Coleen Pufahl 2’s Teacher
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Mrs. Pufahl knew she wanted to be a teacher all her life! She loved arts and crafts and babysitting from a young age and it lead her to a career in Early Childhood. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Fine arts at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2009. She returned to school and gained her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at SUNY Lehman in 2015. Mrs. Pufahl has experience teaching many different philosophies. She was a Toddler teacher at the Alcott School in Scarsdale and at The Montessori Children's Center in White Plains. Throughout her years of teaching she has always found new ways to connect with her students and loves finding new projects to try! When Mrs. Pufahl is not at school, she is spending time with her family, searching Pinterest for a DIY project, or out on a walk with her dog Hudson!


Jen Trejo
2’s Teacher
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Jennifer Trejo graduated from Nyack College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in Childhood Special Education. She has worked at Ridgeway Nursery School since 2011. She started as an assistant in the two’s class and has been teaching in the two’s for the last three years. She enjoys drawing and the cultural dancing of Salsa and Merengue, but her true passion is working with children. “A child can teach an adult three things: To be happy for no reason, to always be curious, to fight tirelessly for something.” – Paulo Coelho


 

Mela Macchia - 3's Teacher

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My name is Mela Macchia and I have had the honor of teaching preschool aged children for the past thirteen years. I graduated from Manhattanville College with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Elementary Education (pre-K - grade 6) and a Masters degree in Literacy (birth - grade 6). In my teaching, I incorporate a great deal of love and enthusiasm, and possess a strong determination to reach each and every one of my students. Teaching is my true passion in life. "Together may we give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly" - anonymous.  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful family, enjoying the outdoors, and learning new things.

 

Laura Lanza - 4’s Teacher
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Laura attended Manhattanville College where she earned her BA in American Studies with a minor in Psychology.  She also received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood/Special Education.  Laura has worked with Pre-K children for at least 10 years and has been a lead Pre-K teacher for 3 years.  This is Laura’s first year at Ridgeway Nursery School and she very excited to start her new journey with her new family at Ridgeway.  Laura just recently got married over the summer and she is currently getting use to being called Mrs. Lanza!  
When Laura is not teaching, she enjoys taking her dog for long walks, exercising and spending time with her family.  
“Teaching for me is the most rewarding job.  Each morning when children enter my classroom, I am greeted with an adorable, smiling face who is eager to learn.  What could be better than that!” 

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Jen Miranda - 3’s Teacher
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Jennifer Miranda is an alumna from Nyack College with a BS in Early Childhood Education and an MS in Childhood Special Education. She has been teaching the 3’s at Ridgeway Nursery School and Kindergarten since 2015. She sees teaching as an opportunity to help children grow to be the best they can be by role modeling, teaching and interacting with children with love and kindness. Jennifer also enjoys reading books, completing DIY art projects, and serving as a Youth Director at Rock of Salvation Church. “It takes a big heart to shape little minds”.  

 

Regina Olson - 3’s Teacher
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Regina began her career at Ridgeway as an assistant teacher in order to familiarize herself with early childhood education and quickly fell in love with both the age group and the school. She strongly believes that as an educator she can make a difference in students’ lives and guide them to succeed. There has always been a special place in her heart when it comes to caring for children. She has her Master’s in Education and is certified in both General and Special Education. She received her certifications later than most because she and her husband have been raising their three children, who are now young adults. She enjoys long walks with friends and family, she loves to bake, and her favorite holiday is Christmas.


 

Kim Emmert - 4’s Teacher
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Kim is a past and now returning mother of Ridgeway Nursery School students. She feels blessed to have joined the Ridgeway staff this year. After receiving her BA in early childhood and MA in elementary education, she began teaching 2nd and 3rd grades as a classroom teacher while also spending three years teaching the dramatic arts. She says “teaching at RNSK feels like a return to my roots and I am enjoying every minute here.” She feels so fortunate to share in these special years of childhood. She said “thank you for sharing your dear children with me.”

  

Jessica Hacking - 4’s Teacher
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Jessica Hacking received her BA in Early Childhood/Childhood Education, as well as her Masters’ Degree in Special Education at Nyack College. She has been teaching at Ridgeway since 2010 and now assists the Director part time, while also creating the Bible Curriculum for the school. Her passion has always been to teach and she feels that this is God’s calling for her life. When Jessica is not teaching you can find her spending time with her family, she has one little boy and another baby on the way! She enjoys cooking recipes from Pinterest, singing at church and travelling. “Great teachers empathize with kids, respect them, and believe that each one has something special that can be built upon”-Ann Lieberman


 

Laura Kavanagh - 3's Teacher

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Laura Kavanagh is a returning to Ridgeway, now as a teacher! Both of her sonsattended the program. She is super excited to be teaching in a school that she
chose for her boys. Laura has a BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and is certified in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. She is working on
receiving her Masters in Special Education. Laura has taught for 23 years, over 14 of them in early childhood. “I enjoy the little ones, I love watching them grow
and learn.” She feels that helping to establish a love of learning early in life sets the stage for positive learning experiences all through a child’s education. “The
first five years have so much to do with how the next 80 turn out” - Bill Gates. An important aspect of her life is her family, she is an active member of the PTA
and her boys sports programs.

  

Chrissy Castellano - Kindergarten Teacher
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Chrissy attended Long Island University where she earned her Master’s in Elementary Education and Masters in Children with Disabilities advanced degrees in 2008. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Saint Mary’s University and her degree in Early Childhood Education from Saint Joseph’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Chrissy has worked with children in professional settings for over 20 years as a Ridgeway Nursery School and Kindergarten head teacher and assistant teacher, White Plains School District Special Education teacher, and au pair for an award-winning New York Times journalist. Teaching is Chrissy’s passion and helping children grow, develop, and reach their full potential is her life's calling. When Chrissy is not teaching, she is a dedicated wife and mother to her two boys. You can also find her leading Cub Scouts, golfing, skiing, and attending Crossfit. Her motto is “In a hundred years, it will not matter what my bank account was, what sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be a better place because I was important in the life of a child.”