We are very pleased to introduce you to our Educators!
- Gail Ader, M.Ed, Executive Director, Director II certified
- Tara Volpe, Site Coordinator, Enrollment, DI certified
- Nicole DiGiorgio, Lead Teacher, LTP certified, Room 10
Nicole DiGiorgio graduated from Colby-Sawyer College with a degree in child development. She did her student teaching in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms. She has worked as a preschool teacher in two different classrooms and is loving teaching five year olds in Room 10! Nicole enjoys supporting children’s curiosity and encouraging them to be creative. She loves dancing, making music and block building with children. Nicole enjoys listening to the children’s imaginative stories, watching them discover why their structure may have fallen over and observing their teamwork. She has truly mastered the intricacies of emerging curriculum and has facilitated exploration into subjects as random and fascinating as string, tape, sticks and Australia! In her free time she likes spending time with her younger brother and sister who sometimes come to visit and share their interests. She loves walking, doing Zumba and baking. Nicole is very excited to be a part of the Sharon Cooperative School and watch the children grow and learn throughout the school year.
- Lauren Cimeno, DII Certified, Family & Community Engagement Specialist, floating Teacher
Lauren has a BS in Early Childhood Education from Mount Ida College and has been in the ECE field for seven years. In addition to teaching, Lauren also coaches competitive cheerleading, and have been doing so for 15 years. Her dedication and passion to teach and coach are augmented by an energetic, outgoing, and creative personality. Lauren believes that it is vital to foster the needs and interests of every child and to provide an open environment. Her teaching centers around the development of the whole child by helping to build a home-school connection and encouraging community connection, exploration and play. Knowing each child’s family, background, interests, dislikes, and experiences allows her to tailor her teaching style to bring out the best in each child and contribute to enriching a classroom dynamic.
- Sarah Dennehy, Lead Teacher, DI Certified, Room 12
Sarah joined the Sharon Cooperative School in January of 2018 as a Lead Teacher in Room 12. She has worked with children in many capacities over 24 years: preschool director, enrichment teacher, gymnastics assistant, homework tutor and extended kindergarten coordinator. Sarah will search high and low for something that makes her smile. She doesn’t have to look hard, because she so enjoys working with the children and staff at our school. She says her toughest, yet most rewarding job has been being a mom to her 28-year-old son. Sarah explains that her husband of many years is amazing and supports her and her work with children and families. In addition to teaching Sarah also has a passion for photography. Her genuine love for children and watching them get excited about learning is what really makes her smile. She enjoys interacting with children and sharing laughs with them.
Panduka Rice, Lead Teacher, T-PS Certified, Room 16
Panduka Rice is passionate about teaching with preschoolers. She enjoys her time with children: singing, dancing, playing and doing arts and crafts. Panduka also loves math and exploring early mathematics with and developing analytical skills in young children. She enjoys teaching in a nurturing environment where she can help children learn self confidence, empathy and respect of others.
Panduka loves exploring different cultures, celebrating cultural festivals and holidays with families and sharing her experiences with them so the kids will have a great exposure at their young age so that they understand and learn to accept and respect other people and cultures.
Panduka still misses Sri Lanka, her home country. So, her favorite holiday destination is Sri Lanka, where she travels at least once a year. When there, she has been an active member of many charity projects. She has been enjoying helping others. This is one big quality that she has got from both her parents who have been extremely generous. Panduka has a son, Rashawn, 10 and a daughter, Rhianna, 8 who attend Foxborough schools.
Rachel Chirichiello, Certified Teacher, Behavioral Specialist, Floating Teacher
For as long as she can remember, Rachel has wanted to work with and teach children. She began by spending a couple of summers as a camp counselor over twenty years ago. Shortly after, she transitioned into working with children in a daycare setting. By floating among infants, toddlers and preschoolers, she was able to become certified in all three age groups. For the next 15 years, Rachel worked in child care, while raising her own three children. When her youngest began school full time, she returned to school to finish her Bachelor’s degree. While completing her Psychology degree, she worked in the public schools as a substitute teacher. She then took a position as a Special Education Paraprofessional in a language based elementary school inclusion classroom. Rachel was impressed with the philosophies, structure and child-based curriculum at the Sharon Cooperative School. Eventually she would like to complete her Master’s degree in Education. In her (rare) free time, I enjoy thrifting, collecting vintage toys, doing crosswords and reading.
Erika Barresi, Preschool Teacher, T-PS Certified, Room 16
Erika Barresi has always had a place in her heart for teaching. Erika graduated from Coastal Carolina University (in South Carolina) in 2017 with a B.S in Public Health. Soon after returning home to Mansfield, she received a job that had an unconventional classroom setting, which introduced her to teaching preschool aged children. As time went on as a teacher’s assistant (1.5 years), Erika decided to take her skills to a new level and received her teaching certificate in early 2020, which allowed her to accompany her own preschool aged classroom. Erika loves to talk, sing, learn and explore with her students. When not teaching, Erika enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading a good book and being outdoors! Erika is very excited to join the Sharon Cooperative School this fall to share her ideas, creativity and positive energy!
Carina Fortes, LTP Certified, Room 14 Lead Teacher
We are excited to welcome Carina Fortes, our new Lead Teacher in Room 14. Carina has a Bachelor’s in Education and has been working in a preschool classroom for 5 years. Carina’s known for developing caring and reassuring relationships with children and families along with her passion for teaching and learning. Carina is an energetic, caring, optimistic and very passionate person. She says there is nothing more inspiring than to see the face of a child who has mastered a new skill or conquered a challenge. Watching young children learn and achieve is one of the most heartwarming benefits of being a preschool teacher. Her educational philosophy is to create a learning environment that is both fun and exciting. She wants to inspire all children to learn more about themselves and the world around them.