Key Educational Staff

Howard Milbert

Executive Director

Executive Director of the Ossining Children’s Center (OCC) since 1985, Howard is known throughout New York State as a leading voice for high quality child care and early childhood education.

Howard is co-chair of the New York State Association of Directors of Not-for-Profit Child Day Care Centers, co-president of the Westchester Early Childhood Directors Association, and a former Board member of the New York State Early Care and Learning Council. An expert on public policy affecting children and families, he is often called upon to testify at New York State legislative and administrative hearings on child care and/or early childhood education. He is a recipient of the Westchester Child Care Council’s “Joey Award” for his public advocacy work.

Before coming to OCC in 1985, Howard was a teacher at United Cerebral Palsy of New York City.  Howard earned an Advanced Certificate in Administration and Supervision from City College of New York, an M.S. in Special Education from Hunter College and a B.A. in History from New York University. As part of his undergraduate work, he supervised the excavation of Revolutionary War Fort #6 in the Bronx.

Claudia Weger

Assistant Executive Director

Claudia’s entire professional career of 35 years has been in the field of child care and early childhood education. Her specialty is in child development and in infant, toddler and preschool curriculum. She supervises all of the educational staff at the Center, manages a strong staff development program, and runs the day to day operation of the Center.

Claudia joined the teaching staff of OCC in 1990 and became a staff supervisor three years later. She is a strong proponent of developmentally appropriate, child-centered teaching. She holds a B.S. in Education from Wheelock College in Boston.

Ana Kabashi

Director, School-age Enrichment and Summer Camp Program

Originally from Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia, Ana emigrated to Italy at a young age. She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Scuola Magistrale istituto Santa Macrina in Palermo, Italy. She did additional studies at Suore Basiliane di Grottaferrata in Rome. In Italy, she worked as a kindergarten teacher, a summer camp organizer, a free-lance translator and volunteered with Mother Theresa’s ministry for ten years.

Ana joined the OCC school-age program teaching team 21 years ago. She became Director of the Program in 2015. Ana and her staff strive to nurture their students’ natural curiosity and creativity. They like to try new ideas, both in subject matter and in teaching methods.

Gerri DeSilva

Head Teacher and Coordinator of Volunteers

Gerri has been a teacher of three-year-olds at OCC for 26 years. After receiving her B.A. from Lehman College, she taught at Bronxville Preschool and Pelham Day Care before coming to OCC. She also served as Director of the Bronxville Junior Day Camp for many years. Many of Gerri’s OCC students return to visit her as teenagers.  Gerri also serves as coordinator of volunteers at OCC, and recruits many of those former students to volunteer at the Center.

Terry Becker, LMSW

Social Worker and Director of Children’s Services

Terry has a Master’s degree from Columbia University School of Social Work.  Before coming to OCC some 28 years ago, she served as a social worker for children and adolescents at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City. Here at OCC she works with our teachers to help them individualize their approach with each child. She is also available as a resource for parents.

Lillian Shkolnik

Pre-K Program Coordinator

Lillian came to OCC nine years ago after many years’ experience as both a preschool teacher and as a public school kindergarten teacher. Lillian enjoys teaching pre-K at OCC because OCC’s home-like setting provides a great supportive environment for four-year-olds’ first formal school experience. Lillian holds Masters’ degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education from Mercy College.