Introducing our New Professional Community Members 2023–2024
One of the best parts of a brand new school year is welcoming new students and families to Nightingale. Equally as delightful, is welcoming our new professional community members.
This year we are excited to welcome 31 new professional community members to Nightingale. Coming to 92nd Street from a variety of different backgrounds, these new professional community members bring with them years of real-world experience and are excited to continue Nightingale’s mission of inspiring students to be joyful learners who have the intellectual depth and the courage to be critical thinkers, compassionate citizens, and agents of their own lives.
Please join us in welcoming this wonderful group! Meet our new professional community members.
Akoya comes to Nightingale from Reggio Emilia Preschool where she co-taught and functioned as the lead teacher in a two-year-old classroom. Prior to her role there, Akoya worked within public schools as an intern, student teacher, tutor, and assistant teacher. Akoya graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and early childhood special education from New York University. There, she also double minored in American Sign Language and communicative sciences and disorders.
Imani Benoit is a licensed clinical social worker and joins the Nightingale community as the Upper School counselor. She most recently provided psychotherapy to children and young adults ages 10–26 at The Adolescent Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital. She graduated with a MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and obtained a BS from the University of Delaware. In addition to obtaining her MSW, Imani has continued to further her education and is certified in trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy and recently completed a course in advanced clinical practice through NYU’s post-master's program.
Office of Institutional Advancement
Brigid joins the Nightingale community as the campaign and stewardship director. Previously at The Chapin School as the director of annual giving, Brigid has over a decade of experience in fundraising for nonprofits in New York City spanning education, the arts, and social services. She completed a bachelor of music in vocal performance at The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and received her master's degree in arts and cultural management at Pratt Institute.
Learning Resources Department
Entering her 16th year of teaching in New York City, Sari joins the Nightingale community as the Lower School learning specialist. Sari earned her BA from Lehigh University and her MA in Middle School special and general education from Bank Street College of Education. Throughout her career, she has worked as a special education teacher and learning specialist in Manhattan independent schools across all age groups. Sari was most recently a Middle School learning specialist at the Trevor Day School.
Lower School Faculty Fellow
Grace is a recent graduate of Washington and Lee University. There, she studied cognitive and behavioral science and education. While in Lexington, Grace spent time working in local elementary school classrooms and preschools. Originally from San Francisco, Grace is thrilled to work at Nightingale and live in New York full-time.
Kailey holds bachelors' degrees from Bethel University in human kinetics and applied health science, as well as teaching licenses for 5–12 health education, K–12 physical education, and developmental adapted physical education. Kailey earned a master’s degree in strategic leadership as well as a graduate certificate in sports management, and is working toward an MBS. With seven years in education and 11 years of coaching experience, Kailey has held a variety of roles such as graduation success coach, student support operations manager, student activities coordinator, health and fitness educator, and head girls basketball coach. She has also been involved with Major League Soccer and Minor League Baseball events. She joins the Nightingale community as the assistant director of athletics.
Lower School Fellow
A recent graduate of Bowdoin College, Aura comes to Nightingale as a Lower School fellow. At Bowdoin, Aura earned a degree in English and a minor in government and legal studies. From working as a camp counselor at a progressive arts camp throughout Middle School and High School, to tutoring elementary to young adult students of diverse economic backgrounds in high school and college, Aura has always enjoyed working with children.
A born and raised Upper East sider, Olivia graduated with a BFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2016, and is also a recent painting MFA graduate from the New York Academy of Art. When asked in Kindergarten what she wanted to be when she grew up, Olivia said: "I want to be a painter like Picasso!"
John joins the Nightingale community this fall as a sabbatical leave replacement in the Classics department. He studied Classics at the University of California, Irvine and Santa Barbara, and received a master’s degree in Classics. He began working at the Harvard School for Boys in Los Angeles where he began their Latin program. Throughout the course of this 41-year career at Harvard Westlake, Brian served as a Latin and history teacher, a department head of languages and history, and was also a seventh grade dean. After retiring in 2019, John found himself missing a connection to an academic community, so he returned to the classroom. Most recently, John taught Latin at Columbus Academy in Ohio and the Dalton School.
Safety and Security Department
Bridgette comes to Nightingale with 25 years of experience working in security. In her previous role, Bridgette served as a fire life safety director for over two decades. She graduated from the New York Career Institute and has a certificate in paralegal studies.
Office of Institutional Advancement
Ava joins the Nightingale community as the advancement associate. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and women’s studies, she then went on to earn her master’s degree in international educational development from Teachers College at Columbia University. Prior to joining Nightingale, Ava worked with organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, Thabyay Education Network Foundation, and numerous automotive startups.
Emma joined the Nightingale community in December 2022 as a library associate. This winter, she will complete her master’s degree in library and information science. Before making the switch to librarianship, Emma worked as a teacher in various grade levels for several years, both in New York City and in her home state of Maine.
Katherine joins the Nightingale community as a Middle and Upper School math teacher. She realized 12 years ago that her passion lies in the math classroom and not in corporate tax law, and she hasn't looked back since. Katherine started her academic career at a charter school in Brooklyn and spent the past eight years teaching at Bank Street School for Children where she taught eighth grade math and science. She earned a BA from Georgetown University, a JD from Boston College Law School, and a MAT from the Relay Graduate School of Education.
After first being introduced to the community last year as a substitute teacher, Liz now joins our community as a faculty fellow. Liz comes to Nightingale with a variety of experiences working with students of all age groups. She holds a BA in environmental sciences from Loyola University.
Lower School Faculty
With a bachelor of business from LaTrobe University, a DipEd in Primary Education from Swinburne University, and ongoing pursuit of a master’s of education in pedagogy at Melbourne University, Rebecca joins the Nightingale community as a Class IV homeroom teacher. Prior to Nightingale, Rebecca taught various grade levels at Overnewton College in Melbourne, Australia, and the Academy of St. Joseph in Manhattan, New York. Rebecca’s passion for teaching and dedication to empowering students has shaped her journey as an educator, and is eager to make a positive impact on the academic and personal growth of students.
Visual Education Coordinator
Gabriella comes to Nightingale as with over a decade of experience in the field of museum education. With a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in museum education from Bank Street College of Education, Gabriella believes that museums have the possibility to lead us to a more equitable world and she looks forward to working with the Nightingale community to use museum tools to deepen imaginations, heal divides, and inspire dreams of change. In addition to her new role, Gabriella serves as an educator for school, family, adult, and access groups at the Jewish Museum and Poster House.
Eduardo joins the Nightingale community as a Middle and Upper School English teacher. Eduardo was born in El Paso, TX to Mexican immigrants. He received his MFA in poetry and literary translation from Columbia University, where he was a teaching fellow. Eduardo has taught at independent schools in New York City and Washington, D.C. throughout his career. Most recently, he held the writer-in-residence position at St. Albans School in the nation's capital.
Cameron joined Nightingale last year as an English teacher. He received his BA from The College of William & Mary and an MFA in writing from Columbia University, where he was also a teaching fellow.
Eliana joins Nightingale as an athletic trainer. Entering her fourth year as an athletic trainer, Eliana holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science from Endicott College and a master's degree in athletic training from Merrimack College. Prior to Nightingale, Eliana worked at the Trinity School as the assistant athletic trainer. She is originally from Maryland/D.C. and moved to New York in February 2020.
Gordon holds an MSc in mechatronics and robotics from New York University and a BEng in mechatronics engineering. During his tenure at NYU, he mentored students in robotics, guiding them to impressive victories in competitions. Furthermore, as the VP of Prospective Student for the NYU African Graduate Student Association, Gordon was instrumental in crafting resources that benefited international students.
ELIZABETH "OZ" OSWALD
Office of Institutional Advancement
A native of Atlanta, Georgia and a proud alumna of the University of Virginia, Oz joined the Nightingale community in January as the Director of Institutional Advancement. She has been fundraising for independent schools for over 15 years—first at her alma mater, The Westminster Schools, and more recently at The Brearley School and The Cathedral School. Oz also serves on the University of Virginia's Alumni Association Board of Trustees.
Middle School Assistant
Samantha graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Spanish language, literature, and culture from the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. Prior to Nightingale, Samantha taught for six years, half of that time which was spent teaching in Spain. With her teaching skills and experience working in finance, Sam is excited to leverage her combined teaching and administrative expertise to provide exceptional support to the leadership team and all of the teachers on the sixth floor.
Michael comes to Nightingale as a Middle School math teacher from The School at Columbia University, where he served as the K–8 math liaison. In that role, Michael oversaw mathematics curriculum design, instructional methodology, and family engagement. Prior to The School, Mike taught at various institutions, including The Brearley School, Friends Seminary, and The Speyer Legacy School. Mike has presented at National Council for Teachers of Mathematics conferences, and he is editor of the book Camp Logic. He graduated with a BA from Eugene Lang College, The New School.
Office of Institutional Advancement
Megan is joining Nightingale after a nine-year tenure at The Calhoun School. There, Megan fulfilled various roles in the school, including special events coordinator and assistant to the head of school. Joining Nightingale's advancement team as the annual giving manager is the culmination of years of learning and growing which have landed her back in her passion for advancement work. Megan hails from San Diego and received a BA in English literature from Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
GYANASH NASH SHARMA
With a decade of experience teaching math and science in independent schools, Nash joins the Nightingale community as an Upper School math teacher. Prior to teaching, Nash was a senior scientist at McGill University and a scientist at Columbia University. Nash earned a bachelor of engineering from Bombay University, a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Louisiana State University (LSU)and a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from LSU.
Rebecca comes to Nightingale as a Middle School science teacher after teaching Middle School science at the Ramaz School, where she was also an advisor. She received her undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Sarah Lawrence College. Rebecca then received her master’s degree in science education at the University of Texas.
BRIA J. TYNER
Performing Arts Department
Bria is a movement artist, choreographer, and researcher from Fairfield, Alabama. She joins the Nightingale community as a dance teacher. A former company member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and recipient of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theater Award and Lenny Williams Choreography Award, Bria earned her BA and MFA in dance from the University of Alabama. As an advocate for outreach, her work has been commissioned in public schools and studios in Colorado and Alabama. Her choreography has been featured in productions of Once on this Island, Little Shop of Horrors, and Pipeline. Her research examines the historical context of southern university dance programs, in aims of eliminating racial marginalization and imposter phenomenon in Black women in the field of dance.
Lower School Faculty
Isabel joins the Nightingale community as a sabbatical leave replacement Class II teacher. Before Nightingale, Isabel was a first, second, and third grade teacher at St. Luke's School and as a second grade teacher at Grace Church School. Isabel has a BA in psychology and early childhood education from Tulane University, as well as a dual masters' degree in childhood general and special education from Bank Street College of Education.
Sarah Whalen is thrilled to be joining the Nightingale community as a Middle and Upper School English teacher. Most recently, she taught seventh and eighth grade theatre and English at The Blue School, following several years of teaching ninth and eleventh grade English at both Poly Prep and Kingswood Oxford. Sarah majored in both English and theatre at Skidmore College. After a few years of acting in Off-Broadway shows, she decided to use her energy for good and pursued a master’s in the teaching of English at Teachers College. It was through this pursuit that Sarah confirmed what she already knew: studying English gives students and teachers an opportunity to learn more about their shared humanity, and is thus fundamental in making the world a more loving, generous, artful, communicative, and humane place.
EIZELLE TAINO P’23 P'26 P'28 P'29
Chief Administrative Officer
Eizelle Taino P’23 P'26 P'28 P'29 joins the Nightingale community as the school’s first-ever Chief Administrative Officer. Ms. Taino is well-known to our community as a past President of the PA and also as a trustee who helped guide our safety committee throughout the most uncertain moments of the COVID-19 pandemic. She began her career in finance in New York City, followed by overseeing a successful business in Hong Kong. She is known as someone who can dig deep and activate new learnings to bring about positive change. Eizelle earned a BA from Barnard College.
Lower School Faculty
Now in her second year at Nightingale, Lisa serves as Kindergarten Associate Teacher while Ms. Allison is on maternity leave. After graduating from Amherst College, Lisa worked as an after school educator at a Brooklyn-based non-profit and at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.