FACULTY & STAFF

The REDS parents, faculty & staff work together to fulfill the school’s mission.

Education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment.

Maria Montessori

REDS faculty include positions of Guide, Assistant, and Floater. All Montessori Guides hold a Primary diploma from the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Guides thoughtfully curate experiences for the children that allow them to explore and discover within a prepared environment.

Faculty and Staff Bios

Sharon Lickerman

Head of School

REDS StaffSharon Lickerman has extensive 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 20 years, following completion of her training under Dr. Silvia Dubovoy, at the highly-regarded Montessori Institute of San Diego. She is currently serving as a representative to AMI at the United Nations. Sharon was a Montessori Guide 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 Reach Within, 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 her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from New York University.

Christina Brumbaugh

Floater

REDS Staff

Stephanie Chin

Development and Operations Coordinator

REDS StaffStephanie joined REDS after spending over ten years working in the non-profit sector, where she focused on Donor Relations and Special Events. She graduated from Hunter College with a B.A. in Sociology. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family, friends, and her two cats.

Alexandra Deutsch

Guide, Casa D

REDS StaffAlexandra received her AMI Primary diploma from the Montessori Institute of San Diego. Prior to her Montessori training, she assisted at a Montessori school and also worked as a head teacher in a Head Start classroom in Brooklyn, NY. Alexandra has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University.

Lucy Djalazov

AMI Sub, After School Art Teacher, and Floater

REDS StaffLucy has been teaching at REDS since 1994. She holds an AMI Primary Diploma from the Montessori Training Center of St. Louis. Her background is in art, literature, music, and education. Since coming to the U.S from Bulgaria in 1989, Lucy has earned degrees in Early Childhood Education, Liberal Arts, and an MA in Montessori education. She loves music, poetry and sports, and her passions are fashion and jewelry design.

Amanda Dobey

Executive Assistant

REDS StaffAmanda joined REDS in 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 and their three children. She enjoys camping, bike riding and keeping up with all her kids' sporting activities.

Anne Duggan

Guide, Casa C

REDS StaffAnne 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.

Alex Exley

Business Manager

REDS StaffAlex Exley joins REDS with a decade of experience in financial leadership in independent schools. Beginning in the fall of 2021, Alex was the Business Manager of the Brooklyn Waldorf School. Prior to returning to New York City, Alex served as the Business Manager of the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, a pre-K through 8 school in Newtown, CT, for eight years. She also brings non-profit management experience from previous roles in national young adult cancer patient advocacy organizations, including Young Survival Coalition and Fertile Hope.

Alex holds an accounting certificate from Cornell University and a master's degree in Material and Visual Cultural Anthropology from University College London. She has a BA in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and, perhaps most importantly and certainly most fondly, attended preschool at the Enfield Montessori School in Enfield, CT. Alex has also had the good fortune to serve as the PTA president and a board member of a Montessori preschool in Brooklyn, NY. She is excited to be a new member of the REDS community.

Natalie Friestad

Guide, Casa A

REDS StaffNatalie has been involved in Montessori education for over fifteen years and is deeply committed to the philosophy. She has always felt a strong connection to the core values of Montessori education, specifically the adult’s role as a guide, and the deep respect of all children. She completed her training at the Montessori Institute of North Texas and holds an A.M.I. Primary diploma. She earned her B.F.A. from the University of North Texas and is currently working towards her master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education

Teresa Majerowicz

Floater

REDS StaffTeresa is very passionate about early childhood development especially in regards to social and emotional learning. She holds a B.S. in Social Work from Franciscan University with experience in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and Parent Education. Teresa has worked in preschools, elementary, and middle schools at various private schools since graduation. Her other previous experience with children includes nanny, camp director, and theatre instructor. Outside of work she enjoys reading, crocheting, and ballet.

Quiana Myers-Vandrovec

Guide, Casa B

REDS StaffQuiana holds an AMI Primary Diploma from Montessori Institute of North Texas, a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Arizona and a M.A. in Education from St. Catherine University. She has worked in Montessori schools across the country and is thrilled to have returned to REDS, a dedicated and collaborative community in service of children, families and caregivers.

Annie Ng

Controller

REDS StaffOriginally from Brooklyn, NY. Annie is thrilled to bring her expertise in accounting to the REDS Business Office after working at another independent school for over 10 years.

Luke Polkoszek

Facilities Manager

REDS StaffLuke 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.

Christine Pollnow

Floater

REDS StaffChristine loves working with children and is excited to continue this journey in the role of Floater at REDS. She has previously worked with children as a theater instructor, tutor, and caregiver. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Theater from New York University. Outside of work she enjoys reading, hiking, biking, and spending time with her friends, family, and cat.

Alyssa Portnoi

Assistant Guide, Casa C

REDS StaffAlyssa worked in Montessori schools in New Jersey for several years prior to joining the REDS team. She has her Early Childhood credentials in AMS from Princeton Center for Teacher Education and a BA in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from The College of New Jersey. When not in the classroom, Alyssa enjoys reading, crafting, puzzles, and yoga.

Hannah Richard

Guide, Toddler Program and Asst. to the Head of School

REDS StaffHannah’s journey in Montessori began when she was a child herself at Litchfield Montessori School in Connecticut. Her path continued after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Barnard College. She went on to receive an AMI Primary diploma, an AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma, and a Masters in Education from Loyola University. She joined REDS in 2018. When not working, Hannah enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and son.

Rhea Shome

Director of Admissions

REDS StaffRhea 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 the 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 traveled 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.

Jose Tavarez

Maintenance and Security

REDS StaffJose joined the REDS Security and Maintenance team in 2019. Before working at REDS he worked in both construction and maintenance for over 30 years. Jose is originally from Puerto Rico but has spent the past five decades living in New York. He enjoys traveling, swimming, and biking.

Chui Yee Tsang

Assistant Guide, Casa B

REDS StaffPrior to becoming the Assistant Guide in Casa B in 2017, Chui Yee was the Administrative Assistant at REDS for 12 years. Chui Yee also taught in public school for a few years prior to returning to REDS in 2017. She has an M.S. in TESOL and an M.S. in Bilingual Education from Long Island University. Chui Yee’s first experience working with children came when she signed up for an after school job in her sophomore year in high school. Since then, her work experiences have been with children or in school settings. Chui Yee was born in Guangdong, China. She is fluent in Cantonese, Taishanese, and also speaks some Mandarin. She enjoys road trips, travel, and most importantly, spending time with her son.

Ciara Walsh

Assistant Guide, Casa A

REDS StaffCiara is passionate about working with children and is thrilled to continue her journey as an assistant at REDS. She has previously worked with children as an assistant kindergarten teacher, STEM educator, dance instructor, and caregiver. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Houston in 2021. Outside of work, she enjoys dancing, music, and spending time in nature.

Kasia Wilk

Assistant Guide, Toddler Program

REDS StaffKasia earned her AMI Assistants to Infancy diploma at The Montessori Institute in Denver. She holds an M.A. in Art History from Binghamton University and is working toward her master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education at Hunter College. Kasia is also a competitive gymnastics coach and enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking in her free time.

Sophie Wojdylo

Assistant Guide, Casa D

REDS StaffSophie has loved working with children since before college and is excited to continue to do so at REDS. She has a B.A. in Art History and Biochemistry from Grinnell College and previously worked as a coach, art teacher, and caretaker. Outside of teaching she loves to read, cook, and take road trips around the northeast.