Founder and Director

Diane M. Nickerson

Passionate about creating a school environment with the highest quality of education, Ms. Nickerson is the school’s founding director. With twenty years of experience as an educator she has achieved NYSED certificates as a teacher of elementary education, English as a Second Language, and Spanish; and, in addition, as a school administrator.  She has worked as a bilingual teacher trainer and a Montessori school administrator. Trained in Montessori school management at the Center for Montessori Education of 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 in Geneva, NY and a MS in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from SUNY at Albany.

While raising her four sons to be bilingual, she sought a school for them that would meet their language goals as well as provide creative opportunities for their inquisitive minds and active bodies. She found an ideal approach that holistically meets the learning needs of each child in the Montessori method of education. Wanting to create a school that merges optimal learning environments for both bilingual language immersion and Montessori, she founded Castle Island for our Capital Region community.

She is proud that Castle Island, with its mission towards social justice, creates an intentional space for learning where each child 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 Hudson River, listens to her sons tell stories, and daydreams.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams...


— Eleanor Roosevelt

Board of Trustees

President – Edward A. Nickerson

Vice-President – Sean Nolan

Treasurer – _____________

Secretary – Jennifer Kareklas

Ex-officio Member – Diane M. Nickerson

Member – Vassiliki Potter

Member – Keara Sease

Board of Advisors

Co-Chair - Isabel Bazaldua

Co-ChairJennifer Kareklas

Secretary - Molly Dowell Baum

Treasurer - Lina Schuerch

Parent Liaison - Jason van Staveren

© 2020 Castle Island Bilingual Montessori

Castle Island Bilingual Montessori is an independent school and does not discriminate in our enrollment policies on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nation or ethnic origin.