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Sycamore class:

hannah and andrea

Hannah Mengistu is a passionate educator.  She started as a parent at Compass and loved the philosophy so deeply that she wanted to be a teacher there as well!  Hannah grew up on a sustainable farm and learned a love for nature early in her life. She went to Waldorf schools as a child and also incorporates the practices within her curriculum.  Hannah believes that a mindful and loving approach to education allows each child to be accepted for who they are, thereby creating meaningful learning each day. She has an M.A. in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University and also an M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Hunter School of Education.  Hannah has been living in NYC for the last 18 years. Before joining Compass, Hannah was the director of Kids Canvas Preschool in Bushwick. She loves to sing, create and get messy with the kids.

Andrea Shuman is thrilled to join the Compass community as a Kindergarten teacher. Andrea grew up in Chicago with her parents and two sisters who loved living in the city as much as escaping it. She learned to love people and food as well as trees and lakes. Andrea went to school at a small liberal arts college in the midwest, earning a degree in Elementary and Special Education, and during which time she had the opportunity to teach at an international school in Guatemala City. She moved to Brooklyn after college and has been teaching here ever since. Prior to teaching at Compass, she taught in Downtown Brooklyn as well as in Red Hook. The opportunities to teach in various settings and communities has led Andrea to a passion for progressive education, classrooms full of active, hands-on learners who are exploring nature, stories, friendships, and themselves. When not at school, Andrea enjoys making and finding good food, taking walks in her neighborhood with her husband, reading, going hiking or to the beach and watching movies. 

ginkgo class:

Marissa and Rosie

Marissa Lopez grew up in Long Beach, California. As a child, she had many caring teachers who helped her realize her potential. They convinced her that she was a writer, a mathematician, a friend, and a hard worker who would grow up to do important things. School was her happy place. Their guidance and support helped Marissa become the first person in her family to go to college.

While at Dartmouth, she discovered her love of sociology, traveling, and autumn. She knew she wanted to be a teacher after interning at a summer reading camp in Baltimore. She was determined to spend her days in the most beautiful way—by empowering young children and helping them see the best in themselves. She knew from experience the positive impact a loving teacher could have on a young person’s life. After she graduated she moved to Brooklyn to earn her Masters in Education and teach.

Marissa is excited to begin kindergarten with a new group of Gingkoes! She is eager to co-create another loving, supportive, fun, reflective and hard-working community. She hopes to help convince each child that they are uniquely brilliant and important. She will work to ensure the Gingko room is a happy place for everyone.

Outside of the classroom, Marissa loves writing short stories, reading, playing board games, and hanging out with her amazing co-teacher, Rosie!

Rosie Antar views every day in the classroom as a new adventure, and loves learning alongside children. She is so excited to be starting her fifth year as a Gingko teacher at Compass! Rosie strives to create a classroom environment in which children feel seen, heard, cared for, and excited about learning. She loves getting to know her students and developing strong relationships that help foster a love of learning in each child. Rosie loves helping kids build confidence through cooking and spending lots of time outdoors.

Outside of school, Rosie enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending lots of time with her 10-month-old daughter. Although she was born and raised in Brooklyn, she enjoys exploring neighborhoods and events the city has to offer!

beech class:

Madeleine and kelsey

Madeleine Zuck was born and raised on a small sheep farm in upstate New York. She spent her early years gardening, knitting, and mucking out the barn. After graduating from college in 2006, she traveled to Guatemala and spent two and a half years teaching at a women’s artisan cooperative. She helped develop the organization’s elementary English language program and discovered her love of teaching. Later, Madeleine returned to the US and spent several years working with GrowNYC. Initially, she took a position with the Greenmarket farmers markets, and then she transitioned to the school gardens program. She collaborated with teachers and students around NYC to establish and grow school gardens. Then she decided it was time to return to the classroom! She matriculated into the Bank Street Graduate School to pursue a degree in childhood general and special education. While studying, Madeleine worked as an assistant teacher at the Bank Street School for Children. She spent her first year with the 7/8s (second graders) and her second year with the 9/10s (fourth graders). When she is not in the classroom, Madeleine enjoys running, spending time with her wife and son, visiting her family in Albany County and Rhode Island, and perusing the shelves of libraries and bookstores. This is Madeleine's fifth year teaching at Compass.

Growing up, Kelsey Corter dreamed of becoming a teacher and an environmental scientist. Edgewood College in Madison, WI, helped her merge these interests, through an elementary education degree which specialized in environmental education. Kelsey brought nature and experiential learning to her first grade classroom at Horizon Elementary School in Sun Prairie. A growing passion for literacy and inquiry pulled Kelsey toward the progressive schools of NYC, where she moved with her husband (a NYC native) and spent the next three years teaching kindergarten at PS 59. 

Kelsey believes the classroom is a laboratory for learning, where co-constructed curriculum is purposeful, integrated, and rooted in inquiry, talk, and play. Kelsey values the strong voices of young children and knows literacy is a tool for them to be heard, develop empathy, and strengthen identity. Kelsey advocates for early childhood education as a writer and presenter.

Kelsey is thrilled to teach in the neighborhood she loves and calls home, at a school which so closely aligns with her beliefs as an educator and citizen. When she is not in the classroom, Kelsey loves walking her dog, Thor, at Fort Greene Park, exploring the east coast beaches and mountains, visiting her family and favorite restaurants in WI, and indoor gardening.