Primary Faculty

DickAshley Dick - Primary Assistant Teacher

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Ashley Dick assists Jennifer Graham in Primary. Ashley began working in our afterschool program in 2007. Prior to joining the staff at Woodland Hill, Ashley worked for three years as an assistant teacher at Children’s Corner Daycare Center. Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the College of St. Rose.

 

GrahamJennifer Graham – Primary Head Teacher

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Jennifer Graham has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Elmira College. She has her Early Childhood credential from the Center of Montessori Teacher Education in New Rochelle, NY. Jennifer previously owned and operated Our World Montessori. She was also a previous teacher at Woodland Hill (but then we were called Montessori School of Albany), and the Montessori Toddlers’ and Children’s House.

 

Jeanne II Jeanne Lee - Primary Assistant Teacher

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Jeanne has a bachelor's degree in communication from Cornell University and a master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University at Albany. She also is certified by New York State in TESOL Grades K-12. She has worked as an English Language Learner/English as a New Language since 2012 in the Guilderland, Bethlehem, and Paterson (NJ) School Districts. 

 

LenihanNicole Lenihan - Primary Head Teacher

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 Nicole has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the Sage Colleges, and a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University. Nicole has her Early Childhood credential from Northeast Montessori Institute. She has worked at WHMS since 2015.

 

McDermottKristen McDermott – Primary Assistant Teacher

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Kristen McDermott holds an associate's degree in Early Childhood from HVCC and completed her student teaching at Woodland Hill. She works as Cassandre Rowe's teacher assistant. Kristen has been working at WHMS since 2008. She began working in the summer program continuing with us as a substitute before becoming an assistant teacher.

 

PelizariJessica Pelizari - Primary Head Teacher

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Jessa Pelizari is now the lead teacher in the classroom she has shared with Erin for the past three years.  Jessa has been an assistant teacher at Woodland Hill since 2016.  Before becoming a Montessorian, Jessa worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  She has a bachelor's degree from West Chester University and a master's degree in Communication Sciences & Disorder from The College of Saint Rose.  Jessa is currently studying with the West Side Montessori Teacher Preparation Program to earn her American Montessori Society early childhood credential.  Jessa has also been a children’s choir director, and has taught piano, French, and yoga. 

 

PuchnerStephanie Puchner – Primary Head Teacher

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Stephanie Puchner has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in Human Development and Family Studies and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University at Albany. She has worked in a variety of roles helping families as a social worker, with kids in day camp, and as an advocate for children and families at the Berkshire Center for Families and Children. Stephanie started working at WHMS in 2013. She became credentialed through the Northeast Montessori Training Institute. 

 

RoweCassandre Rowe – Primary Head Teacher

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Cassandre Rowe holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education Montessori (AMS) from Barry University. She has been a Primary Head Teacher since 2006. Her previous experience includes work as an assistant teacher in a Florida Montessori Preschool and as a Kindergarten teacher at Pine Hills Montessori Day Care for three years. During her third year at Pine Hills, Cassandre served as the Interim Director.

 

Callie IICallie Terpstra - Primary Assistant Teacher

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Callie has been working as a lead preschool teacher since graduating with a bachelor's degree in early childhood and childhood education from SUNY Geneseo.  Her independent study of  Montessori philosophy and pedagogy has inspired her to incorporate Montessori practice into her preschool classroom. We are excited to have Callie join us. 

 

WimberleyNaomi Wimberly-Hartman, Primary Assistant Teacher

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Naomi Wimberley-Hartman will be stepping into a new role at Woodland Hill as an Assistant Teacher in Stephanie's class. For the past five years, Naomi has been our Primary Movement and Dance Elective teacher. She has a bachelor's degree in dance from Mount Holyoke College, a master's degree in dance from the University of California, Irvine, and a master's degree in teaching from Bennington College. Naomi has an extensive background teaching dance, movement, and general education in environments as varied as Bank Street School for Children in NYC, to high school in Hawaii, to the University of California, Irvine.