OUR STAFF

Vickie Anderson — Preschool Director

Vickie received a B.S. degree in Special Education and Elementary Education from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She has had experience teaching children as a Learning Disabilities Resource Room teacher in Ohio, a Special Education Pre-vocational teacher in Arlington, Massachusetts, and has 20 years combined experience teaching preschoolers at various ages in Ohio, Michigan and Connecticut. Vickie moved from Rochester Hills, Michigan in 2011, with her husband, Bob, to Glastonbury. They have three children: Ashley (husband, Jeff and granddaughter, Emory) and Alex live in Colorado; Brad temporarily lives in LA and is completing his internship for graduate school. In her spare time, Vickie enjoys walking her dog, Cooper, cooking, singing and spending time with her husband exploring their new home state of Connecticut.

Seema Anup — Assistant Teacher with Traci-Lynn Fox  |  3s Classes

Seema was born and brought up in India where she received her master’s degree in Physics. She has worked as a substitute teacher in the Rocky Hill public schools for several years and has been a substitute teacher in preschools. She actively participates in the community outreach programs and high school re-imagined projects in the CREC Two Rivers magnet school in Hartford. Seema’s favorite pastime hobbies are reading and spending quality time with her family. Seema and her husband live in Rocky Hill with their two daughters, Amritha and Akshaya.

Maryalice Bighinatti — Assistant Teacher with Jamie Tinker & 
                                                                   Head Teacher for Full Day Add-On Option Class

Maryalice received her B.S. in Accounting from CCSU. She has had experience in teaching children as a religious education volunteer for 15 years. She worked at The Travelers and The Hartford before she opened a family home daycare in Rocky Hill for six years. Maryalice loves working with children. She is an enthusiastic and fun-loving professional with a passion for early childhood education. She enjoys reading, cooking, walking and spending time with her family. Maryalice and her husband, Ron, live in Rocky Hill and have three children; Carolyn, Christine and Danny.

Martina Daxerer-Cacioli — Assistant Teacher with Phoebe Ostergren  |  4s

Martina was born and raised in Tyrol, Austria. She received her degree in  Tourism from the University of Innsbruck. She has worked for tourist boards in St. Anton, Maurach, Tyrol, the Austrian Trade Board, and Swarovski Crystal Worlds. She has been very active in the Wethersfield Public schools volunteering several years in a kindergarten class at Emerson Williams and working with the PTO. Martina has worked for four years as a Para-educator. She enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, crafting, skiing and hiking. Martina and her husband, Michael, live in Wethersfield. They have two children; Daniel and Katharina.

Kristin Hacker — Assistant Teacher  |  4s/Pre-K Class

Kristin is thrilled and thankful to be joining the teaching staff this year. A Connecticut native, she spent 10 years at The Hartford, teaching employee development classes and writing new hire curriculum. Since 2009, Kristin has devoted her time to being an at-home parent, becoming actively involved at First Church Preschool, where she has two years of experience substitute teaching. Kristin has supported our Parent Committee for the past four years and is in her second year as co-chair. She lives in Old Wethersfield with her husband, Mark, and sons James (a First Church Preschool graduate and Luke (currently enrolled in Mrs. Tinker's Pre-K class and Mrs. Bighinatti's Add-On class.) Kristin loves gardening and quilting. When she is not spending time with her boys, she can be found walking the family coonhound, Lily, around town.

Traci-Lynn Fox — Head Teacher  |  3s AM Classes

Traci-Lynn received her Early Childhood Education from Middlesex Community College followed by her B.A. in Child Psychology from CCSU. In 2005, she received her Master of Library Science (MLS). Throughout the year, Traci-Lynn has substituted in the Children's Department at the Wethersfield Public Library. Her passion of working with children (in the library or the classroom) has also led her to develop preschool curriculum. Traci-Lynn enjoys cooking, baking and decorating her home. Traci-Lynn and her husband, Brian, live in Glastonbury. They have three children: Christopher and twins, Nicholas and Riley-Ann. The twins are First Church of Christ Nursery School graduates.

Patricia Gilbert — Administrative Assistant

Pat received her B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education from CCSU and has her M.A. degree in Pastoral Counseling from St. Joseph University. She is retired from her Christian Counseling private practice of ten years (and from teaching our Older 4s class of one year!) Pat enjoys anything equine, reading, and cafe' lattes. Pat and her husband, David (Director of Communications of First Church) live in Rocky Hill. They have three adult children and three grandchildren: Paul, Jennifer (with her husband, Steve, son, Cole and daughter, Grace), and Eric (with his wife, Joelle, and son, Otis.)

Nicole Hannon — Head Teacher |  4s 4-Day Class

Nicky graduated from CCSU with a B.A. in English and Psychology, with many Education courses mixed in as well. With an opportunity to study and live in England for a semester, Nicky developed a love and appreciation for travel. Nicky then taught for seven years at Saint Thomas the Apostle Pre-K, and is excited to continue teaching in the nurturing world of preschool at First Church. Having grown up in Connecticut, Nicky is currently living in Glastonbury with her husband, Mike, and their blessing, Owen. Her family loves to visit the local farms, take walks to the park and find as much joy and lightheartedness in being together as they can. In addition to travel, Nicky loves to read, attend yoga classes, bake and be mom (“my greatest role to date”).

Donna Luce — Assistant Teacher with Sharon Shaw |  3s PM Classes

Donna studied Christian Education at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. She has a long history of teaching children in a church school setting. She directed Children's Ministries by leading, recruiting and training in several church environments. Donna and her husband, David, live in New Britain and have two adult children, Stephen and Sarah and three grandchildren, Sage, Breyla and Kristian. She enjoys walking, kayaking, biking, bird watching and cross-country skiing.

Gabriella Marandino — Head Teacher  |  4s/Pre-K Class

Gabby received her B.A. in Human Services with a Concentration in Speech Pathology at Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts. She worked one year at the Saint Thomas the Apostle Pre-K Program in their 4s class and Aftercare Program. She is currently taking courses at the University of Hartford for an M.A. in Elementary Education. Gabby lives in West Granby, and enjoys any activity outdoors! She also loves to color and paint, and is very excited to be teaching at First Church.

Phoebe Ostergren — Head Teacher  |  4s Classes

Phoebe received her B.S. degree in Mathematics from Russell Sage College in New York state. She worked at The Travelers Insurance Company before becoming a stay-at-home mom. After raising her young children, Phoebe returned to work to pursue her new-found passion in Early Childhood Education. She earned her Child Development Associate (CDA) credential in September of 2011, and is in her ninth year on staff. Phoebe enjoys jogging, scrapbooking and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Daryl, live in Wethersfield. They have two teenage daughters, Leah and Bethany, who are both First Church Nursery School graduates.

Sharon Shaw — Head Teacher | 3s PM Class

Sharon received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education from The College of New Jersey and her M.A. degree in Special Education from Keane University. She has had over thirty years experience in the education field. Sharon has been a full time pre-school teacher for the past eight years, and has acted as a consultant for children with disabilities. Sharon and her husband, Keith, reside in Glastonbury and have three grown children, Emily, Erica and Jonathan. In her spare time, Sharon enjoys spending time with her family on the Maine coast and enjoys reading, walking and swimming. Sharon's oldest child, Emily, was a First Church Nursery School graduate in 1988.

Lynn Sunshine — Assistant Teacher with Nicki Hannon  |   4s 4-Day Class | Science      Resource Consultant and Chapel Leader | Assistant Teacher in Extended Sessions

Lynn loves children and is a Deacon of our church. She received a B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from Michigan State University. She has also earned an R.N. degree. Lynn also has 6 credit hours in Children's Ministries and Worship. In her spare time, Lynn enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and hiking. Lynn and her husband, Glenn, live in Newington. They have two adult children—Brendan, a college student, and daughter Elizabeth.

Jamie Tinker — Head Teacher  |  Pre-K Class and Extended Sessions

Jamie is beginning her sixth year on our teaching staff. She is passionate about helping children grow socially and emotionally. Jamie looks forward to getting to know and working with your children. Jamie is currently enrolled at Ashworth College, working toward her Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. For several years, she has directed the music program for the First Church Vacation Bible Camp. Jamie has been a hairstylist for 19 years, and works part time at Hair Zone in Middetown.  In her spare time, Jamie enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, playing at the beach and camping. Jamie and her husband, Jeff, live in Wethersfield. They have three children: KarLeigh,  KaitLynn, and Luke.