Educators

Thekla Manoloudis

Thekla Manoloudis

Thekla was born in Pittsburgh and has been living in Astoria for the past 6 years.  She has her Master's in Public Administration from Baruch College and her undergraduate degree in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C.  She has over 10 years experience working in public health for various non-profits and is so excited to be a small business owner in one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse neighborhoods of New York City.

Eleni Graciano

Eleni Graciano

Eleni is a mother of two girls and is dedicated to making Astoria her new home. Eleni is a recent transplant from the Washington D.C./Maryland area where she earned her Bachelor's of Arts degree from American University in International Relations. After college, she worked in Sales & Marketing for 10 years. Having moved here 3 years ago, Eleni is very involved in the school and the community. She loves everything that Astoria has to offer and is looking forward to seeing our children play, learn, and grow in this great neighborhood.

Maura

Maura

Maura Hili is a New York native and currently lives in Astoria with her husband and two sons. She received her undergrad and graduate education at Iona college. Maura owns her own retail business but is very passionate about making education fun for children of all ages and being involved in her community.

Molly

Molly

Molly Rusich is Founder and Director of Go Dance NYC, Inc. Go Dance NYC provides comprehensive programs in Developmental Movement, Baby, Preschool and School Aged movement and dance classes throughout the NYC area. Some of Go Dance NYC's partnerships include the Serious Fun Afterschool Program, Sol Dance Center, and Raising Astoria. Molly Rusich is a native of Minnesota, has has a Degree in Dance, is a Developmental Movement Specialist, and has been enjoying living and dancing in New York City for the past 12 years with her husband and five children.

Alexis

Alexis

Alexis is a birth doula and childbirth educator who has worked in the women’s reproductive health field for 10 years. She is devoted to assisting women on their paths to motherhood. Having worked both in an Ob/Gyn, and with midwives, through home and hospital births, as well as having her own child, Alexis has experience supporting a wide spectrum of childbirth preferences. Her hope is for new families to have a healthy and positive transition, and feel confident in their new role as parents. She resides in Bayside Queens with her husband and 1 year old son.

Cait

Cait

Cait is an Astoria mom of two boys, Vedder and Adler. She has a degree in English/Theater and has been teaching children for the past ten years. She also works freelance in theater as a stage/production manager. Miss Cait is currently teaching three classes at Raising Astoria: PSA Little Scientists (Tuesdays), PSA Little Artists (Fridays), and Storybook Theater.

Jeannette

Jeannette

Jeannette Prostowich has been living breathing and practicing yoga for close to 18 years. She completed teacher training at Karma Kids Yoga in NYC with founder Shari Vilchez Blatt after being inspired by the baby/toddler classes she attended with her daughter Talia. With a love of music, movement and children Jeannette enjoys the opportunity of sharing the benefits of yoga with kids, It’s nothing like an typical adult class, however with do incorporate all the concepts of yoga through play. We play games integrating yoga poses to build strength, flexibility and concentration, in addition to using our breath to focus and relax. Jeannette is a native New Yorker. She grew up on Long Island and is a resident of Astoria. She holds a BA in Communications from Adelphi University. In her previous career she worked in Advertising editing commercials and corporate videos before becoming becoming a mom. Jeannette looks forward to meeting you and “playing yoga” with your kids!

Katie Masson

Katie Masson

Katie Masson is excited to join the Raising Astoria team as the new Montessori Preschool Alternative teacher. Originally from Virginia, Katie received a Bachelors of Music from James Madison University. She moved to NYC to pursue her love of musical theater and was a professional performer for many years. She also has a background in teaching and has taken graduate courses in child development from Bank Street College of Education. As a first-time mom to her son Jack, Katie has discovered all of the great classes RA offers and jokes that it has become her second home.

Jenna Robichau

Jenna Robichau

Jenna is a Michigan native but has been an Astoria resident for almost a decade. She spent many years as a performer touring with Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, and Fisher Price. She graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy with a focus in theater and also from The New School with a focus on Dance Movement Therapy. Her love for dance and the arts has shifted towards teaching as a way of sharing her experiences and fostering that passion in others. At the core of her teaching style, she pushes students to achieve more than they thought was possible.