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The Emerson Team

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Executive Director &
Team Teacher

Jen Ensign

Jen received her MS degree in Care and Education in Early Childhood Settings and Educational Leadership from Wheelock College in 2007.  Her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development is from Colby-Sawyer College.  She specialized in Early Childhood Education and obtained her NH Teaching Certificate (N-3) in 1999.  She gained her Montessori Teaching Certification (ages 3-6) in 2014. She spent two years as a lead primary teacher at The Newport Montessori School in Newport, NH.  Prior to that she served in a multifaceted role as an educator in Colby-Sawyer College’s Social Sciences and Education Department.  Her twelve years teaching in the college’s lab school, mentoring college students, serving as a TA, collaborating with colleagues, families, college students and children have instilled in her an unwavering dedication to the field of early childhood education and a ceaseless quest to further her understandings of best practices. The Reggio pedagogy and emergent curriculum have been a part of her learning journey since 1996.  They have penetrated her actions, interactions and perceptions on early childhood education at every level.  Jen joined the Emerson team in 2016 and serves as the executive director and pedagogical leader of the school.  She teaches in the MWF class.  She brings with her an open mind, a true love of teaching, learning and collaboration, and a dedication to support Emerson’s vision, philosophy, mission, goals and operation.

Jen resides in Newbury with her husband and two children.  She loves spending time with her family exploring all the natural beauty New Hampshire has to offer. She is passionate about learning new things, writing, music, drawing, photography and African drumming...and she never passes up an opportunity to dance!


Registrar, Administrative Assistant & 
Team Teacher

Christina Oliva

Christina joined the Emerson team as a full-time teacher for the 2020-2021 school year. During the 2019-2020 school year, Christina was a parent of an Emerson student, served as the Vice Chair of the Emerson Board of Directors, and was both a short and long-term substitute teacher for our students. Christina is also a member of our Pyramid Model Implementation Leadership Team. Christina graduated from Skidmore College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Antioch University of New England in 2009 with a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies, specializing in both Environmental Education and Integrated Learning. She brings 20+ years of teaching experience with children and youth in the outdoors including tennis, swimming, yoga, meditation, backcountry expeditions and gardening. The last 13 years Christina has honed her skills as a teacher-naturalist teaching in and around the wilds of greater Boston and working in three outdoor, nature-based and Reggio-inspired preschools in NH. When not at Emerson, Christina enjoys adventuring with her son and husband, being creative in the kitchen, growing food, reading and building community.  Christina begins her journey as our Registrar and Administrative Assistant this summer.  She will continue as a team teacher in the T-TH class and as the team teaching Wandering Wednesday Atelierista for the MWF class.

Team Teacher

Tabitha Riley

Tabitha Riley received her Bachelor’s degree from Bates College and her Master of Education from Antioch University New England. She holds NH certification in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. We first welcomed Tabitha as a student teacher in the spring of 2014. She has been an Emerson educator since 2015. Continuously, Tabitha solidifies her sincere respect for the capacity of young children, her commitment to play-based learning and emergent curriculum, and the essential value of actively engaging families in the school environment.  Tabitha teaches in the MWF class and the T-TH class.  When not at Emerson, Tabitha loves to be in the mountains with her family and her dog.  She is interested in learning more about EVERYTHING!


Team Teacher

Frances Witte-Holland

Frances graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science in Education and holds a Masters of Education in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Bank Street School of Education in New York City.  Frances brings over 20 years of experience teaching and learning with young children having worked with preschool age children through second graders.

Frances is the parent of an Emerson alum!  Her youngest daughter, Lillian, attended the Emerson School for Preschoolers from 2011-2013.  Following that time, Frances joined Emerson’s teaching team for two years from 2013-2015.  It was during this timeframe that our current team teacher, Tabitha, was completing her teaching internship at Emerson.  She recalls appreciating how welcoming Frances was and how much she learned from her.  

In her free time, Frances enjoys hiking, nordic skiing and exploring with her dogs, Ruby and Oliver.  She loves to create art from found objects and is an avid gardener.

Frances loves the community feeling of Emerson and is looking forward to more Wandering Wednesdays!

We are delighted to be welcoming Frances back to Emerson!  Her decades of experience working with young children and families, passion for the natural world, for creating and for learning and growing are just some of the elements that make her a great addition to our team. We look forward to all she’ll bring to the Emerson community!

Welcome, Frances!  We’ve been waiting for you!


Substitute Teacher

Kimberly Porter

AMAZING Kim has resigned from her cleaning position at Emerson at the close of the 2022-2023 school year.  We will miss her and her attentive, beautifying ways so dearly!  The wonderful news, however, is she will continue to serve as a substitute!  Kim has been serving in a long term substitute teacher role in both of our classes since December 2023.  She will continue in this role through March as we orient our newest teaching team member!  During April and May, Kim will continue to teach in our TTH class.

Kim (of all trades) is the lovely person responsible for maintaining Emerson’s clean and beautiful environment. After many years of working with a landscaping company and in a perennial nursery, Kim decided to start taking on gardening clients of her own in the Spring of 2020. Although Kim has been working in the perennial and gardening business for quite some time, she received her degree in Early Childhood Education from NHTI in 2014.  Kim's previous teaching experience includes serving as lead preschool teacher and program director.  Additionally, Kim has furthered her studies in the area of early childhood special education.   Joining the Emerson team in January of 2018, she was thrilled to be involved in the care of such a beautiful space.  Kim's understanding of child development, joy in the work and expressions of children, respect for childhood, respect for the work of the teachers as well as her appreciation of natural beauty is reflected in the time, effort and love she puts into maintaining the Emerson environment.  Kim brings warmth, a peaceful energy and a healthy dose of humor to her support role which is valued deeply by our entire community. Kim has a wonderful, natural way with children.  She is deeply creative, kind and compassionate with a delightful sense of humor.  She is enthusiastic about and invested in the work unfolding at Emerson by the children and staff alike. Last year, Kim served as a Team Teacher in our MWF PM Class and  this year will serve as a substitute in our TTH and MWF AM Classes when the need arises.  We’re so excited to have more time with Kim in our classrooms!

When she isn't working, Kim enjoys music, creating one-of-a-kind cards, and spending time with her kitty, Mr. Furley.


Substitute Teacher

Brett Sandstrom

We were thrilled to have Emerson's newest teacher join us at the end of January 2023! Brett continued teaching in our T-TH class with Tabitha and Christina and rounded out the MWF class teaching team through December 2023.  Brett will now be serving in a substitute teacher capacity and we are thrilled to welcome her in this role! 

Brett was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, but did most of her growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota. She graduated high school in 2011 and from there took a gap year during which time she volunteered in Cambodia for three months working in an orphanage and traveled throughout Southeast Asia and Australia. It was on this journey that Brett's passion for working with young children was solidified. While seeing amazing temples and beaches, she found herself constantly missing working with the children in the orphanage every day. Upon returning stateside, Brett pursued a degree in Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth State University, focusing in Early Care and Education as well as Early Intervention, and received a minor in Child and Family Studies with the Social Work department. In 2016, Brett graduated as that year's Outstanding Early Childhood Studies Major. Brett now lives in Franklin with her husband, Brent.  They welcomed their first child at the end of December! They spend lots of time in nature and with friends. Brett's passion and enthusiasm for early childhood education was so evident in her interview, our hiring committee members could feel her excitement, her deep understanding of development, her understanding of the critical role of play, and the importance of relationships--with the children, colleagues and families! 

Substitute Teacher

Faith Barry

Wonderful Faith retired at the close of the 2022-2023 school year---or some say she "graduated" from Emerson with one of her grandchildren.  We are so fortunate she was able to take Christina under her wings and support her transition in the Administrative Goddess Jr. role.  We are delighted that Faith will continue to serve as a substitute teacher when needed.

Faith Barry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire where her concentration was in Early Childhood Education. She loves to witness children growing in independence and maturing socially and emotionally and encouraging them in these areas.  She has taught the Tuesday and Thursday morning class at Emerson since 1998. We lovingly call Faith our administrative goddess because she also maintains the responsibilities of office administrator and registrar.  After 22 years of teaching in Emerson's T-TH class and 30 years in the field of ECE, Faith is now retired from her teaching role at Emerson. We are so fortunate that she continues in her office administrator and registrar roles.  She serves on occasion as a substitute teacher in all of our classes.   Faith lives in Deerfield at the end of a dirt road with her husband Kevin.  They have three grown children, four grandsons and two granddaughters.  She enjoys gardening, reading, family time and volunteering at her local food pantry.


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Substitute Teacher

Pam Mosca

After four wonderful years working with us at Emerson, Pam is retiring from her role.  We wish her all the best and we look forward to enjoying occasional visits as she's looking forward to offering professional development to our staff and making paper with the children!  Thank you, Pam!  So much of you and your work are woven into the Emerson fabric that in some ways you'll still be with us!

Pam joined Emerson Preschool in the fall of 2018 as a MWF PM class teacher. She fell in love with Emerson’s philosophy of child-initiated, collaborative, emergent curriculum when her two children attended Emerson in the mid-90s. Pam received her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire and her Master of Education from Plymouth State University. She has taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades in Concord Public Schools. Research shows that social, emotional and intellectual learning are intertwined and Pam is honored to journey with parents and Emerson teachers as children grow in so many beautiful ways.  Pam teaches in our T-TH class and our MWF PM class.  Pam’s interests include mindfulness, yoga, reading, discovering fabulous picture books (for people of all ages), gardening and pickleball.

Emerson Cleaner

Debbie Moore

Debbie joined the Emerson team at the start of the 2023-2024 school year and we are so thrilled to have her!

Debbie lives in Concord with her husband of 50 years, David. She has one adult son, two adult grandchildren and one very precious great grandson.

She worked for a manufacturing firm for 48 years only leaving when the company was sold and moved out of state. While employed there, she wore many hats. She started on the assembly line, was promoted to supervisor, became inventory manager, buyer/planner, production planner, production control, production manager and finally manufacturing manager. Debbie spent the last seven years taking care of the sometimes empty building.   In 2018, Debbie began cleaning the American Legion Post 31 part time.

Debbie has always enjoyed being part of a team, working towards a common goal.  We are so happy she is now part of the Emerson team!

When not caring for her precious great-grandson, Debbie enjoys reading, doing word puzzles and volunteering her time to the American Legion in their many fundraising functions that benefit our community.

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