The education director and owner Bryna Bilanow is a mom herself with three boys, ages 5-12, and a Brooklyn native who has lived in Ditmas Park for nine years. She has over a decade of teaching experience in public, private, and charter schools, and a Masters in Education and Literacy from the Bank Street School. Her educational philosophy has developed through her years of study and classroom experience, as well as her time raising her own sons. .
Susan Mathew is our teacher in the 2s class. She was born and raised in India. Susan later came to California where she got her degree in Child Development at CSUN. After marriage, Susan moved to Brooklyn and has worked as a preschool teacher for over 20 years. She loves working with children because they are so innocent and loving and she loves watching them learn and grow. In her spare time, Sudan enjoys traveling with her family and and tries to do it as often as possible.
Antonia Smith is a co-teacher in the 2s class. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 3-year-old son. Antonia's first love is art, and she worked for many years teaching and leading art education programs for children in nonprofit settings. She has also developed sports mentoring programs for young people to build physical literacy and self-confidence. Most recently, Antonia taught in public school and a nursery school. She earned her Masters Degree from Teachers College, and believes in the power of play in developing a life of curiosity, joy, and exploration for young children. Outside of school, she enjoys scuba diving, walking in the woods, and reading mysteries!
Jenn Sweeney is our lead teacher in the 3s class. Jenn grew up outside of San Francisco, and moved here 3 years ago. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Sonoma State University and has spent the past decade working with children as young as three and as old as 18 years old. She has worked within traditional classroom settings as a science teacher, and has also worked within summer camps, after-school programs, and educational enrichment centers. Some of her interests include event planning, embracing her inner Captain Marvel, going to comedy shows and concerts, and taking her dog Riley to Prospect Park. She also loves reading, traveling, corny jokes, and being on the water.
Elida Ortiz is the assistant teacher in the 3s class. Elida is originally from Brooklyn and received her degree in Health Sciences from Mercy College in 2018. She is now pursuing a degree in Art Therapy and enjoys being at Tiny Acorns because she loves working with kids. She hopes to use her experiences here to help her in her art therapy career, and to use what she learns in her program while she is working at Tiny Acorns. When she is not at school she enjoys drawing, painting, reading, and spending time with her family.
Elvira Nazaralieva is the assistant teacher in our 3's classl. She was born in Kyrgyz Republic and graduated from the University there with Bachelor Degree in Economics and Management. Originally her work focused on sales and marketing, but in 2001, she moved to NYC, and began working with children. Elvira’s experience caring for young children spans almost two decades. She is endlessly patient, compassionate, kind, loving and adores children and helping them learn and grow. In her personal time she also enjoys yoga, reading, hiking, and going to museums.