Maggie Nelson became the director at VRECS in 2017. She is thrilled to take on this adventure! She joined the VRECS family in 2014 as a Pre-k4 teacher. She then moved on to teach Transitional Kindergarten before she took on the role of Director. Maggie studied at Montclair State University and received her BA in Child and Family Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Education (preschool-3rd grade).
Rebecca G Nayda
Rebecca Nayda began at VRECS in 2000 as a volunteer and was hired in 2001. Before working at VRECS, Rebecca worked in Marketing and Advertising for a corporate office. She is an active member of the VREBBC. With her many experiences in Life she believes God molded her specifically for her position at VRECS.
FINANCE MANAGER/AFTER CARE
Ellen Ziegler joined our staff in 2012. Ellen has her BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her MSW from Columbia University. She considers VRECS her home away from home. Her daughter and son are both proud graduates of the VRECS preschool program and she has a son in the Pre-K3 for the 19-20 school year. She also is an After Care Instructor on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Pastor David Boone
Pastor David Boone, Pastor of the Van Riper Ellis Broadway Baptist Church, has been a pastor since 1984, serving churches in Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware, Georgia and New Jersey. Pastor David served as a bi-vocational pastor for many years and retired at the end of 2015 as a Juvenile Detective for the Fair Lawn Police Department. Justice and mercy are important parts of his ministry as he shares the love of Christ. He is a 3rd generation pastor who strives to “Live the Life, Love the People, and Preach the Word.”
Lisa Bates has been with VRECS since 2007. She earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from William Paterson University. She has been working with young children for over 20 years. Lisa thinks that incorporating Christian values is an important and enjoyable part of education here at VRECS. Seeing children grow and learn how to read gives her great joy. She is very involved in her church, having taught Sunday School and running Bible Club for many years. She is currently teaching in one of our Pre-K4 classrooms and helps out daily in After Care from 3:00-3:30pm.
Elizabeth Eckford joined VRECS in 2018 and is teaching in one of our Pre-K4 classrooms. She earned her BA in Sociology with a Social Service Concentration and a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing in Elementary Education in 2012. She was a student teacher as well as a practicum teacher during the time when she earned her degree. She has worked as an Assistant as well as a Teacher at the Cerebral Palsy Treatment Center for 6 years and has also been the Director of a Daycare Program. She firmly believes in Proverbs 22:6 to “Train the child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” She believes all children can be taught with patience, compassion and the love of Jesus Christ.
Karen will join our team for the 2020-2021 school year teaching our Transitional Kindergarten class. She has her BS in Nursing from Rutgers and her Teacher Education Certification in Elementary Education from Felician College. Karen taught third grade at St. Anne’s School in Fair Lawn for 12 years and had been a staff member there since 2000. She is excited to join the team at Van Riper!
Michelle Bravin has been at VRECS since 2004 and started as a Teacher’s Assistant. She is currently a Pre-K3 Teacher. She has a BS from Ithaca College and was formerly a buyer for a major retail store. She worked at the Ridgewood YMCA as an assistant in a 2 ½ year old class for 5 years before joining our team. Her teaching philosophy is that preschoolers learn through play, and everything has to be interactive and hands-on. She loves watching kids in discovery, helping them to absorb and understand new information.
Bernadette Flood joined VRECS in 2018 as a Pre-k3 Teacher. She earned her BA from Rutgers University. She has an extensive background working with Preschoolers. She is a compassionate, creative hard worker who has experience with curriculum development and classroom management. She also founded a local kids art club. She has experience working with adult mental health day programs, children’s special needs programs and senior day programs. She strongly believes that children are active learners, explorers, experimenters and artists.
Mary Ummak will be our online teacher starting in the 2020-2021 school year. She attended Caldwell College (now Caldwell University) in Caldwell, NJ. She has had 30 years in the teaching field wearing various hats. She has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Science and Math, was with Pre-K for 12 years, and worked with children with special needs most recently. Each job has given her a great lesson about what being a teacher means. She has two dogs, Shelby and Lucie. She loves Cape Cod, used to teach tennis, and takes walks daily. She is excited to join us and build our online preschool experience!
TEACHER’S ASSOCIATE/BEFORE CARE
Lorraine Fallacaro joined VRECS in 2010. She has her Associates degree in Merchandising from LIM. Her love for children brought her into the preschool classroom. Lorraine believes in an enriched environment for young children; one that will benefit their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development. She is passionate about helping children develop characteristics which will affect their lifelong love of learning. She works to foster a nurturing, active, and challenging environment that encourages curiosity, active learning, values, problem solving, and a positive self-image.
Pamela Dawson joined VRECS in 2012. Before joining our staff, she managed a home daycare for 18 years which served newborn through 3 year olds. She has always loved being around children, and it gives her pleasure to teach. Being a part of that moment when a child gets ‘that look in their eyes’ when they learn something new gives her joy.
Blaise Barrientos-Knapp joined VRECS in 2017. She has a BA from the University of Hartford and brings her experience as a mom of two. She started with VRECS as a lunch aide and substitute. She is now a Teacher’s Associate in one of our Pre-k4 classrooms.
Jamie joined our staff in 2018 as a lunch aide. She is now a Teacher’s Associate in our Transitional Kindergarten classroom. She is a mother of 4 and she coaches basketball and soccer. Her daughter attended VRECS and she’s very excited to be part of our team!
Claudia joined our staff in 2019 as a Lunch Aide. She is currently serving as a Teacher’s Aide in one of our Pre-K3 classes. She also works in Member Services at the YMCA in Ridgewood. When she’s not here, Claudia is actively involved in the lives of her 5 children.
BEFORE CARE/AFTER CARE
Jeanne joined our staff in 2018 as an After Care Instructor. She has served as a Lunch Aide in one of our Pre-K3 classes during the day. She is also going to be working with our Before Care children starting in September 2020. She is an amazing substitute as well! She has been working with children on and off for 15 years now. She has worked as a Special Education Preschool Aide, a Lunch Aide and an After Care Aide. She loves helping children to learn and grow.
Sue Janc, MS, MPH, RN
Sue Janc comes in weekly to make sure that our student’s medical records are up to date.
Carole joined VRECS in 2017. She has her BSN from Columbia University. She has attended VREBBC for many years and brings her experience as a nurse as well as raising three children.
LUNCH AIDE/AFTER CARE
Kimberly joined our staff in 2019 as a Lunch Aide. She also does After Care on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She runs the Fair Lawn Football Association Cheerleading program. She is married and she has one child. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the Jersey Shore.