Welcome to HOLA NYC

Our door is wide open!

We believe that each child deserves to be surrounded by many people that love him or her. Overlapping circles of care and nourishment help children flourish and learn. As this happens, parents also have an opportunity to connect and rely on each other. Welcome to our little house!

To kick off the school year, the children will have many opportunities to get to know one another. The theme of the month is ¨¡Este soy yo! All about me." Through open discussions, compare and contrast activities and cooperative play, we will develop a strong understanding of each individual student and their learning needs. This period will also be helpful in establishing a routine and providing opportunities for the children to get to know each guía/guide.

We have been busy preparing the classroom and materials for the new school year. We hope you like all the improvements we have made! There will be more materials arriving soon and we will also be sending notices about various social events we are planning.

On behalf of the HOLA NYC team,

María Herminia

Introducing our team

María Herminia Graterol- Executive Director

María Herminia was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and attended an international school from an early age. She has mixed and matched academic degrees over the years: LLB Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, LLM Columbia University Law School, MPA Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her experience raising bilingual twins in NYC, working in international organizations, advocating for the right to education around the world and working in not for profits has informed her work in HOLA NYC. She continues to be affiliated with various not for profits in NY including the Center for Women´s Global Leadership and NESRI. Peter and María Herminia are very happy Oriana and Rafaela will be starting pre-k tomorrow, we are very proud to be part of HOLA NYC!

Stormy Vallejo - Lead Teacher/Administrative Director

Stormy, raised in a multicultural family and a bilingual household, speaks four languages (English, Spanish, Tagalog, Ilokano) and holds a Montessori Primary Teaching Certificate for children ages birth to six years old from the American Montessori Society. She also holds a primary Montessori certificate from the Montessori Teachers Training Center in San Leandro, California. Over the last ten years, Stormy has taught and directed in four Montessori schools around the country including: Bremerton, Washington, Walnut Creek, California, Mamaroneck, New York. This is her second school year at HOLA NYC. The experience of teaching in several different Montessori schools has given her a rich repertoire of Montessori lessons and a well-rounded view of developmentally appropriate practices for Early Childhood Education. Stormy’s dedication to HOLA NYC is driven by her two boys, ages 3 and 5 years. Raising her children to be bilingual, global citizens is a top priority for her family.

Silvia Vallejo - Lead Teacher

Silvia, born and raised in Cuenca, Ecuador, has been teaching in early childhood settings with children ages 18 months to 6 years for the past four years. She taught for two years in a bilingual Montessori program and one year at the International School of Brooklyn in a PreK classroom before joining the HOLA NYC team. Silvia is our most creative and can often be found inspiring the children in the art area.

Alejandro Aiello - Senior Assistant Teacher

Alejandro, born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay has four years teaching experience in early childhood settings with children ages three to six years. Alejandro has taught at the Caedmon School, a Montessori school located on the Upper East Side, and most recently at a Reggio Emilia/Montessori integrated primary school in Miami, Florida working with PreK children. It was his experience as an assistant teacher in the Caedmon School that inspired Alejandro, who holds a Bachelor's Degree as a Systems Analysis, to pursue a career as a teacher. Alejandro is currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at City College.

Jimmy Cruz - Assistant Teacher

Jimmy is our in-house expert in all things that have to do with Mexico and Mexican culture. He is a full time student in the Early Childhood program at the School of Education, City College. He will achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and NYS initial teacher certification in Spring 2016. Jimmy is also an AMS certified Montessori Assistant. Jimmy has been a part of the HOLA NYC teaching team since we opened our doors and has conducted fieldwork in several early childhood programs around the city.

Blanca García- Assistant Teacher

Blanca, born and raised in Colombia is the newest member of our team. She recently relocated to the United States and brings with her years of experience in pre-school settings as well as working as a life coach. Blanca understands the importance of fostering independence and will be helping Silvia with our rite of passage: potty training! the younger holeños.

Yovelsi Aguais - Teacher's Aide

Yovelsi, born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. She is a college student and will be in HOLA NYC part-time. She has experience leading youth programs in an organization called Aid for Aids. She loves children and her hobby is to cook dishes from around the world. She started working in HOLA NYC this summer.

Some important reminders

  • Our first day of school is tomorrow and we will be closed on September 10th.
  • All children must be in the classroom by 9:15am. Please plan to arrive early.
  • Each child has been assigned a cubby. Please bring your supplies tomorrow, including, a water bottle, sheets (nappers), diapers (if needed), 2 changes of clothes, slippers, etc).
  • The new security pin for the door is 8090.
  • Please remember to send us an email if your child is not able to go to school for any reason and to inform of any changes in your list of authorized persons to pick up your child.
  • HOLA NYC will provide snacks for the children, please don´t forget to pack lunch.
  • Please remember you can sms or call the school number at any time. In addition, you will be getting daily updates from tadpoles. If you have an iphone or an ipad, you can download the tadpoles parent app.
  • All extra-curriculars start next week.