School Director

    I was born and educated in Ireland, and there I taught High School and Elementary School children. Working with very young children has been the most fulfilling and rewarding part of my career. My best teaching moments happen when I can be in the moment and listen to the children, then we are all learning together. Children are so much more connected with the power of the unconscious, and every day I learn from them how to let go of preconceived ideas and be humble in the face of their innate creativity. I believe that all good teachers are artists, capable of being in the moment, and responsive to the children who are their audience, and their inspiration.  I am the author of three books:  The Children’s Bill of Emotional Rights,  Emotional Education, and Ten Steps to an Emotionally Healthy Child.  These books illustrate my philosophy of developing an emotionally healthy child so we can have an emotionally healthy world.  And both illustrate the methodology we use at our school.



  • Elaine Eng

    Deputy Director/ Head Teacher Twos Class

    I have been teaching at Little Mish since 2002 as the head teacher of the Twos class. I have experience teaching children ages 2-10 years. I earned a degree in Early Childhood education and Elementary education through NYU and Brooklyn College. I came into teaching because of my love for children and the belief that all children deserve a great education. I believe that all children are natural learners and have a basic curiosity in the world around them. I feel my role is to facilitate young children by providing a warm, supportive and creative environment for children to grow socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually. Working at Little Mish has made me more aware of the whole child and honoring them as individuals. The philosophy of being there to listen and validating a young child’s feelings has been a focal point for me during my years teaching at Little Mish. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy cooking, baking, listening to music and visiting the city’s great museums.



  • Glennis Ramirez

    Senior Assistant Teacher Twos Class

    I am an assistant teacher in the Twos classroom at Little Mish, and I have previously been working in the fours classroom. I have enjoyed being at Little Mish, there is a very big family environment-the teachers are close as well as the children. As well as teaching I am also learning at Little Mish not only from the rest of the teachers but also from the children. I am also the cooking class teacher for the whole school. I have four wonderful children, two who are twins. I enjoy and look forward to bringing new experiences to your children every day.

  • Kathy Ramirez

    Head Teacher PreK/K Class
    I started working at Little Mish in 2007 when I was in High School, as an assistant afterschool teacher and from then on I fell in love with Little Mish, the teachers, the classrooms, the children, the ambiance and the philosophy. I’ve always loved children because of their curiousity and their yearning to want to know more about the who, what, where, when, why, and how of things. I believe that not only do the children learn from the teachers, parents and guardians but we have a lot to learn from them as well.  I am currently Head Teacher of the PreK program.
    As the oldest of four children, there is something that stuck to me from when I was a child and that is that you should always keep that inner child in you. Growing up I was always taught that it is normal and acceptable to have any and all feelings and that I should freely express my emotions; with that I continue with the same lesson to the children I am around because feelings are a crucial part of life and being able to express them in a healthy manner is even more important. The biggest lesson I have learned so far with working with children is that each child is individual and unique and they should be treated as such.  In Spring 2015, I obtained a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a concentration on Education, and I am currently pursuing my Masters. On my free time I enjoy painting, reading, dancing, singing, playing sports, and spending time with my loved ones.
  • Jessica Rubio

    Teacher PreK/K Class

    I had been a substitute teacher at Little Missionary’s for the Twos and Threes classes in 2013. I love working with these children. I learn a lot from them, just being around them for the short time that they are there. I’ve noticed that every child has their own personality, and different ways of dealing with situations. I have grown to have this bond with the other teachers at little Mish, not just working with coworkers, but instead like a small family that we all are a part of. This will be my fourth year as assistant teacher and I am truly excited  to be a part of this environment, helping these wonderful children find themselves. Not only will I be helping the children they might also be helping me find out things about myself that I have yet to discover. I am pursuing my studies majoring in psychology. I enjoy learning about people and how their minds work, I love reading and writing but most of all I love spending time with my family and friends.


  • Maria Benker

    Teacher 3s/4s Class
    A chance encounter in 2017 led me to a position with the after-school program at East Village Community School. I also started working as a substitute assistant teacher at the Children’s International Workshop, a preschool in Union Square. Up until then, I had been in the hospitality industry for over 20 years.  It soon became clear to me that I truly enjoyed working with children, and I had a flair for it! This past summer, I had the good fortune of being placed in my current position as an assistant teacher at Little Mish in the 3/4’s class. I am so proud to be a member of the Little Mish family and I am excited about beginning my second year there!
    My daughter attended Little Mish in the 3’s class. As a former Little Mish parent, I know firsthand how special the school is. My beliefs around children and education are right on par with the schools’ philosophy. With an emphasis on emotional well-being and open communication, I strive to provide a warm, safe and supportive environment for the kids of Little Mish.
  • Alice Owen

    Head Teacher 2s/3s Class

    I am so excited for my third year at Little Mish as Head Teacher of the 3s class.  I was born not far from Little Missionary and spent my childhood in downtown Manhattan. Growing up, my mother owned and ran a children’s clothing store in TriBeCa. Even as a child, my role was to help the children who came into the store with their parents. I have always been drawn to caring for children, and I always hoped to do so professionally someday. My college education at Antioch in Yellow Springs, Ohio, further guided me toward this pursuit.  While at Antioch, I studied psychology and had the opportunity to intern at a play-based and child-centered preschool. My current graduate school studies at Hunter College in Early Childhood Education: Birth to Second Grade, is serving me well as I integrate my studies into the classroom. Joining Little Missionary was particularly special to me as I have lived in the East Village for the past 14 years, and I cherish my connection to our community. It is such a gift to help care for our community’s children.

  • Alexandra Saveanu

    Head Teacher, 3/4s Class

    I am excited to join Little Mish as the Head Teacher for the 3 / 4’s class this year. I am a current graduate student at Hunter College pursuing my Master’s in Early Childhood Education, and have experience teaching children both in the field of education and dance. Little Mish drew me in immediately because of its focus on the importance of the whole child, and more specifically the importance of a child’s social and emotional development. I believe children need to be healthy socially and emotionally first, and the learning will follow. I strive to create a warm, safe, welcoming, and creative environment for my students and am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful team and community!

  • Gil Torres

    Assistant Teacher 3s/4s class

    Hi! I’m Gil Torres. This year I worked in Little Missionary’s with the children in the PreK/K class. I’m from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but I’ve lived in every borough with the exception of Queens. I currently study Film at Brooklyn College, and in my free time I practice Mixed Martial Arts. I am a very energetic person who has always had a lot of fun with Literature, as well as the Arts, and Sciences ever since High School. These are a few things I enjoy passing on to the children whenever I can.