OUR STUDIO FACULTY
KHAHTEE V. TURNER is the Founder & Executive Director of Studio Creative Play and The Roberts Field School. Khahtee is a community leader, an educational visionary, and a humanitarian and advocate for the propagation of the arts, creative enrichment, and compassionate awareness practices and offerings in early childhood. For the last 19 years at Studio—alongside artists, musicians, and educators—Khahtee has lead a unique, comprehensive, and transcendent community experience. Through its mission, Studio holistically nurtures the awakening and blooming of each individual’s voice and expressive capacity in the most sacred and salient time of formative development: early childhood.
Alongside the ongoing growth of Studio, Khahtee founded and co-directs The Roberts Field School, an elementary school. In the establishment of Roberts Field, she maintains her unwavering devotion to offer the community the tenets and practices of Studio through offering excellence in an interdisciplinary approach to academic elementary education. Khahtee has also taken her program worldwide to share these foundations of nurturing creative consciousness and interconnectivity with our global neighbors. She has taken educational experiences and resources to remote and underdeveloped areas of Mexico and Nepal, and has shared resources and global community workshops during her visits to Icelandic schools.
As Studio Creative Play Inc. extends its mission to offer peace, equity, and justice to many more learnings centers, this fall Khahtee begins in her role of Executive Director of SCP, launching the formal structure for SCP's new altruistic project, Peace and Equity in Education - Fall 2022. Khahtee can also be found spending fun times with her beloved fourteen-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, adventuring in all that the world has to offer.
ROBIN PICKERING’s role as the Director of Programming gives her the opportunity to deepen her relationship with all things Studio and Roberts Field and to serve the Studio-RFS community, including families, children, and staff, on a daily basis. In her new role as a Venni Studio Supervisor, she looks forward to greater levels of connection and presence in the classrooms and strongly supporting the teachers logistically and philosophically in their fulfillment of the holistic mission of Studio.
She has been an active leader for Studio Creative Play in various capacities for over ten years, from editing content for the Studio Creative Play website, to helping produce educational videos and managing other large development projects. Over this decade plus of time, Robin’s work with SCP has also extended to global ports, such as traveling to Iceland and Mexico to further share Studio’s mission and curriculum with other schools, organizations, and communities, and to build ongoing partnerships with these groups.
Robin has been teaching yoga in Park Slope and NYC since 1999. She comes from an educational publishing background (English Language Arts for grades K-8, with a specialization in primary grade reading), and in publishing has edited and project managed everything from NYC test prep materials to phonics practice books to reading basals for grades K-12.
CAROLINE GUZMAN (she/her) has been with the Studio Creative Play and Roberts Field School community for twelve years as of Fall 2023. Over this time, she has taught children from ages two through six, acted as a Staff Supervisor, and helped to launch the Live Earth program—a weekly movement lab designed around the body's physical connection to nature.
Caroline is passionate about sparking a child’s kinesthetic understanding of new ideas and fostering movement as an integrated tool for comprehension. Additionally, Caroline is a firm believer in the power of imagination. In her classroom, play is honored as a medium for rich and authentic creative discovery.
Caroline led multi-age learning pods through Prospect Park in sun, rain, wind, and snow. Together with her students, she developed daily field-based experiences that investigated everything from soundscape ecology to aquatic macroinvertebrates! Now more than ever, she sees the need for children to follow their own curiosity and immerse themselves in nature to build their awareness and care for our Earth environment.
Caroline holds a B.A. in Dance from Connecticut College, where she completed her dual Elementary Teacher/Dance Educator Certification. Outside of school, she's also a recreational costume designer, a papier-mâché sculptor, and a proud mom to her three-year-old daughter and two-month-old son.
JOANNA GURIN (she/her) is an educator and a teaching artist with almost ten years of experience in childhood education. Joanna brings improvisational and theatrical techniques to the classroom, fostering both individual expression and communal meaning making.
Joanna loves being part of the Studio Creative Play and Roberts Field community. She has been a co-lead-teacher for Twos and Threes classes at Studio since 2016 and has been a visiting drama teacher and after-school theatre specialist for all RFS classrooms. She believes artistic development goes hand in hand with community development. Joanna finds it a great joy and honor in helping facilitate new friendships and creative collaborations in this school environment.
Joanna has a dual BA in Theatre and Human Rights from Bard College, an MA in Applied Theatre from Goldsmiths College (University of London) and is a PhD Candidate at CUNY Graduate Center. Her studies revolve around empowering audiences and participants in arts education. Her writing and program facilitations have brought her to London, Johannesburg, and Alaska
ALEENA TURNER (she/her) has worked with children for the past twelve years as a daycare provider and is starting her fifth year at Studio Creative Play and the Roberts Field School as an early childhood educator and enrichment specialist, with concentration in STEAM, arts, and nature studies. Aleena co-leads the RFS weekly environmental field science Day in the Field journey.
Aleena believes in fostering joyfulness and play in the classroom, and is devoted to nurturing meditation and mindfulness practice with children. Guiding children to grow uniquely through their own creative expression continues to propel Aleena’s love of teaching.
Aleena is a returning student at Kingsborough College and resides in East New York, with a Dominican (W.I.) background. She loves surrounding herself with nature while camping and hiking. Aleena also adores working on large-scale paintings, sketches, and clothing designs.
ANGUS DAVIDSON (he/him) is the Assistant Director of Studio Creative Play. He came to Studio in 2015 as a teacher in the Venni Fours program and has been involved with the organization in many roles since then. He’s been a co-teacher in Studio classrooms for threes and fours and has also played several roles in the Roberts Field elementary school program: serving as the school’s Music Ambassador; developing and leading the Roberts Field School Symposium program, an interdisciplinary arts program for elementary schoolers; and leading the Day in the Field program, the school’s flagship outdoor education program. In Fall 2020, Angus co-led the Studio Arboles program, a unique and beautiful opportunity to honor Studio’s mission in nature through in-person learning in Prospect Park each day.
Angus graduated from Hampshire College in 2014 with a BA in music and a concentration in piano performance and conducting. His teaching experience has spanned ESL kindergarten and elementary school, music lessons, choral direction, outdoor education, and classroom teaching. In 2017, he and former Studio colleague Gigi Chew founded Spark Arts, a summer and after school program for children that celebrates nature and cultural traditions through the arts, mindfulness, outdoor adventure, and play.
When he’s not teaching, he’s often playing the piano, going for a run, taking photos, or canoeing.
LEAH BARKER (they/them) is a non-binary early-childhood educator with a passion for encouraging meaningful relationships with the natural world through unstructured nature play and sensory-based explorations. They strive to inspire creativity and create a sense of wonder and magic in every child. They uphold a supportive and nurturing environment that encourages children to express themselves freely and imaginatively.
In 2014, Leah began teaching at Studio, and continued on with the Twos, Threes, and Fours program. Leah has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Michigan State University. They grew up in rural Michigan with a childhood absorbed in nature and playing in the woods from sun-up til sun-down! They believe nature provides a guide to learning and growing and being our most authentic selves, and have created and led programming in Prospect Park for many years. Leah is looking forward to connecting with children and families, and continuing to create mindful community. Outside of the classroom they enjoy dancing, reading, learning, and adventuring!
GIGI CHEW (she/her) has been a teacher and Director at Spark Arts since co-founding the program in 2017. From 2011 to 2021, she taught at Studio Creative Play and assisted at The Roberts Field School. In the spring of 2021 she was the lead teacher for the Studio Arboles Threes program held exclusively in Prospect Park. Gigi is deeply committed to providing children with a joyful, nurturing, and creative learning environment that celebrates each child’s inner spark of talent, kindness and inspiration. Her goal as a teacher is to cultivate in students global awareness, open-mindedness, compassion, and respect for diversity.
Gigi completed her B.A. in Psychology and her Masters in Social Work, both at NYU. She received her Permaculture Design Course certification in upstate NY in 2009 and attempts in her daily life to honor the 3 permaculture principles: earth care, people care, fair share. In 2010, in an effort to offer urbanites greater access to nature and food, Gigi co-founded Get Dirty NYC- a non-profit that connected New Yorkers with volunteer opportunities at city farms and gardens.
CHLOE SIRENE (she/her) is delighted to be a part of Studio and RFS this year. She began teaching at Studio in 2015 and loves to share imaginative, creatively stimulating time with children. Among her favorite periods of co-teaching with Studio was during the Threes forest day program held exclusively in Prospect Park during Spring 2021.
Chloe Sirene holds a Masters in English Literature from Cambridge University, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Acting from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Teaching from the Institute of Education. As an actor and writer, Chloe works mainly in film.
Chloe has taught in England and America, she co-created and ran a children’s summer program in New York.