One of St. John's most valuable assets is our teaching staff. Each teacher holds a college degree, is certified in CPR and First Aid, and is a certified Early Childhood Educator. We benefit from a very low turnover rate. Each staff member brings to St. John's a rich background of prior experience including teaching kindergarten, teaching preschool, as well as owning and operating a daycare. St. John's Nursery School is governed by a parent board. Day-to-day operations of the school are handled by the Director.
Michele Cooke, School Director and Co-Lead Teacher, 3 year-old Class
BA, Westfield State University
MEd, Lesley University
Michele Cooke spent a decade in education as a Special Education assistant and Kindergarten teacher prior to opening her own child care/preschool program. In 2014, she joined St. John’s as Director and co-lead teacher in the 3 year-program. The wife and mother of three believes that teaching in the community where she lives is a blessing. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible” -- Walt Disney
Becky Cuoco, Co-Lead Teacher, 3 year-old Class
BFA, UMass Dartmouth
Prior to joining St. John’s in 2004, Becky Cuoco worked for a number of years in elementary education serving as a Site Coordinator at Mason-Rice’s afterschool program in Newton and as a Preschool teacher at Children’s World Walpole. A wife and mom of two girls, Ms. Cuoco enjoys outdoor activities, gardening, golfing and working within the Westwood community of parents and teachers. Ms. Cuoco received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
Louise Sennott, Co-Lead Teacher, 4 year-old Class (Morning)
BS, UMass Amherst
Prior to joining Clapboardtree Nursery School in 2003, Louise Sennott owned and ran her own daycare business for 8 years. She holds an EEC Teacher Certification in addition to a dual Bachelor of Science UMass Amherst in Business and Fashion Merchandising. Ms. Sennott joined St. John’s in 2015 as Lead Teacher of the 4 year-old morning class.
Tracy Kelly, Co-Lead Teacher, 4 year-old Class (Morning)
BA, St. Joseph’s University
MS, Wheelock College
No stranger to the St. John’s and Clapboardtree program, Westwood resident and mother or four, Tracy Kelly was able to gain a parent’s perspective as her two youngest children attended both schools. She is still actively involved as a parent in Westwood public education in addition to serving as Co-Lead teacher in the 4 year-old morning class at St. John’s beginning in 2015. Mrs. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in International Relations from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and a Master degree in Early Education from Wheelock College.
Nancy Isberg, Teacher Aide, 4 year-old Class (Morning)
BS, Framingham State
After completing her Bachelors of Science in Education from Framingham State, Nancy Isberg started teaching Kindergarten in Watertown Public Schools. Her career continued with teaching at laboratory schools on college campuses such as Wellesley College, Northeastern and Connecticut College. She was the afternoon teacher at Clapboardtree Nursery School for 12 years before joining St John's Nursery School in 2015 as co-lead teacher of the morning 4 year-old class.
Brita Gleason, Lead Teacher, 4 year-old Class (Afternoon)
BS, Wheelock College
Brita Gleason started at Clapboardtree Nursery School in 1996 and continued there for 18 years, before coming on as the Lead Teacher in the 4 year-old Afternoon Class at St. John’s. Prior to Mrs. Gleason joining Clapboardtree, she spent 11 years at the Watertown Cooperative Nursery School, with three of those years served as Director. Mrs. Gleason holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Wheelock College.
Debby Neidermire, Assistant Teacher, 4 year-old Class (Afternoon)
Debby Neidermire joined Clapboardtree Nursery School in 2003, before moving abroad with her family in 2005. The mother of four children,
she has lived in Mexico City, Singapore and Japan. In 2013, she returned to Clapboardtree and remained there before joining St. John’s
in 2015 as the Assistant Teacher in the 4 year-old afternoon class.
Ms. Neidermire holds a Department of Early Education and Care/Professional Child Care Qualifications Registry Certificate to teach preschool, and attended both Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY as well as St. Rose College in Albany, NY.
BS, Providence College
After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Providence College, Coreen Donlon worked in for 10 years in the business world before marrying and becoming a mom of four wonderful children. She currently works as a substitute teacher at both Westwood Integrated Preschool as well as St. John’s where she works with the 3 year-old class one day a week. Mrs. Donlon is committed to supporting the children as they learn valuable skills through play and socialization.
Kris Blue, Literacy Specialist
BA, Wheelock College
MA, Simmons College
MA, Wheelock College
Kris Blue started as a Literacy Specialist at Clapboardtree in 1999 and has also been an Assistant Teacher at the school. In 2009, she became Clapboardtree's Nursery School Director. She is currently the Literacy Specialist at St John’s, primarily working with the 4 year-old class.
Ms. Blue’s previous work in education includes teaching kindergarten in Westwood for 10 years. She holds two Master's degrees in Reading and Children's Literature, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Kris Blue was also recently honored by the Westwood Education Foundation for her contribution to education excellence.