Teachers & Staff

Loyan Beausoleil

Director and Head Teacher, Orange Room

Loyan Beausoleil is the school’s director and head teacher of the Orange Room. She has been with UPNS since 1999. Loyan holds a BFA from the University of Oregon and an M.S.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education. Loyan also holds the New York State Children’s Program Administrator credential. She has published on children and trauma, play and separation anxiety with the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Concerned Educators Allied for a Safe Environment and Bank Street College of Education. She also has a strong background in art, having worked as an art teacher, a studio artist and in the theater and fashion industries. Following September 11, 2001, Loyan began documenting and studying the effects of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on young children who experienced them first-hand, a project called The Youngest Witnesses. She presented this work at Wheelock College in Boston, the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference in New York City and Chicago, the Playing for Keeps conference at Yale University, the Kentucky State conference on Early Childhood Education and at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. Segments about this work have been featured on NY1, Good Morning America, and the CBS Early Show. A chapter by Loyan on the project is included in the award-winning book Forever After: New York City Teachers on 9/11, a compilation of teachers’ experiences of 9/11, published by Teachers College Press in 2006. She is co-author of the book Games That Sing: 25 Activities to Keep Children on Their Toes, published by Heritage Music Press, 2011. Games That Sing focuses on using movement, music, and games as transitions in the early childhood classroom. Recently Loyan has been focused on science and nature education for young children. She presented a early childhood science curriculum at the 2017 national conference of the National Association for the Education of Young children, and was recently selected to sit on the Teachers Advisory Board of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Carrie Wen

Assistant Teacher, Orange Room

Carrie has been with UPNS since 2020. She graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Carrie grew up with a sibling and cousins, and as the oldest child in her household she learned to take care of young children at an early age. During her spare time Carrie likes to spend time with family and friends around the city.

Ali Chenitz

Co-Teacher, Yellow Room

Ali has been a teacher of the Yellow Room since joining UPNS in 2007 and in 2019 she assumed the additional role of Assistant Director overseeing the afterschool and summer programs. She has been teaching children ranging in age from birth to six at public and private schools, including general education, special education and inclusion classes. She graduated from Bank Street College of Education in 2007 with a dual degree and certification in Early Childhood Education and General and Special Education from birth to second grade. Ali enjoys cooking, gardening, and needlepoint.

Jorge Suren

Co-Teacher, Yellow Room

Jorge has been a UPNS Yellow Room teacher since 2013. Jorge was raised in a large household. Being the oldest of four children helped him learn to be a nurturing leader. He also has a passion for dancing and movement. He has danced in various companies that specializes in New York style Salsa, Hip Hop Jazz and Stepping. Jorge has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership.

Natalie Siregar

Head Teacher, Blue Room

In 2015, Natalie joined the UPNS team as the Blue Room’s assistant teacher. Coincidentally, Natalie spent 3 years prior teaching in another “Blue Room” at a neighborhood nursery in the upper west side and has experience working with 2-5 year olds in an inclusion classroom setting. Natalie graduated from Hunter College in 2013 with a MS in Early Childhood Education. She lives a hop, skip and a jump from UPNS and is a native of the lower east side where she currently resides. Natalie loves well-crafted children’s books, a good cup of coffee, quiet times and ah-ha moments. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, mentoring amazing teens from her church and exploring new places.

Usha DeSilva

Assistant Teacher, Blue Room

Usha joined UPNS in 2019. She trained in Sri Lanka as a Montessori teacher and has obtained additional training in the US. Prior to moving to New York, she was the director and owner of a 65 children capacity daycare facility in New Orleans. She is an enthusiastic team player with a strong work ethic. Her hobbies are cooking, singing, dancing, playing the piano and sewing. Usha has a son and a daughter and a granddaughter who is now 5 years old.

Layla Shaar

Administrative Director

Layla has been with UPNS since 2007. For the first 5 years she was a UPNS parent and member of the board of directors. Since 2012 she has worked in the background with Loyan managing UPNS operations. Her alumni are now teenagers attending Baruch and LaGuardia High Schools, with happy memories of the good old days at UPNS.