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 was previously a kindergarten teacher in the Virginia Beach Public Schools 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. Originally from Virginia Beach, VA, Elizabeth has lived in Darien since 2004 and been a member of Saint Luke’s Parish since 2000.
She has three children, all of whom attended SLPS. Her sons are currently at Darien High School, and her daughter just began her first year of college. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her family.
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
“It is such a delight to see children learning through play.”
Jessica grew up outside of Boston. She graduated from The University of Vermont with a degree in Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics. For the past 13 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 last year. This will be her first 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.
KAREN BOCCADORO-2s Head Teacher
“There is so much change in a child’s second year of life. It’s amazing to watch them develop and grow.”
Karen graduated from Sacred Heart University with a degree in English Literature and a concentration in Elementary Education. She holds a Certificate for Nursery through 8th grade. Karen has taught 2’s at Saint Luke’s since 1999 and has also taught in the Creative Kids and Lunch Bunch programs. Both of her daughters attended St. Luke’s. Karen also teaches the 2’s three afternoons a week at The Holly Pond School at the Darien YMCA. Karen and her family have lived in Darien since 1989. She is a member of the Spirit of Black Rock Fife & Drum Corps and the Fifth Connecticut Regiment Revolutionary War reenactment group. Karen and her husband are active in the Events and Programs committee at the Darien Historical Society. She enjoys reading and gardening.
JODI BRADBURY -4s Head Teacher
“Children at this age are full of curiosity and wonder. It is a joy to work with them each day”
Jodi earned her B.A. in Education from Brigham Young University specializing in secondary history and special education for grades K-12+. She taught for several years in Utah before starting her family. She has taught Sunday school for children ages 3-12 since 2004. She and her husband have 3 children who attend the Darien Public Schools. In her spare time, Jodi enjoys gardening, cooking and spending time with her family. She has lived in Darien since 2011.
ERIKA CAPUTO- Pre-K Head Teacher
“Honestly, I love it all and am grateful for the opportunity to spend my Monday – Friday school days with Pre-K children.”
Erika received her B.A. in Communication from the University of California at San Diego and has completed CDA coursework through Connecticut’s community college system. She joined the Saint Luke’s Parish School team in 2009, working with Pre-K and Creative Kids. Erika’s children attended Saint Luke’s Parish School; she served on the Parent-Teacher Committee (PTC) during that time. Erika worked in the “corporate world” until her second child was born. She and her family have lived in Darien since 2004. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her two daughters, studying martial arts and volunteering on the Darien Arts Center Dance Committee.
HELEN DEL BENE- 4s Head Teacher
“It wasn’t until my daughters began preschool that I learned what I truly wanted to be when I grew up…”
Helen earned a B.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and later got her Certificate in Early Childhood Education from NCC. She joined Saint Luke’s in the older 2’s classroom in 2014 before moving to the 4’s in 2017. Helen and her family have lived in Darien for 12 years. Outside the classroom, her interests include cooking and baking, reading, traveling as much as possible and spending time with her family in Vermont.
HOLLY DRAKE- 4’s Assistant Teacher “I love working with these young, precious ages. The children are such sponges and it is such a joy watching them grow throughout the year.”
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- 2’s Assistant Teacher “Children bring such joy and happiness to the world. I love to see their faces light up when they experience something new.”
Asmae has years of experience in caring for children of all ages as she has been in child care for over 15 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 2 children in the Darien Public Schools. In her spare time, Asmae loves spending time with her family.
SARA FAUGNO- 4s Head Teacher
“I love creating an environment where the children feel safe, loved, nurtured and stimulated. Teaching is my passion”
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.
CATHERINE GEDNEY- 3s Head Teacher
“Childhood is sacred.”
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.
JENNIFER KOUTINAS- 2s HeadTeacher “It’s exciting to see the look on children’s faces and the expressions they make when they learn to do something on their own”
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 this year. 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
“I most enjoy teaching arts and crafts and reading to the children.”
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 also been an assistant in our 4’s class. She and her family have resided in Stamford since 1998. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and walking with her dog.
KRISTIN MALLOZZI- 4’s Assistant Teacher
CARRIE MCMASTER- Floating Assistant Teacher
Carrie has been an involved member at St. Luke’s since her boys (now 16 and 19) 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 the past several years, she has been our Godly Play teacher and a very popular substitute teacher. Carrie is on the St. Luke’s Flower Guild. 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.
ENZA MOORE- 2s Assistant Teacher “I love watching young children explore the world around them.”
Enza was a co-teacher for a 3’s program in a private school in Stamford. Before working in the preschool environment, Enza was with a large local medical practice as a medical assistant. She has attended Iona College and Norwalk Community College. Enza is a Darien resident and has 2 children in the school system–a daughter at Darien High School and a son at Ox Ridge. She loves volunteering for her children’s school, baking, and hanging out with family and friends.
SUE PETTIT- 3s Assistant Teacher
“I love teaching the children about nature and science – anything from watching caterpillars turn into butterflies to learning about static electricity with balloons. I just love how their eyes get bigger and bigger.”
A New York City native, Sue has been teaching at Saint Luke’s since 2013 – first as a substitute and now as an assistant teacher in the 3’s program. Prior to joining the Saint Luke’s team, Sue worked in broadcasting, rising to the rank of Manager of Investor Relations. She and her husband have lived in Darien since 1993, where they raised their two sons. In her spare time, Sue loves gardening, the beach, reading and kayaking.
MARY BEIRNE REWCASTLE- 3s Head Teacher
“I love to teach literacy, math and art to young people.”
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 3’s 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.
ANNIE TINGLEY- 3s Assistant Teacher
“I love every aspect of my job at Saint Luke’s Parish School. Working with these young people is so rewarding because they grow so much throughout the year.”
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 “when they are home.”
LIZ TUFF- 3s Head Teacher
“Teaching children the joy of learning as well as the importance of kindness is my #1 job as a teacher. I love to watch children laugh and learn.”
Liz earned her B.A. from the University of Richmond and has completed coursework in Early Childhood Education at Norwalk Community College. She and her husband live in New Canaan and have 3 children. Liz started her teaching career in the 2’s classroom at the United Methodist Preschool in New Canaan and has worked in the PreK and 4’s classes at St. Luke’s since 2016. She is thrilled to be teaching the older 3’s. Liz loves to spend time with her own children and husband and her dog, Bear! She loves to read, decorate and travel.
ANNEMARIE VIERLING- PreK Assistant Teacher
“I love every minute with my 4’s and as I say to everyone, it’s not a job it’s an honor to be with my little friends watching them grow and learn every day at school. “
Annemarie earned her BA in Sociology from St. John’s University in NY. She has been a teacher in the 2’s program 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.