Specialists Who Make Barrow Special

At this Thursday’s Back to School Night you will have the opportunity to “meet and greet” your child’s beloved BSNS specialists.

When we reflect on our mission to help students build an appreciation for the arts we are honored to have professional teacher-artists who spend time diving into developmentally rigorous and artistically illuminating studies with our students while simultaneously pursuing their own artistic pursuits… and sometimes these endeavors go hand in hand!

Please read on to discover more about Ozan Aksoy, Kyleigh Sackandy, Kim McLeod, Jim Sperber, Dave Gibson, Jahidah Diaab, and Brenna Fisher. And don’t forget to stop by and say hello to them on Thursday on the 2nd Floor.

Ozan Aksoy, Music Specialist

All classes

Ozan is a musician specializing in early childhood music education. He performs instrumental and vocal music from around the world, especially diverse traditions that have made their homes in Anatolia and the Middle East. He loves to sing, move, and play the ukulele while using percussions and xylophones during his classes at Barrow.

Something that brings Ozan joy… Artwork by his daughter


Kyleigh Sackandy, Movement Specialist

All Classes & After School

Through movement and dance we learn about ourselves, our communities, and deepen our connections. My passion for movement is reinvigorated each year by our students’ curiosities and rich creativity. We play, dance, “roll in the mud”, “feel the rain”, and use the breathing balls to discover new movement possibilities and connect to our friends.

Something that brings Kyleigh joy… Dancing!


Jahidah Diaab, Curriculum Specialist

White, Purple, Green, Silver, & School-Wide

I enjoy all things that revolve around nature, children and diversity. Through the magic of materials a foundation of imagination, curiosity and excitement is laid. With engaging storytelling, children transform the materials in their play creating an entire world for dramatic play and artistic explorations. In the end, the children will create an entirely new world of learning through repurposed materials. As Stephanie shared, every material has a story. I am in love with facilitating the stories these materials can tell.

Something that brings Jahidaah joy… Walks in nature


Jim Sperber, Art Specialist

3/4s, 4/5s, & After School

I’ve been teaching art at Barrow since my first child came here in 2010. I love what I do and feel blessed to be able to encourage children to make art and to feel successful in all their endeavors in the art room. I also get to be a goof, dance around and sing on occasion.

The first semester is spent painting ONE painting in LAYERS. I aim to foster patience, executive function skills, creativity and fun while we proceed through the project. I’ve found at the end, the children hold special pride in these works. Never have they spent so long on anything, except perhaps potty training.

I recently heard from a graduate’s mom who recently moved out of the city. She told me that the painting was a source of constancy for her son who proudly hung it in his new room in CT, declaring the room now ready and his again.

Something that brings joy to Jim is… His family


Brenna Fisher, Curriculum Specialist

All Classes

I build community with art, play, and imagination. My passions include problem solving, making connections, environmental design, emotional processing and regulation, cognitive development, and communication. Values that I bring into my work include enthusiasm, compassion, patience, and persistence. I strongly believe art changes lives.

Something that brings Brenna joy is… Making art together


Kimberly McLeod, Science Specialist

Blue, Red, Orange Rooms

Hi. My name is Kimberly McLeod. I’m currently the 4/5s Science Specialist as well as the Science Curriculum Specialist for the school. I am also on the administration team in charge of Parent Education.

Before coming to Barrow I was a research biologist, studying fish populations on the Hudson River. I took some time off from research to be home with my two babies. Then I decided to go back to school and get my Masters at Bank Street College of Education.

I’ve been teaching for almost 15 years and it’s been a pleasure to have spent most of that time at Barrow. During my time at Barrow, I have not only taught science; I have worked in the classroom as a 3/4s teacher, taught enrichment classes, and held teacher and parent workshops.

I value the critical learning and developmental change that takes place in early childhood and because of that I am in the process of obtaining my Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education Leadership.

Please feel free to ask me any questions about science at Barrow and the value of science learning in early childhood education.


“Pottery Dave” Gibson, Pottery Specialist

2/3s, 3/4s, 4/5s, & After School

David Gibson received his MFA from Louisiana State University and his BFA from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He did a residency at the University of the Arts. His work has been shown in juried and in invitational exhibitions throughout the United States. David has taught at the Clay Studio, Wayne Arts Center and Southeastern Louisiana University. David was a resident artist at Greenwich House Pottery from 2005-2007. Dave has been teaching at GHP since 2007 and at Barrow Street Nursery School since 2008.  Currently, he teaches various wheel and hand building classes throughout New York City to all age groups.