Meet our Wonderful Staff
Lorraine Castellano- Director
Lorraine has been teaching young children for over twenty-five years. She is a graduate of Wheelock College in Boston, MA and holds a B.S. degree with a dual certification in Early Childhood Education and Young Children with Special Needs.
Lorraine began her career at Sunrise Children's Center in Amherst, NH in 1991. Throughout her five years at Sunrise, Lorraine worked as a classroom teacher for preschool and kindergarten children. She also worked as a coordinator to oversee afternoon programs.
Lorraine moved to NJ in 1996 to take a job with the Upper Saddle River School District. She started the preschool special needs program, servicing children from the ages of three to five. She worked closely with therapists, parents and child study teams to ensure that each child met their IEP goals/objectives. After four years in the district, Lorraine left to have her first child. She began working part time with an Early Intervention Agency while raising her three children. In 2010, Lorraine started LEAP preschool. The program concentrates on working closely with children to develop appropriate skills necessary to be successful socially, emotionally, and developmentally.
Lorraine lives in Ramsey with her husband, three children, dog Ellie, and cat Dudley. She enjoys volunteering at the Farmer's Market in Ramsey twice a month in the summer and is involved in multiple community activities.
Patricia Brown - Administrative Director
Patty has worked in various administrative roles for over 20 years. Earlier in her career, she worked for 9 years at the Prudential Insurance Company of America as a director before having her three girls.
Most recently, she was an administrator in the food business as well as a substitute teacher for the Ramsey School District which she enjoyed very much. She has also spent the last 12 years volunteering regularly for the schools in Ramsey and most recently has been treasurer of the Ramsey Public Education Foundation. She has a BA in Psychology from Montclair State College. She lives in Ramsey where she and her husband are raising the three girls. She is looking forward to a fun year at LEAP Preschool spending time with the children and being available for parents too!
Cindy Weir - Lead Teacher 4 Year Old Class
Cindy has taught preschool for over 10 years in both private and public school settings including West New York and Jersey City school districts. She graduated from Rutgers University with a BA and continued her educat ion at New Jersey City University graduating with a Master of Arts and Teaching in Early Childhood Education. She resides in Ramsey and loves spending time with her husband, two boys and her dog, Chloe. Cindy joined our LEAP team in 2014 and is very excited to start her second year.
Donielle Leigh - Lead Teacher 4 Year Old Class
Donielle has taught for over 15 years. While in NJ she has worked in preschool with both 3's and 4's. Earlier in her career, she taught art in Stamford, CT public elementary schools. She graduated from Skidmore College with her Bachelor's degree and received an MFA in Art and Education from Long Island University. She lives in Ramsey, raised two children and loves spending time with her husband and two little dogs Kirby and Miles. Donielle joined the Leap team in 2015 and looks forward to her 4th year.
Karen Robator - Lead Teacher - 3 Year Old Class
Karen has been teaching young children for over twelve years She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA and has degrees in Early Childhood Education and Communications. Karen has taught 2 V2, 3 and 4 year old classes, and ran and developed an after school program for 2-6 year olds, Karen lives in Mahwah with her husband Jeff, their 3 children and their big fluffy dog! Karen enjoys spending time with her family and reading.
Leisyl Kleinberg - Lead Teacher 2 1/2 Year Old Class
Leisyl graduated from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY where she earned a BA in Business Management. She also holds a Child Development Associate Credential in Early Childhood Education. Leisyl has worked at LEAP for the past five years and prior to that she worked as an assistant teacher for the 2 1/2 class at Redeemer Nursery School. Leisyl lives in Ramsey with her husband Brian and three children.
Lissa Favata - Lead Teacher 3 Year Old Class
Lissa taught in the Ramsey Public School system for nine years. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Continuing her education she graduated from William Paterson University with her Master of Education in Special Education and a concentration in Learning Disabilities. Last year Lissa was excited to become a member of the LEAP team as a school-wide floater. She loved getting to know the teachers and interacting with the children in all the classrooms. Lissa loves spending time with her husband, Rich, her two children, and their dog, Miles. She is very much looking forward to a wonderful school year!
Amy Roark - Lead Teacher - 3 year old class
Amy graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development. She moved to California after graduation where she taught kindergarten. After returning to the east coast she continued teaching first grade and fifth grade. Amy became part of the LEAP family in 2015 working as an assistant in the 2 year old room and became a teacher in the 3’s class last year. She lives in Mahwah with her husband Warren, their four kids and two dogs. She is looking forward to a great school year!
Anne Rubin - Lead Teacher - 4 year old class
Anne has worked in classrooms and taught young children for over 10 years. Her education background consists of a Bachelor of Science Degree from Lehigh University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Anne began her teaching career in the Jersey City Public Schools teaching 1st and 2nd grades. Next, she managed toddler playgroups in Jersey City, Hoboken and Ramsey while she raised her own children. In 2015, Anne joined the Leap staff as a schoolwide floater and later became a teaching assistant. These experiences allowed her to interact with the staff, children and families within the Leap community. Anne is now excited to be teaching in the upcoming school year. In her free time, Anne loves spending time with her husband Dan and their three children, who are typically out on multiple sports fields!