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.
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.
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 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.
Christina Hedrick currently teaches Yoga & Barre at The Yoga Room in Astoria and LIC. She is also a certified personal trainer and has a passion for pre/post natal fitness! Along with teaching she juggles being a professional dancer and a mother of 2 herself. So she knows how important it is for the mama's to get out and exercise, socialize, and have time with their baby out of the house!
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.