Coleen Pufahl 2’s Teacher

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

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


 

Amy Nehlsen - 3’s Teacher

Amy has a BS in Childhood Education from Crown College in Minnesota and a Masters in Education from Lehigh University in Globalization and Educational Change. Although she started her teaching career in public school, Amy is grateful for 20 years of working in Africa. Returning to the U.S. brought Amy back to the Early Childhood classroom. She is passionate about creating a fun and loving environment for learning. A mother of 3, Amy believes that amongst the most valuable things we can give our children is our undivided attention, awareness of the world around them and the God who loves them so much!  

 

Amy Nungesser - 3’s Teacher

Amy Nungesser received her BA in early childhood education from Nyack College and is currently working on her Masters in special education. She has taught preschool for 7 years and loves watching children grasp new concepts and explore the world around them. In her free time Amy enjoys cooking, scrapbooking and reading. “Give a little love to a child and get a great deal back.” Is one of her favorite quotes from John Ruskin.


 

Jen Miranda - 3’s Teacher

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

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

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

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


 

Gayle Ilario - 4’s Teacher

Gayle received her Master’s in Professional Studies from Manhattanville College and her Behavioral Science degree (Elementary/ Special Education) from Mercy College. She was a Resource Room teacher for seven years before her first child was born. Gayle has been a part of Ridgeway Nursery School for the past five years. Gayle has always had a passion for teaching, especially for those children needing extra help and support. There’s no greater joy than seeing a child’s face light up as they learn, understand and gain knowledge. Watching a child succeed and enjoy learning is the best reward. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin

  

Chrissy Castellano - Kindergarten Teacher

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.”


 

Breanne Castellano - Special Education Teacher

Breanne received her dual Masters of Science in Education and Special Education from Long Island University and has her undergrad degree in Childhood Psychology from Iona College. She enjoys spending time with her two young children and husband. Breanne whole heartedly enjoys touching the lives of the children with whom she works. Watching them grow as the year goes on is the most rewarding thing to experience. "While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is all about."