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. This team of dedicated individuals brings in excess of 90 years of experience teaching young children. The average tenure of our staff is over 10 years. Additionally, each staff member brings to St John’s a rich background of prior experience including teaching preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, and running an after school program. The school is guided by a Director and seven 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.
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!
My happiest moments are those spent working with children. After graduating from high school, I worked with special needs children and later went on to pursue a degree in Elementary Education. I’m originally from central New York, but also resided in Connecticut before moving to Westwood five years ago. In the past, I have worked as a Preschool Teacher, a Kindergarten teacher and 1st and 2nd grade teacher. I have also worked as a Remedial Reading Teacher and Tutor.
After becoming a mother myself, I was fortunate to enroll both my son and daughter into St. John’s and Clapboardtree Nursery Schools and fell in love with the school and its caring and warm staff. I can’t imagine a better home for myself, as I dive back into the workforce after staying at home with my own children for the past few years. When I’m not enjoying all the smiles and sweet stories I hear from my students at SJNS, I love spending time traveling with my own family. My husband and I are both avid Syracuse University sports fans and you may see our family wearing ORANGE on any given game day. We also love the beach and enjoy spending some of our summer days in Martha’s Vineyard.
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!
I have been teaching preschool for 18 years, first inspired by visits to my own children’s preschool in Holliston, where I’ve lived for the past 30 years with my family. While working as a teacher’s assistant in Hopkinton, I earned lead teacher certification, then took a co-teaching position with three-year olds in Sherborn, before spending ten-years here at St. John’s. Two years ago, I left St. John’s when offered a chance to work in a pre-K classroom; now, I could not be happier to be back, teaching those three-year olds once again with Mrs. Cuoco, creating an environment that believes in the power of play. I love watching the children as they gain confidence, become independent, and learn how to believe in themselves and “play nicely” with others, all while embracing the wonder of the world around them. I want them to look forward to coming to school, to enjoy their time here, to explore and discover, to create and imagine. When I am not in the classroom, I enjoy reading, baking, the beach, my family, and my grand dog, a lemon beagle named Buddy.
My name is Carolyn Howard and I am very excited to continue my career at St. John’s Nursery School. I earned my Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Boston College and have been teaching Pre-K and Kindergarten students in the surrounding communities for over 20 years. My experience working with many educators, across a variety of settings, has helped me to grow in a field I am passionate about. It is rewarding to guide children at this stage of their lives and watch them learn and grow.
When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three daughters – from rooting on the Pats at Gillette Stadium to spending summers on Cape Cod.
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!
I have always loved working with young children and am honored to be the newest member of the faculty at St. John’s Nursery School.
After graduating with a Bachelors degree in Communication Disorders, I provided Early Intervention services before going on to work at Boston Children’s Hospital for 6 years. When I became a stay-at-home mom, I started a licensed home day care, which was an experience I enjoyed immensely.
Having seen how much my daughter loved, learned and thrived at St John’s, I feel so excited to join the same team of dedicated and loving teachers that nurtured her, so that I might help future students thrive as she did. My experience as a St John’s parent, left me with so many heart warming memories. I often observed the young learners in her class enjoying a book, singing a song, or laughing with each other. I hope I can help future students make such heart-warming memories too!
I believe that 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 preschool activities are: sitting with a child in my lap reading an exciting story, exploring with watercolors at 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 in the 90’s, 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 with the merger and continue to love, laugh and learn everyday!