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Kyla Siegmann, Director
Kyla brings over 25 years of rich experience in the field of Early Childhood Education. She holds an Associate's Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education/Child Studies.
Kyla's teaching experience includes toddlers and preschoolers in Reggio Emilia inspired programs, including most recently in a children's museum early learning center. She has worked extensively and successfully with special needs populations in inclusive classrooms that welcomed children with ADD/ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Sensory Integration, and Behavioral Disorders. In her roles as Program Manager and Educational Coordinator Kyla worked daily to support and inspire staff, engage and empower parents, and advocate for children's needs.
Kyla's teaching philosophy focuses on using a Project Approach which enriches the classroom environment by adding materials, lessons and experiences to support a child's curiosity and emergent interests. She is fully familiar with incorporating nature-based curriculum to create a holistic, developmentally-appropriate approach to early education.
Kyla is dedicated to serving the Cheshire community and is supportive of families in all capacities. In fact, Kyla states that "family is everything." She spends her own free time enjoying the gifts of life with her two beautiful children (one of whom is now a CNS student), loving fiancé, and very supportive parents.
Elizabeth Choti Bayreuther, Preschool Teacher (Academic Year)
Liz is a Connecticut certified teacher who has spent most of her career teaching music to young children, both privately and in the public schools. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Education, Music, and English, all from the University of Connecticut. The time Liz spent at home caring for her son and two nieces taught Liz just how important the preschool years are to a child’s development, and how much fun they are, too! While Liz loved sharing her musical teaching talents with elementary school children, she increasingly found herself feeling most at home in her preschool classes. Liz is very excited to teach at Cheshire Nursery School where she can spend her days helping children learn and grow during these truly special preschool years.
Charlene Dominello, Head Toddler Teacher (Academic Year)
Charlene is a Cheshire native, mother of two, and a proud graduate of the Cheshire Nursery School! After completing her student observation at Norton Elementary School and receiving her bachelor's degree from Southern Connecticut State University, Charlene spent six years at Yalesville Elementary School in Wallingford. Realizing her real love was the youngest students, she switched to preschool, then eventually discovered the joy of toddlers when she came home to CNS!
Sally Manning, Toddler Teacher (Summer)
Sally holds a Bachelors Degree from Bay Path University in Massachusetts. Since graduation she has worked in both public schools and nonprofit preschools. She has many years experience with Reggio Emilia based programs and values the importance of play-based learning. Sally has a deep love for the outdoors and is especially excited to be a part of our nature based program. Sally is on loan from our sister school, The Carrot Patch, for the summer sessions.
Jolene Tefoe, Head Preschool Teacher (Year-Round)
Jolene hails from Plattsburgh, New York (an hour from the Canadian border), but moved to Connecticut as a child. She holds degrees in both Early Childhood Education and Social Work and has an extensive history of work with young children. She taught preschool for many years, later taking on roles as administrator then family advocate. Now that her own children are teenagers, she finds more time to enjoy her butterfly garden, vegetable beds, koi pond, and work with rescue dogs. Jolene especially enjoys bringing nature alive for our children--both inside and outside the classroom. She has truly found her home here at Cheshire Nursery School!
Katheryn Turner, Toddler Teacher (Year-Round)
Katheryn earned her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education at Lynchburg University, after receiving her Child Development Associate credential from Naugatuck Valley Community College. She spent several years working with all ages at the NVCC Child Development Center, receiving rave reviews from her professors and master teacher. Katheryn also teaches music, and is known to bring her guitar, aka "Harmony", to share her musical gifts with the children. She is an experienced local farm-sitter, who has also taught horsemanship skills to children.
Founding Director, Mentor
Jan Romo’s career in education spans over 40 years. Her formal background took place at Southern Connecticut State University and Bank Street College of Education in NYC. She received her Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, and later her 6th Year Certification in School Administration and Supervision. She has been mentored and inspired by some of the top educational leaders in the field, and has in turn, mentored a handful of the most talented up-and-coming early childhood professionals.
Jan began her career teaching kindergarten and first grade at the West Hills Magnet School, an experimental program bringing Hamden and New Haven children together for instruction. With its expansion to a K-8 program, Jan’s role shifted to Staff Developer where she became a “teacher of teachers” and was responsible for the development and assessment of the school’s curriculum. Her hard work and dedication ultimately brought her promotion to West Hills K-8 principal, where she worked closely with every aspect that affected her 700 students.
After 29 years at West Hills, she was appointed to Supervisor of Early Childhood Education, overseeing 4,000 New Haven pre-k and kindergarten students. Involved with writing curriculum standards and a variety of School Readiness and Head Start initiatives, Jan led the city in appreciating the importance of developmentally-appropriate early education.
Jan has held an adjunct professorship at SCSU, teaching “Integrated Curriculum for Pre-K & Kindergarten" and worked as an educational consultant for area nursery school programs. She is a past co-president of NHAEYC--the New Haven Chapter of the Association for the Education of Young Children, and past co-chair of programs, where she shared responsibility for developing and presenting professional workshops for the Early Childhood community.
Following two prior attempts at retirement from her illustrious career in education, Jan fell in love with the one-room schoolhouse in Cheshire, and became the founding Director of what was to become the most exceptional education experience for young children anywhere!
After ten years of hard work, dedication and the love she poured into our very special school, Miss Jan celebrated her final year as director, but continues in an active role at CNS. Teaching Spanish, mentoring the staff, and making her expertise available to families are just a few of the ways Miss Jan continues to shape the CNS experience!