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 a top NYC private school. 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 daughter, Marlow (a Columbus Pre-School graduate), with whom she explores the city’s parks and hiking trails beyond the city limits.


A Message From Julie


I am glad you are interested in learning about our unique preschool program that has been a part of the Upper West Side landscape since 1988.

I am proud to have joined this special community 12 years ago as school director, and proud parent to my daughter, Marlow, a Columbus graduate who attended for 4 years. I truly credit the amazing teachers and incredible community for helping her grow into a kind, thoughtful and inclusive friend as well as a creative, curious, and confident student who has a deep love of

As you search for a preschool, there will be many different components that are important to you. I want to share a few things that I think make Columbus Pre-School stand out from other early childhood programs.

1. A strong, caring, and supportive community
2. Committed and knowledgeable early childhood educators who understand child development and have a deep respect for children
3. Rich, child-centered learning built on children’s interests (Emergent Curriculum)
4. An incredible facility with 6 large classrooms filled with natural light, a gymnastics studio, a private outdoor space with a climber, bikes, cars, and balls as well as an outdoor classroom for messy art activities and construction play.

When you join our community, you gain partners on your parenting journey. A journey that is incredibly rewarding and at the same time can feel overwhelming and exhausting. Together, we will help you and your children move through any challenges and celebrate their many successes.

We have a group of educators who are warm, caring, inclusive, and communicative- making it a priority to become true partners in the growth and development of each and every child. They are introspective and fearless as they learn about the interests of the children to create thoughtful, creative emergent curricula. They bring the curriculum to life through hands-on
experiences that allow students to explore, discover, question, collaborate, and shine.

I am grateful every day that I get to come to Columbus and spend time in the classrooms engaging with the teachers and children. And after 12 years, I am still in awe of the incredible development that happens during these formative years. Our students may be little, but big things are happening in their minds and bodies. Helping them learn to be kind, helpful, communicative, collaborative friends as well as excited, confident learners is an awesome responsibility.

Everyone at Columbus Pre-School works tirelessly to provide the best experience for children and families alike.

I hope that you will come in to see our incredible space, meet our talented teachers and feel the joy and energy of the children as they play, dance, sing, move, learn and grow here at Columbus Pre-School.

Julie Kandall
Director – Columbus Pre-School