St. John's Nursery

Faculty

One of St John's most valuable assets is our teaching staff. Each teacher holds a college degree, and is certified in CPR and First Aid. Additionally, each staff member brings to St John's a rich background of prior preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school experience. The school is guided by a Director and several teachers and governed by a volunteer parent board. We have an amazing student–teacher ratio of 5:1. Your child will be interacting with a nurturing team of Early Childhood Professionals. Day-to-day operations of the school are handled by the Director.

Our Teachers

Kris Blue

DIRECTOR
LITERACY SPECIALIST

I have been working with young children for over 31 years. I have always wanted to be a teacher from a very young age. I am the third generation of Kindergarten/Preschool teachers in my family. I started out teaching Kindergarten in 1986 in Westwood, after graduating from Wheelock College. One of my favorite things to do as a teacher was to read to the children and to help them develop the skills they needed to learn to read and write. I loved seeing their eyes light up as they learned the letters of their name, or when they were able to read a simple predictable book to me, and were so proud!
As a result of this love of books and reading, I acquired a Master's Degree in Children's Literature, and another Master's Degree in Reading. I also worked for more than 15 years at the Children's Bookshop in Brookline, MA, where I acquired many Children's books for my collection. I loved sharing these books with the children in my classes, and continue to do so. After teaching Kindergarten for nine years, I stayed home to raise my four children. My husband and I have lived in Westwood for over 23 years! I did some tutoring in reading during that time, and was invited to become the Literacy Specialist at Clapboardtree Nursery School in Westwood in 1999. Clapboardtree has always been a “sister school” with St John's Nursery School. My own four children attended both schools, and I was so happy to be asked to be the Director of Clapboardtree in 2009. I continued in my role as the Literacy Specialist, as well. I remained there until 2015, when we merged with St John's Nursery School. I have been a Literacy Specialist here ever since and recently became the Director. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of both schools for over 17 years. I truly enjoy coming to work everyday!

Becky Cuoco

LEAD TEACHER
3-YEAR OLD CLASS

My journey at St. John's Nursery School began in 2004 when I became a teacher in the 3 -year- old classroom. Arts and creativity are my passion and my greatest joy is to instill this passion for exploration in children with paint, glue, crayons, paper, and more! My experience includes a BFA in Art Education, Preschool Lead Teacher certification, and over 15 years as a program coordinator for wonderful child care afterschool programs in both New Bedford and Newton. In my free time I enjoy reading, traveling, exploring the great outdoors and spending quality time with my family and friends. Each year I learn something new from the children, staff and parents I work with, and I am honored to work in the wonderful community of Westwood!

Katie Gavin

LEAD TEACHER
4-YEAR OLD CLASS

I am extremely excited to be joining the teaching staff at St. John's Nursery School. My three children are graduates of the program and we all still look back very fondly on their experiences at the school. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Art and a Master's degree in Special Education. I taught elementary and special education for many years in Vermont. I hope to bring my experience as an educator, at that level, into the preschool classroom to support the children's learning and transition to kindergarten. Additionally as an artist, I plan to bring that background and passion into the classroom by supporting each child's individual creativity and linking it to their learning.
In my time outside of school, I enjoy painting, running, travelling, and spending time with my very busy kids and husband. I can't wait for a wonderful year working with the amazing children at St. John's!

Elaine Cashman

LEAD TEACHER
4-YEAR OLD CLASS

I fell in love with SJNS when my eldest daughter began her educational journey here almost a decade ago. I was so impressed by the nurturing environment and the emphasis on creative play, while still fostering early literacy skills and setting a solid foundation for success in kindergarten. My goal as an educator has always been to foster a lifelong love of learning and SJNS is the perfect place to make this happen for our littlest learners. I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this wonderful school. I look forward to helping each and every child learn and grow during their nursery school experience as we foster a love of learning and set a foundation for success in their educational journey.
I grew up in a family of educators, with both of my parents working in the public schools. I double majored in Elementary and Special Education at Providence College and earned a Masters degree in Literacy there as well. I spent many years teaching elementary school in Mansfield, MA before stepping away to stay home with my 3 children. Now that my kids are in school full time I am thrilled to get back into teaching.
When I'm not at St. John's you'll find me cheering on my kids at the soccer field and at their Irish dance competitions. We love to ski and mountain bike, especially in Stowe, VT, and spend as much time as we can on the beach.

Siobhan O'Malley

LEAD TEACHER
3-YEAR OLD CLASS

My daily goal is to provide a safe, supportive and loving environment while teaching a developmentally appropriate curriculum. I have high expectations for every child. They absolutely deserve and need a teacher who believes in them. A well-balanced childhood, while learning to be kind and helpful, will be instrumental in their success as an adult. Making friends and having a positive connection to school will only benefit the children as they navigate their way through life.
A typical child will learn their letters, shapes, colors and numbers - which are always intertwined into our daily routine. However, my main focus in teaching young children is to foster and guide each child to be the best version of themselves. By empowering every child's self-awareness, they can better learn and understand empathy, patience, consideration, accountability, social cues, camaraderie and many other priceless attributes. I believe the foundation for these accomplishments and concepts are best learned by a child through interactions with their peers and should be solid by the age of 5. Therefore, the child will be able to form healthy relationships with people and the world around them. This is all truly hard work for anyone; especially a young child. Coping with unexpected changes and new events, big or small, are all parts of everyone's life. One invaluable way to do this is through yoga. As a certified children's yoga instructor, the kids and I work on different breathing techniques and yoga poses. This helps us be able to calm down our bodies and minds. Then we can better deal with whatever comes our way.
Recently, my five children, husband and I moved to Westwood. Before moving here, we lived on the south shore and I ran a Nursery School out of our home for many years. It was a dream come true! Now I feel honored to a member of the St. John's Nursery School community. Both of my degrees are from BU/Wheelock. My bachelor's degree is in Human Development and my master's degree is in Early Childhood Education for children with and without special needs. In life we only get one childhood. I love and take great pride in being a part of a child's first school experience. They are the future!

Ellen Monroy

LEAD TEACHER
3-YEAR OLD CLASS

I am so happy to be joining the staff at St. John's Nursery School! I hold a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling. I worked at Waltham High School for a few years until I moved to Westwood and started my own family. I stayed home for many years raising my two girls. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with Mrs. Cuoco, in the three-year olds class.
Outside of school, I love spending time with my husband and girls. I also enjoy daily hikes with my dog Hunter. I love working with young children and am very much looking forward to a wonderful year at St. John's Nursery School!

Carrie Connaughton

LEAD TEACHER
4-YEAR OLD CLASS

My husband and I have lived in Westwood for more than 25 years, and we raised our four children here. They all went to MMO preschool in Westwood. When I walked out of MMO with our youngest on her last day, they offered me a teacher's assistant position, and I ended up staying there for 10 wonderful years. When MMO closed, I was thrilled to join the team here at St John's preschool. I have such a passion for helping children learn and grow and want every child to be excited to go to school! The most heartwarming part of the job is being present for when a child experiences something new for the first time. That's priceless. When I'm not working or watching one of my kids play soccer or lacrosse, I love spending time with my extended family and friends and going to the beach. I also enjoy reading and walking with friends and my dog!

Nancy Isberg

ASSISTANT TEACHER
4-YEAR OLD CLASS

Learning should be regarded as a lifelong process. I learn so much each day from the incredible staff, wonderful parents and inquisitive children at St. John's Nursery School. My favorite activities are to sit with a child in my lap reading an exciting story, exploring with watercolors in the art table with a small group of children, and laughing and singing with the whole class.
I started teaching Kindergarten after receiving my degree in education. I continued learning by working at laboratory schools such as Wellesley College, Northeastern and Connecticut College. I was so fortunate to move to Westwood where my two daughters grew to be wonderful women while I worked at Clapboardtree Nursery School for 13 years. I joined St John's Nursery School when they merged and continue to love, laugh and learn.

Maureen Clancy

ASSISTANT TEACHER
4-YEAR OLD CLASS

Maureen has lived in Westwood over 25 years and has raised her 4 children here. Her children all attended St John's Nursery School. She is a wonderful new addition to our staff. When she is not teaching she enjoys playing tennis and spending time at her Cape home.