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 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 her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from New York University.

Stephanie Chin

Administrative Assistant

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

Assistant Guide, Casa C

REDS StaffLucy 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 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 has worked as an after-school STEM instructor after graduating with a BSc. in Biotechnology from the University of Applied Sciences Krems, Austria in 2019. She has a welcoming and cheerful personality. She loves working with children and teaching them the wonders of our world through STEM by using safe hands-on experimentation. She feels every child has a natural aptitude for learning and possesses a unique creative nature. Nora enjoys assisting them on their journey through school. 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


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


Hannah Richard

Casa 2 Guide and Asst. to 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 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


Chui Yee Tsang

Assistant Guide, Casa B

REDS StaffChui Yee previously worked at REDS from 2001 to 2013 as the Administrative Assistant. She is very excited to rejoin the REDS community as Assistant to Casa B. Chui Yee taught in a public school for a few years prior to REDS. 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

Asst Casa A

Anna Wojenski