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

Ms. MessmoreREDS faculty include positions of Guide, Assistant, and Specialist. 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.

Stephanie Chin

Administrative Assistant

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.

Karen Davenport

Business Manager

Karen Davenport joined REDS in 2002 as the Business Manager. She has a B.S. in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in Accounting from UM – St. Louis and has passed the CPA Exam. She graduated at the top of her Police Academy Class, qualified as a sharpshooter, and was the first female Deputy for St. Charles County Sheriff's Dept. in Missouri. She is a partner at the Performing Arts Centre with her two sisters and has taught tap at Steps on Broadway. She has seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren all in Missouri. Her spare time is spent in the company of her Bernese Mountain Dogs, Muffin & Moxie, enjoying drafting, noseworks and rally.

Lucy Djalazov

AMI Sub/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 John and their three children Eamonn, Sinead and Sean. She enjoys camping, bike riding and keeping up with all her kids' sporting activities.

Alexandra Duffee

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.

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, Phil and Watson, their beagle.

Nora Farnisa

Assistant Guide, Casa D

REDS StaffNora received her AMI Diploma from Montessori Training Center Northeast under the trainer Gretchen Hall. Prior to her Montessori education Nora worked as an after-school STEM instructor after graduating with a BSc. in Biotechnology from the University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria. She feels every child has a natural aptitude for learning and possesses a unique creative nature. Nora enjoys assisting the children in their growth and journey through Montessori education. Nora also enjoys the arts of poetry, music, dancing, reading and sports.

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

Mona Kadric


REDS StaffMona has over twenty years of experience in housekeeping. She enjoys coming to work every day and helping to create a clean and safe environment for the students at REDS.

Sarah Messmore

Guide, Casa B

REDS StaffSarah 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.

Kelly Palacios-Carcamo


REDS StaffKelly has been actively involved in both the Youth and Music ministry of her home church for several years. She enjoys spending quality time with her loved ones and likes to take long walks, jump rope and play softball to keep active. She has been an enthusiastic advocate of the Montessori philosophy since starting her work in a Montessori community in 2016.

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.

Isa Potts


REDS StaffIsa has over 7 years of experience working with children of all ages in different settings. Before moving to NYC she studied Psychology. She is passionate about engaging in fun and nurturing activities with children. Isa loves to spend time in the outdoors exploring the different parks of NYC searching for birds.

Yiwei (Ida) Ren

Assistant Guide, Toddler Program

REDS StaffAfter receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied English, Ms. Ren embarked on a new journey and earned her Master's degree in Foreign Language Education from New York University. While teaching Mandarin to both young children and adults in different settings, she fell in love with Montessori. Now she is pursuing a Montessori Primary certification from the Association Montessori Internationale. In her spare time, Ms. Ren enjoys cooking, marker painting, and working on her crochet project.

Hannah Richard

Guide, Toddler Program

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 is thrilled to be a part of the REDS community! Hannah enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and dog, Dixon.

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


REDS Staff

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.

Anna Wojenski

Assistant Guide, Casa C

REDS StaffPrior to joining REDS, Anna worked with children in many capacities including as a nanny, Big Sister, and tutor. She grew up in New Hampshire and studied creative writing at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. She moved to NYC in 2022 and enjoys trying as many coffee shops, Thai food restaurants, and bakeries as possible.