Oxana Petrov, Educational Director
Oxana Petrov brings more than 15 years of expertise in early childhood and special education to the Kings Bay Y. A licensed teacher in New York State with a master of sciences degree in education and early childhood special education, Oxana has worked at the Kings Bay Y, Kiddie Academy and a special education pre-school on Staten Island. Prior to that, Oxana served as an educational director at several day care centers in Brooklyn. Oxana is an energetic and motivated professional who is always looking for new ways to enhance early childhood education.
Ilana Friedman, Head of Early Childhood Education
Ilana Friedman is thrilled to be the head of Early Childhood Education at the Kings Bay Y at North Williamsburg. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Ilana holds a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a Master’s in Education from NYU. She has been teaching, coaching and developing curriculum for the past 17 years, including her first 15 years at PS 321 in Park Slope, followed by two years at CBE in Park Slope, where she served as the Associate Director of its pre-school. In addition to her teaching, Ilana spent several summers as theater director at Piper Theater Camps/Puck’s Playground, introducing Brooklyn’s youngest thespians to the works of Shakespeare. She has a passion for project-based learning in addition to creating and implementing rich, original and inspiring educational activities. Ilana lives in Kensington with her husband, Dave, and her son Noah, who will be entering kindergarten in the fall of 2015.
Caryn Roman, Director of Jewish Family Life.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Caryn is a graduate of Boston University (with a detour at the University of Haifa) and holds an MPA from NYU's Wagner School of Public Service. She is currently in her final year of the masters’ program in Jewish Education at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Manhattan. Prior to joining the team at the Y, Caryn spent more than a decade working with Jewish youth in year-round and summer camp settings.
Ilona Zeltser, Camp and Site Director
Ilona Zeltser has been with the Kings Bay Y for five years. She has worked her way up from an after-school counselor to floor supervisor and finally to the position the camp director. Ilona is very excited for her second year as the camp director and is working on bringing more family engagement events and programming to the Kings Bay Y. Ilona holds a BA in English Literature with a concentration in law and a minor in philosophy. She is fluent in Russian and enjoys spending time with her nephew, reading and photography in her spare time.
Ronnie Cohen - Pre school 2-4 years old Head TeacherRonnie Cohen received her BA from Brooklyn College and MsED from Bank Street. She is NYS Certified in PreK, K and grades 1-6, with an additional Annotation in Early Childhood Education. After 20 years of teaching 2's, 3's and 4's at the Beth Elohim Early Childhood Center in Park Slope, Ronnie is delighted to join the staff at the Windsor Terrace Y. She strongly believes in a play based learning environment as the foundation upon which to build a positive classroom experience - one that nurtures curiosity, a love of learning, the development of interactional social skills, and a positive sense of self. Ronnie has a passion for music and hasn't yet met a dog that she could resist!
Dana Kornfeld - Pre school 2-4 years old assistant teacherDana Kornfeld is a graduate of Queens College, where she earned her B.A in Early Childhood Education. A native New Yorker and natural “nurturer,” Dana has over 20 years’ experience educating, cultivating, counseling, advocating, caring for, inspiring and encouraging development in people of all ages. Most recently she spent four years as lead teacher for 2s/3s in her Brooklyn neighborhood. After the school unexpectedly closed, Dana transitioned to nanny/home schooler to aid the displaced students and their families. She is passionate about being a catalyst for growth and exposing children to a hands-on world of opportunity. Outside of teaching, Dana is excited about being a memory keeper through her photography and video. She is a lover of music and art, gardening, hiking and cooking. She is a longtime volunteer for local communities as well as artisan groups in Guatemala.
Mrs. Verna Best Peters - Head Teacher for ChildcareMrs. Peters has been working with children for over fourteen years, this year she joins us as the Head Teacher for Childcare. Verna’s passion has always been empowering and educating children; she believes that you can change the world one child at a time. With this conviction she graduated with her Associates of Science in Educational Studies and her Bachelors in Child Psychology. Currently she is completing her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. Verna has a special interest in helping each child unlock his/her truest potential. She believes that a strong home and school communication is the key to a child’s future success. Verna lives with her husband in Brooklyn and enjoys spending time reading and cooking.
Katherine Sackman, Music Teacher
Katherine Sackman is a teacher, pianist, and singer/songwriter that is joining us this year for music! She is pursuing her degree in music education at the Aaron Copeland School of Music at Queens College. Katherine began as Tkiya’s first intern in 2014, and now teaches Tkiya Tots & Tkiya Kids at Sid Jacobson JCC. She also helped launch Tkiya’s newest program, Tkiya For Life, for the elderly! Katherine loves to help students understand music’s connection to dance & movement through games, sign language, and more!