Kelly is so excited to be the Star A teacher this year! She grew up on Long Island and attended Boston College for her undergraduate and master's degrees. She was a special education teacher in Framingham, MA for 2 years, and then she taught 2nd grade in New York City. Kelly loves to play volleyball in her spare time.
Craig Hanauer E-RYT 500 RCYT is a Kripalu Certified Yoga Teacher, a New York State Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and School Teacher, and a longtime children's program director at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. For 13 years Craig designed and implemented the yoga program at The Parkside School, a non-public special education elementary school located on New York 's Upper West Side. He specializes in training yoga teachers, parents and helping professionals to use yoga to support child development. Craig is the Founding Director of Every Kid’s Yoga and The Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Collaborative.
My name is Shelley Hunter and this is my sixth year teaching special education. I received my Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Special Education from New York University in fall 2011. After graduating, I taught in a NEST school for students on the Autism spectrum. I have spent the past few years teaching small groups and coordinating special education services within the charter school sector. I am passionate about serving children with special needs and helping them reach their full potential.
Matt is pleased to joining the team at Manhattan Star Academy. He is a Board Certified Music Therapist (MT-BC) with a Master's degree in Music Therapy from New York University. He did his internship at the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy, focussing on using an improvisational approach to music therapy. He has been working with children for eight years and has worked with and has been a working musician all across the northeast. Matthew Bessette, MA MT-BC Matthew.Bessette@yai.org
Prior to joining MSA Morgan taught at a special education school for students with language based learning disabilities. Morgan received a B.A. in English and Linguistics and went on to graduate from Touro College with an M.S. in Childhood Education and Special Education grades 1-6. Morgan is thrilled to join MSA. She is looking forward to helping her students flourish academically and behaviorally and to supporting the development of their social skills through individualized instruction.
Natalie is a Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellow. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in Cognitive Brain Science, with a second major in Drama, and she holds a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Hunter College. While she has experience working with individuals across the lifespan, she is most passionate about supporting children in finding a way to communicate and engage with others in meaningful and genuine ways. Natalie greatly values and respects the creativity and individuality present in the students at MSA, and hopes to channel that energy to develop engaging activities to support linguistic development and social communication. Natalie is thrilled to be joining the Speech Team at MSA and greatly looks forward to collaborating with other service providers, classroom teachers, and parents/caregivers to ensure that each child is being supported as best as possible.
Samantha is a New York State licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degree from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Samantha has clinical experience with children of all ages ranging from preemies in the NICU to school age children. Prior to working at Manhattan Star Academy, Samantha worked in various settings including early intervention homecare, pediatric sensory clinics as well as acute care. She believes that a huge part of Physical Therapy is developing a child’s confidence to perform new and different gross motor skills. She feels it’s important for kids to feel successful in order to continue progressing. Samantha is excited to be part of the multidisciplinary team at Manhattan Star Academy!
Alyssa Futterman is an Occupational Therapist working part- time at Manhattan Star Academy. She received her Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy from Sacred Heart University, has clinical experience at a school and has worked in a private practice and continues to work in a sensory clinic. Using a multi-sensory approach for these preschool and school aged children with development delays, sensory deficits, motor skills delays and Autism, Alyssa has always strived to make therapy fun and meaningful. She tries to work with families and keep the range of communication as open as possible. She wants parents to feel comfortable and feel like they can discuss anything about their child with her. She is always looking to help! Alyssa is thrilled to be part of the Manhattan Star Academy team this year!