Meet Our Amazing Teachers

Arnaud Berger, Assistant Teacher

Arnaud grew up in France and after 20 years in the business world, he decided to shift careers and become a teacher. He holds an M.B.A. from ESSEC Business School in France and is currently working on his M.A. in Early Childhood with a French-English bilingual extension at Hunter College. Arnaud obtained his Early Childhood Montessori Certification from West Side Montessori School in New York. He fell in love with early childhood when his two sons were babies. He relocated to New York two years ago with his wife and two sons. Since then, he’s been teaching French in a preschool in Queens and as a Montessori Intern at Washington Market School.

Stacey Ann Brossia, Lead Teacher

Stacey brings over 10 years of diverse education experience to Battery Park Montessori. As a child, she craved exposure to the arts, so she latched onto rare opportunities in the classroom that allowed her creativity to blossom. As an adult, she took this childhood longing and became an instructor and choreographer for the New Hampshire Dance Institute. She went on to create an arts enrichment program called Artsploration that served students from pre-kindergarten through upper elementary. When she’s not teaching, she likes visiting museums, dancing, hiking, and generally being as active as she can. She is a board game fanatic and a dog lover.

Michelle Dion, Lead Teacher

Michelle is a teacher with over 15 years of experience in childcare and preschool education. After completing her B.A. at SUNY Purchase, she experienced an entirely new environment while working as an ESL teacher in Thailand. This inspired her to implement Montessori-style approaches into her own classrooms. Michelle purposely sought out environments that complimented her evolving teaching style. She held firm to the belief that a child's perception and love for themselves effects who they become as adults. It also effects how they relate to, empathize with, interact, and influence the world as adults. This bold way of thinking about education led her to Green Ivy. She received her Early Childhood Montessori Certification at West Side Montessori in 2015. This is her fourth year at Battery Park Montessori. The stunning natural beauty of Battery Park is a daily source of professional and personal inspiration. Michelle never shies away from a hearty laugh, which is a universal language for children. She loves singing, jewelry making, hiking with her niece, taking photos and scrapbooking.

Terri Hennessy, Lead Teacher

Terri was born in Philadelphia and moved to Staten Island. She’s lived in Japan, Australia, Denmark and China. She returned to New York City in 2015. Terri holds a B.A. in English from Wagner College in Staten Island, NY, and she obtained the Early Childhood Montessori Certification from the Montessori Teacher Education Center (MTEC) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Terri brings a diverse experience, which comes from living in various countries and working with many different kinds of people. She has a genuine interest in learning from the children who have an incredibly unique perspective on the world. Her time teaching in Japan helped her discover that her true passion is teaching and her time training and teaching in the SF Bay Area solidified both that passion and commitment to the teachings of Maria Montessori. Living abroad gave her a better understanding of herself and of those around her and eager to learn more about both new people and other cultures. In her spare time, you can frequently find Terri listening to live music, on her bicycle, or curling up with a good dystopian novel.

Maria Horsford, Lead Teacher

Maria has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and her Montessori certification for children ages 3-6. Previously a longstanding member of one of NYC’s most respected Montessori schools – West Side Montessori – Maria spent the last several years working with West Side’s Third Year/Kindergarten aged students. She is excited to be joining Battery Park’s Montessorians this coming September. Maria lives in Brooklyn with her family. When she is not teaching she loves to read, go to the park and visit museums. Maria’s favorite food is pizza!

Diane Schatz, Assistant Teacher

Diane Schatz is very happy to be part of the Battery Park Montessori School staff! She graduated from St. Francis College with a B.A. in English. After graduating she worked at Play and Learn Preschool in Queens as an assistant teacher with the 2-4 year olds. She is currently studying for her Master’s in Early Childhood Education.

Corina Sanchez, Lead Teacher

Corina holds a B.A. in Psychology, with a focus on Child Psychology and Art Therapy from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, NY. Originally from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, she’s lived for most of her life in Indian Village in the Bronx and recently relocated to Brooklyn.

For the past 10 years, she’s worked with children ages newborn to adolescents at the New York Sports Club for Kids and Little Wizards preschool in the Bronx. She believes working alongside children of all ages has given her the ability to understand their needs and truly view the world through their eyes.

She loves Green Ivy because she has the opportunity to be creative and explore children’s individual personalities, while learning and thriving independently at their own pace. She enjoys play and exploring the world, as children do. Her favorite thing to do is try new foods and restaurants in the area. She also enjoys trying new aerobic classes such as Zumba, Kickboxing, and Step. She likes to go to the movies and visiting new restaurants. Her greatest joy is her family

Emily Thomas, Assistant Teacher

Emily has a B.A. in Psychology, a B.A. in Theatre from Converse College, and is currently completing the Early Childhood Montessori credential program. She’s been working with Primary-aged children since moving to New York in 2011.

A Montessori child herself from ages 2-12, and she brings deep understanding to her career teaching the philosophy that was so instrumental in shaping her as a person. She believes all students can become joyful, self-actualized learners under the guidance of skilled teachers who present opportunities for challenging, engaging work, that will spark their curiosity and seed a life-long love of learning.

Originally from South Carolina, Emily loves to create art, spend time in nature, and explore the cultural treasures of New York City with her students. She feels a deep responsibility not only for their physical development but also for the development of their minds, hearts, and values.

Kat Walker, Lead Teacher

Kat has been with Battery Park Montessori since we first opened our doors! She is a born Montessorian. Kat grew up in North Carolina, attending Montessori school throughout her elementary years. Her favorite thing about teaching is witnessing as children unfold their blueprints and build the foundations for who they will be as future learners. She obtained her Montessori certification from West Side Montessori School, and is completing a Masters degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Special Education.

She holds a B.F.A. in dance performance. Kat spent years teaching dance before moving into the Montessori environment to teach. You'll see her dancing in the bean, or improvising on the patio. She pulls from her knowledge of dance and the body to help growing children get moving in new and unexpected ways.

Kat lives in Brooklyn with her dog, Fauna. On the weekends she goes to museums, plays in the park, or cooks big meals for all of her friends.

Yan (Chaonan Yan) 闫超男

Yan brings 5 years of combined experience as a Kindergarten teacher, vocal coach and Mandarin instructor. She is also a professionally trained opera singer! Her favorite opera is Marriage of Figaro and her favorite piece is “O mio babbino caro.” A native Mandarin speaker, Yan grew up in the Shandong province in northern China, about 400 km south of Beijing. She received a bachelors in vocal performance from Liaoning Normal University in Dalian and has been accepted to the Manhattan School of Music master’s program. Yan lives on the Upper West Side where she is enrolled in a Montessori certification program.

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