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 2016-2017

List of 13 items.

  • Emma Boettcher

    Toddler Team
    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.
  • Meg Brown

    Meg has been working with children over the last 15 years in the public and private school settings. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a minor in Art History from the University of New Hampshire. With her Master’s Degree in Library Science from Pratt University and a Master’s Degree in Reading she is passionate advocate of early literacy and children’s literature. She incorporates this love of literature into the classroom and her own life. While completing her Master’s Degree of Education she fell in love with the Reggio Emilia philosophy, which fosters the students’ innate curiosity and wonder for the world around them. Meg’s other interests include reading, cooking and yoga.
  • 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. 
  • Jenna Hull

    Esplanade, Investigators, & Explorers
    Jenna has experience as both a classroom teacher and a Director of a local summer program.  She holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from Lesley University.  After teaching preK in an independent school in Lexington, Jenna traveled to Boulder, Colorado where she earned her Master's degree at the University of Colorado Denver in education psychology with a specialization in the Reggio Emilia approach and early literacy.  While in her graduate program, Jenna taught a toddler class at the Boulder Journey School where she was able to expand on her deep interest in the Reggio Emilia approach and travel to Reggio for professional development. She particularly focuses on parental engagement and involvement within the classroom structure and is passionate about advocating for children’s capabilities and rights as citizens. In her life outside the classroom, Jenna spends time with her husband, their close families, and their adorable rescue dog, Penny! 
  • Kate Hulbert

    Kate has been enjoying her work within Early Childhood Education over the past 15 years. Her experiences have ranged from teaching English in a French High School in Martinique to learning American Sign Language along with children in an inclusive setting. She has been both an educator and administrator in home and school settings as well as being involved in teacher education programs and workshops.  Kate started out with a BA in Psychology along with the Elementary and Special Education Teacher Licensure Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  Beginning in 2001, Kate became inspired by the schools in Reggio Emilia while teaching at Gallaudet University’s Child Development Center in Washington, D.C.  This led Kate to the Intern/Mentor program at Boulder Journey School where she taught 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds while earning her Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Colorado at Denver.  Her most recent experiences in the Boston area have included teaching preschool and Kindergarten at The Advent School, managing a Family Childcare center in her home, and serving as an adjunct professor at Lesley University. Having loved her time at CNS, as both a participating parent and co-director, Kate is thrilled to be returning as a toddler teacher in the Riverway Classroom.  Her love of language, nature, and relationships has been of personal interest to her as she explores the world with students, educators, and her own 2 girls.
  • Ginny Lewis

    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.
  • Erika Miles

    Preschool Team
    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

    Greenway, Greenhouse
    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.
  • Megan Popp

    Toddler Team 
    Megan has been a part of the CNS community since 2010, when her son began school in the toddler program.  She has been a room parent, vice president of the board, and spent the past year volunteering at CNS as an intern and substitute teacher while beginning graduate coursework in education.  She has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard and a JD from Columbia Law School.  She enjoys gardening, knitting, reading, and spending time with her three children.
  • Krystal Randall

    Riverway, Greenhouse
    Krystal joined CNS last 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. 
  • 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.
  • Leah Valley

    Esplanade, Investigators, and Explorers 
    Leah has been working in the field of early childhood education professionally for eight years. Leah holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education, and a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and the Arts with a specialization in the Reggio Emilia Approach from Lesley University. She joins the CNS community after three years of working at Lesley University as a faculty member teaching courses in ECE theory and pedagogy and as the Co-Director of Field Placement, a role in which she set up student teaching experiences and developed partnerships with Boston area schools. Leah brings a passion for researching and understanding the social-emotional development of young children through skills of resiliency, emotional linguistics, and empathy. In her life outside of the classroom Leah enjoys rocking climbing, skiing, backpacking and anything that takes her up to the mountains. 
  • Lise White

    Greenway, Greenhouse
    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.


List of 5 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.
  • Tara Vuono

    Finance Manager
    Prior to joining the team at CNS, Tara worked for over 8 years in public accounting for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, New York City and London. She has a B.S. in Accounting from Alfred University and is a former CPA. Tara joined CNS in 2012 first as a room parent when her oldest son started in the toddler program, then as part of the board in the Assistant Treasurer position and now as part of the administrative team, helping with the bookkeeping and finances for the school. She enjoys baking, excel spreadsheets and spending time with her three 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.

Leadership Team

List of 8 items.

  • Karen Tompros, Board President and Founding Member

  • Megan Popp, Vice President

  • Kathryn Hassell, Vice President

  • Josh Bresler, Treasurer

  • Alexius Fisher, Board Member Fundraising

  • Anastasia Catrickes, Board Member Admissions

  • Alicia Piedalue, Board Member Human Resources

  • Amy Street, Board Member Alumni Relations