School Director

    I have been Director of Little Missionary’s Day Nursery since 2001.  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.  The books illustrate my philosophy of developing an emotionally healthy child so we can have an emotionally healthy world.  These writings are all illustrative of 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 like to teach Spanish to the children, I incorporate it into our daily routines.  I also love to teach cooking. 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 3s/4s 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

    Assistant Teacher 3s/4s Class

    I had begun as a part-time teacher at Little Missionary’s for the Twos and Threes classes in 2013 and I have been here ever since. 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.


  • Chika Yoda

    Threes Class Head Teacher

    I was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan and I came to New York in 1999 as an international student for dance. I received a degree in Dance and a Masters in Elementary Education from Queens College and I’m a certified Early Childhood teacher. I’ve taught creative movement from ages two years old through high school students in public and private schools in New York City. I’ve taught for the Japanese Children’s Society in different age groups as a teacher and an education director. I started teaching at Little Mish in 2006 as an assistant teacher. After my first year in that role, I became Head Teacher for the preK class.  Over the years I have also worked in the 2’s, 2/3’s, 3’s, and 4’s classroom. Even though I work in other schools, I always come back to Little Mish. This school is my home in New York City. I’m so happy being in the classroom with the children. I love to see the children express their negative feelings freely and then the teachers accept and support those feelings. I admire the school philosophy and I love to spread it to the world!  I love to share my Japanese culture with the children. I introduce Japanese songs, books and art activities such as origami to the kids at Little Mish. I am so happy to be a part of the Little Mish community!

  • Alice Owen

    Co-Teacher 2s/3s Class

    I am so excited for my fourth year at Little Mish as Head Teacher of the 2s/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.

  • Maria Benker

    Assistant Teacher 2s 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! I love working in the Twos Class.  I am so proud to be a member of the Little Mish family!
    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.
  • Brittany Buchko

    After School Teacher

    Hello! My name Is Brittany and I’m a lead teacher for the afterschool program.  I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Queens College and will be completing my Masters in Early Childhood and Special Education B-2 this spring. Prior to joining the Little Mish team, I worked as a lead teacher and an education coordinator in a school for children ages 3months-5 years old.  My favorite part about being a teacher is watching a child make a new discovery, form friendships, and support them to overcome a challenge.  Early Childhood development is fascinating to me, and I find it so rewarding to be a part of each child’s individual journey.  Outside of being an afterschool teacher, I am a mom to 4 energetic children!  In my spare time I enjoy visiting the local community gardens and playgrounds with my children during the day and family game night every Friday!

  • Brooke Savitsky

    Co-teacher 2s/3s Class, After School

    I am thrilled to join the community of learners at Little Missionary Day Nursery!  This year I am joining Alice in the 2/3 year old classroom.

    The minute I walked through the doors and toured the program at Little Mish I fell in love with the place, people, and purpose. I have worked in the field of early childhood education for the past two decades earning a BS in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a MsEd in Early Childhood Education from City College.

    My practice centers on a holistic family-centered approach supporting the whole child and whole family valuing resilience and emotional well-being above all else.  It has been a privilege to support so many children during their very first school experience and share in some of the most precious moments in my families’ lives. I look forward to living and learning among you all and having many adventurers here at Little Mish!
  • Destiny Cloud

    Hello! My name is Destiny, I’m an assistant teacher to the 3’s classroom and the dance program teacher for all these incredible learners and movers! 

    I recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College as a first generation student in May of 2023 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dance with a concentration in Kinesiology. I also received dance education training for 6 years in my hometown of California before moving to New York where I continued teaching at various schools in the state. I’ve danced and choreographed at various venues around the city including Gibney Dance and Broadway Dance Center. The most rewarding experiences, however, has been the opportunity to visit classrooms and dance schools and teach movement from young novices to advanced adults. Movement has always had a special place in my heart and I’m so glad I’m getting the privilege to share my love of dance with your kids.

    I’m so excited to begin my journey here at Little Mish! Honored and looking forward to help facilitate the beginning of your child’s education journey.