Meet Our Staff
No! That is not her ship in the background.
As a teacher who thoroughly enjoyed her college days at New York University, Ruth Neale completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at the university and became a teacher for the NYC Board of Education. She was usually off during the summer and loved to travel. It could have been a ship that took her to far off lands or a plane that flew her to places of interest. One of her favorite trips continues to be the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.
As a dedicated teacher she visited schools around the world always returning with thoughts on how to make the classroom more exciting and more enjoyable. As educated educators we must continue to promote good rel event education so that our children can be well prepared for a more demanding future.
Elzbieta Szura, better known as Ella, graduated from Jagiellonian University in Cracow with a major in Pedagogy. She has completed her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at Touro Collage and holds two teacher certifications (Birth -Grade 2 Early Childhood Education and Special Education) and Bilingual Extension in Special Ed. Since 2000, she has been dedicated to the field of early childhood at the Williamsburg Y Head Start program. She is passionate, energetic and enthusiastic and believes that school should be as welcoming and warm as home, where children feel safe and learn through play and exploration.
Nicole Bonuso has worked at the Williamsburg Y Head Start since 2005 and was promoted to Education Director in 2013. Nicole has her Master’s Degree in Special Education/Early Childhood Education and her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Nicole holds a permanent teaching certification in Pre-K – 6 teaching. Nicole serves as the mentor for the educational staff at the Williamsburg Y. By offering support to our teachers and parents through trainings and consulation, she has a great impact on creating a unique, engaging and nurturing learning environment.
Dianne Decker is a Group Teacher in a UPK classroom at the Williamsburg Y Head Start. She has been working in early childhood for over 8 years and this is her 4th year teaching at our wonderful school. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University and has a master’s degree in Childhood Education/Literacy from Long Island University. Her favorite classroom activities involve science and experimentation. She believes that children at this age are full of curiosity and finds it exciting to be able to help them explore the world around them!
Jessica Lynn has been working in the Early Childhood Education field for the past seven years. She has been a group teacher at the Williamsburg Y Head Start for three and a half years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education with a concentration in Spanish from SUNY New Paltz and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from Brooklyn College
Maria Boutouzov has been a group teacher in a UPK class at the Williamsburg “Y” Head Start since 1998. She is a former music teacher and started her teaching career in Riga, Latvia teaching piano to children ages 1-5 year old. She has a Master’s degree in Special Education, which she completed in 2001. She also conducts evaluations for the children of 0-3 through NYS Early Intervention Program.
Megan Hickey has been a group teacher at Williamsburg Y Head Start for over 5 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from The College of Staten Island and is working toward her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Touro College. She truly enjoys working with children and finds it to be extremely rewarding.
Melissa Rotundo is a group teacher at the Williamsburg Y Head Start. She has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Development from BMCC and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College. She is halfway through her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education & Special Education at Touro College. Melissa has two children of her own, ages 10 and 6. She has truly enjoyed every minute of the two plus years she has spent in her current classroom at the Williamsburg Y Head Start.
Patrice Hamilton is a group teacher in a 3 year old class. Before becoming a group teacher, Patrice worked at the Williamburg Y Head Start as an assistant teacher for over 10 years. She has a Master’s degree in early childhood education from Ashford University and is working toward a second Master’s from Ashford in Special Education.
Sarah George has been employed by Williamsburg ‘Y’ Head Start for almost two years. In her first year she worked as an Assistant Teacher and she is now the group teacher for a three year old classroom. Prior to being employed by Williamsburg ‘Y’ Head Start, she worked as a group teacher at Jonathan Williams Daycare Center. She holds NYS certifications in Early Childhood Education Birth to Second Grade and 1st to Sixth grade. She is currently enrolled in a Masters of Special Education program with an estimated completion date of August 2017.
Sylwia Zawrotniak, an enthusiast of dance, singing, reading and traveling, is a teacher full of energy and ideas. Speaking four languages and having a variety of interests and passions, Sylwia tries to nourish children’s’ natural curiosity and sense of wonder by encouraging them to explore, experiment, try, get involved and respect each other. Her goal each year is to create a community classroom in which everybody – children, their families and teachers – feel happy and learn. Sylwia has a MA in Polish Literature and Language and holds professional teaching certifications in both: regular and special early childhood education. She is the proud mother of 13 year old Zuza and a member of a jazz band.
Taina Cortes-Diaz has been a group teacher at Williamsburg Y Head Start for seven years. She has a professional certification in Early Childhood Education and Literacy Education. As an Early Childhood educator, she believes teaching is about passion. Her passions are reading and music and she bring those experiences into her classroom daily.
Yaniris Pineda has been teaching at the Williamsburg Y Head Start for the last 16 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. John’s University and two Master’s Degrees in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Ashford University. Yaniris is mother to two sons, Miguel and Anthony. When she isn’t teaching, she enjoys reading and watching old movies on TMZ.
Yelena Segal is a group teacher at Williamsburg Y Head Start. She has been teaching young children for over 7 years and has spent the last three years at the Williamsburg Y. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Long Island University and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College. She finds teaching children a very rewarding and fulfilling task.