Meet our

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

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Director

I am so excited to start my sixth year at CCNS Rye. It really does not feel like work when you have the pleasure to spend your days with amazing teachers and families. Having spent 25 years working in this field, I can tell you unequivocally that it is the greatest pleasure to watch children grow into their very best selves and to be able to support them on their journey. I am committed to the parent-teacher relationship so together we can create the best experiences for your children. I am committed to supporting my teachers to learn and grow and bring the best to their classrooms every day. I am committed to the children so that they can learn and grow in a stress-free, fun, challenging program that supports their age appropriate development. I will always push for Christ's Church to deliver the best nursery school experience possible and we will, of course, have some laughs and smiles along the way.

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Admissions Director

Sue is happy to help our families with the enrollment at our school. Having spent two years as an assistant teacher here at CCNS, she brings a unique understanding of what we do, and how we do it. Sue’s degree in Communications, coupled with her extensive knowledge of the Rye community, makes her an exceptionally helpful resource to our families’ needs.

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Administrative Assistant

DARCEY PINEDA
dpineda@ccnsrye.org

Returning for her fourth year at CCNS, Darcey previously worked in a local Nursery School as an administrative assistant/Bookkeeper. Darcey loves working with young children and has really enjoyed getting to know all your children and families. She is the happy voice on the phone ready to assist any way that she can.

TEACHING STAFF

Meet our

Leigh Becker
HEAD TEACHER, TWOS CLASS
RED ROOM

2’s

Leigh has been an educator for over 25 years. With her background in Early Childhood Education and Counseling, She is well versed in behavior management, conflict resolution and helping children foster socialization skills. Leigh has taught from preschool through the University level and spends her summers working with children of all ages at day camp. She thoroughly enjoys working with two-year-olds and works diligently to help all of the children in her classes celebrate their discoveries and achievements.

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Maria Denti
ASSISTANT  TEACHER, TWOS CLASS
RED ROOM

2’s

Maria came to CCNS in 2019. Maria has been working in the early childhood field for over 25 years and holds an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked with children of many different ages, from birth to four years of age.  Her outside interests include teaching religious education and assisting with bible camp at her parish in Tuckahoe.

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Andra O'Brien
HEAD  TEACHER, THREES CLASS
GOLD ROOM

3’s

Andra is a lifelong resident of Westchester. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies from The Catholic University of America and a Master of Science in Education from The College of New Rochelle. Andra is a certified teacher and has taught for 14 years. Before staying home to have a family and bring up her children, Andra previously taught at Midland School in Rye for 7 years.

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Myrna Kara
ASSISTANT TEACHER, THREES CLASS
GOLD ROOM

3’s

Myrna holds a BA in Language Arts and French Literature from Damascus University in Syria. Myrna joined the faculty of CCNS in 2012. She is a long time resident of Westchester who enjoys traveling, walking and golfing with her husband and four boys. Myrna is very passionate about teaching and inspiring children to love to learn.

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Erin Cassin
HEAD  TEACHER, THREES CLASS
GREEN ROOM

3’s

Erin joined CCNS in 2016 to teach in the threes program. She absolutely loves teaching this age group and finds every day to be exciting. Erin holds a Bachelor's degree from Boston College and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Fordham University, Erin previously taught third and fourth grade at The Churchill School in NYC. Erin lives in Rye and has two daughters. Her family loves  travel and taking adventures together. 

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Liz Savino
ASSISTANT  TEACHER, THREES CLASS
GREEN ROOM

3’s

Liz begins her second year at CCNS in the 3's program. Prior to coming to CCNS Liz worked in Early Childhood Education in Greenwich. Although originally from Long Island, Liz planted her roots in Rye Brook with her husband and three children. Liz relates to the feeling of children being your pride and joy and is thrilled to be in such a caring environment where she can nurture them and help them to learn and grow. During her free time, Liz enjoys arts and crafts and reading a good book on her kindle.

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Michelle Nickels
HEAD  TEACHER, THREES CLASS
YELLOW ROOM

3’s

Michelle has been working within the nursery school setting since 2001 and at CCNS since 2016. She graduated from Concordia College with a BS in Early Childhood Education. Michelle recently completed her Early Childhood Master of Education from American College. It has been a dream of hers to be a teacher ever since she was a child. She loves to work in CCNS’s nurturing, loving environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence while they play. Michelle's list of "favorite things" are going to museums with her son and creating art projects with him at home. She is looking forward to an amazing year in the Yellow Room.

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Loriann Mastriacovo
ASSISTANT TEACHER, THREES CLASS
YELLOW ROOM

3’s

Loriann Mastriacovo has been in the early childhood field for about 19 years. During some of that time she was given the opportunity to work with young children with special needs. Loriann has obtained an associate’s degree majoring in early childhood, and a bachelor’s degree majoring in psychology. She believes children should be empowered through being proud of themselves. Loriann also believes children should be encouraged to lead their own learning through a variety of open-ended activities, leaving room for full freedom of expression.

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Florence Taylor
HEAD  TEACHER, FOURS CLASS
BLUE ROOM

4’s

Florence Taylor joined the staff of CCNS in 2015 and she holds a BS/BA in Psychology/American History from SUNY Binghamton. Her MS ED is from Brooklyn College with post-graduate studies at Bank Street School of Education. She is a great resource for our families and our staff and brings unbridled energy to her classroom. Her outside interests include face painting, yoga, gardening and mothering her three fantastic children.

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Roseanne Lovallo
ASSISTANT TEACHER, FOURS CLASS
BLUE ROOM

4’s

Ro is a lifelong resident of the Sound shore, and came to CCNS in 1999! Roseanne holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked with every age group at our school. Her compassionate and kind nature has endeared her to our many new and long-time families! Her outside interests include her eleven grandchildren who keep her very busy.

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Nancy Lavelle
HEAD TEACHER, FOURS CLASS
PURPLE ROOM

4’s

Nancy is a lifelong resident of Rye, NY who holds a BA from the College of New Rochelle in Psychology and Elementary Education. Nancy also received her Masters in Education from Manhattanville College and previously taught at Milton and Rye Country Day School. Nancy loves working with young children, guiding and nurturing them to learn and grow. She is married with five children, one dog and spends her free time watching her children play sports, dance and they all enjoy vacationing at the beach in Mantoloking, New Jersey. 

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Jaime Tanaka-Boulia
ASSISTANT  TEACHER, FOURS CLASS
PURPLE ROOM

4’s

A native Californian, Jaime has lived in New York ever since college, where she graduated with a BS in Studio Art from NYU. Her son attended CCNS, at which point, she knew she wanted to devote herself more to the amazing CCNS school community. Previously, she has taught in the after-school program at the Rye Neck School system in addition to having daycare experience with children as young as three months to five years old. She enjoys painting, fishing, cooking, reading to children and spending time with her two amazing kids and husband.

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Natalie Ballone
HEAD  TEACHER, FIVES CLASS
ORANGE ROOM

5’s

Natalie brings her passion for working with children and her extensive experience to CCNS. She holds a Bachelor's degree  in  Early Elementary Education, pre-k to 6th grade  and  a Master of Science Degree in Education. Natalie previously worked at Rye Country Day School and Resurrection. She is also an elementary tutor at the Achievement Learning Center in Larchmont working with children of all ages and needs. Natalie has two daughters in elementary school.

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