Primary Faculty

 

Ben Atwood

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Primary Assistant Teacher

Ben Atwood is the Assistant Teacher in Jessa's class. Most recently, Ben was working as an agriculture educator at the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center. His prior professional experience includes work as a substitute teacher at the Robert C. Parker School, a graduate assistant in the English Department at the College of Saint Rose, a teacher’s aide at Wildwood Programs, volunteering at Friday Knights at St. Rose, and directing the teaching garden at the college. Ben has a master's degree in creative writing and a bachelor's degree in studio arts, both from the College of Saint Rose.

 

Dick This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Primary Assistant Teacher

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 the Children’s Corner Daycare Center. Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the College of St. Rose.

 

GrahamThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Primary Head Teacher

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. 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.

 

401 WHMS 21This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- Primary Head Teacher

Nicole Lenihan has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the Sage Colleges and a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Capella University. In addition, Nicole holds a phr certification. Nicole has her Early Childhood credential from the Northeast Montessori Institute. She has worked at WHMS since 2013.  Prior to coming to Woodland Hill, Nicole worked as a human resource professional for Trans World Entertainment. 

 

1001 WHMS 21This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Primary Assistant Teacher

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 Assistant Teacher. Kristen has been working at WHMS since 2005. She began working in the summer program continuing with us as a substitute before becoming an Assistant Teacher. Krsiten has completed the NYS assistant teacher certification and obtained Assistant Teacher certification through CMTE, New Rochelle.

 

 JessaPelizariJessica Pelizari - Primary Head Teacher

Jessa Pelizari 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 began as an Assistant Teacher at Woodland Hill in 2016.  Jessa earned her American Montessori Society early childhood credential through the West Side Montessori Teacher Preparation Program. Before becoming a Montessorian, Jessa worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has also been a children’s choir director and has taught piano, French, and yoga. 

 

443 WHMS 21This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- Primary Head Teacher

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. 

 

787 WHMS 21This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – Primary Head Teacher

Cassandre Rowe holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in Montessori (AMS) from Barry University. Her previous experience includes three years as an assistant teacher at Coral Springs Montessori and three years as a Head teacher at Pine Hills Montessori, which culminated with her as the Director. She joined Woodland Hill in 2005 as a Primary Head Teacher. In 2009 she also began working with the summer program as a Co-Director. She enjoyed supporting our Green Team both with her membership and leadership. 

 

403 WHMS 21This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.- Primary Assistant Teacher

Callie is the Assistant Teacher, working with Nicole Lenihan. She has a bachelor's degree in early childhood and childhood education from SUNY Geneseo.  Prior to joining WHMS, Callie worked as a pre-school teacher.

 

445 WHMS 21This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -Primary Assistant Teacher

Naomi Wimberley-Hartman is an Assistant Teacher in Stephanie's class. For five years, Naomi served as 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.