Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center Staff

emccc staff

The Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center is divided into eight classrooms. Our Tarrytown building contains three Toddler classrooms, three Preschool classrooms, and two classrooms dedicated to after-school programs for children from Kindergarten through fifth grade. Staff members are assigned to each classroom in accordance with required staff member-to-child ratios, as established by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

Each classroom is staffed with a teacher and enough assistant teachers to ensure that required ratios are maintained. An executive director, an assistant director, and an office manager administer the programs of the Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center. The Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center has a proud history of maintaining loyal long-term staff members. We have a well-established and ongoing commitment to staff development and training. All staff members hired meet OCFS established experience and education requirements according to position level.

TRAINING

Staff members must attend thirty hours of training in required content areas during each two-year licensing period. Additionally, new staff members must attend fifteen hours of training in required content areas during their initial six months of employment.

Required content areas include principles of early childhood development, nutritional needs of children, child day care program development, statutes and regulations pertaining to child care, child abuse and maltreatment identification and prevention, shaken-baby syndrome, statutes and regulations pertaining to child abuse and maltreatment, safety and security procedures, and business record maintenance and management.

LICENSING

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) licenses the Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center to provide child care services. The main center is licensed to serve 30 toddlers, 49 preschoolers, and 37 school-aged children. Licenses are renewed every two years following a formal program review conducted by OCFS.

Current compliance certificates from the Westchester County Board of Health and the local fire inspectors are maintained on site.

Meet our Child Care Staff

Executive Director

My name is Yolanda Dodson and I am the Executive Director for Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology and a Masters degree in Education with a foundation in Behavior Analysis.

I have over 15 years of experience in early childhood in both the federal and private sector.

I take great pride in knowing that Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center is one that strives for excellence and quality in the Child Care community.

As the Executive Director, I represent Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center in various community network committee’s. As part of the early childhood community, I advocate for the early childhood field. I am also kept abreast of the latest trends in early childhood professional development.

Besides, being a member of the early childhood field, I am also a mother of three and a sister of two wonderful women. I look forward to working with you all.

Yolanda Dodson, Director

Yolanda Dodson
Executive Director

Education Director

My name is Christina Cortese and I am the education director here at Elizabeth Mascia. this is my first year in this program, but I have worked in early childhood for the past 7 years; 6 years as a teacher and this last year as an education director in another program which is no longer running.

I have my bachelor’s degree in childhood education and behavioral sciences, as well as my master’s in early childhood education. My role is to work closely with the executive director and teaching staff on implementation of curriculum(s), classroom structures, lesson planning, professional development training, family engagement, and more.

Working with children is my passion and something that I knew I wanted since I was a little girl. I promise to give my 110% each and every day to ensure that your children are safe, loved, and cared for while in our care. I look forward to getting to know you and I look forward to a wonderful year.

Christina Corese, Education Director

Christina Cortese
Education Director

Administrative Assistant

My name is Nicole Arcieri and I am the new Administrative Assistant here at Elizabeth Masica.

I am very excited to learn more about this environment and the kids, and to grow during my time here.

Aside from work, I enjoy spending time with my 2 dogs named Penny and Sandy; I love them very much!

Nicole Arcieri, Administrative Assistant

Nicole Arcieri
Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

My name is Joannie Mazza.  For over 37 years, I’ve had the pleasure of teaching;  First, as a parent to my three children,  Secondly, as a nursery school teacher for over 25 years.

Education is actually my second career. My first degree is in banking and finance. I worked on Wall Street until my first child was born.

After my third child, I went back to school pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education.

This October, my husband, Tony and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. In January, 2022 we will welcome our first grandchild. I enjoy crafting, cooking, and sharing times with friends.

Joannie Mazza, Administrative Assistant

Joannie Mazza
Administrative Assistant

Kitchen Coordinator

My name is Mary Ridenhour! I am the kitchen coordinator at EMCCC.

Before working in the kitchen, I had the privilege of working with the preschool children, in the after-school program, and the toddler. I love what I do!

This October, my husband, Tony and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. In January, 2022 we will welcome our first grandchild. I enjoy crafting, cooking, and sharing times with friends.

Mary Ridenhour, Kitchen Coordinator

Mary Ridenhour
Kitchen Coordinator

Toddler Teacher

Helen Sites Murray has been a Toddler Teacher at Elizabeth Mascia for almost 40 years, in addition to the assistant director for over 20 years. Before coming to Elizabeth Mascia, Helen taught in both Massachusetts and Michigan.

It is hard to believe, but in the 1970’s, Helen did her student teaching here at EMCCC. Helen graduated from SUNY Cobleskill where she studied nursery education, as well as Wheelock College with a specification in childcare education.

Aside from the education world, Helen has been married for 40 years to her husband, Larry, and the two live in Croton-on-the-Hudson, with their dog, Pumpkin, and car, Sookie. Helen has one daughter also named Helen, who teaches in a UPK classroom located in Mount Vernon, and recently gave birth. This makes number 12 for grandchildren for Helen.

Helen enjoys gardening, paper crafting, her animals, vacationing in Lake George, and being a grandma.

Helen Murray, Toddler Teacher

Helen Sites Murray
Toddler Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Victoria Moya Ramirez.

I am so excited to be your child’s assistant teacher this year, in the T-1 classroom! I graduated from Mercy College in 2020 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I look forward to getting to know your child and having fun learning experiences with them each day.

Favorites: Sunflowers, Anything cheetah print, Iced coffee, Colors pink and purple, My favorite Disney character is Stitch.

Fun Facts: I’m the oldest of 4, I love to bake on my free time, I have a dog named Toby and a cat named Mittens, I love traveling.

Victoria Moya Ramirez, Assistant Teacher

Victoria Moya Ramirez
Assistant Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is J. Ruth Rosales and I am one of the assistant teachers in the toddler 1 classroom here at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center.

Before joining the Mascia family, I worked in a head start program, also as an assistant teacher, working with children ages two to five years of age. I’ve also had the privilege to work in UPK classrooms.

Over the years, my knowledge in early childhood development has grown and it has been a wonderful experience. In my role, I engage in positive relationships with children and families and help support children through their development. I believe it is important to be culturally aware of the community we serve and with that in mind, I am able to speak English and Spanish.

Interacting with both the children and families, is very fulfilling and rewarding. I have a genuine love for children and a strong commitment to their education. I look forward to getting to know you all and making a positive difference in the lives of our children and families here at Elizabeth Mascia.

Ruth Rosales, Assistant Teacher

Ruth Rosales
Assistant Teacher

Lead Teacher

My name is Emma Pisapia and it is a pleasure to meet you.

I am a certified daycare teacher for birth through three years of age. I have helped infants and toddlers reach their milestones for many years and have had the pleasure of doing this at The Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center for almost a quarter of a century!

Educating children has always been a passion of mine. I take pride in myself in showing love, care, respect and individuality to each and every child. I believe in teaching and learning through hands on experiences. I believe in learning through exploring and one aspect of this is enjoying sensory activities on a daily basis.

I look forward to working with all of your children and watching them grow!

Emma Pisapia, Lead Teacher

Emma Pisapia
Lead Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Michelle Kemp. I’ve been in child care for 21 years. I came to Elizabeth Mascia Child Care in 2008.

I love working in this program and serving the families. I love to watch the children grow and move on to public school.

I enjoy reading books to the children and singing songs.

Michelle Kemp, Assistant Teacher

Michelle Kemp
Assistant Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Byrma Ferreris. I’m currently one of the assistant teachers working in the toddler 2 classroom here at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center.

I’m proud to say that I’ve been with the Mascia family for 22 years. My experience has taught me that children need to be looked after properly at every stage in their daily routine. In fact, how we take care of them today, decide how their tomorrow is shaped.

Working with children is a very rewarding experience and it gives me the drive to come into work with a positive attitude every day.

I sincerely look forward to engaging with the children, families, and fellow staff members.

Byrma Ferreris, Assistant Teacher

Byrma Ferreris
Assistant Teacher

Lead Teacher

I am Jenna Rivera and I am the lead teacher in classroom 3-1. I have been a part of the Elizabeth Mascia team since 2007. I love working with all ages of children. During my time here, I was able to earn my CDA (Child Development Associate certificate). Over the years, I have grown and learned so much, and I continue to do so.

I’m a mother of three; I have two sons and one daughter.

I love my job because it is  very rewarding to watch each child grow and learn daily.

Jenna Rivera, Lead Teacher

Jenna Rivera
Lead Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Betsy Gutierrez and I am the assistant teacher in 3-1. This is my first year here at EMCCC, but I have worked in early childhood for a few years. I always look for ways to grow, and I look forward to all that I will learn here at EMCCC.

I am currently working on obtaining my CDA certification and I look forward to continuing my education in early childhood.

I have a four year old daughter and 9 year old son. I love to travel, my favorite colors are blue and purple, and my favorite season is fall.

I enjoy working with children because I always learn something new from them. I hope to make a difference and be an important part our your child’s life.

I love my job because it is  very rewarding to watch each child grow and learn daily.

Betsy Guiterrez, Assistant Teacher

Betsy Guiterrez
Assistant Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Carmen Patterson and I am the Assistant Teacher in preschool 3-2 here at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center. Although this is my first year at EMCCC, I’ve worked in childcare for over 25 years and have had the privilege of working with all age groups. I’ve obtained my CDA Certification in Preschool and I love what working with this age group. I am very dedicated to my work and my students. Their health, safety, development, and all other needs are my priority. I have learned a lot over the years and I look forward to sharing, learning, and growing with you and your children this year.

Carmen Patterson, Assistant Teacher

Carmen Patterson
Assistant Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Melanie Varela and this is my first year at EMCCC. I am the assistant teacher in 3/2.

I’m 21 years young and I was born and raised in Westchester, NY. I love to create, explore, learn, and most of all teach!

I’m passionate about life in general, but I find myself absolutely obsessed with reading and writing. Children’s books will always be my favorite picks!

Melanie Verela, Assistant Teacher

Melanie Varela
Assistant Teacher

Lead Teacher

My name is Gina Pyatt. I am the new Head Teacher in the 4’s classroom at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center.

I have a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Hunter College in New York City.

I hold New York State Teacher Certification (N-6).

I am an accomplished early childhood educator with extensive experience as an educational leader and teacher.

As a well- rounded educator, I have had the opportunity to teach children from 2 to 5 years old in the Day Care, Head Start and Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) settings.

Throughout my career, I find that I am able to easily connect with students. I enjoy having conversations with children about their interests, observations and experiences.

In addition to providing an age appropriate, safe and nurturing environment, I plan to present engaging instructional learning opportunities that will capture the children’s imagination as well as encourage their enjoyment and an appreciation for learning.

I have a genuine love for children and a strong commitment to their education.

I look forward to working with all of your children and I am excited to see how each child will learn grow!

Gina Pyatt, Lead Teacher

Gina Pyatt
Lead Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Sharon Duggan. I’ve been working at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center for 29 years. When I’m not working with your children, I enjoy crocheting and spending time with my three grandchildren.

I am an accomplished early childhood educator with extensive experience as an educational leader and teacher.

As a well- rounded educator, I have had the opportunity to teach children from 2 to 5 years old in the Day Care, Head Start and Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) settings.

Throughout my career, I find that I am able to easily connect with students. I enjoy having conversations with children about their interests, observations and experiences.

In addition to providing an age appropriate, safe and nurturing environment, I plan to present engaging instructional learning opportunities that will capture the children’s imagination as well as encourage their enjoyment and an appreciation for learning.

I have a genuine love for children and a strong commitment to their education.

I look forward to working with all of your children and I am excited to see how each child will learn grow!

Sharon Duggan, Assistant Teacher

Sharon Duggan
Assistant Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Rachel Shactel. I have been working in childcare since 2000. I have early childhood education at Westchester Community College. I have been working at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center since 2011.

Rrachel Shactel, Assistant Teacher

Rachel Shactel
Assistant Teacher

Assistant Teacher/Floater

I’m Divya Joseph (DJ). I’m an assistant teacher/floater here at Elizabeth Mascia. If multitalented was a person, that would be me.

Fun fact, I play FIVE different instruments and can speak FIVE languages.

My favorite color is forest green. I have 2 pet guinea pigs; Yuji and Teddy. Punctuality is always my main priority. I love working with children of all ages; especially when it comes to doing arts and crafts.

During my free time journaling comes in handy and I love to make corny jokes;

“What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta.”

My go to moto is: “You must want to spend the rest of your life with yourself first.”

Divya Joseph (DJ), Assistant Teacher/Floater

Divya Joseph (DJ)
Assistant Teacher/Floater

Lead Teacher

I’m Angelique Rivera, the lead teacher for the before and after school program here at Elizabeth Mascia Child Care Center. I have worked at EMCCC for that past two years with the school-aged children, but have five years experience working with children in an education setting.

I love this age group the most as I see their personalities really shine through and get a feel for their individual talents and interests. I encourage lots of outdoor activities as well as projects utilizing different materials and skill sets. We also set up different activity centers for the kids to explore.

Our goal is for the kids to feel comfortable and unwind from a long day of sitting down at school, especially those starting school for the first time this year.

Angelique Rivera, Lead Teacher

Angelique Rivera
Lead Teacher

Assistant Teacher

My name is Whitney and I am 31 years of age.

For the past 13 years, I have been working with children; twice in a daycare setting and also with after-school children.

This February will be my fifth year at EMCCC. I started off working in the toddler room and now, after having a little one of my own, I am currently in the after-school program.

I love being able to work with kids in each stage and seeing their growth.  They say:

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”

and that’s what I plan to do as  I continue to help mold young minds.

Whitney O’Brien Lord, Assistant Teacher

Whitney O’Brien Lord
Assistant Teacher


ON SITE

ADMINISTRATION

Dodson, Yolanda Executive Director
Murray, Helen Sites Assistant Director
Cortese, Christina Educational Director
Arcieri, Nicole Administrative Assistant
Ridenhour, Mary Kitchen Coordinator

TEACHING STAFF

TODDLER 1
Murray, Helen Sites Lead Teacher
Moya, Victoria Assistant Teacher
Rosales, Ruth Assistant Teacher
TODDLER 2
Pisapia, Emma Lead Teacher
Kemp, Michelle Assistant Teacher
Ferreris, Byrma Assistant Teacher
PRESCHOOL (3/1)
Rivera, Jenna Lead Teacher
Gutierrez, Betsy Assistant Teacher
PRESCHOOL (3/2)
Patterson, Carmen Assistant Teacher
Varela, Melanie Assistant Teacher
PRESCHOOL (4)
Pyatt, Gina Lead Teacher
Shactel, Rachel Assistant Teacher
Duggan, Sharon Assistant Teacher
AFTER-SCHOOL Assistant Teacher
Rivera, Angelique Lead Teacher
O’Brien Lord, Whitney Assistant Teacher
FLOATERS
Joseph, Divya
Duggan, Alyssa

UPK Program (Off Site)

Cantillana, Margarita Assistant Teacher
Green, Taylor Assistant Teacher
Castaneda, Rocio Assistant Teacher
Miller, Dana Lead Teacher
Booth, Erin Teacher
Rubeis, Paul Teacher
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