Guidepost Montessori at Museum Mile is a new Montessori community on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. At the heart of our school is our belief that children thrive when given freedom and responsibility in Montessori environments prepared especially for them. Our bright, beautiful classrooms and caring staff members will nurture your child’s joy for learning. We welcome your family to our community!
Our beautiful campus and welcoming community is the perfect place for your child to explore her own potential.
Guidepost Montessori classrooms are light, airy, calming, aesthetically beautiful spaces. Each material is carefully chosen and carefully displayed — to inspire and entice your child to explore.
Children's House Classrooms
Erika Somogyi, Head of School
Erika Somogyi excitedly brings a wide range of global teaching and leading experience to Guidepost Montessori. Erika began her teaching career as an English Specialist with a small NGO in Yemen and soon after continued exploring different educational cultures through teaching in France and China. While at an experimental primary school in France, Erika started to realize that her students thrived when given the freedom to discover and create rather than be merely ‘taught’. Accordingly, she started experimenting with alternative pedagogies in order to better capture young children’s natural passion for exploring the world around them. As a result of her continued dedication to developing new curricula, Erika was presented with the Shanghai Foreign Teacher Award for her innovative work in China as a Lower Elementary Teacher and Chinese Public School Teacher Trainer. Inspired, she went on to complete her Association Montessori International (AMI) diploma in Chennai, India where Maria Montessori herself had taught and lived. Since then, Erika has observed, taught and completed leadership projects in Montessori environments in India, Boston, The Philippines and New York. She is passionate about the ingenuity of the Montessori educational philosophy and has continually witnessed how well it prepares children with the necessary skills to succeed in today’s world.
Erika graduated from the University of Otago in New Zealand with a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honors in Anthropology, has a Master of Social Science (MSSc) from Linkoping University in Sweden and a Master of Arts (MA) in Private School Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to her work as a teacher and Montessori educator, Erika has presented her research on continued professional development for educators at various conferences such as the Harvard Global Education Conference, The CIES 2017 Meeting of the International Education Society and assisted as part of a training team at the World Federation of the United Nations (WFUNA).
In her free time Erika enjoys running along the East River, relaxing in Savasana after a good yoga class, and spending time with her daughter, husband and parakeets. After traveling the world, Erika is proud to call Brooklyn home. She looks forward to creating a caring community at Guidepost Montessori's Museum Mile location.
Nina Gardner, Administrative Director
Ms. Nina Gardner is currently studying to earn her bachelor’s degree in English and guidance counseling from the City College of New York. Ms. Gardner has long had a passion for working with young children. In fact, she served as the assistant director at Reach for the Stars, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting youth that Ms. Gardner had participated in herself when she was a high school student! At Reach for the Stars, Ms. Gardner sent hundreds of NYC students to four-year colleges and universities on full scholarships. Recently, Ms. Gardner developed an interest in language immersion. She explored that interest at HudsonWay Immersion School until moving to Guidepost, where she is thrilled to now work. In her leisure time, Ms. Gardner loves to travel the world, and she is also an avid pin collector.
Stephanie Jamison, Admissions Director
Ms. Stephanie L. Jamison earned her degree in general education and creative writing from Palm Beach Atlantic University, and is currently pursuing her master’s in apologetics at Liberty University. She previously served as a marketing director with the Chick-fil-A corporate team for several years and has over five years’ experience as an admissions counselor and career advisor in the higher education field. As the new Admissions Director of Guidepost Montessori in Manhattan, Ms. Jamison is excited to meet the current and potential families of Guidepost. She is deeply passionate about what the Montessori pedagogy cultivates in its students. Outside of work, Ms. Jamison enjoys Marvel movie nights with her 11-year-old daughter Faith, traveling abroad, writing poetry/spoken word, and cooking her favorite dishes for family and friends!
Lucy Chen, Mandarin Lead Guide, Children's House
Ms. Lucy Chen earned her master's degree in developmental psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University. She also holds a Montessori Early Childhood Credential from the American Montessori Society (AMS). Thanks to years of studying the cognitive and neurological benefits associated with bilingualism, Ms. Chen has become a strong advocate of early childhood second-language exposure. She has many years of experience teaching at various schools and is simply fascinated by the Montessori Method. Ms. Chen is thrilled to continue her passion for guiding children in developing into the fullest expression of themselves in the beautiful Montessori environments that Guidepost provides. It is with great pleasure and excitement that she has joined the Guidepost community!
Andrea Cui, Mandarin Lead Guide, Elementary
A native Mandarin speaker, Andrea Cui is deeply passionate about teaching and working with children of varying age levels. She was inspired by the Montessori pedagogy after joining the first Association Montessori International certified elementary school in China. Andrea obtained her AMI elementary certificate in 2016 from the Montessori Institute of San Diego, and began working as a Mandarin speaking elementary guide in a bilingual school in California. Andrea spent the school year planning her own Chinese Montessori curriculum and implementing Montessori methods in teaching Mandarin to her non-Chinese students.
Andrea Cui attended Purdue University from 2008-2012, where she completed her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts, majoring in Sociology and Communication. She also attended high school in Germany, where she learned to speak German. She has extensive experience in advertising and marketing from her past careers as well.
In her spare time, Andrea enjoys singing and reading Chinese and Japanese literature. She hopes that her diverse background will influence her students not merely academically, but also by showing them how to live with integrity and independence while immersing oneself in a new culture.
Xinting Lu, Mandarin Lead Guide, Children's House
Xinting Lu began teaching Mandarin in 2010 and has since received her Master’s of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language and Special Education from Adelphi University. Xinting has worked with children from 1½ through 13 years old, and has taught in language schools, Montessori schools, and general education schools. After seeing many different types of schools, Xinting finally found her passion in Montessori education. She received her AMI Primary certificate at the Southwest Institute of Montessori Studies in Phoenix, Arizona, and is currently completing her AMI Assistants to Infancy training for children from 0–3 in Beijing.
Ian Nesbit, English Lead Guide, Elementary
Mr. Ian Nesbit’s teaching career began during his graduate studies when he tutored students and completed an AmeriCorps internship in Cleveland, Mississippi. He has experience with homeschool families and conventional schools, as well as a background in education, sociology, and political science that has helped him develop innovative strategies and a passion for alternative methods. After five years of teaching sociology at the university level, he decided to transition to teaching younger students and completed his AMI diploma in Elementary Education at Montessori Northwest. After living and working in Mississippi and Louisiana, Mr. Nesbit is now excited to move from his hometown of Portland, Oregon, to the iconic city of New York!
Hannah Shepard, English Lead Guide, Children's House
Ms. Hannah Shepard began her Montessori journey in 2004 as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in Bangor, Maine. She went on to study International Education at Global College of Long Island University. After graduating, she combined her love of Montessori and her passion for international travel by working in Montessori schools in Taizhou and Xiamen in China in teaching and administrative capacities. The more time she spent in a Montessori environment, the more deeply she understood how it supports the development of the full potential of the child. Ms. Shepard went on to complete her AMI Primary Diploma at the Montessori Institute Prague. In her leisure time, Ms. Shepard enjoys baking, reading, and traveling with her husband and two daughters.
Luc Travers, Art Education Specialist
Luc Travers is the author of Touching The Art: A Guide to Enjoying Art at an Art Museum. He received his B.A. in Art History from the University of Memphis in 2003. Since then he has taught and created curriculum in art appreciation and literature for students of all levels with an emphasis on elementary and junior high students. He worked for eight years at VanDamme Academy, a classical education-based elementary/junior high school, where he developed an innovative art appreciation curriculum and trained fellow teachers in the approach. For the past four years, Luc has put together curriculum and taught classes for the two online education companies he created, Touching The Art and Literature At Our House. Along with teaching online and in the classroom, Luc has shared his passion for art through tours at dozens of art museums all over the U.S. and abroad. In his spare time, Luc loves to play soccer and to spend time with his niece.
Jessica Wang, Mandarin Guide, Children's House
Ms. Jessica Wang earned her master’s degree in learning analytics from Teachers College of Columbia University. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Chinese linguistics and literature. Ms. Wang likes learning and teaching language, and for four years, she has worked with second-language learners of various ages. She fell in love with the Montessori Method while taking a learning design course. In her leisure time, Ms. Wang loves frequenting museums and doing graphic design work. She is also a certified tour guide in the American Museum of Natural History.
Fei Yan, Montessori Together Guide
Ms. Fei Yan possesses eight years of experience working with children as a children’s voice instructor and Montessori Mandarin lead teacher. She is AMS-trained (3–6) and underwent fifteen years of professional voice training! Currently, Ms. Yan is working to earn her master’s degree in classical voice at the Manhattan School of Music. She adores working with children and greatly admires the respect, grace, and courtesy that the Montessori pedagogy fosters in its students. Outside of teaching and singing, Ms. Yan enjoys Zumba and traveling abroad.
Children are compelling in every way. They are fascinating, intriguing, charming, heartwarming creatures with infinite variation in personalities, tendencies, and interests.
The unique joy and sacred responsibility of a child's caretakers is to learn about her — to discover and fall in love with her as she grows, to let careful observation and observant care guide her development, and to get to know her well enough to help her shape herself. A child's teachers and parents are collaborators in this process that is at once scientific discovery and heartfelt nurturing.
To that end, our school is designed to further connect you with your child, to bring you into a community of valuable resources and education-minded people, and to make it as easy as possible for you to understand and support your child as she grows.
Insights into Your Child
The Montessori approach emphasizes careful, theory-informed, individualized observation of each child's development. We don't want to keep what we see to ourselves! The impact of these observations is greatest when shared with a child's parents.
At Guidepost, parents receive regular, detailed updates about their children. Classroom guides are available outside of class hours by phone, email, or for scheduled in-person meetings. Your child’s guide will also meet with you for regularly-scheduled conferences about your child's learning and growth.
We see these conversations, both periodic conferences and frequent exchanges, as critical for both giving and receiving information. They allow teachers to hear from the people most expert and most observant about a child: his parents.
Parents will also receive written progress reports two to three times per year, each a summary of a teacher's observations of the child over the course of the previous months. Meanwhile, day-to-day and week-to-week, parents receive regular updates from the teacher, in the form of photographs and written anecdotes about their child.
And finally, parents are able to directly access Transparent Classroom, the web-based system we use for careful record keeping and observations about your child. Transparent Classroom offers you an on-demand window into the lessons and classroom life of your child.
A great school offers the incredible resource of a trusted partner for parents in the education of their child. The simplest way to amplify that resource is to offer more of it: to offer it at flexible hours so that you can access a trusted, caring partner during days and times when you need us the most.
At Guidepost, we offer an extended school day program, where children thrive in the Montessori approach all day long. Early morning and late afternoon times offer children the downtime and free time they need in order to assimilate all that they have learned during the school day. Each child can find time to develop interests outside the classroom with expert guidance, and to explore an environment rich with opportunities.
To ensure that parents can rely upon a consistent social and recreational experience in a warm and expert school setting, our extended day schedule is offered inclusively with the cost of our programs: there is no extra charge for morning and afternoon extended day hours.
In addition, extracurricular programs are offered during the afternoon extended day, after class time is over. Parents and children can choose from a wide variety of optional activities designed to spark your child’s passion in some way.
Guidepost Montessori runs year-round. We know that we need to be available as a support for your family, so we minimize school closure days as much as we can. For enrolled families, a full calendar will be available on our Parent Portal.
Our typical school day runs from about 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, depending on the program. However, because we believe so strongly in supporting a partnership between home and school for families needing greater accessibility, our all-inclusive tuition price includes the option to utilize our extended day program. This means that your family can drop off as early as 7:00 AM and pick up as late as 6:00 PM.