Hi everyone! My name is Susan Birnbaum and I am honored to be the director of Children’s All Day School! I am a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn and now living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. I have a wonderful daughter and a great husband also from New York. I earned my teaching certification at Clark University and my Masters of Education from the University of Massachusetts. I have spent 25 years as an educator in a variety of roles. My first teaching job was in New York City’s District 2. During my tenure I became a staff developer as I helped teachers create meaningful curriculum for their students. I then worked as a curriculum developer for over 10 years for Scholastic and McGraw-Hill where I wrote books for teachers and students. Eventually, I became a Professor of Early Childhood Education both at Kean University and B.M.C.C. Yet, with all my professional experiences, being part of the C.A.D.S. community has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of them all!
Hello Everyone! I am now a New Yorker but before moving to my favorite city, I managed a theater arts and fitness studio in South Jersey. I also taught classes including kid’s yoga, acting, and music video production. When I am not in the office, my favorite pastime in this city is definitely the theater. Additionally, I enjoy exploring our city’s parks and spending time with friends and family. I live on the Upper East Side with my theatrical daughter, Micaela!
My early years were spent in the U.S. Virgin Islands. My grandmother, who gave me the gift of love, raised me. I attended City College of New York and began my journey as an educator. What, Who, When, Where and Why are the most important questions.
My husband and I raised three wonderful young men! Two attended the University Of Virginia. My oldest, an M.B.A. from Wharton is the co-founder of Hella Bitters. My middle son is also an Educator (Director of The Boys Club of N.Y.). The youngest, a C.A.D.S. alumnus, graduated from Howard University. His wonderful spirited daughter ALYN, my granddaughter has just graduated from C.A.D.S.
Community building is our School Spirit. My love of sports, especially track and field, was the impetus behind the creation of the C.A.D.S. Sports Day each June. Together with the collaboration of a former C.A.D.S. teacher, we wrote the “Children’s All Day School” (C.A.D.S.) song. “We are the children of C-A-D…there is no other place we’d rather be!”
“One cannot spend time around young children without becoming an active participant”. It is their extraordinary curiosity that keeps me eager to return year after year! I look forward to another First day and participating in your children’s journey toward all things possible!
Infant Room Staff
Hi, I’m “Nana” as the babies tend to call me and this will be my fifteenth year working with the Infants at C.A.D.S. I received my Child Development Associate certificate (CDA) in May 2001 from Oneonta Jobs Corps Center. From November 2000 until beginning at C.A.D.S. in 2001, I had the benefit of working with children from 8 weeks to 4 years of age; but the “babies” were where my heart was and is. I truly enjoy working with the Infants and I look forward to meeting all our newbies! Along with working with the children, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get to know and collaborate with the parents in providing a great experience for the Infant Class at Children’s All Day School.
I had worked at C.A.D.S. for over 18 years and returned happily in 2012. For the eight years I was away from C.A.D.S., I worked as a Head Teacher at the Kindercare Learning Center now known as Knowledge Learning Center. I worked at Kindercare in Florida for 4 years, and while there, I attended classes in the development of infants and toddlers to get certified. When I transferred to Pennsylvania, I earned my CDA (Child Development Associate). In addition, I continued taking professional development classes every 3 months to further my knowledge of caring for young children. I also have attended the multiple day Infancy Institute at Bank Street College. My heart never left C.A.D.S. during my time away, so it’s wonderful to be back home. I look forward to continuing my position in the Infant Room this year, and working with the youngest of our C.A.D.S. family.
Hello! My name is Carmen Huezo-Diaz, but the kids call me Lissette, which is my middle name. I was born and raised in El Salvador. I came to United States in 2009. I earned my Associate Degree in early childhood education at BMCC and now I am working towards receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education. Some of the things I feel make me a good childcare worker include my creativity, gentleness, patience, and hard-working attitude. I started to work at C.A.D.S. in the summer of 2013 in the toddler and infant rooms. In those years I learned a lot, and I was so happy to be asked to join the staff. I love working with children, and I like working at C.A.D.S. because they have treated me as part of their family. I am so excited to be part of C.A.D.S. and most important to be part of the infant room. I will be seeing you in the infant room with a fun year full of lots of learning and new adventures. I am very grateful for this wonderful opportunity.
My name is Sonaly Garcia, I received my training certificate to be a Teacher’s Assistant at CUNY in the Heights, and presently I am taking development courses to obtain my CDA. I joined C.A.D.S in April, 2015. Before coming to C.A.D.S., I worked as an assistant teacher in a Group Family Daycare where I learned how much I love being with infants. I am constantly amazed by what babies are capable of doing. I am planning on continuing my education in order to learn, grow and so I can better understand how to lay a positive foundation for those I care for. I am so happy to be part of the C.A.D.S infant room and look forward to meeting the new babies and their families soon.
Toddler Room Staff
My name is Manuela Kattermann but here at C.A.D.S. I’m known as Mella. I was born and raised in Germany. In 1988, I came to the U.S. as an au pair. Since 1996, I have been teaching here at C.A.D.S. My first five years were spent teaching the three-year-olds and since then, I have enjoyed working with the toddlers. My daughter, Morgana is a C.A.D.S. graduate. She still loves to visit and has been able to fill in the past few summers as a substitute. I look forward to meeting and working with the new toddlers and their parents and expect to have another gratifying and rewarding year.
Hello, C.A.D.S. families! My name is Lauren Mulry and I am starting my second year here at Children’s All Day School. I am very excited to be be part of the Toddler Room alongside Mella. I can’t wait to spend time with some familiar faces and meet some new ones as well. I am originally from Long Island, but have been living in Manhattan for some time now. I graduated from St. Joseph’s College with degrees in Early Childhood Education and Childhood Education for both general and special education settings. Working in various preschools and elementary schools on Long Island allowed me to discover that very young children hold a special place in my heart. Based on this, I knew that C.A.D.S. would be the perfect school for me to pursue my love for children and providing an enriching educational experience. I feel very fortunate to have become a part of the C.A.D.S. family and I look forward to creating wonderful memories with your children!
Tots Room Staff
Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Perez. I received an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Borough of Manhattan Community College and I will be continuing my education at City College. Over the past 14 years I have worked with different age groups, from children one year of age to seventeen years old. The job that most inspired me to pursue a career in early childhood education was my work with “AmeriCorps”. It opened many doors, allowing me to help my community with opportunities such as after school programs and summer camps. I also enjoyed helping to build a playground. One reason that I love working with young children is that they are so fascinated with their surroundings because everything is so new to them; it makes me ecstatic to be a part of that. When I started at C.A.D.S. I was a substitute teacher in the Yellow Room. I then spent 7 years as an assistant teacher in the red room. I am now in my third year in the Tots room. I’m looking forward to another year continuing as part of the C.A.D.S. family.
Hello! My name is Monique. I joined C.A.D.S. in July 2015 as a substitute teacher and soon after given a full time position. I have been educating children for almost 7 years and it’s something I’ve come to really enjoy. I’ve had the opportunity to explore all rooms at C.A.D.S. Currently I am stationed in the Tots room and it has been a great experience. I look forward to my future here at Children’s All Day School.
Red Room Staff
My name is Jodi and I was born and raised in Connecticut. Coming from a large family and being part of my mother’s home day-care sparked my interest in children at an early age. I went on to attend Clark University in Massachusetts, where I participated in internships in local preschools as well as one in a private school in London, England. After college I stayed in Boston teaching infants thru pre-k, but the goal of one day living in NYC was waiting for me, so here I am. I completed my studies at Columbia University and received my Master’s degree in early childhood/elementary education. I have always had a love for teaching and learning about young children. Whether I am witnessing it for the first time or the fiftieth, I am constantly amazed by the natural development I observe in the children with whom I work. This motivates me to continue to study and teach and to grow as an individual and as an educator. My association with C.A.D.S. began during the summer of 2003 when I interned in the two-year-olds classroom. I look forward to a new year of teaching in the Red Room at C.A.D.S.!
Hello Parents and Friends, my name is Arima Peters. I am thrilled to be part of the Children’s All Day School (C.A.D.S) staff for my fourth consecutive year! Before starting at C.A.D.S. I worked in childcare for three years under the Knowledge Universe Corporation, also known as KinderCare Learning Center. I was a Full Time Teacher in the Discovery Preschool Classroom and the “Music & Me” Teacher. I acquired my Child Development Associate Certification from Rasmussen College and have my 90 Clocked Preschool Hours. I am currently working towards obtaining my Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Touro College. I fully enjoy working with children and educating them in a variety of ways. I strive not only to contribute to a brighter future for each child but to also encourage them to see that the world is in their hands. A quote from our former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson that I believe captures the core of my teaching is, “Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” I believe in nothing short of greatness for each and every child that comes through our school. I look forward to meeting all of you in the Red Room this fall. Let’s make this journey a memorable one!
Hello! My name is Denise Rodriguez and I’m currently finishing my degree in Early Childhood Education at Borough of Manhattan Community College. I learned to care for and love children at a very young age as I helped my mother care for my 6 nieces and nephews. Throughout the years, I found myself searching for jobs that required me to be involved with children and I knew that this was the field that would make me the happiest. I started at C.A.D.S. as an intern and I fell in love with this school and its curriculum. In 2013, I left because I became a first time mom to my amazing daughter, Elliana. C.A.D.S. created an experience where I’ve learned that learning through exploration, art, reading, nature, and outdoor activities offer children the right foundation to be lifelong learners. I am thankful for this opportunity to be re-joining the C.A.D.S. family as an assistant teacher.
Orange Room Staff
Hi, my name is Lindsay Lewis and I love working at C.A.D.S! I received my undergraduate degree at the University of Hartford, in Elementary General and Special Education. During my professional training, I spent four years volunteering and working in various schools in Hartford, CT. Once my time in Hartford was over, I moved back to New York and got my Master’s degree at the Bank Street College of Education in early Childhood General and Special Education. While working on my Masters, I worked for four years, as a teacher at the Bank Street Family Center with children ages 2-5. After my time there, I spent the next two years working at a preschool in Astoria, NY working with children 2-4 years old.
When I am not working with children, I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, reading books, and taking in the outdoors.
My name is Yesenia Velez but I am called Yesi (Jessie). I have two wonderful daughters, Cynthia and Nicole, ages twenty-five and seventeen. I arrived in the U.S. from Ecuador when I was five. In 2000, I participated in the C.D.A. program at Bank Street College (Child Development Associate). After working with my own three-year-old daughter, Nicole, at an Early Head Start (parent-child) program, I learned patience and understanding as well as other skills to help my daughter and other young children deal with everyday life. Utilizing these skills awakened the realization that I enjoyed guiding children’s development and giving them the tools with which to communicate. I am thrilled to be starting my sixteenth year as a co-teacher at C.A.D.S. and having the opportunity to work with the new group of children and their families.
TERESITA (TITA) OBRA
Hi! I’m Tita Obra and I am from the Philippines. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of the City of Manila. I have been with C.A.D.S. since 2002, and throughout this whole time, guiding young children has been a very enriching experience for me. It has made me realize how important the role of nurturing and caring adults is in the lives of the very young. I hope to be able to continue making a difference in the children’s lives for many more years to come.
Blue Room Staff
Greetings parents and children! My name is Samantha Langdon and I began teaching at Children’s All Day School in 2009. My love for teaching began at a very early age. When I was old enough to work, I sought out positions in early childhood programs and worked as an assistant in the classroom. In 2004, I graduated from Endicott College with a B.S in psychology and spent the following two years working in the human service field. Before joining C.A.D.S, I worked for four years in Beverly, MA at a private preschool called Tot-Spot at Landmark School. In May of 2009, I earned a Master of Science degree in Education with a focus in Special Education from Simmons College in Boston. I was thrilled to welcome my first child into my life in 2014 and proud to have him enrolled for his second year as a student at C.A.D.S. Motherhood has added a new dimension to my work as a teacher. I eagerly await the start of a new school year and look forward to meeting and establishing relationships with the children and families of the Blue Room.
My name is Charlie and I am looking forward to my 12th year at C.A.D.S. The one thing everyone knows about me is that I love animals. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! I own several animals, one of which is my snake Scarlet that I bring to the classroom on occasions. I also bring in stick bugs every year to add wonder, excitement and fun to our class community. The children help me nurture and care for them, and by doing so, they foster a sense of responsibility, love and care for other living things. On my free time I enjoy blacksmithing and spending time with my nephew. Currently, I am finishing my undergraduate degree at Hunter College and will move on to Hunter’s Master’s program in education. But one of my greatest accomplishments was marrying my lovely wife, Tyner, and we are happy to have purchased our first apartment together recently.
Hello, my name is Cynthia and I truly enjoy working with children. I am 27 years old and graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education from BMCC. My plan is to pursue a career in Speech Therapy for young children. I started out at C.A.D.S. as a volunteer while attending St. Vincent Ferrer High School and returned as a part-time teacher in 2014. Currently, I am an assistant teacher, and I couldn’t be happier. I am also engaged to be married! I am looking forward to working with the Blue Room children and their families this year.
Hello parents and children, my name is Betty Alvarado. I am super excited to start my fourth year at Children’s All Day School as an assistant teacher. I have learned and grown a lot working at C.A.D.S. It has helped me understand and experience firsthand what I am learning at City College of New York. I am currently working on a double major in early childhood education and psychology. I have also earned my Child Development Associate Certification, and have been trained in early childhood nutrition. Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with family and friends, arts and crafts projects and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I look forward to meeting the new Blue room families and having a great and exciting year!
Green Room Staff
“Childhood Should Be a Journey, Not a Race”
My name is Maria Weaver and I joined the Children’s All Day School staff in 1992. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from City College. I love teaching young children; it has always been a passion of mine. My philosophy is pretty simple, young children learn through hands-on experiences that lead to meaningful connections. I also believe in developing a partnership with parents; it is one of the most important factors in laying a good foundation for children’s development and growth in their early childhood education. I have a wonderful daughter who had the privilege of attending C.A.D.S. I look forward to meeting you and participating in your child’s educational Journey.
My name is Pushpa Arya. I joined the staff of the Children’s All Day School in 1986. I have worked with many of the different age groups but for the last fifteen years I’ve enjoyed teaching the three and four years olds. It has definitely been a stimulating, rewarding and educational experience. I have two grown daughters, one of whom worked at C.A.D.S. all through college. I also have a son Rinku, who graduated with his M.B.A. from Fordham University and is a C.A.D.S. grad! I received my Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Delhi. Before coming to the Unites States I taught in several other countries, such as Tunisia, Kenya and India. During my limited free time, I enjoy reading, cooking (Indian food mostly) and spending time with my family. I know we will share a creative and joyful year together.
I was born and raised in Queens, NY. I am currently a student at Borough of Manhattan Community college, and I am majoring in Early Childhood Education. I have been working with children for about 9 years now. I’ve worked at numerous summer camps, and I was also a bus matron for one year. I have been working here at C.A.D.S. the past 2 years, and I find that it is a family-oriented school. I think it is the perfect place for me to be pursing my teaching career. I look forward to meeting the new Green Room families soon.
Hi everyone! My name is Yedmi Ochoa. I am excited to be working with Children’s All Day School. I am a graduate of City College of New York. I’ve earned my Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood education with a concentration in psychology. I’ve worked with children of all ages. One of my favorite activities to do with children are art projects. I love seeing how creative children are and how much they are learning at the same time. My passion is being able to work with children and provide an environment full of learning and fun. Therefore, I am looking forward to a fun and exciting year here at Children’s All Day School!
Yellow Room Staff
Teaching has become an integral part of my life. Working with young children is very rewarding in that it is energizing to be able to see the children become excited about learning. I have been teaching at C.A.D.S. for more than 18 years. I have a B.S. in Sociology and a M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. In my free time, I enjoy practicing the Japanese martial arts of Aikido and Iaido, archery and playing golf. I am also an instructor at the New York Aikkai holding a 4th degree black belt in Aikido. I am happy to be part of the C.A.D.S. family and to be making a contribution in the lives of children.
“I hear, I forget, I see, and I remember, I do, and I understand!”
I have a passion for teaching and have always wanted to educate young children. I find that it is the children’s excitement about learning that motivates me each day. Their constant growth, curiosity and achievement sustain my enthusiasm for teaching. I enjoy guiding children through the discovery of their world. I have been teaching at C.A.D.S. for more than 20 years and have enjoyed every moment of my teaching career. I have B.A. in Psychology from GVSU and a M.A. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from NYU.
When I am not working, I enjoy reading, listening to music, taking nature walks, spending time with my family and friends, as well as seeing new things in unique and different ways. I am excited to collaborate with the Yellow Room teachers, parents and children to create a joyful and successful learning environment. I look forward to the journey we will all embark on this year!
I moved from Chicago to New York in 2006. After many successful years in early childhood education, I received my BFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College. For one of my final projects, I wrote a children’s book, Daisy Takes the Train, which I hope to have published. During my 8 years at C.A.D.S., I have enjoyed the privilege of working in every classroom. Through my experiences, I have gained invaluable insight into different approaches to learning and the need to let children express themselves as fully as possible. The Yellow Room is very special to me because I am able to use my twin passions, reading and writing, in ways that help children become lifelong learners. Reading to children and guiding them to tell and write their own stories has given me immense joy and reinforced one of my strongest beliefs – we are all each other’s teachers.
Hello my name is Zenab Adjei, and I‘m from Bronx, NY. I’ve recently finished my Associates Degree in early childhood education at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and will be working on my Bachelor’s Degree at Brooklyn College. While working on my Associate’s I gained experience in the classroom by working in several day cares with children that ranged from 18 months to 4 years. I have been here at C.A.D.S. for the past two years as an assistant teacher. I look forward to working with the Yellow Room teachers and a new group of children starting in September.
JENELLE FAITH UPSHAW
My name is Jenelle Faith and I was raised in Queens. I have been working with children of all ages for 5 years in schools and camps. I have always had a passion for children and I knew I wanted to be a teacher at a very early age. I started my education at Queensborough Community College and I am now pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood. In my spare time I love doing arts and crafts, decorating/ planning events, baking, spending time with my family and creating new adventures. I started here at C.A.D.S in the summer of 2016 as a substitute and I am looking forward to the upcoming school year creating a fun and positive learning environment.