Educating girls with purpose.

Everyone at Nightingale strongly believes in the lifelong benefits of a girls’ school education. Our leadership, faculty, and administration are vital contributors to our community, harnessing their relationships with the students to educate minds and hearts. We strive for excellence in all of our pursuits and share a passion for educating girls with purpose.

Head of School

Paul A.Burke

Head of School

A New Leader For A New Century

Mr. Paul Burke was unanimously named the seventh head of school at Nightingale and took on the role in July 2012. Mr. Burke, like Miss Nightingale and Miss Bamford before him, embraces the philosophy that educating girls is a matter of both mind and heart and that girls’ schools educate girls best. He believes that a school where everyone is known encourages students to take intellectual risks and establish their own voices.

Going Beyond Barriers

Mr. Burke’s time as the head of Nightingale’s Upper School provided him with rich relationships within the Nightingale community, which gave him a robust understanding of the strengths of its past and the needs of its future.

This experience informed Mr. Burke’s commitment to creating a more diverse and equitable community as well as keeping the entire school within one building. Nightingale embarked on an ambitious Schoolhouse expansion under his new leadership that added 20 percent more additional space and reimagined nearly every corner of the building. It was essential to preserve the tradition of students of all ages under one roof to foster strong relationships, a vital component of the Nightingale mission, while also pursuing the vision of a 21st-century schoolhouse. With the expansion complete, Mr. Burke turned his energy and leadership in designing and implementing a new strategic plan in 2017. In 2020 and the start of Nightingale’s second century, Mr. Burke has embraced a renewed commitment to creating a truly equitable, inclusive, and antiracist school.

“I have long believed that the best schools are led by ideas first and people second, and I am confident in the strength and power of the ideas leading Nightingale today. As we move ever closer to the start of our school’s second century, we do so as an intentional, thoughtful community with a renewed, yet long-standing belief in the capacity of a well-educated heart and mind to go beyond barriers for the betterment of all.”
— Paul A. Burke, 2017

The Journey to Nightingale

Mr. Burke’s path to Nightingale took him through various academic institutions that shaped his views and informed both his approach to the world and his career choices. He graduated from Williams College, where he majored in American history and American studies. After college, he became the college counselor at the Salisbury School, an all-boys boarding school in western Connecticut. After three years in Connecticut, Mr. Burke returned to school to earn a master’s degree in educational administration through the prestigious Klingenstein program in private school leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. While there, he was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi honor society. After Columbia, Mr. Burke joined Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, where he spent eight years as a college counselor, history teacher, and for his last five years there, a dean of students.

Mr. Burke and his wife are proud parents to three children— twin sons and a daughter, a member of Nightingale’s Class of 2027. He and his wife are co-teaching a Leadership seminar for the Political Science department at Williams College this year. When he’s not running a school or teaching, Mr. Burke can be found playing early morning pick-up basketball, walking his dog in Central Park, or seeking New York’s best pizza.

Professional Associations:

Mr. Burke is a member of the Board of Trustees at Don Bosco Preparatory, his high school alma mater. He also serves as a member of the Board of Leadership + Design, and on the advisory committee for the 92Y Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact. Previously, Mr. Burke served as President of the Board of the Independent School Admission Association of Greater New York (ISAAGNY), as well as President of the Board of the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools (ICGS) where he currently serves as a Commissioner. In addition, Mr. Burke has served on the Board of Packer Collegiate Institute and The Browning School. He is a founding Board Member for Riley’s Way Foundation and Summer Steps.


Rebecca J. Urciuoli

Head of Lower School

Dr. Rebecca J. Urciuoli has been the head of the Lower School for four years. Dr. Urciuoli has a long and distinguished relationship with Nightingale. She arrived at the school in 1994 as an Interschool fellow and assistant Kindergarten teacher and has held many roles, including Class IV homeroom teacher, learning specialist, director of counseling, interim co-head of Middle School, and associate head of Lower School. A graduate of Princeton University, Dr. Urciuoli also holds an EdM and PhD in school psychology from Columbia University. In her years away from Nightingale, Dr. Urciuoli worked in the Lower School at two different independent schools and a Catholic high school in the Bronx.

She and her husband are the parents of two Nightingale girls, Jane '19 and Nina '23. When she is not overseeing the Lower School, Dr. Urciuoli proudly cheers for the Yankees, enjoys attending live music performances, and happily cares for her family’s six pets.

Rebecca Oshins & Martha St. Jean

Head of Lower Middle School & Head of Upper Middle School

Ms. Rebecca Oshins is the Head of Lower Middle School (Classes V and VI) where she spends most of her days thinking about the emotional-development of pre-teens, cross-curricular projects, and the ever-important question of morning snack. Rebecca joined the Nightingale community as a Class IV teacher in 2020. In her previous roles at George Jackson Academy and St. Bernard's School she worked as a classroom teacher, advisor, curriculum writer, and crafts teacher. Rebecca earned a bachelor’s degree from NYU and a master's in education from Columbia. Rebecca is a voracious reader and an insatiable traveler. While there is no hobby she won’t try, currently Rebecca is focusing on knitting and running one race a month.

Ms. Martha St. Jean is the Head of Upper Middle School (Classes VII and VIII). She joined the Nightingale community in 2021 as the associate head of Middle School. Prior to Nightingale, she worked as a special educator within the New York City Department of Education, with a focus on inclusive practices and developing culturally relevant and responsive curricula. She has also worked as a Senior Program Manager for iMentor, a national nonprofit focused on mentoring for college and career readiness. She holds a master’s in educational leadership from Bank Street College of Education and a master’s in secondary inclusive education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also holds an MS in journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and a BS in communication studies from New York University. Martha is a board member of America Needs You, a leading provider of intensive career development and leadership training to first-generation college students; mentors and coaches young people for the nonprofit Braven; and has hosted live online workshops for educational professionals, non-profits, and corporations.

Nichole Foster-Hinds

Head of Upper School

Mrs. Nichole Foster-Hinds began her tenure as head of the Upper School in July 2022. She joined Nightingale after serving as the Head of Middle School for five years and the Director of Health & Wellbeing for Social & Emotional Learning for two years at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland. In addition to serving as a divisional director, Mrs. Foster-Hinds has close to twenty years of experience as a math teacher, having served as a math department chair for two different schools. She has also led diversity, equity, inclusion and social and emotional learning efforts across divisions, championed the review and renewal of curriculum and emphasis on competency-based curricular across subject areas, and helped develop and lead her former school's signature Learn Well, Live Well, Lead Well programming. Mrs. Foster-Hinds received her undergraduate degree from Purdue University along with two graduate degrees: an MBA from Penn State University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Mrs. Foster-Hinds inspires a culture of connectedness, focused on creating a community where students feel linked to each other, their teachers, and the world around them. She thinks hard and well about the many ways in which schools need to align to support their students.

Johara Sealy

Assistant Head of School for Diversity and Equity

Ms. Johara Sealy has spearheaded Nightingale's strategic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives for the past four years. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Ms. Sealy believes in the transformative power of empowering young girls and women and is committed to creating spaces where all students are seen, heard, and valued. Ms. Sealy also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership politics and advocacy from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education.

Having received a comprehensive education and cross-cultural exposure through attending an international school during her formative years, Ms. Sealy is a living testament to the benefits of an inclusive and multicultural learning community; she credits her passion for equity work to her educational experiences. Ms. Sealy is committed to collaborative change and is passionate about leveraging the multiplicity of voices and experiences in our community to build and sustain positive relationships amongst our community.

Ms. Sealy guides the members of our community into a clearer understanding that everyone has roles to play in the pursuit of equity and justice. She encourages and motivates our community members to be positive and effective agents of change on this journey.

Sebnem Giorgio

Chief Financial and Operating Officer

Ms. Sebnem Giorgio joined Nightingale in March 2020. In her role as the CFO and COO, she oversees finance, facilities, human resources, and IT. She has had similar leadership roles in nonprofit organizations over the past twelve years. In her last role, she was the chief financial and administrative officer of DREAM (formerly Harlem RBI), a public charter school in New York. Prior to transitioning to non-profit organizations, Ms. Giorgio spent over ten years as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch. She is the Treasurer of the Board of a non-profit called America Needs You.

Ms. Giorgio graduated summa cum laude with a BA in economics and German studies from Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Originally from Turkey, Ms. Giorgio is a proud graduate of an all-girls independent school in Istanbul. She enjoys traveling internationally with her husband and two children and discovering the best coffee shops wherever she goes.

Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff

More than 200 teachers, specialists, coaches, and professional staff bring extraordinary expertise, intellect, enthusiasm, and humor to their roles at Nightingale. Together we create an environment in which every student can excel.

Board of Trustees

Nightingale Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that the Nightingale mission is “relevant and vital to the community it serves,” as stated in NAIS Principles of Good Practice, and is aligned with the School’s strategic direction. Our goal is for the board to reflect our community and include individuals from different backgrounds who hold complementary skills and expertise. Working together, our board will actively lead Nightingale into its second century.

Robert Azeke
P'29, Vice President
Kathleen McCarthy Baldwin
P'31 P'33, President
Philip Berlinski
P'24 P'31
Paul A. Burke
P'27, Head of School
Ariel Chaus
P'30 P'32, Treasurer
Terri Davis-Merchant
'95, Alumnae Board President, ex officio
Shoshanna Gruss
'93 P'23 P'31
Maleha Haroon
P'22 P'24 P'28, Parents Association President, ex officio
Francesca Harper Cohen
'87 P'29
Julia Heaton
Robert Kinderman III
P'28 P'30
Jiyeun Lee
P'19 P'21 P'23, Vice President
Alain Massena
P'31 P'33 P'33
Celene Menschel
Raffiq Nathoo
Ken Natori
P'30, Secretary
Sallie R. Permar, MD, PhD
Julienne Silverman
P'29 P'30
Roald Smeets
P'16 P'20 P'27
Randy Takian
P'27 P'29 P'31
Honorary Board Members
Rebecca Grunwald
Nina Joukowsky
'79 P'09
Grant F. Winthrop
P'97 P'00 P'04
Head of School Emerita
Dorothy A. Hutcheson