Our Faculty

Each educator at CNS has outstanding experience, advanced training or degrees, and a commitment to ongoing professional development. Above all, every one of them loves to guide children through the process and joys of real discovery.

CNS Faculty 2015-2016

List of 8 items.

  • Nancy Cullison

    Riverway, Greenhouse, Afternoon Facilitator 
    Nancy has been teaching for over 25 years. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts, she has worked at many early childhood centers, including the Harvard Radcliffe Center, and managing her own. She worked closely with the Child Development Department while at Harvard in both practice and training of new educators. She has extensive training in the Reggio Emilia approach, including being chosen to travel to Reggio Emilia on a study tour. She brings a particular interest in nature and environmental education to the classroom. In addition to teaching and learning, she enjoys photography, dancing, crafts and time with her family. This past summer, she spent touring Italy by bicycle. 
  • Lise White

    Lise has been teaching at schools in the Boston area for 12 years. She has a Master of Science in Child Development from Wheelock College and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Lise has been studying the Reggio Emilia approach since 2000 through coursework, trainings, study groups, and conferences. She spent 8 years as a teacher-researcher at Harvard’s Peabody Terrace Children’s Center, working with her colleagues to transform the center into a Reggio-inspired school. Lise is particularly interested in how children develop relationships with materials and how children’s questions inspire learning. Recently, Lise has been studying nature-based early childhood education and focusing on how to foster a relationship with nature among young children in an urban environment. Away from the classroom, Lise enjoys reading and spending time outside with her family.
  • Emma Boettcher

    Riverway and Greenhouse
    Emma has been teaching for over seven years. She has worked in the Brookline Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, and as an art educator at the Museum of Fine Arts. She holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Northeastern University, as well as extensive training in early literacy and math. This summer she worked with the Nurtury School as a consultant. She brings her great interest in painting and the outdoors to her classroom, and runs her own art classes for children. In addition to those interests, Emma enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, yoga and reading.
  • Erika Miles

    Esplanade, Investigators, Explorers
    Erika has taught young children for more than fifteen years. A graduate of Lesley University, she has an M.A. in Early Childhood Education as well as extensive professional development – including advanced training in assessment and documentation, and in programs such as Handwriting without Tears and Lively Letters. While at the Madison Avenue Preschool, her parent communication was published in the book 803 Daily Notes, and her emergent curriculum was the subject of a documentary entitled Creating with Recycled and Found Materials. Erika joined an elite group of educators at the Y Conference on Wonder Play as well as visited The Wonder of Learning- The Hundred Languages of Children. exhibit in New York City. She has focused on multiple approaches to literacy, stemming from her work in the Ortin-Gillingham method. Inspired by her trip to Boulder Journey School, her current research includes using music to encourage self-regulation, socialization and cognitive skills. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, baking and reading.
  • Stephanie O'Hara

    Stephanie has been teaching for over 15 years. A graduate of Emerson College, she has a master's degree in Communication Disorders. As a speech and language pathologist, she has experience working with children and adults in rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, outpatient clinics and early intervention programs. She brings a particular interest and expertise in language and literacy development. She recently attended Lesley University’s Annual Reggio Emilia Inspired Institute and will focus on incorporating playful literacy strategies in the classroom this year. Besides teaching and learning, she enjoys reading, traveling and sailing with her family.
  • Ginny Lewis

    Arboretum, Olmsted
    Ginny Lewis has over ten years of experience working as an educator in Boston area schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and romance languages from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in child development from Tufts University. She has been teaching in Reggio-inspired programs for five years, and toured the schools of Reggio Emilia in the spring of 2011. She has taught at Harvard’s Botanic Gardens Children’s Center and Radcliffe Child Care Center, as well as the Eliot Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University. In addition to her training as an educator, Ginny is a certified child life specialist and works to support children and families as they cope with the challenges of hospitalization and illness. She founded and currently directs an award-winning therapeutic creative writing program (WRITERS) for the children’s cancer program at Tufts Medical Center. In her free time she enjoys running, reading, figure skating and playing Scrabble.
  • Carly Reagan

    Arboretum, Olmsted
    Carly has been working with young children for over 10 years. Since 2007, she has been inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, and embraces this approach both in the classroom as well as in her life outside of school.  With a Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature and Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, reading, writing, and storytelling with children is especially close to her heart.  Apart from learning alongside of and being inspired by children, Carly enjoys cooking, writing, and loves traveling around the world and learning from new experiences outside of her comfort zone.
  • Krystal Randall

    Krystal joined CNS this fall. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Family Studies specialized in Early Childhood Development and Education. At UNH, she became very passionate about and inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach. Krystal most recently taught at the UNH Child Study and Development Center with children ages six weeks to six years old. In the classroom, her passions include exploring nature, music, and early literacy with children. Outside of school, Krystal enjoys reading, live music, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 


List of 4 items.

  • Kelly Pellagrini

    Co-Founder and Co-Director
    Kelly Pellagrini brings more than 15 years experience in early childhood education. In addition to a B.A. from Bates College, Kelly holds Masters degrees from Smith College and Lesley University, in Curriculum and Teaching and Bilingual Early Childhood Education, respectively. She has worked as a teacher, administrator and curriculum coordinator at the Saint Francis School in Moravia, Costa Rica, public schools in Amherst and Boston, Massachusetts, and at the Smith College Lab School. She has served on the Mayor Advisory Committee for 0-5 School Readiness, and has been active in creating early childhood programs throughout the area. She recently received an Unsung Heroine Award for her extensive civic involvement. In addition to her work at CNS, she serves as an advisor to many schools as well as mentor, instructor and advocate in early childhood. She writes, speaks and consults on early childhood research. When not at CNS, she enjoys time with her family, especially playing with her two children who continue to inspire her work.
  • Cady Audette

    Cady has over 12 years of experience working as a teacher and administrator in independent schools. She has a B.S. from Boston University and a M. Ed. from Lesley University, with a focus on Creative Arts in Learning. She started as a Lead Teacher in a combined 4th-6th grade classroom, then went on to develop an art curriculum and teach studio art and art history classes to preschool- 5th grade. She was the Director of a large summer camp on Cape Cod for ten years. As a former Gallery Instructor at the MFA, she is trained in VTS and continues to practice and study the methodology. She enjoys teaching and playing with her two young children.
  • Jennipher Ray

    Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
    Jennipher Ray has been involved in CNS since the beginning as a parent, board president and director. Now, she volunteers and works as an administrative support on occasion.
  • Kristin Valdmanis

    Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
    Kristin is now living with her four children and husband in Hong Kong. She continues to connect CNS to a global context for our work.


List of 1 items.

  • Jean Kennedy


Leadership Team

List of 14 items.

  • Karen Tompros, Board President and Founding Member

  • Megan Popp, Vice President

  • Josh Bresler, Treasurer

  • Tara Vuono, Assistant Treasurer

  • Lisa Herrington, Secretary and Legal Advisor

  • Anastasia Catrickes, Board Member Admissions

  • Jamee Downes, Board Member Parent Outreach

  • Maria Fenwick, Board Member Community Outreach

  • Elizabeth Graham, Board Member Fundraising

  • Trevor Graham, Board Member

  • Kathryn Hassell, Board Member Fundraising

  • Alicia Piedalue, Board Member Human Resources

  • Joanna Shumway, Board Member Fundraising

  • Amy Street, Board Member Alumni Relations