Preschool Staff

The staff at the Preschool at NMS is a gifted group of experienced early childhood educators who respect and understand the unique needs of young children and who are dedicated to creating an inspiring environment that fosters creativity, curiosity and a passion for learning.


Christine Missakian

Director. 203-624-5189 x 23 or [email protected]

Christine joined the NMS Preschool faculty in 2004 and after six years in the classroom, moved to the role of Director. Her more than 30 years experience in the field of child development and early childhood education includes positions such as head teacher at the Yeladim Childcare Center at the Jewish Community Center in Woodbridge, where she established and served as program coordinator for their half-day preschool, and teaching positions at Leila Day Nursery School.

Christine is a hands-on director who not only supports and guides the teaching staff but interacts closely with the children and their parents as we all work together through these important early years of education and development. Christine graduated from Central Michigan State University with a BS in early childhood education and attended graduate school at Southern Connecticut State University. All three of her children attended the Preschool at NMS.

Serena Hatch

[email protected]

Serena has been with NMS for over 20 years. She has a Child Development Associate Credential and Early Childhood Coursework from Gateway. Serena grew up in a home filled with music and loves to sing and play her guitar. Hearing songs from her childhood always wakes joyful memories in Serena. Aside from the benefits of music for young children, (language, literacy & movement to name a few) she hopes to be a part of creating joyful memories for the children she teaches.

Denise Nutile

[email protected]

Denise has been with the NMS Preschool since 2006. She spent several years working into the Toddler room in 2013. Denise greatly enjoys working with young children and providing them with opportunities to openly explore, learn, and grow through hands-on art and music experiences.

Vandana Kant

[email protected]

Vandana has spent the last 13 years at Gateway Early Learning Center. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in education and a Child Development Associate from Gateway Community College. Vandana taught elementary school in India before moving to CT where she has resided for the last 16 years.

Erica Sapp

[email protected]

Erica came to NMS via the summer program, Audubon Arts, in 2001. She has been the lower Camp Drama Director every summer since where she guides children through creative movement, music and storytelling.

Erica taught in the Toddler Room for 10 years before moving to the preschool classroom. She enjoys reading stories to and drumming with the children as well as sharing messy, sensory play experiences with them. Erica brings her passion for drama and theater to the preschool, creating exciting and engaging play spaces in the classroom.

Her coursework includes early childhood classes at Gateway Community College and performing arts and social justice at Hampshire College.