Early Childhood Teachers

Ms Alicia

Ms AliciaHi, my name is Alicia Shaw. I am excited to join 82nd Street Academics as the Early Childhood Programs Education Director. I have a Masters in Childhood Education and have taught all grades from PreK through third grade over the course of my 19 years as an educator. In 2015 I joined the founding team of a PreK program in East Harlem, but am happy to return to Queens where I was raised. When I am not working, I enjoy reading, hiking, visiting museums and traveling.


Ms Amy

My name is Amy Cheng and this is my first year teaching UPK at 82nd st academics. I graduated Queens College with a B.A in Psychology. I will be pursing my MSED in Early Childhood Education. I am bilingual, my first language is English and second language Chinese. I started working with children when I was 16 years old. I’ve worked with children from ages 2–14. I believe that kids are the future and what they learn from us is very important for the future. I love doing arts and crafts, outdoors play, sports, cooking, yoga, music, and reading. With me your kids will be learning new things. I am looking forward to an successful school year.

Ms. Amalia

Ms. AmaliaMy name is Amalia Rodriguez.  I joined 82nd Street Academics in September 2015 as a Pre-Kindergarten Lead Teacher. It has been a productive academic year and I am excited to join you for the Fall Semester. My MSed is a dual certification in General Education and Special Education and I obtained teaching experience within both practicums. My internships and teaching experience have been within the NYCDOE, Kaplan, Inc. and York Colleges’ South Jamaica Center for Parents and Children. The Summer and Fall are my favorite times of the year.  I enjoy the Harvest, and love the Beach and meeting people from all parts of the world.  I have traveled to Spain, Morocco, Mexico and Hawaii.

Ms Arati

Welcome to a new school year! I am so excited to have your child in my class this year! My name is Ms. Arati and I am proud to call 82nd Street Academics my new home. I have been teaching preschool for 2 years. I always enjoyed helping young minds learn and grow. I love teaching and look forward to the fun we will have exploring and learning in the classroom.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher since middle school. I am a graduate student at St. John’s University, studying a dual major in early childhood and special education. I continued my passion for teaching by working at a summer camp this summer.

When I am not teaching I love to travel abroad and go shopping. My favorite hobby is hiking and I love to explore nature. My favorite place is Paris, France because I love their crepes! This year will be filled with educational opportunities that will guide the children’s growth!

Ms Stephanie

My name is Stephanie and I began teaching PreK at 82nd Street Academics in September 2017. I am fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. I graduated from St.johns University, and received my Master Degree in Childhood Education. I gained my experience through teaching children from ages 6 to 12 in general and bilingual classroom settings.

I am so glad to have such an opportunity to build my career here, 82nd Street Academics and join a great team to make lots of good results. I am looking forward to learning from you and also bring my talent and my own teaching philosophy to this wonderful family. Children are the future and I am looking forward to make a positive language learning environment for them!

I am always thinking that one day when I am confronted with death, what impression have I left to the world? My answer will be my contribution to Childhood Education, with which I fell deeply in love. I am fortunate to have found my lifetime aspiration early in my life.

Ms Josefina

Ms JosefinaJosefina is an Assistant Teacher in our preschool. She is an artist and teacher and lives in Jackson Heights with her partner and two cats. She likes to ride her bicycle, take care of animals, read books, and go to museums. She likes to travel and spend time in the woods. She got her bachelor’s degree in art education in Chile, where she was born and grew up. She also worked as an art teacher there, working with middle-school and high-school kids. She has been living in New York City for almost three years, and previously worked at the Guggenheim and Queens museums. She is excited to be once more working with kids and helping people discover their gifts.

Ms Katherine

Ms Katherine

My name is Katherine Salinas and I joined 82nd Street Academics in September 2017 as a UPK Teacher Assistant and in 2018 I became a Dual Language Lead Teacher. I am currently a student of Bank Street School for Children from where I will be receiving a MSED in Early Childhood Education in July 2020.

During my down time I enjoy traveling with my family, exploring new cultures and learning different strategies I can bring into the classroom to provide students with diverse options to make their time in the classroom unforgettable.

Ms Theresa

My name is Theresa Ford, this is my first year teaching at 82nd Street Academics and I’m very excited to join the team! I grew up in a small village in the Philippines and graduated with a Bachelors in Secondary Education; majoring in Music, Arts, Physical Education and Health. I am multilingual, and I love learning about other languages. While in college, I was a dance scholar at the local Cultural Troupe in the Philippines and performed around the country.

At the age of twelve, I volunteered tutoring children in our hometown. From that experience, I fell in love with teaching and sought to make it my vocation in life. In my previous role, I worked as a Pre-K and Preschool teacher at another school in Queens. My favorite activities, both at home and in the classroom, are dancing, singing, making crafts, cooking, playing, and learning together.


Ms Stephanie A

Stephanie AquirreHello everyone, my name is Stephanie Aguirre and I’m excited to be a part of 82nd St Academics as an Preschool teacher! I just graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia with my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I will be pursuing my Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education this upcoming Fall semester at Hunter College. I’ve always loved working with children, which developed my passion for teaching. Through teaching, I will continuously grow as an educator and individual as I support the needs of my students, providing them with an interactive, engaging, caring, and positive environment to learn and excel in. I grew up in Jackson Heights and love the diverse community I love in and 82nd St is immersed in. I even attended 82nd St Academics’ after school program from K-6, and can’t wait to experience the growth 82nd has achieved. I love spending time with my family and friends and some of my hobbies include: photography, traveling, and exploring the outdoors. I look forward to this school year!