Meet Our Teachers
Melanie Dawson joined Wellesley Nursery School in the Hills as the new Director in September, 2020. Melanie is a graduate of Boston College holding a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Special Education, and a Master's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Connecticut. Melanie’s years of classroom teaching experience, partnerships with parents and leadership positions gives her the background necessary to take on her new role at WNSH.
Melanie and her husband Dave have lived in Medway for twenty years where they raised their four children Andrew, Brendan, Patrick and Emily. On the weekend, Melanie enjoys traveling to watch college hockey & field hockey games, walking and cake decorating.
Ages 2.9 - 3 years • Monday - Friday • 8:40 - 11:40am • 3-5 days a week
Jeana is a graduate of Salem State University, where she received a BA in Early Childhood Education. Jeana joined Wellesley Nursery School in the Hills in 2016. Prior to joining WNSH she worked as a preschool teacher in Andover for 6 years. Most currently she has been working as an ABA therapist. Jeana resides in Bedford with her husband and two children.
Lisa earned a BS In Educational Studies from UMASS Amherst and a Master’s in Elementary Education from Lesley University. Lisa joined WNSH in 2021. Prior to joining the WNSH team she spent 7 years teaching third grade and kindergarten in the Needham Public Schools as well as 6 years teaching preschool and transitional kindergarten at Chestnut Children’s Center. Lisa enjoys being part of a classroom community. She loves watching every child grow and develop at their own individual pace. When not in the classroom, she can be found reading, taking walks with her dog and spending time with her family. Lisa lives in Natick with her husband and two children
Mary is a graduate of Regis College, where she received a BA in Psychology and Elementary Education. Mary taught in the Boston Public Schools for fourteen years while taking courses to earn her Early Childhood Certification.
Mary has volunteered as a Religious Education teacher, registrar of Clapboardtree Nursery School and in her children’s classroom over the years. When she is not at WNSH, she enjoys running, reading, hiking and watching her children’s ice and field hockey games. Mary and her husband Bill live in Westwood where they raised their four children.
Ages 3.4 - 4 years • Monday - Friday • 8:40 - 11:40am • 4-5 days a week
Michelle moved to the United States from England in 1981, graduated from Babson College with a business degree, and then began working at State Street Bank in their Mutual Funds Custodial Division. After a few years at State Street, Michelle took a “career break” to be with her four children and found her true passion: the care and education of young children. She finds that there is no greater joy than to observe learning in action; to see the delight in a young face when an elusive concept is finally understood. She knows how important the formative preschool years are to raising confident, capable, independent people. She has been a Lead Teacher at WNSH since 2007. During this time, she has enjoyed working with a variety of age groups and being part of a very talented, professional, and nurturing staff. Michelle lives in Natick with her husband and four children.
Tracy is a graduate of the University of Richmond, where she received a BA in English and Journalism. Tracy joined WNSH in 2015, and has been a Lead Teacher in Preschool 2 since 2018. A Wellesley resident since 1990, Tracy was a frequent volunteer in the Wellesley Public Schools while her three children were students. In addition to teaching, Tracy enjoys yoga, cooking and traveling. When she is not at WNSH, you may see her in town at Wellesley Books, where she also works part-time.
Penny has thoroughly enjoyed her teaching career initially as a high school Math & Science teacher and for the past twenty-two years as a preschool educator. As a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a BA in Biology/Secondary Education, Penny has completed early childhood course work at Mass Bay, Hebrew College, Fisher College, and Lesley University. Penny’s philosophy as an early childhood educator has been to provide children with the skills they need to become capable, confident learners, to take pride in their accomplishments, and to strive to be kind, helpful, and polite individuals. Penny and her husband, David, have lived in Newton for thirty-one years; their two children, Skylar and Hayley, have followed in Penny’s footsteps as educators themselves. Penny very much enjoys spending time traveling with her family, visiting Vermont, providing academic support to students, and reading.
Ages 4 - 5 years • M, T, Th, F: 8:40-1:30 pm; W: 8:40 am -11:40 pm • 5 days
Karen attended the University of Massachusetts and Mass College of Art earning a BA with a social science concentration. After working in hospital administration, she left to raise her three children in Wellesley where she was an active volunteer in the schools, sports, WHJWC, and Town Meeting. She began teaching at WNSH in 2015 while taking courses to achieve her lead teacher certification. Karen loves working with all children to help them build confidence through their strengths while developing new skills. She is especially passionate about creating a fun, play-based educational environment to instill a love of learning. Outside of school, Karen enjoys dog-walking in the woods, cycling and skiing.
Dana is a graduate of Duke University and has lived in Wellesley since 1993, raising her 3 boys - all of whom began their school years at WNSH. She was an active volunteer in the schools, Wellesley Service League, and Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club. She began teaching at WNSH in 2015.
Dana loves working with young children! Their curiosity and excitement about the world brings her great joy, and she loves to nurture that in her students. When not at school, Dana enjoys walking her two dogs, playing golf, tennis and skiing.
Transitional Kindergarten M, T, Th, F: 8:40-1:30 pm; W: 8:40 am -11:40 pm • 5 days
Jessica is a graduate of Wheelock College, where she earned a B.S. and Master's in Early Childhood Education/Language and Literacy. She has been in the field of early education since 2010. Prior to joining WNSH in 2017, she taught Preschool in Newton and in the City of Cambridge. Jessica is enthusiastic and passionate about challenging young children intellectually. She believes in providing hands-on learning experiences in the classroom as means for children to develop important cognitive skills like critical thinking and observation. Jessica resides in Ashland with her husband and their two furbabies. When not at school, she enjoys being active in the gym, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
Lynn is a graduate of Syracuse University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree. As a teacher she strives to create a nurturing, safe environment where children are encouraged to try new things and take some risks in learning. It is important for her to get to know each individual child while building relationships with their families. Before coming to WNSH, Lynn worked as a teacher at Weekday Nursery in Newton. Lynn currently lives in Needham with her husband and two sons.
Carol has a B.S. and M.S. in Early Education and has happily worked with young children her whole professional career. She has had the pleasure of working in many kinds of educational settings. Carol was drawn to WNSH because of its stimulating and nurturing culture. She believes the greatest application to learning is emotion, so she makes every effort to establish and sustain a trusting and caring bond between staff and family, which paves success. When not reading up on the latest early child education websites, she enjoys biking, hiking, and cross-country skiing.