Educating the Whole Child For SUCCESS!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2018
(L to R) Lisa Miller, Tara Beninati Linda Jorgensen, Melanie Villis, Susan deBrigard, Lisa Savastano, Ginny Sturtevant, Jen Ruffler,Tracey Matson (Jen Ruffler not present)
The 2s Team
Tracey Matson (Assistant Director-2's Teacher)
Tracey Matson is returning for her eighth year in the 2s program at SMP. 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. Tracey is very excited to step into her new role as a part-time Assistant Director and looks forward to supporting the staff and families in this position.
Lisa Miller (2s Teacher)
This is Lisa Miller's third 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 SMP. 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 Pre-K Team
Tara Beninati (Head Pre-K Teacher)
Tara Beninati is delighted to be starting her fifth year as the Pre-K head teacher here at SMP. 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 high 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 (Pre-K Assistant Teacher)
This will be Ginny Sturtevant’s seventh year as the assistant teacher in our Pre-K 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.”
Susan deBrigard (Head of School)
Susan deBrigard is the newly hired Head of School at St. Matthew’s Preschool. Susan brings with her over thirty years of experience in Early Childhood Education as an advocate for children and families. Susan and her husband Tom moved to Connecticut after a business change for Tom. They are both originally from NJ where their two children Caitlin and Ryan currently reside. Susan holds an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction and a Director's Certification in Early Childhood Education. Prior to coming to St. Matthew's Preschool Susan was the Director of Tower Hill School, a cooperative preschool in Red Bank, NJ, for sixteen years. Susan's career highlights include: Senior Development Specialist for the Child Welfare League of America located in Washington, D.C. as part of the development and training team for the first competency based curriculum for foster and adoptive parents, Director of Training for Foster and Adoptive Family Services, Court Appointed Special Advocate for children, Preschool Classroom Teacher, and a Stephen Minister. "It is an exciting time to be the Head of St. Matthew's Preschool as we look forward to growth in our programs and curriculum. The developmental philosophy is an important foundation for success in academics, self-confidence and the love of school. The experienced teachers are an integral part of the success of the school and I am excited to work with such a talented team." Admissions are rolling at St. Matthew's so please schedule a visit!