|Dee Niland: Administrative Assistant
Dee's involvement here began as a parent volunteer while her children
attended Village Green. She has been the Administrative Assistant since
2002. Her duties include, collecting tuition payments, distributing and
collecting all paperwork, Lending Library and Scholastic Book Club
coordinator and many other projects throughout the year. (Dee is our all
around get it done person!) Dee has currently added classroom substitute to
her many hats she wears at VGNS.
Meet our staff
Shannon Knudsen: Director
For 17 years Shannon enjoyed being an early childhood classroom teacher. She has
her Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education and has many hours of
professional development workshops and seminars. Shannon began her college career
at the University of Cincinnati, took classes at Albertus Magnus, and received her
degree from Charter Oak State College. She has her Director’s Credentials and is
thankful to have Nan Sheriden, the former director of 20 years, as an unofficial
consultant. Shannon is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but moved to Connecticut in
2002 with her husband and two daughters. She loves to help in the classroom
Diane Pisko: 4's Head Teacher, Apple Blossom Room
3's Assistant, Apple Blossom Room
In May of 2010 Diane received her Associates Degree in Early Childhood
Education from Tunxis Community College. Previous to earning her
degree, in May of 2009, Diane received her Certificate of Early Childhood
Education from Tunxis Community College and has completed courses at
Naugatuck Community College to earn her Head Teacher Certificate.
Diane's first experiences at Village Green were as a parent and volunteer.
She later became an administrative assistant and substitute teacher at
VGNS, joining the permanent teaching staff in 2000. Diane works with all of
the staff to help us carry on the Village Green traditions.
Linda Poirier: 4's Teacher Assistant, Apple Blossom Room
Linda joined the staff of Village Green in September of 2012. Linda started at
VGNS as a parent and volunteered many hours while her 2 children attended,
helping in the classroom, chairing events such as the Annual School Dance,
and lending her wonderful artistic abilities to classroom projects. Prior to Village
Green, Linda has 8 years experience working in the field of early childhood
education, that include preparing and executing lessons, organizing a classroom
and working with parents to ensure their child had a positive school experience.
Linda has also attended several Early Childhood Workshops to expand her
Laura Stack: 3's Teacher Assistant, Apple Blossom Room
Laura joined the staff of Village Green in September of 2012. She has a
B.A. from Pennsylvania State University. Laura was first introduced to VGNS
as a parent volunteer. She spent 4 years volunteering many hours in the
classroom while her daughters attended VGNS. Laura also chaired the
Annual School Dance and was a Room Parent. In addition to the experience
of raising her own children, Laura has provided childcare in her home for the
past 7 years. Laura’s dedication to her work shines through each day when
she interacts with the children and their families.
Tina Michaud: 3's Head Teacher, Apple Blossom Room
4's Assistant, Bluebird Room
Tina Michaud has lived in Southington with her family for 15 years. She
attended Eastern CT ST University and received a BA Degree in child
psychology. Tina earned her elementary teaching certificate at Central
CT State University. She has taught both preschool and kindergarten.
After Tina had her girls she took time off to be home with them and now
she is happy to be teaching again. She has years of volunteering
experience from helping kids with academics in the classroom to running
the drama club.
Cristina "Crissy" Ripley, 3's & 4's Head Teacher, Bluebird Room
Cristina Ripley is excited to become apart of the VGNS Staff! Before coming
to Village Green, Crissy worked in the Hartford Public Schools for 5 years.
She worked with children from preschool-2nd grade. Crissy has her
Bachelor's in Elementary Education from Central Connecticut State
University and has her CT Teacher's Certification. She loves to integrate
yoga, mindfulness, music, motion, and all forms of art into the curriculum.
Rose Girardin: 3's Teacher Assistant, Bluebird Room
In the summer of 2018, Rose approached us after teaching at
Plantsville Nursery School for 18 years. Everyone in the community
was sad to see PNS close but we were lucky enough to have Rose
join our team of wonderful teachers here at Village Green. Rose not
only has her Associate's Degree with course work in Child Psychology
and Early Childhood Education, but she has also served as trainer for
the Young Parent's Program.
*Teachers and Assistants are certified in:
Administration of Medication
Administration of Emergency Injectable Medication