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Committed to Education

On September 17, 2012, Castle Island opened with just six children.

Years later, we are now well-established school where children thrive in their own independence, confidence,

depth of knowledge and skill, and kind empathy for their diverse peers whose individual strengths

are highlighted in their classroom community.


Castle Island Bilingual Montessori was founded with one purpose -

to build a space for all students to grow, learn and create with each passing day. Through a unique teaching approach and a truly passionate staff, we help students develop academically and personally to the highest level.

We invite you to explore our site and discover the academics and community Castle Island Bilingual Montessori

provides to each and every student. Get in touch with us today to schedule a tour and

learn more about enrollment and what a Castle Island graduate can do!



School Founder & Director

Diane M Nickerson, MS Ed

Passionate about creating a school environment with the highest quality of education, Diane founded Castle Island Bilingual Montessori, a Spanish immersion elementary school, for children living in the Capital Region. She sought to establish an independent school that merges optimal learning environments for both bilingual language immersion and the Montessori educational approach. With 30 years of experience as an educator, she has achieved NYS certificates as a teacher of elementary education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish, and as a K-12 Administrator.  Her career has included work as a bilingual teacher trainer and as a Montessori school administrator. Trained in Montessori school management at the Center for Montessori Education | New York, she holds an Administrator Credential from the American Montessori Society. Her degrees include a BA in Anthropology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and a MS in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from SUNY at Albany.

She leads the school community in a brand new Downtown Albany facility, fostering an optimal intercultural and innovative learning environment, and guiding work toward continual school improvement to meet Castle Island's mission: providing accessibly, world-class education.  Her career has included work as a teacher spanning early childhood through secondary levels, a bilingual teacher trainer, and a Montessori school administrator. Diane is also involved with policy advocacy at the statewide level in her work as an officer of the board of the NYS Montessori Alliance. 

She is proud that Castle Island, with its mission towards social justice, creates an intentional and inclusive space for learning where each child and their family is honored. When not working on developing the programs and growth of the school, she cooks dinner for her family, practices competitive Irish step dance, enjoys the Adirondacks for hiking and skiing, listens to her four bilingual sons share about their day and about their dreams.


Board of Trustees

The affairs of Castle Island are managed by its Board of Trustees on behalf of the school. Its primary duties and responsibilities include the following:

  1. Ensure the School remains in good legal standing;

  2. Ensure the School operates as outlined in the Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;

   3. Ensure the School operations are consistent with the School’s mission statement and purpose in the best interests of its students, parents, and teachers and ensure the long-term stability of the institution;
   4. Determine an Annual Operating Budget, monitor financial administration and maintain accountability for property and funds;
   5. Actively engage in the ongoing strategic planning process for the School, oversee long range planning and conduct fundraising activities;
   6. Make employment decisions regarding the School Director including interviewing, evaluating, hiring and firing;
   7. Select and elect new members of the Board and elect officers so as to perpetuate an effective Board.




President                   Edward (Ed) A Nickerson,

Vice-President           Sean Nolan, Alumni Parent '22

Treasurer                   Ana Gaby Montemayor

Secretary                   Jennifer (Jen) Kareklas, Alumni Parent '19 & '21

Members at Large:

Member                    Marcela Gaudín

Member                    Yvette Malave Diaz                    

Member                    Dr Keara Sease, Alumni Parent '22

Member                    {vacant}

Ex-Officio Member:

Diane M Nickerson, School Founder & Director, Alumni Parent '13, '13, '14 & '19


Nonprofit Organization 

IRS 501(c)(3) Tax Exempt

EIN 45-4816781

New York State Education Department

Independent (Private) School

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American Montessori Society

Full Member School

Accreditation Candidate 2022

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New York Capital Region Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


New York State Montessori Alliance

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National Association of Independent Schools

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