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:

VICTORIA CABAN (Toddler Teacher)

Victoria has been working with Stepping Stones for over four 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 education organization and working at a partial separation two-year-old program in Brooklyn Heights. When she’s not at Stepping Stones, you can find her learning new recipes and 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 (Toddler Teacher)

Nicole has worked with children as an after school assistant and camp counselor for three years.  This is her forth year 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.

 


 

BRITNEY CANNILLO (Preschool Teacher)

Britney has worked as a preschool teacher for three years prior to joining Stepping Stones. She enjoys working with children and believes in a positive learning environment for all children. Britney received her Bachelor Degree in English and is currently in the process of completing her Masters Degree in Special Education. In her free time, Britney enjoys spending time outside and being with her family and friends.  She is excited to join Stepping Stones and get to know everyone in the Stepping Stones Family.

 


NADIA CASTILLO CHICO (After School Program Teacher)

Nadia is a recent college graduate from Brooklyn College earning a degree in Psychology.  She is super excited to be the After School teacher this school year and is looking forward to working with her students.  She has been in an educational environment for over three years and can’t wait to making last memories at Stepping Stones. She enjoys taking long walks and enjoys outdoor events.  Nadia’s goal is to show her students that homework can be fun.  She is looking forward to teaching and guiding the after school students throughout the year.

 


DANIELLE DAYA (After School Program Teacher)

Danielle has been an After School teacher since 2021.  She believes that education is essential and a catalyst for promoting positive change in our world on both micro and macro levels.  She has always loved learning and many of her role models have been teachers.  She has received her Bachelor of Arts in English Studies from Fairfield University and is currently studying Educational Studies at Arizona State University for her Masters Degree. She enjoys music, playing with and training her puppy and discovering new recipes to experiment in the kitchen.  She has been a wonderful addition to Stepping Stones and looks forward to a great teaching journey here. 


JILLIAN DOYLE (Preschool Teacher)

Jillian has been a two-year-old and three-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 her students’ 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 (Toddler Teacher)

Jillian has been a teacher at Stepping Stones for over three years.  She was a wonderful addition to the staff.  She brings humor, fun, and creativity to all the students and teachers she works with.  Jillian has been an extended day teacher, after school teacher and toddler teacher.  She is currently completing her Degree in Early Childhood Education with Children and Youth Studies from Brooklyn College.  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.

 


DSC_5666

DONNA FONTANA (Toddler Teacher)

Donna has been working at Stepping Stones since 2014.  She has been a toddler  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.  

 


ASHLYN FRIEDBERG (Three Year Old Teacher)

Ashlyn has worked with children for over eight years in a camp and in schools. She believes that a warm, collaborative and hands-on environment can encourage children to become life-long learners.  She has completed her Bachelors Degree and is currently completing her Master in School Psychology.  Her favorite children’s books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and in her free time loves to spend time with her family and dogs. She is excited to join the Stepping Stones team.


DIANNA FURSA (Three Year Old Teacher)

Dianna currently holds a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and plans to complete her Masters Degree in the near future.  Dianna has always had a love of teaching and knew her passion was to be a teacher when she was in high school.  She has been working with children under the age of five since 2011 in an early childhood program.  She is excited to join Stepping Stones and guide the three year olds into the love of learning and play.  She also enjoys spending time with her husband and her two young children. Dianna is looking forward to a great year at Stepping Stones.   


 

HANNON GAGLIARDI (Assistant Director)

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 her baby daughter!

 


KIM SENISI (Toddler Teacher)

Kim has been a teacher at Stepping Stones for over five years.  She is kind, patient and enjoys working with children of all ages.  Kim holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Education and is passionate about teaching her students and incorporating her love of dance and movement throughout the day.  She is always available to assist her co-teachers and is always ready to engage in dramatic play with her students.  She enjoys staying healthy and spending time with her family. 

 


LYNDA SENISI (Preschool Teacher)

Lynda has a passion and love of children and dance.  She is inspired to teach children in her love of the arts and in education.  Lynda is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Dance Education and is always compassionate in everything she does. She enjoys reading to the children and modeling good behavior.  You can always find Lynda talking to the students and encouraging children through play.  She enjoys spending her free time with her family and nieces. 

 


ROSARY SCHININA (Three Year Old Teacher)

Rosary has had a love for teaching since she was 12 years old. Rosary has been a 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 Threes 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.