Monica Iken Founder
Monica Iken is a native New Yorker and a former Board of Education certified teacher. She left education after losing her husband Michael in the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center, 9/11/2001. Shortly afterwards, Monica started September's Mission (a non profit), and began her mission to preserve the memory of the WTC by creating a memorial in honor of all those who were lost. She became an active advocate for the 9/11 families and worked with other groups to make this mission complete with the creation of the world class memorial and museum. Monica continues keeping September's Mission alive through events such as the Pope’s visit, art installations and anniversary celebrations.
Monica is a mother of two girls 8 & 10 and with her love of education she envisioned a school dedicated to the memory of Michael Iken. Her vision was to create something new and innovative with STEM as her focus. In 2015 Monica proudly opened the doors of the Iken Science Academy to inspire a love of learning and foster a love of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in all her students starting with preschool.
Ellen Santoro Manhattan Director
Ellen Santoro's illustrious tenure includes stops in the private sector and public schools before founding the Early Childhood program at Rhinelander Children's Center in 1989. After 26 successful years as program director, Ellen was sad to see Rhinelander's doors close (due to the sale of the schools building) but she's thrilled to have found a new home in the same Upper East Side neighborhood at Iken Academy. Ellen along with her devoted and talented staff share a history of many years together. They are delighted to continue the tradition of making first academic experiences memorable ones for generations to come.
Ilene Morrin Jericho Director
Ilene grew up in Bayside, Queens. She has a BA in Elementary Education from SUNY New Paltz and a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Queens College. Ilene worked as a preschool teacher at the Mid Island Y JCC for over 13 years. She was a mentor teacher, always helping to guide new teachers at her school. Ilene is an innovator in early childhood education, always researching new theories and programs to help her children get the skills necessary to succeed in todays society.
Presently, Ilene is introducing a STEM curriculum to Long Island at the Iken STEM Science Academy Preschool at Jericho Jewish Center. Ilene was President of Shaloma Hadassah where she successfully raised funds to benefit Israel.
Ilene resides in Plainview, NY with her husband and 3 wonderful children.
William Marshall After School Director
William Marshall is an After School Director for our after school program here at the Iken Academy school. He is the founder of Benswic, which he’ll also include as part of the after school program.
Benswic is known for their athletic and personal training, which includes 1-on-1, semi-private, sports specific and teams, to children and adults from ages 4 to adults. They also service fitness and multi-sports, such as sports and conditioning, flag football, soccer, basketball, track & field, baseball, team sports, and dodgeball to after school programs.
William works endlessly to ensure that his after-school students are safe and successful. He believes we must recognize each individual potential and embrace their desire to get better. – "There is no greater feeling than to know that you’re valued and you have a support system to push you further.”
We are proud, to bring William abroad and help others recognize their “value” as well.