FACULTY BIOGRAPHIES

Pat Cannavo

It’s so nice to be back at St. Andrew's Preschool and Kindergarten. Pat started at St. Andrew's in the late 1980's. She was a young mother of two little girls and was excited to be working with such wonderful and professional teachers. When her girls were older she went back to college to acquire her Early Childhood Certification. Pat taught at St. Andrew’s for over thirty years and is now returning to an assistant teaching position after subbing for the last seven years. She looks forward to supporting Mrs. Lynn and meeting her new students.

Jeni Cisek

Jeni Cisek is the assistant teacher in the January 2-½'s program, and has worked with this age group at St. Andrew's since 2014.  She earned her BA from Centenary College and proceeded to work for 15 years in the Summit Child Care Center. There, Jeni was a lead teacher in the 3 to 5 year old program.  While home, raising her two children, she has stayed active in childcare, working with multi age children at a local YMCA.

Kathryn Colao

Kathryn received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics and French from Rutgers College, and worked as a Financial Analyst for 10 years. She and her husband moved to Summit in 1991 and have three children.  Kathryn enjoys volunteering with children--most recently with under served students in Newark and East Orange as a mentor and tutor.  Kathryn and her family enjoy spending summers on Long Beach Island. Kathryn has been Kindergarten Chef / Assistant since the 2017-2018 school year.

Melinda Donsky

Melinda Donsky is excited to be assisting in the 3 day 3’s class in 2019-2020 after substituting at St. Andrew’s last year.  She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Richmond and had a career in banking in NYC for ten years.  For over 15 years, she has lived in Chatham with her husband and two teenagers, who are both alumni of St. Andrew’s.  Melinda is also, in fact, an alumna of the Preschool and Kindergarten.  She has been an active member of St. Andrew’s Church for the last 20 years. Over the years, she has taught Sunday school, worked in the church nursery, and is now serving on the Church’s governing board.

 

Leeanna Gendron

Leeanna Gendron earned a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.  After many years performing on Broadway and across North America, she started teaching various styles of dance to ages 2 and up, as well as mommy and me infant movement classes.  In 2017, she moved to New Providence with her husband and son, who is also a current student at St. Andrew’s. Leeanna is an assistant teacher for the 3 day 3’s AM class. She will be the Music Teacher for the entire school in 2019-2020.

 

Maika Heffernan

Maika Heffernan first became involved with St. Andrew’s as a parent when her daughters attended the Preschool. In 2006, she started working as a classroom substitute and TLC lead. Over the years, she has taught or assisted in many enrichment classes. In 2012, Maika became a teaching assistant for the 3-day 3's AM and PM classes, then also for the 2-day 2-1/2's class, transitioning in the 2016-2017 school year to assistant teacher for the 5-day 4’s AM class. Maika earned a PhD in Statistics from Cornell University and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 8 years. She now enjoys learning the intricacies of taking care of all her St. Andrew’s Preschool children.

Donna Kraft

Donna Kraft has been teaching at St. Andrew's for almost 30 years. She has been the Lead Teacher for 2-1/2's, 3's and several enrichment classes. Her three children attended St. Andrew's. Donna received her BA in Elementary Education and English from St. Peter's University. She lives in New Providence with her husband and two golden retrievers. She recently became the proud grandma of twin boys. Currently, Donna is the Lead Teacher for the 3 day 3's class.

Karen Libera

Karen Libera is delighted to begin her tenure at St. Andrew's as Lead Teacher for the January 2-1/2's. Prior to coming to St. Andrew's, Karen taught preschool for five years and second grade for seven years at a local independent school. She believes deeply in the value of educating the whole child, embracing the social, emotional and academic growth of each individual. Karen and her husband have lived in New Providence for eighteen years, where their three children all attended the public schools. She graduated with a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Michigan.

Meagan Lynn

Meagan Lynn has been at St. Andrews for 3 years. She has a BA in elementary education from Boston College. After graduating college she taught first grade and preschool. She has 3 children who went to St. Andrews when they were in preschool. She is happy to be Lead Teacher in the 2-1/2's class again for the 2019-2020 school year.

 

Danielle Mezzacca

Danielle Mezzacca started at St. Andrew's substituting and teaching enrichment classes. She lives in New Providence with her husband and two children. Before becoming a stay at home mom she taught preschool, kindergarten, and second grade. Mrs. Mezzacca is certified in elementary education. She received her BA from Rider University and her Masters in Elementary Education from Arcadia Academy. She is the Lead Teacher for the 5 day 5's class.

Molly Moore

Molly Moore is happy to be back at St. Andrew's teaching in the Kindergarten program. Molly graduated from Trinity College with a B.S. in Psychology. After earning a M.Ed in Special Education from East Stroudsburg University, she worked as an Elementary Special Education teacher in Summit for seven years. After her two sons began school, she became the 4 day 4's teacher at St. Andrew's for three years. Molly is excited to be in the Kinder House helping children learn to love coming to school each day. She lives in Summit with her husband, two sons (both St. Andrew's alumni), dog, bearded dragon, and two guinea pigs.

Colleen Murphy

Colleen has been in the education field for over 25 years. She has taught preschool through 8th grade throughout the years, both as a primary teacher and a substitute. She has worked with developmentally disabled and medically fragile children at a day care sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Association in Elizabeth. Her Social Work degree pairs well with her education degree, especially when working with the families. She received her SW degree from Seton Hall University and her education certification from Kean University. Colleen believes strongly in the education of young children and is passionate about a well-rounded, hands-on approach to learning. She will continue as Lead Teacher in the Kindergarten for 2019-2020.

Susan Nadelberg

Susan Nadelberg has been teaching at St. Andrew’s since 1996. She obtained her Doctor of Chiropractic degree and had a private practice for 5 years. Her two daughters attended St. Andrew’s, from the 3 day 3’s program through Kindergarten. Once they were in elementary school, Susan began teaching an enrichment class and assisting in a 4 year old program at St. Andrew’s. Through the years, she has assisted in a 3 year old class, in the Kindergarten and taught a Kindergarten Wrap class. She presently works with the 5 day 5’s program.

 

Vladia Schmidt

Mrs. Schmidt used to live in New York City and her family calls New Providence home for the last 5 years.  She has two sons in the New Providence schools,  Matthew is a rising 6th grader and Robert will be a sophomore in New Providence High School. Mrs. Schmidt has been an active parent in their PTAs and is now looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm for education at St. Andrew's Preschool. She graduated from University P.J. Safarik in Kosice, Slovakia with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary School Education.

Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith has worked at St. Andrew's since 2008 and has worked with both 2-1/2's and 4's as well as teaching enrichment classes She is  the Lead Teacher for the 4/5 day 4's program. She has a BS in Diagnostic Radiography from Portsmouth University in the UK and in 2015 she became certified as a Pre-K Child Development Associate. Mrs. Smith has lived in New Providence with her husband and 2 children since 2004 when they moved from the UK.

 

Maria Suarez

Maria is a kindergarten teacher from Argentina, where she worked with children from 2 to 5 years of age for about 5 years. Her family relocated to Chicago, where she earned a BA in Spanish Studies from Northeastern University and worked as a Spanish instructor for over ten years. Maria obtained a Transitional Bilingual teaching certificate that allowed her to work in the public school system. The family relocated to Summit early in 2016, and now she will be teaching Spanish to the 5's and Kindergarten classes, as well as assisting the Kindergarten in the afternoon, and teaching enrichment classes.

Clarissa Walsh

Clarissa Walsh is the full time Office Manager at St. Andrew's Preschool and Kindergarten. She teaches an enrichment for our 4’s, 5’s and K students. Prior to coming to St. Andrew’s, Clarissa was a substitute teacher in the Chatham school district. Clarissa graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Psychology with a business minor, and received her MBA in Marketing Management from St. John’s University. Before having her 3 children, she worked as a computer trainer for a company with 4 locations in New York and New Jersey.

St. Andrew's Preschool & Kindergarten • 419 South Street, New Providence, NJ 07974 • (908) 464-4878