Jerilyne Davis-Arslanagic joined CHT in 2020 as a Floater Teacher in the 4's and 5's Programs. Jerilyne has a BA in music performance with a minor In education from NAU in Flagstaff, AZ. She also received certification in Suzuki Pedagogy in violin, specializing in early childhood music education. She is an Alumni of Interlochen Arts Academy Interlochen, MI. Jerilyne has been teaching and performing in Westport and Fairfield County for the past 20 years and is on staff at the Suzuki Music School of Westport & Orange. She feels very strongly that her experience in music and work with young children carries over into the preschool setting. Jerilyne lives in Fairfield with her husband and two daughters. Both girls are very involved in music and art .
“What is Man’s ultimate direction in life, It is to look for love, truth, virtue and beauty.” -Shinichi Suzuki
Ally Mello is joining CHT for her first year in 2022. Ally holds an Associate Degree in Nursing and a Bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida in Psychology with a focus in child growth and development. She is TESOL certified and has worked in Public Schools throughout Florida and Connecticut since 2009 as a substitute teacher, paraprofessional, and tutor. Ally recently moved to Westport with her husband Dylan and their two daughters Violette ( 4) and Carolyn (7). Ally loves books, crafts and exploring new places with her family and friends.
"There is always more to discover."- Winnie the Pooh
Amanda Kuster is joining CHT this fall in the Caterpillar Class. Amanda holds masters degrees in biology from DePaul University and Northwestern University. She and her family live here in Westport and are members of Christ & Holy Trinity Church. For close to 20 years, Amanda has been home with her four boys, Jack (18), Alex (15), Will (15), and Ben (11). She has been an active volunteer in their schools and has sat on the PTA boards at Long Lots Elementary and Bedford Middle School. If not on the sidelines of a soccer match, football game, or track meet, Amanda enjoys gardening, sewing, and cooking. She is hoping to bring these hobbies into the classroom this year.
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hilary Cummings started as a substitute teacher at CHT in 2018 and has been teaching the 2s for the last 3 years. She is very excited to be joining the 3s this year with her co-teacher, Lori. Hilary earned her Education Specialist Degree at the University of Colorado Denver and worked as a School Psychologist for six years at the elementary school level. She also worked for Child Find in Colorado, an organization focused on connecting children age birth to 5 with community resources.
Hillary lives with her husband, two boys and dog Lulu here in Westport. In her free time she loves being at the beach with her kids, exercising and cooking with her husband.
"Every child can learn, just not in the same way." - George Evans
Lori Murray has been a teacher at CHT since 2016. She has taught in both our 2s classrooms and 3s classrooms. Prior to CHT, Lori spent 10 years teaching for another preschool in Westport as a Twos teacher. Lori has a degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. Lori lives in Trumbull with her husband Kevin and their 2 children. She enjoys outdoor running, riding her Peloton and spending time with her family.
"Teachers who love teaching teach children to love learning." - Anonymous
Sandy Farber joined us last year as our new Caterpillar Teacher. However, prior to her time at CHT, she spent many years as a Threes teacher in a preschool in Fairfield. She truly believes 3s is her sweet spot! She also has experience as Paraprofessional in the public school system. Sandy and her husband live in Fairfield with their two daughters.
"Intelligence plus character - that is the true goal of education." - MLK Jr.
Maureen Hines has been with us for seven years, having taught in both the Four's Moon Class and the Three's Sky Class. Maureen holds a BS degree in Physical Education from Old Dominion University with a minor in Education. She has a passion for the outdoors, exercise, gardening and self-expression through yoga, art, and cooking which is why she enjoys a Reggio classroom so immensely! Her youngest child attended CHT which is when she fell in love with the school. Maureen and her husband of 29 years have raised three children in Westport and are now looking forward to being empty nesters!
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin
Jennifer Cordella joined us at CHT in 2021 in the Threes and is very excited to be part of the Fours team this year in the Moon Class. Before joining us at CHT, Jennifer worked as a Speech Language Pathologist in Merrick, NY. She has a BS and MS in Speech Language Pathology and graduated from Towson University and Loyola in Maryland. Jennifer and her husband Rick live in Westport with their 5 children ranging from ages 5 to 16. Her youngest graduated from The Star class this past year making her officially part of CHT alumni. In her spare time, Jen likes to read, cook, ride her peloton, as well as, runs a charcuterie business.
The world is yours
Hold it close with open arms
With miles ahead
Take it slow, see it all. take it in."
Melissa Coughlin joined CHT in 2019 as the Associate for Children's Ministries at the Christ & Holy Trinity Church. In 2020 she officially joined the preschool as a teacher in the Rainbow class. Melissa lives in Westport with her husband and their four children. Transplants from California, she and her adventurous family are usually found outdoors, exploring the town's parks and east coast. Melissa is excited to bring her enthusiasm and love of learning to the preschool where one of her daughters is currently enrolled.
"...a willingness to question all our own abilities, your knowledge, to become humble. Only then will you be able to listen to the child, to set off on a common search to educate each other together." -Loris Malaguzzi
Janet Duffield has joined the Moon and Sun classes this year as a floater teacher. Both of Janet's children attended the Christ and Holy Trinity Preschool and she fell in love.
Althea Heisler has been teaching since 2004; first in Boston where she grew up and then in NYC before moving to Westport. She has a Masters Degree in Education from UMASS Boston. Her focus was on early childhood and special education, including having a blind and visually impaired certification. Although this will be her first year teaching at CHT, both of her children attended the preschool. She is really fond of the Reggio Emilia Approach and believes this age group is spectacular. "I just love watching the students discover and grow. Fostering independence, early literacy, and collaborating with families are areas that I am really passionate about."
Althea lives in town with her husband Ben and their two daughters Esmé (11) and Emery (9) and an English Mastiff puppy named Mush. In her free time she loves to ski, go to the gym, take family walks with our puppy, travel to new places, spend time at our home in VT and watch her kids ski race at Okemo.
“Let the child be the scriptwriter, the director and the actor in their own play”
Melinda Bell began teaching at CHT in 2003. Melinda is currently the Sun Class teacher. 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 30 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 grown children.
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Prov. 22:6 NIV
Maria Rosa-Rockoff joined our C&HT staff as one of our Star class teachers in 2015. Maria has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education in Fairfield County for 26 years. She holds an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Naugatuck Valley College, and attended UCONN Stamford working towards a B.A. degree in Human Services with a focus on Women's Studies. She has worked in the field of domestic violence for 14 years in Fairfield County.
Maria and her husband Paul live in Easton. She has two children and three grandchildren that she loves spending time with any chance she gets. In her spare time one can always find her running or training in the woods, playing racquetball with friends, attending/teaching a yoga class, or just playing outside in nature immersed in all the elements.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing."
George Bernard Shaw
Kate Nelson has been with the preschool for five years working as a teacher, Program Coordinator and Assistant Director. She has also been a staff member and parishioner at Christ & Holy Trinity Church for 9 years, working with our youth and children in many capacities. She and her husband have two children (Abby, 12 and Liam, 9). Liam was a student at the CHT Preschool as well.
Before her work within the Christ & Holy Trinity community, Kate worked both in the New York City public school system as an educator, as well as a preschool teacher in a private Montessori preschool in Stamford, CT for many years. She holds an undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Services, with a minor in Child Psychology, from the University of Connecticut and a Masters in Education from Fordham University.
In her spare time, she is often found on the sidelines cheering her kids on, running, and skiing in the winter.
Dianna Walsh has been active in our school, serving as a parent volunteer, member of the parent board (serving as board chair for several years) and an alumni representative on the school governance committee. Dianna and her husband Erik have two daughters (Emma, 11 and Reagan, 10) who are both alums of our program. Their youngest, Finn, will be joining our 3-day 2’s this year. Dianna is an attorney, having received her law degree from Boston University School of Law and working at a law firm in New York for ten years. She is excited to be back at the Preschool as both a parent and an administrator this year.
The Rev. John Betit is the Rector of Christ & Holy Trinity Church and serves as Head of School. The preschool has been a treasured ministry of Christ & Holy Trinity Church for over 50 years. Regardless of a family's faith background or beliefs, all are welcome in the CHT community. Christ & Holy Trinity Church is guided by a vision of "transforming lives." Each day, the church campus is alive in this vision as young learners discover the world and grow in curiosity, confidence and empathy with love and respect for another.
Pam Kopack is a 28 year resident of Westport where she lives with her husband, Jim. They have two children, Jenny and Jimmy and a very cute spoiled rescue dog named Abby. Currently all are grown and flown except Abby. Pam is a CPA and has worked both as an internal and external auditor for the bulk of her career. She has been a member of CHT for more than 20 years.
Dylan Mello Bio Coming soon...