Pittaway EDP Staff Bios


Ms. Melissa Mercon Smith began the Ashland Extended Day Program in 1989 and has enjoyed watching it grow and change over the past thirty-one 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 on such topics as Social-Emotional Learning, Unique Gym Game for After School, Teamwork, and Field Trips - Fun or Fiasco 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.

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. 

Head Teacher

Kim Brissenden joined the Extended Day family fourteen 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. When she isn't wowing us at Pittaway, she's wrangling her own three boys!

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 tenth year. In addition to her regular EDP teaching duties, Kristen serves as the Acting Head Teacher whenever Ms. Brissenden is out.

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. Like Ms. Briss, Ms. Pratt has her hands full when not at EDP, with a preschooler of her own, as well as a newborn son.

Teacher - After School Program

Ms. Amanda Ball is the newest addition to the Pittaway Extended Day Program, and we're delighted to welcome her to round out our Friday afternoon staff. Ms. Ball has extensive early childhood experience, having worked as an infant/toddler and preschool teacher assistant for four years at Bright Horizons in Braintree. In addition, she is currently a teacher assistant at Montessori Day School in Wellesley, working with children up to five years of age. Ms. Ball has held this role for the past four and a half years, and she will continue in this capacity during the day prior to coming to EDP.

Ms. Ball studied at MassBay Community College in Wellesley, where she earned an Associate's Degree in Life Science. She also completed coursework in Child Development at Quincy College. Fluent in Portuguese, Ms. Ball is sure to help us stay connected to our Portuguese speaking families, and, who knows - the rest of the staff might learn a word or two!