Kate joined the FCELC as Director in 2019. She began her career in preschool education after graduating from Lasell College with a degree in Elementary Education. She then moved to New York City and took a position at the Children’s Aid Society Preschool in the West Village. From her early days in New York City, Kate has held a wide range of positions. She helped to open a School Readiness program in Hartford as the Curriculum Coordinator, was a Reginal Director for a large cooperate childcare company, and then went on to be an Early Head Start Specialist in Springfield. Prior to joining the FCELC, she was at the JCC as a Preschool Director.
Even though Kate has, for the last 20 years, held mainly administrative positions, she is still an Early Childhood Teacher at heart and the classrooms are where she spends much of the day. Kate says "if I’m not in the classrooms supporting the children and teachers, I’m eating lunch with the children, helping with room arrangement and curriculum development, or just spending time loving the children of FCELC. My most favorite time in the classrooms is when I’m cooking with the children, affectionately known as, “Cooking with Miss Kate.” This time brings me back to why I started and stayed in the Early Childhood Education world: the children!"
Co-Lead Teacher in the Full-Day 4-Year-Old-Program
Deanna has been working at FCELC since 2014. She started in the half-day program teaching three to six-year-olds and is am now in the four-year-old program. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University in 2017. She taught at MCC Child Development Center for her student teaching experience in 2013. Deanna says “I always knew I wanted to work with young children; I was always the one to be with the kids at any gathering and always babysitting my cousins. The laughs and smiles that I see day-to-day is the best part of teaching. Every day is different and watching children grow and become excited about learning is inspiring. I am a stepmother, a military wife, and a cat and dog mom. I love to create new decorations for my house, whether it is a Christmas decoration or a new welcome sign. I love being outside; riding the quad or sitting by a fire is my way to relax."
Lead Teacher in the Full-Day 3-Year-Old-Program
Moira joined the FCELC since 2020. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Central Connecticut State University. Before coming to the FCELC, she was a preschool teacher in Glastonbury. Moira has been involved in Irish dancing from a young age. Her desire to teach came about when she was asked to assist in teaching classes. In fact, her first job before teaching dance was babysitting and playing with other children. In her free time, Moira enjoys reading, walking her dog Karson, and exploring with her Cricut machine. She is really excited to be here and to bring her enthusiasm to the classroom.
Lead Teacher in the Full-Day 4-Year-Old-Program
Karen has been a teacher at FCELC since 2002. She is the Lead Teacher in the Full Day 4-year-old program. Previously, she worked in the Half Day 3-year-old program as a Co-Teacher and then as Lead Teacher. Karen grew up in Hampden, MA, and lived there until she graduated from Westfield State College in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. After graduation, she moved to Enfield, CT where she worked as a substitute teacher in the Enfield Public School system before running my Home Daycare for several years. Karen started a family and raised her 3 children in Enfield where she still lives. Karen says "teaching preschool in a small school community has been very rewarding. Helping a child overcome a fear or challenge and building long-lasting relationships with the families is very special to me. The children bring me joy and laughter on a daily basis. The conversations and fun we have while guiding the children in their learning are why I can say I love what I do!"
Half Day 3 and 4-Year-Old Class Teacher
Pamela Pestretto joined the FCELC in 2020 and works as the the Half Day 3 and 4-year-old class teacher. Pam has worked in many early child classrooms from preschool to grade three along with special education. She am certified in the state of Connecticut with an early childhood certification with a special education endorsement. Pam graduated with a masters in education from the University of St. Joseph and Ball State University with a Bachelor's degree in art and music. She worked as a designer in my 20's before switching to education. Pam has worked in both public and private preschools.
Pam grew up in the Midwest and has lived in Granby since she was in her late 20's. She has raised two girls that are now in their 20's and taking on the world. In her spare time, Pam enjoys spending time in nature, painting, reading, cooking, writing, and illustrating children's books. She enjoys bringing her love of art and music into the classroom.