Our devoted staff of professionals are expertly trained and highly experienced in Early Childhood Development. Staff members regularly attend classes, workshops and training courses, plus they enhance their knowledge through visits to area private and public schools. All staff members maintain current Pediatric First Aid and Infant/Child CPR certifications. All staff are certified to administer medications. Parents have opportunities to interact with the staff during drop-off and pick-up, special events, and during conferences.
Our goal as a staff is to ensure that your child is loved and nurtured. In every child, we strive to instill a love of learning, to increase confidence and to foster a sense of belonging.
Julia Spelman – Director
MA, Speech-Language Pathology, CUNY Queens College
BA, in Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology with a Psychology Minor, Iona College
Julia started her teaching career as a Speech & Language Pathologist in the NYC Public Schools and in the City of New Rochelle Central School District. After moving to CT and spending 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
MA, Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, Walden University
BA, Child Studies with a Psychology Minor, St. Joseph’s College
AA, Early Childhood Education, CUNY Kingsborough College
Upon graduation, Janelle began working as a middle school teacher in the Bronx while working on her Masters degree which she received 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 Presbyterian Nursery School as administrative assistant, which is a position she enjoys immensely. Janelle is very active in the Fairfield scouting community, leading Girl Scout Troop 33405 and Cub Scout Pack 95. In her spare time, Janelle enjoys meditation, listening to podcasts, and organizing.
Amy Calandriello – Head 4’s Teacher
MA, Education, University of Connecticut
BS, Education, University of Connecticut
Upon graduating from UCONN, Amy was hired as a full-time classroom teacher at North Stratfield School where she worked for 10 consecutive years, teaching kindergarten and first grade. Amy has taught and held a leadership position at McKinley School’s Title 1 Early Literacy Summer School Program. This program offers 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
30+ years experience in Early Childhood Education
Marilyn joined the Presby Kids family in 1993. She has taught 3’s, 4’s, Lunch Bunch, Pre-K and the Summer Program. You’re likely to find one of Marilyn’s graduates at any school throughout the town of Fairfield! Teaching and nurturing children is one of her passions and she feels fortunate to do it here at Presby. Marilyn has been a Fairfield resident for most of her life. In her spare time, she enjoys walking, gardening, cooking and time at the beach. Marilyn also teaches at the ECC summer camp and the North Stratfield Elementary School after-school program. Marilyn prides herself on creating a happy and safe learning environment based on patience, love and understanding.
Amy McKernan – 3’s Teacher
MA, Elementary Education, University of Bridgeport
BA, Psychology, Siena College
After working in the corporate world for several years, Amy decided to switch paths and earned a masters degree in Elementary Education. She worked as a teacher’s assistant and long-term sub in the 4th grade of a Monroe, CT elementary school. Amy moved to Fairfield with her husband Jason in 2007. Amy became a stay-at-home mom when her oldest daughter was born. While 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. Amy is excited to work 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
MA in Elementary Education, University of Bridgeport
BA in Psychology, Quinnipiac College
Kristin started her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher in Stamford, before moving to Greenwich Catholic School where she taught kindergarten for six years. At that point, she took time off from 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 thankful that Kristin 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
BS, Health Arts, University of St. Francis
MRI Certification, University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer managed the Department of Radiology and worked as a MRI technologist for 17 years before deciding to stay home with her first child. She feels blessed to have had time home raising her child. Now that her daughter is in elementary school, Jennifer is excited to share her passion for teaching and give back to the community. Jennifer volunteers much of her time to the Stratfield community and to Stratfield Elementary School and is a leader for Brownie Troop 32213. Jennifer’s positive energy was an asset to our Presby Family as a mom, and now we appreciate having her on staff as a teacher.