Meet Our Teachers

Darlene Bombard, Co-Director – MAT Bennington College, VT; BS Elementary Education, SUNY College at Plattsburgh, NY. VT State Level I License, Endorsement Level 1-00. Teaching Experience: Substitute teaching—Bennington School District, VT; Mary Queen of Heaven School, KY; Caywood Elementary School, KY. Teaching at Bennington College Early Childhood Center since 1988. Interim program director, co-director, and director— Bennington College Early Childhood Center. Publication: Expanding Children’s Boundaries, An Approach to Second-Language Learning and Cultural Understanding, Young Children, March 2007.  Teacher and Co-Director at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2009.

Alyson Ruby Grzyb, Co-Director – MS Early Childhood Education, Central Connecticut State University; BS Psychology, Trinity College, CT. Vermont State Level II Educator’s License for Early Childhood Education (birth through grade 1). Head Teacher Certificate, State of CT Department of Public Health. Teaching Experience: head teacher—Happy Days Playschool, VT; teacher of preschool and infant/toddler—Child Development Center, CT. Lead teacher at Bennington College Early Childhood Center since 2005 and lead teacher/co-director at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2009.

Britni Becker, Lead Teacher – Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies: Children, Families and Society from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  Previous lead teaching experience at Lenox Children’s Center and assistant teaching experience at Berkshire Children and Families.  Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2015.

Lauren Niles, Lead Teacher - Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Science from Messiah College.  Previous experience both in the classroom and the administrative office of the Messiah College Early Learning Center.  Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2015.

Chelsea Bush, Lead Teacher – Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from St. Michael’s College.  Previous lead teaching experience at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center and assistant teaching experience at St. Michael’s College Early Learning Center.  Chelsea is currently working on completing her Master’s Degree at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2015.

Melanie Brown, Lead Teacher - Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Psychology from SUNY New Paltz.  Previous work experience as a mental health worker at Four Winds Saratoga, an assistant at a registered home child care, and a substitute teacher at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2014.  

Joan Malinowski, Assistant Teacher – Bachelor’s Degree in Early Education/English and Secondary Education/English from Southern Vermont College, VT.  Assistant teacher at Bennington College Early Childhood Center 1990-2009, and Bennington Early  Childhood Center since 2009.

Maria Cornwell, Assistant Teacher – Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal and Professional Studies with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences from Mitchell College, CT.  Assistant teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2014.

Rachel Tidwell, Assistant Teacher – Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Community College of Vermont.  Completed Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care and Education.  Working toward her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University (anticipated completion May 2018).  Assistant Teacher and Lead Summer Camp Counselor at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2012.

Amanda Miller, Assistant Teacher – Early Childhood Education Introductory Certificate from Berkshire Community College, MA.  Assistant Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2011.

Jacqueline (Jackie) Byer, Assistant Teacher - Completed Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care and Education.  Assistant Teacher at Bennington College Early Childhood Center 2006-2007, and Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2013.

Laura Mason, Assistant Teacher - Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Organizational Management from Ashford University.  Laura formerly ran her own registered home childcare.  Assistant Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2016.

Madalyn Olson, Floater/Assistant Teacher - Madalyn has completed the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care and Education course.  She has been a substitute at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2014 and a Floater/Assistant Teacher since 2016.

Penny Vanaman, Assistant Teacher - Penny started at the BECC in 2017.  She brings energy and enthusiasm to her work.  She has taken a number of courses at Community College of Vermont.

Heather Mason, Substitute/Floater - Heather has completed the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care and Education course.  She has been a Substitute/Floater at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2016.

Substitute Teachers (teachers that we call in on a per diem basis to cover the personal or sick time of our regular staff) - Heather, Wendy, Karla, Nadia, Lisa, Greer and Mallory.

College Students - Each semester we generally have one to six college students that provide extra support to our classrooms.  These students may be paid employees, Federal Work Study Program employees, interns, or student teachers.  They come to us from Bennington College, Southern Vermont College, and Johnson State College.