PLEASED to Meet You

Lara Pinto Stein

Lara's passion has always been to infuse children with the joy of learning, motivate them to reach their greatest potential, and equip them with the personalized techniques that will enable them to achieve their goals.  Over the past thirteen years as a classroom teacher, literacy coach and private tutor, she has helped hundreds of children with a wide diversity of needs. Tutoring and teaching has been Lara’s lifelong passion. While receiving her master's degree at Columbia University, Teachers College, she taught at a New York City private nursery school. As a high-school student at Horace Mann, she spent her Saturday mornings participating in HM’s weekend program for local children, “Saturday Morning Tutoring”.  When she was an undergraduate at Lehigh University, she tutored in the university’s community outreach program.  After receiving her M.Ed at Teachers College, Columbia University, she spent eight years as a teacher in both mainstream and ICT classrooms at the highly-ranked P.S.158 on the Upper East Side.  For the last four years, Lara was the school’s literacy coach, supporting pre-k to 5th grade teachers and students. During this time, she conducted countless professional development sessions to educate teachers in literacy content. While teaching, she continued to take graduate school courses, earning an M.S. in School Building and District Leadership and underwent training for the Orton Gillingham Approach, a multi-sensory, specialized instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. She is currently undergoing her associate level certification.  Her nurturing personality, compassion, and expertise make her the perfect educator to work with your child.

Founder

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Featured in NY Times Article, 2014

Staff Development & Leadership Roles

Professional Trainings & Degrees

  • PS 158, Literacy Coach

  • Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Summer Institute, Palo Alto, CA

  • PS 111, 5-day series

  • NYC District 2 and United Federation of Teachers Balanced Literacy series

  • Presenter at NYC District 2 Principals' Conference

  • Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, ELA Test Prep Curriculum Writer

  • Orton Gillingham, Associate & Certified level training (Associate-in-training)

  • Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Summer Institutes

  • Columbia University, Teachers College, Childhood Education, M.Ed

  • Touro College, School Building and District Leadership, M.S.

  • Lehigh University, Psychology, B.A.

Keri Lattanzio

Teaching has always been a passion for Keri. Her passion shines through when working in a small group or individual setting. Keri has spent the past six years as an Academic Intervention Service teacher, specializing in Mathematics, at a Long Island-based school.  Prior to that, she spent five years as a 3rd grade inclusion classroom teacher at a Manhattan-based public school.  Keri’s education background includes undergraduate studies where she obtained a dual Bachelors of Science in Economics & Marketing and post-graduate studies where she earned her Masters of Science in Elementary Education.  Currently, Keri is working towards her Associate certification in the Orton-Gillingham Approach (a direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive way to teach literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals). She is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, as well as the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Keri works with preschoolers and elementary students. She creates lessons based on their learning styles and learning needs in order to foster a love of learning and help them soar to their full potential. 

Tell me and I’ll forget. 

Show me and I may remember. 

Involve me and I’ll understand.

Mara Trager

Mara’s teaching philosophy and passion is supporting students as they get to know themselves as individuals, helping them to reflect on their strengths and think about where to take them next. Her goal is to help all students so that they can access their school’s curriculum and be successful learners. Mara has been a teacher and private tutor for the past 15 years.  After graduation from Boston University as an undergraduate and Fordham University with a Masters in Childhood Education, she began her career at one of the highest performing schools in New York City and continued teaching at a Blue Ribbon suburban elementary school in Northern NJ. While teaching in New York City, Mara worked closely with staff developers from the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project and Math in the City.  Mara spent five years in a co-teaching classroom as a general education teacher. In addition to working in the classroom, Mara has been an Intervention Specialist for grades K-5 focusing on goal setting and small-group instruction. Mara is also a Literacy Consultant, working with Jennifer Serravallo, consulting in schools in the tristate area, as well as throughout the country. Currently, she is a Learning Specialist at Westchester Day School in Mamaroneck, NY. This past summer, Mara began her certification for the Orton Gillingham Approach, a multi-sensory, specialized instruction for students with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Her warmth, compassion and flexible nature make her a good fit with students of all ages and learning styles.

Nicole Shields

Nicole has always loved discovering the ‘spark’ in children and tapping into what inspires and excites them about learning. Nicole is a believer in the power of positive praise and encouragement for children -  coupled with great instruction. Nicole has spent the last five years as a Mathematics Consultant at a wide variety of New York City schools supporting teachers in grades pre-K through 8 with Math in the City, City College. Nicole also is a private Literacy Consultant and supports schools who use a Balanced Literacy approach. Before her role as a staff developer, Nicole taught for 13 years at the reputable P.S. 158 in Manhattan.  There she was a classroom teacher, an Integrated Co-teacher, a mentor, and an Academic Intervention Provider. Her classroom was often selected as a model teaching labsite for other educators and administrative guests. Nicole is a lifelong learner; she enjoys exploring the unique and under-explored connection between literacy and mathematics learning. This Fall she will be an Adjunct Lecturer at Hunter College. Nicole has participated in Learn to Lead with Cathy Fosnot, NCTM conference, Metamorphosis Leadership workshop with Lucy West, professional development from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, Columbia University and Math in the City. Nicole received her Master’s of Science in Education from Fordham University. She is pursuing her Literacy Certificate from combined coursework at Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University. 

‘Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.’

–Scott Hayden, famed American composer

Katie Schor

Katie believes that students learn best when they know that their community is invested in their success and happiness; when they feel that they are understood as individuals; when they believe they have voices that are valued and respected; and when they are held to the highest of expectations.  A seasoned educator of twenty years, Katie has taught a range of ages, from elementary through college, and a wide spectrum of learners in a variety of settings including The Brearley School, P.S 40, and the American Overseas School of Rome. Currently a 4th grade teacher,  she was also a member of the College Department at Uncommon Collegiate High School, where she supported her students through the college application process and counseled them through college.  A native New Yorker, Katie is a graduate of The Town School, The Brearley School, and Colgate University, where she received her B.A. in English and her New York State teaching certification.  She holds a Masters in Education with a focus in clinical literacy from Bank Street College of Education. In addition to her academic career, Katie teaches yoga to adults and is a trained Radiant Child yoga instructor.

Ivy’s passion has always been working with young children.  She believes in a hands-on approach and integrating learning throughout all activities.  Ivy majored in Child and Family Studies while at Syracuse University and  graduated with a dual masters in Early Childhood and Elementary education from Hofstra University. For the past 10 years, Ivy has taught at various private schools in NYC, created curriculum for toddler- Pre-K programming and has been a private tutor. 

Ivy Greenberg

Stephanie Costa

Stephanie has always believed that every child deserves to have that special teacher in their corner helping them reach their fullest potential. For the past six years, Stephanie has taught at various ages and institutions (public, charter, and private) where she has helped students find their love of learning by becoming lifelong learners. She attended the University of Delaware, majoring in Human Services and minoring in Educational Studies. The year she graduated, she taught at  Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens. After moving to New York City, she worked at Success Academy in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, in a culturally diverse K-4 elementary school where she honed her craft and refined her teaching knowledge. Stephanie taught kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and fourth grade. In second and fourth grade classrooms, she was the lead special education teacher for an ICT classroom. She also earned a Master of Science Degree in Childhood Education & Special Education from Touro College. The past two years, Stephanie has spent teaching 5th grade at an elite private school in Santa Monica. She is happy to be back in New York and looks forward to working with your family! 

Emily Schwartz

Arielle Ray

Emily Schwartz, M.S. CCC-SLP is a bilingual (Spanish) Speech-Language Pathologist and experienced tutor. Emily received a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Spanish at Bucknell University and a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a Bilingual Extension at Teachers College, Columbia University. She maintains certification in Speech-Language Pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed in New York State. She also holds a certification as Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD). Emily currently works at Winston Preparatory School, a special education school, providing individualized support for middle and high school students with language-based learning disorders and difficulties. She has gained extensive experience implementing and developing curriculums to serve students with language and learning needs. Through her work, she believes in creating a positive and energetic learning environment for her students to help them achieve their highest potential. Her areas of speciality include executive functioning deficits, reading, writing, vocabulary, organizational skills, and Spanish.

Arielle is an experienced educator and private tutor specializing in ELA instruction in Grades 4 through 8. She has a Bachelors in Comparative Literature and Spanish from Cornell University and a Masters in Elementary Education and Special Education from Touro College, and she is currently pursuing a Masters of Social Work from NYU. She has five years of classroom teaching experience, primarily as a middle school English teacher, and she has worked in private, charter, and public school environments. She also has two years of private 1:1 tutoring experience, and one year of experience designing Common Core-aligned curriculum and assessments for Grades 3 through 8. She feels exceptionally lucky to be able to continue pursuing her passion as an educator while training for her new career in clinical social work. As a burgeoning mental health professional with a background in education, Arielle believes that a warm, supportive relationship with a teacher is paramount for student learning. She prioritizes making her students feel cared for and safe so that they can take intellectual risks that will help them grow as learners. She also believes in the power of engaging, interactive, and academically rigorous lessons to inspire students and maximize student growth. She looks forward to partnering with you to support your child socially, emotionally, and academically. 

Mariella Mannino

Nora Solomon

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

- Aristotle

Julie Ross

Mari’s passion for education lies in the idea that every child has a unique path to achieving high standards and that equipping children with the skills and confidence necessary to meet and exceed their own goals fosters independence and empowers them to make their own informed decisions as citizens in our local and global communities. Mari is currently in her 7th year of teaching middle school science. She is passionate about adapting her curriculum so that all students feel connected to the content and that their thinking about the natural world around them has been challenged. For the last three years, Mari has worked with the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University to write a curriculum that incorporates reading, writing, and research skills, along with social action components, into her project-based science units. She has a deep knowledge of science literature for children and has spent the last 6 years curating both digital and physical science libraries for her students. Mari has additional experience as an academic coach and one-to-one private tutor for the NY Biology Regents exam, and previously served as a co-teacher and state exam scorer for middle school math. Mari graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Economics and Business Management and earned an M.A. in Middle Childhood Science Education with a Specialization in Biology from CUNY Brooklyn College. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar and a 2019-2023 Math for America Master Science Teacher Fellow.

Nora is a born and raised New Yorker with a degree from Bank Street College and a professional teaching certificate in childhood general and special education. Having close family experience with the special education process and its impact on students and families, it became her calling to advocate for families and students with learning differences. She has taught grades pre-K through 5th in various classroom settings including self contained and integrated co-taught classrooms (ICT). For the last three years, she has been the student support coordinator at a charter school in the Bronx where she supports the director of student support in overseeing special education at her school including the individual educational plan (IEP) process, special education meetings and collaboration with all teachers and families. In this role Nora is also an intervention/special education teacher support services (SETSS) teacher. She works with students who require extra support or have a reading disability. Her training includes Preventing Academic Failure (PAF), Wilson Fundations, is trained in Orton Gillingham and working toward her associate level certification. Part of her teaching philosophy is making sure all students and families she works with feel connected, respected and trusted. Those core three allow for a partnership that celebrates successes and embrace as well as overcome challenges together. When not teaching reading skills or supporting in the special education process, Nora loves theater, playing board games, running and reading. Ways I can support: Special education family advocate, individual learning plan process and implementation support, organizational skills, learning disability tutor in literacy including dyslexia and homework help.

Julie’s approach to education is to inspire curiosity and confidence, in order to create lifelong learners. She believes in the power of positive reinforcement, and creates a safe learning environment for her students. She passionately believes there are multiple ways to learn, and tailors instruction to meet the needs of each student. She enjoys learning, so she instills that same joy in her students. Julie graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2002, with a degree in International Business and Marketing. She decided to pursue her calling to teach, however, and moved to New York in 2003, after being accepted into the New York City Teaching Fellow’s Program. She received her Master’s of Science in Education, and is dual certified in teaching Students with Special Needs and Common Branch. She taught sixth grade at I.S. 303 in Coney Island for three years, where she served as a math consultant, and collaborated with staff on developing literacy and creative writing curriculum. She also worked closely with parents to encourage trust and open communication. Julie left I.S. 303 to accept a position at P.S. 8, in order to grow in her professional development. She received training in Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, and the Wilson Reading Program

Gabriela is passionate about engaging students through their hearts and imaginations. She helps students identify and refine their learning patterns in order to achieve their goals. Gabriela worked as a middle school French teacher and academic advisor at the Horace Mann School for three years, and previously taught English on the remote French-African island of La Réunion. Gabriela is trained in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Teaching Method, which enlivens and personalizes academic work through hands-on experiences and creative play-based approaches. She is a graduate of Amherst College and Deerfield Academy, and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Gabriela’s energetic, curious, and warm personality allow her to create lasting connections with her students and their families.

Gabriela Espinosa

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Hello friends! My name is Camille Trotman. I’m a native New Yorker with a bachelor’s from Johnson C. Smith University in Childhood Education. I also have a master’s in Gifted Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. I am currently pursuing my School Building Leader (SBL) Certification with Bank Street College of Education, specializing in Early Childhood Leadership. I have been a kindergarten teacher with the Department of Education for seven years. Teaching has always been my passion and I absolutely love it! I’ve always taken a hands-on approach to learning as my teaching style. I believe it is important to respond to children’s individual needs to help them thrive. My philosophy is that all children are individuals and respond to different ways of learning; so I pride myself on assessing and catering lessons in a way that I can best help the child I’m teaching. 

Camille Trotman

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Amanda grew up in Manhattan and attended the Nightingale-Bamford School on the Upper East Side. She received her Master's in Early Childhood Education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University. After graduate school, Amanda taught at P.S. 6, P.S.116, and the Nightingale-Bamford School. Amanda is very familiar with both the public as well as the private school academic curriculum. She is skilled in various reading and math programs, such PAF, TERC Math, Bridges Math, and the Teachers College Reading and Writing Program. Amanda works closely with parents by providing them with individualized guidance to ensure that each child reaches his or her fullest potential.

Amanda Espy

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Stacey is a University of Wisconsin- Madison graduate and current Columbia Teachers College Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching student with a passion for early childhood education. Over the past four years, she has had the opportunity to teach pre-kindergarten children of diverse backgrounds and ability levels. In addition to her experience in the classroom, Stacey has also served as a research assistant in the Child Emotion Research Lab exploring connections between emotion and childhood trauma in children and adults. Working with children in these different capacities has led Stacey to firmly believe in the importance of treating each child as an individual and brining joy into every lesson.The combination of Stacey’s experiences has led her to pursue a career goal of creating social justice education materials for young children.

Stacey Sukoff

Ali Schrager

Teaching and enriching the lives of young learners has always been a passion for Ali.  She is patient, empathetic, warm and nurturing.  Ali enjoys connecting with each individual student to gain his or her trust and she strives to determine how each child learns best, often using a multi-sensory approach. She helps her students gain the skills and confidence necessary to learn, grow and reach their fullest potentials. Ali received her master’s degree in general and special education from Hunter College in New York.  She has been teaching for more than 8 years, in a variety of environments. Her first teaching experience was at the Jewish Guild in New York where Ali taught deaf and blind students. This is where Ali realized her passion of teaching children, especially those who require special attention. Ali then taught at West End Day School in New York where she used her skills and sensitivity to work with students who struggled emotionally. Her latest teaching experience was at The Stephen Gaynor School in New York where she taught students with dyslexia and language-based learning differences.  At Stephen Gaynor, Ali was trained to use the Orton Gillingham Approach, a highly successful, multi-sensory approach to learning. Ali especially enjoys working one-on-one with children. There is no better way to connect and learn than to have individualized attention and care from an educator herself! Ali lives on Long Island, New York near Woodbury/Syosset with her husband and two young boys.