Warren EDP Staff Bios

MELISSA MERCON SMITH 
Director 

Melissa Mercon Smith began the Ashland Extended Day Program in 1989 and has enjoyed watching it grow and change over the past twenty-eight 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 Education and minors in Communication Disorders and Psychology. She received her Master’s 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 and the Museum Institute for Teaching Science concentrating on various S.T.E.M. investigations.


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 Warren Extended Day Program, she is kept busy with the Mindess program. She manages to juggle her time between the two programs quite successfully, and we are grateful for her initiative, integrity, and experience.     


PAT MAGUIRE
Breakfast Bunch Head Teacher 

We are extremely pleased to have Ms. Maguire return in her role as Head Teacher for the Breakfast Bunch. Prior to her “retirement” ten years ago, Ms. Maguire worked for ten years as Head Teacher for both the Warren afternoon EDP and the Breakfast Bunch. That makes a total of twenty years at EDP! Before that, she worked as a teacher's aide at the Pittaway School as well as a long term substitute in second. In addition to these two assignments, Ms. Maguire has been a tutor in a variety of situations, including inclusion classrooms and home settings. She has worked with children in grades 1 - 12  as a tutor, substitute teacher, and CCD teacher.

Ms. Maguire graduated in 1993 from Framingham State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Art. She has since completed additional coursework in Inclusion, Project Read, and Talents Unlimited. We feel especially privileged to have Ms. Maguire on our teaching staff as she was a nominee for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year for The Department of Education.


SUSAN FARANDA
Breakfast Bunch Teacher 

Susan Faranda returns for her second year as part of the EDP family, working with our Breakfast Bunch students. In addition to starting her mornings with us, she is well known to the Warren EDP students because she also works for Nutrition Services where she has been for the past five years. In her words, “I absolutely love it. The children just brighten my day as well as I like to brighten their day.” We are thrilled to have her with us and look forward to the sunshine she is sure to bring! 

REBECCA TOSTI
Teacher 

Ms. Rebecca Tosti, a sophomore at Framingham State University, joined EDP as a Teacher’s Aide three years ago, and we are thrilled she will be with us for a fourth year, earning a promotion to teacher on Fridays!   Becca’s cheerful and outgoing nature made her a natural choice for EDP, and the Warren EDP students warmed up to her quickly. She brings with her many years of babysitting experience as well as a love of music and art.    





KAYLA FERRIER
Teacher's Aide 

After volunteering at Warren EDP since she was a freshman, Kayla Ferrier, a senior at Ashland High School, returns to the role of teacher's aide. Following in her mother's footsteps, Kayla has been a huge asset over the past three years, and we know she will have an even bigger impact this year. When Kayla isn't working at EDP, she doesn't have much down time due to her involvement with the Make A Wish Club, Fan Club,  and, if you can believe it, a second job!


ALEXA FEIZIDIS
Teacher's Aide 

Alexa Feizidis is a former EDP student who has joined the ranks of the official staff. She returned two years ago to volunteer at the Mindess EDP and made such an impression that we were anxious to offer her an aide position as soon as one became available, which was last year.  A senior at Ashland High School, Alexa is a member of the Student Council.   She also keeps herself busy by babysitting and working as a receptionist at a hair salon and a barista at a local coffeehouse.  Alexa excels at helping the children during homework  and making them feel good about themselves.  We are happy to  have her back!

HAILEY PAOLINI
Teacher's Aide 

Hailey started off last year as a Mindess EDP volunteer, but this year she has earned a position as an aide!  Hailey is a junior at Ashland High School.  She plays field hockey, enjoys math and science, and participates in the Make A Wish Club.  Hailey spent a lot of time in New Hampshire and Maine this summer, and also went to Mississippi with her church to do mission work  She loves hanging out with her yellow lab, Buddy.  .  We are lucky to have someone like Hailey working in the program!


SAMANTHA SHAFFER
Teacher's Aide

Samantha is another former EDP student that has returned as part
of the staff!  A soccer-loving senior at Ashland High, Samantha is involved in the choir and the Make-A-Wish Club.  She has had a lot of experience babysitting for local families, and also works in the kennel at Best Friends Pet Care here in Ashland.  Samantha hopes to major in Psychology when she goes to college.  We welcome her aboard!





LAURA ST. PIERRE
Assistant Director 

Ms.  St. Pierre begins her twentieth year with the Extended Day Program right back where she started. Laura spent her first two years at the Warren EDP with the first, second, and third graders. The following year, she joined the Pittaway Extended Day Program while advancing to the role of Head Teacher. After an exceptional eight years at Pittaway, we are happy that things came full circle ten years ago as Ms. St. Pierre returned to the Warren EDP, earning a promotion to Assistant Director.

            In addition to her 20 years with EDP, Laura brings a variety of experiences with her, some of which include working as a lead teacher for Wee Folk Learning Center in Bellingham as well as a unit leader for Pilgrim Day Camp, Assistant Director for YMCA Scamper Camp, and a nanny for one child for five years. She also worked for the Ashland Rec Summer Camp.

Ms. St. Pierre graduated in 1990 from Fitchburg State College earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with a specialization in Spanish. She has also taken courses in American Sign Language and continued her graduate studies with the Museum Institute for Teaching Science in Boston, as well as studied Positive Discipline for Primary Grades and Bullying Strategies.    


LAURIE NANOS
Teacher/Acting Head Teacher 

Ms. Nanos returns for her seventeenth year with the Extended Day Program, her ninth at the Warren EDP after seven years in our Kindergarten Extended Day. In addition to her time with the EDP, Laurie serves as a teaching assistant in the kindergarten. Parents and first grade students who enjoyed working with Mrs. Nanos in the kindergarten will be pleasantly surprised to see her at the Warren Program. It’s always nice to see a familiar face, and we are thankful for the consistency and stability that Laurie brings to our program. Many of you may be familiar with Laurie since she owned and operated her own family day care in Ashland for 10 years. Prior to that, she had been a teacher or teacher's assistant since 1979, teaching for such programs as Head Start in Framingham, Four Season's in Ashland, and F.A.C.E. Child Care Center in Natick. She also has been a room parent, PTO member, Girl Scout leader, and member of The Holliston Association of Child Care Providers.

Ms. Nanos graduated in 1981 from Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellsely with an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Since that time she has continued her studies with such coursework as Summer Science for Kids, Storytelling, and Health and Safety in Child Care.





CAROL FERRIER
Teacher/Breakfast Bunch Teacher 

Ms. Carol Ferrier may look familiar to many of you because, in addition to her time spent at the Breakfast Bunch each morning and our afternoon program, she is also an ESP at the Warren School during the school day. She also served as Acting Head Teacher for the Breakfast Bunch last year for several months in the absence of our regular Head Teacher. Between her experiences in the classroom at the Warren and her studies at Becker Junior College in Worcester, Carol is well equipped to keep things running smoothly at EDP, and we’re happy she has decided to return for her sixth year as part of our team!    


MAUREEN FLANIGAN
Teacher

We are excited to welcome Maureen Flanigan back to our after school team for her fourth year as a Teacher! Ms. Flanigan joined the Warren EDP as a Teacher’s Aide five years ago and a substitute the year before that, making this her sixth official year. She currently works as an ESP in kindergarten during the day. In addition to her job as an ESP, Maureen has participated in the Summer Literacy Camp at the Warren School for many years. Ms. Flanigan graduatied from Framingham State College in 1983, and prior to her work in the education field, she owned and operated a successful bridal shop in Natick for 15 years. Most recently, Maureen earned CDA certification in Early Childhood in 2011.    


CHRISTINE LEACU
Teacher

Ms. Christine Leacu joined the Warren EDP Teaching staff three years ago but she is not new at all to Ashland. A former Ashland Public School student, Christine has worked for the school system for the last six years. In addition to her time in Ashland, Ms. Leacu has worked for Kindercare Learning Center in Westborough as well as the Knox Trail Cub Adventure Day Camp. Her experiences have included running cooking classes for children, gymnastics, dance and theater, as well as arts and crafts and sports. For the past two summers, she has worked as a Head Counselor for the YMCA in Framingham.  Christine graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree from Framingham State College and holds certifications in CPR, AED, and ServSafe. We’ve enjoyed getting to know Christine and experiencing all she has to offer to our program, and we look forward to even more in her fourth year with us!

LYN BOWEN
Teacher 

I guess it's true that all good things come to those who wait! We had been trying to recruit Lyn Bowen to the Extended Day staff for three years, and we were thrilled six years ago when her schedule finally allowed her to join us at the Mindess EDP. Ms. Bowen worked for the Ashland Public Schools with special education students for the past ten years, and this year she'll be moving one town over to teach in Sherborn before coming to EDP in the afternoons. Lyn also has worked at the Ashland Public Schools' summer program with preschoolers in Sherborn. Ms. Bowen received her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts in 2008 from Bay Path College and also has completed her Master's Degree in severe special education. With an available teaching position at the Warren EDP, we are sure to benefit from her wide range of skills and experiences.


PAT KACEVICH
Teacher - Kindergarten Dismissal 

Ms. Kacevich has worked in Ashland for the last thirteen years as a teaching assistant and a literacy paraprofessional. She also has taught fifth grade in Connecticut and middle school math in western Massachuetts. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in education from Eastern Connecticut State University. We are so pleased that Pat has agreed to help us out for the seventh year in a row at such a busy time of day; the kindergarteners are sure to be in good hands!
Comments