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 17 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 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, her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from New York University, and is currently working towards her MPH at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Rebecca Ashley

Movement Program Director

REDS StaffRebecca 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.

Karen Davenport

Business Manager

Karen Davenport joined REDS in 2002 as the Business Manager. She has a B.S. in Business Administration, minors in Chemistry and Math, a Masters 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 sharpshooter 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.

Andrea DeBroka

Guide, Casa E

REDS StaffAndrea 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, an 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 traveling and experiencing different cultures. Her dream is to travel to Machu Pichu with her husband Sergio and son Nicolas.

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

Administrative 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.

Monique Dori

French Specialist

REDS StaffMonique brings the French culture, customs and holidays of France to the children of REDS with songs, dances, stories, and games. Monique likes all kinds of animals and flowers. She enjoys ballet, opera and poetry.

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.

Natalie Friestad

Guide, Casa A

REDS StaffNatalie 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. She spent her formative years in Indonesia, Ecuador, and Texas, where she earned a B.F.A. 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 A.M.I. Primary diploma. She is currently working towards her Masters in Early Childhood and Special Education at Concordia College.

Veronica Goldzberg

Assistant Business Manager

REDS StaffVeronica 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 Masters Degree in Accounting. She enjoys spending time with friends, family and her dog, Blake. Veronica loves going to the beach and swimming.

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.

Aneta Martinez

Assistant Guide, Casa A

REDS StaffAneta 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 Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education at CUNY. In her free time, she enjoys meeting friends, hiking and excursions outside of the city.

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.

Luke Polkoszek

Security and Maintenance

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.

Hannah Richard

Assistant Guide/Floater

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.

Saba Shaikh

Assistant Guide, Casa E

REDS StaffSaba has always been interested in early childhood education and is committed to the Montessori philosophy. Prior to REDS Saba worked as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in Scarsdale, New York. She completed her AMI Primary assistant certification in December 2018. Saba has a Bachelors degree from Middlebury College, with a major in Economics and minors in both Women's Studies and Theater. Saba was raised in Karachi, Pakistan, and moved to the USA to attend college. She has lived in Dubai, Philadelphia and London and currently lives in Scarsdale, NY with her husband.

Rhea Shome

Assistant Head of School/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.

Daniel Spence

Security and Maintenance

REDS StaffDaniel 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.

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 6 year-old son. Chui Yee and her family live in Gravesend, Brooklyn.

Anita Tworkowski

Assistant Guide, Casa D

REDS StaffAnita was born and raised in Poland. She graduated from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun with a Masters 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. Anita has completed her A.M.S. Montessori Teaching Training. She is happily married with two children: Alexandra and Adam.