Educators

Thekla Manoloudis

Thekla Manoloudis

Thekla was born in Pittsburgh and has been living in Astoria for the past 6 years.  She has her Master's in Public Administration from Baruch College and her undergraduate degree in International Relations from American University in Washington, D.C.  She has over 10 years experience working in public health for various non-profits and is so excited to be a small business owner in one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse neighborhoods of New York City.

Eleni Graciano

Eleni Graciano

Eleni is a mother of two girls and is dedicated to making Astoria her new home. Eleni is a recent transplant from the Washington D.C./Maryland area where she earned her Bachelor's of Arts degree from American University in International Relations. After college, she worked in Sales & Marketing for 10 years. Having moved here 3 years ago, Eleni is very involved in the school and the community. She loves everything that Astoria has to offer and is looking forward to seeing our children play, learn, and grow in this great neighborhood.

Maura

Maura

Maura Hili is a New York native and currently lives in Astoria with her husband and two sons. She received her undergrad and graduate education at Iona college. Maura owns her own retail business but is very passionate about making education fun for children of all ages and being involved in her community.

Molly

Molly

Molly Rusich currently teaches the developmental movement classes for infants and toddlers at Raising Astoria. With a degree in Dance from the University of Wisconsin, she is a dance teacher and founder of Astoria Preschool Dance, as well as teaches at the Serious Fun afterschool program. Molly resides in Astoria with her husband and four children.

Alexis

Alexis

Alexis is a birth doula and childbirth educator who has worked in the women’s reproductive health field for 10 years. She is devoted to assisting women on their paths to motherhood. Having worked both in an Ob/Gyn, and with midwives, through home and hospital births, as well as having her own child, Alexis has experience supporting a wide spectrum of childbirth preferences. Her hope is for new families to have a healthy and positive transition, and feel confident in their new role as parents. She resides in Bayside Queens with her husband and 1 year old son.

Alison

Alison

Alison Milar, a mother of four, is a certified NYS Elementary School Teacher. She teaches the Preschool Alternative II Class on Mondays for ages 2.5-4Y. Alison incorporates some elements of a traditional school classroom and implements a a bit more structured setting than the Preschool Alt classes for the younger kids to help your child make the transition towards a Pre-K classroom.

Cait

Cait

Cait is an Astoria mom of two boys, Vedder and Adler. She has a degree in English/Theater and has been teaching children for the past ten years. She also works freelance in theater as a stage/production manager. Miss Cait is currently teaching three classes at Raising Astoria: PSA Little Scientists (Tuesdays), PSA Little Artists (Fridays), and Storybook Theater.

Jeannette

Jeannette

Jeannette Prostowich has been living breathing and practicing yoga for close to 18 years. She completed teacher training at Karma Kids Yoga in NYC with founder Shari Vilchez Blatt after being inspired by the baby/toddler classes she attended with her daughter Talia. With a love of music, movement and children Jeannette enjoys the opportunity of sharing the benefits of yoga with kids, It’s nothing like an typical adult class, however with do incorporate all the concepts of yoga through play. We play games integrating yoga poses to build strength, flexibility and concentration, in addition to using our breath to focus and relax. Jeannette is a native New Yorker. She grew up on Long Island and is a resident of Astoria. She holds a BA in Communications from Adelphi University. In her previous career she worked in Advertising editing commercials and corporate videos before becoming becoming a mom. Jeannette looks forward to meeting you and “playing yoga” with your kids!

Josie Brock

Josie Brock

Josie Brock is originally from Brazil and has been living in Astoria for the past 10 years. She holds a BA in Communications with a major in Public Relations from Universidade Salvador in Brazil. Before becoming a story teller, Josie had worked in marketing and sales for over 14 years. She is teaching the Portuguese Immersion for toddlers and is eager to to meet you and teach Portuguese through play, stories, music and art.