Teachers

The Elements Preschool teaching staff consists of Early Childhood education professionals who have varying levels of degrees in the field of family and child development. They have been chosen for their dedication, interest, creativity and experience with children and their families.

We take great care in ensuring that staff meet standards set forth by the Department of Health and the state of New York. Our staff regularly attend trainings from leading professionals in the field of early childhood education and are carefully screened to ensure the safety and well-being of each child in the care of Elements Preschool.


Angela Speakman, Education Director

Angela has worked in the field of early childhood for over 20 years and has vast experience in operating high-quality early childhood centers, training staff, and building learning communities. Angela is passionate about fostering hands-on, child-led learning experiences for young children. Angela has a MSEd in Early Childhood Education, a BS in Child Psychology and Development, and a permanent New York State Teacher’s certification for birth-2nd grade. Angela joined Elements in April 2017 as Educational Director.


Elizabeth Swift, Lead Teacher for Adventurers (3-5 year olds)

Liz has a background in early childhood environmental education. Through Americorps, Liz was recruited as a full-time Park Ranger in Maryland. In her role as a Ranger, Liz was appointed as the Environmental Education Coordinator for the Parks Department which involved leading tours, developing curriculum, and developing enrichment opportunitites for children of all ages for 7 years. After her move to NYC, Liz joined Elements in the fall of 2016 and has been instrumental in helping Elements reach its goal of implementing an urban nature preschool.


Katherine Arsham, Lead Teacher for Explorers (2 year olds)

Katie has been an early childhood educator for 3 years and holds a bachelor of arts in English Literature and a master’s of science in Early Childhood Education. Katie chose the field of early childhood education because it offers her an opportunity to build the foundation for all future learning. Inspired by Vygotsky and the Reggio Emilio approaches to learning, Katie strives to create a classroom in which children gain a perspective of the world around them through multi-sensory investigations.


Sarina Peddy
Sarina currently works in our toddler classroom as a lead teacher. Sarina holds a BA in Educational Studies and has several years of experience working with children in preschools, summer camps, and elementary schools. Sarina develops caring and close relationships with each of her students in order to ensure the best possible outcome for their development.

Danasia Smith
Danasia is the lead teacher in our infant classroom. Danasia has over 10 years of experience working with children and has a special passion for working with infants and can often be found designing a special art experience or sharing a new song with our infants. Danasia studied psychology at Albright College.

Samantha Lewis
Samantha joined Elements in 2017 as an assistant teacher in our Adventurer’s class. Samantha has a BA in Urban Studies and is currently pursuing a masters in early childhood education. Samantha is also a photographer and lends her talents to Elements on a regular basis. Samantha is passionate about reaching each child where they are and supporting them in reaching their next stage of development.

Sharron McKoy
Sharron has several years of experience as an assistant teacher. Sharron is warm, caring and devoted to the students in her care. Sharron is currently studying early childhood education at Post University. Sharron joined our teaching staff in 2018 to support our growing infant program.

Adaiah Mitchell
Adaiah has several years of experience working with young children. Adaiah specializes in caring for toddlers and in supporting our youngest learners as they become more and more independent. Adaiah’s warmth and sincerity are an essential ingredient in our program’s success. Adaiah is currently studying Human Services. Adaiah was welcomed to our teaching team in the spring of 2017.

Manvi Jain
Manvi is passionate about both nutrition and engaging our youngest learners in hands-on learning experiences. Manvi works closely with the head teachers in our infant and toddler classrooms to ensure that the cognitive, social-emotional, and physical needs of each child are met. Manvi has worked on our Elements team for 2 years.

Farah Jean-Francois
Farah joined the Elements team in 2018 as a support staff for our growing infant program. Farah has been teaching for 3 years and is currently studying biology. She brings a calm confidence to our infant room.

Gabriella Carr-Malatzky
Gabriella serves as both our chef and our garden/cooking specialist. Gabriella has ample experience in nutrition education and in preparing healthy, creative, delicious meals for young children. In her weekly cooking lessons, Gabriella invites children into the kitchen to experience first-hand the components of the food they eat, how food is prepared, and the nutrient value of the food we eat.