Excellence and Enrichment for Early Learners

(L to R) Ginny Sturtevant, Linda Jorgensen, Lisa Savastano, Lisa Miller, Stephanie Scanlon, Melanie Villas, Jen Ruffler, Tara Beninati, Tracey Matson 

The 2s Team

Tracey Matson (2s Teacher)

Tracey Matson is returning for her fifth year in the 2s program at SMS. Prior to the 2s she was an assistant in the 3s program for one year and subbed in all our classrooms as well. Tracey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island with a minor in Psychology and Sociology. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom for 10 years Mrs. Matson worked for Conde Nast Publishing at Vanity Fair. She is a longtime resident of Bedford living with her husband and three children and is a very active member of the community. She was president of the PTA, volunteers for the Fresh Air Fund of NYC and is a member of a local charity organization that raises money for youth of Bedford. Tracey loves working with the 2s and watching them experience the first of many fabulous encounters. In her free time she enjoys walking her two dogs and spending time with family and friends.

Lisa Miller (2s Teacher)

This is Lisa Miller's second year teaching at St. Matthew's and she is thrilled to be working in the 2s program with Mrs. Matson. Lisa is a graduate of the University of Delaware and Endicott College where she studied fashion merchandising. Prior to the birth of her third child, she worked as a substitute and assistant teacher at the Pound Ridge Community Church Play School. More recently she has been working with senior citizens. Lisa has lived in the Katonah-Lewisboro area for over 20 years with her husband and three children. She finds working with the 2s both rewarding and special as the children experience new things everyday. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, baking, horseback riding, skiing, and volunteering at Pegasus therapeutic riding center.

Jennifer Ruffler (2s Teacher)

Jennifer Ruffler truly enjoys teaching in the 2s program at SMS. She looks forward to working with the youngest preschoolers, helping to create a welcoming, comfortable first school experience. Jen holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Prior to deciding to stay home to raise her two young children, Jen enjoyed a career in social work helping individuals and their families in the hospital and nursing home/rehab settings. She is an active volunteer at her children’s school and enjoys spending time with her family, biking, hiking and taking photographs in her free time. 

The 4s Team

Tara Beninati (Head 4s Teacher)

Tara Beninati is delighted to be starting her fourth year as the 4s head teacher here at SMS.  She has a special place in her heart for this particular age group. Mrs. Beninati holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Hunter College and has previously taught at the elementary level. She also has taught classes such as cooking and gardening through the Bedford Village Multi-Arts After-School Club. Mrs. Beninati is a mother of a middle school student here in Bedford and two college-age boys. She truly enjoys creating a fun-filled, literacy rich environment for her preschool students. One of her favorite aspects of teaching is watching the class come together as community throughout the year, helping each other, and working together as a team.

Ginny Sturtevant (4s Assistant Teacher)

This will be Ginny Sturtevant’s sixth year as the assistant teacher in our 4s program. She began teaching in preschool 15 years ago in Chappaqua and has been both at Teacher’s Aide and substitute teacher in the Bedford school district. Ginny has a Bachelor’s degree in Drama and Dramatic Literature from the University of Washington as well as teaching certification, K-12. Before working choosing to work with children, Ginny was a professional actor in regional theatre, TV, and film; a make-up artist; and a casting director. She is a long-time resident of Bedford and the mother of two grown children. One of Ginny’s favorite quotes is from Abraham Lincoln, “You have to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.” Ginny says, “By encouraging and nurturing young minds, I hope to create an atmosphere in which children can learn, so that the result of teaching is evidenced by the students’ individual growth.”

Stephanie Scanlon (Head of School)

Stephanie Scanlon has been the Head at St. Matthew’s School since the beginning, having been hired to start the school at its inception. She truly loves being a part of the school and the surrounding community. Mrs. Scanlon is originally from Oregon, and moved to the New York/ Connecticut area 25 years ago to begin what would be a life-long career of caring for and teaching young children. During her college years, she worked as a nanny for local families while she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a teaching certificate in Elementary Education. Her first job was teaching second grade, and she stayed there for three years, during which time she obtained her first Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching. Mrs. Scanlon went on to work at Convent of the Sacred Heart for a total of 10 years; one as an instructional assistant, seven as a kindergarten teacher, and two as the early childhood theology teacher. During her time at CSH, she also spent five years as the director of the after school program and two years as the Lower School curriculum coordinator for PS-Gr.1. In 2003, Mrs. Scanlon earned her second Master’s degree, this one in Educational Leadership. She has NYS certification as both an elementary (N-6) teacher and as a school administrator. In her free time, Mrs. Scanlon enjoys reading, cooking, and outdoor activities, and running half-marathons. She currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and her son.

The Teachers

The 3s Team

Lisa Savastanao (Head 3s Teacher)

This will be Lisa's first year at SMS as the head teacher in the 3s program. Prior to coming to St. Matthew's, Lisa was a stay-at-home mom and a substitute preschool teacher. Her past experience includes being a School Library Media Specialist. She holds a Master's degree in Library Science from Long Island University and a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Geneseo. Lisa is NYS certified as both a Nursery - 8th grade teacher and as a Library Media Specialist K-12, as well as being a NYS certified Public Librarian. It is obvious to see that Lisa has a passion for, and extensive knowledge of, children's literature and its important role in a child's academic development. In addition to teaching, Lisa also assists her husband and brother-in-law, helping to run their travel lacrosse club (Westchester Warriors Lacrosse Club) for boys grades 5-12.  Lisa lives in South Salem on Lake Waccabuc with her family. She has two boys who are both actively involved in the Katonah-Lewisboro Schools.

Linda Jorgensen (3s Assistant Teacher)

Linda Jorgensen is returning for her seventh year at SMS as an assistant teacher in the 3s program. She truly enjoys working with this age group and is always eager to learn new things about the children. Prior to working at SMS, she has had 11 years experience in a preschool environment as an assistant teacher in a 4s program. Linda is a graduate of the Berkley Secretarial School and has a business degree in Office Management. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two-year old granddaughter. She also enjoys walking, gardening, and summer-time boating.

Melanie Villis (3s Assistant Teacher)

This is Melanie’s fourth year teaching at St. Matthew’s. She looks forward to working with the children and helping to nurture and support them as they learn and grow throughout the year. Before coming to St. Matthew’s, Melanie worked at Village Green Nursery School where she assisted the head teacher with all of the daily activities and routines. Melanie has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from Texas A&M University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from University of Houston. She previously enjoyed a career as a social worker in a hospital setting. Melanie currently lives in Armonk with her husband and four children and enjoys being active in her husband’s Greek Orthodox Church’s Preschool and Youth Ministries.