Carole Lisi - Preschool Director

Carole moved extensively as a young person but has happily been in CT since 1984 when she came to attend Southern CT State Univ. Married in 1988, she and her husband Frank moved to Easton where they raised their 3 children~ Matt, Katie and Caroline. Carole volunteered in many capacities when her children were younger, including PTA Vice-President, Girl Scout leader, religious education teacher and AYSO coach, just to name a few! When her children all became of school age she began 8 years of substitute teaching at Helen Keller Middle School, which led to several full-time extended positions before coming to Playtots. Carole currently volunteers for Hospice, The Jewish Home for the Elderly and Mercy Learning Center. She has been with Playtots since 2008 and she looks forward to many more years!

Ellen Geaney - Assistant Preschool Director and Head Teacher, 4's class

Ellen is thrilled to be a part of the team at Playtots Preschool. She grew up in New Jersey and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Rowan University in Elementary Education. After graduating, she moved to Connecticut where she earned a Masters of Arts degree at Fairfield University in Special Education. Ellen holds a CT State Teaching certification and is eligible to teach students Pre-K-Grade 8. Ellen began her career working with special needs children at Eagle Hill School in Greenwich. She then taught Kindergarten at Hurlbutt Elementary School in Weston, CT. She spent over 10 years teaching before starting her family. Ellen moved to Easton in 2007 with her husband Patrick, stepson Sean and daughters Jenna and Tess. Ellen enjoys art and anything crafty- including scrapbooking! Ellen has been working at Playtots Preschool since 2014. It was that first year that Ellen hatched chicks in her classroom and fell in love with raising chicks and chickens! She now has a little farm with rabbits and chickens called Geaneygirl Farm. Her past students have affectionately nicknamed her “Dr. Chicken Mama” ! Ellen has an innate love for young children and animals. Having the opportunity to incorporate all that she knows and loves while working with young children is an honor and a blessing!

Mary Samon - 3's Co teacher

Hello! My name is Mary Samon. I am so excited to meet all of you.  I have a BA in Business from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. I worked as an HR Consultant until my first child was born in 2004. I have two boys (Joseph-17 & John-15) and a girl (Amelia-12). I was introduced to Playtots when my husband, Joseph and I moved our family to Easton in 2012, and Amelia joined the 3’s class. I have so many happy memories as a parent here, and I know that you will too!

Favorites: Yellow | Tulips | Peanut Butter | Penguins | Maine

Free Time: spending time with my family, going to the beach, reading, ND football, running

Mary Silva - Co-Teacher 2's Class

Mary joined the Playtots team as an Aide in the 2’s room during the Fall of 2019. She brought with her a love of children, and an  eagerness to help make  their first experiences at school the best that they can be. With a Bachelors degree in Dietetics, Mary embarked on a career in Nutrition counseling and Personal  Training. After a decade, she decided that being home and raising two children was where she wanted to be. Now that her children are teens/young adults, Mary has committed herself to co-teaching the Twos class. She has lived in Trumbull, CT for 22 years, and has been a CT resident her whole life.

Austin Ward - Teachers Aide/ P.E. Teacher/ Teen Director

Austin grew up in Easton and studied Communications at Dean College. He spent his summers working on the administration team at an all boys sleep away camp in Morris, CT. After college Austin spent a year in Florida working at Club-Med where he helped run the Teen Program. Upon moving back to Easton, Austin joined the Easton Community Center team as the Youth Program Coordinator and is now the Teen Director. Austin assists in running the P.E. classes and movement classes for the Preschool, also runs classes in the afternoon for elementary and middle school aged children.

Leslie Forte - 5 day 3's Co-Teacher

Leslie Forte has lived in Monroe for 23 years. She joined the Playtots team 8 years ago and has worked in all of the classrooms over the years. In her prior life she worked for years as a clinical dietitian in Connecticut hospitals, and also as an interior designer having BS degrees in dietetics and design. After taking several years off to raise her two sons, she returned to work and eventually made her way to Playtots where she has been ever since. She loves spending time with the little ones and fostering their love for music, art, science, and play.

Joelle Johnston - Co-Teacher, Pre-K

Joelle Johnston lives in Easton with her husband Todd and their four children. Having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Marketing, Joelle spent 10 years as a Television News Producer in Louisville and Miami. But once Joelle and her growing family moved to Connecticut in 2008, Playtots became home for her 2 youngest sons and her, as well. Starting as a substitute teacher, Joelle continued her education with early childhood training and is thrilled to be a co-teacher of the current PreK class.

Andrea Knorr - Co-Teacher 5 day 3's Class

88I moved to Easton from Omaha, Nebraska in 2017 along with my husband and three children. In 2019 I joined the Playtots team as a co-teacher of the 2’s class. After earning a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Arkansas, I taught for several years in the elementary classroom. I then enjoyed 9 years of being home with my kids before going back as a Kindergarten and PreK paraprofessional. I am excited to be a part of the first classroom experience that our youngest students have and work collaboratively alongside so many other wonderful teachers and aides.

Ellen Waugh - Music Teacher

Ellen has been a member of the Playtots team since 2009 and is currently the music teacher.  She has lived in Easton for 20 years with her husband Steve, and dog, Albie.  She is the proud mom of 2 young adult children – Katherine and Mike.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and business with a minor in computer science from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.  When her children were born, she left the business world and started volunteering in many capacities involving children.  She has taught music at Vacation Bible School at her church, been a soccer coach, Girl Scout leader, room mom,  PTA chairperson, parent guild president for the Fairfield County Children’s Choir, and junior choir director at her church.  She has served on the boards of the Center for Women and Families and the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival and is currently chairperson of the Board of Finance at her church.  Music has always been part of her life, having studied classical piano from the age of 5, and playing several other instruments including clarinet and bass clarinet.  She is thrilled to share her love of music with the Playtots children.

Stacey Thomas - Co-Teacher, Pre-K

Stacey has lived in Easton since 2005 with her husband Chris and three sons, who attend Easton schools. Two of her boys are Playtots Preschool graduates! Stacey holds a CT state teaching certification in grades Pre K-3 and is duel certified in Special Education. She comes to Playtots with a wealth of experience, including teaching preschool in Bridgeport and Fairfield and teaching Kindergarten and first grade in the Greenwich Public Schools. Stacey was the Art Teacher at Playtots Preschool and was a Kindergarten Paraprofessional at Samuel Staples Elementary School. Most recently, Stacey held long term substitute positions in Pre K and first grade at Samuel Staples. Stacey is looking forward to meeting all of her new students and parents at Playtots!

Joanna Walker - Art Teacher

Joanna Walker lives in Easton with her husband Jonathan and their four children. They moved to Easton 10 years ago after their fourth child was born and they realized Brooklyn apartment living was no longer big enough for their 6 person family.

Originally from Wales Joanna worked in marketing agencies in both London and New York before having children. After her children were born she stayed home to take care of them and spent many hours enriching their lives with her love of art and creative learning. This led to her beginning a blog called ‘bluebarnliving’ and a strong creative online presence where she contributed monthly to both the artful parent and Red Ted art websites. Joanna also offered small private art classes from her barn for preschoolers before joining the Easton Art Center as the mini Picasso teacher.

In 2019 Joanna began working at playtots as a part time assistant in both the 2’s and 4’s classroom and currently is our art teacher!

Heather Vechiarelli - Head teacher 3's Class

Heather is so excited to be joining the team at Playtots this year. Heather‘s family recently moved to Redding after residing in Easton for more than 10 years. Her oldest daughter Hailey is a sophomore at Penn State University, her middle child Luke is a senior in Joel Barlow high school. Heather‘s youngest daughter Hope attended preschool at Playtots and is in the 4th grade. Heather earned a masters degree in Elementary education from university of Bridgeport in 2001. In addition to countless hours volunteering at her own children’s schools, for the past few years, she volunteered her time 2 days a week in a kindergarten classroom at Cesar Batalla school in Bridgeport. Heather is looking forward to a fun and fabulous year!

Claudia Krzewicki - Pre-K Co-Teacher

Claudia has lived in Easton with her husband, Michael, and two daughters, Sofia and Gabriela, since 2007. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. Claudia spent a decade working in Financial Services before returning to school at Fairfield University where she earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching and Foundations. Claudia worked in both the Greenwich and Wilton public schools before staying home to raise her daughters who are both proud graduates of Playtots PreSchool. She joined the PlayTots team in the Fall of 2019 as an aide in the Pre-K classroom. Claudia is excited to merge her education and love of children as she continues working with the Pre-K team.

Heather Scully - Teacher's Aide, 4's Class

Heather has lived in Easton since 2007 and has been assisting at Playtots since 2009. She studied Child Development at Norwalk Community College. She grew up in Los Angeles and worked in the Recording Industry for over 20 years. She has two sons and is active in their schools and with their various local sports teams. Heather enjoys working with the children at Playtots and participating in their development and growth.

Christina Lopez - 2's Head Teacher

My husband and I live in Easton with our son Hudson. I attended Sacred Heart University in Fairfield where I graduated with a Masters in Elementary Education. I have always loved working with children and look forward to learning and growing together this year.