Our Educators

Saplings & Birch Pod

Billie Jean Ackert

Billie Jean Ackert

Saplings

Nicole Nichols

Nicole Nichols

Saplings

Annie Peters

Birch

Stephanie Muñoz-Wells

Stephanie Muñoz Wells

Birch

Hannah Nichols

Hannah Nichols

Saplings & Birch

Sycamore & Willow Pod

Sarah Whiteside

Sycamore

Molly Watson

Molly Watson

Sycamore

Courtney Lynch

Willow

Ashley Eaton

Willow

Lesley Burdick

Sycamore & Willow

Hickory & Evergreen Pod

Becky Wilder

Hickory

Lucie Daley

Lucie Daley

Evergreen

Karen Harrington

Karen Harrington

Evergreen

Maria Cummins

Evergreen & Hickory

Maple & Aspen Pod

Julee Jones

Julee Jones

Maple

Hollie Labas

Maple

April Strock

Maple

Maggie Rubick

Maggie Rubick

Aspen

Nadine Rorden

Aspen

Kimberly Capps

Aspen

Noah Clifford

Multi-Classroom

Additional Staff

Valerie Coulter

Kitchen Assistant

Katy Addona

Substitute

Stacey Colegrove

Substitute

Paula Perkins

Trainee

Billie Jean Ackert

Billie Jean Ackert

Saplings

backert@northshiredayschool.org

Billie Jean has been in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 20 years and has been employed at Northshire Day School for all of those years. For the past 17 years, Billie Jean has been in our Infant 1 classroom. Billie Jean has a warm, caring personality and brings a wealth of knowledge revolving around early childhood education. Billie Jean has her CDA (Child Development Associate) and is CPR and First Aid certified. Before working at NDS, Billie Jean worked as an LNA (Licensed Nursing Assistant) for the Rutland Visiting Nurses Association and did private duty. When Billie Jean is not working and enjoying her time with infants, she enjoys spending her time outdoors, hiking, kayaking and especially camping with her boyfriend Chris and their dog Zoo.

Favorite Book Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Favorite Ice Cream Chocolate

Nicole Nichols

Nicole Nichols

Saplings

nnichols@northshiredayschool.org

Nicole was born and raised here in Vermont. She has been with Northshire Day School for the past 20 years. She is a graduate of Burr & Burton Seminary and continued her education at the Community College of Vermont. Nicole has her Child Development Associate Credential and her Level III Teacher Associate Certificate. She is certified in CPR and First Aid. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends especially her two children Hannah and Lucas who are both Northshire Day School alumni.

Favorite Book The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Favorite Ice Cream Coffee

Annie Peters

Birch

apeters@northshiredayschool.org

My name is Annemarie Peters I typically go by Annie. I have my CDA. I enjoy taking classes and workshops about children and the field of early education. There are  always new things to learn and explore with the children in my care. I have worked at NDS for 19 years. Prior to coming to NDS, I was a live-in nanny for four years. I am married and have two children of my own. I am passionate about working with children. I enjoy infants and young toddlers because I am able to be a part of their significant milestones. From crawling to cruising, cruising to walking. From first words to actual conversations. Children grow so quickly in the early years and I am grateful to be a part of it and contribute in some way to their development. I believe partnerships with families play a key role in quality care and I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to work with you as we watch the children grow and learn together.

Favorite Book The Three Little Kittens and the Big Bad Dog by Annie's Daughter

Favorite Ice Cream Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk

Stephanie Muñoz-Wells

Stephanie Muñoz Wells

Birch

smunozwells@northshiredayschool.org

Stephanie is originally from Southern California and has lived in Sunderland for the last 16 years. She has 17-year-old twin girls, and several nieces and nephews that are a big part of her daily life, and comes from a military family. Stephanie has spent 15 years working in special education. She double majored in elementary education and special education, with a certification in Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is a member of the NEA, NAEYC / VTAEYC, VECAA, Let’s Grow Kids Action Team, and Migrant Justice. In her free time, she enjoys reading, camping, watching sports (especially football – go Broncos!) and spending time with her large family.

Favorite Book Any book by Todd Parr

Favorite Ice Cream S'mores

Hannah Nichols

Hannah Nichols

Saplings & Birch

hnichols@northshiredayschool.org

Hannah is an alumni of Northshire Day School. She began her employment here as a Substitute Teacher and is currently a Teacher Assistant in the Infant 1 and Infant 2 classrooms. Hannah is completing the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Class. Hannah loves interacting with the children. In her free time, she enjoys reading books.

Favorite Book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Favorite Ice Cream Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food

Sarah Whiteside

Sycamore

swhiteside@northshiredayschool.org

Sarah is originally from Upstate New York. She has recently moved from the Utica area back to her hometown of North Hoosick, NY. Sarah has worked with children of all ages for a few years now in both camp and education settings. She specializes in education through theatre and the performing arts. Sarah has worked for Northshire Day School since Summer 2020. She has worked in multiple classrooms as well as in the Summer school age program. She is excited to be able to continue to be a Substitute Teacher at Northshire Day School. In her free time, she enjoys participating in community theater and dance; as well as spending time with her family.

Molly Watson

Molly Watson

Sycamore

mwatson@northshiredayschool.org

Molly has been with NDS for 5 years. She began her career as a substitute teacher and then she was hired on in Preschool as a Co-teacher. In April, 2018 Molly became the lead teacher in the Toddler Classroom. In September of 2020, Molly chose to step away from her classroom duties to focus on TS Gold evaluations, ASQ training evaluations, and fulfilling scheduling requirements in the toddler wing. Molly earned her A.A. degree in early childhood education from Dean College. She then went on to pursue and complete her B.A. degree in sociology from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Molly worked in a home childcare setting throughout her high school and college years. Toddlers may be Molly’s home room but she has established many relationships throughout the building as she interacts with all the children and gets to know more families. Molly is CPR and First Aid certified.

Favorite Book Baby Beluga by Raffi

Favorite Ice Cream Vienna Mocha Chunk

Courtney Lynch

Willow

clynch@northshiredayschool.org

Courtney is a NDS alumni and has always loved working with children! She graduated from Community College of Vermont with her Associates in Arts in Early Childhood Education in May 2020. After graduating, she worked at Happy Days Playschool for a few months in the one-year-old room, but wants to expand her resume and experience. She can't wait to get started at NDS!

Favorite Book: M.A.D.L.Y by Sally North

Favorite Ice Cream: Coffee

Ashley Eaton

Willow

aeaton@northshiredayschool.org

Now this is a story all about how. Ashley got into teaching and where she is now. Graduated from CCV with an associate’s degree. The mama of two daughters sweet as can be. In Manchester VT born and raised. Crafting is how Ashley spends most of her days. Getting out relaxing, temperature is cool, and reading bedtime stories is her favorite rule. When Ashley started NDS she was five years-old. Then an employee sending one of her own. Got a daughter named Willow and one named Fern. She’s our multi-classroom teacher. You’ll see her everywhere. (Music by Fresh Prince of Bel Air / Lyrics by Ashley Eaton)

Favorite Book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst

Favorite Ice Cream Sweet Cream

Lesley Burdick

Sycamore & Willow

lburdick@northshiredayschool.org

Lesley is originally from Pownal, Vermont and moved to the Sunderland area about 15 years ago. She loves living in the country! She graduated from North Adams College of Liberal Arts with a B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis on Child Psychology. Lesley truly enjoys working in the Early Education field and has done so for the past 16 years. She is a Level IV teacher on the Early Childhood Career Ladder. Lesley previously worked as a co-teacher at Sunrise Family Resource Center for 12 years and for the past 4 years at Early Head Start with children ranging from 6 weeks to 3 years old. Her daughter Ali is her pride and joy and will graduate from college this year. She spends quality time with her whenever possible, often doing a horse-related activity. Lesley also enjoys kayaking and fishing with her fiancée Mike.



Favorite Book

Favorite Ice Cream

Becky Wilder

Hickory

bwilder@northshiredayschool.org

Becky was born and raised in Vermont. She is married and has two dogs. She has been with Northshire Day School since September 1990 and for the majority of the time has been the lead Preschool teacher. She graduated from Burr & Burton Seminary and went on to continue her education at CCV. She has obtained her Child Development Associate Credential and her Level III Teacher Associate Certificate. She is certified in CPR and First Aid. She frequently participates in professional development continuing to further her knowledge. In her free time, Becky enjoys spending time with family and friends. She likes having cookouts, campfires, going on scenic drives, and spending time by the water where she finds her relaxation and peace.

Favorite Book Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae 

Favorite Ice Cream Butter Pecan/Maple Walnut

Lucie Daley

Lucie Daley

Evergreen

ldaley@northshiredayschool.org

Lucie has lived in Vermont for the last 17 years, and can truly say Vermont is her home now. She is married and has a daughter Emma and a playful pup named Maxx. She has obtained an AA in Early Childhood Education from CCV and a BS in Early Childhood Education with licensure from Northern Vermont University. Lucie is CPR and First Aid certified. Lucie strongly believes that incorporating outdoor learning and staying connected with nature leads to a happy and well balanced child. She has taken many workshops and classes to deepen her knowledge on many areas of child development. In her free time Lucie loves spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, running, hiking, swimming, skiing or snowshoeing. She also loves to travel and explore new places and cultures, and enjoys reading a good book.

Favorite Book Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran 

Favorite Ice Cream Chocolate

Karen Harrington

Karen Harrington

Hickory

kharrington@northshiredayschool.org

Karen has been working in childcare in the Northshire area since 2013, She started at Northshire Day School in 2015 working in the Senior Toddler classroom. She brings her love of outdoor learning to the classroom with her passion for environmental science, which she studied at Plymouth State University. Currently, Karen is enrolled in the TEACH program to achieve an associate degree in Early Childhood Education and will accomplish a Level 2 teaching assistant certification in August 2020. Karen believes play and exploration of the natural world brings children great spur of the moment learning experiences, promotes creativity, and provides a sense of wonder. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping and fishing with her family. 

Favorite Book Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Favorite Ice Cream Mint Chocolate Chip

Maria Cummins

Evergreen & Hickory

mcummins@northshiredayschool.org

Maria is happy to return to Vermont again with her husband Jim and two young boys, Stephen, 11 and James almost 4. Being a mere leaf-peeper for the last 11 years did not suffice and the lure of an excellent school system and incredible town to raise her boys has encouraged a permanent move. Her teaching philosophy follows the great Stanley Greenspan and she believes that we should teach children on their level and make all learning play based. Maria is a former middle school English teacher, PBS classroom innovator and 4th grade teacher who had to take a break to stay at home and manage the overwhelming schedule entailed in raising a child with special needs. Maria has served on the board of The Autism Society of Illinois and

The Avs Better Halves charity organization through the NHL. She would love to bring her passion and experience for philanthropy and fundraising to NDS. Maria loves the outdoors, catching up on great stories, staying healthy and making new friends. Her many travels over the years due to her husband’s career in the NHL has offered her the opportunity to experience many states yet still realize her love for Vermont is the greatest. Now that both her boys are in school full time she is thrilled to join the team at Northshire Day School and assist in any capacity in the building of young minds on strong foundations. She is proud to call Manchester Center home and eager to meet each of our growing families.

Favorite Book The boy, the mole, the fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackery

Favorite Ice Cream Wilcox Maple Walnut

Julee Jones

Julee Jones

Maple & Aspen

jjones@northshiredayschool.org

Julee has worked at Northshire Day School for 17 years. For 16 years, she was a floater for all age groups. In September 2017, she moved to a Preschool position and this past summer she moved into a Teacher Assistant position in Senior Toddlers. She has completed the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Class at CCV and she wants to advance in the field of early childhood. Julee loves working with children and especially enjoys circle time and reading to children. In her spare time, Julee enjoys spending time with her daughter, Justine, going on hikes and walking her dog, Pepper.

Favorite Book

Favorite Ice Cream

Hollie Labas

Maple

hlabas@northshiredayschool.org

Hollie is originally from Upstate New York. After spending 14 years supporting her husband while he was in the U.S. Army, they settled in Vermont 3 years ago upon his retirement. Hollie has a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University. She enjoys sharing in the joys and wonderment of the learning process. Hollie has worked with children in many capacities including driving a school bus and operating her own home childcare. She enjoys reading, traveling, crafting, camping, hiking and spending time with her three sons; Johnathon, Gabriel and Elias. 

Favorite Book A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee? by Chris Van Dusen

Favorite Ice Cream Black Raspberry

April Strock

Aspen

astrock@northshiredayschool.org

My name is April and I’ve worked in the childcare profession for over 10 years. I have a plethora  of experience working in a variety of child care centers. Recently I was a behavioral technician working  with children on the Autistic Spectrum. I have experience with all types of disabilities as well as mental  health needs.  Now I’ll explain my education philosophy. I believe that my approach is both child-centered and  directed. It is believed that a child's driving sense of curiosity, along with their inherent potential will  foster an interest in learning, allowing them to learn and succeed long-term. It is that curiosity and  potential that should ultimately set the path and the direction that any and all learning will follow. Children engage with their senses to help them learn and fully process something. Children are  encouraged to interact with other children and explore the world through material items and  relationships. Children should be encouraged to always express themselves and be given infinite means  and opportunities. I believe that community and communication are a very important part in your  child’s learning. You are your child’s first teacher if you’d like to discuss anything please don’t hesitant to  reach out to me. I look forward to getting to know you and your child. I enjoy my free time outside playing in the rain, camping or driving RC cars. I also love to read and  continue learning.  I am fortunate and blessed to be teaching at NDS this is an amazing school that has a nurturing and  caring environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will build their  confidence while they play! I look forward to continue to have a positive impact on the children’s  growth and to new discoveries. 

Favorite Book Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Bad Case Of The Stripes by David Shannon

Favorite Ice Cream Chocolate

Maggie Rubick

Maggie Rubick

Aspen

mrubick@northshiredayschool.org

Maggie is a licensed early childhood educator and advocate who is passionate about lifelong learning. Her professional interests include nature-based education, promoting healthy development through responsive caregiving, and providing high-quality early learning experiences. As an educator, her approach is child-driven and family-centered: children’s unique interests and strengths guide curriculum development and teaching practices, while reciprocal relationships with families create a connected classroom community. Outside of her work in the classroom, she engages in advocacy and leadership through work with the NDS Farm to School Committee and through other community and state-level organizations. As a graduate student, she is focusing on human development and early childhood research. Some day she hopes to make an even greater positive impact on our Early Childhood System through research, adult instruction, and advocacy. In her free time, she finds relaxation through running, reading, and caring for our school garden.

Favorite Book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Favorite Ice Cream Chocolate

Nadine Rorden

Aspen

nrorden@northshiredayschool.org

Nadine is originally from Pleasant Valley, NY and has lived in Vermont for 38 years. Nadine obtained an A.A. in Human Services/Child Care at Dutchess Community College. She also studied Physical Education at Castleton University. Nadine is both CPR and First Aid certified

and has enjoyed working with children and families for 44 years. Her approach is student-centered and constructivist self-learning through children's experiences and ideas. Nadine loves spending time with her three adult children and two grandchildren. She also enjoys being outdoors hiking, kayaking, meditating, and exploring beaches and new places. She is looking forward to working with the NDS community!


Favorite Book: Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

Favorite Ice Cream: Chocolate

Kimberly Capps

Aspen

kcapps@northshiredayschool.org

Not a native to Vermont, Kimberly spent most of her life in South Carolina working for the Greenville County Special needs and disabilities program as a preschool teacher. It was there that she learned her passion was working with preschoolers and the importance of early intervention. After three years there, she became employed as a lead teacher at “A Child's Haven” a therapeutic treatment center for preschool children with developmental delays due to abuse and neglect. She spent 9 years acquiring many skills on social/emotional development which she found to be the critical foundation of all learning.  Kimberly moved to Vermont in 2010 with her husband and youngest son where she soon became employed with Rutland County Head Start as a lead teacher. She worked for Head Start for almost 11 years as she continued her education, and developed the skills needed to teach all areas of childhood development while keeping the skills of therapeutic enhancement that she found to be key for lifelong learning. Kimberly has enjoyed living in Vermont for the past 11 years and loves working with the children and their families in this beautiful state. In her spare time, she enjoy the outdoors, drawing and spending time with family and friends. 


Favorite Book Angus Thought He Was Big by Amanda Graham

Favorite Ice Cream Chocolate

Noah Clifford

Multi-Classroom

nclifford@northshiredayschool.org

Noah, from the Cambridge, NY area is a passionate early childhood educator currently pursuing his bachelor's degree in Sociology and Social Work with a concentration in family and community. Noah was inspired to pursue a social work career after volunteering in South Carolina working with communities living in poverty near the Myrtle Beach area impacted by flooding. Currently a senior at the university at Albany, Noah hopes to develop his career skills to be able to further his work in South Carolina’s most impacted regions. 

When Noah isn’t in class at the University at Albany or teaching at Northshire Day School, he enjoys going on hikes in the local Vermont area, spending time with family and friends, as well as traveling whenever possible.

Favorite Book

Favorite Ice Cream

Valerie Coulter

Kitchen Staff

vcoulter@northshiredayschool.org

Valerie was born and raised in Vermont and is a NDS graduate from 2001. She graduated from BBA in 2014 and moved to NYC to be professionally trained in Musical Theater. She is a licensed makeup artist, specializing in regular and SFX makeup. She is currently, continuing her education online to get her BA in English Language & Literature. Education is important to her and when she’s not studying there’s no place she rather be than helping serve food to the kids, learning something new from them everyday.

Favorite Book

Favorite Ice Cream

Katy Addona

Substitute

kaddona@northshiredayschool.org

Katy moved to Southern Vermont in 2010 from Long Island, NY and began her teaching career as a preschool teacher. Currently, she is a Kindergarten teacher at Flood Brook School. Katy is passionate about play based learning and the authentic joy that happens when following children’s lead. Katy holds a BS in Childhood Education and is licensed in Early Childhood Education. In her free time, Katy likes practicing yoga, seeing live music and enjoying time in nature with her family: her husband Keith, their two boys, Flynn and Harper (both attend NDS!) and of course their rescue dog, Roo! She is excited to join the NDS team this year and fill in where it is needed.

Favorite Book The Napping House By Audrey Wood

Favorite Ice Cream Ben and Jerry’s Mint Cookie

Stacey Colegrove

Substitute

scolegrove@northshiredayschool.org

Stacey is a proud alumni parent of Northshire Day School: both her son Lukas and her daughter Ella attended NDS from infancy through preschool/pre-k. Stacey is a local teacher, who, for the past 17 years, has taught grades 2, 3, 4, and 5. Before moving to Manchester, she was a paraeducator in Rutland Town and City, working with children in grades 1, 2 and 4. She worked with children throughout her life, in many capacities, from babysitting, mentoring, coaching, to tutoring. Stacey holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as a M. Ed. in Curriculum and Design.  She is excited to be part of the NDS team, during her year-leave from teaching! 




Favorite Book:

Favorite Ice Cream:

Paula Perkins

Trainee

pperkins@northshiredayschool.org

Paula is currently studying early childhood education at CCV in Rutland. She

realized that she wanted to work with children after she started babysitting at

age 13. After high school, working in early childhood education became her next

goal.

Favorite Book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff

Favorite Ice Cream

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