Pittaway EDP Staff Bios

MELISSA MERCON SMITH 
Director 

Ms. Melissa Mercon Smith began the Ashland Extended Day Program in 1989 and has enjoyed watching it grow and change over the past thirty years. Prior to coming to Ashland, she was a kindergarten teacher in Shrewsbury, and before that she taught preschool. Melissa is a current member of N.E.D.D.S. (Network of Extended Day Directors) and has been a presenter at various conferences throughout Massachusetts for other professionals working in afterschool programs. 

Melissa graduated in 1983 from Worcester State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and minors in Communication Disorders and Psychology. She received her Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Creative Arts in 1995 from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. Since that time, she has continued her graduate studies through Project Adventure exploring such topics as Adventure Programming, Adventures in Building Community and Diversity and Portable Adventures.


JANET PEGORARO
Administrative Assistant

Ms. Janet Pegoraro has been the right arm of the Extended Day Program since March of 1993, and has been an invaluable resource for us. Before coming to Ashland, she worked for the Framingham Public School System for several years. Ms. Pegoraro's duties run the gamut from bookkeeping to assisting with the children at our special events to tracking down unique materials we request. 

When Ms. Pegoraro is not engaged with the Mindess Extended Day Program, she is kept busy with the Warren and the Pittaway programs. She manages to juggle her time between the three programs quite successfully, and we are grateful for her initiative, integrity, and experience. 


KATIE EMBERLEY
Head Teacher - Breakfast Bunch
Teacher - After School Program

Katie Emberley joined us as a teachers' aide three years ago in our Breakfast Bunch program. She performed so incredibly well that she received two promotions for last year. She now works as a full fledged teacher in our after school program and serves as a Head Teacher three mornings per week for our Breakfast Bunch program.

A former Ashland student and currently a student at Framingham State University, Katie has an extensive resume for someone still in college. In addition to her time with EDP she spent a year as a member of City Year Corps serving as a tutor and mentor in a 4th grade classroom. In addition, Katie has been a swim coach, Special Olympics coach, lifeguard, and a summer camp mentor at the MIT Leadership Training Institute. We are pleased that Katie has returned to EDP and look forward to another great year with her!


STEPHANIE CHIMENO
Teacher - Breakfast Bunch
Aide - After School Program at Warren EDP


Ms. Chimeno joined the EDP family two years ago, working in the morning at our Breakfast Bunch Program. Last year she began working as an aide in the afternoons at the Warren EDP. With her kind ways and gentle spirit, Stephanie is the perfect person to work with our youngest students. Ms. Chimeno has completed several certification programs at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester where she achieved the highest graduation status for her program. Always looking for ways to expand her knowledge base, Ms. Chimeno will be attending MassBay in Wellesley this fall.

An experienced caregiver, Stephanie has also spent numerous years as a volunteer for the Daily Bread Food Pantry and also served as a volunteer in the past for the Milford Summer Lunch Program. Stephanie brings her love of animals with her to EDP, which is bound to be a hit with the students! We are happy to have been able to get to know Stephanie better, and we love that she will be continuing at the Warren EDP.



NATALIE MONTGOMERY
Head Teacher - Breakfast Bunch
Teacher - After School Program at Mindess EDP

Natalie first came to our attention a year and a half ago when she came to do several days of observations for a field study class she was taking at Mass Bay. Watching the ease with which Natalie talked to the students and how quickly she connected with the staff, I couldn't help but be impressed. This prompted me to reach out to her last summer to invite her to come back for an interview. Our meeting only served to prove that my instincts were correct, and we were thrilled when Natalie accepted a position with EDP. We're even happier to report that she will be returning for her second year at Mindess EDP and her first year here at the Kindergarten EDP Breakfast Bunch.

Ms. Montgomery graduated with honors in 2018 with an Associate Degree in Elementary Education and Liberal Arts. She has been continuing her studies at Framingham State University with the ultimate goal of pursuing degree in Special Education. Prior to EDP, Ms. Natalie worked with at risk youth, particularly girls aged 12 - 14, offering them support in a group home setting. She is certified in Crisis Prevention Intervention and CPR.



KIM BRISSENDEN
Head Teacher

Kim Brissenden joined the Extended Day family thirteen years ago as a teacher in our Mindess Program.  After an impressive first year, Ms. Brissenden was promoted to Head Teacher for the Pittaway EDP where she continued to amaze us. Prior to joining the Extended Day, Kim was a long-term kindergarten substitute in Bellingham. She also substituted as a behavioral teacher for grades K - 8. In addition, she worked as a CIT supervisor for The Sunshine Group, a camp for children with special needs. While there she created a program integrating music, movement, and sign language to aid in the development of impulse control and concentration skills.

Ms. Brissenden graduated in 2005 from Bridgewater State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education.


KRISTEN PRATT
Teacher/Acting Head Teacher

It had been a while since we'd seen Kristen's smiling face around EDP, but she is just as enthusiastic and personable as she was when she left us in the 6th grade. Kristen was an EDP student for many years, and it's been wonderful to have her back where she belongs, only this time she is on the other side of the desk! Kristen rejoined us in the spring of 2010, and we're thrilled she has returned for a ninth year. In addition to her regular EDP teaching duties, Kristen serves as the Acting Head Teacher whenever Ms. Brissenden is out. Kristen will be out herself for the first several weeks since she just gave birth to her first beautiful child. While she is out, Ms. Ali Jenkins will come over from the Mindess EDP.

Ms. Pratt graduated in 2009 from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. While a student there she participated in such things as Spring Break Alternative (living and working with the poor) and St. Jude’s Up ‘Til Dawn Fundraiser. Kristen has worked as a substitute teacher for the Ashland Public Schools since 2006 and also has worked as a nanny. Prior to coming to the Extended Day each afternoon, Kristen works as an ABA Therapist for the Hopkinton Public Schools.


JENNIFER CONCETTI
Head Teacher - Breakfast Bunch
Teacher - After School Program at Mindess EDP

Ms. Jennifer Concetti joined the Mindess EDP family two years ago, and we were excited to welcome her last year to the Kindergarten EDP Breakfast Bunch. A graduate of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, Ms. Concetti earned a Bachelor's Degree in May, 2017, and her latest endeavor is to working towards her Master's Degree at Leslie University, studying Education.

Ms. Jennifer has served in a variety of capacities from working with upper elementary students in Nicaragua to volunteering for Habitat for Humanity to working in a nursery school and interning in the Framingham Public Schools. For the past two summers she worked with many Ashland students at the Ashland REC Program as the Co-Director. An avid athlete, we appreciate the excitement and enthusiasm Jen brings to EDP each day!


ELIZABETH MONTEIRO
Teacher

Ms. Elizabeth Monteiro is the was the newest member to join the Kindergarten EDP family last year. A graduate of Castleton University in Vermont, Ms. Monteiro earned a Bachelor of Science degree (Magna Cum Laude) with a major in Elementary Education.

Elizabeth brings her experience and expertise working with children on the autism spectrum, having worked as an Applied Behavioral Analyst therapist for early intervention at The Lipton Center in Leominster. While at The Lipton Center, Elizabeth worked with students one-on-one as well as in group therapy settings. Prior to reporting to Pittaway each Friday afternoon, Ms. Monteiro works at the Warren School as an ABA. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Elizabeth's return and look forward to all she brings to our program.

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