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!”


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!


Julisa Morel - Lead 3-Year-Old Teacher
Julisa is very excited to continue her preschool teaching journey at The Chai Center. She completed her undergraduate degree at Buffalo State College in Early Childhood Education, and is currently a student at Canisius College where she is enrolled in the Literacy Master’s program. She is eager to incorporate what she learns in her classroom. Julisa loves to spend time with her family, cooking, baking, and going on walks. She is sweet and patient and looks forward to learning and growing with her class.


Debbie Spector- Assistant 3-Year Old Teacher
Debbie is excited to embark on her new journey as part of The Chai Center Preschool staff. She is coming out of retirement from 25 years at the NYC DOE as a Special Education Teacher Support Services Provider and New York City New Teacher Mentor. Debbie worked for 15 years in diverse special education programs including the resource rooms at North Shore Hebrew Academy and in the Jericho School District. She also spent 15 summers working as a preschool teacher at numerous summer camps. Debbie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Nursery and Elementary Education from Queens College and Master's of Science in Special Education, Nursery–12 grade, from Adelphi University. Debbie is a passionate, caring teacher who loves observing little ones become emergent learners through their experiences and curiosity. Outside of work, Debbie is an avid reader and looks forward to traveling and planning vacations with her husband and family. Additionally, they all spend summers together at her happy place, on Atlantic Beach.


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.