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Open Arms Family

Who We Are

Miss Misa - Director of Open Arms Preschool

Misa was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Mamaroneck, NY, for the last 25 years. She is married and has six children, ages 15 - 32 and 4 grandchildren.   Misa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies from Empire State College, and holds a Master of Science degree in Education from the College of New Rochelle, earning an Academic Excellence award for perfect grades, with concentrations in Early Childhood and Special Education.  She holds NY Teacher Certification in Birth–6th grade, in both General Education and Students with Disabilities. She has over 25 years teaching experience from several nursery schools.  She believes in early education and strongly advocates Early Intervention.

Misa is an avid reader and has organized book clubs for children and adults, and enjoys reading about anything she can get her mitts on!  Story time is her favorite time of day and she wants all children to enjoy reading as much as she does.  Misa loves children and wants to see all children have access to a safe and nurturing school environment where they can build a strong foundation for all future learning.


Miss Isabel -Teacher/Music and Language Specialist

Isabel graduated from Oberlin College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. With a particular interest in early learning and development, she has a strong academic background and experience in various settings working with young children. In the past, Isabel has worked as an assistant preschool teacher, head preschool teacher, and dance therapy instructor for children with special needs. Isabel also has extraordinary language abilities, being fluent in Hebrew, French and Spanish.  She is thrilled to join the Open Arms family and provide a safe and stimulating environment to help kids fall in love with school and learning! 


Miss Erica- Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Erica Calderon.  I am an assistant teacher with over 12 years of experience working with children from toddlers all the way to high schoolers. I enjoy teaching children new things helping and helping them to overcome obstacles. I am looking forward to working with all of the kids at Open Arms, watching them grow, and helping to foster their love for school and learning. 



Miss Diane- Teacher

Early childhood education is y focus because I realize this is the beginning of building and educational foundation and creating a joy for learning.  I have learned that children do not have any preconceived ideas and are easily open to learning new ideas through different modalities.  This applies to my life by showing me that there are many solutions, not just one, for handling problems and to be more receptive to new ideas.    

I am proud to have received two Masters degrees.  One in Early Childhood Education /Special Education and the other in Elementary Education.  I am now able to implement what I have learned in school into my classroom which is absolutely what I love.  

When I'm not working I enjoy reading and cooking.  I am looking forward to being part of the Open Arms team!

Miss Courtney - Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Courtney Moore. I am a teacher assistant with over 10 years experience caring
for children from birth to middle childhood. I love sports, cooking and learning new things, but
working with children has always been my passion. I started my teacher assistant journey
working with students with special needs and that experience was joyous and fulfilling. I'm very
excited to work at Open Arms and take in new experiences all while helping students learn.

Miss Sarah- Playgroup Teacher

Hi my name is Sarah Aponte and I'm the playgroup teacher at Open Arms Preschool. I'm a mother of 3 and have been teaching toddlers to preteens for over 15 years. I've worked in several educational programs throughout the city and have worked with children with special needs. I enjoy nature, traveling, yoga, reading, music, dance and cooking. In my spare time I paint abstract paintings and have independently curated art exhibits in New York City. I teach art classes to children on the weekends and display installations at a cultural center. 

My playgroup classes are designed to assist with development and promote creativity. I like to build self confidence in a child giving them time to communicate and express their individuality. Playgroup is essential because it's an important time where a toddler is transitioning from their parent to a learning environment, so it's important for a child to feel safe and nurtured. I find it highly rewarding to be able to teach children and be apart of their growth.