Founded by Tamar Lindenfeld, the Chalkdust Inc. team is made up of highly qualified, passionate educators with a love for learning, and improving their craft. Working collaboratively, we meet to share methods, strategies and ideas so that we are constantly evolving.
Read more about our tutors below.
"Education is not the learning of facts,
training of the mind
Tamar Lindenfeld received her Bachelors of Arts in early childhood and elementary education as well as in hebrew language from CUNY Queens College. She received her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Special Education from Bank Street College of Education. Since 2010, when she began tutoring, Tamar has been refining her craft in individualized educational support. While getting her masters she realized the reward of incorporating what she knew of special education into her tutoring sessions, and from this her educational consulting began. As her relationships with her clients deepened, her connection to their families grew and so too her desire to help the parent become an active member of the struggle that education (sometimes) can be. Tamar started Chalkdust Incorporated with a dream to provide individualized support to children throughout Manhattan.
When she is not tutoring, consulting or teaching, Tamar can be found outdoors with her Australian Shepherd. A native New Yorker, Tamar now resides in the East Village and utilizes the parks, museums and cupcake bakeries that the city has to offer.
Maria Ines Zanotti, known as Ines, received her B.A. in Psychology from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. She received her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University as well as a bilingual extension in Spanish Education. Ines has taught both kindergarten and first grade, she is currently teaching in East Harlem. Ines values experiential learning and works hard to get to know a child in order to best develop an educational plan that is centered around their interests. She feels strongly that this fosters an intrinsic motivation and passion for learning different skills.
When Ines is not tutoring or teaching, she can be found running, or with a cooking utensil in hand. This NYC transplant now resides on the Upper West Side and takes advantage of the parks and nature in her backyard.
Anna Fosselman received her Masters in Early Childhood Education, both regular and special education, from Pace University. Prior to her graduate studies at Pace, Anna received her BFA in Musical Theater from The New School. Anna currently teaches in a 3’s classroom in a private school in Manhattan. Anna truly believes in meeting each student where they are, and in giving them the tools and resources to feel successful. Her students gaining confidence in all areas academically is of utmost importance to her. Play based learning is something that Anna feels very passionately about. She feels it is crucial to give students hands on experiences that allow them to explore and to learn about the world around them in an individualized way. When working with children to prepare for G&T testing, it is this school of thought that guides Anna's plans for each session. In addition to teaching pre-kindergarten, Anna is trained in Teacher's College Reading Rescue and has used this training to work with students grades K-2 in literacy. With this work Anna has been able to bring students below grade level to grade level and above. When not teaching, Anna can be found singing, volunteering in the kids program at her church and hanging out with her friends.
Thomas Vorsteg is a dual-language special-education teacher fluent in both English and Spanish. He taught in New York City's Public School System in bilingual elementary classrooms. He graduated Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science and then, earned his Master of Science in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College. Thomas sees tutoring as a powerful intervention tool because it is an opportunity to provide highly individualized instruction. In addition, he also really enjoys the unique bond tutors develop with their students and families. Thomas's enthusiasm for experiential learning means that his sessions are filled with exciting, hands-on learning experiences that are highly engaging. When Thomas is not working with and learning from children, he enjoys practicing his Spanish, reading plays, seeing live theatre, trying out new restaurants and playing with his cat, Charlie.
Sydnie Henkin received her M.S.Ed from Bank Street in Early Childhood Special and General Education. Prior to studying at Bank Street Sydnie receives her B.S. in Child Psychology and Early Childhood Education from Tulane University. Sydnie currently teaches Pre-K at a private school in Manhattan from September to June and has the role of Camp Director for 1 to 5 year olds over the summer. Sydnie is passionate about play based education, as she deeply values the importance of children having a hands-on experience to make learning their own. Sydnie specializes in working with children 2 to 5 years old and has experience with preparing children for G&T, Hunter Elementary, and Private School admissions. When not teaching, or overseeing and planning camp, Sydnie can be found in her kitchen cooking, teaching children’s cooking classes, or out and about with her dog, Moose.
Andria Manolopoulos has had a true love of teaching since childhood. After getting her bachelors in Childhood Education from SUNY Oneonta, she moved to New York City to work with the diverse population the city has to offer. After teaching fourth grade in the Bronx for a few years Andria set off on an adventure to teach English in Thailand. She currently works as a math curriculum specialist and targeted assistant for grades 4-8 in the Bronx. Andria specializes in test preparation for all ages. She is trained in test preparation for the state tests grades 3-5, as well as Gifted and Talented testing for children in early childhood. Although Andria is highly skilled in testing, she values the whole child. Getting to know her students personally allows Andria to create fun, engaging lessons that ensure students meet grade standards through games, projects, and technology. Her focus is not learning for the test, but instead providing children with skills that are useful for the test and beyond! When not teaching, Andria can be found hiking upstate or in the kitchen making meals from scratch.
Brittany Angelini graduated Siena College with a dual major in History and Education. Brittany's expertise is secondary education, she has worked with students grades 7 through 12 and most enjoys teaching English Language Arts and History. Brittany cares deeply about the development of the whole child. She focuses on social and emotional growth through education by developing working techniques that help her clients build confidence and healthy habits. Brittany is so passionate about mental health that she is pursuing her masters in School Counseling from Fordham University.
In her free time Brittany enjoys reading novels, practicing yoga and spending time with her loved ones.
Genevieve Rana received her Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of California, Riverside and her Masters of Science in Museum Education, Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education. Genevieve specializes in math support for students of all ages. She has had the unique opportunity to engage with students of different ages in museum, classroom, and outdoor settings. Due to the diverse and, often, unpredictable environment of informal education, Genevieve thrives in differentiating learning opportunities using unique resources for her students. She has translated this experience to her work in the classroom through the use of hands-on investigations and experiential learning. She strives to instill a growth-mindset to support her students in becoming lifelong learners. Genevieve currently teaches first grade in Manhattan and continues to work in museums during school breaks. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys going on long runs, reading, and trying new restaurants
Shannon Ballou is an enthusiastic, progressive educator who values the whole child. Shannon received her education in Washington D.C. at the Catholic University of America. She taught pre-k for many years and followed a Reggio Emilia approach. She values song, dance, and rhythm when working with our youngest clients. Through her early childhood work she focused on fine tuning her expertise in developmental benchmarks of children from birth through early childhood. Shannon measured student progress by their ability to meet these standards. After teaching pre-k for a number of years she switched over to second grade to see how the work on the front end of early childhood education impacts the end of it, and the overall transition into elementary education. These experiences gave Shannon invaluable insight into ways that foundational skills impact later stages of education, and showed her how to prioritize skills with her youngest students. We are happy to welcome Shannon back to New York where she has returned to school to study at Columbia Teacher’s College to earn a masters degree in literacy.
Victoria Monte received her B.A. in Developmental Psychology from New York University. She is currently completing the second half of a dual degree program, pursuing an M.S. Ed. in General and Special Education from Bank Street and an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work from Columbia University. Victoria has worked in classrooms with students in grades 1-5. She uses an empathetic approach to seek an understanding of each student’s mind, life, and world. She then crafts teaching and working techniques that suit a student’s learning needs while also contributing to the development of the whole student. She helps students build confidence, assess the skills and knowledge they already possess, and visualize what they can become. When she is not teaching, Victoria enjoys baking, playing the ukulele, reading, and spending time with her friends.
While attending college at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Ellie Sands interned for the Department of Education and pioneered their "Story Engine" initiative. Through this endeavor she researched, documented, edited, and published the individual experiences of school officials, teachers, and district leaders about their challenges and the best practices they used to overcome them. After graduating from college in 2017 she became a corps member for Teach for America, where she taught eighth grade English Language Arts at Harlem Prep Middle School in Harlem, New York. Ellie wrote and planned curriculum aligned to the Common Core Standards, and leveraged quantitative and qualitative data in order to alter that curriculum to fit her students' needs. Ellie taught an IEP cohort and tutored her students in their core subjects. She was also part of the "Champions" mentorship program at her school. After her time teaching, Ellie attended Columbia University Graduate School, where she received a Masters of Arts in Political Science and pursued joint studies in Journalism. It was at Columbia that she co-founded the criminal justice reform non-profit "The Pathway Project." Ellie is currently the CEO of The Pathway Project, and spends her time advocating for criminal justice reform alongside educational equity. In her free time she goes on walks with her french bulldog, Scout, enjoys boxing, and loves going to the beach.
Margaret Hoffman received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Education from Brandeis University. She received a Masters degree at Bank Street Graduate School of Education in Museum Education and Elementary Education. She began her career as a preschool teacher with a Reggio Emilia inspired early childhood program on Harvard University's campus. She spent the summers directing an art and nature camp at a local sculpture park for children ages 5 through 12. Since moving to New York, Margaret has created and facilitated curriculum at the Brooklyn Children's Museum for early childhood audiences and taught 1st and 4th grades in both private and public school settings. When she's not tutoring, Margaret teaches in the Science and Nature Program at the American Museum of Natural History. She's a practitioner of STEAM-inspired experiential learning and creating lessons based on an individual child's interests. She creates space for children to be creative, playful, and joyful within the classroom. Margaret enjoys walking the city streets with her dog, Coco, playing on stage with her improv comedy troupe, and cooking elaborate vegetarian recipes.
Marissa Charlemagne attended Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. While there she gained a true passion for education and educational equity. In conjunction with the community based learning office at Goucher, Marissa worked to establish strong connections between the Baltimore community and Goucher College. As a result she pioneered the middle school mentoring program for inner city youth and Goucher college students; the program helped to foster long lasting relationships that focused on the importance of education as a tool for liberation. Upon graduation she received awards for innovative teaching, community service, and practical politics. Post graduation Marissa joined the Teach For America Corps in Baltimore city where she began her career as a High School English teacher. As a New York native, she found her way back to the city and has been teaching 4th grade in Brooklyn for the past three years. In this role Marissa worked to build a love of learning and foster a sense of community with her scholars. Marissa is currently attending New York University Steinhardt for her Masters in Educational leadership politics and advocacy, where she plans to continue her work to put children first, as she truly believes they are the future.
Brooke Robinson is currently a second-grade teacher in the New York City Public School System. She has been teaching for seven years at the same innovative arts school in Queens and has taught grades k-2. Brooke received a double Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Elementary Education from Queens College, as well as her Master’s Degree in Literacy Diagnostics from St. John’s University. While studying at St. John’s University, Brooke was a guest speaker in lectures discussing how incorporating the arts into curriculum can heighten the level of engagement, cognitive reasoning and dialogue. Brooke believes in the importance of meeting students where they are and creating a love for learning that will continue beyond each session. She creates immeasurable bonds with her students that enable them to confide in her and trust her, which in turn leads to their success. She has a passion for literacy and reading remediation and is well versed in Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Workshop as well as their new phonics program, among others. In addition to her literacy trainings, Brooke has also worked closely with Metamorphosis and Investigations Math and has a love for fostering a comfortable relationship between students and math, growing their number sense and reasoning skills. She believes that through hands on learning, students will be highly engaged and motivated. Brooke looks forward to providing highly individualized instruction that will bridge any gaps, cultivating a loving and professional relationship with the student, and making sure that their needs are met and exceeded. In her free time, Brooke enjoys going to the beach, cooking and trying new restaurants, staying active, reading books and traveling.
Alex Seltzer has been working with children for almost twelve years. Alex received her BA in Communications and soon after realized that her passions were in working with children. She began her work with children and families long before that, starting as a nanny. This one on one work led her to tutoring. Alex has worked with children from early childhood through upper middle school, tutoring for ISEE and the SSAT. Most recently Alex has been a teacher at a private elementary school on the Upper East Side. Her passion for education took her beyond the classroom when she decided to pursue other ways to support childhood development. Alex obtained her 75 and 200 hour certification in Children's Yoga, and also pursued her Postpartum Doula certification. Alex has completed 3 summer series certifications at Stanford's Bing Nursery School. Alex is an energetic, animated and creative person who loves to teach and learn from children. She feels strongly about integrated play and exploration into the teaching that she does so that she can support her students' love of learning.
Amanda Borelli is currently a learning specialist and ninth grade remedial reading and writing teacher at a middle and high school on the Upper West Side. She earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware in Elementary Education and Special Education (Grades 1-6) with a minor in Disability Studies in 2017. After graduation, Amanda worked at an Elementary School in Rockland County while she pursued a Master's degree in Literacy (birth through sixth grade) at St.Thomas Aquinas College. Once Amanda received her masters degree, she moved to New York City and made the transition to adolescent education. Amanda is passionate about differentiated education to ensure that each student can reach their potential. She uses hands-on learning experiences to make learning more engaging for her students. Amanda spends her summers as an administrator, mentoring campers and counselors, at Camp Ramaquois in Pomona, New York. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, taking fitness classes, and reading.
Aviva Pernikoff received her B.A. in English and Art History from Yeshiva University. She is currently completing a dual Masters degree in Early Childhood General and Special Education at Bank Street College of Education. Aviva has spent the last decade working with children in different settings, focusing on children in early childhood and elementary school. For the last four years Aviva has worked as a teacher’s assistant in a New York City public school. Her teaching style prioritizes the development of the whole child; working with children on achieving academic success as well as developing their social and emotional growth. With her classroom experience she has been given the opportunity to develop strategies to support children in strengthening their skills, utilizing their interests to maintain engagement. Aviva has worked for multiple families to support their children with their academic responsibilities and feels strongly about building a home-school connection. When she’s not in the classroom, Aviva enjoys taking yoga classes, thrifting and exploring the city.
Miranda Kalle received her M.S.Ed from Bank Street College of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. Before studying at Bank Street, Miranda received her bachelors of science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Delaware where she minored in Disability Studies and Human Development and Family Studies. Miranda is New York State certified in early childhood education (birth-2nd grade) and students with disabilities (birth-2nd grade). Miranda currently is a head teacher at a private preschool school on the Upper East Side. She is passionate about learning and teaching young children through play and hands on, developmentally appropriate practices. During the summer, Miranda is a division leader at day camp is White Plains, NY where she supervises and mentors counselors as well as 1st grade campers. When Miranda is not working with children she enjoys going to the beach and museums, spending time with friends and family, reading and watching cooking shows.
Alexa Hirschberg is a passionate and progressive educator who served two years in Teach for America. Alexa is currently an english teacher for 10th and 11th grade, as well as a Careers and Occupations curator in the New York City Public School System where Alexa has written and planned curriculum, several IEP’s, and piloted an internship program for students to work on career pathways. Alexa earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Delaware in Health Behavior Science with minors in Business Administration and Public Health in 2018. Alexa has worked in the Bronx while pursuing her masters degree at Relay School of Education. Alexa has worked with over twenty five families to support with homework help for students with a range of abilities and grade levels. She has worked with children for the past ten years, ranging from age 2 to 18, and enjoys getting to know the whole child. Understanding the whole child is important to her, so she can provide children with skills that will be useful in and out of the classroom. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys teaching and taking yoga, advocating for mental health, baking, reading, and spending time with her family and friends.