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Leadership Team

Nasreen Ikram Hussain
Nasreen Ikram Hussain Head of School
Nasreen Ikram Hussain

Nasreen Ikram Hussain

Head of School

nikramhussain@ianyc.org

  • M.Ed., Klingenstein Center - Teachers College Columbia University
  • M.A., Literacy Specialist - Teachers College Columbia University
  • M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction - George Mason University
  • International Montessori Diploma - London Montessori Centre
  • Bachelor of Arts Mass communications - Assumption College, Manila

Nasreen Ikram Hussain has been teaching and learning in schools in the United States and overseas for twenty three years. She grew up in the Philippines and Spain, where she attended International schools. Her interest in early education began with post graduate studies in the Montessori Method. She went on to pursue advanced studies in Curriculum and Instruction, Literacy Education and Organizational Leadership. Nasreen has designed preschool programs in international schools, worked in school start-ups and has experience in Montessori, International Baccalaureate, British National Curriculum and Progressive schools in classrooms from Pre K to sixth grade. Her interests as an inclusive educator focus on inquiry based, transdisciplinary learning and strategic support for all students. Prior to her appointment as our Head of School, Nasreen was the Director of Early Childhood Education at Sacred Heart Schools, in Atherton CA. She loves to cook and enjoys the company of good friends.

Yvonne Reid
Yvonne Reid Business Manager
Yvonne Reid

Yvonne Reid

Business Manager

yreid@ianyc.org

Amanda Slinger
Amanda Slinger Director of Admissions and Marketing
Amanda Slinger

Amanda Slinger

Director of Admissions and Marketing

aslinger@ianyc.org

M.A., Higher Education Administration- Stony Brook University

B.A., Political Science- Hunter College

Amanda Slinger was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and has experience in the field of admissions that has spanned from colleges/universities to independent schools in the NYC area. In her previous roles as Director of Admissions and Director of Financial Aid, she has implemented various systems, policies, and procedures to ensure a successful Admissions/Financial Aid Department. Amanda believes that positivity is the key to success and happiness. She loves to cook, travel and—most importantly—spend time with her friends and family, especially her daughter.

Carrie Rosenthal
Carrie Rosenthal Admissions Associate
Carrie Rosenthal

Carrie Rosenthal

Admissions Associate

crosenthal@ianyc.org

Carrie joins us with over 15 years of experience in the New York City private school sector. As a founding staff member at The School at Columbia University, Carrie worked in the front office and later as Admissions Assistant, helping to shape The School's admissions systems, including the application lottery. Later, she joined The Speyer Legacy School as Admissions Associate at the start of their second year in operation. Several years later, she joined Central Park Montessori as their Admissions Director. Carrie has always felt a great reverence for childhood education and a passion for helping to foster environments where children are educated, cared for and nurtured as they grow into intelligent, thoughtful, kind adults.

Faculty

Daniele Coxe
Daniele Coxe 1st Grade Teacher
Daniele Coxe

Daniele Coxe

1st Grade Teacher

dcoxe@ianyc.org

Manhattanville College: Master of Arts in Teaching Childhood Education (Grades 1-6)

St. Lawrence University: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Minor in Education

Chiang Mai University: Study & Service Abroad

Daniele is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, with a B.S. in Sociology and Education. During her time at St. Lawrence, she traveled abroad to Chiang Mai, Thailand where she taught Burmese migrants how to speak English. Daniele developed a passion for teaching while in Thailand and decided to pursue a teaching career. She received her M.A. in Childhood Education at Manhattanville College, while she was simultaneously working at Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut. She has been living in New York City for the past two years and was most recently teaching first and second grade at Marymount School of New York. During her free time, she can be found playing with her two black labs, running outside, and spending time with family and friends.

Diane Wong
Diane Wong Chinese Music Teacher
Diane Wong

Diane Wong

Chinese Music Teacher

M.A., Ethnomusicology, Music Composition, CUNY Hunter College

B.M., Contemporary Writing & Production, Berklee College of Music


Diane is a musician born and raised in Malaysia. Growing up in a multi-ethnic environment, she was constantly exposed to the music of great diversity through local Chinese, English, Malay, and Tamil radio stations. Diane started teaching at 19 at Simfoni KK Music Center, where she taught private students ranging from ages 3-50 years old. In 2018, Diane graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music where she obtained her Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Writing & Production with a minor in Theory of Jazz and Popular Song. As a composer at Antfood Music and Sound Design, Diane's original composition has been used in ads like Verizon Rewards, Samsung Galaxy Watch Experience, WarnerMedia Prow, etc. When not teaching, Diane can be found playing at local music clubs around the city or pursuing her M.A. in Ethnomusicology at Hunter College.
Farah Siddiqui
Farah Siddiqui Lead Classroom Teacher
Farah Siddiqui

Farah Siddiqui

Lead Classroom Teacher

fsiddiqui@ianyc.org

  • MS Elementary Education Long Island University, NY
  • MS Literacy Long Island University, NY
  • MBA Marketing and Human Resources, Aligarh Muslim University, India
  • Bachelor of Arts , English literature Aligarh Muslim University, India

Ms. Siddiqui has taught children in Grades 2 through 5 in the U.S. as well as overseas in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Farah recognizes that children across cultures and throughout the globe share a common characteristic: curiosity about their world. Farah enjoys teaching children in a positive, friendly, learner-centric, and age appropriate environment. Her goal is to combine her range of life experiences with her ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic, and intelligent teacher, so that she makes a positive contribution to their growth. In her free time, Farah volunteers with a community service organization, enjoys interacting with her book clubs, exploring the city, experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new hobbies. These days she is learning embroidery and improving her drawing skills.

Jillian Klansky
Jillian Klansky Spanish Art Teacher
Jillian Klansky

Jillian Klansky

Spanish Art Teacher

M. A. Spanish Tulane University

B.A. Spanish / Art History Tulane University

Universidad Complutense Madrid

Jillian is a recent graduate from Tulane University in New Orleans. After receiving her undergraduate degree in both Art History and Spanish, Jillian completed her Master’s degree in Spanish and Portugese. During her junior year of college, Jillian studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. While living there, she taught English to students who were learning it as a second language. She also studied directly at the Prado Museum under guidance of professors from the Universidad Complutense. Jillian worked as a group leader at a summer camp where she led a team of staff members in creating an enjoyable and enriching experience for campers. In her free time Jillian can be found painting, cooking, exercising or traveling.

Jun Gao
Jun Gao Chinese Art Teacher, Director of Studio Arts
Jun Gao

Jun Gao

Chinese Art Teacher, Director of Studio Arts

jgao@ianyc.org

- Doctor of Education, College Teaching of Arts, Columbia University Teachers College
- M.F.A., Art Education, Boston University College of Fine Arts
- M.A., Graphic Fine Art, University for the Creative Arts
- B.A., Fine Arts, Tsinghua University Academy of Arts and Design, China

Dr. Gao is a native Mandarin speaker and gifted artist who has taught art and art education for almost twenty years. In addition to his work at IANY, Dr. Gao continues to teach graduate courses at Columbia University and give lectures at art schools in China. He has presented in national and international conferences, and conducted workshops in world renowned institutions. His teaching passions include painting, drawing, photography, graphic design, multi-media, as well as visual culture, art theory and art education. Many of his artworks are collected by internationally acclaimed American and Chinese institutions and are published in various art books and periodicals.

Leanne Luo
Leanne Luo Chinese Language Teacher
Leanne Luo

Leanne Luo

Chinese Language Teacher

TESOL program, Columbia University Teachers College

B.A., Liberal Arts, CUNY Hunter College

Leanne has been teaching Mandarin for over 11 years in New York City. She is a native Mandarin speaker and has great passion in international communication through language teaching. Her teaching style focuses on creating a welcoming and communicative study atmosphere. Understanding students’ individual needs is a focus of her lesson planning. She makes connections between language learning and students’ real-life situations to inspire and motivate young people. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and watching movies. She cares a lot about animal welfare. She has adopted one dog and two cats.

Lourdes Vargas
Lourdes Vargas Lead Teacher, Nursery and PreK
Lourdes Vargas

Lourdes Vargas

Lead Teacher, Nursery and PreK

lvargas@ianyc.org

- M.S., Early Childhood Education, Mercy College
- M.S., Bilingual School Counselor K-12, Mercy College
- B.A., Behavioral Science, Mercy College

Ms. Vargas began her love of early childhood education twenty years ago when she worked in a local HeadStart program while raising her three children. Since then, she has taught in various early childhood programs: public, independent, and bilingual. As a result she has invaluable experience within a variety of curricula and understands the unique advantages that a bilingual education can bring to children. She is passionate about creating a nurturing classroom environment that allows for plenty of creative play, exploration and experimentation. She holds three degrees in the early childhood field from Mercy College.

Maria del Carmen Bruns
Maria del Carmen Bruns Spanish Language Teacher
Maria del Carmen Bruns

Maria del Carmen Bruns

Spanish Language Teacher

cbruns@ianyc.org​

  • M.S., Education, Bank Street College of Education
  • M.A., Research and Educational Development, Iberoamerican University, México City, México.
  • B.A., Education, The National Autonomous University if México, UNAM, México City, México.

Carmen has lived and worked in many different cultures and educational systems, at home and abroad, public and private. She has encountered and incorporated a wide array of curricula: traditional, progressive, International Baccalaureate, linguistic and has participated in multidisciplinary teams and large-scale initiatives. Maria holds a M.S.Ed from Bank Street College as well as an Early Childhood Leadership Certificate. Her experience and perspective have afforded her to shape her practice in working with young children, which she brings to the International Academy of New York. She honors the diversity of the children in the classrooms, the families' interest in multilingualism, and the culture around languages. She likes opera, yoga, and traveling.

Maureen McGuckin
Maureen McGuckin Pre-Nursery Teacher
Maureen McGuckin

Maureen McGuckin

Pre-Nursery Teacher

mmcguckin@ianyc.org

B.S. Home Economics, State University of New York Oneonta

Certificate Childcare Management, New York University

Maureen started her second career 15 years ago as an early childhood educator while raising her three children in New York City. She has taught in various independent and Catholic schools. She is passionate about inspiring young learners in a nurturing environment that sets the stage for their academic careers. Mrs. McGuckin is committed to building a trusting and supportive relationship with her students while they learn and grow through creative play, games, storytelling, arts & crafts, and so much more

Pamela Barrett Lasser
Pamela Barrett Lasser Nursery / Pre-K Teacher
Pamela Barrett Lasser

Pamela Barrett Lasser

Nursery / Pre-K Teacher

M.S. Early Childhood Education, Bank Street College of Education

M.S. French Literature, New York University

B.A. French Literature, Stony Brook University

Pamela found her passion for teaching when volunteering for an after school program. Desiring to have a positive impact on young children, Pamela earned a master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. Her many years of experience with 2s, 3s, and 4-5s at several independent schools in Manhattan as well as Head Start and UPK programs has given her the tools to help each child reach their potential. She loves to awaken children's curiosity in mathematics, science, the arts, and culture through hands-on activities. Pamela's early love for French culture and literature led her to pursue a bachelor's degree in French Literature at Stony Brook and then a master's degree at NYU's Paris campus. She enjoys traveling with her family, experimenting with new recipes, jogging in Central Park and recently, has returned to practicing yoga.

Reise Hooper
Reise Hooper Front Office Coordinator/ After School Coordinator
Reise Hooper

Reise Hooper

Front Office Coordinator/ After School Coordinator

rhooper@ianyc.org

B.A. Liberal Arts, Pace University

Reise is a graduate of Pace University, where she studied French and found her passion for international studies. For two years, she studied in France, while teaching English to French students through music and acting exercises. Her time in New York has been spent exploring the culture of the city through music and theatre, while substitute teaching at different private institutions. When not manning the front desk, you can find Reise performing improv musical theatre off-Broadway, or soloing her own R&B music.

Sami Buccella
Sami Buccella Spanish Music Teacher
Sami Buccella

Sami Buccella

Spanish Music Teacher

sbuccella@ianyc.org

  • M.A., Music Composition, Hunter College, CUNY
  • B.A., Ethnomusicology, Hunter College, CUNY

Sami Buccella is a musician and educator from Buenos Aires, Argentina with more than 10 years of experience teaching music and Spanish to both children and adults. His background in ethnomusicology informs his multi-cultural approach to music education, and he believes that music is not just a skill to be learned but a place where everyone can create. When not teaching, you can find him performing on stages around the city, and his works have been nominated for MTV Music and Grammy Awards. He is also an accomplished composer for film, being one of the few selected by BMI for their prestigious "Composing for the Screen" scoring workshop. His latest soundtracks include "Private fiction," the award winning documentary that was featured at the Neighboring Scenes film festival at Lincoln Center. He has 2 cats.

Stephanie Farmer
Stephanie Farmer Science Teacher
Stephanie Farmer

Stephanie Farmer

Science Teacher

Stephanie is affectionately called Ms. Steph by her students, is the Founder and Executive Director of Triple F Empowerment, Inc. Ms. Steph has been interested in science, dance, singing, and working with children from a young age. She is a multifaceted individual having earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, released two independent albums, and mentored & taught thousands of young people in the New York City metro area. She considers herself a teaching-scientist and a creative. She is a well-respected member of the Harlem community and has been working with youth in that community for over 15 years. Ms. Steph’s personal philosophy is that each child coming through her classes is meant to do great things.

Victoria Monaco
Victoria Monaco Early Childhood Coordinator / Kindergarten Teacher
Victoria Monaco

Victoria Monaco

Early Childhood Coordinator / Kindergarten Teacher

vmonaco@ianyc.org

M.S Education in Early Childhood Education/General Childhood Education - Bank Street College of Education

B.S. Animal Sciences, Therapeutic Riding - University of Connecticut

Victoria is a native New Yorker, growing up in the suburbs of the city. She was an Animal Science major at the University of Connecticut, where her education brought her to zookeeping. Victoria attended Bank Street College of Education where she earned her Master's Degree in Early Childhood and General Childhood Education. Victoria has worked in public, private, and international schools. After spending 4 years teaching for the NYC Department of Education, she taught for 3 years in Dubai, UAE. She has a strong science and social studies background and loves animals and nature. Her hobbies include horseback riding, traveling, and baking. She has 2 cats, and has fostered dozens more.

Diane Tomasi
Diane Tomasi Physical Education Teacher
Diane Tomasi

Diane Tomasi

Physical Education Teacher

-Simonson Method of Teacher Training, 2013

-Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts BA (HONS) Perf Arts (Dance), 2005

Diane started gymnastics at the young age of 2, later began to dance, and then was introduced to aerial through an inclusive, abled/disabled body workshop with Blue-Eyed Soul Dance Company in the UK.

Diane has been teaching gymnastics, improvisations, and contemporary dance since 2001, and aerial arts since 2014. She is particularly interested in exploring creativity and courage while in motion and believes in the importance of a trusting and supportive community in the classroom. Diane is interested in the immense joy and confidence that can be attained through moving one’s body in new and exciting ways, as well as the social development that movement naturally encourages. Diane believes in the importance of moving and believes that a somatic experience can and should be for every body.

Support Staff

Edgar Archer
Edgar Archer Chef
Lorena Seidel
Lorena Seidel Social Emotional Specialist
Lorena Seidel

Lorena Seidel

Social Emotional Specialist


Lorena Seidel M.Ed. is a Social-Emotional Learning {SEL} Consultant, a certified Montessori teacher, a trained Positive Discipline Educator, a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction {MBSR}teacher, and a mother of three. She works with Emotionally intelligent schools to create a thriving learning environment that supports the social and emotional well being of students, staff, and families.

Lorena T. Seidel is a certified Montessori teacher by the American Montessori Society(AMS) and has been a classroom teacher for many years at the Whitby School, located in Greenwich, CT. Lorena is a Social-Emotional Consultant to several Montessori schools in Fairfield and Westchester counties. She is also a certified Positive Discipline Parent & Teacher Educator and a trained Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction facilitator. Lorena Seidel wrote her theses in Social Emotional Learning during her Master of Arts of Elementary Education at Sacred Heart University. She has a degree in Education, Linguistics and Literature from the University of Connecticut and Pontificate Catholic University in Brazil. Lorena is also an International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) levels I-III trained teacher.

Lorena is also the author of The Purposeful Child: A Quick and Practical Parenting Guide to Creating the Optimal Home Environment for Young Children. Lorena lives in Connecticut with her three daughters.

Scott Poticha
Scott Poticha Consultant Nurse Practioner
Scott Poticha

Scott Poticha

Consultant Nurse Practioner

MSN, AGACNP-BC, ACHPN

Clinical Coordinator, The Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute

The Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

Scott has more than 18 years of nursing experience in oncology, critical care, and nursing administration. He currently is a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner at Mount Sinai Hospital, caring for patients with serious illnesses. Scott is grateful to be a part of the IANY team.

Selene Balbuena
Selene Balbuena Staff Assistant