Benita R. Miller, Esq.
Benita R. Miller, Esq.
Benita R. Miller, Esq. previously served as the Executive Director of the NYC Children’s Cabinet in the Office of the Mayor and was also Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Family Permanency Services at the Administration for Children’s Services. While at the Mayor’s Office, she led the city’s effort to improve services for children and families impacted by incarceration and also launched the Unity Project. She also secured federal funding to improve service delivery to young parents and their children.
At ACS, she led initiatives and operations related to ensuring the safety, wellbeing and permanency of all children receiving foster care services as well as caseload reductions and trauma assessment tools in family foster care. Miller developed the Housing Academy Collaborative to better prepare youth transitioning from foster care to supportive housing and NYCHA residences. She also strengthened services being provided to expectant and parenting youth and secured support from the Center for the Study of Social Policy to develop policies and programming for young fathers who are in foster care.
She created the Office of Older Youth Services and Residential Care Monitoring and oversaw the third phase of residential care reduction for ACS and also facilitated the co-location of ACS staff at Riker’s Island to ensure that youth who are in foster care were being appropriately served while awaiting the disposition of criminal matters. Miller also developed the Case Monitoring and Compliance Unit to enhance safety and risk assessments of children and youth being reunified with their families.
Before joining ACS, Miller served as Director of Scholarships at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where among other responsibilities she implemented programs for undergraduate and law student scholars. Benita is the founder and former executive director of the Brooklyn Young Mother’s Collective and previously represented children and young people in child protective, delinquency, and PINS proceedings in Brooklyn Family Court as a staff lawyer with the Legal Aid Society. Miller earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Print Journalism from Wayne State University where she was a Rosa Parks Scholar at The Detroit News, and a law degree from Syracuse University.
Programs & Curriculum
Wanda Barbot is a lifelong educator. Her education includes a Master’s Degree as a Reading Specialist from New York University and School Administration from the City University of New York, City College. She also holds New York State certification as an early childhood educator.
During her 30+ years in education she has been an elementary school teacher, a middle/high school administrator, special education administrator and a teacher trainer/coach with the New York City Department of Education.
While each phase of her career has been different, she remains a thoughtful educator and leader, who understands the value of building relationships of trust and respect with her students, parents and colleagues.
Director of Education and Instructional Support
Sheryl Quallo has served as an Education Director for almost a decade in various centers throughout Brooklyn. Prior to working within the Early Childhood Education field, she was a Special Education Teacher for the New York City Department of Education.
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Utica College of Syracuse University and her Master’s of Science Degree in Education from Brooklyn College.
Deputy Director of Early Care & Education
Seray Almamy joined Nat Azarow Children’s Center in 2012 as a Group Teacher. He holds an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree in Education from Bronx Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology as well as a Master’s Degree in Childhood Education from City College.
Previously, Mr. Almamy worked for Bright Horizon at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Grand Street Settlement’s Early Childhood Program as well as a Teaching Assistant for ten years in Bronx Community College’s Education & Reading Department. Prior to his immigration to the United States, he taught in Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
Director, Nat Azarow Children’s Center
Marcia Thompson has been an Early Childhood Educator for more than 27 years. She taught preschool for almost 10 years and for the past 17 years, Ms. Thompson has worked as a Center Director. Marcia received most of her Early Childhood Education training at City College and gained certification as a Teacher and School Administrator.
Through the years, she has worked on a number of projects with other Early Childhood agencies such as Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Professional Development Institute and the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Director, Tompkins Children’s Center
Myrtle A. Charles began her career in the field of education more than twenty-five years ago when she graduated from Cyril Potter College of Education in her home country Guyana in 1989. She continued her career as an educator when she migrated to the United States in 1996.
She has served in several Elementary and Early Childcare settings in Brooklyn, which also included the Board of Education where she served children at the First Grade and Kindergarten levels. She previously worked in a leadership role, for Lutheran Social Services of New York Early Life Program.
Ms. Charles obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College, in 2004, and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Special Education (Birth-2) from Touro College in 2012. She is certified in Early Childhood Education (Birth-2) and Elementary Education (1-6). She is currently enrolled at Capella University where she is pursuing her Doctorate in Education with specific focus on School Leadership and Management.
Director, Edwards L. Cleaveland Children’s Center
Sharon Holiner is an experienced teacher and program director who has directed extracurricular programs in Yonkers, and taught in elementary and early childhood schools in New York City. She graduated with her master’s degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education at Sarah Lawrence College. She is currently earning a master’s degree in Nonprofit Management at Columbia University.
Director, Sumner Children’s Center
Rosetta Scott started caring for and educating children as a nanny almost twenty-five years ago when she migrated to United States from her home country, Barbados. She has worked at various childcare centers in Brooklyn and Long Island gathering a wide variety of experience. She served at Project Chance and Wee Care at the Kindergarten level. She also worked as a Site Supervisor in the Head Start Program.
Ms. Scott holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College. She graduated from Touro College with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/ Special Education (Birth-2). She is certified in Early childhood Education (Birth-2) and Special Education.
Director, Brevoort Children’s Center
Boimah G. Sayway has previously worked as a preschool and UPK teacher. Mr. Sayway’s dedication and passion for education helped him to acquire the role of an Education Director with Lutheran Social Services of New York before joining the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society as a Center Director for Weeksville Garden Children’s Center in the spring of 2019. In 2016, Mr. Sayway joined JumpStart, a campus-based organization that provides voluntary services in low-income communities.
Mr. Sayway is a graduate of Lehman College, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Administration. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Childhood Education from Brooklyn College and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Special Education.
Mr. Sayway is also an author, publishing a children’s book in 2016 called The Unknown. The focus of the book is to help children develop mathematical concepts using nonstandard measurement with connections to scientific experiences.
Director, Weeksville Gardens Children’s Center
Mary Menchaca has worked in the Early Childhood Education field for 18 years as a teacher, then as an administrator. She was nominated as “Head Teacher of The Year” while at the Archdiocese of New York Head Start, then promoted to Education Director on her fourth year.
Ms. Menchaca obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Education and her Master’s degree in Education in the Philippines. There, she worked as a high school teacher, college instructor, and elementary and primary school teacher and administrator. She took her second Master’s in Early Childhood Education and Special Education here in the United States, then received her certification.
Director, Howard Children’s Center
For more than 25 years, David Fazio has been a leading voice in both government and not-for-profit finance in New York City. He served as the Chief Financial Officer for Volunteers of America-Greater New York. In government, David was the Deputy Commissioner for the New York City Administration for Children Services (ACS) where he oversaw all of the City’s publicly-funded child care and Head Start programs. He was also the Chief Financial Officer for ACS under Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta for six years. Prior to that, David was the Budget Director for the Department of Homeless Services and worked at the NYC Office of Management and Budget. In the not-for-profit sector, he has previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for Common Ground Community, GMHC, and the Children’s Aid Society.
David holds a Master of Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. He also served on the Board of Directors for two non-profits—Bideawee and the National LGBT Cancer Network.
Chief Financial Officer
Angela Terry has worked with and on behalf of children in New York City for more than twenty five years. She started her career as a youth development coordinator and mental health counselor at various community based organizations; then moved onto the New York City Department of Education and worked as a Substance Abuse and Prevention/Invention (SAPIS) counselor, community coordinator, school social worker and consultant. As a consultant for the DOE Angela further expanded her entrepreneurial endeavors to include operating and managing the first wine bar in Bedford Stuyvesant for ten years.
Ms. Terry comes to the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society from the New York City Children’s Cabinet as a policy advisor. There she was responsible for developing and implementing various policy initiatives for the Cabinet’s Fund for Early Learning FUEL community relations program. Currently Angela is the Deputy Director of Administration for BKS and manages the human resources, procurement, facilities and IT departments.
Angela earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Social Work from the City University of New York’s York College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University.
Deputy Director of Administration
Elena Jaffe obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Educational Psychology in 1986 and a Master’s in Educational Psychology in 1995 in the Ukraine. There, she worked as an Educational Director for seven years and Child Psychologist for three years in daycare programs.
Ms. Jaffe migrated to the United States about twenty years ago. She has worked as an Educational Director for four years at St. Andrew’s Community Day Care Center, affiliated with Lutheran Medical Center. She was employed by Brooklyn Kindergarten Society in 2007 as the director of the Sumner Children’s Center. During that time (2007-2014) that site was NAEYC accredited in 2009 and re-accredited in 2014. She also worked as an Educational Director at Nat Azarow Children’s Center from 2016-2018.
Director Of Compliance
Philip Langer, Director of Development, is a fundraising professional with 18+ years experience in developing and implementing successful long-term and short-term strategic plans and supervising all aspects of annual funds and capacity building initiatives. Mr. Langer brings a wealth of experience as both a Development Officer and Development Consultant, working with diverse not for profit institutions, ranging from New Art Publications, Young People’s Chorus of New York, Boys Hope Girls Hope of New York, Queens Botanical Garden, and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Additionally, he also continues to provide successful oversight on special events, endowments, capital campaigns, individual appeals, and planned giving.
Director of Development
Harry Shulman, President
Amerika Williamson, Vice President
Michelle DeFossett, Treasurer
Matthew Cosentino, Secretary
Benita R. Miller, Esq., Executive Director