Laurie Morelli, Executive Director has devoted more than 40 years working in early education with young children and their families. Laurie has been the Executive Director since the Center opened in 1986 providing care at that timefor 48 children 15 months through age 5. Under the leadership of Governor Michael Dukakis, TCC was initiated as a progressive work-site state model early education program. During her tenure Laurie has advocated for the needs of state employees and the surrounding community requesting additional space in the transportation building to expand its services. This resulted in the opening of a full-day kindergarten program in 1992, the opening of the Junior-Preschool classroom as the needs shifted, and most recently the opening of the infant program in November 2018, now providing care for 78 children 3 months through 5 years old. Laurie has successfully led the team through several NAEYC accreditations with the current five-year term through December 2022. Laurie earned her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst MA and is DEEC Director certified and certified to teach Early Education through 8th grade. Prior to working at TCC, Laurie was hired as the Center Director with the start-up of the Early Learning Center at the Boys and Girls Club in Nashua NH, serving 135 children daily ages 15 months through age 5 where she continued for five years.
"From when I was very young, I always knew I wanted to work around children. Recognizing the early years are the most formative I knew my focus on early education was exactly where I wanted to be. I was drawn to the administrative work and have had the honor to work with many dedicated early childhood professionals, board members, volunteers, and parents in providing high-quality services to young children. I am most proud of the professional and long-term staff we have maintained and the outstanding teacher-child ratios we have implemented." Laurie grew up in Massachusetts and has resided in New Hampshire over 30 years where she raised with her husband Gary, three children who attended TCC. "I feel TCC played an important role in the people they are today. TCC is a special place, a second family to me! I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of this community and look forward to our continued work in meeting the needs of young children and their families."
Elise Green is the Assistant Executive Director and has been working at TCC since May 1995. Elise began her TCC journey as an intern in our Pre-Kindergarten classroom in October 1994. She was hired after graduation in Toddler Two, where she nurtured two-year-old children for three years. Elise was then promoted to Head Teacher of Preschool One, where she taught three to four-year-old children for the next three years. Elise moved into her current role of Assistant Executive Director in January 2000. As the Assistant Executive Director, Elise meets with, guides and orientates families through the enrollment process. Elise also provides supervision for staff throughout the center. Elise particularly works very closely with the staff through the NAEYC Accreditation process.
Elise earned her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education at Bay State College and her Bachelor's Degree in Human Services from Fisher College. Elise has taught at both Bay State and Fisher College in their Early Childhood Programs as well as supervised students while completing their internships at early child programs in the city. Elise has supported the skill and enthusiasm of Early Childhood Educators new to the field. Elise is the proud mom to Hudson, a TCC alum. They enjoy visiting museums, hiking, kayaking, and spending quality time with family.
Amelia Martin has been the Administrative Assistant at TCC since 2016. Amelia is a native of Boston and is a graduate of Boston Public Schools. Amelia holds a Bachelor's degree in Small Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Newbury College. Amelia has worked with children through public and charter schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Amelia is the proud mother of Deborah Danna Mae, who is currently enrolled at TCC. Amelia enjoys spending time with her family, painting, baking, crossword puzzles and is a floral enthusiast. Amelia also enjoys various genres of music including jazz, rhythm and blues, soca, and classic rock.
Desalia Gomes is a Lead Infant Teacher at TCC and began working at TCC as a Teacher in the Toddler Two classroom in August 2017 and was promoted to Lead Infant Teacher when the Infant Program opened in November 2018. She is a lifelong learner and is currently working on her Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, and plans to continue her studies to earn her Master’s degree. Additionally, Desalia is taking classes related to early education and is DEEC Infant-Toddler Lead Teacher certified. Desalia has worked with children of all ages for the past thirteen years. Desalia adores children and believes everyone should have access to a healthy, loving, educational environment from an early age. Outside of the workplace, Desalia is often planning her next big adventure, writing poetry, learning about the moon, star gazing, reading, and spending time with family.
Opal Edwards is a Lead Infant Teacher and has been working at TCC since 2000. Opal earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences from Southern Nazarene University, Bethany Oklahoma. In addition, Opal has completed several early childhood education courses from Bay State College and Urban College and is DEEC Infant-Toddler Lead Teacher certified. Opal was a toddler teacher for 18+ years and 16+ of which have been here at TCC. When the infant program opened at TCC in 2018, Opal was promoted to the Lead Teacher position in the Infant room and began a new chapter at TCC. Opal enjoys working with children and watching them grow and learn through play and social interactions and strives to provide a warm nurturing and positive learning environment. Opal is originally from Owen's grove, Liberia, West Africa. She has a wonderful husband and is the proud mother of three adorable girls.
Bevin Edwards is an Infant teacher. She is a recent graduate from Elms College where she earned a Bachelor's degree in Social Work in May 2018 and additionally Bevin is DEEC Infant-ToddlerTeacher certified. Bevin started at TCC as a volunteer in 2014, enjoying her free time playing with toddlers and helping around the toddler classrooms. Bevin spent two consecutive summers and some holiday seasons working part-time in the toddler classrooms as well as lending a helping hand in our preschool classrooms as well before officially becoming one of toddler two teachers in August 2018. Bevin transitioned to work with infants in TCC's newly opened infant program in November 2018. Bevin loves interacting with children of all ages, as every interaction is unique, genuine, and funny with many opportunities to help children develop and learn.
Raseel Alahmed is an infant teacher. Raseel completed a six month co-op at TCC while she attended Northeastern University. Raseel graduated from Northeastern University in May 2018 having completed a dual degree with a Bachelor of Science and Humanities in Sociology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After graduation, Raseel was hired by TCC to work as an infant teacher and became DEEC teacher certified. Raseel has experiences as a teacher working in both Boston and Saudi Arabia with every age group from infants to teenagers.
DaLisa Costa is an infant teacher who began at TCC in November 2018 when the infant program opened. Dalisa has over five years experience working with young children. DaLisa is currently a student at Roxbury Community College working on her Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education and will graduate in May 2019. Upon completing her Associate Degree, DaLisa plans to continue to get her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education at Springfield College. DaLisa always wanted to be a teacher growing up where she was the oldest of three other siblings on her dad's side and the youngest sibling on her mom’s side. Helping children grow and develop brings a smile to her face which makes her happy to work with the infants and be part of the TCC Family.
Latoya Wilson is an Infant teacher who began at TCC when the Infant Program opened in November 2018, but has been an Early Childhood Educator for 28 years. Latoya has worked with children of all ages including Infants/Toddlers/Preschool/ School age and Teens. Latoya is DEEC Infant-Toddler-Preschool Lead Teacher and Director 1 certified and is continuing her education in early childhood education. Latoya is the proud mother of 3 and is also a foster parent and mentors teens on her personal time.
Rosemarie Doe works as an Infant teacher and began at TCC when the Infant program opened in November 2018. Rose has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and is DEEC Lead Teacher Infant-Toddler andDirector 2 certified. Rose has worked in a variety of Early Childhood settings including home day care, center care, nanny care and a home for pregnant and parenting teenage girls.
Gina Doucette is the Head Teacher in our Toddler One classroom. Gina has been a teacher at TCC since 2010 when she first began in the Toddler Two classroom. She has experience with all ages and was a teacher in the Junior Preschool classroom as well, but always comes back to the Toddlers. Gina has been in the field since she graduated from high school following in the steps of her older sister, her mentor. She is currently finishing her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and is DEEC Infant-Toddler- Preschool Lead Teacher certified. . Gina is a mom herself to a little boy and has many life experiences loving and caring for young children.
Antonia Teixeira is a teacher in Toddler One and has been working in toddler one since 2005 and is DEEC teacher certified. Antonia enjoys teaching toddlers new things everyday by preparing different activities to broaden the children’s minds. Antonia always tries to make her parents feel comfortable leaving their children in her hands every day. She really enjoys doing hands on and activities with the children. She helps the children learn to walk, talk and to start being independent when they are in her class and prepare them for Toddler Two. Antonia is a mother of three daughters, Nalani 26, Anissa 24, and Imani 16. Both Anissa and Imani attended TCC in the past and Antonia's granddaughter Olivia is currently a student in TCC's Pre-K classroom.
Allison Barshay is a Toddler 1 Teacher and began working at TCC beginning January 2019. She started as a floating teacher at TCC and as such, has spent time in each and every classroom. Allison is from Atlanta, GA and graduated from Auburn University in December 2018 with a Bachelor's in Human Development and Family Studies after completing her internship at TCC in the Pre-K classroom. Allison has always enjoyed helping young children learn and after volunteering with medically fragile patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and teaching at various preschools in Auburn, she knew she wanted to have a career working with young children. She has two sisters, one which lives in Boston, and has loved the transition to her new hometown!
Lucia is the Toddler Two Lead Teacher and has been at TCC since 2011 working with both toddlers and preschoolers. Lucia earned her Associate's Degree in Early Education from Fisher College and is DEEC Infant-Toddler- Preschool Lead Teacher certified. Lucia has been in the early education field her whole life going beginning when she would go as a little girl to daycare. She remembers those found moments and memorable experiences. Lucia always had a love for children and got her first job at a daycare when she was sixteen working with preschool age children. Lucia has three boys herself and understands the trust it takes in parents to entrust in their child’s teacher to care for them just as well as they can.
Tia Bethea is a Toddler Two teacher and began working at TCC in August 2018 in the Toddler Two classroom. In her career, Tia has taught toddlers and preschoolers for over 16 years in the Boston area. Tia earned her Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education from Baystate College and had completed an internship at TCC while working towards her Associate's degree. Tia is DEEC Infant-Toddler-Preschool teacher certified. Tia continues to create a caring, safe and learning environment for children to climb their ladder to success. Tia is happy to be a part of the TCC team and community and is looking forward to many more years here!
Melissa Magee is a Toddler Two teacher at TCC and began working at TCC in February 2019. Melissa has her Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education from Bunker Hill Community College and is DEEC infant-toddler-preschool teacher certified. Melissa has worked in the field of educating young children for over 8 years. Melissa has worked with all age groups but especially enjoys working with the older toddlers. Melissa likes working on messy art activities with the kids!
Jenny Wu is the Lead Teacher in Junior Preschool and joined TCC as a preschool teacher in 2017 after completing two internships at TCC through UMASS Boston which included one semester in the Pre-K and Preschool classes. Jenny holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Preschool Teaching and is DEEC Lead Teacher Preschool certified. Jenny enjoys working with children and particularly interested in building strong trusted relationships with them. Jenny has a passion for helping young children, and watching them learn, achieve, and grow. Jenny loves to be super dramatic with the children because we all love to have fun. One of the highlights that creates Jenny’s love of being a teacher is the hilarious and honest conversations the children have every day with their friends. Outside of school, Jenny loves to be in the city and explore, try new restaurants, and enjoys taking photographs.
Elica Teixeira is a Junior Preschool teacher. Elica has had the privilege of being a part of the TCC family since 2017. After spending a year teaching in China, she was excited to expand her role at TCC. Together with a team of amazing and creative teachers, she provides a nurturing and loving environment, where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help build their confidence while they play. Elica is a 2014 Northeastern University alumni, with a major in Art and Design. Her background has allowed her to have the best job in the world teaching and inspiring children to learn about their world through the lens of art. She looks forward to continuing to have a positive impact on the children's growth and to new discoveries. Working with all the children at TCC brings Elica great joy, and she values her role supporting moms and dads in their parenting journey!
Annia Alfonso is a Junior Preschool teacher who has worked in early childcare for over 5 years. Prior to this Annia gained experience in this field while taking care of her twin nieces. Annia is DEEC Infant/Toddler and preschool certified and currently completing college courses at Roxbury Community College. Annia loves teaching because she loves to share her ideas and also get an insight into children’s thoughts. Annia believes that is very important to instill a love of learning into children as they are our future.
Brooke Wamanga is the Lead Preschool Teacher and Curriculum Coordinator. Brooke began her career in Early Childhood Education in 1998 and joined the TCC family in 2002. Brooke is a Lesley College graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Human Development. Brooke enjoys creating beautiful and interesting learning spaces where not only children and families feel at home, but help build student led learning through play and discovery. Brooke also enjoys spending time working in the garden and cooking with the children. In addition to teaching, As the Curriculum Coordinator, Brooke works with the administration and teaching teams to create classroom environments and curriculum that reflect TCC’s philosophy and values for learning. Outside of work, Brooke enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and two children (both part of the TCC family). She looks forward to warm days and spending time on the beach.
Jen Plave has been working as a teacher in the Preschool One classroom since 2015, and has spent over 14 years working in early childhood education. She graduated from Northeastern University with her Bachelor’s degree in Education/Psychology as well as certification to teach Elementary Ed. in the state of Massachusetts and is DEEC Preschool Teacher certified. Prior to Jen’s graduation, her younger sister Stephanie was working as a Co-op at TCC and raved about her days filled with fun and excitement- Jen knew she had to jump on board, (even working alongside her sister for a year!) and the rest is history. Aside from endless jokes and hugs, Jen most enjoys crafting with the children and is always looking to start her next artistic project.
Kathleen Ciprianis one of the Preschool One teachers here at TCC. Kathleen attended Fisher College, and earned her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education. While attending Fisher college, Kathleen completed an internship at TCC in 2014. Kathleen went on to complete her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at Salem State University. Kathleen previously was teaching toddlers before she joined TCC in March of 2018 in Preschool One, and enjoys working with children of all age groups and watching them grow and learn through play and social interactions.
Teddy Kokoros is the Lead Teacher in the Prekindergarten classroom and has taught preschool at The Transportation Children’s Center beginning in 2003 after completing an internship at TCC. He has also taught college early education classes at Umass Boston, Fisher College, Bay State College and Lesley University. He obtained his Associate's Degree in Early Education at Bay State College, Bachelor’s in Sociology at UMass Boston, Masters in Education with a focus on language and literacy at The Harvard Graduate School of Education, Post Masters Certificate in Early Childhood Education Research, Practice, and Policy from UMass Boston, and is currently working on his PhD in Education at Lesley University. He serves as the president of the early childhood education research website: https://www.earlychildhoodeducationandcare.com
Teddy enjoys helping children build their emergent literacy and math skills and teaching them about sports and music. Outside of work, Teddy enjoys riding his bike around the Charles River, watching and playing sports, and checking out the local music scene.
Jen Leone is a Pre-K teacher and has been working at TCC since 2005. Jen started in what was formerly the Preschool Two classroom and now the Pre-K class. Jen has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology/Sociology from Penn State University and has taken many classes in Early Childhood Education after graduating and is DEEC Preschool Teacher certified. One of Jen's favorite things about the Pre-K age group is their brutal honesty and developing senses of humor. Outside of work Jen loves rooting for all the Boston sports teams and going to as many games as possible.
Meghan McEachern is a Pre-K Teacher and has been at TCC since October of 2016. Meghan worked as the Administrative Assistant before transitioning to the Pre-K classroom where she has been for the last 2 years. Meghan graduated from Boston College's Lynch School of Education with a Bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology and Human Development with a focus in Human Services and a minor in Film Studies and is DEEC Preschool Teacher certified. Her favorite thing about being a Pre-K teacher is seeing them gain independence and confidence in themselves and their skills.