Amanda Casabona-Cohen "Mrs. CC" (Owner & Director)
Mrs. CC graduated from St. John’s University with a Marketing Degree and worked in the Marketing Department at Citibank for twelve years. During this time, she took evening classes at St. John’s University to pursue her passion and earn a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. After leaving the corporate world, she taught art classes in several after-school and preschool programs, and held positions at several local summer camps. Mrs. CC started at Little People’s of Somers as a Two’s assistant in 2002 and after several years, she was thrilled to become the head teacher for the Three’s. In 2018, Mrs. CC became the new owner and director of Little People’s and feels that this position is a perfect match for her passion and degree in Early Childhood Education along with her organizational skillset in business. Mrs. CC is very involved in the Somers Chamber of Commerce, as well as president of her family charity, Patrick Casabona Jr. Memorial Fund (PattyCass). She spends most of her volunteering time in the Somers schools, where her boys are students. She is looking forward to working with all the Little People’s families to continue to make this a fun, educational and caring place for our children.
Jade Unmann (Two's, Teacher)
Jade Unmann has her certifications in Early Childhood, Childhood, and Special Education, and is one semester away from completing her Masters in Education. After receiving her Bachelors in Criminal Justice, Jade began working at Early Friends Child Care in Somers, while awaiting to hear back from Criminal Justice jobs. Quickly realizing she always had a passion for working with children, she decided to change her career path and get her Masters in Education. She worked at Early Friends for the past three years. Jade loved working with the "littles" and was always amazed by how toddlers learn and finding ways to help learn about and explore the world around them. Jade spends her free time baking, playing with her three little cousins, or her newly adopted dog Murphy.
After she spends her mornings with the twos, she will spending the afternoons at Somers Intermediate School within the Special Education classes.
Jade is so excited to join the Little People's team, and knows she has big shoes to fill following Mrs. Greczylo! She is very much looking forward to teaching the twos as well as learning from them.
Kelly Mitchell (Two's, Assistant)
Kelly Mitchell has worked in the education field for over twenty years. She worked as an Undergraduate Admission Counselor at Fordham University, a School Counselor at Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains in addition to Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua. Kelly earned a Masters in Education from Fordham University.
A Somers resident for the past eight years, Kelly is also very involved within the Somers community. She is a member of the "No Place for Hate" Committee at the Somers Middle School, has chaired many PTA events and functions and is an active member of the Primrose, Somers Intermediate School and Somers Middle School PTA's. She is also a member of the Somers Intermediate School PTA Executive Board.
When she's not singing and laughing along with her Two's at Little People, Kelly can be found on a field, court or turf with one of her three beautiful children!
Melissa Monahan (Three's, Assistant)
Melissa Monahan is one of the Three’s Assistant Teachers. Melissa is a Somers resident and has over 15 years of experience in the early childhood field. Melissa’s sons were a part of the Little People’s family during their younger years and are now both Middle School aged young men.
Melissa has an A.A.S in Early Childhood Education from Westchester Community College. Prior to working at Little People’s Melissa worked at the Saw Mill Camp and the Saw Mill Preschool. Melissa also has experience with various after school enrichment programs including cooking, science, and stay and play activities. She is a caring and compassionate teacher who encourages students to learn through play. She believes wholeheartedly in inclusion for all children, and has the desire to identify and nurture the individualized needs of each child.
When Melissa is not working, she spends her free time with her family enjoying the outdoors in the Adirondacks.
Janice Calloway, (Three's, Assistant)
Janice Calloway is a mother of three girls and has been a teacher for young students since 1995. Originally teaching kindergarten and third grade in Georgia, she is happy to have found her place at Little Peoples of Somers. She has a Bachelors Degree from Syracuse University (1993) and a Masters in Reading from Georgia State University (1998).
All three of her daughters have graduated from Little Peoples and have been an integrate part of the schools community since. When Janice is not teaching, you can find her shopping with Emily for college, running Hayley’s Girl Scout Troop, and cheering on Katie Lou as she plays soccer.
Her favorite part about working with little people are the unsolicited hugs, kisses and I Love You’s.
Lynn Cukaj (Four's, Teacher)
Lynn Cukaj is a board certified Art Therapist and has a Master’s in Education. She has worked in the field of art therapy for over twenty years and has been teaching at Little People’s of Somers for seven years. Mrs. Cukaj has three children who all attended Little People’s. She has been a Cub Scout leader, Girl Scout leader, involved in the PTA, and a parent advocate for special education. Mrs. Cukaj has experience working with all age groups in community-based programs at the library, after-school program at Primrose Elementary School, Alzheimer’s caregiver support group at Burke Rehabilitation Hospital, staff development at Somers Central School District, and teaching art therapy and art for meditation groups at Railyard Art Studio. Her goal is to bring art to every child as a way to express emotions, find their own sense of creativity, and grow as lifelong learners.
Kristine Collins (Four's, Teacher)
Kristine Collins has 10 years of experience in the early childhood field. Graduating from Iona College in 2005, she worked in the Media and Entertainment field before finding her true calling and pursued a Master’s Degree in Education. She holds an NYS certification in birth through 6th grade and is certified in special education. From 2010-2016, she worked as the head teacher at Church in the Highlands Early Childhood Center in White Plains, teaching to a class of 3’s and 4’s. Since 2014, she has worked part-time with TheraCare of NY providing services to children with disabilities from 8 months to 5 years old. Mrs. Collins has two children of her own, aged 6 and 3 and in her spare time enjoys being a class mom as well as a Girl Scout Leader.
Mrs. Collins’ feels that all children learn best by doing and exploring the world around them. She believes that we are our children’s best models! Her favorite thing about teaching is seeing a child’s imagination and ideas take off; guiding them through problem-solving and providing them an outlet to be creative.
Stacey McGaughney (Four's, Assistant)
Stacey McGaughey is one of the Four's assistant teachers. She has been working at Little Peoples for over 14 years. Her son was a part of the Three’s program in 2004 and it was at that time when she fell in love with the programs, teachers and the school. Her son will graduate high school in 2019 and the 1st class she ever taught will be graduating the following year!
Stacey has taken early childhood classes at Westchester Community College and attend annual conferences related to preschool development. She previously worked at Oak Lane Child Care Center in Chappaqua. Stacey has been a class mom, team mom for travel soccer and has run functions in her own community, Lake Lincolndale. Stacey is a certified children’s yoga instructor. Stacey is a fun-loving teacher that that likes to interact closely with the children and loves to see them play and laugh. What she truly loves most is watching the young friendships grow & develop and the children become “Little People”.
Jill Realbuto (Four's, Assistant)
Jill Realbuto started at Little People’s of Somers in September, 2018. She has a daughter that attended Little People’s from 2005 to 2008. Before having her daughter, she worked fifteen years as a certified dental assistant and office manager. She is currently the Service Unit Leader for Somers Girl Scouts. She is also a Girl Scout Leader to nine girls that have been with her since kindergarten. Jill has been an active member of the PTA since 2008, holding a number of positions and she is currently on the board of the High School PTA. She loves kids and considers herself a big kid! She is loving, fun, enthusiastic and caring. Jill is the assistant teacher to Lynn Cukaj in the Four’s program at Little People’s of Somers.