Here's a little about the INCREDIBLE staff who make Smithtown Cooperative Nursery School the exceptional place that it is!
Tricia (Lead Teacher for the Threes and Fours)
I have been with the Smithtown Cooperative Nursery School for 32 years. For the first three years my son attended the school and I was a board member. For the last 29 years I have had the privilege of being on the staff of this wonderful school, teaching both the three and four year old classes.
The philosophy of the school made a lasting impression; it is the same philosophy in place today. We believe that children learn best by “doing”. Each child is unique, and so is their style and method of working and learning. Because of our “hands on” approach, children become critical thinkers. As I teach the children consecutive years, I can see first-hand the development that comes with age - appropriate activities and expectations.
Over these many years I have met so many wonderful children and their families, many of whom I am still in contact with today. It is a joy to share in their success and accomplishments. I have worked with the most dedicated staff. They nurture, care for and respect the children in our school. We work closely with our board of parents who recognize and appreciate the community feeling in the school.
Joanne B. (Assistant in the Fours)
Our son, now 26, started at the school in 1988; one year in the 3’s and two years in the 4’s (because he was young, the director and his teachers suggested that it would not hurt to keep him a second year in the 4’s and that rushing him into K could be difficult. That was the best advice!). In 1993, I was asked to join the staff after having helped out in the 3’s for a few months in 1990 and have been an assistant in the 4’s since then.
The experiences with a caring, exceptional staff, the parents, and the children have been so rewarding! You would not believe all the little things I have learned from our 4-year-old curriculum. Without electronic “assistance” we have personal interaction with parents and children. We listen, read, play, learn, and have fun. We also get into our “work” which is known to be a little messy but that’s what washing machines and paper towels are for! Smithtown Coop is very special!
Leah (Lead Teacher in New Mom School and Mommy and Me)
I have been affiliated with the Smithtown Nursery School for the past 35 years. Both of my children attended this school. I was an active member of the Cooperative, as Board President, and for a number of years, I was completely immersed in the Coop experience, as a young mother of two.
During the time my children were here, I was asked to facilitate parenting programs relating to early childhood development issues. As a private consultant and parent educator, I had been providing parent education programming on Long Island and New York City, at libraries and nursery schools for many years.
I became the lead teacher for Mommy and Me in the mid 1980's and continued until 1995, when I left the Coop to work for Cornell Cooperative Extension as a parent educator and program planner.
I continued at the Smithtown Coop as a private consultant and facilitated parent education programs here, throughout my tenure at Cornell Cooperative Extension. I left Extension in 2000 and continued as a private consultant.
In 2007, a new era began, as my first grandchild started at the Coop. Once again, I had the privilege of participating in the classroom and experiencing all of the enriched environment that is the Smithtown Nursery School. In 2010, my second grandchild followed suit. My daughter, an alumnus, became the Board President. I began to feel a familiar pattern developing.
I have now come full circle, and am back at the Coop, in a role that is all too familiar. I feel privileged, yet again, to be a part of this incredibly nurturing community. I thank all those parents who have allowed me the opportunity to share in your child's first school experience.
Jennie (Assistant in the Playgroups and Fours)
My older daughter started at the Co-op in the 3 yr old class--4 years later she is in first grade doing amazing and my little one is in the 4's getting ready for kindergarten. I started off as an involved parent at the Co-op and this past September I was asked to become part of the family here. I say family because that is how this school makes every new and alumni family feel. Aside from working in the office, I also assist Joanne T. in the playgroup class.
Every day amazes me as I watch 2 year olds come out of their shells, 3 year olds developing such outgoing personalities and 4 year olds writing in preparation for kindergarten. I absolutely love being part of this wonderful staff of caring and loving people. I feel my experience as a mother will aid me in helping parents as well as children find tools and tricks in becoming examples, leaders, and great future students.