machu Pichu with her husband Sergio and son Nicolas.
Assistant, Casa C
Lucy has been an assistant in Casa C since 1994. Lucy is originally from Bulgaria and moved to NYC in 1989. Her background is in art, literature, music, and education. In Bulgaria Lucy was a window display designer. Since coming to the U.S. Lucy has earned degrees in Early Childhood Education, Liberal Arts, and a MA in Montessori education. She loves music poetry and sports, her passions are fashion and jewelry design.
Amanda joined REDS early 2016 and is excited to be a part of such a great environment. Previous experience includes many years as a Legal Secretary in a midtown Manhattan Law Firm and Administrative Assistant in a Global Bank on Wall Street. Amanda is returning to the workforce after taking some time off to raise her three children. Amanda was born and educated in Ireland and spent some time working in Ireland before moving to the U.S. She lives in Queens with her husband John and their three children Eamonn, Sinead and Sean. She enjoys camping, bike riding and keeping up with all her kids sporting activities.
Monique brings the French culture, customs and holidays of France to the children of REDS with songs, dances, stories, and games. Monique likes all kind of animals and flowers. She enjoys ballet, opera and poetry.
Directress, Casa C
Anne has been teaching at REDS since 1999. She was born and educated in Ireland, and received her degree in Social Work from the University of Cork. Anne completed her Montessori training at the Montessori Institute of Atlanta, Georgia in 1997. Anne helped to develop the first Montessori school in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and served there as a head teacher. Anne describes teaching as a very humbling experience and one that has taught her a great deal about how children learn, grow and develop. Anne lives here in Manhattan with her husband, Phil and Watson, their beagle.
Assistant, Casa B
Natalie has been involved in Montessori education for over ten years and is deeply committed to the philosophy. She has always felt a strong connection with the core values of Montessori education, especially the adult’s role as a guide and the deep respect for all children. Natalie has a passion for volunteering in her community, and maintains a commitment to giving back. She spent her formative years in Indonesia, Ecuador, and Texas where she earned a BFA from the University of North Texas. After working as a commercial photographer for many years, she completed her training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas and holds an AMI Primary diploma. Shortly upon relocating to New York, she joined the REDS community in 2013. In her free time, she enjoys biking in the park and cooking with her husband.
Vera Huff has been teaching in New York City for over 20 years. She has had students dancing on Broadway (Billy Eliot, Matilda, Shreck, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Mary Poppins, to name a few) , in national tours, at regional theaters across the country as well as students in classical tap company's, modern/contemporary companies. She has taught in school, after school as well as in dance studios. Vera Huff also has a contemporary dance company Veracity Dance Theater (please like us on Facebook!) and is currently working on a new musical. she is an avid improvisor in Tap and Modern dance and was a 15 year member of The Walter Thompson Orchestra. She believes dance, movement and exercise is for everyone no matter your age or ability.
Mona has over twenty years experience in housekeeping. She enjoys coming to work every day and helping to create a clean and safe environment for the students at REDS.
Assistant, Casa A
Aneta has been with REDS since the spring of 2014. She received her AMI diploma in London, England where she worked for two years as an Assistant in a Montessori School before relocating to New York City. She is studying for her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education at CUNY. In her free time, she enjoys meeting friends, hiking and excursions outside of the city.
Directress, Casa B
Sarah Messmore discovered her own love of learning at an early age. After graduating from Middlebury College in Vermont, having studied Art History and English Literature, Sarah went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in Art History from Sotheby’s Institute, London, and a Master of Education degree in Early Childhood Education from Loyola University, Maryland. Sarah completed her A.M.I. Primary Certification with Montessori Northwest in Portland, Oregon. Sarah joined REDS in 2009 and believes deeply in the mission of the school. She feels passionately that every child is both profoundly capable and innately intelligent. She is a wholehearted advocate for the Montessori philosophy, and considers it a privilege to help guide children within the magical window of development available from ages three to six years.
Security and Maintenance
Luke graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2001 with a Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice. He joined the Security and Maintenance team at REDS in 2010. In his spare time he enjoys motorcycles, art, and travel.
Directress, Casa D
Lauren joined the REDS community in 2005. Originally from California, Lauren has always had an interest in the education of young children. While completing her undergraduate degree in Child Development and Psychology, Lauren became deeply intrigued by the Montessori philosophy because of the strong respect to the way children naturally develop. Following her passion, Lauren received her Master’s in Education from Loyola University in Maryland and her A.M.I. Primary Certification from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. When not at REDS, Lauren enjoys spending time with friends and family, practicing yoga, and exploring all the city has to offer.
Sarah is new to REDS this year and is thrilled to be part of such an amazing community. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University. Sarah taught English as a second language in South Korea before moving to New York City in 2014. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend and enjoys exploring the city on her bike and spending time with friends.
Basil has been working at REDS since 2002 as the Sexton for the Church and School. He attended Sheldon Lutheran High School and graduated with a GCE certificate from England. After graduation, he taught biology and then migrated to America from Guyana where he attended the Mandell Medical School for Medical Lab Technology. In his spare time, Basil is also the owner and CEO of a Restaurant and Commercial Cleaning Business.
Assistant Head of School/Director of Admission
Rhea joined REDS in 2002. She was born and raised in India. Rhea has lived in Hong Kong as well as the Middle East (Oman). Rhea has a B.A. degree from University of Calcutta, in India and has a diploma as an A.M.I. teacher from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, California. Rhea has travelled widely in South East Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She enjoys cooking and reading, especially works on spirituality. Rhea considers it an honor to work for REDS and watch young minds grow and develop.
Security and Maintenance
Daniel has been a member of the Security and Maintenance staff at REDS since 2013. He enjoys taking care of the building and working with the staff and students. Daniel is a graduate of ASA College.
Assistant, Casa D
Anita was born and raised in Poland. She graduated from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun with a Master’s Degree in history. Anita came to the USA in 1999 and began working with children in home settings. In 2008, she began working at REDS and is currently an assistant in Casa D in 2010. Anita has completed her A.M.S. Montessori Teaching Training. She is happily married with two children: Alexandra and Adam.
Assistant, Casa E
Clara has over 23 years of experience in working with young children. She comes to us with 13 years’ experience working at a New York City preschool. Prior to that, Clara taught at a Montessori-inspired preschool in Vienna, Austria. She is fluent in English, Spanish and German. Clara is originally from Lima, Peru, where she first studied Early Childhood Education. She is the mother of a beautiful 6-year-old boy. Clara lives with her son, husband and dog in Manhattan.
Rosa joined REDS in 1999 as a teacher assistant. Throughout her career she has worked with children with special needs. Rosa has a B.A. in Liberal Arts, with a major in Psychology, from The College of New Rochelle. Rosa lives with her two daughters, Stephanie and Jessica, her husband, Oscar, and step-son, Oscar Jr. She has 2 dogs, Romeo and Precious, and a cat named Tigger. In her spare time, Rosa likes to swim and take salsa dance classes.