Tiffany Meccia - 2's Teacher
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Tiffany Meccia joined the Ridgeway Nursery School faculty in September but is no stranger to early childhood education. While still attending Buffalo University and pursuing a degree in Social Science Interdisciplinary, Tiffany taught at Montessori Children’s School for three years.

After graduating she was employed as a head teacher at the Children’s Corner in White Plains. Currently, Tiffany is working on her master’s degree. She believes that “creating an environment where children are excited to come to school and excited to learn is essential in teaching children. Religion and education are extremely important to me and I do my absolute best to relay that importance to the children who are in my class.” When not teaching, Ms. Mendez spends time with her pride and joy, daughter Olivia..


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!

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.

Kyra Powell - 3's Teacher
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Kyra Powell is entering into her second year with the RNSK family! Kyra has always had a heart and passion for children. She has been active in Ridgeway Alliance Church’s youth + children’s ministry since 2009. She graduated from Nyack College in December 2018 and is hoping to start her master’s next year. Kyra came on as an assistant teacher at RNSK last year and is so excited to step into a lead teacher role with the three’s this year and strongly feels that this is what the Lord is calling her to. Proverbs 22:6 says this: “Train up a child in the way they should go; even when they are old they will not depart from it.” She firmly believes that the responsibility of this verse is not one to be taken lightly and is so honored to be a part of a program that goes above and beyond to ensure that our children are trained up academically, spiritually, socially and emotionally. When she is not working, you can likely find Kyra baking, creating or caring for one of the many children she babysits.

Tara Wilson - 3's Teacher

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Tara Wilson is thrilled to be a part of the RNSK family this year! Tara has a BS in Art from Pace University and her CDA from Norwalk Community College. She has been working with preschool aged children since 2006 at a private school in Stamford, CT. Over the years her positions have included an art enrichment teacher, 3s classroom assistant, lead 3s teacher, team kindergarten teacher and art teacher. This past year she worked to develop special programs for Stepping Stones Museum for Children. Tara is excited to be in the classroom again and looks forward to a rewarding year for all! When she is outside the classroom Tara enjoys cooking, playing golf, going to the theater and spending time with her husband and their three adult girls.


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 a lead teacher at Ridgeway since 2010 and now partners with Mrs. Emmert 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. She also enjoys leading and planning our monthly chapels!

        When Jessica is not teaching you can find her spending time with her family, she has one little boy and one little girl! She enjoys cooking, hosting parties, being outdoors, and serving children with special needs. “Great teachers empathize with kids, respect them, and believe that each one has something special that can be built upon”-Ann Lieberman

 

Mela Macchia - 4'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.

 

Regina Olson - 4’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.

  

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 hiking. 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.”