School Founders



IMG_7246DAWN 0RTIZ

Dawn is a co-founder and co-director of Stepping Stones. She holds a BA degree from St. Joseph’s College and a MA degree from St. John’s University in education. Her career in education began with five years as a head teacher in a small nursery school in Brooklyn teaching ages two to four. Following that position, Dawn taught 3rd grade in an NYC public school for three years. While a public school teacher, Dawn served as a grade leader, held a model classroom for the America’s Choice Comprehensive School reform and design , and executed workshops in balanced literacy. Currently Dawn lives in Bay Ridge with her husband, Keith and their three children. She enjoys cooking, traveling with her family, reading to her children, and being an active part of her community.

 

RoeR0SANNA RIZZ0

Rosanna is a co-founder and co-director of Stepping Stones.   As an educator from a public school, Rosanna was inspired by the transformations she saw in her students.  Knowing that her teaching style was making a difference, she was excited to expand her knowledge of education by opening an early childhood facility. Designing a school curriculum for a child’s first educational experience was an amazing task. Teaching the two year old class at Stepping Stones continued to enrich her love of teaching. Watching the children reach educational milestones and become a part of a greater community has been inspiring and still continues to be year after year. Rosanna holds a B.A. Degree in Elementary Education and an M.S. Degree in Education from the College of Staten Island.  Rosanna enjoys traveling with her husband and their two daughters.  She hopes to one day publish a children’s book and further her education in completing a Philosophy of Doctorate Degree.

 

Prior to Stepping Stones Rosanna and Dawn were New York City Board of Education teachers for three years in the same public school.  They both hold a New York State Professional Teaching Certificate and attend Director Trainings every year.  Both Rosanna and Dawn oversee the day-to-day operation of Stepping Stones as well as curriculum planning, parent education, staff supervision and admissions.  They also conduct staff development trainings for their teachers consistently throughout the year.  Their monthly staff meetings keep their teachers up to date on new innovative lesson planning and in implementing success for their students.