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 – Eileen Faist
Secretary/Ex-officio Member – Diane M. Nickerson
Member – Jennifer Kareklas
Member – Vassiliki Potter
Member – Keara Sease
Board of Advisors
Co-Chair - Isabel Bazaldua
Co-Chair - Jennifer Kareklas
Secretary - Renée Iannacone
Co-Treasurer - Lina Schuerch
Parent Liaison - Jason van Staveren