01 Jun

Ms. Kanter

Ms. Kanter has taught third grade at the Lower School for seven years and has become known for her tireless work ethic and commitment to her students. She is often the first to arrive in the morning and can be found preparing lessons and activities that keep her students focused, engaged, motivated and always learning. She expects a lot from students, but she helps them get there, and she celebrates each and every one of them along the way. Along with her partner, she has helped make third grade a year that students look forward to with excitement and look back upon with happiness. She helped create the signature third-grade program “Third Graders Making A Difference” which has become an important way in which the Lower School contributes to the local and global community.

Ms. Kanter started her professional career as a lawyer but found her calling as a third-grade teacher. We are lucky she honed her craft here at the Lower School. Those who have observed her impressive energy may be surprised to learn she commutes from Westchester each morning and has decided to take a position closer to home to minimize her commuting time – and most importantly use that extra time to spend with her three growing children.

01 Jun

Ms. DeJesus

Although Ms. DeJesus joined us very recently, her work and impact is evident in our hallways and the smiles on the faces of the children as they go to and from Swartley Art Center for her classes.

Since she arrived in January the hallway displays showcase nightscapes, cherry blossoms and elephants perched on locker tops. Flexible and creative, she has worked with the kindergarten students and teachers to re-imagine the signature zoo project, and together they transformed the kindergarten classrooms into an art studio where students learned and practiced art technique and then brought the animals they studied to life. Kindergarten families will see their creations when they visit the kindergarten zoo next week!

A native New Yorker, Ms. DeJesus’s professional career launched in 2001 when she and a group of friends animated the cartoon segment for the live action movie Super Troopers.  She went on to publish a series of graphic novels including a short comic featured in the young adult novel, Fan Art, and has shared this love with our students in her art classes, as well as in a popular ACE class she offered. Her teaching career is just launching, and we anticipate great things in her future. Her future art students will be very lucky to have her, and we are delighted she chose to spend time here with us at the Lower School.

01 Jun

Mr. Coyne

It may surprise you to learn that originally Mr. Coyne’s professional goal was to teach high school English. However, an assistant teaching position in our kindergarten inspired and showed him how impactful and rewarding working with young children can be. Here at the Lower School he has grown from a kindergarten assistant teacher to a head kindergarten teacher to a first grade teacher and finally librarian, along the way nurturing and celebrating the reading and writing lives of many Lower School students. He coached Middle School basketball and has contributed immensely to the Dwight-Englewood community – not to mention that in his time here he has become a father to Olivia and Jackson. Mr. Coyne is ready for the next step in his professional life, which for him means going back to his original dream of teaching great literature to adolescent minds. His love of the written word and his love of learning will serve him well in this position.

01 Jun

Mrs. Nicolau

When Mrs. Nicolau began teaching at the Lower School we had a cart of PC computers, floppy disks and we were just learning about a new technology called Smartboards. Now, all of our classrooms have Smartboards, and even our youngest students have access to and the skills to use not only PCs but also ipads, robotics materials, coding programs and any number of applications and tools which help them interact meaningfully with technology.

In her time at the Lower School, Mrs. Nicolau has provided an approachable learning environment and training to everyone – not only the students but also the adults – from those just learning to others seeking to improve their instructional practices and gain deeper understanding of the use and purpose of technology. Her resourceful nature, as well as her creative and innovative ideas, promoted teaching for understanding in students and adult learners. Students have learned to visualize and use the computer as a tool and as an instructional aid. She has opened up new worlds to students, perhaps most noticeably with her most recent work around coding and programming, two areas of great enthusiasm that she shares with her students.

She has led many charges around the integration of technology and has been a forward thinker, constantly rethinking how we do things and bringing new ideas and approaches to our school. We are in a very different place since Mrs. Nicolau arrived. She has helped children face the challenges of a changing world.

We hope you join us in thanking these teachers for their service to the Dwight-Englewood community. It is with gratitude and fondness that we  say goodbye and wish them all the best.