Anne Castillo - Lead 2-Year-Old Teacher
Anne is very excited and honored to be part of The Chai Center Preschool family. She graduated with her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and currently is in the process of getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from City College of New York. She has experience leading a two-year-old classroom, completed her student teaching at an elementary school in Queens and worked with a Kindergarten class as a paraprofessional. Anne is a mom of two young boys and recently moved to Long Island from Queens, NY. She puts her crafty skills to work with her small home business where she makes customized items and loves spending time with her family, watching movies and being in a classroom.  Teaching is more than a job, it is her passion and she is very happy to have the opportunity to learn and grow with the children.
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!”
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.
Mikaela Bergen- Lead 3-Year-Old Teacher
Mikaela is a current education student at Mercy College. She is in a 5-year program that will earn her a BA in Behavioral Science, an MS in Early Education, and an MS in Elementary Education. Her three years of experience observing and working in an elementary school setting have made her a perfect fit! These experiences have allowed her to understand the variations of students needs and how to meet/understand their learning styles. She enjoys gardening, art, and caring for animals. Mikaela is known by many to be patient, nurturing, and open- minded. Her passion for the world of education and the development of children are driving forces as she earns her degrees at Mercy College. She is thrilled to be a part of The Chai Center Preschool and all the memories to be made!
Alexandra Garcia – Assistant 3-Year-Old Teacher
Alex is thrilled and honored to be a part of The Chai Center Preschool’s team! In addition to a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from St. John’s University, Alex plans on continuing her education with a focus in child psychology. Her work for The Chai Center Summer Camp has further enriched and added to her previous experience with children, ranging from infants to adolescents in both professional and personal settings. Alex is passionate about the incredible value of education and takes great pride and joy from aiding in the overall development of a child. She appreciates the art of teaching and being taught, and she is very excited to share this appreciation as an assistant teacher. Aside from her dedication to her students, Alex enjoys reading, writing, learning about other cultures and languages, and traveling.
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.
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.