Leadership & Teachers

Julie Kandall

Julie Kandall worked for thirteen years as a teacher before joining Columbus Pre-School as the educational director in 2011. Julie worked with children ages 3 months to 3rd grade, and also worked in kindergarten admissions at NYC private schools. Julie knew she wanted to be a teacher from a young age, having struggled with dyslexia as a student and having seen first-hand the power of good educators and their ability to make learning fun and enjoyable for all students. Knowing that she wanted to be able to build confidence in children the way her favorite teachers did for her, Julie went on to study psychology and educational studies at American University as an undergraduate before obtaining her master’s degree from Bank Street School of Education in Infant and Parent Development and Early Intervention (birth- 2nd grade). Julie enjoys instilling the same love of learning she does with our students with her one-year old daughter, Marlow, with whom she explores the city’s parks and hiking trails beyond the city limits.

Candice Everett

Candice has been at Columbus for 8 years! Before going back to school for her master’s in Early Childhood, Candice worked in pediatrics. She always had a love for working with young children, and wanted to spend time learning about and nurturing their development, so decided working in a school setting would be great for her. Candice was born and raised in NYC herself, and loves to keep exploring the city and all its changes when she’s not at school. Candice especially loves showing her son all her favorite places in the city, including Columbus Pre-School, where he is now a student!

Mia Bauman

Teacher Mia is in her 10th year in education. As an undergrad, she attended the University of Vermont, gaining a BA in both Art History and Chemistry. She went on to attend the University of Manchester in the UK, where she gained a Master’s degree in Primary Education. After working at a primary school in, Manchester where she taught Year 2 (equivalent to 1st Grade), she came back to NYC, where she was born and raised, and began working for Harlem Day Charter School in 4th and 1st grade. In 2013, Teacher Mia was one of 18 teachers to receive a Blackboard Award in Teaching Excellence in New York City. This year marks her 6th year teaching Pre-K at Columbus Pre-School. Outside of school, Mia enjoys CrossFit, playing softball, spending time with her family, especially for sushi Thursdays, and painting.

Emma Segal

Emma is in her 7th year working at Columbus. She started as an assistant teacher just out of college after gaining a BA in Sociology with a minor in Art History from Hartwick College. She went on to Mercy College for her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Mercy College. Emma has always worked with the youngest children at Columbus (2s/3s), and absolutely loves the incredible developmental changes they go through during the course of a school year. From separation to learning how to communicate with one another, to developing a greater sense of self and learning how to be a community member, she feels that being a part of each child’s life is such an honor.

Jennie Bear

This is Jennie's first year year teaching at Columbus Pre-School! Jennie received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood General Education and Special Education from Bank Street, after receiving her undergraduate degree from Syracuse University. Jennie has spent her teaching years working with students ages 2-5. Jennie's love for teaching is only matched by her enthusiastic spirit. Aside from teaching, Jennie enjoys reading, signing, trying the many restaurants NYC has to offer, and cooking her favorite recipes.

Lisa Lu

This will be Lisa’s 8th year teaching at Columbus Preschool! Lisa received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College. Lisa spent 5 years in the 3s classroom, and is on her 3rd year in Pre-K here at Columbus. She discovered her love for teaching at a very young age, and through various experiences in summer and after school programs, Lisa knew working with young children was her career. Aside from teaching, Lisa also enjoys traveling, photography, trying the many restaurants NYC has to offer, and spending quality time with friends and family.

Samantha Grondwolt

Samantha has been a preschool teacher for 12 years. She earned her degree in Early Childhood Education, and after 7 years at the Medical Center Nursery School, is very excited to be joining the Columbus Pre-School community! Sam, as her friends call her, has a love and passion for theater; she works with different theater companies and non-profit organizations making and acquiring props, acting, singing, and dancing on stage. She brings this into the classroom through elaborate story-telling, encouraging children to create their own stories, and making time for them to act out their favorite stories. Sam loves to travel the world and volunteers abroad in her time away from school.

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