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Clementine Briarcliff Manor Math Teacher Nicole Palumbo, MS shares her personal journey to joining the Clementine family in this week’s blog post. Nicole shares her passion for teaching and some of what makes the work being done at Briarcliff Manor so special. Read on to learn more about Nicole and the Clementine Briarcliff Manor team…


What is your name and what are your credentials?

My name is Nicole Palumbo. I am a graduate of Buffalo State College (B.S.) and Canisius College (M.S.). In addition to serving as a classroom teacher for many years, I have extensive supervisorial and managerial experience, serving as the Mathematics Department Chair at two prestigious New York City private schools, as well as serving as Board President at a large cooperative in Lower Manhattan.

Please give us a brief description of your background.

Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, I moved to New York City shortly after completing graduate school, ultimately landing in Northern Westchester County, New York. With over 20 years experience in the classroom, my primary focus (by choice!) has been the middle school grades. I absolutely love working with adolescents and feel very lucky to be part of an amazing team of people focused on this age group.

What does a typical day look like for you at Clementine?

A typical day starts as one might expect in any educational setting: arrival, clerical duties, and readying the classroom. Once done, I then move on to one of the less traditional aspects (but truly a highpoint), walking down to the breakfast area to greet my students. Seeing their faces light up is incredibly rewarding, and very powerful. My students are happy to see me, happy to come up to the classroom, and happy to get started on their coursework. What more could a teacher ask for? The classroom is one of many safe places in a typical day for our adolescents, but the classroom offers a bit of a divergence from their typical routine, as a result, they come relaxed, focused, and ready to learn.

In your own words, please describe the philosophy of Clementine.

The philosophy of Clementine is pretty straightforward: The whole is incomplete if the parts are not in working order. Like a chain, we are only as strong as our weakest link. The Clementine program serves as the solder necessary for reinforcing the weak points. By shoring up the weak points, we help to cultivate the skills necessary for pushing back against the pressures that weaken our adolescents over time. The Clementine program provides the tools necessary for helping our clients go the distance.

How does your team work together? How do your roles overlap and differ?

The education team works very closely together. Although each team member’s role differs, and we may not all be in the classroom at the same time on any given day, we are in constant communication. We take a hands-on approach to learning, tailoring instruction to meet the needs of the individual. Our adolescents feel supported, and are at ease while working with us. We offer a safe environment that encourages healthy risk taking. We teach our adolescents that it is okay (and perfectly normal) to experience uncertainty, and that it is through mistake making that some of the most profound learning takes place. We teach our adolescents the skills necessary for success inside the classroom, and offer strategies for applying those skills outside the classroom as well.

What is your favorite thing about Clementine?

My favorite thing about Clementine is the caring staff and our amazing adolescents. My job is more rewarding that I ever thought possible. I truly enjoy coming to work each day.

What are three facts about you that people do not know?

  • I rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange twice!
  • I don’t know my left from right (I have to think about it, it isn’t automatic)
  • I love rollercoasters!


For more information about Clementine adolescent treatment programs, please call 855.900.2221, visit our websitesubscribe to our blog, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about our newest location, Clementine Briarcliff Manor, please reach out to a Clementine Admissions Specialist at 855.900.2221.