Elementary Faculty

Julie AdamsJulie Adams – Lower Elementary Teacher

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Julie Adams holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and AMS 6-9 certification. Julie first joined our faculty in 1985. She has the distinction of being Montessori School of Albany's (as WHMS was then known) first elementary teacher and taught for six years before taking time off to raise her children. Julie rejoined our faculty in 1997 and has served as Head Teacher in one of our Lower Elementary classes since then.

 

AgudoPatricia Agudo - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

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Patricia joins WHMS as an Assistant Teacher in Julie Adams' classroom. Patricia is an Association Montessori Internationale-certified early childhood teacher and worked as a Montessori teacher in South Carolina for five years. Previously, Patricia was a practicing attorney for 12 years in Spain. She is credentialed through the Greenville Montessori Institute.

 

00057Cindy Bishop – Upper Elementary Teacher

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Cindy Bishop earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1993 from the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 2001, Cindy attended CMTE/NY in New Rochelle, where she received her Montessori 6-9 training. She taught in the Lower Elementary classroom for six years, when she returned to CMTE/NY to earn the Elementary II credential in 2006.  In 2016, Cindy completed her M.Ed with Montessori emphasis from Chaminade University. Cindy currently teaches in the Upper Elementary.

 

00058Sandy Blakeman – Lower Elementary Teacher

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Sandra Blakeman received her bachelor’s degree in literature from Bard College. She studied elementary education at SUNY New Paltz and held New York  State Certification for grades K-6. Sandy studied Montessori education at the Center for Montessori Teacher Education in New Rochelle, N.Y. She holds Montessori certification for ages 6-9 and 9-12. Prior to coming to WHMS, Sandy taught at Windmill Montessori School in Brooklyn, NY and the Montessori House of Children in London, Ontario. She has worked for C.M.T.E. and Princeton Montessori Center supervising Montessori Interns. Sandy was a teacher trainer and consultant to Albany’s Montessori Magnet Public School. Sandy has served on several New York State Association of Independent Schools Accreditation Committees. Sandy has taught Lower Elementary classes at WHMS since 1992. She is married to former longtime Upper Elementary teacher Andrew McClain and is a proud Montessori mama of three WHMS alumni.

 

00081Patrick Cartwright – Upper Elementary Teacher

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Patrick Cartwright has a bachelor’s degree in English from Hamilton College and a J.D. from Albany Law School. Patrick began teaching at WHMS in 2010. Formerly running a well-respected law firm, Patrick made a life changing decision to pursue his passion for teaching. Prior to his work as an attorney, Patrick worked as an environmental educator, ski and sailing instructor.

 

00113Olga Febus – Lower Elementary Teacher

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Olga Febus holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Xavier Pontifical University in Colombia, South America, and completed master’s courses from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. Olga began her career as an elementary school counselor for Sacred Heart School in San Juan Puerto Rico. After living in the West Coast and Europe, Olga came to WHMS in 2004 and worked in Primary for two years prior to moving to Lower Elementary. Olga holds Early Childhood Certification from the Center for Montessori Education in New Rochelle, NY. Olga has worked at WHMS since 2004.

 

00168Sara Howard - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

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Sara Howard is the Assistant Teacher in Melinda's class. She started working at WHMS in 2018, prior to which, Sara worked at Albany Academy for 18 years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Hobart and William Smith College and a master's degree in psychology from Washington College in Maryland. Sara is NYS-certified in Special Education and as a Public School Teacher (Pre K, K, and Grades 1-6) She has also coached soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse for twenty years.  

 

MorrisonKim Morrison - Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

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Kim is the Assistant Teacher with Michele Praileau. Kim has experience working in many capacities at Woodland Hill. She has served as an all-level assistant teacher, substitute teacher, and art assistant teacher. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University at Albany and is currently enrolled in the Elementary Assistant training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

 

 00282Michele Praileau – Upper Elementary Teacher

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Michele holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton a master’s degree in Counselor Education from Syracuse University. She has worked with school-aged children as an Education Assistant at the Boys & Girls Clubs in New York City and with college students at Cornell University and the University at Albany. Michele has worked in the Upper Elementary classes since 2007.

 

00286Melinda Putney - Lower Elementary Teacher

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Melinda is a Head Teacher in the Lower El. Prior to joining WHMS in 2018, Melinda was an Upper Elementary Montessori teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina in a public Montessori school.  Prior to her work in North Carolina, Melinda taught in New York City, at the Family School and at Brooklyn Heights Montessori. In addition to her teaching work, Melinda is a published author. She has two non-fiction children’s books and has written articles for the Public School Montessorian. Melinda has a bachelor’s degree in Russian and European Studies from Yale, and a master’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Rose. She has (AMS) Montessori certification from CMTE in Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary.   

  

RolandToni Roland - Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

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Toni Roland will be working with Cindy Bishop as her Assistant Teacher, and will continue teaching Middle School math in addition to her new role. Toni is a veteran teacher who has taught math to elementary through high school students for many years. Toni has a bachelor's degree in education from SUNY Geneseo, a master's degree in Human Resources and Curriculum from Georgia State University, and a master's degree in Mathematics Education from Texas State University.  

Jodi Jodi Selzer

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Jodi has a bachelor's degree in liberal studies from San Diego State University. Jodi has been working at Woodland Hill in various assistant roles and as a substitute teacher since 2017. She came to us from California where she spent 12 years as a physical education teacher and 10 years teaching second grade.

 

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Vinita Shekhar – Upper Elementary Assistant Teacher

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Vinita Shekhar has worked at WHMS since 2009. She serves as an Assistant Teacher with Patrick Cartwright Vinita has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, English literature and economics. She also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Special Education, and a Montessori Primary overview training. Previous to WHMS, Vinita worked at The National Center for Cerebral Palsy for three years as head teacher and as Vice-Principal for a short term. She has also done voluntary work with the Special Kids Enrichment program in Atlanta, relief and support work in Bombay.

 

00326John Slater - Lower Elementary Assistant Teacher

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John joined the WHMS faculty in 2018 as an Assistant Teacher in Heather Kostell's class. John most recently worked as a Clinical Assistant at the Center for Disability Services in Albany. His prior work experience includes working at the Center for Disability Services and Unity House in Troy. John has a bachelor’s degree in childhood education from the College of St. Rose, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction there as well.