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.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level VB.

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.  Alyson is also a 2017 graduate of the Early Childhood Leadership Institute through the Snelling Center for Government.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level VB.

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.  Vermont State  Level I Teacher’s License for Early Childhood Education.  Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2015.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level IVA.

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.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level IIIA.

Laura Mason, Lead Teacher - Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Organizational Management from Ashford University.  Laura formerly ran her own registered home childcare.  Employed at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2016.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level IVA.

Melanie Harris, 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.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level IIIA.

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.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level IVA.

Rachel Tidwell, Assistant Teacher – Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies from Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.  Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Community College of Vermont.  Assistant Teacher and Lead Summer Camp Counselor at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2012.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level IVA.

Amanda Miller, Assistant Teacher – Early Childhood Education Introductory Certificate from Berkshire Community College, MA.  Assistant Teacher at Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2011.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level I.

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.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level I.

Madalyn Olson, Assistant Teacher - Madalyn has completed the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care and Education course.  Madalyn is currently enrolled in the Community College of Vermont and working toward an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.  She has been a substitute at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2014 and a Floater/Assistant Teacher since 2016.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level I.

Heather Mason, Assistant Teacher - Heather has completed the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Care and Education course.  Employed at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2016.  Northern Lights Career Ladder Level I.

Abby Tole-Calabro, Assistant Teacher – Abby is working toward her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Community College of Vermont.  She has been employed at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2018.

Ruth Treweek, Assistant Teacher - Ruth is currently enrolled in Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education and anticipates completing her Associate’s Degree at Community College of Vermont Spring 2019.  Employed at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2018.

Tricia Daigneault, Floater - Tricia has completed the Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education course.  She has been employed at the Bennington Early Childhood Center since 2018.

Substitute Teachers (teachers that we call in on a per diem basis to cover the personal or sick time of our regular staff) - Pearl, Maria, Jina, Jamie, Anna, and Makenzie.

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 Community College of Vermont.