Meet our Wonderful Staff
Lorraine Castellano- Director and Lead Teacher- 3 Year Old Class
Lorraine has been teaching young children for over twenty 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. Sunrise is nationally recognized by the US Department of Education as a model inclusionary program. 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 her own preschool program called LEAP. Her program concentrates on working with closely with children to develop the skills necessary to be successful socially, emotionally, and develop mentally.
Lorraine lives in Ramsey with her husband Jeff, her three children and her dog Ellie. She enjoys volunteering at the Farmer's Market in Ramsey twice a month in the summer and is involved in multiple community activities. She is looking forward to a wonderful year at LEAP!
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.
Caroline Hull- Lead Teacher - 4 Year Old Class
Caroline has over ten years experience teaching young children. She graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, New York earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education andSpecial Education. Continuing to specialize in Special Education, she received her Master of Science in Education from the College of New Rochelle. Caroline has a diversified background teaching young children from early intervention aged children to middle school students. She began her teaching career as a teacher of fifth grade in a self contained setting in New York. Later, she worked in a Head Start program as the special educat ion teacher in an integrated classroom, teaching children ranging in ages from three to five. After moving to New Jersey and having children, Caroline worked part time for an Early Intervention Agency for six years working with developmentally delayed children age birth to three years. Most recently, Caroline has worked in a preschool setting teaching preschool and kindergarten aged children.
Donielle Leigh - Lead Teacher 4 Year Old Class
Donielle ha s taught for over 10 years. While in NJ she 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 her Masters in Art and Educat ion from Long Island University. She lives in Ramsey, raised two wonderful kids and loves spending time with her husband and littl e dog Kirby. She looks forward to Learning and Exploring and all the wonderful things the year will unfold at LEAP.
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 two years and prior to that she worked as an assistant teacher for the 2 1Iz 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!