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Faculty

Alba.Sánchez Jiménez
Alba.Sánchez Jiménez Spanish Language Teacher
Alba.Sánchez Jiménez

Alba.Sánchez Jiménez

Spanish Language Teacher

asanchez@ianyc.org

- M.A., Teaching Spanish as a Foreign and Second Language, Universidad de Barcelona
- B. S., Human Nutrition, Universidad San Antonio de Murcia

Señorita Sanchez was born and raised in Toledo, Spain. She has enthusiastically taught children for more than ten years. With an M.A. in Teaching Spanish as a Second Language from the University of Barcelona, Ms. Sanchez adopts the communicative approach, and she always creates a playful and interactive environment by using visual stimulation, song, and dramatic play. Srta. Sanchez adapts her language classes to different developmental levels and learning styles and makes them appealing to children to learn a new language and culture. Srta. Sanchez dedicates her free time to her other two passions: painting and flamenco dancing. She also enjoys outdoor activities, traveling, and exploring nature and new places.

Alex Schwed
Alex Schwed Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 3 and 4
Alex Schwed

Alex Schwed

Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 3 and 4

aschwed@ianyc.org

- M.S., Neuroscience and Education (specialization: play and creativity), Teachers College Columbia University
- B.S., Elementary Education (specialization: math education), Boston University

Alex Schwed is joining us in the pre-nursery room and as the extended day teacher for his second tour with IANY. He received his Masters of Science from the Teachers College education and neuroscience program, where he studied the links between play and creativity. He is a lover of the outdoors, and prior to returning to New York City he spent seven months traveling the U.S. visiting national parks. On the weekends he often goes on hikes with his wife and dog. When he doesn't leave the city, he enjoys dancing, cooking, and gathering with friends.

Bernadette Cuadrado
Bernadette Cuadrado Spanish Art Teacher
Bernadette Cuadrado

Bernadette Cuadrado

Spanish Art Teacher

bcuadrado@ianyc.org

- M.S., Art Education, City College
- B.A., Fine Arts and Fashion Design, Pratt University

A native Spanish speaker, Señora Cuadrado has taught art to students of all ages in New York. As a passionate art educator, she uses a wide range of media to inspire personal interest with technical lessons. She incorporates a wide range of mediums into her work including pencil, charcoal, oil pastels, acrylic and water colors as well as clay and paper mache, and fashion illustration.

​Elizabeth Hebert
​Elizabeth Hebert Lead Classroom Teacher, PreK and Kindergarten
​Elizabeth Hebert

​Elizabeth Hebert

Lead Classroom Teacher, PreK and Kindergarten

ehebert@ianyc.org

- M.S., Early Childhood Education, Hunter College
- B.A., Linguistics, New York University

Ms. Hebert is a native New Yorker with a lifelong passion for languages. She got her start teaching French at a private preschool in NYC, and has been teaching young children between the ages of two and eight for the past ten years. While studying Linguistics at NYU, Ms. Hebert began her exploration into bilingual language acquisition and bilingual education, a pursuit which she continued while obtaining her masters degree in early childhood education at Hunter College. She has taught at some of the most renowned private schools in the area, including Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut and the Episcopal School in the city of New York. Having been raised bilingual herself, Ms. Hebert is very familiar with the experiences of multilingual and multicultural students. She is thrilled to have found her home here at the International Academy of New York and is looking forward to a great year!

Jiaoyue Lyu
Jiaoyue Lyu Chinese Music Teacher​
Jiaoyue Lyu

Jiaoyue Lyu

Chinese Music Teacher​

jylyu@ianyc.org

- M.A., Music Education, New York University Steinhart School of Culture, Education and Human Development
- B.A., Music Education, Nanjing Normal University, China

Lyu Lao Shi is a native Mandarin speaker and an internationally recognized pianist, zhu player, as well as a guqin artist and Chinese calligrapher. Among the art forms she masters, two are designated as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Highlights of Lyu Lao Shi's recent seasons include a promotional video for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and invitations from the London Confucius Institute in the U.K., lecture-recitals and engagement tours at universities in Italy, France, Poland and the Netherlands, and her 2016/17 season included a guqin and zhu performance at Lincoln Center. When not at school, Lyu Lao Shi can be found exploring her own practice and the many parts of NYC.

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.

Karen Jia
Karen Jia Chinese Language Teacher
Karen Jia

Karen Jia

Chinese Language Teacher

kjia@ianyc.org

- M.A. Education, Stanford University
- B.S. Accounting, Santa Clara University

Jia Lao Shi came to the U.S. during college from China, where she was born and raised. She has been teaching Chinese to children and adults for more than a decade, and authored seven Chinese textbooks. She engages and excites students with her love of language and her nurturing teaching methodology. In her spare time, she's a poetry writer and belly dance teacher.

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.

Natasha Peña
Natasha Peña Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 1 and 2
Natasha Peña

Natasha Peña

Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 1 and 2

npena@ianyc.org

- M.S. Literacy and Childhood General Education, Bank Street College of Education
- B.A. Major in Art, Minors in Educational Studies and English Literature, Swarthmore College

Ms. Peña was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She discovered her passion for Education from the moment she took her first Education class. Upon graduating from Swarthmore College, Ms. Peña went on to become a 2nd Grade Assistant Teacher at Collegiate School for three years, and a 3rd Grade Associate Teacher at The Brearley School for one year. During this time, she attended Bank Street College of Education, where she received her Masters in Literacy and Childhood General Education. She strives to integrate her passion for creativity, particularly the arts and creative writing, into the classroom across all academic subjects. She currently lives in New Jersey. When not teaching, Ms. Peña enjoys a wide array of activities including traveling, crocheting, painting, reading, and spending time with her family.

Romel Jackson
Romel Jackson Physical Education Teacher
Romel Jackson

Romel Jackson

Physical Education Teacher

mjackson@ianyc.org

- Political Studies, Emmanuel College

Romel Jackson was born and raised in Harlem, NY where his passion for sports began. His basketball skills led him to South Kent Prep School (CT), a school community which has produced many of the top athletes currently playing in the NBA and NHL. Mr. Jackson continued his academics in Political Studies at Emmanuel College in Boston, where he played four years on their men’s basketball team. He is now a passionate coach whose work encompasses mentoring, skill training, academic support, program creation, and planning. Mr. Jackson implements pedagogy rooted in teamwork, knowing that “together we are most powerful and move the furthest.” When not coaching or teaching IANY students, Mr. Jackson enjoys watching sports and family time which includes his wife and their four-year-old son.

Ryan-O'Neil Edwards
Ryan-O'Neil Edwards Lead Classroom Teacher, Kindergarten
Ryan-O'Neil Edwards

Ryan-O'Neil Edwards

Lead Classroom Teacher, Kindergarten

redwards@ianyc.org

- B.A., Music, Hobart College

Mr. Edwards has been teaching children in a variety of subjects and of all ages for a decade. With his experience as a music teacher, he often incorporates song, dance and movement into his classroom teaching, particularly with younger students. Prior to IANY, he taught music at the First Presbyterian Church Nursery School, was an associate kindergarten teacher at Trevor Day School, and has coached track and field at the Dalton School. When not teaching, Mr. Edwards is almost always seen strumming his guitar or humming a new tune. Mr. Edwards is an accomplished guitarist, song-writer, and singer, dating back to his time at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art.

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.

Farah Siddiqui
Farah Siddiqui Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 4 and 5
Farah Siddiqui

Farah Siddiqui

Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 4 and 5

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.

Elisheba Pomerantz
Elisheba Pomerantz Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 1 and 2
Elisheba Pomerantz

Elisheba Pomerantz

Lead Classroom Teacher, Grades 1 and 2

epomerantz@ianyc.org

  • M.S.- Early Childhood Education/Early Childhood Special Education, Teachers College Columbia University.
  • B.A.- French, Vassar College.

Ms. Pomerantz is a native New Yorker. As a French major at Vassar College, her passion for languages truly developed. Upon graduating, she spent extensive time traveling throughout Europe and immersing herself in various cultures. After receiving her Master’s degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Teachers College, Ellie began her career in the classroom at a small independent school in Riverdale, NY. Since then, she has worked for the NYC Department of Education as well as various charter school networks. An avid animal lover, she enjoys spending time with her canine and feline babies. She can often be found watching the Yankees game, doing the crossword puzzle, or drawing.

Maria del Carmen Bruns
Maria del Carmen Bruns Assistant Teacher, Nursery and PreK
Maria del Carmen Bruns

Maria del Carmen Bruns

Assistant Teacher, Nursery and PreK

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.

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.

Emily Benson
Emily Benson Director of Admissions
Emily Benson

Emily Benson

Director of Admissions

ebenson@ianyc.org

- M.S., Broadcast Journalism, Emerson College
- B.A., English, Augustana College

Ms. Benson spent her formative years overseas, living and studying in Europe, Scandinavia, and Africa. After earning her Master’s in Broadcast Journalism, she spent the next 7 years producing and writing news broadcasts at KARK, News 12 New Jersey, WNBC, and finally CNN. She transitioned from news into lifestyle television, directing and producing a variety of home improvement and food shows in the U.S. and abroad. And now, as a mother of three young children in a home that includes a cat and a fish with no name, she loves being at IANY, surrounded by growing minds with so much potential to change the world. When the opportunity strikes, you’ll find her out sailing.

Naz Kamal
Naz Kamal Director of Finance and Operations
Naz Kamal

Naz Kamal

Director of Finance and Operations

nkamal@ianyc.org


- M.B.A. Management and Industrial Relations, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Bridgeport
- B.S., Accounting, School of Business Administration, University of Bridgeport

Ms. Kamal has been a Business Manager and Director of Finance in NYC Independent Schools for the last 20 years. She has helped schools successfully plan long range strategic plans, financial budgets and capital projects. Her experience with writing financial policies and preparing annual budget projections has been a focus of her work. She holds an MBA from the University of Bridgeport and a B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration. She has a passion for independent school education and is committed to making a difference in the school-life experience for our families. Ms. Kamal believes simplicity is key to happiness and enjoys yoga, taking long walks in the streets of New York City and learning about various cultures.

Marylyn Marin
Marylyn Marin Administrative Assistant
Marylyn Marin

Marylyn Marin

Administrative Assistant

Marylyn Marin joins the staff at IANY after nearly two decades of supporting the work of a busy law firm in Manhattan. Her experience, along with her knowledge of the Academy as the parent of two of our students, makes her an invaluable member of school life. She is proud of her Filipino heritage, and the school enjoys hearing her speak Tagalog. When she's not running our school, Ms. Marin enjoys walking in the park or on the beach, cooking, and time with her husband and two children.

Support Staff

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

Lorena Seidel

Social Emotional Specialist

Have a bio click through that says this:

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-Bassed 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.

Selene Balbuena
Selene Balbuena Staff Assistant
Luis Marin
Luis Marin Facilities Manager