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 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 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.
Alberta Maineri-Burke is the Founder and Co-organizer of Friends of Raimonda Park, a volunteer community park group, which is designed to address the safety and care of Paul Raimonda Park, while bringing the community together through free community events. Alberta is a native of Connecticut who has spent some time living in San Diego, CA, Boston, MA and Chicago, IL, before settling in Astoria for over ten years and counting. Alberta has more than twenty years of experience working with children and families in different capacities which included Early Intervention, Child Welfare work as well as a Dual Chinese Language Head Start Program. Through her work with families she has employed art as an expressive medium to explore together with hands-on projects she designed herself. Alberta has a BA in Psychology with a concentration in Art Therapy and a Master’s of Social Work. She enjoys photography and designing costumes for her children. Alberta lives in Astoria with her husband Michael and her daughter, Clara and son, Christopher.
Andrea Cilento is a social worker and early childhood educator. She has several years experience teaching theater, dance and play-based learning classes with nursery, preschool, and elementary school aged children. Ms. Cilento has taught within the NYC Department of Education and in her hometown of Seattle, WA. Ms. Cilento’s own background in theater and dance contributes to her use of imaginative play and creative movement in her teaching approach. Ms. Cilento is very excited to be joining the Raising Astoria Family!
Janine’s passion for movement started at a young age as a competitive gymnast. Her movement studies continued with a college major in dance. Further studies included a yoga teacher training, a workshop in yoga for kids, and the exhilarating flying trapeze, static trapeze, and aerial silks. Post college Janine worked as a teacher’s assistant in early childhood special and general education for many years. Since having her own children, Janine has also served expecting and new parents as a birth and post partum doula. Over the past 3 years, she has seen her daughter grow and flourish at many of the Raising Astoria classes. Her son now gets to experience all Astoria has to offer as he tags along with his older sister. Janine is thrilled to share her joy of movement with parents, caregivers, and babies in the developmental movement class.