Welcome our new director, Shannon!
My early childhood career began in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1999 and since then I have worked in various settings learning a wide range of philosophies. After teaching for 18 years I accepted a directorship position at a lovely preschool in Southington. Having admired WCNS for many years, I was so joyful to be offered the directorship position in the fall of 2023. I enjoy attending and offering workshops and am interested in continuing my understanding of child development. I also have a great love of the outdoors and am passionate about environmental sustainability. My education began way back in 1987 at the University of Cincinnati (where I grew up). When we moved to Connecticut I attended Albertus Magnus for Child Psychology and Art Therapy. My heart has always been with Early Childhood Education; I received my BS and Director's Credentials from Charter Oak State College. I currently live in Cheshire with my husband, 1 dog, 2 cats and 7 fish (and I have 2 lovely grown daughters). I am looking forward to becoming a part of the wonderful and dynamic community of Westville!
We moved to New Haven in June 1997 for my husband's residency...and we are still here.
I live with my husband and twin daughters (Abby is a junior at Wilbur Cross High School and Carrie is a junior at Common Ground High School), and an abundance of pets. My son, James, is at Oberlin College majoring in creative writing and geology.
I started at WCNS in March 2004, when my twin daughters were in kindergarten. All three of my children went to Westville and I was Board President for 4 years. The connections I made when James enrolled at WCNS at age 4 made me feel like I lived in a community and they continue to sustain me personally and professionally.
I love working at this school because Patty is a great Director, the teaching team works incredibly well together, and the families who come to us believe in play-based education; these three factors mean that the job is always new and exciting and I am always learning and growing as a teacher.
I have a Bachelor's degree from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and an Master's degree in Education from the Eliot-Pearson department of Child Development at Tufts University.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the Westville Community Nursery School staff since 2007. It is a daily joy and privilege to work with beautiful, growing children so interested in learning about the world around them.
Originally from Seaford, Long Island, I settled in Westville with my husband, Tim, following our years of study at Southern Connecticut State University, where I earned my Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees in Special Education. I’ve enjoyed working with children and adolescents through the years, as a Special Education teacher, home childcare provider, birthday party facilitator, camp counselor, and after school drama club director, to name a few of my various educator hats!
I am also the proud mother of three children who attended WCNS (son Rory-class of 1998, son Dylan-class of 2000, and daughter Emily-class of 2003). Not only did their experience prove to be a wonderful, developmentally sound base for their future education, it was beneficial for my husband and me as we established our first bonds with other families in the neighborhood, many of whom we still count among our friends.
As a WCNS parent, I held positions on the Board (Fundraising, Parent Activities, & Secretary), enabling me to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the philosophy and practices of the school. I realized back then that this school had more to offer than just an exemplary preschool experience for my children – it’s also a unique and strong community builder for families.
I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to provide nurturing and guidance to children at WCNS.
I was raised in New Haven with my parents and 9 younger siblings. I have always loved enjoying adventures through the eyes of children as they explore and discover the world around them. As the oldest, I realized at an early age that young children add so much joy and meaning to life. My husband and I have 4 children of our own of whom we are very proud. We have also had 13 foster children in the past who are now between the ages of 18 and 36.
I knew that I wanted to be a teacher when I was in the 1st grade at Barnard School. I admired my teacher, Miss Tortora. She taught me how to enjoy learning from everyday experiences. I still sing the songs she taught me and apply her 3 Ls: “Look, Listen and Learn” to my explorations. "What do you see? What do you hear? What do you think? What do you know? What can you do?" I learned from her that questions and possibilities are exciting and endless.
I have my Associates degree in Early Childhood Special Ed. I am currently enrolled at SCSU working on my second major to complete my Bachelor degree. I have cared for children for as long as I can remember and always learn something new from them. My experience at WCNS has been extremely rewarding and I look forward to coming to work each day. I am always amazed at what the world looks like through the eyes of children and get excited when they share this wonder with me and each other. Our teaching team is incredibly talented; we collaborate and communicate continuously, which contributes to the richness of the program and provides many wonderful ideas and support.
Thank you to all of the families who have entrusted their precious children to our care.
I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the WCNS community for 17 years, being a staff member for 13 of those years. Originally from Meriden, Connecticut, I have always had an aptitude for nurturing and shaping little minds. It is always interesting to see the world through a child’s eyes, and know that my impact on them as a teacher is one that will stick with them into their adult life.
I received my Associate’s Degree from Tunxis Community College in Farmington, Connecticut and spent five years working as a dental hygienist. Outside of work, I continued to foster my passion working as a home childcare provider, tutor, and mentor for children of all ages.
My husband, Harold, and I have been residents of Westville for over twenty years. During this time, I have enjoyed raising my daughter Emma, who was a student at WCNS from 2005-2006. Her experience at WCNS paved the way for her bright future, with many of the experiences she had staying with her throughout her academic journey. Watching my daughter flourish was nothing short of a rewarding experience, and it allowed me to see the strong foundation and values that WCNS stands on. It was for this reason that I joined the community as a substitute teacher, and have since became an assistant teacher. I have loved working alongside our talented team of individuals, though each of us are different, we all have a wide range of assets and we love what we do. Collaborating and working together towards a common goal has been fulfilling.
The most rewarding part of my job, however, are the amazing children and families that I’ve gotten to connect with. The bonds that I have formed as a result have been monumental. I like to say that while this is my job, it is also a large part of who I am as an individual. Going into work every day and seeing the children’s faces light up is an indescribable feeling; knowing that I am making a positive impact is comforting. I am beyond grateful to be a part of such a close knit, strong, and welcoming community.