Our enrollment in our Extended Care Program continues to grow; so we are hiring mid-year. Come join a caring educational learning community committed to providing quality preschool education. Provide creative, supportive and fun educational experiences for children ages 3-­‐5 years. Experience working with children in a classroom and/or camp setting required. Fluent in Spanish is a plus. Need to be available 5 days a week between 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Approximately 20 total hours per week. Potential for additional substitute hours. Growth opportunities are available. MCPK alumni are encouraged to apply (HS Diploma required). Email your resume and cover letter to Susan Bryant-Gaither at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested.

 Meet Our Staff

MCPK's excellent administrators and teachers possess a depth of experience and qualifications. Our teaching faculty hold undergraduate and graduate degrees in early childhood education, humanities, psychology, educational leadership and related fields of education. Our Teaching Associates have extensive experience and many possess the Child Development Associates Certification (CDA). Many of our faculty members are also certified by the State of New Jersey in Early Childhood Education (P-3 Certification) or Elementary Education and have attended educational seminars and workshops including the Harvard University Project Zero Summer Institute with Dr. Howard Gardner and the Bank Street College of Education Summer Institute.

Administrative Team

Amy Dorr


Amy Dorr is Executive Director of the Montclair Community Pre-K. The former Assistant Principal of P.S. 531 in the South Bronx, she brings almost two decades of    experience in early childhood education and educational leadership. Amy began her career in corporate childcare as a teacher at Goldman Sachs and then as the    Assistant Director of Pfizer's childcare center in Manhattan, before being selected as an NYC Teaching Fellow. After a decade as a teacher and instructional coach  serving high needs students, Amy assisted in opening a new public pre-k to 5th grade school in the West Farms neighborhood of the Bronx. This past year, she was  awarded tenure as a School Building Leader. After eight rewarding years at Archer Elementary School, she moved back to Montclair and accepted her dream job at  MCPK. Amy received her undergraduate degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Cornell University and she holds a Master degree in Education and  an Advanced Graduate degree in Educational Administration. A Montclair native, Amy is the proud product of the Montclair public school system. She has returned  home with her son Finn, who she looks forward to enrolling in MCPK Class of 2022!

 Molly Brennan

Molly Brennan joined the MCPK in 2014.  Molly is responsible for development, enrollment management, and was instrumental in the implementation of the MCPK online registration and payment systems. Molly holds an undergraduate degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Prior to joining MCPK, Molly worked as the head of merchandising and design for a backpack company.   Molly’s two children (now 10 and 13) attended the MCPK, and she has worked tirelessly since then to support the mission of providing an affordable pre-k experience for every child in Montclair. 

Carolyn DeVito

Carolyn DeVito served as Interim Executive Director of Montclair Community Pre-K during the first half of the 2013-2014 school year. Carolyn is currently the Assistant Director, and was one of the “original” faculty members having joined the school in 1998 at it’s inception. Carolyn brings a long history of working in an Early Childhood setting; she was part of the start-up faculty for all three sites at which she worked - Hoffman La Roche Corporate Child Care Center and Bright Horizons in Lyndhurst as well as here at MCPK. Carolyn has both her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Kean University in the field of Early Childhood Education. She is also on the adjunct faculty at Kean University in the College of Education - Early Childhood and Family Studies program. On a personal note, Carolyn is the mother of two girls; Alissa lives in Pennsylvania and is the Tech Integration Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia School District (K through 12th grade) and Stephanie graduated from Montclair State University and works in a local hospital as a Medical Credentials Analyst.

 Meliza Gonzalez

Corina Slackman

 Corina Slackman joined the MCPK in 2018.  Corina is a member of the MCPK development and communications team, focusing on fundraising, events and the playground renovation project.   Prior to joining MCPK, Corina held development and communications positions at Montclair State, New York University and Scholastic, Inc. At Montclair State, Corina managed fundraising and alumni relations for the College of Education and Human Services.  Corina earned an undergraduate degree from American University and a master's degree from New York University.  Corina is a passionate advocate for access to quality education for all children. 

Susan Bryant-Gaither

Susan Bryant-Gaither is the Family Services Director at the Montclair Community Pre-K. Susan has been here at the Pre-K since our doors opened for the first time in September 1998. She was part of the start-up team. Susan conducted some of the initial interviews of the teachers that were hired for the Pre-K. Susan brings almost 20 years of working in early intervention and family counseling to this position. She taught autistic children at the Sawtelle Learning Center and the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center in NJ. Susan has a B.A. in Urban and Metropolitan Studies with an area of emphasis in Educational Program Development and Evaluation. She earned her degree from Michigan State University. Susan also earned a post-graduate certificate in Infant and Preschool Mental Health. Susan is also a Certified Positive Discipline Classroom Educator and Parent Educator. Before teaching, she worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the State of Ohio. This required intensive interaction with community agencies and businesses as well as an ability to have an awareness of the needs of families. Susan's three children have all attended the Montclair schools and she has been very involved in the Montclair School District. With Susan's understanding of the Montclair school system and her ability to bring a positive outlook to the position, she quickly puts parents at ease and gets them involved in the Pre-K program. Chelsea, her youngest daughter attended the Montclair Community Pre-k the first year. Class of 1998-1999. Susan is married to James and she has two other children, Anika and J.B.

Faculty and Staff

Ashley Alberta

Ms. Alberta has been a part of our MCPK learning community for 5 years. Prior to joining our school family as a staff member, she worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for 10 years beginning at the age of 15. Some of her previous experiences included after school program directing at both an elementary school and middle school level and serving as an after school program site coordinator for the Montclair YMCA at Edgemont Elementary School as Glenfield Middle School. Ms. Alberta resides in Montclair and has a 10 year old son who is a proud MCPK alumni and currently attends CHB. During her time here at MCPK, Ms. Alberta has served as a floating support teacher, lead extended care teacher and a teacher's associate. As we head into another year of exploration and discovery, she looks forward to guiding and supporting your children along their journey of development and growth!

Lisa Alonso

Mrs. Alonso has been part of the MCPK team for 8 years. She came to the Pre-K as a float teacher and joined the staff one year later as an associate teacher. Mrs. Alonso has been living in Montclair for 18 years with her husband Alberto and their 2 daughters, Camille (19) and Lucia (15). Lucia is an alumnus of the Pre-K and both mother and daughter have very fond memories of Lucia's time there. Lisa has been active in the Montclair School System as PTA president and co-chair of various fundraisers. Mrs. Alonso has a secretarial degree from Berkeley Business School and, prior to joining the Pre-K, managed her family's manufacturing business, was a Personal Assistant to a fashion designer, and was an Executive Assistant in the A&R Dept. at Elektra Records. Currently Mrs. Alonso is studying to obtain her CDA (Child Development Associate). Mrs. Alonso loves to entertain and has a passion for cooking. She also loves to travel and has traveled extensively with her family throughout Europe.

Amanda Apap

Ms. Apap has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for 15 years. During that time, she has served as an aftercare director, one-on-one instructor, lead teacher, program coordinator, and most recently Extended Care staff at MCPK. She received both a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Human Services Counseling from Liberty University. Currently, Ms. Apap is pursuing her certification in P-3 from Montclair State University. She is enthusiastic, creative, and passionate about early childhood development and is looking forward to using her skills and passion within the .School Day Program this school year.

Luana Ashe

Ms. Ashe has been employed at the Montclair Community Pre-K since 2006. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in studio art as well as a New Jersey teaching certificate. Born in the country of Guyana in South America, Ms. Ashe moved to Montclair when she was only a few months old. Since then she has had the privilege of attending the Montclair Public Schools ultimately graduating from Montclair High School in 1999. Upon graduation, Ms. Ashe attended St. Peter’s College in Jersey City for 2 years and then transferred to Montclair State University earning her B.A. in 2005. She is happily married and is the proud mother of 2 boys, Jahsil and Justin.

 LaShawn Austin

Lashawn Austin was raised and educated in the Montclair Public School System. In 2000 she became a graduate of Montclair High School and almost immediately began working at the North Ward Center as a Teacher Assistant. While working there for six years she attended many trainings in Early Childhood Education and obtained her Child Development Associate (CDA) certification. In July of 2006 she came to work for the Montclair Community Pre-K. We have watched her grow as a professional and have seen her passion for teaching children blossom at the MCPK. She is the proud mother of two children. Ms. Austin had the opportunity to have her oldest attend the MCPK and watch him accomplish many new skills and have the confidence to try new things. Ms.Austin is looking forward to having her younger child attend the MCPK and watching all her new accomplishments.

Joanna Baldissard

Joanna Baldissard was part of the "original" faculty that began the MPCK back in 1998.  She has worked in early childhood education throughout her college years.  After graduating William Paterson University with her N-8 certification and a BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Sociology, Joanna was a Lead teacher in a Pre-K program for several years.  In 1998, Joanna began at the MCPK and quickly made her way from Lead teacher to Mentor teacher.  As a Mentor teacher, Joanna was able to supervise other staff members and be a valuable resource to many.  During her second year, she left to start her family, raising her two boys, Jack now 14 and Charlie 12.  Joanna was very fortunate to have the opportunity to join us again in 2013.  She is now serving as a Master Teacher where she continues her passion for working with children and fellow faculty members.

Alexis Bennett

Alexis Bennett comes from a long background of traveling the world with her military family and has chosen Montclair as her place of residence. She started off working on weekends at the MCPK for different workshops and school events and gradually worked herself into our faculty. Now she has happily joined the team as a support teacher covering both the school day and extended care. She has had lots of experience working with children in child care centers and at the ever famous Chuck E. Cheese. She now believes the MCPK is her new home. She was a teacher assistant at the Education Station for 5 plus years and also took the lead role for a few months in several different age groups. She attends college full-time studying to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and can't wait to make a difference in the world. Being new to the Montclair area, she hopes to become an community activist and help out whereever she can by expressing her passion for teaching. She believes that children are our future and the future is extremely bright.

Mariaelena Brown

Mrs. Brown has been with the Montclair Community Pre-K since its inception in 1998 after working several years at Watchung Elementary School located in Montclair. She has been involved in the early childhood field since 1990, where she worked teaching both preschoolers and toddlers while living in Okinawa, Japan. Over the past 15 years, her life has centered on working mainly with the three- year-olds. Her goal is always focused on creating a warm, loving learning environment for all children. Mrs. Brown has her C.D.A. credential and studied with Starting Points for two years as well as having attended Felician College. She continues to attend many workshops and trainings to further her growth and development in the field of Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Brown states "I enjoy watching the children grow and change, challenging them to be independent thinkers, and the hugs and smiles are great too."

Christine Caputo

Christine Caputo has been a lead teacher at the Montclair Community Pre-K for the past six years. During that time she has been an active participant in educating young children. Her work is inspired by educational researchers such as Lucy Caulkins, Irene Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell and Howard Gardner. The work of these individuals influences her lessons on a daily basis. The atmosphere and philosophy of education at the MCPK include a partnership between home and school. Mrs. Caputo has spent with last three years participating in a study of self-determination with educators from Montclair State University. This experience has further enhanced the importance of forming a partnership between parents and practitioners. Her educational background includes a BS degree in Elementary Education and her teaching certification from Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. She values continuing education by attending workshops and participating in educational research.

 Jennifer Chapman

Jennifer Chapman graduated from Rutgers University (Newark) with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She holds a great love for children and has been working with them for 7 years. She is happy to be a part of our MCPK community and is excited to help support our students as they grow throughout the year.

Melanie Constantino

Melanie Constantino lives in Little Falls and has been working at the MCPK since 2005. She studied at New Jersey City University in Jersey City, New Jersey. Ms. Constantino has enjoyed being a part of the Montclair community and hopes to continue to create lasting relationships with the children and families of this community.

David Coto

Dave Coto was born, raised, and educated in Montclair. All the way from his elementary school years in Rand to his graduation day from Montclair State University. With both parents being artistic Mr. Dave was surrounded by creativity and culture ever since childhood, and began his own artistic endeavors at the young age of six. He believes in using art and creativity as a vital tool in the education of children. He is excited to be joining the Montclair Pre-K as a full time employee and looks forward to everything coming his way.

 Asya Douglass

Miss Asya received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Bloomfield College. Before joining the MCPK, she was a Recreational Therapist. Although Miss Asya loved her work in the field of geriatrics, after surviving breast cancer, she wanted a change. She is a mother of a precious daughter and enjoys spending time watching children learn and evolve. In her spare time she loves spending time with her family and friends. She has flourished as a member of the Extended Care Team and will be transitioning into the School Day Program this school year. She likes being a part of the MCPK community and looks forward to everything that's in store.

Jennifer Estrella

Ms. Estrella is very excited to teach at the MCPK! She has over eight years of experience working in early childhood education. Jennifer has lead toddler and preschool classes in a licensed center where she simultaneously served as supervisor. She has also obtained her CDA credential. Jennifer is a proud mother to a four year old boy who will be attending the MCPK this year! What she enjoys most about working with children is experiencing their growth over the school year; not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well. She also loves arts and crafts, reading and dancing with her students.

Eugene Evans

Eugene Evans was raised and educated in the Paterson Public School system. He graduated from Passaic County Technical Institute in 2004. He began working in Paterson Preschools shortly after and never looked back. He worked part-time until 2015; he was placed into an assistant teacher position and fully embraced the role. In 2017, he joined MCPK as a part of classroom support and is currently pursuing his CDA.

James Gaither

James Gaither (Mr. JB) began working with children as a camp counselor back in 2006 at the YMCA New Discoveries Camp. He has worked at the camp for 8 summers and has had a blast doing so. Mr. JB worked for the MCPK last year as a substitute and support teacher. Now, he joins the MCPK community as a Classroom Support Teacher and looks forward to a fun and exciting year.

James Goodger

‘Mr. James’ first came to the United States in 1993 as an International Summer Camp Counselor and has been working in the field of education and recreation ever since.  With a degree in Theatre and Dramatic Arts and a love for all sports he has developed a Pre-School Physical Education curriculum that combines imagination, dramatics and physical activity.  Students become the central characters in his stories, and the classes work together on exciting adventures while learning about the importance of staying fit and healthy along the way.  James worked for the YMCA of Montclair for 15 years and is now the Executive Director at the South Mountain YMCA in Maplewood, a branch of the Metro YMCA of the Oranges.  He looks forward to helping children use their imaginations to learn, play and grow!

 Taryn Howard

Ms. Taryn is a Montclair native and has gone through the Montclair public school system. Ms. Taryn also happens to be an MCPK alumni having been a part of the first graduating class of 1998! Ms. Taryn has her Associates degree in Education and is currently a senior at Montclair State University. Ms. Taryn ultimately plans to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology. After being a child care professional through the YMCA for the past seven years, Ms. Taryn was excited to become a part of the MCPK community as a support teacher beginning in the 2018 school year. And that excitement continues!

Lauri Johnston

Lauri Johnston is very happy to begin working at MCPK! Mrs. Johnston has worked with children in the pre-Kindergarten-5th grade level for over 20 years on a professional and volunteer basis. She has served as a Girl Scout leader, chair of many fundraisers for her local school district, and "Class Mom" more times than she can count! A few years ago, Mrs. Johnston decided to go back to school to pursue teacher certification (K-5) and eventually completed her Master's Degree in 2014. In her previous position, Mrs. Johnston served as Lead PreK Teacher and Assistant Director of the school for eight years. Mrs. Johnston is the proud parent of three girls who currently attend college at Rutgers (New Brunswick), Ramapo College of New Jersey, and the University of Vermont. Mrs. Johnston hopes to become an active part of the positive impact that MCPK has on the Montclair community!

Ximena Kozierowski

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Mrs. Ximena Kozierowski, better known as Ms. Ximena, was born in Ecuador; a country named after the equator (which runs through the country). Ms. Ximena decided to come to the U.S. in order to fulfill her dreams of furthering her education. Unbeknownst to her, the dreams of a family also became a reality when she met her husband and shortly after had her three children, Anthony. Nicholas and Naomi. Today, her days full of fun, laughter and... lots of chores.

With discipline and determination, Ms. Ximena was able to find a way to successfully balance her family life, her career and her education. She raised her children as she always hoped to and then made the decision to go back to school (and work) when the timing was right. This transition was not an easy one, considering the demands that came with these three facets of life, but she was determined to make this work.

Some of Ms. Ximena best attributes include her keen attention to detail and her unwavering determination. If anyone was asked, they would complement these by talking about her diligence, and dedication to her students. Like many others, she had to overcome the language barrier that came with coming to the U.S. as an adult, yet she persevered. Proof of this is that she graduated (with honors) from Kean University with a Bachelor's of Arts in Spanish. Additionally, she also took 28 credits in Early Childhood Education to complement her career goals and aspirations.

Maria LaMonaco

Ms. LaMonaco has been with the Montclair Community Pre-K for three years now and has been working with children for the past seven years. She has worked with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers throughout that time. Ms. LaMonaco has her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Union County College. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches yoga for MCPK's extended care. Prior to working in Early Childhood Education, Ms. LaMonaco was worked as a Pastry Chef during her time studying Baking and Pastry Arts at Middlesex County College. She is very proud to be a member of the MCPK team as well as the Montclair community!

Fiorella Leon

Hola! me llamo Fiorella Leon. I immigrated to the US at the age of 18 searching for better opportunities. I can proudly say that due to hard dedication I picked up the language pretty fast and due to this factor many doors opened for me. Initially I worked in Retail but decided that I was going to pursue my love for teaching and enrolled in college to earn my degree in education. I graduated in 2013 from Union County College with an Associates Degree in Early Child Education. My work experience includes working as a Lead Teacher in Kindercare Learning Centers. It was a wonderful experience in which I learned great tools I have applied successfully in my work with preschool aged students. Most recently I have worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional for the Montclair Public Schools Development Learning Center, which has been a rewarding experience. I felt passionate being able to help young children with special needs achieve their highest potential. I am very excited to start this school year as a Co-Teacher in the MCPK Dual Language Immersion Spanish 3's Classroom and wish to give the best of myself to transform these little minds into something so much greater.

ShelleyAnn Macklin

Ms. Macklin is a long time Montclair resident whose children have gone through the Montclair school system. Ms. Macklin started at the Pre-K as a substitute/ Lunch aide when the school opened. She was hired as a Lead Teacher the following year. Her educational background include an undergraduate degree from Old Dominion University, Project Zero @ Harvard University, P3 @ Montclair State University as well as many workshops/ training to further her growth and development in Early Childhood Education, creating educational success for both her and the students.

Laura Marchese

Laura Marchese (Related Arts Garden/Environmental Science) founded of the MCPK Garden Project 10 years ago when her second son was a student in Classroom 13. The last decade of digging in dirt has brought garden and environmental science curriculum to our students and the on-going development of our outdoor spaces which include The Butterfly Garden, The Four Season Garden, the Learning and Herb Gardens, and The Berry Patch. Miss Laura has a dual life in dance; she is a Teaching Artist with several arts organizations in NJ and enjoys sharing the value and importance of arts education with students, classroom teachers, and other artists throughout the state. She is the co-author of 'Dance to Learn', a developmental dance curriculum that encourages the emergence of each student's individual viewpoint by making art. She is a roster artist with Young Audiences NJ as an Arts Integration Consultant, and as a residency artist for workshops connecting science and dance.

Erika Martinez

Ms. Erika is one of the new members of the Montclair Community Pre-K Family. She enjoys working with children because "everyday I get to be a part of the messy, amazing learning process and I get to celebrate the little things in life." Ms. Erika has worked in early childhood for 18 years. Before working at MCPK, she worked at two other preschool environments. She was a lead teacher in infants, toddler, preschool and pre-k classrooms. She also was a program specialist assistant at KLC. In addition to being a teacher in the classrooms, she has taught Kindermusic and Hooked on Phonics as electives. She is currently enrolled in college to become an Occupational Therapist Assistant. "I am proud to be a part of the MCPK and am looking forward to everything in store."

Delores Monteiro

Delores Monteiro has been an advocate for children for the length of her career in early childhood. She is a founding teacher at Montclair Community Pre-K. Ms. Monteiro has her C.D.A. credential, did work / study with Starting Points for 2 years and did course work at Felician College. At MPCK she has worked in both the 3 and 4 year old programs and has also worked as a float teacher.

Maggie Newberry

Miss Newberry has been working with children her whole life. After successfully running a program in the the United Kingdom, she decided to jump across the pond and see what America had to offer. During the first 15 years she was in Montclair she worked as a private nanny and also took time raising and nurturing her own child. 5 years ago, however, she realized she wanted more and joined MCPK as part of the Extended Care Program. After experiencing great success in Extended Care, she decided to pursue her Child Development Associates, which she received this past year. She is currently an Associate Teacher and now has her eyes set on learning sign language, so that she can continue to build her skills to assist any student no matter the need.

 Maritza Pavesio

Ms. Maritza discovered her passion for teaching with her husband Felipe after having their three beautiful children: Samantha, Ashley and Diego. She migrated to the United States from El Salvador and attended high school in Cliffside Park. Her passion for teaching young children led her to get an associates degree in early childhood education from Bergen Community College . She began as a teacher's assistant, eventually working her way up to become a head teacher in 2000. She has experience teaching children from 18 months-five years old. She taught at a private preschool for 15 years and had the privilege to touch the lives of many young children . She enjoyed seeing children learn new things and was amazed by how quickly they grasp a new language. She also believes that parents are an essential part of their children's life and growth. Her goal at the MCPK is to share her passion and knowledge with her students and to expose them to Latino culture through the Dual-Language Spanish Immersion program. In her free time she enjoys reading, crafting, dancing and traveling. She is thrilled to become a part of the MCPK team.

Zusette Perdomo

Zusette has had a passion for teaching children and helping them grow for years. She is a hands-on type of teacher who loves to have lots of fun while learning. She is creative and looks forward to contributing exciting activities and ideas. She is happy to support all the children and teachers in any way in her classroom. She is a proud mom of 3. Zoe, Zayne and Zuri.

Martha Pereira

Hi my name is Martha Pereira, I am a proud mother of two wonderful girls, Melanie and Michelle. I was born in Uruguay and when I was 18 years old I immigrated to the United States. I discovered my passion of working with children ten years ago when I started to work as a preschool teacher assistant in my home town Harrison NJ. I have my CDA certification in preschool child development and CPR as well. I was delighted to find out about the opening position at Montclair Community Pre -K knowing that I will be able to help children achieve their full potential and make them happy and excited to learn.  I am very excited to start this school year. While we try to teach children all about life, children teach us what life is all about.

Danielle Pointer

Ms. Danielle has worked in the field of early childhood for 13 years. She has taught infants, toddlers and preschoolers and has held positions including lead teacher and assistant director at multiple locations of the Kiddie Academy and the Goddard School, and at Village Babies Development Center. Ms. Danielle is passionate about teaching preschoolers because pre-k is the foundation for children's development. She enjoys her students because they are inquisitive, observant and funny, and she is proud to help mold and shape the minds of young children since they are the future. Ms. Danielle received her associate's degree in applied science with a focus on broadcast journalism from Kingsborough Community College and has attended Howard University and Marymount Manhattan College. She is currently pursuing a degree in sociology from Thomas Edison State College and plans to get a P-3 certificate and a master's degree. Ms. Danielle has been awarded a Certified Child Care Professional credential (CCP) and is trained in CPR and First Aid. Prior to her work in early childhood education, she worked in fashion and retail.

Dianca Polanco

Ms. Dianca has been working for the Montclair Community Pre-K since February of 2014. She started as a lunch aide and worked in Extended Care. Ms. Dianca is one of the first teachers who helped us blossom our Dual-Language Spanish English Immersion program. She is now a Support Teacher for the four-year-old dual language classroom. She has worked with children for the past 18 years. Her passion for being a teacher came from being a mom at a young age. She is now the mother of two bright and handsome boys. Ms. Dianca received her CDA certification in Preschool Child Development and hopes to further her education in Early Childhood. She is a hands on type of teacher that is always looking for fun and educational projects to do with the children. She enjoys spending time with her kids, doing photography, and making beautiful handmade crafts.

Marylyn Smalls

Marylyn Smalls is the proud mother of two wonderful children, a son (Jonathon) and a daughter (Aaliyah). Marylyn was born on the Island of Trinidad and Tobago. She attended college in Trinidad and obtained advanced levels in accounting and business management. In 1996 she came to the United States with her husband. She was hired as a babysitter and took care of the children of three different families. She truly enjoyed taking care of young children. After 12 years of being a babysitter. Marylyn decided to take a step further into the exciting career of early childhood education. She enrolled in Bloomfield College in 2007 and earned her CDA credentials. She feels very fortunate to be a part of the staff at Montclair Community Pre-K. Marylyn has been employed at the MCPK since 2008. She is currently a Co-Teacher and she is eagerly looking forward to furthering her knowledge in early childhood education.

 Krizya Ugarte

My name is Krizya Ugarte. I've been teaching and working with children for 11 years now. Once I completed my Child Development Associate I began working with pre-k aged children and that's what I've been doing for the past 9 years. I came to the MCPK in 2014. I started off as a lunch aide and worked my way up to Co-Teacher in Salon 8 where I'm currently working alongside my wonderful co-teacher!

Ariane Vozar

Ariane received a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting from Arcadia University. She enjoys crafting, spending time outdoors and traveling. She found her passion for working with children while living in Cambridge, MA and has recently moved back to New Jersey where she was born and raised. Ariane loves exploring process art with young children and encouraging creativity and imagination. She is excited to be joining MCPK this year and being a part of the Montclair Community Pre-K.

Katie Wassel

 Katie Wassel is so happy to join the MCPK community! She is somewhat new to the Montclair area, and relocated from Brooklyn a year ago with her husband and three children. She has a 6-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son, and 18-month-old daughter. Katie attended Connecticut College, where she studied Studio Art and Gender and Women’s Studies. Later, she attended Bank Street College of Education for her masters in early childhood education. Katie has taught Pre-K through 1st grade over the past 14 years in New York City, California, and New Jersey. Throughout her career, she has taught in progressive classrooms, and shapes her teaching philosophy around Reggio-Emilia and Bank Street ideals. She is passionate about providing quality, progressive, inclusive, and accessible education to all young children. In the classroom, Katie aims to co-build a classroom community with young learners, where children are able to play, students learn how to collaborate, listen, discuss, resolve conflicts, and identify their own feelings and the feelings of others, and teachers meet the emotional and learning needs of each child. This work hopefully builds a more peaceful, respectful, and equitable society. Thus, Katie views her work as a teacher as social justice work.

 Nerissa Waugh

Nerissa Waugh has been employed at the Montclair Community Pre-K since September 2001. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Teachers’ College and Kean University with a BA in Psychology. She is a certified Early Childhood teacher with her P - 3 NJ State Certification as well as a diploma in Elementary Education. Prior to working at the MCPK, she worked in the elementary school system as a lead teacher for over fifteen years. Her natural ability and passion for helping children to excel has laid the foundation for the success of her students. Her philosophy is “children are our future, nurture them.” Her vision is to see our children being the best that they can be and her mission is to be actively involved in the training and development of young minds helping them to maximize their potential.

 Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson has been teaching at the MCPK since 2004.  She attended Boston College and recieved her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.  Ms. Wilson says “teaching in Montclair has been a wonderful experience as every year the children bring a fantastic new adventure.  Each day is different and I have enjoyed growing and learning with each class here at the MCPK.”  Ms. Wilson is the proud busy mother of three fabulous children here in Montclair.  Her two oldest, Mya and Ian, are also alumni of the MCPK, and she and her husband look forward to the day when Tristan, her youngest will attend the MCPK as well!

Maya Workman

Ms. Maya Milenovic Workman and Reggie Workman joined the Related Arts Team at the Montclair Community Center in 1998. Through “Eight Steps to Creativity” Maya developed a conglomerate of movement, drumming, cultures and continents.  She originated “Moving Theater Methodology” for ages 3-10.

Maya has a B.A. and M.A. from the “New School University” (Focusing on Film, Psychology, and literature) and BFA equivalent from “London School Of Contemporary Dance” (focusing on choreography). As ‘teaching artist’ she taught children, professionals, teachers, people with special needs and actors internationally since 1980. She directed two Dance Companies and is currently an Artistic Director of ‘Madlom’: in Montclair.

Maya’s full length choreographed works include: I Hear with my Eyes (deafness), Guernica Continuum (cerebral palsy, paraplegics), Virtual Truth (abuse), Jokasta, Clytemnestra, Come and Go, H.P. Madame’s Portrait, Tristan and Isolda, Moon Above Mississippi to name a few. Her fulllength documentary ‘Perfect Blend’ deals with American racism. She is preparing ‘Dos Worlds’ (blindness, rape) and Orlando (Virginia Wolf) and writing her first novel. She believes that ART OF THE FUTURE is political and an

Hassiba Zoghbi

Ms. Zoghbi is a wife and mother of 2 children, a college student attending Montclair State University and an elementary school student. Ms. Zoghbi began her career teaching biology in an elementary school right after graduating from the Lebanese University with a degree in biology. She began working in early childhood shortly after moving to the United States with her family. Ms. Zoghbi has her N.J. Certificate of Eligibility for K-8. She began working at Montclair Community Pre-K as a substitute teacher and later joined the regular staff. Ms. Zoghbi feels that the Pre-K is a wonderful school that provides a rich, stimulating and warm environment for its students and staff.