Our New School Director

Laurie Rouder

Laurie Rouder joined the Red Balloon in August 2019. Through her ongoing work with the Parent Board, all of the families and the staff, she has come to understand the sense of community that lives at the Red Balloon and greatly appreciates her warm welcome. She has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Education from Queens College. She began her teaching career as a New York City DOE teacher, and after a few years, started a family of her own. In 1997, Laurie continued her career as an Early Childhood Educator and was the founding director of two New York City early childhood

learning centers. As the director, Laurie balances her time between playing with the children, supporting the teachers and maintaining the integrity of the program. Laurie is a member of the Leadership Initiative through CUNY Professional Development Institute and is committed to her ongoing professional development as well as that of the Red Balloon staff. She is a firm believer in supporting a play-based approach to early childhood learning and is delighted to have joined the Red Balloon family.

Our Head Teachers

In the Yellow Room

In the Blue Room

In the Orange Room

Tara Lencl

Head Teacher (2002)*, MA Early Childhood Education,
Columbia University currently working on her Doctorate from Teacher’s College

Ann Hershkowitz

Head Teacher (1996)*, MS Early Education, Brooklyn College

Sharron Hall

Head Teacher (2013)*, MA Early Childhood Education,
New York University

Assistant Teachers

Mary Timmons

Assistant Teacher, Graduate of University of Iowa, currently attending Brooklyn College for her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood*

Sophie Needleman

Attends Teachers College, Columbia University, where she studies Motor Learning and Development.
Former Assistant Teacher at Sarah Lawrence College Early Childhood Center Lab Preschool.

Christopher Warner

BA, Assistant Teacher (1994)*

Monique Gueits

Assistant Teacher (1985)*
CDA Degree in Early Childhood Education

Judy Victoria

Assistant Teacher (1989)*
CDA Degree in Early Childhood Education

Lourdes Davila Rojas

Assistant Teacher (1986)*
CDA Degree in Early Childhood Education

*  Date started at The Red Balloon