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 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 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.     


CAROL FERRIER
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 last year for several months in the absence of our regular Head Teacher. This year, Ms. Ferrier will be stepping into that role on a permanent basis as Mrs. Maguire reduces her schedule a bit.

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 eighth year as part of our team! 

PAT MAGUIRE
Breakfast Bunch Teacher 

We are extremely pleased to have Ms. Maguire return as a Teacher for the Breakfast Bunch. Prior to her “retirement” twelve years ago, Ms. Maguire worked for eleven years as Head Teacher for both the Warren afternoon EDP and the Breakfast Bunch. That makes a total of twenty-two 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
Teacher/Breakfast Bunch Teacher 

Susan Faranda returns for her fourth 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!                                      


GLORIA VANBUSKIRK
Teacher's Aide 

It’s so nice when someone comes home again… Ms. Gloria VanBuskirk was a beloved EDP teacher at the Mindess program for several years, but marriage and children pulled her away from us for a time. However, with both of her children in school now, Ms. Gloria is available, once again, to come back to the EDP family.

A graduate of Framingham State University with a degree in Elementary Education, Ms VanBuskirk has also been a classroom assistant, a summer program counselor for Ashland REC Department, and a classroom volunteer. We couldn’t be happier to have her back with her EDP family!


STEPHANIE CHIMENO
Breakfast Bunch Teacher/Afternoon Aide

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.


KAYLA FERRIER

TEACHER

Kayla is returning to Warren EDP on Friday afternoons in the role of teacher!  She previously worked at EDP, both as a volunteer and an aide during her high school career, and she even attended Kindergarten EDP as a child!  After doing coursework at Quinsigamond Community College, we are happy to have Kayla's smiling face back!  Her motivation, love of children and willingness to accept challenge earned her a position as an ESP in the Warren School this year, working in the Social Emotional classroom.  Welcome back, Ms. Kayla!









LAURA ST. PIERRE
Assistant Director 

Ms.  St. Pierre begins her twenty-second 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 21 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 nineteenth 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.


CHRISTINE LEACU
Teacher

Ms. Christine Leacu joined the Warren EDP Teaching staff five 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 eight 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 several summers, she has worked as a Head Counselor for the YMCA in Framingham, and this summer she was the head of Creative Kitchen, a specialty camp at the Metrowest YMCA Outdoor Center in Hopkinton.

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 as she begins fifth year with us!


FLO DIFILIPPO
Teacher

Ms. Flo DiFilippo may look very familiar to some of you because she has been an assistant teacher at the Ashland Preschool for the past six years. Prior to coming to Ashland, Ms. Flo was an assistant teacher in a first grade classroom in Newton, as well as a preschool assistant teacher in Dover. She also worked in the Dover After School Program as an assistant teacher.

Between her previous teaching experience and her education at Newbury College in Brookline, we feel fortunate to be able to have Flo join the Warren EDP for her first year, which we hope is the first of many to come!


PAT KACEVICH
Teacher - Kindergarten Dismissal 

Ms. Kacevich has worked in Ashland for the last fifteen years as a teaching assistant and a literacy paraprofessional. She also has taught fifth grade in Connecticut and middle school math in western Massachusetts.

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 ninth year in a row at such a busy time of day; the kindergarteners are sure to be in good hands!



KAYLEE PALIN
Teacher's Aide

Ms. Kaylee Palin is one of the newest members of the Warren EDP staff and comes highly recommended by another longtime member of the EDP family. A senior at Ashland High School, Kaylee has been a nanny for a former EDP family and has also babysat for children ages 2 - 13. She is sure to put her experience to good use with our first and second graders.

When she's not helping at the Warren EDP, Kaylee keeps herself quite busy at AHS. A member of the National Honor Society, she also serves on the Student Council and is a part of the Make-A-Wish Program. There will be a bit of a delay before Kaylee begins her time with us as she also plays field hockey in the fall.



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