Hobbyhorse Staff

Spring 2019

Claire Anderson '95 is the co-director of Hobbyhorse as well as associate head of Lower School. She is a graduate of Kenyon College and received her master’s degree from Bank Street College of Education. In her free time, she enjoys traveling as well as exploring all types of technology.

Felicia Vinces is the co-director of Hobbyhorse and the Lower School math coordinator. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga and cooking.

Elizabeth Adler is a substitute teacher at Nightingale, as well as a private music teacher and tutor outside of the school. She is a graduate of Brown University and received a master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. In her free time, she writes songs and sings in a choir.

ASL Discoveries is a well-known company that teaches American Sign Language (ASL) to all who are interested in learning! Active participation is a must when discovering this beautiful, visual language. For more information about ASL Discoveries, click here.

Elizabeth Balay is the co-director of ASL Discoveries and has over 10 years experience working with children. She holds a master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology and has worked in the field for approximately seven years. 

Julia Mignoli is the co-director of ASL Discoveries and is a certified Teacher of the Deaf who has been working with children and in the teaching field for more than 10 years. She holds a master's degree in Deaf Education and has worked in that field for approximately five years. Her love for children and passion for ASL is a flame that has been forever ignited.

Batoto Yetu has been a fixture in the community since its humble beginnings on a Harlem playground over 20 years ago. Batoto Yetu has worked tirelessly to positively influence youth development through the joy of dance and the integration of the cultural arts of Southern and Western Africa. "Our young dancers benefit from and deliver to their audiences the experience of pure and boundless joy."

Ruthie Bodell is a Class IV homeroom teacher. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College and received her MS in education from Bank Street College of Education.

Creative Art Start (CAS) runs numerous after-school programs and a summer arts camp in New York City. All our activities are carefully structured and planned to meet the needs of each age group. All offerings are an exciting and fun-filled journey into new territories, creative and educational. Our teachers are experienced specialist artists and makers who are passionate about STEAM-related activities specifically for younger students.

Tatiana Bermeo is a graduate of Adelphi University’s Art and Design Education program. She loves hands-on work with hi-lo technology and STEAM. She has extensive experience workshopping STEAM with teachers and teaching younger students. She is passionate about tinkering, inventing, and making imaginative and real world "machines" with students. She will be teaching Heroines United.

Teresa Miró is an artist and educator from Spain; she has been living and teaching in the United States since 2009. Teresa got her MFA degree in "Intermedia" at Arizona State University and loves teaching and creating multidisciplinary and play-based activities that combine art, technology, and science. She will be teaching Zero Gravity Space Adventures.

Curated Care is a vibrant and feel-good community. Our "Kid Experts" are Broadway actors, Rhodes Scholars, Juilliard dancers, and Montessori teachers. We've created a platform that supports arts and education.

Broadway Dance teacher Natasha began dancing at the age of seven after seeing The Nutcracker with her grandmother. She graduated from Penn State University with a BA in dance and a BS in education. She moved to NYC to pursue her two passions, dancing and teaching. She is excited to share her love of Broadway dance with Nightingale students.

DramaZone instructors are trained and certified by DramaZone in addition to being outstanding artists and teachers. Our primary goal is to make learning fun! Our teaching staff come with specialized and advanced degrees, and work on and off Broadway.

Joel Hinds-Ortiz is the head chef at Nightingale. Prior to joining our kitchen, he worked at St. David’s, Argentelle Catering, and Special Events and Entertaining Ideas Catering. He enjoys teaching all his recipes to the children.

Shernaz Kennedy (Top Level Chess) is one of America's leading chess teachers. She instills in students the means to unlock the secret of the world's greatest game. In 1987 she was ranked number two on the US Olympiad Team. She has started chess programs at Browning, Buckley, Trinity, Dwight, and All Souls Church. She even helped World Champion Bobby Fischer in his successful comeback match in 1992.

Kids in Sports is entering its 20th year of teaching children in New York City. Our after-school athletics program focuses on individual sports and works on teaching specific sports skills and rules and getting into modified or actual gameplay each week.  

Motumbaxé Capoeira was founded by Joao Bispo de Souza Neto, known as Mestre Lampréia. He was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, where he began learning Capoeira in 1989. Lampréia has been teaching Capoeira since 1995 in South America, Africa, Europe, and the United States. He moved to NYC in 2002 and since then has been teaching Capoeira in public and private schools and via his group Motumbaxé, which now has its own academy. He facilitates some of this work as well through his nonprofit Allied Capoeira Arts Initiative (A.C.A.I.) Lampréia specializes in work with children, but also offers adult programming. Between Capoeira and Jiu Jitsu classes at his academy and programs in several schools, he works with about 200 children ages 3–18, every week.

Mike Mohr has worked with children for much of the past 30 years, developing and leading outdoor, adventure-based after-school programs in New York City since 1998. Mike started Mohr’s Explorers during the 2003–2004 school year and is thrilled to continue bringing his brand of enthusiasm, passion, and sense of "EDventure" into the lives of the program’s participants. In his free time, when not trying to dream up new activities, he is probably wrapped up with the Yankees or anything Ohio State.

Jenn Pentecost is a teaching artist with an extensive background working with students of all ages in schools and in a non-profit community arts organization as a visual art instructor and studio director. Committed to providing extraordinary creative-thinking education and fostering creative courage in all people, she is passionate about embracing and nurturing every person’s creative self-esteem through the creative process, project-based learning, and individual learning styles. Her teaching practice is centered around the exploration of self and the exposure to a wide variety of materials and media. Each individual—through sustained, careful guidance in a supportive, creative environment—is capable of becoming an innovative thinker and doer. She holds a BA from Ohio University, with a strong background in art history, and received the A+ educator award from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 2014.

Annalise Porras is the director of Nightingale's FLES (Foreign Language in Elementary School) program. She is a graduate of Western Washington University and received her MA in international and multicultural education from the University of San Francisco. Outside of school, she loves to spend time traveling around the world and working in the Museum of Modern Art's education department.

Ron Prosper is a member of the physical education department at St. Bernard’s School where he has directed the tennis program for over 20 years. He will be assisted by an experienced staff that strives for interest, action, and enthusiasm when learning and playing tennis.

Jo-Anna Roach has taught Chinese and Japanese brush painting and calligraphy to Lower School students at Nightingale for the past 17 years. An Acadia University graduate, she has lived, studied, traveled, and taught throughout Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and India.

Spark Academy is an innovative educational organization dedicated to promoting financial literacy and entrepreneurship among young students. Our programs have been praised as pioneering by Business Week, Bloomberg TV, and international newspapers as well as local parents.