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Nicole Donnelly

Nicole Donnelly began her career in New York City independent school education in the early 1990s. She taught kindergarten at The Chapin School and Saint David's School, and then spent 18 years as a K-12 admissions director at both The Chapin School and Friends Seminary. In 2016, Nicole was thrilled to become the Director of The Acorn School. She is a native New Yorker who raised her two college aged children in the City.

A Statement from Nicole


"I have spent the better part of my three-decade career focusing on early childhood education in New York City. Having worked with and observed countless young children, what is most evident is that each and every child is remarkably unique, special and exquisite in his or her own way. Children’s gifts and areas for growth should be honored, respected and supported throughout their educational journey.

I believe that young children thrive within a predictable structure and routine. When children feel safe, they will take risks in their learning and explore their environments without fear. This exploration leads to creative thinking and intellectual growth.

My role as an educator is to know and understand each child under my care as an individual and to facilitate his or her academic, social, emotional, creative and physical growth through exciting and positive educational experiences.

Most of all, children deserve their childhoods. Their journey should be fun!  Early childhood education should be filled with play, joyous learning moments, as well as opportunities to build strong relationships within a classroom, a school, and a community."  


See below for an article written by Nicole featured in the Parents League of New York's 2021 Review.

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