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.”

Brenda Caceres

Brenda Caceres, Teacher Nursery

Before joining the faculty at Spuyten Duyvil Preschool in 2020, Brenda owned and served as the director for Brenda’s Playschool, where for twenty seven years she provided care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Additionally, as an NYC DOE affiliate, Brenda’s Playschool provided Universal pre-k instruction for four year olds for twenty-one years.

“Being involved in challenging and rewarding ventures has allowed me the privilege to enjoy what I do.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a positive and profound influence on the lives of children in  an honest and responsible manner. The supportive environment at Spuyten Duyvil allows me to do the work I love.”

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.”

Michelle Aguilar

Michelle Aguilar, Assistant Teacher 4K

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

Tiara Sullivan, Aftercare Staff