The Promise of Roberts Field
With a passionate devotion to understanding and perceiving the human being as first and foremost a creative being, the founding of Roberts Field stems from a belief that the fundamental offerings of our educational landscape should encompass art, creativity, critical thinking, big ideas, studio workshops, compassionate and mindful guidance and practice, and consistent and immersive connections with nature as integrated pillars of a complete education.
As humans, when we are nurtured in a building relationship with the whole and diverse sphere of the world, we are most saliently connected to the full capacity of self. When we are nurtured to take part in a vast and infinite field of learning, our growth is exponential, and our full potential as individuals and as community is heightened. This holistic education is essential to the development of inner depth, consciousness, and the ability to thrive happily in life as a developed and constructive citizen of the world.
By elevating our expectation of children, we enrich and extend their perception of what they believe is possible to contribute to and achieve in life. By taking inspirational and invigorating academic standards and interweaving them with creative mediums and expanses of life, we uplift and enhance education and teach children to reach far within themselves and go joyfully, competently, and brilliantly into the world.
Khahtee V. Turner is the founder of The Roberts Field School. After founding and directing the programs of Studio Creative Play since 2003 , she was moved to extend the mission and philosophy of Studio into the elementary realm of education. Through partnering and consulting with extraordinary educators with a strong understanding of progressive approaches, it's name derived from her late mother's name,
Graduates of The Roberts Field School are unique as intricately and expansively developed elementary school students. Their minds, hearts, and skills have been unified with their individual gifts as academic learners, creative people, and deeply reflective and compassionate young citizens. Our graduates perceive of themselves as active learners and citizens prepared and responsible to give back to society. They have a strong perception of the vastness and diversity of the world, art, and innovation that have shaped experiences across the globe. They understand the intrinsic capacity in all of us to be change-makers and agents of peace. They deeply appreciate diversity in all aspects of humanity around them, stand up for social justice, and seek out others who mindfully and generously observe, contribute, reflect, and apply themselves in their school community.
Graduating students of Roberts Field are creative, caring, and highly knowledgeable students. They desire to be challenged in order to reach their goals and propel themselves forward, confidently in building all of their dreams and upholding the expectations and structures of their next learning environment.
Studio Creative Play Inc, &
The Roberts Field School Board of Directors
Hannah V. Murphy
Our Leaders & Staff
Khahtee V. Turner, Founder & Director
KHAHTEE V. TURNER is the Founder & 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 18 years at Studio—alongside artists, musicians, and educators—Khahtee has led 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 The Roberts Field School, a Kindergarten through 5th-grade program, which she directs with her co-director and leadership counterpart, Carney Heavey O'Brien. In the establishment of Roberts Field, Khahtee maintains her unwavering devotion to offer the community this joyful and interdisciplinary approach to elementary education. Khahtee has shared elements of her program worldwide to bring foundations of nurturing creative consciousness and interconnectivity with our global neighbors. She has taken educational resources, experiences, and global community workshops to remote areas of Mexico and Nepal and Icelandic schools.
Khahtee can also be found spending fun times with her beloved thirteen-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, adventuring in all that the world has to offer.
Carney M. Heavey O'Brien,
CARNEY M. HEAVEY O'BRIEN enthusiastically joins the Roberts Field School community this year as co-director with more than two decades joyfully supporting the growth and evolution of early childhood, elementary, and secondary independent schools. At the core of all of her professional endeavors has been a progressive, creative, experiential approach to learning, with a focus on social justice, equity, the value of diverse perspectives, and strong, connected communities.
Carney sees education and educational leadership experiences as a means to a higher end. Occupationally, she has taught, written curriculum, developed the professional capacity of faculty, advanced enrollment management practices, and led schools. Vocationally, Carney’s endeavors have included everything from empowering preschoolers to think of themselves as artists, encouraging elementary school students to honor and develop their inner researchers, mentoring middle schoolers to be orators and actors, facilitating the access for adolescents to evolve into change agents and leading whole communities in realizing a vision of “school” as an integral community partner in the betterment of our society.
Carney is drawn to The Roberts Field School’s promise of a transcendent education through the integration of nature, art, and mindfulness. When not at RFS, Carney can be found jogging through the parks in Brooklyn, discovering new hiking trails, knitting, and journaling on her fire escape, and enjoying the company and inspiration of her fabulous four grown children.
Director of Administrative Services
ROBIN PICKERING has been an active leader for Studio Creative Play and Roberts Field in various capacities for almost fifteen years. Robin's administrative leadership roles have served a range of diverse needs from editing content for the Studio Creative Play website to helping produce educational videos, supervising staff, and managing other daily operations and large development projects.
Robin’s current role as Director of Administrative Services for RFS, continues to incorporate work with Khahtee and other leaders to help expand the reach of our mission on a more global scale and assist in the implementation of the Strategic Development Plan of RFS.
In her free time, Robin is a musician and writer, and she can often be found wandering around Coney Island or in any of Brooklyn’s parks and green spaces.
Director of Interdisciplinary Enrichment
ANGUS DAVIDSON is returning to The Roberts Field School as Director of Interdisciplinary Enrichment for his sixth year as part of the RFS community. His experience within our organization includes both classroom teaching and school leadership. He shines equally in both roles! In the classrooms, Angus builds community curricula around the arts, music, mindfulness, meditation, and nature. He is the founding co-teacher of the Symposium project at RFS--a hands-on interdisciplinary art program, and has served as The Roberts Field School Music Ambassador, teaching music classes and workshops for all ages in the school. In his leadership role, he works with families, leaders, teachers, and children to build the strong community bonds at the heart of Roberts Field.
Before bringing his teaching and leadership skills to The Roberts Field School, Angus was Assistant Director and taught in Studio Creative Play classrooms for Fours and Threes. His other educational and classroom experiences include choral and music ensemble direction, outdoor education, and ESL instruction. As an organizational leader, he draws on his experience as co-founder of Spark Arts, an arts and nature-focused program in Brooklyn.
When not at The Roberts Field School, you may find Angus on the bike path to Coney Island, or in the Adirondack Park in the stern of a canoe! He loves taking photographs, sanding rocks, and playing the piano!
Program Coordinator for
JILLIAN ROSSITTO is thrilled to be returning for her sixth year at The Roberts Field School. Jillian’s career at RFS began as a co-teacher in the kindergarten classroom before she joined the leadership team three years ago. Jillian is very much looking forward to her new role as the Program Coordinator for Student Services because she will be collaborating with families, students, and teachers to meet the diverse needs of all children within the RFS community.
Jillian feels tremendously lucky to work alongside such talented educators and leaders with the shared understanding that rich, thoughtful, and intentional experiences have the power to leave an indelible mark on every student. She understands that it is a privilege to have a hand in the transformations that arise when education is woven mindfully with creative artistic experiences and consistent exploration in nature during a child’s formative academic career.
With over sixteen years of experience in education, Jillian holds an early childhood teaching certificate in both Connecticut and New York, a B.A. in Psychology from Salve Regina University, and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Special Education from Southern Connecticut State University. She was the recipient of the Connecticut Early Childhood Education Council Annual Scholarship and has presented at Columbia University Teachers College for the Inclusive Classroom Project.
When Jillian is not at RFS you can find her chasing after her twins and cooking up a storm.
CAROLINE GUZMAN has been with the Studio Creative Play and Roberts Field School community since 2011. Across that time, she taught children from ages two through six, acted as a Staff Supervisor, and helped to launch Live Earth program - a weekly movement lab designed around the body's physical connection to nature. This fall marks her sixth year teaching with RFS.
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 academic discovery. Children in Caroline’s class help to shape their curricular units by “showing and telling” what interests them most.
During last year’s Seasons in the Field program, Caroline led a multiage learning pod 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 as our city continues to heal from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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-mache sculptor, and proud mom to her two-year-old daughter.
CAMERON CARTER grew up all over the world with her military family but currently resides in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Cameron is an educator with a passion for molding young learners into the future leaders of tomorrow.
For the past three years, Cameron worked as a special education teacher in an integrated pre-k classroom in East Harlem. She has taught in several different capacities over the past ten years in early childhood classrooms from teacher, paraprofessional, teaching assistant, and volunteer. Through these experiences, Cameron has learned that transformative and thoughtful instruction in early childhood can make a difference in the learning experiences of children.
Cameron is so excited to join RFS as a Kindergarten a co-teacher. She enjoys teaching in this age group because she remembers how much joy she had in early learning and wishes to provide that for future generations.
Cameron is a 2016 graduate from Spelman College, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. Cameron completed her Masters of Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University in February of 2020. Her master's program was a dual certification program with an early childhood focus. When Cameron is not in the classroom, she enjoys concerts, fashion, beach trips, cooking yummy vegan meals and so much more!
1st & 2nd Grade Co-Teacher
KYLE FERLIC ANTHONY believes in process-oriented and hands-on learning. Kyle joined the Studio Creative Play team in 2012, where she learned to teach with intuition, intention, and integrity. This year marks her sixth year as The Roberts Field School Lyra teacher. Within the 1st and 2nd Grade Lyra Classroom, Kyle cultivates a safe space inspiring creativity and academic engagement. Curiosity and wonderment are driving forces behind her approach to education. Kyle is captivated by the expanse of our pale blue dot, from the spectacular and odd, to the quotidian. She brings this “turn each shell over and dive into the ocean” attitude every day into Lyra where students make, explore, read, and ask millions of questions. Kyle might not always have the answers, but all the better for facilitating the inquiry of her students.
Kyle graduated with a B.A. in Art History from Ohio State University in 2008 and continued on to earn her M.A. in Art Therapy from New York University. Kyle has worked with various Ne York City communities as a teaching artist. Kyle has never lost her verve for art history. In her time off, she spends time in NYC going to art galleries, or she heads upstate to bask in the treasure trove of minimalism that the Dia offers. Rarely does she walk away from an exhibit without inspiration for a project or history lesson to bring into Lyra.
Academic Support Services
CHRISTIE BARRON believes strongly in the power of play. Throughout her fifteen years as an educator, she has found play to be the catalyst, if not the source, for children to make meaning of both their internal and external world. Christie upholds the vision that all children have the need, and the right, to feel safe, heard, seen, and experience a sense of belonging. From this place, Christie creates and supports learning spaces that honor this deep commitment to children where joy can manifest, and the desire to create and flourish naturally follows. Christie encourages and supports children in genuine inquiries that inspire a deeper capacity for empathy, creativity, flexibility, and a sense of agency and empowerment. In the coming school year, Christie will serve as an academic and interdisciplinary support teacher to the 1st-grade through 5th-grade programs.
Before finding The Roberts Field School in 2017, Christie worked within the NYC public school system for eleven years and found her way to progressive education in 2013. It was through this journey where she uncovered her commitment to the whole child as the foundation to all learning. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Masters Degree in Childhood Education. Christie is a New York state-certified teacher, a certified yoga instructor, and a poet.
3rd, 4th & 5th Grade Co-Teacher
ANNA KOTELCHUCK is thrilled to be joining the Roberts Field School this year as a teacher in the Aquila classroom and is looking forward to teaching and learning from the children and adults in our school community. With over a decade of experience in education, Anna believes in creating a learning space for her students where there is ample room for joy, creativity, and authentic challenges.
Prior to joining The Roberts Field School, Anna worked as a classroom teacher at Brooklyn Friends School, and as an educator at various cultural organizations around the city such as the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the American Folk Art Museum. In her teaching practice, she is particularly interested in how incorporating hands-on arts and nature-based learning can deepen and extend traditional academic subjects. She aims to help her students see that they are one small part of a larger society and the natural world, to reflect on the myriad of human differences and similarities, and to strive for a more just, equitable, and peaceful world.
Anna has a B.A. in Art History from Boston University and graduated from Bank Street College of Education with a Masters Degree in Museum Education and New York State Teaching Certification. Her child Micah will also be joining the Roberts Field community in the Terra classroom this year.
3rd, 4th & 5th Grade Co-Teacher
PAIGE OLSON is ecstatic to teach in the Aquila classroom at the Roberts Field School. Over the past eight years as an educator, she has advocated for an educational system equitable for all students and has facilitated this approach in her own classroom. From constructing culturally sustainable lessons to executing social justice curriculum that goes beyond the classroom, she invests in the celebration and acceptance of diverse cultures with her students. She is dedicated to fostering a community of learning, empathy, openness, joy, play, and creativity with her students.
Paige has taught in classrooms around the world in a myriad of communities--from Madrid, Spain, to rural Mississippi, to Crown Heights in Brooklyn. Currently, she is working on her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Johns Hopkins University. Paige’s research and emphasis is on the impact of creativity and art in education. In addition, she is working with education reform organizations, such as the Abolitionist Teaching Network, to create a world enriched in culture that meets the needs of all learners.
Paige received her Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Missouri and anticipates her graduation from Johns Hopkins in 2022. Paige is also a children’s yoga teacher and holds a B1 DELE certification in Spanish.
Program Assistant Teacher
ALEENA TURNER has been a part of the Studio Creative Play and Roberts Field community for the last 3 years, as an early childhood co-teacher as well as an enrichment specialist, with a concentration in STEM, the arts, and nature studies. She has worked with children for the last 9 years, starting out with daycare, and eventually guiding elementary school children as well. She is excited to return to the beautiful RFS journey this year as an assistant teacher in all of the classrooms, as a co-leader for the Day in the Field program, and to offer more enrichment experiences to the afterschool program. Aleena is a Fashion Design student at Kingsborough College and resides in East New York. She loves working on large scale painting, and sketching and designing clothing. She also loves to share her passion for art, nature, and meditation with children. Aleena believes meditation is the key to inner peace.
RFS has had a powerful and inspiring impact on Aleena's life, as she believes wholeheartedly in the balance of social-emotional nurture with academic learning. She believes that school should be joyous and playful as an important aspect of its offerings. Watching children grow uniquely through the years, in their own character and expression, continues to propel Aleena's love of teaching. When she is not teaching with the RFS team, she is working at NORY S.T.E.M summer camp. In her downtime she loves baking with the children of her family, working on art, and singing.
Robert C. Graham,
Visiting Scholar in Residence
ROBERT C. GRAHAM energetically joins the Roberts Field School community this fall as a guest educator / scholar in the Day in the Field program, where he will share his passion for nature conservation and preservation as an educator with over a decade of experience in the entire education ecosystem – from early childhood to graduate education. Robert’s time as a wildland firefighter with the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma kindled his path to education and provided the blueprint to his fervor for interdisciplinary, experiential learning.
Robert’s rich experience as a tutor, instructor, mentor, trainer, and leader in education informs his holistic view and approach to learning. He believes in empowering learners to discover and hone their skills of multidimensional observation, reflection, and change agency. Robert also encourages scholars to cultivate their abilities as catalogers as a means by which to optimize their learning experiences.
The Roberts Field School’s lionization of transcendence, natural landscapes, and whole child development resonates strongly with Robert, a lifelong enthusiast of the great outdoors. Outside of building and updating databases, Robert can be found at any 50-meter swimming pool or 400-meter track, in any city of the world. He is exuberant about his 0.90 kg skipping (jump) rope, 1.13 kg hula hoop and 5.4 kg medicine ball.
HARMONIE COLEMAN is an educator, youth worker, and public scholar from Dayton, OH currently living in Brooklyn. She holds a B.A. in Psychology and Race & Difference Studies from Emory University and a M. Ed in Teaching & Curriculum from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Since completing graduate school, Harmonie has served as a high-school Ethnic Studies teacher, curriculum writer, community organizer, teacher mentor, equity and wellbeing consultant, and youth workshop leader. In all of her work, she dedicates herself to cultivating joyful learning experiences, nurturing identity development across generations, dismantling systemic oppression, and creating change for young people and our communities. As a teacher, Harmonie has experience with culturally responsive ELA for grades 5-12, high school Ethnic Studies, and Math, SEL, and ELA special education for ages 4-18. She is intensely passionate about joy -- creating and finding it, professionally and personally. She believes life and learning should be fun, and strives to center that attitude in all that she does. When she's not working, she's usually exploring the city, nurturing an interest in photography, or reading a good book. Harmonie is excited to continue learning and doing this work alongside the Roberts Field community and leadership where she will offer professional development workshops and family enrichment programs.
Scholar In Residence
GIGI CHEW has been a teacher and supervisor at Studio Creative Play for the last decade, and an arts and enrichment specialist at The Roberts Field School. Gigi completed her B.A. in Psychology and her Masters in Social Work, both at NYU, leading her to work in a wide range of social service organizations and agencies. From this realm of profession, she was further inspired to teach and positively guide individuals and children to thrive through self-expression, creativity, nature immersion, and the arts. Her wish as a teacher is to cultivate students' global awareness and respect for culture and diversity. As a nature lover, Gigi often integrates natural elements into her work with children in ways that encourage an appreciation of Earth and nature. Gigi received her Permaculture Design Course certification in upstate NY in 2009. 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 city farms and gardens for hands-on volunteer work.
In her free time, Gigi is an avid reader, meditator, crafter, and perpetual student of life. She also enjoys spending time with her 10-year-old daughter, a Roberts Field graduate. Gigi is deeply committed to providing children with a joyful, warm, and enriching learning environment. She is also the Director and Co-Founder of Spark Arts.