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Staff

Ali Abikzer<br/>Director

Ali Abikzer
Director

Favorite book to read aloud
Anything by Mo Willems
Favorite day of the school year
Pajama Day
Favorite project or unit to teach
I love fairytale steam 
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Cerulean
Fun fact about yourself
I love playing Just Dance with my two boys on their Nintendo switch.
Mendije Haxhija<br/>2s Teacher

Mendije Haxhija
2s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Favorite day of the school year
Pajama Day
Favorite project or unit to teach
Doctor’s office
Favorite color in a box of crayons 
Purple
Fun fact about yourself
I love to cook!
Jackie Plechaty<br/>2s Teacher

Jackie Plechaty
2s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
Favorite day of the school year
School performances, amazing to see how all their hard works  shines that day!
Favorite project or unit to teach
Butterflies and insects, Flowers and Spring
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Lilac
Fun fact about yourself
I love being in the water, pool ocean or lake it doesn’t matter!
Sammi Coogan<br/>3s Teacher

Sammi Coogan
3s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud 
Green Eggs And Ham by Dr. Seuss
Favorite day of the school year 
The day before Winter break in December
Favorite project or unit to teach
The Life Cycle of the Chicks 
Favorite color in a box of crayons 
Yellow!
Fun fact about yourself 
Whenever I meet a dog, I have to say hello. 
Robin Meyiri<br/>3s Teacher

Robin Meyiri
3s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert 
Favorite day of the school year
Pajama day 
Favorite project or unit to teach
Butterflies and Purim
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Yellow
Fun fact about yourself
I ride horses, and I ski.
Gabby Bolanos<br/>UPK Teacher

Gabby Bolanos
UPK Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Snow by Urie Schulevitz  
Favorite day of the school year
Winter Sing
Favorite project or unit to teach
I think that the Water Unit is my favorite!
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Blue
Fun fact about yourself
I am originally from Ecuador in South America. What is more fun than that?
Anna Dropiewska<br/>UPK Teacher

Anna Dropiewska
UPK Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Hot On The Scent by Peter Lind
Favorite day of the school year
Graduation Day
Favorite project or unit to teach
Our space unit and building the rocket ship with the children
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Pink
Fun fact about yourself
I collect and upcycle old chairs as a hobby.
Virginia Purdy<br/>UPK Teacher

Virginia Purdy
UPK Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone is my favorite read-aloud because the story’s a classic and I love to ‘do’ the voices.
Favorite day of the school year
The first day of school is the most exciting, because we all get to meet and start our learning adventures together.
Favorite project or unit to teach
My favorite unit is our Fairy Tale unit in March, because we transform into a magical kingdom filled with kings, queens, knights and wizards, while learning a ton of literacy skills.
Favorite color in a box of crayons
My favorite color is turquoise blue-green, because it’s the beautiful calming color of the Caribbean sea.
Fun fact about yourself
I love animals, and I love to travel! I used to live in Kenya, and I worked at the KSPCA helping all kinds of animals.
Kara Tatelbaum<br/>Movement Teacher

Kara Tatelbaum
Movement Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Favorite day of the school year
Pajama Day
Favorite unit or project to teach
Waltzing
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Purple
Fun fact about yourself
I am a blizzard baby! My mom had to take a snowmobile and a helicopter in over four feet of snow to get to the hospital.
Sindy Cutler<br/>2s Teacher

Sindy Cutler
2s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Favorite day of the school year
January 2nd, because you see such a growth in the children 
Favorite project or unit to teach
Our Shabbat/Mitzvah unit
Favorite color in a box of crayons 
Fuchsia 
Fun fact about yourself
I mostly listen to sports radio, as I’m a huge sports fan!
Anna Walko<br/>2s Teacher

Anna Walko
2s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud 
Anything by Mo Willems
Favorite day of the school year
Truck day!
Favorite project or unit to teach
I love cooking with my little chefs. We cook every Friday.
Favorite color in a box of crayons
White and pink, of course!
Fun fact about yourself
I speak 3 different languages (Polish, Russian and English) and love to cook.
Leslie Boaz<br/>2's Teacher

Leslie Boaz
2's Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (or any of Mo Willems’ pigeon books)
Favorite day of the school year
The day the visiting zoo came to our school and Pajama Day
Favorite project or unit to teach
The Vet’s Office
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Magenta
Fun fact about yourself
I am the biggest NY Yankee fan in the world
Madelyn Goodman<br/>3s Teacher

Madelyn Goodman
3s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems
Favorite day of the school year
Purim
Favorite project or unit to teach
Vincent vanGogh/Sunflowers
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Razzle Dazzle Rose
Fun fact about yourself
I love to dance!
Limor Martinez<br/>3s Teacher

Limor Martinez
3s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll by Jay Miletsky
Favorite day of the school year
Pajama day
Favorite project or unit to teach
 Five senses
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Aquamarine 
Fun fact about yourself
l Love to cook and bake for my friends and family.
 
Melinda Berman<br/>3s Teacher

Melinda Berman
3s Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina 
Favorite day of the school year
Pajama Day
Favorite project or unit to teach
Spring -love to hear the birds sing again,plant and watch everything grow.  
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Turquoise blue
Fun fact about yourself
Loves music, reading a good book, and crocheting baby blankets.
Kathleen Melvin<br/>3s Teacher

Kathleen Melvin
3s Teacher

Favorite book to read
Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Macaroni and cheese
Favorite lesson/ to teach
Planting our spring seeds/gardening
Fun fact about me
I love to make people laugh.
Sandra Daniels<br/>UPK Teacher

Sandra Daniels
UPK Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak
Favorite day of the school year
Thanksgiving Feast
Favorite project or unit to teach
Food Unit
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Purple
Fun fact about yourself
I love to laugh.
Maria Cosentino<br/>UPK Teacher

Maria Cosentino
UPK Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman Orloff and David Catrow.
Favorite day of the school year
The first day of school.
Favorite project or unit to teach
“All about us” unit, as we get to know more about each other and our
families.
Favorite color in a box of crayons
Purple
Fun fact about yourself
When I was in my junior year in
High School, I was chosen to go on an exchange program to Beijing, China.
Anthony Purdy<br/>Yoga Teacher

Anthony Purdy
Yoga Teacher

Favorite book to read aloud
Zoo Zen by Kristen Fischer
Favorite day of the school year
I like the first day of school, because I know I have a whole year of yoga with the children ahead of me!
Favorite unit or project to teach
That’s easy: yoga!
Favorite color in a box of crayons
The blue of a beautiful, cloudless summer sky
Fun fact about yourself
I grew up in East Africa and often saw wild African animals!
Linda Herman<br/>Director

Linda Herman
Director

Linda Herman was born and raised in the Bronx. She now lives in Staten Island. She is married to Donnie, the love of her life, and has two wonderful children, Chris and Becky, their spouses, Claudia and Jared and three incredible granddaughters, Luna, Nila and Lily.

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Kathleen Melvin<br/> 3’s Teacher

Kathleen Melvin
3’s Teacher

Kathleen Melvin has been at The Riverdale Temple Nursery School for 7 years. She is married with one child, a son, and lives in Hastings on Hudson, New York.

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Samantha Coogan<br/> 3’s Teacher

Samantha Coogan
3’s Teacher

Samantha Coogan, or Sammi as she prefers to be called, is a native New Yorker from Larchmont in Westchester County.

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Ali Abikzer <br/>UPK Teacher

Ali Abikzer
UPK Teacher

Alexandra (Ali) Abikzerwas born and raised in sunny South Florida, but has been in New York for the past 10 years. She has worked with children for many years, and she holds a Master’s degree in Early childhoodEducation from Hunter College.

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Claire Viola<br/> UPK Teacher

Claire Viola
UPK Teacher

Claire Viola is a native New Yorker from Thornwood. She has been working with children of all ages at Riverdale Temple Nursery School.

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Sindy Cutler<br/> 2's Teacher

Sindy Cutler
2's Teacher

Sindy Cutler was born in New York and moved to Riverdale at the age of three. She was a congregant of the Riverdale temple as a child and remained a member with her own family when they lived in the community.

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AnnMarie Melia<br/> UPK Teacher

AnnMarie Melia
UPK Teacher

AnnMarie Melia is a Native New Yorker, who was born and raised in the Bronx. She has been working with children in Riverdale for 15 years, and she holds a Master Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lehman College.

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Virginia Purdy<br/> UPK Teacher

Virginia Purdy
UPK Teacher

Virginia Purdy, hailing from Brooklyn NY, homeschooled her own daughter (now a Special Ed/Early Childhood Educator) and rediscovered her passion for teaching after a career in post-production media.

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Kara Tatelbaum<br/> Movement Teacher

Kara Tatelbaum
Movement Teacher

Kara Tatelbaum has been eating, sleeping, and dreaming dance since she was a toddler. Now she’s excited to be teaching them!

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Madelyn Goodman<br/> 3's Teacher

Madelyn Goodman
3's Teacher

Madelyn L. Goodman is a native New Yorker from Brightwaters, New York. She has been working with children for over 20 years at the Riverdale Temple Nursery school.

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Robin Meyiri<br/> 3’s Teacher

Robin Meyiri
3’s Teacher

Anna Dropiewska<br/> UPK Teacher

Anna Dropiewska
UPK Teacher

Anna is originally from Warsaw, Poland, but has loved living in New York for the past few decades. Her background and education are in architecture, but Anna’s passion in life is children — she has worked at Riverdale Temple Nursery School for over 9 years, teaching two year olds, three year olds and four year olds.

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Sandi Daniels<br/> UPK Teacher

Sandi Daniels
UPK Teacher

Sandi Daniels is thrilled to be part of RTNS. She has been teaching Early Childhood for twenty years. Teaching is not just a job, but is a passion.

She has her Master’s Degree from Manhanttanville College in Purchase, NY.

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