Our devoted staff of professionals are well trained and highly experienced in Early Childhood Development. Staff members continue to attend classes, workshops and training courses in a variety of subjects throughout the school year. The teachers also enhance their experience through observation at various private and public schools in our area. Our goal as a staff is to ensure that your child is loved and nurtured. We strive to instill a love of learning and help to foster confidence and a sense of belonging. All staff members maintain current Pediatric First Aid and Infant/Child CPR certification. All staff are also certified to administer medications.
Julia Spelman – Director
Julia earned a BA in SLP/Audilogy with a minor in Psychology from Iona College and a MA in SLP from CUNY Queens College. She started her teaching career as a SLP in the NY City Public Schools and the City of New Rochelle Central School District. After moving to CT and spending some time at home with her two children, she earned her Designated Head Teacher Certificate from The State of CT and started teaching preschool. She has never looked back! Julia has a passion for working with young children to help foster confidence and positive self image. In conjunction with her teaching she has been a youth sports coach for over 15 years. “The greatest part of my job is seeing the wonder and excitement in a child’s eyes when they make a new discovery”, Julia.
Janelle DiLorenzo – Administrative Assistant
Janelle received an AA in Early Childhood Education from CUNY Kingsborough College and a BA from St. Joseph’s College in Child Studies with a Minor in Psychology. Upon graduation, Janelle began working as a Middle School teacher in The Bronx while working on her Masters. She received her MA in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University a month before having her first child. Janelle left teaching to focus on raising her three children. Janelle feels blessed to have been able to have that time with her babies. As her youngest prepared to enter Kindergarten, Janelle joined the PNS staff as Administrative Assistant, which is a position she enjoys immensely. Janelle is very active in the Fairfield scouting community. She is a leader for Girl Scout Troop 33405 and a Den leader for Cub Scout Pack 95. In her spare time, Janelle enjoys meditation, listening to podcasts, and organizing.
Amy Calandriello – Head 4’s Teacher
Amy earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from The University of Connecticut. Immediately following that, Amy was accepted into Uconn’s advanced degree program in the School of Education where she earned a Master of Arts in Education. Upon graduating, Amy was hired as a full-time classroom teacher at North Stratfield School where she worked for 10 consecutive years. During her time at North Stratfield, Amy taught kindergarten for 3 years and first grade for 7 years. For 7 summers, Amy taught and held a leadership position at McKinley School’s Title 1 Early Literacy Summer School Program. This program offered intense literacy instruction for students in kindergarten through third grade. After the birth of her 2 children, Amy decided to devote her time to raising her family. For the past several years, Amy has been a private tutor for numerous students, across a variety of grade levels. Amy is proud to be a teacher in the town where she grew up!
Marilyn Saad – Assistant 3’s/4’s Teacher
Marilyn has 30+ years experience in Early Childhood education. She began her journey at the Jewish Community Center’s “Rainbow Junction” in 1987. She joined the Presbyterian Nursery School family in 1993. Here at Presby, she has taught 3’s, 4’s, Lunch Bunch, Pre-K and our Summer Program, as well. Teaching and nurturing children is one of her passions and she feels fortunate to do it here at Presby. Along with her husband and son, she has been a Fairfield resident for most of her life. Her son Joe, is a Presby alumnus. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, gardening, cooking and sitting at the beach. Marilyn is also a counselor at the Easton Community Center Summer Camp and their after school program at North Stratfield Elementary School in Fairfield. Marilyn prides herself on creating a happy and safe learning environment based on patience, love and understanding.
Amy McKernan – 3’s Teacher
Amy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Siena College. After working in the corporate world for several years, she decided to “switch paths” and received her Masters degree in Elementary Education from The University of Bridgeport. She worked as a teacher’s assistant and long-term substitute in the 4th grade of a Monroe, CT elementary school. Amy moved to Fairfield with her husband Jason in 2007. Amy has been a stay-at-home mom for the past 10 years, since her oldest daughter was born. She loved being home with her daughters, but now that they are both in elementary school, she is very excited to be back in the classroom at a place she holds dear to her heart, Presbyterian Nursery School, where both of her daughters attended preschool.
Kristin Gryga – Head Pre-k Teacher
Kristin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Quinnipiac College and her Masters of Art in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport. Kristin started her teaching career as a Kindergarten teacher in Stamford, for three years, before moving to Greenwich Catholic School where she taught kindergarten for six years. At that point she decided to take some time off teaching to be home with her two boys. While home with her sons Kristin was an active member of the Fairfield community through her volunteer efforts with the Welcome Club of Fairfield, McKinley PTA, and Operation Hope. We are very excited that she choose Presby for her return to the classroom! Kristin may be spotted at athletic fields throughout Fairfield, as sports are a big part of her family’s life.
Jennifer Fogarty- Assistant Pre-K Teacher