Teaching Staff


Our teaching staff is highly trained in early childhood and is dedicated to their field. Their passion for teaching and love of children is validated on a daily basis in their hard work.  Each staff member is CPR and First Aid Trained and has completed all of the requirements for the New York City Department of Health.

 

Teacher Profiles:

 

 

JACINDA ANDINO

Jacinda has been a teacher at Stepping Stones for over a year.  Jacinda has been a teacher with the three-year-olds and is currently teaching in the two-year-old class.  Jacinda has completed her B.A. in Child Study from St. Joseph’s College. Her college program prepared her for teacher certification in Early Childhood, Childhood Education, Students with Disabilities in Early Childhood and Students with Disabilities in Childhood Education.  After receiving her undergrad, Jacinda plans on completing her Masters in Literacy.  Jacinda’s goals and passion are to become a teacher for students with disabilities.  Jacinda is very kind and understanding with students.  She builds bonds with the students in her care.  Her main goal is always to make sure the students leave school with a smile on their face.

 

 

LEEANN BELVEDERE

LeeAnn is currently the Preschool teacher at Stepping Stones- The Next Step. She has been working at Stepping Stones for over six years.  In that time, she has taught children in both the 2-year-old and 3-year-old program. LeeAnn attended The Catholic University of America, in Washington D.C., where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. Upon graduation in 2013, she moved back to New York to begin her teaching career and be closer to her family. She is currently completing her Masters of Science in Special Education from CUNY College of Staten Island. During her free time, she volunteers at the Make a Wish Foundation for the New York City area. She loves to travel to new places and explore new foods. LeeAnn became a teacher to pass her love of learning on to today’s children. She wanted to make an impact on children’s development by creating a positive and engaging learning environment.

 

 

 

VICTORIA CABAN

Victoria has been working with Stepping Stones for over two years. She grew up in Brooklyn and currently lives in Bay Ridge. When she first started at Stepping Stones she worked with the three-year-old program and now has begun working at the two-year-old program. Victoria, who goes by Ms. Vicky, has several years of experience in working in the field of education. Her previous experience included managing afterschool programs for a non-profit arts ed organization and working at a two-year-old program in Brooklyn Heights. When she’s not at Stepping Stones, you can find her learning new recipes or continuing her education at Kingsborough. In her spare time, Vicky can be found playing the latest video game or catching up on nerd culture. Vicky really enjoys creating a safe, fun and enriching program at Stepping Stones and looks forward to the years to come.

 

 

 

NICOLE CANALE

Nicole has worked with children as an after school assistant and camp counselor for two years.  This is her first year as an after school teacher at Stepping Stones.  She enjoys working with children and showing them new things.  Nicole is currently attending Kingsborough Community College with a major in Mental Health and Human Services.  Her goal is to be a mental health counselor specializing in children and adolescents.  In her free time, Nicole likes to discover new music and spend time with family and friends.  She looks forward to getting to know the staff, children, and parents at Stepping Stones.

 

 

 

 

CLAUDIA CANONICA

Claudia has been a teacher at Stepping Stones-The Next Step since 2013. She grew up in Brooklyn and has three siblings. She was inspired to become a teacher by her nieces and her sister, who is the director of special needs education in Nassau County. She is a graduate of St. John’s University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a second major in English. She has been a substitute teacher for the Department of Education and most recently the nanny of two children from Bay Ridge. Helping them and watching them grow has been a great experience that lends itself to being a compassionate and nurturing person in the classroom. She is passionate about the education of children because they are the future. Her interests away from school include anything outdoors; paddleboarding on Neponsit Beach in Rockaway, baseball (She’s a HUGE Yankee fan!), reading, baking, and crafting.

 

 

JILLIAN DOYLE

Jillian has been a two-year-old teacher at Stepping Stones since 2017.  Jillian has been an early childhood educator for over five years, in both early intervention and preschool classes. She has extensive experience working with children who have special needs and believes every young child learns in a personal and unique way. Jillian’s goal this year is to foster our toddler’s independence, explore the world around them, and learn through play. Jillian continues to study Early Childhood Education because she believes that a positive school experience at a young age sets the students up for success. Jillian looks forward to an exciting year ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

JILLIAN ENGLISH

Jillian has been a three-year-old assistant teacher at Stepping Stones for over a year.  She was a wonderful addition to the staff last year.  She brings humor, fun, and creativity to all the students and teachers she works with.  Jillian is an extended day teacher this year as she completes her Degree in Early Childhood Education with Children and Youth Studies from Brooklyn College during the day.  She has a passion for art and loves to play any board games or creative games with the children.  Her patience and kindness are seen on a daily basis.

 

 

 

 

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DONNA FONTANA

Donna has been working at Stepping Stones since 2014.  She has been a toddler assistant teacher for both summer and fall and is currently completing her degree in Early Childhood Education. Donna loves to sing and play the piano in her spare time. She truly enjoys working with the children and loves being able to see how much the children learn and grow over the school year.  She is extremely patient and kind and treats every child as if they were her own.  She loves nurturing the children and helping them get adjusted to their new school environment.  You will always see Donna with a child on her hip or holding someone’s hand.

 

 

 

SHANNON GAGLIARDI

Shannon has worked with Stepping Stones Nursery School since 2010. During her tenure, she worked with two-year-olds and has spent the majority of her time here as the three-year-old headteacher.  Shannon attended Saint John’s University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Education with a concentration in English.  She has received her professional certification in Education and completed her Master’s Degree in Education. Shannon teaches to help instill the values of education in her students and creating early education bonds with her students that she carries with her forever. Shannon is an animal lover and enjoys feeding and caring for the stray animals she encounters. Shannon also looks forward to spending time with her husband and starting a family of their own.

 

 

 

DANA MARINO

Dana currently works as a teacher in Stepping Stones.  In the past, she has been a co-teacher of the Kindergarten After School Program and also an assistant teacher for the two-year-old class. She has been with Stepping Stones since 2014.  Dana received her Associate’s Degree from Kingsborough Community College in Early Childhood Education and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education in January of this year. She loves teaching because there is nothing better than watching children grow.  This school year will be the first time Dana will be working with the three-year-old class.  During her free time, Dana enjoys working for Event Works; an Event Planning Company on the weekends where she creates the parties of your dreams. Her creativity inside and outside the classroom always shines.  You can always find Dana laughing and smiling with her students and their parents.  She loves interacting with people and is a great addition to the Stepping Stones staff.

 

 

 

DALIA SARSOUR

Dalia is currently a substitute and extended day teacher.  She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education at the College of Staten Island.  Her interests include spending quality time with family and friends. Her previous experiences with children include babysitting and tutoring for all ages.  In her free time, she enjoys getting hold of a good book.  Her objective at Stepping Stones is to mold, experiment, and support children’s interests through play and activity while feeling engaged in their environment.

 

 

 

 

 

SAMIAH SARSOUR

Samiah has helped in the After School Program at Stepping Stones for over a year.  This summer she worked as an extended teacher and various days with children in the two, three, and four-year-old classes.  Samiah is currently enrolled in Hunter College full time working towards her degree in Nursing.  During her free time, she loves to walk the pier with her friends as well as creating new crafts with her little sister.  She looks forward to being a part of the friendly and enthusiastic family at Stepping Stones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROSARY SCHININA

Rosary has had a love for teaching since she was 12 years old. Rosary has been a Preschool teacher here at Stepping Stones since 2007. Along with holding her position here, she is a mother of two children. Having children in grade school allows Rosary to empathize with your concerns regarding your child’s early childhood development and it helps her to prepare your child for their future education. Rosary is currently a teacher for our Preschool program at The Next Step. She is a caring, nurturing, and enthusiastic individual, who is dedicated to her classroom. Outside of her classroom, she enjoys spending time with her family! Rosary’s future goals are to continue teaching the incoming students of Stepping Stones. She enjoys watching every student in her class blossom into mature young individuals. She strives to provide a fun and interactive environment for her class where the children will not only learn but grow to love the process of learning itself.

 

 

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CAITLIN SNYDER

Caitlin has been a part of the three-year-old class for over six years. Caitlin grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia in Newtown, Bucks County. She attended an all-girls private, Catholic preparatory high school. After high school, Caitlin attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  She graduated from CUA, with a BA Degree in Early Childhood Education. Caitlin’s interests include music, going to concerts, running, going to the beach, trying new things, and meeting new people. Caitlin’s future goal is to receive her Masters in Guidance Counseling. Caitlin loves to constantly create a positive learning environment within her classroom. Caitlin loves to constantly engage her students to further their understanding of the material being taught with enjoyable and hands-on lessons!

 

 

 

 

SAMANTHA TAGLIARINI

Samantha has been a teacher in the two-year-old program for over a year.  She will receive a B.A. in Early Childhood Education this school year from Brooklyn College.  Her patience and kindness with the children always shine when she is in the classroom.  She is enthusiastic when modeling plays in the creative centers and fosters a love of learning with her students on a daily basis.  In addition to teaching at Stepping Stones and completing her college degree, she has been teaching dance to young children for over eight years.  She uses these mastered dance skills in her classroom to bring in her creative movement and love of the arts.  She truly enjoys watching the developmental growth in her students and is looking forward to another great school year with her students at Stepping Stones.