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-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.


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 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! 


SUSAN FARANDA
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!                                      


ASHLEY FARANDA
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!






LAURA ST. PIERRE
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.    


LAURIE NANOS
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.


CHRISTINE POCAS
Teacher

Ms. Christine Leacu joined the Warren EDP Teaching staff six 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 nine 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 has also been 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 sixth year with us!

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