graphic 105 College Avenue, Medford, MA 02155 | Phone: (617) 627-3434 | Fax: (617) 627-2630
graphic Tufts UniversityEliot-Pearson Children's School


About The School

   - Program Information
   - Program Philosophy
   - Guiding Principles
   - Calendar
   - Special Rights
   - Anti-Bias Education
   - Frequently Asked Questions
   - Staff
   - What is a Lab School?
   - Observation Procedures


   - Process
   - Tuition and Financial



Natural Playground




School Vacation Program

Summer Program

Info for Current Families

Contact Us & Directions

2017 Winter Performance

About The School


Each classroom is staffed by a team of teachers. There is a Head Teacher, a Graduate Teaching Assistant and often a student teacher or field worker.

Administrative Staff

Hanna Gebretensae

Hanna Gebretensae joined Eliot-Pearson the summer of 2013 as the new Director. Prior to that, she was the Director of Early Childhood Programs at Aspire Institute/Wheelock College. She has extensive experience in the field of early education and care including direct services, administration of programs, teacher education, training/technical assistance, mentoring, anti-bias curriculum/cultural competency and policy work across Massachusetts and nationally. Hanna has been a program director at Acorn Center for Early Education and Care, a bilingual Chinese/English center and a Mentor-Director for early childhood programs in Boston supporting accreditation and quality of programs in the city. She is a diversity trainer certified by Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and various programs and organizations. Hanna has held adjunct faculty positions at Lesley University, Wheelock College and the Urban College of Boston on a variety of early childhood topics. Prior to coming to the US, Hanna also managed early childhood program development and projects in East Africa and worked with UNICEF. Hanna received her B.A. from Lesley College, with a degree in Human Development and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She received her masters from Harvard University on Educational Administration, Planning, and Policy. She also holds a certificate in Educating Children with Special Needs from the Goldameir International Training College in Haifa, Israel. A CAYL Fellow in Early Care and Education Policy, Hanna is now a doctoral candidate completing her dissertation in the Educational Leadership Program with concentration on curriculum and Instruction.

Daila Davila-Gonzalez
Associate Director and Special Rights Coordinator

Daila Davila-Gonzalez joined EPCS as the Associate Director, Special Rights Coordinator at in 2013. Her area of concentration was Early Childhood Development, specifically bilingual language acquisition in children. Daila has been in education for more than ten years as a teacher, a preschool director and an education and disabilities Specialist for Child Care Choices of Boston and ABCD South Side Head Start. She developed Bilingual Bebé, a publication geared for families and educators raising and educating bilingual children and has conducted numerous workshops locally and at area conferences in bilingual language acquisition, observations and assessment, curriculum and formative assessment systems. Daila was the Literacy Coach for the Tapping Academic Potential Project at the Urban College of Boston, where she evaluated and redesigned aspects of the curriculum for the developmental English courses in the TAP Project. Sh was an adjunct faculty at the Urban College of Boston in the Department of Early Childhood Education for four years, teaching in the regular and transitional bilingual program and is currently an adjunct faculty for the Pathways Program for Early Childhood Educators at Wheelock College's Aspire Institute. Most recently, Daila managed a statewide assessment grant where along with a team she developed and delivered training modules in the area of curriculum and assessment to Early Childhood Educators across the state. Daila holds her B.A. and M.A. from Boston College in Developmental and Educational Psychology.

Maria Hastings
School Coordinator

Maria comes to us from Needham Heights KinderCare where she held the position of an Assistant Director and has 23 years of experience as an administrator and educator in various educational settings. She has been a teacher, a director and an administrator in public/private programs and schools (PK-6) and an adjunct instructor teaching various college courses related to education and psychology. In her role as an administrator, Maria has managed budgets and payroll, monitored and maintained tuition accounts, assisted with financial aid programs to families, and participated in fundraising efforts. Maria has extensive knowledge in maintaining state licensing regulations and has assisted in National Accreditation processes & maintenance. She has effectively handled student and staff records in the areas of admissions, enrollment, financial aid, family/school events, and related tasks, ensuring all updates and requirements were being met at all times. Ensuring efficiency in school operations and creating a welcoming front office area that is inviting, professional and organized are very important to her. She is looking forward to bringing her expertise and enthusiasm to our school. Maria has a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's degree in Educational Administration.

Jennifer Cavazos
Staff Assistant

Jennifer joined the Eliot-Pearson Children's School as our staff assistant in January, 2012. Jen has worked in the Environmental Education and Youth Summer Camp fields for over 25 years. Working in the role of Executive Director at independent summer programs, Jen worked closely with the American Camp Association and served as a Board Member for the ACA New England chapter. Jen has developed and presented workshops on Character Development, Curriculum Development in the Experiential Learning Setting, Experientialism-Linking Outside of Class Time to the Classroom, and Models for Building Youth Programs. Jen loves the outdoors, enjoys gardening and spends early mornings dog-walking at a local cranberry bog. She grew up in Massachusetts and has lived and worked in Maine, Wyoming and California. Jen has a degree in Experiential Education from Lesley University in Cambridge.

Saameh Solaimani

Saameh has been in early childhood education for over 10 years teaching, conducting researching, and developing curriculum for children and for teachers. She was the lead teacher for the extended day program at EPCS last year. She enjoys exploring nature, yoga, photography, camping, running, salsa dancing, music, traveling, and family. Saameh holds her B.A. in psychology from the University of California, San Diego and her Master's in Education from Harvard's Graduate School of Education.

Head Teachers

Susan Sluyter
Head Teacher – First and Second Grade
Suzi comes to EPCS with 32 years of teaching experience, and joined us after 16 years of teaching at the King Open School in Cambridge. She has extensive experience in integrating reading, writing, math and science into a rich, creative, joyful and playful learning environment. Suzi particularly enjoys working in an integrated and culturally diverse setting, building a strong, safe, positive and active learning community, and helping children grow through inquiry based learning and hands-on projects. Suzi is certified as an Early Childhood Educator and a Teacher of Young Children with Special Needs. During her graduate studies she specialized in working with children on the Autism Spectrum. She received a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, and an M. Ed. from Lesley University. During the summer months, Suzi enjoys leading workshops for teachers about the Responsive Classroom approach to teaching and learning. She finds joy in nature, dancing, music, and in the connections she makes with both children and adults. Suzi loves spending time with her family and friends, gardening, hiking, reading, biking, traveling and learning about other cultures.

Lynne May Lim
Head Teacher – Kindergarten

Lynne May comes to EPCS with over twenty years of teaching in early childhood classrooms. She brings to EPCS her vast experience working with young children of diverse backgrounds and learning styles, and her unique perspective on anti-bias education. She strives to respond to the multiple ways young children learn and grow by designing and implementing interdisciplinary, project-based, and child-centered curriculum, including the use of multimedia resources to support children's inherent curiosities in the areas of literacy, science, engineering, and technology, math, and social studies. Lynne May works to affirm children's individual and collective identities explicitly and consistently by setting up a learning environment that encourages children to participate and lead in building and maintaining a welcoming, vibrant, inclusive, and just community. She is also an experienced and dedicated mentor to full-year graduate student interns in departments of early childhood education. When not teaching, Lynne May enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Her interests include drawing, imagining, writing, documenting and communicating using still and moving images, animated films, and dance. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching-Early Childhood Education from National-Louis University in Illinois, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of the Philippines.

Victor Bradley
Head Teacher – Preschool West

Victor comes to EPCS with twenty-two years of experience as an early childhood educator of children ages two to six in preschool and elementary school settings serving diverse communities. Victor has extensive experience in guiding young children through inquiry-based math and science learning using multi-faceted art and literacy mediums. Victor's approach to teaching and learning focuses on play-based classroom environments and how they encourage and nurture different modes of learning. Victor has worked with teams of teachers and specialists in pre-k and kindergarten classrooms where he designed, planned, and set up multi-sensory and interdisciplinary learning environments and delivered special support services to children. He brings with him a deep commitment to social justice in early childhood education settings through extensive experience with history, anti-bias, and anti-racist curriculum development and implementation. He has mentored graduate and undergraduate student interns from various Boston area colleges and universities. Victor has broad-based leadership and community-building experiences in classrooms, schools, and community-based organizations serving children, adults, and families from all walks of life. When not teaching, Victor enjoys going to the beach, being with his partner Sabina, who is also a teacher, being with his daughter Hazel, who is 4 ½, traveling to Montréal and London, and spending time with his parents in CT where he grew up. He holds a specialized Bachelor's of Science in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College.

Vanessa Cid
Head Teacher – Preschool East

Prior to joining EPCS, Vanessa worked in kindergarten and preschool classrooms in Boston Public Schools, with experience in planning and facilitating children's learning through expeditionary and emergent learning projects that integrate literacy, science, social studies and math projects. Vanessa has a strong commitment in nurturing the whole child. Through her experience teaching in bilingual and special education settings, she strives to gain a deep understanding of who the child is intellectually, emotionally, and socially and strive to create an environment and educational experiences that foster children's sense of self. Vanessa brings an innovative approach to teaching and learning through the integration of current research and best practices. Vanessa has developed storytelling curriculum in collaboration with Harvard's Making Learning Visible Project and a two-way bilingual school in Boston. She has solid experience working with children from diverse backgrounds and abilities, including dual language learners and children with mild to significant language and cognitive delays. Vanessa is particularly interested in young children's inner lives and she is currently pursuing advanced studies in child and adolescent intervention to enhance her knowledge of how art, play, and storytelling not only help with children's intellectual and language development, but also with their social emotional development. Vanessa constantly seeks to learn and grow as an educator, and surrounds herself with professional development experiences that will deepen her practice. In her spare time, Vanessa enjoys reading, writing, and riding her bicycle. She holds her Bachelor of Arts with a major in Classical Studies (Cum Laude) and two minors, one in Psychology and the other in Urban Education. She holds her Master's in Teaching from UMass Boston through the Boston Teacher Residency Program.

Teaching Assistants

Lauren Gabriel
Graduate Teaching Assistant – First/Second Grade
Lauren Gabriel is currently a second-year graduate student getting her Master's degree in Child Development from Tufts University. She joined the EPCS community last September as a teaching assistant in the Kindergarten classroom. This year, Lauren is looking forward to another year as a teaching assistant, but this time in First/ Second grade. Lauren supports many aspects of the Eliot-Pearson mission statement, such as the schools' approach to child-centered learning and the focus on inclusive education in the classroom. Prior to Tufts, Lauren graduated from the University of Rochester where she double-majored in Psychology and Spanish. In addition to her studies at Rochester, Lauren conducted research on child development and parent-child relationships, as well as ran hurdles for the varsity track and field team. Lauren is very interested in social and emotional development, specifically in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She spent the summer as a therapeutic counselor helping increase preschooler's social engagement and problem solving skills.

Esther Yen
Graduate Teaching Assistant – First/Second Grade
Esther is from Singapore and is looking forward to joining EPCS in fall 2015. She will be coming in as a first-year student in the MA Program in Child Development. After her graduation from the University of Wollongong, Australia, with a B.SC in Psychology in October 2014, she has been working as a behavioral therapist to autistic children at the Autism Recovery Network in Singapore. In her three-year undergraduate program, she was an assistant teacher at a Chiltern House pre-school in Singapore during her school term breaks. Being educated in Psychology, she wants to understand the nature of developmental delays in children and learn practical ways to help them overcome those. Esther loves children and has great passion for helping every child to realize his or her potential, be it within the classroom or in a community with other children. Her other interests include sports, travelling, photography, cooking and playing the drum.

Taylor Levesque
Graduate Teaching Assistant/Integrated Aid – First/Second Grade
Taylor is a recent graduate of Tufts University with a B.A. in Child Development and Psychology. During her undergraduate summers, Taylor worked as a counselor at a therapeutic summer day camp, Camp Triumph in North Reading, for children with special needs by helping them to set and achieve goals related to social skills building, emotional coping, and behavioral regulation. Taylor loved watching each child make “small triumphs” each day at camp in a positive, supportive environment and would love to one day continue to help children with special needs grow and thrive through a play-based therapeutic curriculum. Taylor also has experience working as a classroom teacher and swim instructor at a daycare in New Hampshire and working as an intern in the NICU at Tufts Medical Center creating educational materials for the caregivers of prematurely born children. Taylor is so excited to apply her knowledge and background in early childhood development to the classroom setting at Eliot-Pearson, but she also can't wait to learn more about how to best serve and empower children with social and emotional differences to succeed in the school setting. Originally from southern New Hampshire, Taylor enjoys spending time with friends and family, living an active lifestyle of running and being outdoors, listening to country music, taking photographs, and going to concerts. Taylor will be a graduate teaching assistant in the 1st and 2nd grade classroom.

Jane Lupica
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Kindergarten
Janie is very excited to join the EPCS community this year. She recently graduated from Tufts, double-majoring in Child Development and Spanish. During her time as an undergraduate, she worked in a variety of classroom environments ranging from a position as a Jumpstart Corps Member in a local Somerville preschool to a classroom assistant in a 4-year-old classroom in Montevideo, Uruguay, where she studied abroad for one year. In her senior year Janie worked in a kindergarten classroom at the AMIGOS School, a dual-immersion school in Cambridge, MA. In her free time Janie loves to sing, read and travel. She is passionate about creating a safe, engaging and accessible classroom environment for students and families.

Alexis (Lexi) Staver
Graduate Teaching Asistant – Kindergarten
Lexi is currently a Master's candidate at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. She graduated as a McNair Scholar with a B.A. in Psychology, minor in Child Development from San Jose State University, where she worked as a research assistant for the Department of Psychology. Her research experiences also include working as a summer research intern at Tufts University under the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program, for which she analyzed the relation between child maltreatment and socio-emotional development of young children. During her undergrad, she also worked as a teacher assistant at San Jose State's Associated Students Child Development Center. Her research interests include studying human development from early childhood into adolescence, specifically looking at the different ways events, occurring in early childhood, affect future development. She enjoys spending time outdoors, going to the beach, listening to music, and eating good food.

Margaret (Mei Mei) Yates
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Kindergarten
Mei Mei recently graduated from University of Oregon with a major in psychology and a minor in biology. She grew up in California but was born in Taiwan, which is where she got her nickname meaning "little sister." Mei Mei has spent time working in treatment facilities for abused and disturbed children, which has helped shape her interests in policy and socioemotional development differences in advantaged versus disadvantaged children. She worked in a variety of different labs at the UO and ultimately decided to go to Tufts for her Masters in child development because of the applied research opportunities and the faculty that are apart of the Eliot Pearson Program. Mei Mei is ecstatic to work in the Children's School this year as a graduate teaching assistant, where she will be able to work directly with a variety of different kids!

Gabriela Herrera
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Kindergarten Extended Day
Before joining ECPS, Gabriela worked for the past four years as a Head Teacher at La Escuelita Kindergarten School in Mexico City. She enjoyed learning about child development, particularly how individual differences in her students' personalities affect the way they acquire knowledge. Besides being a Head Teacher, she also contributed to the Extended Day Program where she taught creative dance lessons to parents and their children. Her lessons focused on movement and enriched motor coordination. They also developed music and social skills through dance exploration, obstacle courses, and folk dances. Gabriela's academic background in psychology has proved to be a great asset to better understand the links between personality and cognitive development. She holds a B.A in Psychology from Universidad de las Americas in Mexico City, and she is a certified Early Childhood Educator in Mexico. Gabriela's personal interests include running 5k races and photography

Ruth Barry
Assistant Teacher – Kindergarten Extended Day
Ruth is currently studying Child Development as an undergrad at Tufts University and plans to get her Masters in Teaching in Early Childhood Education with a focus on working in urban schools. She is so excited to be working in the Kindergarten classroom with Extended Day, as well as the front desk this year. She has loved working at EPCS during the school year and the summer because it is always fun to learn so much from the wonderful environment at EPCS. She is from St. Louis, Missouri and loved working with middle school aged children back home, but has found a new passion for early childhood here in Boston.

Laura Andreola
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Preschool West
Laura Andreola is very excited to join the EPCS community this fall as a graduate teaching assistant. Laura is a first year Master's student getting her M.A.T. in Early Childhood Education. She recently graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in Child Study & Human Development concentrating in Early Childhood Education. As an undergraduate, Laura interned in a third grade class at the Arthur D. Healey School in Somerville, MA, and volunteered in Preschool East at EPCS. She also interned in kindergarten and third grade classrooms at the University School of Nashville in Nashville, TN. Laura is particularly interested in the social-emotional development that takes place during the early childhood years and the implementation of curriculum that can positively shape this process. After she graduates from Tufts, Laura hopes to teach in an urban public school setting in the Boston area. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys reading, knitting, baking, and spending time with friends and family.

Emma Rosenbaum
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Preschool West
Emma Rosenbaum is excited to join the community here at EPCS! She completed her undergraduate degree at Emmanuel College in Boston, with a double major in Counseling & Health Psychology and Writing & Literature. During her undergraduate career, Emma spent three years working as a Corps member and then a Team Leader with Jumpstart, where she worked in preschool classrooms in Jamaica Plain and Dorchester conducting early childhood literacy interventions and training other Corps members on developmentally appropriate practices. Emma recently completed her service with Teach for America in Phoenix, AZ where she spent two years teaching preschool with Head Start. Teaching with Head Start allowed Emma to not only educate young children, but also work closely with their families and other members of the community. It was her work with Jumpstart, Teach for America and Head Start that lead her to pursue a Masters degree in Child Development from Tufts University. Emma is passionate about allowing all children equal opportunities to obtain a high quality education, especially by creating culturally responsive and child-lead classrooms that enhance social-emotional development. In her spare time Emma enjoys spending time with her friends and family, reading, writing and yoga.

Nicole (Nicki) Sirianni
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Preschool West Extended Day
Nicki is a second year MA student at Tufts University studying Child Development with a focus on Children and the Arts. Nicki's areas of focus continue to be children in art, music, drama and children's television programs. Nicki is very excited to continue working with the Extended Day programs and hopes to continue with art projects, sensory exploration and continuing to cook with the children! Nicki is passionate about teaching children about nature and hopes to continue with the garden projects from last year. Nicki loves using art and cooking projects to work on social and emotional skills with the children. She cannot wait for next year!

Jeté Thomas
Assistant Teacher – Preschool West Extended Day
Having gone to a technical High School, Jeté's excitement for robotics and fixing things has had many years to grow. From Battle Bots to AC Susceptometers for measuring superconducting transitions, she loves building things. Her mom had been a teacher since she could remember, and that has inspired her to always share the knowledge she knows and learn in understandable and creatively fun ways. This position is an exciting opportunity for her because as a recent graduate she has been trying to map out how her two passions for electronic technology and education can collide. Watching kids explore robotics is one of her biggest sources of inspiration, and she loves encouraging young girls like her, to have excitement in the STEM fields, and to be brave enough to build new things everyday. In the near future Jeté hopes to continue her education and would be excited to see how working with the preschoolers and their journey through the KindeLab Kits will help form her graduate pathways.

Sarah Coburn
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Preschool East
Sarah grew up in Middleton, MA. She holds her Bachelors degree in Psychology from Elon University in North Carolina. She also earned a double minor in Public Health and Human Service Studies. Upon graduating from college, she worked as a traveling healthcare consultant and then transitioned to work for Partners Healthcare. She worked in a variety of hospitals including Brigham & Women's and Dana Farber Cancer Institute to develop and implement a new medical software system. She is thrilled to begin a new chapter of her life as she joins EPCS and works to complete her Masters Degree in Child Study and Human Development at Tufts. In her free time, Sarah
enjoys traveling and spending time outside.

Alexa Myta
Graduate Teaching Assistant – Preschool East
Alexa recently graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in Psychology, Education, and Behavioral Neuroscience. She is pursuing her M.A. in Child Study and Human Development beginning this fall at Tufts University. Alexa is interested in understanding why children are the way they are (biologically, emotionally, physically, etc.) based on everyday factors, and the cause and effect of specific relationships and actions. In hopes to further her education and research, she will join our team at the EPCS as a teaching assistant in Preschool East. Most importantly, the happiness and well being of children is her inspiration to study and work within this field.


Elena Fusco
Spanish Language Teacher
Originally from Spain, Elena has been with us here at Eliot Pearson for the last year working as the Spanish language teacher for the 1st and 2nd grade classroom. She has worked in past as a one-on-one teacher, educating both children and adults the Spanish language and about Spanish culture. Specifically, she has worked in the classroom with children ages 2 to 7 years old. Elena has developed curriculum to introduce Spanish in a fun and educational way through reading books, drawing and painting, doing puppet shows, and learning about regional geography. In addition to her fluency in Spanish, Elena is also fluent in English, French, and Italian.

Work Study

Rita Wang
Administrative Support and Classroom Aid
Rita is an undergraduate at Tufts University studying Biopsychology and Child Development, and intends on going to medical school for pediatrics post-graduation. She has been working at Eliot Pearson since 2013, as previously a teaching assistant in the Extended Day program and currently as an administrative staff assistant and a substitute teacher. She has loved her time here at Eliot Pearson so far, from working inside the classroom with the kids and being surrounded by the warm community of EPCS. She is particularly interested in the personal and social skills of children through their developmental years. In her spare time, Rita enjoys volunteering in clinics, going on road trips, hiking, and taking film photography.

Laura Steinmetz
Administrative Support and Classroom Aid
Laura is a first-year Master's student at the Tufts University Boston School of Occupational Therapy. She is on her way to becoming a “double Jumbo” after completing her undergraduate studies at Tufts for Child Development. Her passion to learn about the role of occupational therapy in the school setting led her to Eliot-Pearson Children's School. She started working at EPCS as an assistant teacher in the first and second grade classroom during the 2014 summer program. During the school year, Laura works as a staff assistant and substitute teacher. Laura is excited to learn from EPCS's socio-constructivist model, inclusive community, and anti-bias philosophies. Laura played on the Tufts Varsity Women's Lacrosse team for four years, and in her free time assists at local clinics, camps, and teams. She enjoys staying active by going for hikes, runs, and bike rides with friends.


Tal Baz
Tal Baz has practiced as an occupational therapist, supervisor and consultant for more than twenty years, and works both nationally and internationally with families, clinicians, and school systems. She has a clinical practice in Somerville MA - In-Tune; Integrated Developmental Therapies, and is teaching the DIR/Floortime model through courses and talks both nationally and internationally. Her special interests are in sensory-affective processing, modulation, and regulation.

Neal Drew
Neal works as an occupational therapist for In-Tune; Integrated Developmental Therapies, located in Somerville. The interdisciplinary team at In-Tune specializes in Sensory Integration, Processing, and Modulation, embedded in the DIR/Floortime approach. DIR focuses on building the therapeutic relationship with a child, understanding individual sensory-affective profiles, and working within a developmental framework. Neal has worked with Eliot-Pearson students both at school and in private therapies for the past two years, focusing on goals ranging from sensory-affective processing, to social interaction and academic skills. Neal works closely with Eliot-Pearson staff and administrators to support students in the classroom and playground. He can be contacted at

Vania Machado
Speech Therapist
Vania is a licensed speech therapist with multi-lingual therapy experience with clients who speak English, Portuguese, and Spanish. Vania works with children with a variety of needs. Vania is also a Shiatsu therapist. She is the mother of Lucas 21, Nicolas 16, and puppy Ozzy 1, a mini schnauzer. She loves biking, gardening, and beading! Vania holds her Master's degree and Therapy License from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.

Deborah Hirschland
Early Childhood Specialist, MSW
Deborah has been working with young children and the adults who care for and teach them for over thirty years. A frequent presenter on early childhood issues in Massachusetts as well as across the country, she mentors teachers, parents, and clinicians through her work with early care and education programs in the greater Boston area. Deborah is a contributor to the Zero to Three Journal, and the author of Collaborative Intervention in Early Childhood (Oxford University Press, 2008) and When Young Children Need Help: Addressing Emotional, Behavioral, and Developmental Challenges (Redleaf Press, 2015).

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