Gabby Gagiero

I have been in the field of childhood education for 11 years. While I was in high school, I received my EEC certification by taking EEC classes and interning at a daycare. For several years, I worked as a nanny for a single family. I then worked at a childcare center as a preschool teacher in 2019, and finally became an infant teacher in 2020. I find working with children to be an extremely rewarding job. Although it’s hard to watch kids move on to kindergarten when I helped raise them from infancy, I love knowing that I played such an important role in their growth and development. I also find it very exciting to see the infants in my class learn a new skill!



Cortney Doherty

I have an associate’s degree in early childhood education and have been working in the field since 1999. I love working in this field to help nurture children and watch them grow to be their independent selves. I also like knowing that I help to make a difference in their lives.



Amber Savoy

I went to Minutemen High School and studied early education. I have been working in the field since 2012. I strive to encourage independence in young children and love watching their excitement as they meet their goals. I love spending time with my family dog, Jaxon, and my fiancé, David. I also love cooking, painting, and playing Magic the Gathering.



Nina Abdallah

I received my bachelor’s in psychology from BU. Before joining First Circle, I worked in applied behavior analysis therapy and worked at a special educational high school. I love to watch children grow and learn and become their own individuals. I am committed to helping each child access the tools they need to be the best versions of themselves.




Hunter Hayes

I have been working with children since I was 14 years old. Prior to joining First Circle, I worked in a variety of different classrooms and environments with various age groups. I have completed one year of college and plan to finish my degree in computer science. My mother was a preschool teacher, so I grew up in her classroom and have loved that environment ever since. I lives in Bedford with my parents and brothers. We also have two dogs, one of which is an 18 week old puppy, Maddie!



Marissa Neal

I have been working in early childhood education for almost three years and love it more and more each year. I graduated from Framingham State University with a degree in english in 2018. My teaching philosophy includes focusing on the balance of education and fun. I believe that every child learns differently, and we should find ways to accommodate each child. I live in Andover and love spending time with my family and dog. Outside of work, I love to read and watch movies.



Sophia Kim

Before First Circle, I worked for over 12 years in the education field, including work as a developmental specialist, providing weekly in-home services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays. I earned my BA in literature from UMass Lowell and my master’s in education from Lesley University. I love working with children because they are naturally curious and always willing to learn something new every day. They never tire and spark life! I am a mother of four—soon to be five (expecting in September of 2023)! I love being a teacher because education is something that holds high value in my life. When I’m not working, I love to travel, write, read, eat, and live life to the fullest. I was born in California, but moved to Massachusetts when I was seven years old.


Matt Cole

I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Winona State University. I actually attended First Circle as a baby, until I was five years old—then I returned as an assistant teacher for three years. I was also an assistant at a Montessori preschool for two years. I like working with children because I think they have such a unique perspective and outlook on life, and it brings me joy to spend time with them—as well as to watch them grow and learn. I think it’s important that students have an excellent teacher from a young age to make sure they are developing properly into healthy and happy children… and I want to be that teacher. I live with my parents and sister in Lexington. You can frequently find me thrift shopping, watching HBO, going to concerts with my friends, riding my bike, or going on hikes and to the beach. I also love to sing and dance—but not well!




Brittany Roberson

I’m from Framingham and have been teaching in early childhood classrooms for more than 10 years. I’m excited to share my extensive experience with my team at First Circle! I love learning, and seeing things from a child’s perspective.
When I’m not teaching, I love to draw and I’m passionate about my family.


Tijuana Wallen

I graduated from Regis College, Class of 2019, with a bachelor’s of public health and a minor in nutrition. I worked at Tufts Medical Center as a Unit Coordinator for the NICU, before joining Little Sprouts as an infant/toddler teacher. I have a real passion for working with infants. I love working with children because I love to interact with them, watch them, grow, and help them achieve their milestones and learn new things everyday. I believe that every interaction with a child can leave a positive and lasting impact. I come from a family of six, where I am one of four siblings. I have a fiancé, as well as a two year old son who will be joining our program.




Rosalie Cardona

I completed coursework in childhood education. I sincerely enjoy helping children of all ages grow and develop, achieve their milestones, and learn new things. When I’m not at work, I enjoy reading and working out.



Jamie Howe

I earned my undergraduate degree in early childhood and worked as a classroom teacher for seven years before coming to First Circle. I love to help children grow and learn. As a teacher, I am committed to making a positive difference with each child, one smile at a time. Outside of work, I love to bike. I ride in support of MS each year by participating in a 60 mile bike ride on Martha’s Vineyard. When I’m not on my bike, I love to hang out with my family.


Caitlyn Penrod

After graduating from high school, I received my EEC certification from Mass Bay Community College. Before becoming a classroom teacher, I worked as a swim instructor with toddlers. As a child, I attended the Kiddie Lodge and worked for them just before they transitioned to First Circle. I’m a true full circle story! I love working with children because I love seeing them grow and develop. When I’m not working, I love to do puzzles.



Josh Hassard

I graduated Hudson High School in 2014 with honors, after which I completed a year of study in elementary education at Framingham State University. I spent several years working in dog and pet care but recently realized I wanted to dive back into the field of childcare and early education. Currently, I am working towards my associate’s degree in early childhood education at Quinsigamond Community College, scheduled to graduate in Spring 2024. I believe that children learn best through various forms of play and teacher-guided interactions where they have the opportunity to be the stars. My goal is for children to feel safe, at home, and secure in their feelings. I recognize the importance of diversity and celebrating differences so that each child feels included. I believe in providing a classroom environment that allows children to feel relaxed, comfortable, and engaged, so that they are able to fully immerse themselves in learning. I’m dedicated to fostering strong parent/guardian relationships to help maximize each family’s involvement in their children’s development. I really enjoy nature and, during quarantine, I enjoyed foraging wild plants and mushrooms. I have lived in Hudson, Mass. since I was a toddler. Josh lives with my partner of two years and our two rescue dogs, Stella and Zoey. My family and I enjoy visiting Cape Cod—particularly Mayflower beach in Dennis—and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.



Kaylee Lambert

I am a certified in infant/toddler and preschool teacher. Before joining First Circle, I worked for a year at another childcare center as preschool/pre-k teacher. During my time there I was able to gain valuable experience in the infant and toddler classrooms as well. I enjoy working with children because it gives me the opportunity to bring more joy, comfort, knowledge, and compassion into their lives. I am committed to providing them with a safe space and to make learning exciting. I was born and raised in Framingham.


Alize Camacho

In high school, I attended a career and technical education program focused on child development and child care. After graduation, I worked as an after school teacher at Our Lady’s Academy, during which I worked with a range of students from pre-k to eighth grade. I have always loved working with, teaching, and learning from children. I find that working with children comes easily and never feels like work. I always knew that I wanted a career that involved children, and the pandemic pushed me to make a career change and follow my passion. I have had the privilege to watch and teach many children in my own family as they grew up, which confirmed that teaching children is what I am meant to do. I am excited to work at First Circle, and I’m looking forward to what the children will teach me just as much as what I will teach them. I love to spend time with my family and enjoy doing everything with them, whether it’s hanging out at home watching a movie or going to spend the day at my aunt’s pool. I also love to spend time going on adventures with friends, being outside, outside exploring new areas, restaurants, and activities. I try to do new things outside my comfort zone whenever I get the chance. I can’t leave out my pandemic puppy, Shadow!





Jackie MacDonald

I joined First Circle with over 30 years of childcare experience, including the past 12 years working as a teacher at Trinity Catholic Academy. My mission is to make sure the children in my care are happy, healthy, and safe. I have lived most of my life in Stoughton with my two daughters. We love to shop, bake and spend time with family and friends.


Jessica Shallow

Since I started at First Circle, I have been working hard to create a calm and loving environment for our littlest ones. Previously, I worked at Children of America with infants and toddlers. I am currently working on finishing my bachelor’s with a double major in early childhood and communications. I enjoy watching children achieve the milestones of child development. I believe that these form the foundation of the beginning stages of life. In my down time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to to eat, and playing with my dog Zoey.



Kaitlyn Cochrane

Before First Circle, I worked with all age groups at Children of America. Currently, I am working towards a bachelor’s degree and my EEC teacher certification. My teaching philosophy is “teaching is not a one-size-fits-all practice.” I like to personalize my style to each individual child. My goal is to help each child become a successful learner! In my down time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching tv, and cooking.


Kristin Dwyer

I have always been passionate about working with children. Before First Circle, I worked at the childcare center I joined when I was 18 years old, and I have completed several college classes in education. I enjoy watching children learn through play and each other. I love having the opportunity to see them grow and develop from infancy to preschool. I am the mom of 2 boys, Greyson and Ronan. My husband and I love going out to dinner and, of course, going on vacation!



Christine (CeCe) Smith

I received my BFA in musical theater from the Boston Conservatory and I have worked as an early childhood teacher for many years. I also taught music and movement to infants and toddlers at Brookline Music School. I know that the first three years of a child’s life are where their foundation is built. I feels that being a part of helping a child develop a strong sense of self—supported by love, laughter, and learning—will help make their foundation rich. I love all animals, especially my dog!





Deajshia Howard

I completed college courses in early child education, and began my teaching career as an assistant teacher. Before First Circle, I worked as a lead teacher and curriculum coordinator. I credit my love of teaching to the many gifted teachers who served as positive influences throughout my education. These influences instilled in me a strong belief in the purpose of education, which is to help children reach individualized milestones physically, cognitively, socially, and emotionally through developmentally appropriate practices. As a teacher, I strive to lead through example every day by modeling proper behaviors, expectations, and positivity. I am an only child, born and raised in Massachusetts, except for a short stint in Dallas, Texas. I love to paint in my free time, as well as learning about different cultures. On the weekends, I enjoy babysitting.



Jarred Rose

I graduated frm UMass Amherst with a BA in political science. I worked in politics and real estate for several years before changing careers and entering the field of education. Prior to joining First Circle, I worked as a teacher at the YMCA. I love teaching at the prekindergarten level because the children are experienced enough to follow rules and procedures, but also very fun in everything they do. I’m originally from Acushnet, Mass., but now live in Stoughton. I love reading, traveling, playing video games, exploring parks with my son, and flying my drone over cool areas.


Nicole Foss

I started my career in education in 2014, when I first worked at First Circle as an assistant teacher. While at UMass Boston, I earned my EEC certificate and continued to work at FCLC as a float and toddler teacher. I went on to complete my student teaching practicum in the Boston Public Schools and graduated with my bachelor’s in early education in 2018. After graduation, I worked as a pre-k teacher in our Lexington center, where I enjoyed creating a play-based learning environment. I left First Circle to work as a student support instructor in a special ed classroom for students on the autism spectrum in the Lexington Public Schools. While there, I worked with children on social/emotional well-being , verbal/non-verbal communication skills, and sensory projects. I am so excited to be back at First Circle to share my experience and commitment to providing children with a positive, supportive, and engaging learning environment. I love to work with children in the pre-k age group because there is a magical sense of wonder that comes with being an early learner. Everything is new and exciting, and having the opportunity at First Circle to help students discover their passions and interests is the most rewarding experience of my life. I strive to create an environment where everyone feels welcome to take risks and create long lasting friendships, but most importantly—to be silly and have fun! My fiancé and I just bought our first home in Hanson, Massachusetts, which we share with our corgi, Chloe. We love to go boating, camping and to the beach. I have a younger sister and a big family with lots of cousins, nieces, and nephews.





Lisa Percoskie

I have been a teacher in the infant room here since 2008. I studied psychology at Becker College, but I decided to take the teaching course to become teacher certified when my own daughter was preschool age. I have worked my entire adult life on the philsophy of “Be the adult you needed when you were a kid.” I love being able to provide a safe place for babies, and peace of mind for parents to know their child is cared for. I really enjoy making fun artwork with the babies for the changing months, and helping them with their important milestones. Outside of work, a few of my favorite things are my grandkids, shopping, road trips, traveling, mountains and Dr. Pepper!


Patricia Mearls

Please, call me Patty! I have been a teacher in the infant room here since 2003 and I love every minute! I love working with children because that was my passion growing up. Playing with the babies, cuddling them, and blowing bubbles makes every day great. Outside of work, I like to babysit and spend time with family. I also love taking day trips with my friends. I live in North Attleboro with my fiance and my cat Charlie. I also love making bracelets and spending time with my friends’ kids.



Karina Giorgio

I started at CCC in 2011, first as an assistant while I was in high school, then later becoming certified as a teacher. Up until last year, I was an infant teacher, but I absolutely love being with the toddlers. It’s such a great age and it is so much fun to watch their personalities develop. Outside of work, I love to travel, read, and spend time with my family (I have three nieces, two nephews, and there is another baby on the way!) I’m looking forward to getting to know you and am so excited to have your children in the classroom!


Kaliyah Auguste

I have been working with children and adults for the past few years. Caring for people, whether it’s one-on-one or with groups, is my passion. I have an associate’s degree in early childhood education. I love working with children because they bring out happiness and joy. Outside of work, I do hair. I currently live in Brockton with my boyfriend, but I typically go out to New Bedford/Taunton to visit my mother on weekends.



Helen Leach

I started at CCC in 2001, and have spent all of that time with toddlers! A few things I love about toddlers: nothing beats their love and adoration, they are brutally honest, and they know when they are being funny! Outside of work, some of my favorite things are watermelon, starburst candy, dogs, reading, traveling, gardening, and baking.


Bianca Defelice

I’ve been working in early childhood education since 2020 and have been nannying for many years. I love working with children because I love watching their eyes light up when the learn something new or find excitement in a craft or reading. When I’m not working, I’m usually found at home with my fiance and our puppies, hiking in Maine, or spending time with family and friends.



Christine Ribeiro

I received my BA in education studies and performing arts from Wheelock College in 2018. I earned my master’s degree in curriculum instruction with a reading focus from Southern New Hampshire University in 2020. My philosophy is that all children learn in different ways. I like to see the students realize that they’re learning while having fun, making them forget that they’re even in the classroom. I want children to feel comfortable in the classroom, and understand that it is a safe space to learn and grow. I currently live in Framingham, where I have also lived all my life with my amazing parents. I really like to travel, I enjoying working out, especially with boxing or Zumba, I love and live on Starbucks, and I love teaching your children about the world and themselves.


Valenny Joseph

My name is Valenney Joseph (Va•Len•e). I previously worked at the SPARK Center, and have worked as an assistant teacher here in Needham since 2021. I am currently a college student finishing an associate degree in psychology. I like working with children because it excites my day.


Kaitlyn Carmenatty

I’ve been an early childhood educator for over ten years. I started as an assistant teacher and am now a certified lead teacher with my director’s certification as well. Seeing my students learn and discover new things and challenge their little minds is my greatest joy. Watching them grow from babies to school age, from learning to roll over, crawl, walk, and talk, learn their numbers, letters, colors, and shapes… Just seeing the growth in them makes my heart fill with joy knowing that we did that. I love to listen to all types of music. I’m not really an outside type of girl, I just don’t like bugs flying around me. I have two young, beautiful kids. My goal is to finish school with my bachelor’s and work towards my new car in 2024. I would love to have a family vacation soon—somewhere with great beaches and wonderful food.



Erica Seaver

I graduated with a bachelor’s of science in Early Childhood Education from Bridgewater State University and have worked as a pre-k teacher at this center since 2000. I find the best part of teaching children is watching them learn and grow! Our pre-k class is organized around the interests of the children. Learning centers such as literacy, dramatic play, sensory activities, and science encourage the development of the whole child. Outside of work, I love anything to do with Halloween: decorating, dressing up, crafts! I also love the theater, especially visiting Broadway in NYC!


Nabila Mayanja (Bila)

I attended UMass Boston to study pediatric nursing, but decided to first work at a childcare center to see what working with children would be like. I ended up falling in love with teaching, and changed my major to early childhood education. I got my certification, began working with children in 2006, and have never looked back. I truly enjoy working with kids and love watching them grow from one stage of life to the next. I find them very interesting little beings and I enjoy helping and being part of their learning experience. I love helping them navigate their way through the first stages of their lives. They also bring out the inner child in me. My daughter Lyra is a happy member of the Needham preschool classroom.


Elisangela Costello

My friends call me Elisa. I grew up in Brazil and graduated high school there. I started working at CCC in 2001. I love working with children and seeing their growth and progress during their time with us. I am married and have two children, Olivia and James, who both went through the program. I love to spend time with my family, our dog Cooper, and friends!



Erin Stracuzzi

I have an associate degree in early childhood education, and I joined Chestnut Children’s Center in 1998. Starting out as an infant teacher, I’ve worked with many age groups and truly enjoy running the toddler program as both teacher and director. I love watching the children grow and learn over the course of the year—every day is a new adventure with them, and the joy they bring to the class each day is like no other. I live in Natick with my husband, teenage son, and our dog Luna. I enjoy going out with friends, watching my son play sports, perform in plays, and sing at his choir concerts. I also enjoy baking, doing word searches and being around family.


Patricia Dazet

I have a bachelor’s in elementary education and a master of science in traditional Chinese medicine. I’ve held a variety of roles including a reading tutor, elementary school teacher, preschool teacher, director of library preschool and story time programs, nanny, and acupuncturist. I was also a stay-at-home mother for years and considered it the best job I’ll ever have—although working with little ones in an early childhood program is a close second! I believe that children keep you in the present moment, and teach us the importance of being in the here and now. The emotions they express are genuine and unfiltered, and they’re joyful learners. I have three adult children and one grandchild. I enjoy reading, especially suspense and nature genres. I also love baking, gardening, walking/hiking, and being outdoors in all seasons.



Laura Dosdall

I have been with the nursery school program since 2012 and in the early childhood field for nearly three decades. My passion is teaching preschool and prekindergarten. I bring my love of nature into the classroom and take pride in implementing a fun play-based curriculum with a foundation for academics. I strongly believe in hands-on learning and encourage the children to take chances and make choices throughout their day. I live in Sherborn with my husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets. I enjoy spending time with my family outdoors—gardening, exploring, and taking in all the wonders of nature… especially in regards to my bug and animal friends! I hope to soon add chickens, bees, and goats to my menagerie. My favorite food is my Nana’s Swedish apple pie, though I’ll settle for basically any kind.


Mary Walsh

I worked as an attorney for many years before staying home with my two children. I found my true calling when I began my career in early childhood education. Although I’ve worked with infants and toddlers, I’ve spent most of the last decade working with preschoolers. I love creating a warm and inviting space to foster friendships and encourage play-based learning. My passion is helping children develop their self-help and social skills and build a foundation for future academic learning. I find seeing the growth and development over the school year is both rewarding and inspiring. I grew up and still live in the West Roxbury area. Married with two adult children, I love spending time on the Cape with my family. I enjoy bike rides and nature walks, reading, and doing puzzles.



Bianca Silva

I have spent many joyful years as a nanny, babysitter, and tutor, cherishing the magic of childhood and learning. Nannying young children—along with pursuing an early childhood education degree—has inspired me to become a preschool teacher, because I believe in the incredible potential of young minds. Outside of the classroom, you’ll find me camping with my family and exploring the great outdoors with my two goldendoodles. Nature’s beauty and its lessons have a special place in my heart. I have also been a caretaker for the elderly, where I learned about the wisdom that comes with age and the importance of patience and care.


Christina Lazarides

My passion for teaching began in high school, when I started volunteering with children at my local church. I’ve been in the early childhood field since I graduated from college and started at Chestnut Children’s Center when it opened in 1995. I’ve taught all age groups and was in the kindergarten prep program for six years. I love to see how children use their imagination and creativity. I live in Millis with my husband and daughter, Eleni. I enjoy baking and spending time with family and friends.