Elizabeth Hearle graduated from The College of William and Mary with B.A. degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education and from Old Dominion University with an M.A. in Early Childhood Development. She also holds a certificate in Administration and Supervision.

She was previously a kindergarten teacher in the Virginia Beach Public School system and at the Chapin School in New York and a preschool teacher at Saint Luke’s Parish School.  She has served on the boards of Saint Luke’s Parish School, Tokeneke PTO, Royle PTO, OPUS, Person-to-Person and the Darien Foundation for Technology and Community.  She became the Executive Director of The Darien Nature Center in June 2013 and the director of SLPS in June 2016. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, Elizabeth lived in Darien from 2004 until 2022 and recently moved to Stamford.  She has been a member of Saint Luke’s Parish since 2000.

She has three children, all of whom attended SLPS. All three of her children attend Miami University in Oxford, OH.  In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her family and three german shepherds.

Saint Luke’s Parish School Staff:

Dee Fumega – Administrative Assistant
Jennifer D’Orta – Nurse
Jennifer Shea – Treasurer


Our teachers and assistant teachers are the backbone of SLPS. They actively participate in regular teacher meetings and in-service training programs, as well as continual participation in workshops, conferences, and seminars to improve their already considerable skills. This allows your child to benefit from the latest teaching techniques available.

We strive to keep our student/teacher ratio low. All classes include assistant teachers to enhance your child’s learning experience. All of our staff are trained in First Aid and are CPR and Epi-Pen certified.

JESSICA BLACK-3s Assistant Teacher

Jessica grew up outside of Boston. She graduated from The University of Vermont with a degree in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics. For the past 15 years, Jessica has been raising her three children, first in NYC and now in Darien. She and her husband Andrew started a children’s toy company a few years ago which reignited her interest in early childhood development and motivated her to substitute teach at SLPS. This will be her fifth year as an assistant teacher in the 3’s program. In her spare time, Jessica likes to play tennis, walk her dog Taco and spend time with her family.

ERIKA CAPUTO- Pre-K Head Teacher

Erika received her B.A. in Communication from the University of California at San Diego and completed her Child Development Associate coursework through Connecticut’s community college system.  She worked in the corporate world until her second child was born.  She and her family have lived in Darien since 2004.  Erika’s two daughters (now in college) attended Saint Luke’s Parish School and she served on the Parent Teacher Committee during this time.  In 2009 when her younger daughter started Kindergarten, Erika wanted to stay at SLPS and that is when she joined the Saint Luke’s Parish School team!  In 2015 she also became part of Saint Luke’s Children’s Ministries.  In her free time, Erika likes to get outside and take walks whether by the water, in the woods or in the neighborhood and she especially enjoys spending time with her daughters and her family!

PAM CARRAGHER- Young 2’s Assistant Teacher

Pam was born and raised in Stamford.  She is a graduate of the University of Rochester with a BA in Economics and Psychology and the NYU Stern School of Business with an MBA.  Formerly an auditor with Coopers & Lybrand, Pam then moved on to be an AVP in Internal Audit for US Trust.  After a long break from corporate life to raise her 3 children, Ryan (26), Megan (23) and Will (17), Pam worked, for the past 6 years, at Greenwich Catholic School as the Business Manager and then for 1 year as the Sr. Business Manager for the Seton Collaborative in the Diocese of Bridgeport.  Pam and her husband, Owen, live in Stamford with their youngest son, Will, and their 2 dogs, Lincoln and Teddy.  Pam loves long walks (especially on the beach), listening to music and spending time with family and friends.  If she is not at home in Stamford you can probably find her in Cape Cod. Pam is thrilled to be a part of  SLPS and is excited to meet her new little friends in the 2s program.

SEBNEM CEKEN- 4s Assistant Teacher

Sebnem graduated from Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey in Business Management and received her Teaching Certificate from Kocaeli University in Kocaeli, Turkey. She moved to the United States in the summer of 2000 and received her Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Norwalk Community College. She volunteered in the Media Center in Westover Elementary School and the Jewish Community Center in Stamford. She has been living in Stamford with her husband and twin children.  She enjoys cooking, playing volleyball and taking care of her family.

FIONA CONNOLLY-  3s Assistant Teacher

Fiona emigrated from Ireland to the United States in the early 90s.  She has had many jobs since then including marketing, working in a hair salon and childcare.  She has also been a longtime substitute teacher at SLPS and has worked with children of all ages.   Fiona currently lives in Stamford with her husband and 2 daughters- Emma Rose who graduated from Loyola University Maryland and Jessica who graduated from Villanova University.   

CHERYL DEVAULT- 3s Assistant Teacher

Cheryl graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. degree in Psychology and Sociology, and from Manhattanville College with an M.A. in Teaching: Elementary Education Pre-K to 6.  Before having children, Cheryl taught at New Canaan Country Day School, Greenwich Country Day School and Pear Tree Point School in grades nursery-2nd grade.  She was also a Title 1 Tutor at Westover Magnet Elementary School in Stamford.  Since 2008, while raising her children, she has been heavily involved in the PTOs of various schools in Stamford.  Cheryl is the very proud mom to four children, twin boys who are seniors at The Academy of Information Technology & Engineering, a daughter who is a junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a daughter who is graduted from Northeastern University.  Cheryl above all enjoys spending time with her family and attending their many activities and being a part of their busy lives.  

HOLLY DRAKE- 3’s Head Teacher     

Holly grew up outside of Rochester, NY, and graduated from Cornell University with a BS in communications. Post college, she worked in public relations and corporate marketing/video production in New York City.  She’s been a resident of Darien since 2002 where she’s enjoyed raising her three sons – all of whom attended SLPS.  Holly taught for Maureen Bloom Playdates prior to coming to SLPS in 2018.  In her spare time, Holly enjoys outdoor activities – running, biking, kayaking, paddle, gardening – but more than anything treasures time with her family all together.

ASMAE ELBAQI- 4s Assistant Teacher     

Asmae has years of experience in caring for children of all ages as she has been in child care for over 16 years. She loves working with younger children and comes to SLPS with many outstanding references from the families with which she has worked. She and her husband live in Darien and have 1 daughter in the Darien Public Schools and one daughter who is beginning her freshman year at Elon.  In her spare time, Asmae loves spending time with her family.

SARA FAUGNO- 4s Head Teacher

Sara earned an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Norwalk Community College. She began her teaching at Canaan Ridge School where she taught for 8 years. She then moved on to become the director of Noah’s Ark preschool in Stamford. After Noah’s Ark, Sara decided to take time off  to raise her three beautiful children. Sara and her family have been a part of the Darien community since 2014 and enjoy all that is has to offer. In her spare time, she loves volunteering in her children’s schools, spending time at her family’s house in Vermont, watching her children’s sports events and going out for coffee with good friends.

AMANDA FOSTER- PreK Assistant Teacher/ / Assistant Literacy Director

Amanda Foster is currently attending Norwalk Community College for an Associates Degree in  Early Childhood Education. She started as a counselor in training at a Stamford summer camp at the age of 13. By the time she turned 16, she was a full-time camp counselor and worked with children ages 5 through 12.  In 2017, Amanda started working at St. Luke’s on Sundays in the Godly Play room with children between the ages of 3 through 5. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, going to concerts and spending time with her friends and family.



Catherine earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maine.  Her previous teaching experiences include teaching third grade at Fairfield Country Day, teaching at Easton Country Day and co-teaching in the 3rd grade at Pear Tree Point School. She and her husband both grew up in Darien and are raising their three children here in town.  She is happy to be returning to teaching at SLPS where she attended as a child. In addition to teaching, Catherine has run the Beachcomber Camp at Norwalk Yacht Club, taught CCD at St. Thomas Moor and is a Girl Scout leader.

SUE HERRMANN- PreK Assistant Teacher

Sue is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BS in Marketing and Sacred Heart
University with an MBA in Finance. Sue spent 27 years working in the pharmaceutical industry;
her most recent position was Director of Sales Operations. She then worked at Greenwich
Catholic School as the Director of Communications. Sue served on the PTO Board of her
children’s elementary school, Northeast Elementary School. She spent years volunteering at her
children’s schools. Sue currently lives in Stamford with her husband Rob, where they raised their
two children Will (26) and Samantha (23). She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Sue is very excited to join SLPS and meet her new friends in PreK.

JENNIFER KOUTINAS- 2s Head Teacher   

Jennifer has been active in the childcare preschool field since 2004. She began in Stamford as a co-teacher and worked her way up to lead teacher in the 3/4’s classroom. She was also an  Administrative Assistant in a preschool. She has worked in Afterschool programs and Summer Camps with preschool and elementary aged children. Starting in 2005, she runs the Sunday School nursery room here at St. Luke’s.  She was an assistant in the young Two’s room with Mrs. B for 2 years before becoming the head teacher in the older 2’s classroom 3 years ago. She recently completed her Child Development Associate Degree (CDA). In her spare time she enjoys the beach, going to live shows and concerts and spending time with her family and two grown children.

FIONA LAVELLE- 4s Assistant Teacher

Fiona was raised and educated in England, where she went on to a career in banking. She started as a substitute at SLPS in 2012. Fiona has supervised in our Lunch Bunch program and has been an assistant in our 4’s class for 10 years. She and her family have resided in Stamford since 1998. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and walking with her dog.


Kristin earned her BBA in Marketing from Hofstra University. She worked as an assistant at Saint Luke’s Parish School from 2015 until 2020. Before joining St. Luke’s, she had been a parent volunteer at her daughters’ preschool, elementary school and middle school. Kristin is a coach in the New Canaan softball league where both of her daughters are avid travel softball players. Kristin and her family live in New Canaan.  In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor activities with her family including hiking, biking and swimming. She is returned to SLPS last year as an assistant in the young 2s and is excited to take over as head teacher in the same classroom this year!!

STEPHANIE MCGRAW- Friday 3s head teacher

Stephanie has lived in Darien for 25 years and is married with four children (a daughter and 3 sons) all of whom attended SLPS. She received her B.A. from Dickinson College and did some graduate work at George Washington University before moving to Darien. Stephanie has extensive volunteer experience, including League of Women’s Voters, Darien Scouts, Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust, Royle PTO and Darien High School. She was the Treasurer of SLPS for 7 years. Most recently, Stephanie worked at a preschool in New Canaan as an Assistant Teacher in the 4s. She loves making new friends, walking, hiking and reading.

CARRIE MCMASTER- 2s Assistant Teacher

Carrie has been an involved member at St. Luke’s since her boys (now 19 and 22) were students at SLPS. She was an assistant teacher at SLPS in the 3 year old class for 4 years before taking on the role of Children’s Ministries Coordinator for the church. For several years, she was our Godly Play teacher and a very popular substitute teacher.  She has been our floating assistant for 4 years and is excited to return to the classroom as an assistant in the older 2s this year. She and her husband also coordinate the Run with the Saints event at St. Luke’s and are active parishioners. Carrie loves gardening, reading and spending time with her family and 2 dogs.


Mary Beirne earned her bachelor’s degree at Denison University and her Master’s in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from NYU. She has taught Young 3s at Saint Luke’s Parish School since 2012. Prior to Saint Luke’s, Mary Beirne student-taught 3rd grade at Manhattan Country School and 4th grade at Manhattan New School. Mary Beirne and her family have lived in Darien since 2007. She is extremely active in the community and an active member of Saint Luke’s Parish. Her daughter attended Saint Luke’s Parish School. In her spare time, Mary Beirne enjoys gardening, opera, photography and genealogy.

MAUREEN ROACH- 4s Head Teacher

Maureen, her husband, John, and their four children have lived in Darien for almost 20 years. They began raising their family in Ridgewood, NJ before relocating to the Bay Area of San Francisco, then returning to their roots on the East Coast. Maureen holds a degree in Economics and Finance and recently completed her CDA. She also holds a certification in Special Education Advocacy. She has volunteered at various Darien organizations over the years. As her children moved on from the Darien Public Schools, she focused more time working with the Court Appointed Child Advocacy Program of CT. Maureen’s favorite things include children’s literature and returning to Jersey beaches.

MICHELLE ROBOTTI- 2s assistant teacher

Michelle is a lifelong Stamford resident who adores her quaint neighborhood.  Michelle spent many years as a customer service representative for Zotos International before making the leap to full time motherhood. Following her time at Zotos International, Michelle would spend many years as a stay at home mom to her three children Madison (22), Cristian (20), and Cassie (18).  Once her kids were older, Michelle decided to get back into the workforce as a Substitute Teacher at The Mead School for two years.  Michelle and her husband Cris live in Stamford with their three children and two puppies, Harlee and Jax. Michelle loves going to the beach, hosting family and friends at her home, and listening to her ever changing music playlist.  Michelle is so excited to be a part of the SLPS and is excited to meet her new little friends!

MARY KATE ROMANO- PreK Head Teacher/ Literacy Director

Mary Kate grew up in Westport and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in Human Development and Families Studies. She then moved to Boston for a few years where she graduated from Wheelock College with an M.S. in Early Childhood Development. Since coming back to CT in 2015, Mary Kate has taught 4’s and Pre-K in Westport, Greenwich and most recently Fairfield for three years. She has been a 4s/PreK teacher at SLPS for the past 3 years. She enjoys spending time with her niece and nephew, as well as going to the beach and trying new, local restaurants with friends and family. Mary Kate has a love for play-based, intentional teaching and comes from an entrepreneurial-minded family, so she started her own small business creating playdough kits to encourage open-ended play at home!

ANNIE TINGLEY- 3s Assistant Teacher

Annie received her BA in History from Kenyon College in Ohio. She has been a teacher at Saint Luke’s since 2015. Annie has gained extensive practical experience through numerous volunteer activities in the Darien school system while her children were students there. Her three children attended Saint Luke’s Parish School, and she is a parishioner of Saint Luke’s. She and her family have lived in Darien since 1994. Her hobbies include cooking, reading, working out and walking her dog. She enjoys spending time with her adult children.

ANNEMARIE VIERLING- PreK Assistant Teacher

Annemarie earned her BA in Sociology from St. John’s University in NY. She has been a teacher in the 2s, 4s and PreK  programs and Lunch Bunch for the older children since 2010.  Prior to teaching she worked in Advertising Sales for Rodale Press in NYC.  Annemarie and her three children live in Darien and are very involved in the YMCA special needs programs.  She is an avid runner and enjoys swimming and spending time with her oldest daughter who continues to be the role model for her two boys.

MORGAN VITTI- 4s Head Teacher

Morgan graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Early Childhood Education/ Elementary Education/Special Education as well as a minor in Child Psychology.  She graduated with an emphasis in Reggio Emilia studies.  She was previously a preschool teacher at Children’s Discovery Center in Charleston, SC and also worked for Cabell County Schools in Huntington, WV as a para-teacher in a 3rd grade classroom.  Morgan recently moved back from Charleston, SC to her hometown of Stamford where she has been assisting with curriculum writing for Building Blocks in Stamford and Wilton.  Morgan gavce birth to her first child, Stella Luciana, last fall!  In her spare time, Morgan enjoys doing calligraphy and painting.

LILY ZINICOLA- 3s Head Teacher

Lily was born and raised in London, England, where she trained as a Montessori teacher.  She moved with her husband and two children to Connecticut in 1999, after spending 4 years in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Lily attended Norwalk Community College to study Early Childhood Education. She has worked as a co-teacher in private nursery schools in Stamford for many years. Most recently she worked at Just Wee Two, an enrichment program for 2 year olds in Stamford and Greenwich.  Lily also volunteered in her children’s elementary school and has helped out at an after school program. She joined SLPS in 2020 as an assistant teacher in the 2s and took over as a 3s head teacher last year.  In her spare time, Lily enjoys cooking and entertaining, reading and spending time with her family.