Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool Announces a New Director!

Christ & Holy Trinity Church is pleased to announce the appointment of Marianne Keith as the Director of Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool, an educational cornerstone for over 30 years. Keith will replace Moira O’Connor who will retire in June after 19 years in the role.

Marianne Keith is a well-respected early childhood educator and has deep ties to the Westport/Weston community.  Marianne currently serves as Director of the St. Francis of Assisi Preschool in Weston.  Before that, she was a Program Coordinator and teacher at St. Paul Christian School in Westport.  In addition, Marianne served as a mentor teacher at Norwalk Community College, worked as Program Coordinator for the Connecticut state program “Branches of Hope”, was the Music Director at Landmark Academy, and taught in the New Canaan Public Schools.  Marianne holds a B.A. from Manhattanville College and an M.S. in Elementary Education from Bridgeport University.

Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool offers a nurturing, play-based program for children ages 2-5 and welcomes families of all denominations.  The school has the distinction of being accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (NAES), and an important ministry of Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

A Message for Our Current Director:

Our parents often say there is something magical at Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool (“CHT”). We truly believe this “magic” walks through the door each day as our children explore, discover and learn from one another, guided by our dedicated team of teachers.

We are proud of our long tradition as a leading preschool. For over 30 years, our program has brought together families of all denominations in a nurturing, play-based environment. At Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool, we are blessed with active parents, amazing children and a historic location in the heart of Westport.

Our curriculum is inspired by the educational philosophy of the Reggio Emilia approach, which is based on the emergent curriculum and includes a combination of topic studies and project work derived from both teacher-designed provocation and child-initiated interests. In addition to social, physical, cognitive and creative development, we believe early childhood is a unique period when we can support the development of positive values. We strive to enable each child to grow into a strong individual who respects themselves and others and understands the importance of family, community and Christian values. Above all, we hope to instill in our students a life-long love of learning.

Warmly,
Moira D. O’Connor, Director

 

 

Our Mission

The mission of Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool is to enable children to become confident, independent, resourceful learners who are empowered to care for themselves, their community and our environment. At the core of our program is to provide a nurturing early childhood curriculum, set within the framework of a family-centered and Christian community. Our developmentally appropriate program is child-directed.

Our Philosophy

The philosophy of Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool is inspired by the preschools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, as it is appropriate and practical in an American school environment. This celebrated pedagogy is based on emergent curriculum and includes topic studies and project work derived from both teacher-designed provocation and child-initiated interests. This integrated model is mindful of each child’s social needs.

Past

Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool was inaugurated on Ash Wednesday 1982. While the history of the Christ & Holy Trinity Church’s engagement in early childhood education dates back to 1966, this new beginning marked the onset of many changes that remain at the core of our Preschool today, including a weekly Chapel service led by the clergy of the Christ & Holy Trinity Church and a renovation of the Preschool’s historic building with developmentally appropriate facilities. This commitment to create an ideal environment for young minds, while preserving the historic charm of the Seabury Building continues today. For example, the Preschool recently renovated the campus grounds to feature an extensive and custom-designed outdoor play space that provides countless exploration opportunities for our students.

Present

In 2013, Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool had the distinction of being accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for the fourth time. This prestigious recognition is achieved by fewer than 10 percent of early childhood programs nationwide. Research supports the value of accreditation for children. In particular, children's language skills and social skills benefit from the better quality found in accredited programs. These skills are critical for children's success in life as well as school. In addition, the Preschool is licensed by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood and is a member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools (“NAES”).

Staff Members


Allison Vodola joins CHT Preschool as one of the Butterfly and Caterpillar teachers this fall. She has been teaching Pre-K and Four's in Fairfield County for 17 years as well as teaching art & science enrichment programs for the last 5 years. Allison has her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and Science. Other areas of passionate interest include art, photography and making hand crafted jewelry. Allison also finds time to be a personal trainer and an elite racer for paddle boarding. She enjoys yoga, lifting and snowboarding. Allison and her husband have 3 wonderful boys ages, 15, 12 and 9 and a dog named Abby.

Annmarie Winington began teaching at Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool in 2012. Annmarie is teaching the Star Class this year, having been both a three and four year old teacher previously. Prior to joining CHT, she was the Lead Teacher for a fours program in Easton, CT. She holds a B.S. in Elementary Education, and has completed graduate level work as a Literacy Specialist. Her career has spanned many age groups, including Kindergarten, middle school, and post-secondary students, however she determined early in her professional career that her true passion was Early Childhood Education.

 

 

Cyndy Moyer is the Business Manager for CHT Preschool. Cyndy has a B.S. degree in Finance from University of CT and worked as a commercial lending banker. She has previously served as the Treasurer for CHT Preschool and has been involved with various outreach activities at Christ & Holy Trinity Church since joining the Parish in 1991. Cyndy enjoys quilting, reading and gardening when not planning adventures and exploring new places with her husband and 3 children.

Julie Andrews joined the staff at Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool in 2015. She is a teacher in the Sky Class (3's Program). Julie has experience teaching preschool and Special Education in the Fairfield County area for over ten years. Additionally, Julie ran her own childcare and learning program raising her three wonderful daughters. Julie has a degree in Sociology with a concentration in Child and Family from Southern Connecticut State University and also received certification in Special Education. Julie lives in Milford where she enjoys cooking, reading and afternoons on the beach with her family.

Kerrin Cole began teaching at Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool in 2003. Kerrin is currently one of the Sun Teachers (4's program) and also taught in CHT Preschool's three's program. Prior to joining CHT, Kerrin taught at Tumble Bugs Preschool in Norwalk. Kerrin also has elementary school teaching experience. She received a B.A. in Human Services and certification in Elementary Education at Trinity College in VT, studied at the University of Copenhagen, and attended graduate school at Southern Connecticut State University for Early Childhood Education. Kerrin enjoys reading, skiing, hiking, and the NY Yankees. She is married and has a daughter.

Lisa McCarthy joined us in the fall of 2015 as one of our Three's teachers. She'll be teaching in the Sky class this year. Lisa served several years as a teacher, leader trainer, and board member for an English literacy program for children 18 months to 6 years of age in Geneva Switzerland. She has worked globally on the alleviation of child labor, counter-trafficking of women and children, and access to education. Most recently she worked with particle physicists at CERN in Geneva on making cutting-edge science more accessible to kids and their families. She is a certified trainer of trainers for ‘Positive Discipline,’ holds a B.A. in International Studies and an M.A. in International and Intercultural Management.

Lori Murray joins us this fall as one of our Caterpillar and Butterfly teachers. Prior to coming to CHT Preschool Lori spent 10 years teaching for another preschool in Westport as a Two's teacher. She has a Psychology degree from Southern CT State University with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Lori lives in Trumbull with her husband Kevin and their 2 children. She enjoys running outside and spending time with her family.

 

Maggie Moffitt-Rahe (Ms. Moffitt) is happy to be joining the Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool family.  Maggie was born and raised in Westport/Fairfield, CT and she attended the Christ & Holy Trinity Church as a child. Maggie spent the past two summers at The CT Audubon teaching PreK camp and loves to explore nature. She earned her BA in Art History at Georgetown University and lived in DC for 12 years. Maggie earned her MAT at Manhattanville College in 2009.  Ms. Moffitt taught Science at St. Thomas Day School in New Haven, CT, Greenwich Country Day and Greens Farms Academy.  Maggie spends her free time as a free-lance photographer.  She enjoys gardening, hiking, cycling and she loves birding at the Audubon.  She has three grown children who live in DC and NYC.

Maria Rosa-Rockoff joined our staff as one of our Star teachers (5’s program) in 2015. Maria has worked in early childhood education in Fairfield County for 21 years. She holds an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Naugatuck Community College and attended UCONN Stamford working towards a B.A. degree Human Services, with a focus on Women's Studies. Maria is currently enrolled at Charter Oak State College. She and her husband live in Easton. She has two children and three grandchildren that she loves spending time with any chance she can get. She enjoys trail running or playing racquetball with friends.

Melinda Bell began teaching at Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool in 2003. Melinda is currently one of the Moon Teachers (4's Program). Prior to joining CHT Preschool, Melinda worked in the three's and four's program at the Child Care Learning Center in Stamford, CT, and taught Pre-K to 8th Grade for 12 years at the Westchester Area S.D.A. School in New Rochelle, NY. Melinda's teaching experience spans over 25 years. She received her B.A. degree in Secondary Education from Queens College and her CDA from Norwalk Community College. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys reading, traveling and gardening. Melinda is married and has two children.

Moira O’Connor became the Director of Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool in 1998. Prior to joining CHT, Moira taught three and four year olds at St. Luke's Parish School in Darien, CT. Moira started her teaching career as a 5th grade teacher at Trinity School in New Rochelle, NY. She has a B.A. degree in Psychology from Regis College and received her teaching certificate in Elementary Education as well as an M.A. in Education from the College of New Rochelle, NY. Moira and her husband, John, have three grown children and six grandchildren whom she loves to spoil.

Noël Buckner is excited to be one of the Moon Class teachers this fall. Prior to joining CHT Preschool, Noël was a head teacher at the Greenwich YMCA childcare center. After receiving her BS in Human Development with a concentration in early childhood education from Wheelock College, Noël taught two, three and four year olds at preschools in Fairfield County before taking time off to raise her 3 spirited boys. Noël loves to spend time with her boys, especially outdoors, preferably at the beach, listening to music and reading whenever she gets the chance.

Rebecca Booth joins Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool this year as a teacher in the Sea Class (3's class). She has been teaching for twenty-five years. Rebecca has her BA from Mills College in California and her MA from Lesley College in Boston. Working with young children gives Rebecca enjoyment because they fill the world with laughter. During her free time she likes to be outside, travel and spend time with family and friends. Rebecca lives in Norwalk with her cat.

Sharon Lenfest began teaching at Christ & Holy Trinity Preschool in 2011. Sharon is currently one of the Sea Class teachers (3's Program). Sharon has previous experience teaching fourth grade, first grade and preschool, and helped establish a therapeutic preschool program for 3-6 year olds in Denver, CO. She also served as project director for several cancer research projects in the psychology department at Carnegie Mellon University. Sharon has a B.A. degree in Psychology from Bucknell University and received certification in elementary education. Sharon, her husband and 2 daughters (Sylvia, age 10 and Fiona, age 12) live in Wilton, CT.

Board Of Directors


  • Amanda Elliott

  • Anastasia Gorgutsa

  • Associate Rector of Christ & Holy Trinity Church

  • Dianna Walsh

  • Dione Bazile

  • Helen Martin-Elmer

  • Joy Dolan

  • Kaitlyn Steffa

  • Kate Tarrant

  • Kris Toohey

  • Liz Walsh

  • Peggy Stephan

  • The Rev. John D. Betit