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Infant Lead Teacher

Mary Carpenter

Miss Mary who has been working with children since the age of 16 joined the Creative family in 2004.  Mary who has been married to her best friend and soulmate for over 20 years is a mother to three and grandmother of three.  Her family has recently grown as she gained a daughter-in-law. 

Mary has a wide array of interests including collecting all things Native American, being outdoors, hiking, gardening and hosting family gatherings.  

When asked why she has made a career of working with children, Mary said "working with children just comes naturally to me.  I just absolutely love working with them.  I learned at a young age what my calling is." Mary couldn't be more right.  She is a natural and children are drawn to her mothering and protective nature.  She can confidently work with any age group but prefers to snuggle the babies. 

Mary is not only a favorite among her co-workers but of the families here as well! 

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Infant Lead Teacher

Kristen Jones

Miss Kristen joined the CECLC team in 2018 with previous experience at a nearby center. She is kind-hearted and soft spoken, and the children already adore her!

​Kristen is eager to continue her work with young children at CECLC. She enjoys their unique personalities and she loves watching their growth and development!  She started out in the Preschool III/UPK program as an assistant where she was dedicated to helping the children with Kindergarten readiness skills and social-emotional growth, however in 2020 Kristen took the Lead Teacher position in our Infant II classroom.  

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Toddler Lead Teacher

Lynn Raker

Miss Lynn is our Toddler 1 Lead Teacher.  Lynn, who has her Masters in Early Childhood Education, has over ten years of childcare experience and has been at CECLC since 2016.  Being soft spoken and her nurturing personality makes Lynn the perfect fit for our toddler program!  Lynn is dedicated to giving the children in her care an enriching program full of hands-on experiences, large motor exploration and outdoor time.  Not only does Lynn love working here, but loves that her children can attend our programs as well. 

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Toddler Lead Teacher

Karen Tyler

Karen, came to us in 2014 with a plethora of childcare experience.  She has a Bachelor in Early Child Care Education and loves all age groups!  Karen has worked in every age group since joining our team and is currently the lead teacher in our older toddler program!    

No matter what age group she works in, the children in her care are given an enriched program that promotes social, emotional and physical development.  

When Karen isn't busy here at work or at home raising her two boys, she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors and caring for animals.  

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Preschool Lead Teacher

Nikki Hallings

When Miss Nikki came to Creative in 2014, she took an assistant position working in our Toddler Program. After just a few short months, Nikki quickly learned she had found where her heart belonged and decided to make working in childcare a career.  After earning her Child Development Credential in 2017, Nikki took the Lead role in her classroom. For the next couple of years Nikki continued to grow as a teacher and was able to build meaningful relationships with the children and families in her program, which made what came next difficult for her.  In 2019, Nikki was offered the opportunity to take a Lead position teaching 3 and 4 years old in Preschool 2.  Although it was a difficult decision and leaving her classroom was bittersweet, she knew it was time for a new adventure and happily accepted the new challenge.  Nikki continues to teach a well-rounded program with an emphasis on social/emotional health and ownership of ones feelings.  The children in her care are taught that it is OK to express your feelings and that it is OK for people to react differently to the same situations.  Encouraging individuality is also very important to Nikki. 

She has developed ways in her classroom to keep the children busy and learning while having fun.  It is not uncommon to find Miss Nikki and her class outdoors learning about nature or studying a certain type of bug which was found, nor is it uncommon to see her teaching about such things as inclines by sledding down the hill.  Nikki loves the natural inquisitiveness of children and will do anything in her power to encourage it. 

Nikki is married to her wonderful husband, ReoDaniel and they live in Palmyra where they spend their time with friends and family.  Because Nikki loves learning new skills and dislikes being idle, she makes it a point to educate herself as much as possible and has even learned to sew and paint on glass!  

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Preschool/UPK Lead Teacher

Serena Zona

Serena joined the CECLC family in August 2021.  She is enrolled at FLCC majoring in Early Childhood Education and is currently working on obtaining her Child Development Associate.  The children in her UPK program love the experiences she offers them and are excited to see what new activities she has planned for them each day!  

Outside of work, Serena loves to read, paint, make pottery and hike.

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Preschool Lead Teacher

Tammy LaVare

Miss Tammy has been an integral part of our Preschool program since 2005. She holds an AA in Human Services and completed her Nursing Assistant Certificate prior to working in childcare.

Miss Tammy is the Lead teacher in our Preschool I classroom working with our 3 year old kiddos.  Tammy runs an enriching program full of sensory play!  Miss Tammy loves playing on the playground and making messy art projects.

​Tammy also helps the Administration with office responsibilities and is a member of our Fundraising Committee.  She is a wealth of knowledge and always willing to help anyone in any capacity! 

When she is not working, Tammy can be found reading, knitting and traveling to see her favorite band, The Monkees!

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Margaret Smith

School-Age Lead Teacher

Margaret came to Creative in May of 2019 after moving back to the area from Kansas.  Margaret lives in Palmyra with her husband, Dale, of 34 years and enjoys spending time outdoors and working on her rat rod.  Margret is a proud mother of two children and has been blessed with 2 grandsons and twin grand-daughters. 

She is a favorite among the children and staff here at CECLC!  Margaret has spent time in all of our programs, however, primarily assists in our UPK program and leads our School-Age II classroom.  She loves to get involved in the children's play and engages in hands-on activities with the children.  Don't be surprised if you see her playing kickball on the hill or elbow deep in a sensory bin!  

​Margaret is an integral part of CECLC and we love having her share her experiences with us!  

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David Hetherington

School-Age Lead Teacher

David earned a Bachelors in Childhood Education and Special Education from Elmira College in 2020.  He has lots of experience working with children with special needs and loves to help children understand that they are unique and that quality is what makes them special.  He learned at an early age that working with children is what he wanted to do and that remains his passion still today.  

Painting, drawing, gaming and spending time with friends are among David's hobbies!  Those hobbies carry through in the classroom as he loves to inspire the children to express themselves through art media and encourages their creativity!

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Shannon Storto

Infant Assistant Teacher

Shannon joined the CECLC team in September 2021 as the assistant in Infant 2.  She is an Pal-Mac graduate who has always had a love for working with children.  When asked why working with children is her passion, Shannon states she loves seeing children grow into their personalities and how unique each child is.  

Shannon is excited to have a family of her own and knows the experiences she gains here will help develop her own parenting style.

Outside of work, Shannon loves spending time with her family, kayaking and crafting.

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Infant Assistant Teacher

Julia Kuntz

Miss Julia joined the CECLC team in December 2020 as an Assistant Teacher in Infant 1 & 2! She grew up in a big family with lots of younger cousins and first developed a love of childcare through babysitting. Her favorite part of working with kids is encouraging their imagination and creativity through play.

In her spare time, Julia enjoys reading, writing, spending time with friends, and baking!

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Infant Assistant Teacher

Erin Price

Erin comes to CECLC with degrees in both Education and Counseling from Niagara University and a plethora of experience working with children.  Not only has Erin been watching children since the age of 13, she has also worked professionally within Newark CSD, Victor CSD, Lewiston Porter CSD, and Eastridge Senior High.  Teaching is her passion and she hopes to one day become a Kindergarten teacher.  Although she loved working as a lead teacher in our Before and After School Program, Erin decided to take an assistant role in the Infant program where she can snuggle our youngest kiddos throughout the day! 

Erin comes from a large Italian family and was raised with many cousins.  When she is not at work, Erin is researching the Royal Family and spending time with her four-legged babies, Sadie and Kody.

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Toddler Assistant Teacher

Sarah Ellis

After gaining more than 13 years of professional experience at two other licensed centers, Sarah joined our Toddler program in 2021.  Sarah's sweet, soft nature makes her the perfect fit for our toddlers and she quickly became a favorite amongst not only the children but co-workers as well.  Sarah loves to get involved in the children's play, likes to encourage their imagination and takes time to spend individual time with each and every child in her program to ensure they feel special.  

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Toddler Assistant Teacher

Amber Taylor

Amber, who came to CECLC in February 2020, first developed a love for childcare through babysitting.  She worked as a support staff for a little while before settling into her role as an assistant toddler teacher.  Amber loves working within the childcare setting as she feels it is rewarding to work with children of various ages.  She states it is amazing to see the difference just a couple of months can make in the growth and development of a child.

​During her down time, Amber enjoys reading, kayaking and drawing.

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Isabel Pitkin

Toddler Assistant Teacher

Isabel joined our toddler team in August 2021.  Isabel has been around young children her entire life and first knew working with children was her passion when she was much younger and started babysitting for friends and family. After graduation, Isabel immediately began her career in the childcare setting, taking positions with TLC Child Care and Victor Day Care.  She believes the most important thing children can learn is who they are and to be comfortable being themselves.  

Outside of work, Isabel enjoys painting, being outdoors and travelling!

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Hannah McKee

Preschool Assistant Teacher

Miss Hannah is part of the Preschool I and II team!

​She is enjoying her first position in a childcare center, after spending several years babysitting for local families.

​Hannah loves baking and is excited to do some kitchen projects with her class. She spent 2 years working as a baker previously.

​Outside of work, Hannah enjoys traveling with family!

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Killey Hallings

Preschool Assistant Teacher

Miss Killey has been with the CECLC family since 2013. She found her love for working with children while babysitting her 2 nephews. Killey comes from a large family with six siblings. She and two of her brothers are triplets!

While Killey first joined our team as a support staff, in 2021 Killey took the role of an assistant preschool I teacher!  Killey has a ton of experience over the years helping out in a variety of roles which includes substituting in our classrooms, helping the Associate Director with office responsibilities and being a substitute for our Nutritional Coordinator when needed.  Killey is flexible, dedicated and meticulous.  

In her free time, she likes to read and work on 3D puzzles. She has also recently taken up long-boarding!  Killey says "I love working here and playing with the kids. It brings a smile to my heart every day!"

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Sarah Mayo

Preschool Assistant Teacher

Sarah is an enthusiastic member of our exceptional teaching team! She is currently working as the Assistant Teacher in the Preschool II classroom. She came to CECLC in 2017 with previous experience in childcare at 2 other centers. She has a passion for children.  Sarah says "working with them and watching them grow as individuals is very rewarding."  We are thrilled that she is able to share her talents with us.  

 Sarah lives locally, and she loves that CECLC is so close to home!  In her spare time she loves spending time at her family cabin, spending time with friends and family and taking her dog, Luna, to the dog park for puppy play dates.   

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Shannon Dillon

UPK/Preschool Assistant Teacher

Shannon first joined our team in May, 2021 as an assistant teacher in our toddler program, however, transitioned into the UPK program in September as she was ready to expand her experiences. Shannon loves working with children as she feels there is reward in seeing them learn and grow while developing respect for themselves and others.  

Shannon first found her love for working with children when she volunteered in her church's nursery.  She then went on to become a nanny and eventually became a mama herself before joining our busy team.  

Shannon's spunky personality causes her to be the perfect fit for our crazy pre-kindergartners.  She has no problem getting involved in messy play, being silly or taking the time to answer all of the children's endless "why?" questions.  

The children are drawn to her silliness and it doesn't take long to see she has a genuine love of children!

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School-Age Assistant Teacher

Erica Smyth

Miss Erica, joined the Creative family in 2018 as a Support Staff.  She came to us with a Bachelors Degree from Alfred University.  

Erica has proven herself as a versatile teacher, she has gained experience in all of our programs and loves being able to spend time in all of the classrooms.  

When Erica isn't at work she is spending time with her family.  She has a special bond with her youngest nephew, her kitty Obi and her Corgi. 

On her down time Erica spends time working on writing a fictional book as creative writing is her passion!  

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Support Staff

Cody Duggan

After working for both the Canandaigua YMCA in their hybrid program and as an assistant preschool teacher at Doodlebugs, Mr. Cody joined our team in August, 2021.  He loves seeing the children's smiles and all the "ahhh" moments when children try new things or meet a goal they had previously been struggling with.  He loves that children are genuine he loves helping foster a sense of kindness and compassion in the children he works with.  

Cody is pursuing a degree in English and hopes to one day be involved in publishing children's literature.  

Outside of work, Cody spends time with his little sister, his nieces and nephews and spending time with his dogs.

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Support Staff

Haley Wilson

Haley joined the CECLC family in October 2021 as a Support Staff.  Haley loves working with children and has gained experience through babysitting and helping coach cheer.  Haley states "Children have a different way of looking at things.  They are creative and inquisitive."  

When Haley is not working, she can be found painting, listening to music, spending time with loved ones or participating in volunteer work.   

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Support Staff

Maranda Marks

Maranda, a mother of 3, joined the CECLC family after relocating to the area from North Carolina.  She first knew working with children was an interest when she met a teacher in school who inevitably became her mentor in life.  Maranda feels everyone should have that special person they can count on to never let them down and to support them in life and she hopes to be that person for the children she works with.  

Maranda feels children help adults slow down and to live in the moment.  She loves getting involved in the children's activities, loves dancing like no one is watching and getting silly!  In the short time has been here, we have already seen how quickly the children are drawn to her sweet but outgoing personality.

Outside of work, Maranda can be found doing arts & crafts, hiking, camping, dancing and drawing with her children.  

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Substitute

Jeanette Hogle

Jeanette, a mother of two and grandmother, joined the Creative team with a plethora of childcare experience.  She has not only worked for the Webster CSD as a student aide and as an in-home childcare teacher for over 20 years, she also worked for Children's Continuous Care for 7 years in all of their programs and served as their Nutritional Coordinator.  Jeanette is overtly patient, compassionate and well versed in the needs of children.  

Jeanette loves helping others.  She has worked as a Home Health Aid for the Elderly and volunteered for community blood drives.  

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Substitute

Sathe Hitchner

Sathe originally joined the CECLC team in October 2014 as support staff.  In March 2015, Sathe left to serve in the United States Air Force.  After completing his six year obligation, he returned to CECLC as a substitute.  Sathe is also a Full-time student enrolled at Penn State working on his BA in Psychology.  His goal is to become a clinical psychologist!  

Sathe is full of energy and loves being involved in the children's activities.  He has quickly become a favorite among many of the children!  His genuine love for children is apparent in his interactions with them!

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Substitute

Brittany Boudrieau

Brittany joined our team in February 2019!  Although this is Brittany's first experience in a childcare setting, Brittany comes to us with a plethora of babysitting experience.  Brittany's outgoing, bubbly personality draws the children to her.  She loves getting messy and involved in the children's play.  

​After working as a Support Staff for year, Brittany decided to explore other career opportunities, however, because she loved her experience as a childcare provider, she remains on staff as a substitute!

​While here fulltime, Brittany spent her days assisting in various classrooms which  helped her gain more knowledge while building bonds with all of the children here at CECLC.  Brittany loves to help her co-teachers and quickly volunteers to help with programming events throughout the center!

​When Brittany isn't working one of her two jobs, she loves spending time with family and friends.  She also enjoys hiking, cheering and shop therapy! 

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Substitute

Nicole Goulette

Nicole previously came to CECLC in May 2017 where she worked as the Lead Teacher in one of our toddler programs.  This is where Nicole realized her passion for working with children. 

Nicole left in 2018 in order to further her education.  In 2020 she obtained her Bachelors in Psychology and is currently working on her Masters in Early Childhood Education.  Nicole returned to us in 2020 to teach UPK for a year before again leaving to pursue her career as a district teacher.

In her free time Nicole enjoys spending time with her family, camping, riding four wheelers and cuddling her cats, Monkey, Sebatian, Aurora, and Belle.

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Substitute

Danika Ritz

Danika, a Newark graduate, came to CECLC in February 2020.  Although Danika loved working with Dementia patients at Newark Manor, she knew her passion is to work with children.  Her mother ran an in-home day care where Danika learned how rewarding a job in childcare can be.  When asked why she loves working with children, she exclaimed "Preschoolers are full of personality.  I love it!"  She is a natural when it comes to working with the children enrolled here at CECLC.  She gets involved in their play, is quick to cuddle a sad child and has no problem getting silly!  Anyone who witnesses Danika interacting with children will see she is genuine and truly loves the children in her care.

Danika is currently working as a support staff where she can spend time in each of our programs.  While she loves all of the age groups, she is particularly fond of our Kindergartners and gets excited when asked to work in that program.  

Her sweet, quiet disposition draws the children to her and has helped her create bonds with the children in her care. 

When Danika is not at work, she is spending time with friends and family.

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Foster Grandparent

Kathy McElvein

Grandma Kathy joined the CECLC family as a foster grandparent in 2021.  She came to us with a plethora of experience in working with children!  After earning her Associates in Early Childhood Education from the State University of NY in Cobleskill, she went on to run her own licensed in-home daycare until she transitioned into her position as a preschool teacher at Our Children's Place.  

Grandma Kathy finds working with children rewarding and feels the most important thing a child should learn is to trust the adults in their lives; and to have opportunities to explore the world around them.  

Grandma Kathy states "I have so enjoyed the Foster Grandparent Program and all the opportunities it offers retired people.  I am glad to begin volunteering here and getting o know your children."  

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Foster Grandparent

Nancy Roets

Grandma Nancy came to Creative Environment in January 2020.  She grew up in Marion, however, has lived in Atlanta, Georgia and San Diego, California.  In 2000 she earned her B.A with a major in History and a minor in Women's Studies from Cal State San Marcos, California.  While in San Diego, she spent five years working for a child care agency called the "Golden Granny's" who provided child care for families on vacation.  Nancy moved back to the area in 2006. 

She is excited to be part of the CECLC team and has enjoyed every moment of the transition from being a "Golden Granny" to being Grandma Nancy!"  We love that Grandma jumps feet first into all of the children's activities.  She assists the children during center time in the classroom, gets involved in their large motor play and never turns down a game of tag!  

We love having Nancy here, she has quickly acclimated herself and has become part of our family!