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Samantha Brand - Lead 2-Year-Old Teacher
Samantha has been working with children for approximately seventeen years, most recently as a lead preschool teacher. She especially loves working with two-year-olds and watching them as they mature and grow from the start of the school year to the end of the year. Samantha holds a bachelor’s degree from Lynn University and a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Long Island University. She is a mother to a twelve-year-old boy and girl twins. When not working she enjoys spending time with family and friends, making jewelry, and reading a good book.

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Kelly Castle-LaNoce - Assistant 2-Year-Old Teacher
Kelly is a childcare professional with over six years of experience working in early childhood education as both an assistant and co-teacher. She is very excited to be a part of The Chai Center Preschool team! Kelly is a patient, kind, caring and loving person with a sunny disposition and is always eager to use her skill set to help a child’s development by cultivating courage, compassion and connection. She also nurtures and inspires children to thrive emotionally, physically and intellectually. Kelly enjoys cooking and baking, gardening, reading and creating different types of arts and crafts. She also likes to visit Michigan to reminisce with her sisters and their families, and loves to spend her free time with her husband, children and grandchildren, whether staying at home or going on a “spur-of-the-moment adventure!”

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Azita Moradi Kahen - Lead 3-Year-Old Teacher
Azita Moradi Kahen is very excited and honored to join The Chai Center Preschool. A graduate of Queens College, Azita also has her Child Development Associate (CDA) certification for preschool education. Passionate about working with young children, she began her teaching career 12 years ago at the Epstein Jewish Day School and The Javitz Academy, both in Georgia where she lived for a time. Most recently, Azita was with Growing Tree North in Roslyn teaching the three-year-old children, and at Temple Beth Shalom in Roslyn Heights working with the two-year-old children. She is a strong believer in promoting self-help skills and empowering children to feel confident to foster independence, creative thinking, problem solving and the imagination. Azita has been married for 28 years, has three children, and has been a member of Chabad for 20 years. In her spare time, she likes to walk, cook, and spend time with her family.

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Camille Lynch – Assistant 3-Year-Old Teacher
Camille came to The Chai Center with over 18 years of classroom experience working as a paraprofessional and teaching assistant at both the elementary and preschool level. This will be Camille’s third year with us. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and psychology from Hofstra University, an associate degree in Child Care from Nassau Community College, and a New York State Public School Teacher’s Assistant level three certificate. Camille has been married for 30 years, is a mom to two grown children, and in her free time loves to sing, dance, draw and play with her two dogs Chase and Cooper.

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Marissa Guarino – Lead Pre-K Teacher
Marissa, who was a lead teacher last year with The Chai Center, is eager to continue her teaching career here. She has her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Nassau Community College and bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Molloy College. She just completed her master’s degree from SUNY Empire in Emerging Technologies with a certificate in STEM Learning. Right out of college, Marissa obtained her first teaching position at a private Jewish preschool in Port Washington. There, she taught a STEM class, afterschool enrichments, and led the 2’s program. Her greatest joy is watching children grow and seeing the delight on their faces when they learn something new or as they have fun playing with their friends. In her spare time, Marissa enjoys trying new restaurants with her longtime boyfriend and spending time with their friends and families.

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Bina Omidi – Assistant Pre-K Teacher
Bina has been with The Chai Center for eight years and has worked with every age group in numerous capacities in our camp and preschool, many as an assistant teacher. In addition to her Reggio classroom experience, Bina can be counted on to adeptly deal with separation issues, class projects, the art curriculum, holiday preparations, Judaic studies, Shabbat parties, and work in our vegetable garden with the kids. Bina is married with two boys, who attended The Chai Center Preschool. In her spare time, you can find her at a basketball game watching her boys playing on the court, or with her kids outside at the park.

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Jenna Kessler – After Care Teacher
Jenna is super excited to join The Chai Center family! With experience on the elementary and early childhood level as an assistant and substitute teacher, Jenna has cared for many children of all ages in a classroom setting. Additionally, in the summers she enjoyed being a head counselor and shadow to children with developmental disabilities. She also has experience as a nanny and babysitter, making wonderful connections to many families. She earned her associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Nassau Community College and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree from SUNY Old Westbury in Childhood Education. She is extremely passionate about encouraging each child to be uniquely themselves and making sure they feel loved and cared for.