Our Staff

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Our Staff

Our Staff

Our Teaching Staff 

Administrative Staff

Maria Hill, Early Childhood Coordinator 
Maria Hill is in her sixth year with OCE&R. Before becoming the Early Childhood Coordinator, Maria taught in the Threes classroom. She's also taught kindergarten, middle school language arts, and as a special education assistant teacher. She is happy to have found a wonderful home here with OEC, and couldn't ask to work with a better group of teachers. Maria graduated from Saint Mary's College with a Bachelor of Arts, and National Louis University with a Master's in Elementary Education and Middle School Education. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband Kevin, and two children, Charlie and Maggie. 

Kristine Chamberlin, Early Childhood Coordinator II 
Kristine has been a part of OCER for 11 years. Kristine graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She got her Masters in Reading from Ohio University. Kristine says that teaching here has been so much fun because she gets to watch students grow, create friendships, and see families build a supportive community.

Young Fives Classrooms 

Jackie Celinski
Jackie has happily been a part of Orange Early Childhood Preschool for 22 years. She has an Associates in Early Childhood with a Pre-K license. Jackie previously taught in the four-year old classroom and this will be her eighth year teaching in the Young Fives. Jackie says she truly enjoys seeing the students grow throughout the year and become ready for Kindergarten. Jackie lives in Macedonia with her husband Paul.  They enjoy traveling and being with family, especially with their three wonderful grandchildren!

Nada Hashem
Ms. Hashem has been teaching at Orange Early Childhood Preschool for 22 years, including three years teaching the older 4’s class, and 19 years teaching the Young Fives class. She received her B.A. in Public Administration from the American University of Beirut, and her teaching license (PreK-3rd) and M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from Cleveland State University. In her spare time, Nada enjoy spending time with family & friends, traveling, photography, bicycling and yoga. This summer, she took her first watercolor class and is very excited about her new hobby.

Betsy Ploenzke
Betsy has been teaching at Orange Early Childhood Preschool since 2005. She graduated from Mount Union College with a Bachelor's Degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education and obtained her Master’s from Ashland University in Curriculum and Instruction. She grew up in Chagrin Falls and currently lives in Mayfield Heights with her husband Shaun and their cats Kip & Lindy. Betsy enjoys reading, shopping, going to the beach and cheering on our Cleveland sports teams! Her favorite part about working at OEC is her amazing co-workers, the families & kids. She truly enjoys watching the kids come to OEC as  toddlers and leave as Kindergarteners!!

Pre-K / Fours Classrooms

Nicole Kiper
Nicole graduated from Ashland University in 2009 with a degree in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Intervention. She has worked with preschool age children since 2010, and has been at Orange Early Childhood Preschool since 2014. She grew up in South Euclid and currently lives in Willowick. In her free time, Nicole enjoys listening to music, walking through the Metroparks, and spending time with her family, husband Bryan, and dog Waldo. She believes that a good parent-teacher relationship is necessary for maximum school success. Nicole is looking forward to a fun filled year with your child as they explore and learn in new environments!


Sherry Becker
Sherry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked at Orange Early Childhood Preschool for 12 years, and has been teaching for over 15 years. In her free time, Sherry enjoys spending time with family and friends, being out in nature, traveling and reading. Sherry loves watching the students grow throughout the year and the relationships she builds with families!

Martha Sperry
Martha has been teaching at Orange Early Childhood since 2019. She attended Notre Dame College in South Euclid and was a member of the Women’s Basketball team for 5 years. Upon graduation she was the Graduate Assistant Coach for 2 years. Martha has her undergraduate degrees in Early Childhood Education and Special Education (K-12) with a minor in Fine Arts. She also has a Master’s in Education with a Reading Endorsement. Martha’s hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, enjoying live sports games, reading, and working out.

Anna Smith
Anna began teaching at OEC in 2022. She attended Bowling Green State University and has her Bachelor's degree in Inclusive Early Childhood Education. Upon graduation, Anna was an Intervention Specialist in a city right outside of Bowling Green, before moving back to her hometown Mentor, Ohio. Anna and her fiancé James, are getting married in June of 2025! Outside of teaching, Anna's hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, and cooking.

Karen Wallster
Karen graduated from the University of Akron in 1990 with an Elementary Education degree specializing in Reading.  She has worked in early childhood since 1990.  She grew up in New Jersey and came to Ohio for college and never left!  She currently lives in Mentor.  Karen has 5 children that she loves to spend time with, along with two grandchildren.  She also enjoys hiking in the metroparks and taking road trips around Ohio.

Allie Bican
Allie graduated in the spring of 2023 from Ohio Northern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Intervention.  While there, she played college softball and was a 2x conference champion.  This is her first year teaching and is so grateful for OEC for taking her in!  She's excited about what the future holds for her in the world of education!

Three-Year Old Classrooms

Julia Weaver
Julia has been teaching at Orange Early Childhood since 2019. She loves the connections, growth, and joy that comes with teaching preschool-age children. She loves helping young children become excited about school! Julia graduated from Kenyon College with degrees in English and Art History. She then received her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from John Carroll. Outside of teaching, Julia loves to travel with family and ride her horse!

Allison Sly
Allison Sly graduated from Kent State University with her Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education in 2016 and attended Walsh University for her K-12 Reading Endorsement. She is also certified as a Preschool Special Intervention Specialist and is working on finishing her Master's in Special Education from Kent State University. She has been teaching for 7 years in various school settings, in preschool, kindergarten, first, and third grade. This is her first year teaching at Orange Early Childhood Preschool. She believes in creating strong relationships with her students and their families and incorporating the outdoors into our collaborative classroom learning environment. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, baking, and hiking.

Marie Embrescia Stephens
Marie has been at Orange Early Childhood Preschool since September 1981. She has an Early Childhood degree from Lakeland College and has completed lots of coursework at Cleveland State University. Marie loves working with kids and loves working at Orange. She has been married to her husband Jeff for 35 years and they have two awesome daughters, Jessica and Jordan and is Nonni to twin granddaughters Adelyn and Sophia.

Megan Schlaker
Megan graduated from Kent State University in 2020 with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education.  She is a licensed Prek-3 teacher with a 4/5 endorsement.  She was an educational aide for two and a half years and has worked in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade.  This isMegan's first year working at Orange Early Childhood.  Megan loves working with children and aims to build strong relationships with her students and their families to help every child thrive.  She lives in Chagrin Falls and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, going to concerts, going on walks, doing puzzles, and reading.

Brianna Koniar
This is Brianna's first year at Orange Early Childhood.  She graduated from John Carroll University in 2019 with a degree in Early Childhood Education, Prek-5.  Brianna spent 4 years teaching kindergarten at a local charter school.  She believes that social and emotional curriculum is important for young children to be successful learners.  In her spare time, Brianna enjoys camping, traveling, and drinking iced coffee.

Noreen Liggett 
Noreen is in her first year at Orange Community Education and Recreation and is enjoying every minute. She loves working at Orange, and contributing to the children’s development. She is also delighted by the kindness and support of the entire community. Noreen earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from John Carroll University. She lives with her family in Mentor. When Noreen is not working, she enjoys reading, walking trails, and playing with her dogs, Murphy and Sully.

Mary Danko
Mary joined Orange Early Childhood in 2023.  She graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelors in Early Childhood/Special Education.  This is her first official teaching job, but she has been working with kids through other childcare programs for many years.  Her favorite part of teaching is watching a child's eyes light up when they are learning about something that interests them, and seeing their growth throughout the year in the concepts and skills they learn.  Outside of teaching, her favorite activities are reading, trying new things, and spending time with her two dogs Princess and Jessie!  She is looking forward to a fun-filled year with the kids!

Two-Year Old Classrooms

Delaney Kelly
Delaney has been teaching at Orange Early Childhood since 2021. She attended Kent State University with an undergraduate focus in Speech-Language Pathology. This sparked her love for working alongside young children and led her to pursue a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Kent State University. What she loves most about Orange Early Childhood are her genuine colleagues who offer continuous guidance, inspiration, and enthusiasm each day. The strong sense of community at OEC makes teaching and learning fun and meaningful. Delaney is passionate about incorporating her love of the outdoors at OEC. You can find her soaring down the big hill, digging for worms in the garden, or facilitating outdoor inquiry about an array of natural wonders. Nothing is more rewarding than watching children form connections with others and their environment as they develop their unique personalities and make meaning of the world around them.

Victoria Birr
Victoria is in her first full year teaching.  She graduated from Cleveland State University in May of 2022 with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education.  She has enjoyed working at OEC and having a family away from home.  Her favorite part about teaching is getting to know each student and their families.  Outside of school, her favorite activity is gardening. She has many different flowers and grows a large vegetable garden every year!

Meghann Hennen
Meghann has been at Orange Early Childhood for 3 years.  In 2015, Meghann graduated with her Masters in Education and Special Education (Birth-3rd grade) from Teachers College, Columbia University.  She has taught for 13 years in various types of classrooms.  Meghann has worked with kindergarteners, prek, threes, and toddlers.  On the weekends, Megann teaches preschool and pre-ballet at Cleveland City Dance.  In her spare time, Meghann likes to spend time with her husband Patrick and her St. Berdoodle Luna.  In the summer, Meghann and her husband sail and race on Lake Erie.  

Brianna Turner 
Brianna Turner is in her second year of teaching the toddlers here at OEC.  Just like her students, Brianna started her educational journey here at OEC.  She then continued through the Orange City School district where she received her diploma in 2011.  Upon graduation, Brianna went to attend John Carroll University where she graduated with a degree in Psychology with a concentration in Child and Family Studies.  Brianna enjoys working at OEC and being able to make connections with her students, families, and community.  Besides having the pleasure of being a teacher to so many amazing students, in her spare time Brianna loves to cook, bake and spend time with her family and friends.  Family means everything to her and she makes sure to enjoy every minute she gets to spend with them.  Especially her two kids, Tristan and Teigan!

Rachel Peterson
Rachel is in her first year teaching.  She graduated in May of 2023 from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor's degree in Primary Education Prek-5.  Rachel has always had a passion for working with young students and watching them grow holistically. One of her favorite things about working at Orange Early Childhood is the support system and guidance provided by her peers.  In her free time Rachel likes to go thrift shopping, playing with her two cats, Finley and Bean, and spending time with her family and friends.

Emily Muhlbach
Emily graduated from Lake Erie College.  She has a degree in Early Childhood Education, Prek-3rd grade.  In the past, she worked in Mayfield and Euclid Schools.  This is her 4th year teaching.  In her free time, Emily enjoys playing with her dog and spending time with her fiance, Jesse.  She is excited to be working her first year at Orange Early Childhood!



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