Meet our talented teachers!
Nicole Asselta lives in Port Washington and is a mother of three children. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who received her Masters of Social Work from Hunter University. Nicole also has a certificate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from New York University. Nicole worked as a Social Worker for Montefiore Medical Center in the Division of Adolescent Medicine and as a Social Worker for Visiting Nurse Service of New York. Nicole also served as the PRC’s Vice-President and Outreach Co-Chair.
Olga Berest has owned and operated the Berest Dance Center in Port Washington since 1979. Trained at the American Ballet Theater School and the Martha Graham School, she also has a B.S. in Speech and Hearing Pathology and an M.S. in Special Education. Her creative movement program is well known by the industry and has been written into teachers manuals, dance magazines, and presented at workshops. Olga developed and taught the very first movement program at the Parent Resource Center during its earliest years of operations.
Gregg Donovan is a father of two who has lived in Port Washington since 2013. He has been writing software professionally for 20 years and is currently a Staff Software Engineer at Etsy focused on search and machine learning infrastructure. He attended Brown and Columbia University and previously taught chess lessons and classes for kids.
Marlene Kirsh attended the highly competitive Fashion Institute of Technology, where she graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. She then went on to several fashion design jobs; first designing girls dance costumes, then women’s evening wear, and finally bridal gowns. Although Marlene was achieving success as a designer, she tired of the industry’s cutthroat ways; where copying or “knocking off” a design was more the rule than the exception. She decided it was time to pursue her next passion, her love of children.
Marlene went back to school, and received her Masters in Education from Adelphi. She then spent 8 very fulfilling years as an elementary school teacher in Glen Cove, NY, teaching 2nd and 3rd grades. However, after giving birth to her son Evan, she resigned the teaching position that she loved, in order to be a full time mom. Never one to sit still, Marlene turned to her third passion, fitness, to find a part time job which would fit with her schedule as a mom.
Recently, Marlene developed a fashion design program for children, which she taught at the Portledge School Summer Camp. She looks forward to bringing that program to the Parent Resource Center.
Jen (Fink) Schiffer, more commonly known as “Yoga Jen,” she received her Master’s Degree from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Jen is the Director of Business Development for Karma Kids Yoga, as well as a Registered Yoga Teacher who teaches all ages – from 5 weeks to 105 years. Jen lives in Port Washington with her husband and two sons and is an active member of the Port community, working in numerous schools and organizations around town, sharing her love of learning and yoga.
Jennifer Mannion is a mother of two who has lived in Port Washington since 2010. She graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education and went on to do food writing and recipe development for several magazines and websites. She was also the Associate Food Editor at Country Living. Over the past 4 years Jennifer has taught culinary classes for Sur La Table and more recently privately throughout LI and Manhattan. She has a passion for real food and is passionate about getting kids to eat it.
Kat & Rob Nolfe Having taught private voice and music lessons for over a decade in Manhattan, Kat and Rob Nolfe moved to Port Washington in 2014 offering custom 1-on-1 private voice, guitar and piano lessons and group classes in their private studio. Voice Academy’s students have a great track record including #1 Billboard hits, advancing in idol shows and our well attended showcases at The Bitter End in NYC and local showcases in Port Washington (at HarborFest and Party in the Park). We also prep for auditions for school musicals and admission into performing arts high schools. Both Kat and Rob have substantial experience in the music business and are current performers, songwriters and producers. You can learn more about them here here.
Briana Parrino is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz. She completed her degree in Visual Art Education with a concentration in Drawing and Painting. She is currently studying at Hofstra University to become a certified Art Therapist. Although she is relatively new to The Parent Resource Center she is no stranger to working with children. She has spent three years being a camp counselor at North Shore Day camp. Additionally she has been spending her time after college nannying and working at the Haven Art here in Port Washington.
Michi Sefick is a mother of two and moved to Port Washington in 2016. She has a B.A. in Sociology and Education from Smith College and a law degree from Boston College. She most recently worked at Beginnings Nursery School in Manhattan and is currently pursuing a masters degree and certification in early childhood education from Queens College. She has a great love of books and is passionate about progressive education and play-based learning.
Joanne Seto was born and raised in Hong Kong. After achieving her Bachelor degree in Social Work in Hong Kong and working in the government for several years, Joanne came over to the States and
obtained her Master degree in Child Development from Tufts University. She then worked in the Early Intervention Program in New York until having her son. Being a stay-home mom, Joanne witnesses the growth and development of her son, which is such a precious and memorable experience. That’s exactly how she feels for the working parents who would want to stay home and spend more quality time with their children if they could! It’s always been a pleasurable experience for Joanne to work with children who are the purest and innocent creatures (ok, sometimes a little crazy!) Let’s enrich and strengthen the parent-child bonding and have some fun in Miss Joanne’s class!
Jeff Sorg, a popular children’s singer/songwriter, has been teaching his music classes at the PRC for over a decade. Jeff encourages participation form the parent as well as the child with sing-alongs, movement and marching songs. His ability to play several instruments (guitar, harmonica, keyboards, ukulele) also gives the children the chance to experience the different sounds these instruments produce. For more info on Jeff, visit his website www.JeffSorgMusic.com
Elizabeth Sullivan is a psychotherapist at a Garden City private practice. She also serves patients at Adelphi’s Derner Institute’s Postgraduate Psychotherapy Center, where she is receiving analytic training. She was awarded her BS in Psychology from Georgetown University, her MS in Biology from the University of Memphis, and her MSW from Adelphi University with a specialization in treating trauma in adolescents. Elizabeth is the mother of three teenagers. She looks forward to drawing from both her professional and personal experiences to support PRC parents as they navigate the challenges and joys of raising adolescents.
Gail Thorpe started volunteering for the PRC Stepping Stones Outreach Program in September 2009 and is still with the program. Gail has a BS and Masters in Special Education and worked for the NYC Board of Education for ten years. Over the past 20 years she has served on the PTA and HSA boards in the Port Washington School district where her three children were enrolled. She feels it is very rewarding working with the Outreach families and knowing that the Outreach program is making the transition to PreK and Kindergarten easier for the children and their families.
Nina Tolins is a certified music and movement teacher (DEA), a certified vocal coach using the techniques of Katie Agresta, martial artist , and was the winner of the Billboard World Song Contest for the R&B/Soul category in 2009, as well as the winner s of their Song of the Year in the pop category in 2012. Nina was also voted Long Island’s Best singer by the Long Island Press for three consecutive years . Co owner of magicsong productions studio and a graduate from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Program with a major in music. Nina has a passion and skill set that she cannot wait to share with your children .
Leah Zwerlein is a mother of two and has lived in Port Washington for ten years. She has a B.S. in Sociology from the University or Maryland and is a Registered Yoga Instructor for both adults and children. In recent years she decided to focus on teaching kids and has never looked back. She received her kid yoga certification from Karma Kids yoga and has been teaching kids and family classes at Yoga Life in town as well as preschools and daycares in the area.