Our teachers blend the highest standards in early childhood development with nurturing care.

Laura, Owner A graduate of Columbia University’s Teachers College and The Pingry School where also she taught English, leadership, and mindfulness for ten years, Laura is the owner and visionary for The Goddard School of Millburn. In 2002, Laura wrote that “the purpose of education is to simultaneously prepare our children for the world, and to craft a better world for them to inhabit. When we consider the question, “what is the purpose of education?” we might really be asking “what is the purpose of human life? And how might we actualize this purpose together?” A lifetime of study, reflection, and joyful perseverance has manifested in one answer: The Goddard School of Millburn.

Inspired by a lifelong commitment to teaching and learning, a recognition of education’s vital role in human achievement, and a sense of urgency regarding the importance of early childhood development, Laura is honored to be the owner of a world-class Goddard preschool. Laura is thrilled to be fulfilling her life’s purpose with her husband Sean by her side: raising their four daughters - Laxmi, Padma Kara, Anjali and Seraphine- and bringing the Goddard School of Millburn to life!


Mary, Director As the Director of our school, Mary has been working with children and teachers for more than twenty-seven years. Most recently, Mary has served as the Executive Director of an all-girls’ school in the Bronx. During her fourteen-year tenure with a charter-school network, she served as Chief Academic Officer and Director of Professional Development and Instruction, providing leadership mentoring, school operations and human resource support, supportive supervision and professional development to charter-partner schools in multiple states. Mary also served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction and Interim School Director at New Horizons Community Charter School in Newark, NJ. Additionally, Mary worked as a site program coordinator/ counselor for Aspira, Inc., a non-profit agency servicing minority youth in New Jersey. Through the years, Mary has provided professional development for principals and teachers in the use of research-based instructional practices, bilingual and dual-language instruction, data analysis to increase student achievement, curriculum planning and behavior management, and other topics that impact teaching, learning and school operations.

Mary worked as a classroom teacher for seven years, and she holds an M.A. in Teaching with a concentration in Supervision and Administration.

Mary says: “I believe that life is about acquiring knowledge and sharing that knowledge with others. Whether working with children to build their educational foundation and exposing them to a world of learning adventure or working with teachers to make them better educators, my passion is always giving children the best opportunities. First and foremost, young children need a safe and nurturing environment to explore and learn through fun experiences. As an educator, I strongly believe in creating an engaging environment where children are offered a variety of experiences that instill in them a life-long love of learning.”


Samantha, Assistant Director Ms. Samantha is our Assistant Director. For the six years prior to her work at Goddard Millburn, Ms. Samantha has served as an Assistant Director and teacher at two preschools in Connecticut. As an assistant director, she was responsible for the on-boarding and training of teachers, supervising curriculum implementation, observing faculty, providing feedback, and more. Prior to this she worked in Brooklyn at the Dual Language School for International Studies. She has a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education with a Bilingual Extension, and she is a native speaker of both Spanish and English. When asked about her favorite subjects to teach, she says is most energized about math and science. She teaches these subjects on a daily basis with a Spanish immersion, play-based approach.


Maria, Lead Teacher Maria has eight years of early childhood experience working as a caregiver for multiple children of different ages, infant through pre-kindergarten. Maria is energetic, patient, dedicated, reliable, and vigilant. As a native Spanish speaker, fluent in English, Maria supports lead teachers in the toddler classroom. When asked about her goals as a teacher, Maria says that she wants to help children learn to think creatively, solve problems independently, and respects themselves and others.


Ashley, Lead Teacher Currently, Ashley is earning her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Piano from Kean University.  She has more than three years of Mandarin Teaching experience at the preschool and toddler level ages 2-6.  Ms. Ashley believes that every child is unique, and the job of a teacher is to adapt to the needs and interest of each child. She also recognizes that children must feel loved and nurtured in order to learn and realize their potential.


Tracey, Lead Teacher Ms. Tracey comes to Goddard with more than a decade of experience working in early childhood education. A passionate teacher with a keen sense of classroom management and organization, Ms. Tracey has a mature understanding of child development and a desire to inspire! Described as a teacher who lovingly nurtures her students as a mother, she is highly skilled at connecting and communicating with children. Ms. Tracey is a team player – confident, creative, hardworking, and motivated. When asked what she loves most about teaching, she highlights that “teachers change the world, one student at a time!” Having that meaningful purpose and being an integral part of children’s development is why she became a teacher. Ms. Tracey works in our infant and toddler programs.


Nieve, Lead Teacher Ms. Nieve is a native Spanish speaker who earned her BA in Modern Language, and has worked with infants, preschool, and school-age children for more than ten years. Ms. Nieve believes there are several essential elements that make learning possible: The teacher should act as a guide and provide students with hands-on activities so they can learn through experience and play. Also, the children must feel safe and happy in their environment, and that a teacher must assess student progress and adjust as necessary. Ms. Nieve is a passionate teacher who wants to help all children reach their potential!


Yu Fan, Lead Teacher Yu Fan (Fannie) joins the Goddard Millburn faculty as the Mandarin teacher to our toddlers in the Navigator’s classroom. Holding a Masters of Arts in Teaching and a New Jersey Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing in Early Childhood Education, Fannie has seven years of teaching experience. Fannie has served as an infant and toddler room Lead Teacher for more than three years, so she is well versed in all aspects of childcare from birth to three. Fannie has taught in both Chinese and English-speaking schools, and she is excited to join the trilingual mission of The Goddard School of Millburn!

Yu Fan

Ms Katherine, Lead Teacher Ms. Katherine has been teaching in educational childcare for more than thirteen years with children of all ages - infant, toddler, preschool and prekindergarten. She earned her bachelor's in Education from Universidad Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and her certification in Early Childhood Education from University of Maryland, College Park. When asked what energizes her most about teaching in the infant program at The Goddard School she states: “I love to connect with students and watch them grow into great people. I get excited about making a difference in their lives every day.” Ms. Katherine believes that “teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best!” (Bob, Talbert). Being able to continue her passion at The Goddard School of Millburn motivates her to be the best toddler teacher she can be!

Ms Katherine

Venice, Lead Teacher Ms. Venice comes to Goddard with lead teacher experience, a Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University, and a passion for early childhood care. As a lead teacher, Ms. Venice is acquainted with designing lesson plans that engage children and help them learn through play. When asked why she loves teaching, Ms. Venice talks about the magic of facilitating student growth and playing an integral part in children and family’s lives. She says that great teachers have an ability to create a safe and warm environment in which children feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things. Good teaching always balances setting structures, routines, and expectations with freedom and flexibility. At Millburn Goddard, Ms. Venice is a Lead Teacher in our Toddler’s program.


Jaleesah, Lead Teacher Ms. Jaleesah is a teacher in our emerging preschool, toddler program and she comes to us with more than two years of teaching experience in educational childcare. She earned her associates degree in Early Childhood Education, she plans to continue her education with degrees in Special Education and Spanish. When asked what thrills her most about teaching at The Goddard School she states: “I am excited every day to participate in the development of young children. I enjoy serving as a guide who can help children learn through their experiences, and I aspire to be a teacher they will remember their entire life.” Ms. Jalessah’s favorite book is I am a Teacher by John W. Schlatter because it describes her motivation for working as an early childhood educator. During her free time, she enjoys painting and crafting.


Angelica, Lead Teacher Ms. Angelica comes to Goddard with significant experience in early childhood education and a passion for teaching, learning, and nurturing. As a former Assistant Director and Supervisor of Curriculum, she mentored teachers in lesson planning and curriculum development, and she participated in the hiring process to identify excellence teachers. Now, Angelica is excited to return full-time to the classroom to work with students in our Preschool classroom. She believes that great teachers create loving classroom environments in which children feel safe to be themselves and to take risks in the learning process.


Chen, Lead Teacher Ms. Chen a graduate of Columbia University’s Teacher’s College earned her Masters’ Degree in Bilingual and Bicultural Education. A warm, nurturing, and experienced teacher, Ms. Chen has taught all ages from infant through school-age. Most recently, Ms. Chen taught preschool at a Mandarin immersion school where she designed lesson plans and implemented activities in the Preschool classroom. Ms. Chen believes that education (and bi-lingual education, in particular) simultaneously empowers children’s independence as it helps them discover and articulate their own thoughts and feelings for the first time while it also forges communal ties and cultural understanding within the context of the larger world. Ms. Chen is excited to join Millburn Goddard’s mission in our Preschool classroom.


Ms Tatiana, Lead Teacher Ms. Tatiana has been teaching with The Goddard School franchise for fifteen years as an early-childhood educator. She has her CDA credentials in Toddlers and Preschool education, and she has taught nearly every age group - infants, toddlers, preschool, and prekindergarten. This year, she serves as a Spanish language teacher for our emerging preschoolers. When asking Ms. Tatiana what excites her most about teaching at Goddard and she states: “being able to spend my days with children, and not only teach them, but also learn new things myself, makes every day exciting!” Mrs. Tatiana truly loves working in educational childcare and spending time at home with her two sons.

Ms Tatiana

Guadalupe, Lead Teacher Ms. Lupe began comes to Millburn with more than a decade of teaching experience in early-childhood education. With a Bachelor’s degree from Caldwell University, Ms. Lupe is consistently highlighted as a dedicated, team player who loves to collaborate with parents and colleagues to benefit children. When asked about what makes a teacher of young children effective, she states that observing children closely and finding creative ways to communicate on their level are key components to success. Ms. Lupe believes it is important to model collaboration and communication skills within a safe, loving, nurturing environment. Her favorite subject to teach young children is art because it is joyful and useful. The art making process helps children explore, learn important things through play, develop independence and cultivate their own unique voice. A native Spanish speaker and bilingual in English, Ms. Lupe a Spanish teacher in our Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten programs.


Kristen, Lead Teacher Ms. Kristen has worked in early childhood education for more than seventeen years, six of which she served as a Director at another New Jersey Goddard School. Kristen balances the highest expectations for her students with the tremendous love, encouragement, joy, and enthusiasm which is innate to the best early-childhood educators. Kristen also brings a keen sense of organization and experience which make the integration of English, Mandarin and Spanish, in conjunction with science, math, coding, literacy, phonics, art, music, social-emotional and character development, chess, sports (etc.) seamless and powerful. Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in History with an Elementary Education Certification from William Paterson University.


zemin, Lead Teacher Ms. Zemin is a Mandarin preschool and pre-kindergarten teacher who has experience working with children in various educational settings including the AmeriCorps and STARTALK; she has also worked as a teaching assistant both at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon while pursuing her bachelor's and master’s degrees. Ms. Zemin earned her bachelor’s degree in Teaching Mandarin as a Foreign Language and her master’s degree in Foreign Language Education. When asked what thrills her most about teaching at The Goddard School she states: “I am very excited to share the Mandarin language and the Chinese culture with the children and watch them grow as dual-language students.” Ms. Zemin believes that a great teacher is also a great learner who observes and adjusts to the needs of her students.


Anyela, Lead Teacher Ms. Anyela has thirteen-years of experience working with children in educational childcare settings including dual-language models and Montessori preschool programs. She earned her bachelor's degree in Arts and Humanities with a concentration in bilingual education and Modern Languages, and she also holds her associates in Bilingual Childhood Education. When asking Ms. Anyela what excites her most about teaching at The Goddard School she states: “Children are the future of the world. As a teacher, I contribute to their learning process by guiding them to experience every opportunity to grow as learners.” Ms. Anyela says that she loves spending time with her two sons, and shares that “being a mother is the biggest joy of my life.” She also says that she wants to share that love with her Pre-Kindergarten students at the Goddard School of Millburn.


Jane, Lead Teacher Our full-time Mandarin teacher in the Voyagers, Junior-Kindergarten classroom, Jane, has seven years of teaching experience from ages 4-12 years old. A Full-Bright scholar and a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law, Jane’s passion has always been centered on children and families, education and social justice. Jane is excited to join the mission of the Millburn Goddard School because she hopes to nurture our children and spark curiosity with regard to the Mandarin language, Chinese culture, and global thinking. Jane believes that education (particularly Early Childhood Education) is the most powerful tool we have to change our world for the better.


Lauren, Lead Teacher Ms. Lauren has been working in early childhood education for almost fifteen years and taught all ages from birth to school age. A seasoned teacher well versed in all aspects of curriculum and pedagogy, Lauren most recently served as the designee Director while teaching Pre-Kindergarten. Additionally, with her experience as a public-school kindergarten teacher, Lauren is skilled in planning lessons and implementing a range of activities across all subjects. Described as an excellent professional whose strengths range from communication with children, parents, and colleagues to creative lesson plan development, Lauren enjoys working with students in small groups and tailoring her lessons to fit their needs. With a Bachelors in Family and Child Studies from Montclair State University, Lauren is an English teacher in our Junior-Kindergarten classroom.


Tanesha, Lead Teacher Ms. Tanesha is our Junior-Kindergarten teacher. She has worked in educational childcare for more than fifteen years. During that time, she served as both a teacher and director, working with families and children of all ages. She believes in the power of play-based learning to create memorable, transformative, and teachable moments in children of all ages from infancy through preschool. Ms. Tanesha has her bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences from Rowan University. When asked about what excites her most about teaching at The Goddard School, she says: “I enjoy creating a vibrant environment for children and families to learn, play, and grow. I love creating and participating in teachable moments where the children can shine in their own unique way.” Ms. Tanesha is a big fan of Dr. Seuss. Her favorite book is Oh, The Places You’ll Go and her favorite Dr. Seuss quote is “there’s no one in the world that’s you-er than you.” In Ms. Tanesha’s free time she enjoys reading, going out with her family, and eating great food. The sky is the limit in the Voyagers classroom!


Amanda, Assistant Teacher Ms. Amanda comes to Goddard with one-year of formal early-childhood experience and her Child Development Associate Certification. A native Spanish speaker, Ms. Amanda has experience assisting teachers with the development and implementation of lesson plans, and mentoring students on an individual and group basis. Ms. Amanda is detail-oriented, resourceful, highly-organized, friendly and loving. Ms. Amanda assists teachers in our infant classrooms.


Cindy, Assistant Teacher Ms. Cindy has been working as Spanish teacher for the last eighteen years. With an early childhood certification and a Spanish-teaching certification, she assists in our toddler program. When asked about her care-giving philosophy, Cindy believes that it is important for a teacher to be curious, creative, open-minded, caring, and enthusiastic, so she can support these qualities in her children.


Viviana, Assistant Teacher Ms. Viviana comes to Goddard with a nearly twenty-years of formal teaching in early-childhood education, a Child Development Associate Certification and experience raising her own four children. As a teacher in our preschool program, Ms. Viviana partners with teachers to build and implement lesson plans which achieve classroom objectives. Ms. Viviana believes it's important to support student learning in small groups and on an individual basis during independent exploration. When asked about her educational philosophy, Ms. Viviana explains that, "children are active, creative, and wonderfully curious, and they are unhappy if they remain unchallenged." Ms. Viviana loves the magical moment when children understand something for the first time. She encourages all children to reach their potential by infusing her classroom with love, patience and enthusiasm.


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