Meet Our Student Ambassadors!

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Cosima Higham

Program: Childhood General Education - Student teacher track
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Undergraduate Institution & Major: Bucknell University (Art History)
Current Position: 3rd Grade Associate Teacher at Brooklyn Friends School

Bank Street is a community. It is a place where you know you will be surrounded by like-minded people who are all dedicated to becoming effective and engaging educators. When I was on the search for graduate schools, I was immediately drawn to Bank Street for these reasons and really couldn't see myself going anywhere else. Another aspect of Bank Street that drew me in was how interested people were in getting to know and understand one another as individuals, reflective in how we are taught to instruct children. The professors are truly dedicated to helping each student become their best self as well as the best teacher they can be. This is an aspect of Bank Street I think is not only unique, but invaluable.


Abigail Laub

Program: Early Childhood General and Special Education
Hometown: Born in Guyana, South American and lives in Manhattan, New York
Undergraduate Institution & Major: New York University (Healthcare Management)
Current Position: Full Time Student

Bank Street provides an intimate and exciting learning experience. If you are a learner who thrives in a group setting where your ideas and values are respected and encouraged, then Bank Street is the place to you. My advisor and teachers greet me by name and with a smile when we encounter one another within the walls of Bank Street and outside.

I have been a student in the Early Childhood General and Special Education Program at Bank Street since January 2014. The faculty and the staff provide an encouraging, holistic and inclusive environment for my colleagues and I. The teachers are dedicated, involved and deeply passionate about their work as educators. The practice of the Development-Interaction Approach is prevalent in the culture and core of the Bank Street experience.

My fieldwork experience has been challenging, thought provoking, and insightful with an emphasis on social justice and differentiation for all students. Weekly conference group has been instrumental in helping me to delve deeper into the fieldwork experience. The tools and experience I have acquired have helped to shape and sharpen my awareness in the field of education. My toolbox is expanding everyday that I continue this work. Looking back at my own experience as a student, Bank Street stands out clearly as the best one yet.

Sarah Ely

Program: Dual Language/Bilingual Childhood General Education
Hometown: New Canaan, CT
Undergraduate Institution & Major: Skidmore College (Spanish and Theater)
Current Position: Bilingual Associate Teacher at the Berkeley Carroll School

I chose Bank Street for its strong Bilingual Education program, which was something that I was very much interested in pursuing. I met Dr. Luis Costa who explained that as part of an introductory bilingual course at Bank Street, students would be asked to write an autobiography of sorts, outlining their own personal bilingual journey. I believe that the commitment that professors have to their students, their practice and to New York City schools is outstanding. I am also a career changer (having been an actor), yet Bank Street encourages students like me to bring their knowledge and expertise into their teaching practice.


Rebecca Chynsky

Program: Leadership in Mathematics Education
Hometown: Yorktown Heights, NY
Undergraduate Institution & Major: Ithaca College (Media Studies)
Current Position: Lower School Room Teacher at The Brearley School (on sabbatical for the 2015-16 school year)

Shavon Patrice Frazier

Program: Early Childhood Special Education (B-2) (2012) and Early Childhood Leadership (2017)
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Undergraduate Institution: SUNY Oneonta (Early Childhood General Education (B-2)
Current Position: Master Teacher at SCO/FirstStepNYC in Brownsville, Brooklyn

I was first introduced to Bank Street by an alumna of SUNY Oneonta during a phone conversation. I then began to look into Bank Street through their website and I attended an Open House as well as a Career Changers panel discussion. I also completed the Admissions Informational Interview and had a tour of the building. I fell in love! I loved the positive energy of all of the staff, as well as the fact that the building houses two major children's programs as well as the graduate school. I also liked that the classes were nightly as opposed to weekends. The major thing that really caught my attention was the conference groups during fieldwork. It allowed me and my colleagues to meet on a regular basis with people on similar career paths and be observed by and meet with my advisor regularly.

I loved Bank Street so much that I decided to return for a second degree in Early Childhood Leadership. I have always wanted to be a school leader and eventually open up my own early childhood center. This program has afforded me the opportunity to spread my leadership wings and gain a deeper knowledge of the inner workings of the education field and the type of imprint I can make outside of the classroom.

Debbie Tasioudis

Debbie TasioudisProgram: Leadership for Educational Change: Special Education
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Undergraduate Institution: Georgia State University (History/African American Studies)
Other Graduate Institution: Pace University (Middle Childhood Special Education)
Current Position: Special Education Achievement Coach, Network 533, NYCDOE

I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and I moved to NYC to build my craft as a classroom teacher. Before coming to Bank Street, I was fortunate to be a NYC Teaching Fellow, teaching middle school in Ft. Greene and elementary school in Coney Island. I spent a lot of time looking for a leadership program that set meeting the needs of students with disabilities as a priority and found just that here at Bank Street. I also found an opportunity to be a part of an amazing, diverse cohort of learners who share a similar commitment to best practices and inclusiveness. I completed my program at Bank Street in December of 2012, and my School District Leader coursework in 2013.

Bank Street’s focus on adult development in leadership has helped me to redefine my commitment to teaching and learning and helped me to form new ideas about differentiated professional learning. The advisory component of the program also provides a unique opportunity to get very personalized attention and allows you to have a hand in shaping the curriculum- that is something I've never experienced before in larger universities. The transition to leadership is exciting and challenging; advisory helps you find your way.

Gail Goldspiel

Gail GoldspielProgram: Museum Education—Childhood
Undergraduate Institution: Brandeis University
Current Position: Youth and Family Programs Coordinator at the Rubin Museum of Art

I earned my Masters in Museum and Childhood Education from the Bank Street College of Education in May 2012. I currently work as the Coordinator of Youth & Family Programs at the Rubin Museum of Art. Prior to this, I worked as the Teen Programs Assistant at the Museum of Modern Art and as an educator for the New York Public Library. For my Masters Thesis, I created an original picture book for children, "Beatrice the Butterfly Visits the New York Public Library" which is now available in the Bank Street Library. In addition, I student taught in NYC public and private schools where I worked with first and fourth graders. I infuse my teaching, be it in the classroom or museum, with creativity and art and seek to inspire students to express themselves, look closely, imagine, wonder, and become curious life-long learners. I am active with the New York City Museum Educators Roundtable (NYCMER) and am eager to help and advise any and all prospective Bank Street students!

Shoshana Koslowe Ainsberg

Program: Childhood Special & General Education
Hometown: East Brunswick, N.J.
Undergraduate Institution & Major: SUNY Binghamton, Psychology
Current Position: 3rd Grade Assistant Teacher at SAR Academy

I chose Bank Street for multiple reasons and I know that it was a wonderful decision. The faculty at Bank Street are so attentive and supportive of my academic goals as well as my professional development. In particular, my advisor has been a constant confidant and individual to whom I can bring any questions or inquiries. Additionally, the hands-on approach to learning has been such an informative way of educating future teachers. I have been pushed to consider lessons for a diverse population of learners with an array of academic and social-emotional needs. It is just one of the many ways in which the course work and class conversations educated me on how to become a more conscientious and thoughtful teacher.

Julie Lee

Program: Early Childhood Special Education
Undergraduate Institution: Binghamton University
Current Position: 2nd Grade Teacher in an ICT classroom at a New York City Public School.

I chose Bank Street because I loved seeing all of the children's work during the tour.
The classrooms at the Bank Street School for Children was a game changer for me because I knew in my heart that student-driven work that's organic and thoughtfully documented was at the heart of authentic teaching and learning. I graduated in 2012 from the Early Childhood Special Education program and was hired as a K-2 SETTS teacher at a charter school in Brooklyn.

Two years ago, I transitioned to NYC public schools right when they put in rigorous teacher evaluation systems and Common Core aligned Math and ELA curriculum. With these challenges, and less time for play and student-driven work, I value what I learned at Bank Street more than ever. I learned to truly think outside of the box with best practices in mind, and above all to be an advocate for the children and families. 

Among other things, the advisory support you receive at Bank Street is what makes the school truly unique.

Jessica (Jess) Parise

Jessica (Jess) PariseProgram: Child Life
Hometown: Port Washington, NY
Undergraduate Institution: Syracuse University
Current position: Certified Child Life Specialist

I chose Bank Street because the Child Life program was highly recommended by many Certified Child Life Specialists who have had years of experience in the field. While at Bank Street, what stood out to me was the level of support that all students received from their professors. The amount and quality of the support provided was just outstanding, and something that I will never forget. The professors at Bank Street are wonderful professionals who are dedicated to your learning and growth as you become an expert in the field. At Bank Street, there is also a strong focus on bridging theory to practice, and the coursework and field placement timeline that is established for students truly reflects the importance of this connection.

Pricelis Perreaux

Pricelis PerreauxProgram: Leadership in Community Based Learning
Hometown: Washington Heights, New York
Undergraduate Institution: CUNY City College of New York
Current Position: Family & Education Advocate at Broadway Housing Communities

I chose Bank Street for many reasons and still feel I made the best decision by coming here. I really liked that an interview was part of the admissions process; it made me feel that Bank Street is a school that doesn't just care about test scores and what Ivy League school you came from, but more about your history, your personality, and how it coincides with the values and goals of Bank Street. I was also drawn to Bank Street because it had study abroad programs, and I'm very interested in international education. Finally, I chose Bank Street because it had the program I wanted and didn't find it in any other Graduate school in New York City. Bank Street is my home, has been for the past year, and will continue to be. I will be pursuing a PhD once I leave Bank Street next year, but I constantly tell my advisor, who is awesome (Mayra Bloom =] ), how I wish Bank Street had PhD programs. This place is home, and it makes me excited about the future of education in this country.

Tova Rich

Tova RichProgram: Teaching Literacy and Childhood General Education Dual Certification
Hometown: Passaic, NJ
Undergraduate Institution: Yeshiva University
Current Position: Assistant Teacher at Yeshiva Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

When researching graduate schools, Bank Street always stood out for me as a place where the purpose was to better understand how to educate children, not just get a degree and get out. After coming to Bank Street I can say that this is absolutely true! The professors are all very knowledgeable about all current topics in education. My favorite part about my education at Bank Street is the discussions I get to have with my peers during every class. We all share our ideas and information we know and walk out more knowledgeable than when we came in. The professors at Bank Street are very supportive and work with you to help guide your interests to help further your profession. I cannot say enough wonderful things about Bank Street and all that it does!

Katie Shea

Program: Infant and Family Development Early Intervention /Early Childhood Special and General Education Dual Certification
Undergraduate Institution: University of Hartford
Current Position: Classroom Teacher & Music Teacher at Brotherhood Synagogue Nursery School

I am currently a second year student in the infant and family development early intervention special and general education program. (The title is crazy long) I completed my first year and student teaching in a toddler room and now teach both in the classroom and music at Brotherhood Synagogue Nursery School. Bank Street is a wonderful place to learn in grow. They truly exemplify the way that we should treat children and teach children in the way that they teach and treat us.

Sarah Freund

Program: Early Childhood Education: Assistant Teacher track
Current Location: Worthington, MA
Undergraduate Institution: Dickinson College (Policy Management)
Current Position: Taught preschool for 3.5 years in Northampton before transitioning to a full time mom role.

Bank Street met my requirements for a teacher education program and prepared me for full time teaching.  I wanted a working teacher program that embodied a progressive philosophy in the approach to learning for both graduate students and young children.  New York City is a fabulous place to learn and grow as a teacher.  I am so grateful for the time I spent living and learning NYC and Bank Street.  

Tiffany C. Bolling

Program: Leadership in Community-Based Learning
Undergraduate Institution: Monroe College

Jennifer Borque

Program: Early Childhood and Childhood General Education
Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Undergraduate Institution & Major: Bard College (Psychology, Film and Electronic Arts)
Current Position: Associate Teacher, LREI

I had heard stories about Bank Street from friends and professors long before I began to research and pursue my path to becoming an educator. As I met with Bank Street faculty during the course of the interview process and attending open houses I was overcome with a feeling that Bank Street is a place that truly supports growth for all different types of learners. I chose Bank Street because I wanted to continue my education in an environment that welcomes the exchange between learners and facilitators, adults and children, theory and practice. Bank Street's programs emphasize reflection and have presented me with a space where I can share my growing understanding and my experiences in the classroom with my colleagues while being challenged to think deeply about the current issues in education and the ways that progressive pedagogy and the developmental interaction approach can continue to inform my work as an educator.

Hilary Woodward

Program: Child Life
Hometown: Voorhees, NJ
Undergraduate Institution: Loyola University Maryland
Current position: Certified Child Life Specialist in the Pediatric Emergency Department at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital (New York, New York)