Warren EDP Staff Bios

Director (through December 2021)

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 Games for After School, Teamwork, and Field Trips - Fun or Fiasco for other professionals working in after school 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.

Assistant Director 

Ms.  St. Pierre begins her twenty-third 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 eleven years ago as Ms. St. Pierre returned to the Warren EDP, earning a promotion to Assistant Director.

In addition to her 22 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.    

Teacher/Breakfast Bunch Head 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 two years ago for several months in the absence of our regular Head Teacher. Last year, Ms. Ferrier successfully stepped into that role on a permanent basis and will continue in that capacity this year.

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 ninth year as part of our team! 

Teacher/Breakfast Bunch Teacher 

Susan Faranda returns for her fifth year as part of the EDP family, working with our Breakfast Bunch students. She also will be working in the afternoons as a Warren EDP teacher. In addition to starting and ending her days with us, she is well known to the Warren EDP students because she also worked for Nutrition Services for many years and currently works as an ESP at the Warren School during the day.

In Susan's 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 always brings!                                      

Teacher - Breakfast Bunch

We are keeping it "all in the family" with Ms. Ashley Faranda. She joins us this year to work alongside hr mom at the Warren EDP Breakfast Bunch! Some of our students may recognize Ashley since she has served as a substitute teacher for the Ashland Public Schools as well as worked at the Ashland summer program for Special Education during the summer of 2019. We are thrilled that Ms. Faranda also will be bringing her experiences as a teacher for the Sudbury Extended Day Program to Ashland, as well as her extensive years of babysitting.

When not with us here at EDP, Ashley will be a junior at Framingham State University. She is majoring in Elementary Education and Psychology, and is looking forward to obtaining her Master's Degree in Special Education. We are excited to welcome her to EDP and to see what she has in store for us!


Director (as of January 2022)


Tayler Van Buskirk is starting her journey with the Ashland Extended Day program this year! Prior to joining us in Ashland, she was the Program Manager in Milford for their Community School Use Program. She has vast experience managing community programs including Extended Day, adult and children’s recreational and educational programs, town sponsored sports teams, and much more! Her unique insight into Extended Day programming excites us. She started working as an aide in high school and continued through the ranks ultimately leading her to the Director position here. 


Tayler graduated from Framingham State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. In past years she has continued her education through the Massachusetts Recreation and Park Association. She plans to expand her knowledge base by joining the Network of Extended Day Directors. 


On the weekends you can find her outside enjoying time with her dog Benny and her family. She also enjoys trying new restaurants, testing new recipes and taking fitness classes of all kinds.

Teacher/Acting Head Teacher 

Ms. Nanos returns for her twentieth year with the Extended Day Program! 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 Wellesley 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.