Meet the Faculty

Judith Menken

Judith Menken, Director

Judith joined Spuyten Duyvil in 2008 after 38 years as an early childhood public school teacher in East Harlem and Midtown Manhattan and principal of the Muscota New School in Inwood.  Judith has a BS and Masters in Early Childhood Education from City College and a Masters in Administration and Supervision from Bank St. College of Education.  

“Returning to preschool has gotten me back to my roots,” Judith says.  “I am committed to creating strong, active learning environments for all young children and their families.”

Alda Homan

Alda Homan, Head Teacher 4K

Alda joined Spuyten Duyvil in 2006 after working in another area preschool.  Through her own son she is very knowledgeable about services and programs and brings all that experience to her work at our school.  

“I love working with this age group,” declares Alda.  “It is so exciting to watch their minds and faces open to all the new things they experience with us.”

Margaret Murphy

Margaret Murphy, Head Teacher 4K

Margaret has been at the school since 2008.  After working as a professional chef, when her own 2 sons became teenagers it was time to revisit her own career goals.  She has returned to City College for her B.S. in Ed. and Masters Degree.  “I always wanted to be a teacher,” says Margaret. 

“I love the conversation with kids, the questions they ask.  Following their interests and watching them get engaged with their own learning gives me great satisfaction.”

Dayana Gonzalez

Dayana Gonzalez, Head Teacher 4K

Dayana began at Spuyten Duyvil in 2016.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Bilingual Childhood Education and Spanish at The City College of New York.  She speaks fluent Spanish and English, and is currently focusing on her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education at The Touro College Graduate School of Education.  Born and raised in Cuba, she understands the challenges of a new world just as children face on their first days of school.

“I adore the young ones,” Dayana says, “and have the energy and enthusiasm not only to teach, educate, and inspire my students but also to play and bring a smile to their faces and hearts.  There’s no better feeling than to see growing children being inspired and becoming creative wonders.”

Martha Castillo

Martha Castillo, Teacher Nursery

After working in the medical field as a certified clinical medical assistance in pediatrics for over 12 years, Martha went back to college for an intensive continuing ed program in Early Childhood.  She joined the Spuyten Duyvil Nursery full time in 2017.

“I really wanted to continue working with children,” Martha says.  “For me, the best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.”

Brenda Caceres

Brenda Caceres, Teacher Nursery

Molly McGill

Molly McGill, Assistant Teacher 4K

Michelle Aguilar

Michelle Aguilar, Assistant Nursery Teacher

Michelle got to know the Spuyten Duyvil community as an occasional substitute for a year and joined the Nursery team permanently in 2018.

“My biggest passion is working with kids,” Michelle says. “I enjoy watching them grow every single day.  I love when our kids learn by using their imagination.  As Albert Einstein said, ‘A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.'”

Crisel Estevez

Crisel Estevez, Educational Assistant

Amanda Caceres

Amanda Caceres, Lunch Bunch and Extended Day

Chassity DeJesus

Chassity DeJesus, Assistant Teacher 4K

Colleen Thompson

Colleen Thompson, Assistant Teacher 4K

Nicole Walker, Aftercare Staff

Tiara Sullivan, Aftercare Staff

Winifer Baez, Aftercare Staff