||Meet our New Faculty and Staff
||Trevor Allen, Kindergarten Associate Teacher
Originally from Ohio, Trevor has lived in New York City for the past ten years. He is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education at Hunter College and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Performance from Baldwin Wallace University. Before coming to Mandell, Trevor was a teacher at the Central Park Zoo where he also helped lead the Wildlife Theater and Outreach programs. He also taught early childhood education classes at Kidville, NY and Gymboree Play and Music. Bicycling in Central Park, Musical Theater and Cooking are some of Trevor’s hobbies.
Ariana Atler-Derr, Third Grade Associate Teacher
Ariana earned her B.A. in Mass Communications from Texas State University and her MS.Ed from Hunter College. Prior to joining Mandell, she taught kindergarten at the Bronx Charter School for Children and The Hewitt School. She loves to dance, cook, travel, and spend time with her 3-year old daughter, husband, and family.
Ben Chant, Head of the Elementary Division
Ben has worked for over 25 years in the New York City Independent school world and has taught or been an administrator at both single sex and co-ed Pre Kindergarten through 11th Grade schools. He earned a BA in English from University College London, an MS in Elementary Ed from Hunter College, and an Ed.M in Private School Administration from the Klingenstein Program at Teachers College. He is an enthusiastic supporter of technology in education and an active member in NYSAIS (New York State Association of Independent Schools).
Sherman Caldwell, French Teacher
Sherman began his teaching career at Northfield Mount Hermon School after earning his degree in French from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He took a break from teaching to work in banking and hospital accounting, but soon discovered that teaching was his passion. He returned to teaching at the Cardigan Mountain School for Boys in the late '90's. Most recently he taught French at Berkshire School and did individual tutoring at the Hotchkiss School. He is working on his Master's Degree from Middlebury College in Vermont. He and his wife Linda just relocated to the Yonkers area, and in their spare time enjoy music, cooking and many sports including tennis, ice hockey, soccer and American football.
Florence Chiu, Associate Teacher in the Nursery School
Florence was born and raised in Queens. She is currently a student at Bank Street College of Education in New York City pursuing her Master’s degree in Early General Childhood Education. In addition, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is experienced with training personnel. She is also the founder, coordinator, and head teacher of the Children’s Ministry and Sunday School at Ebenezer Mission Church in Oakland Gardens. Florence loves to read and get lost in various kinds of fiction novels. Having a strong passion for music, she learned to play the drums and guitar. One of her visions for the future is to have a music studio in her house.
Blair Cohn, Pre Kindergarten Head Teacher
Blair is originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland and received her Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from University of Maryland, College Park. After completing her Bachelor’s Degree, Blair moved to New York to pursue her passion for teaching. She recently completed her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College. The past four years, she worked as an Assistant Teacher in a preschool classroom at Chelsea Day School. She is currently in the process of completing her New York State Teacher’s Certification. Outside of the classroom her hobbies include, swimming, reading, theater, and traveling. Her passion is creating a safe and compassionate learning community in which her students and their families can learn and thrive.
Tiffany Della Vedova, Head of the Preparatory Division
Tiffany began her career in Florida as an English teacher at Boca Raton Preparatory School and transitioned four years later to a similar role at Grandview Preparatory School. While living in Florida her responsibilities grew to include several administrative roles at Grandview including Head of Middle and Upper School. When she moved with her family to New York in 2010, she remained with Grandview as the PK-12 Academic Dean, managing most tasks, including her teaching responsibilities, remotely via cloud-based technologies. In addition to her school leadership role at Mandell, she is an active blogger for ASCD and TeachHub. Tiffany received her BA in Elementary Education and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University.
Kristin Fichera, Head Kindergarten Teacher
Originally from Boston, Kristin received her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University and taught Pre-K at the Boston Children’s School for 2 years. She relocated to NYC in the fall of 2011 where she taught Pre K at the Tribeca Community School. She was drawn to Mandell because of its strong emphasis on community involvement and social responsibility.
Amelia Glauber, Head Teacher of the Second Grade
Amelia received a BA from Bowdoin College in Psychology and Education. Most recently, she completed dual masters at Bank Street in General and Special Childhood Education. Amelia spent the last three years at the Collegiate School teaching in a second and fourth grade classroom. With an interest in social skills and integrated curriculum, Amelia is excited to join the Mandell team!
Rebecca Gorham, Spanish Teacher in the Elementary Division
Rebecca is from North Carolina and just recently moved to Manhattan. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Spanish with a K-12 Teacher Licensure. She taught three years at the high school level and then decided to pursue a Graduate degree from North Carolina State University in Spanish and Linguistics. She served as a teaching assistant in her graduate program, teaching college courses, and she also co-led a study abroad program from NC STATE to Costa Rica. She is passionate about the Spanish language and culture, and feels very grateful to be part of the Mandell School community as their part-time Spanish teacher. Rebecca loves the Upper West Side and enjoys taking walks in Riverside Park with her husband, Walker, and her dog, Oliver.
Ashley Knauer, Third Grade Associate Teacher
Ashley earned her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA and a dual-master’s degree and certification in Childhood and Special Education from NYU. Ashley has taught at both the Lower Lab School and the Brooklyn New School. She spent two years working as a counselor at UCLA’s family summer camp Bruin Woods and has worked with students from kindergarten through sixth grade. A native of California, Ashley participated in and has continued to volunteer as a choreographer and representative for California’s Distinguished Young Women Program, a scholarship program for high school girls. As a former dancer and theater buff, Ashley spends her free time taking dance classes, watching classic musicals, and reading. Ashley is thrilled to be working at Mandell and looks forward to contributing to a welcoming, collaborative, and child-centered environment.
Hannah Lawton, Associate Teacher in the Pre School Division
Hannah is from the Boston area where she had worked for the previous two years as a Developmental Specialist, supporting infants and toddlers with delays and disabilities. Hannah received a BS in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Vermont. During her time at UVM, she had the opportunity to teach in a variety of settings, including a Reggio-Inspired infant room, a full-inclusion pre-school program, and an internship in early intervention. In addition to these placements, Hannah spent her free time as mentor for children from low-income families and as a Personal Care Assistant for a wonderful little girl with Down Syndrome. Hannah is passionate about creating a learning environment in which every child’s interests and abilities are recognized and respected.
Alexa Levy, Associate Teacher in the First Grade
Alex is originally from New Jersey and currently lives in Wayne, NJ. After earning her B.A. in Accountancy at Villanova University, Alex spent two years teaching in South Africa at a Zulu-speaking primary school. Upon her return to the U.S., Alex completed her M.A. in Elementary Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College. At Teachers College, Alex taught in Third Grade at the Hugo Newman Preparatory School and in the Fifth Grade at P.S. 87. In her spare time, Alex loves to cook, read, and spend time with her family and her poodle. As a teacher dedicated to serving her community, Alex is thrilled to be joining a school whose commitments to good citizenship and service mirror her own.
Margaret Metz, Director of External Affairs
Originally from Connecticut, Margaret has been living in Manhattan for 11 years. She brings 10 years of experience in both boarding and day schools. Margaret previously worked at The Groton School (her alma mater) and most recently, The Nightingale-Bamford School. She also sat on the Board of the Independent Schools Admissions Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY). Margaret was a double major in French and Government at Wesleyan University where she was also a tri-sport athlete in field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse. Some of Margaret’s favorite hobbies are reading, cooking, traveling, and taking long walks in Central park with her dog, Maizy.
Alison Mirylees, Fourth Grade Associate Teacher
Before joining Mandell, Alison worked at the Chapin School and completed an extended field placement at City & Country. She looks forward to returning to a co-educational setting. Alison was drawn to Mandell’s focus on respect, community, and recognizing the individual learning style of every child. Alison grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut and attended Hopkins School in New Haven, Connecticut. In 2006, she received her Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in History from the University of Vermont. In 2005, she was selected as Buckham Overseas Honors Scholar and attended the University of Kent in Canterbury, England and received a Diploma in English and a Honors Certificate in History. Presently, she is completing her thesis project at the Bank Street College of Education, where she is also an ambassador for the school and speaks at open houses and on panels. Alison is an enthusiastic cook and photographer.
Amanda Morton, Head Teacher of the Fourth Grade
Amanda brings to Mandell 14 years of teaching experience with the majority being in 4th & 5th grade. She graduated in 2010 from New York University with a Masters degree in Education Leadership: School Building Leader. In addition, she has a Masters in Elementary Education from The College of Saint Rose and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Iona College, where she played Division 1 Volleyball. Amanda is NY State certified in Elementary Education and has received recognition as a Master Teacher, a NCTM member, and has experience as a Math Coordinator. Mrs. Morton enjoys spending time with family, reading, cycling, and running.
Adriana Payne, Director of Admissions
Adriana joined the Mandell School as a parent in the Fall of 2008. She has been an active member of the PA for many years, co-chairing the Communications and Bloomingdale Library committees over the course of her time at Mandell. For the past several seasons, she has worked closely with the Admissions team as a tour guide across all divisions. Adriana brings a deep knowledge of our school together with a passion for education and her expertise in communications to her new role as the Director of Admissions. In her professional career, Adriana worked for many years in Public Relations and for the last decade in corporate communications and marketing in New York and London. Adriana holds a BA in Religion from Hamilton College and is the mother of two Mandell students. Adriana is a native of Chicago and attended The Latin School of Chicago, where she remains an active alumna. She enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, skiing and cooking with her husband and children.
Jayvoni Rogers, Assistant Teacher in the Nursery School
Jayvoni has earned his high school diploma from John F. Kennedy High School and his completion certification in Childcare from Contemporary Guidance Services. Jayvoni has experience working with children, as he most recently just completed an internship during his childcare training at a daycare, and has worked with toddlers during that time from the ages of 2 to 5 year olds. Born and raised in New York City on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Jayvoni has had some defining moments in his life here. At a very young age, he was selected out of hundreds to recite one of his poems at City College where shortly after it was published in City College’s poetry book. He later on, continued his love for writing and was then chosen to not only recite his poetry, but become the Master Of Ceremonies at the Annual Poetry Slam for District 75 at the Light House in lower Manhattan.
Katelyn Savage, P.E. Teacher
Katelyn graduated cum laude from Manhattan College in May 2011, earning a B.S. in Physical Education and minored in Biology and Adaptive Physical Education. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Health Education at Lehman College. She was a substitute teacher for the Scarsdale Union Free School District and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Katelyn is the junior varsity volleyball coach at Riverdale Country School and coaches the Scarsdale U17 Club Volleyball team. She has also coached middle school girls’ basketball and track and field. She is the head of the physical education staff at the Fieldston Outdoors Summer Camp. While at Manhattan College, Katelyn was an Academic All-American and a four year member of the indoor and outdoor track and field teams. Katelyn is excited to be a member of The Mandell School’s physical education department.
Debora Schwab, Associate Teacher in the Junior Kindergarten
Debora was born in Brazil and has lived in the U.S. for 10 years. She received a Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education from The City College of New York. Prior to joining Mandell, she taught the 2s and 3s classroom at Preschool of America. Debora is very excited to start teaching at Mandell and share her love for Science and Mathematics with her students.
Kim Weber, Fourth Grade Head Teacher
Kim comes to Mandell after teaching fourth grade for eight years in Nevada City, CA. Prior to that she worked in South San Francisco Unified School district as a third and fifth grade teacher. Kim earned her teaching credential from San Francisco State University and her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Human Development from Cal Poly State University. Throughout her career, Kim has served on many fundraising and curriculum committees. She utilizes a variety of literature, and incorporates real world experience through field trips into her classroom experience. In her spare time, Kim loves to run, read and dance. She is thrilled to be working at The Mandell School because of the emphasis on integrated, differentiated curriculum to best meet the needs of all students.