We take unbelievable pride in cultivating a culture of excellence and professional collaboration with our staff.  To aid in this, we’ve collected a team of truly exceptional educators whose passion is the teaching of young children. To jump to a specific staff area, click below.

Holly Baldyasova
Classroom Teacher (Red Maples)

Holly Baldyasova received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. While studying at Rutgers University, Holly also began her professional career in child development and education at Camp Harmony and remained there as a Group Leader every summer from 2006 until 2013, in addition to nannying for several different families with special needs children during the academic school year.

In 2010, Holly was an assistant teacher and lead teacher for 2 ½ to 3 year-old students at Foundations Preschool in Annandale, New Jersey.  Upon moving to Hoboken in 2013, Holly was a lead teacher for 2 ½ to 3 year old children and 3 to 4 year old children the following year at Early Learning Academy in Jersey City, NJ’s beautiful Paulus Hook neighborhood. While at Early Learning Academy, Holly also served as the Music specialist, and was solely responsible for writing and implementing the music curriculum for the school, and she also was responsible for implementing a beginner American Sign Language and Spanish curriculum in her own classroom. Being an educator in such a rich cultural community enabled Holly to also gain a basic knowledge of several different languages, including Spanish and Russian (the students became the teacher!).

In 2015, Holly returned to the Warren township community when she became the office administrator for Washington Rock Dance, a dance school with locations in both Warren, NJ and Dunellen, NJ, where she is responsible for running the daily operations and all administrative properties of the duel-location pre-professional training facility. In addition to her daily responsibilities, Holly also was responsible for writing and implementing the Administrative Handbook for the school and assists in the production of the school’s several different productions throughout the school year, including costume selection and distribution, and stage management.

Holly is currently studying at Kean University to receive an additional Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Special Education.

Jessica Bergman
Classroom Teacher (Sugar Maples)

Jessica holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Education with two distinct teaching certifications in Health and Physical Education K-12 and Elementary Content K-5.  She’s also proud to be a Montclair State University graduate, having chosen Montclair due to their reputation for having one of the most highly-regarded teacher preparation programs.

It has always been Jessica's dream to be a teacher. With a ten year age gap between her and her younger siblings, Jessica was a built-in “Mommy’s Helper”, and from there, her career in education began. As early as possible, Jessica was a trained, CPR certified, babysitter. She also spent much of her adolescence working as a volunteer youth sports coach.

Having a strong foundation in athletics, Jessica decided her focus would be in Health and Physical Education. While studying, Jessica used the work-study program to work at the university's day care center. Post-graduation, Jessica has worked in both private and public schools, with children of all ages and learning capacities. Jessica has been looking for the right place to start growing roots in her career, and after spending two incredible summers working at Camp Harmony, the decision to join The Orchard Academy family was an easy one! Jessica is excited to be working with our 3-year-old’s this year. She hopes to instill a love for learning into her students through a foundation of learning through hands-on play.

Jessica lives with her boyfriend of seven years and his 13-year-old son. Her passions extend to travelling to new countries, reading, watching football and hockey, and honing her culinary skills.

Danielle Burton
Classroom Assistant (Sugar Maples)

Danielle is excited to join the TOA team, and is a welcomed addition who shares our vision in developing successful young learners.

Danielle is a graduate of NYIT where she earned a BFA in Graphic Design. After having a successful corporate career in marketing, she decided to make a career change and raise her young children. Her creative background and love for children provided the perfect opportunity to instruct an arts and crafts class at P.E.P Club, a mommy and me enrichment program. She then worked at The Sundance School where she spent five years in the preschool program as both assistant teacher and Group Leader for the three-year-old class. With her patience and dedication she provided a nurturing environment where all her students could thrive.

Danielle resides in Warren with her husband and 3 children. She and her family have a love and passion for athletics and the game of lacrosse. Danielle has been apart of the Warren community for 22 years where she has volunteered her time with the lacrosse youth organization and is a current member of the high school lacrosse booster association.

AnnMarie Carlucci
Classroom Teacher (Red Maples)

AnnMarie’s love of teaching started since her childhood. She remembers playing with her dolls and sitting them all in a row like they were in a classroom. She couldn’t wait to come home from school, go to her playroom, and start teaching on her chalkboard everything she learned that day at school. She couldn’t wait to be a teacher when she got older.

Throughout high school she began working at Christ Church Nursery School and continued there for 7 years up until graduating from college. There she worked with preschoolers as a teacher during the school year and in the summer program. She has been a babysitter for over a decade and has worked with children ranging from toddlers up to age 10. In college, she majored in Early Childhood Education and learned extensively about child development. Her junior field experience was in a pre-k and then kindergarten classroom and her senior field experience was in the second grade. While in college, she was a substitute teacher for 2 years at various school districts for grades preschool through 4th grade.

AnnMarie is a 2015 Kean University graduate with two teaching certifications in Early Childhood Education (Preschool-Grade 3) and Elementary Education (Kindergarten- Grade 6). Her most recent experience has been a preschool teacher for the past two years at a private preschool in Berkeley Heights. She is very excited to join The Orchard Academy family as a teacher for the 3-year olds! She can’t wait to show her passion for teaching young children and hopes to instill a love of learning in each and every one of her students!

Martina Falgares
Classroom Teacher (Oaks)

Martina Falgares has immersed herself in child care and early childhood education for nearly 20 years, holding assorted roles in school and home-based settings.  For the last 14 years, Martina has been an preschool educator and classroom head teacher, working with a wide array of student populations and subject areas including 2, 2 ½, 3 and 4 year old students.

Beyond the classroom, Martina has developed and facilitated both Mommy & Me and Toddlers in Transitions classes and has taught cooking and science-based enrichments.  For the past 10 years, Martina has spent her summers at Camp Harmony as a Group Leader for three years olds (Blueberry I), where she also holds the distinction of being a LiFER.

Martina hol ds her Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) accreditation from the National Early Childhood Program (NECPA) and her Au Pair Certification from Au Pair Homestay U.S.A, one of the nation’s leading approved Au Pair agencies.

Beyond the classroom, Martina and her husband Marc have two children of their own – their 15 year old daughter, Alyssa and 10 year old son, Anthony.

Jackie Fernandes
Classroom Assistant (Oaks)

Jackie graduated this past spring from Montclair State University’s Teacher Education Program with a NJ Teacher’s Certification to teach Preschool through Third Grade. She has extensive experience working at the Westfield Area YMCA in various child care and summer camp settings and brings an incredible love of children with her to our school.

After graduation, Jackie participated in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts in Florida, spending five months living, working and learning the many aspects that make Disney the (second) most magical place on earth!

Jackie is excited to be working at The Orchard Academy!

Jay Karlinski
Classroom Assistant Teacher (Acorns)

Jay Karlinski is honored and excited to join the Orchard Academy team. Jay grew up in Forked River, NJ and  attended college at the University of Maryland, at College Park, graduating with a bachelor's degree in communications. Upon graduation, Jay committed himself to traveling the world and exploring different cultures through volunteer opportunities and full cultural immersions. 

Jay spent a year serving in the United States Peace Corps, living in a small rural village in the mountains of Guatemala, where he taught health and nutrition to children ages 4 through 16. While there, he had the unique opportunity to spearhead a collaborative project to bring running water systems to 3 rural schools. After the Peace Corps, Jay lived in Thailand, teaching English at a secondary school. 

Upon his return to the USA, Jay worked and played full time teaching preschool fitness and tumbling classes to children from 18 months to 6 years old. During school breaks, Jay continued his international travel, volunteering in an orphanage in Peru for 3 weeks, spending a month volunteering with Operation Smile in Vietnam, and living in an orphanage in Eastern India for 5 weeks. 

From 2010 - 2012, Jay lived at the number 1 yoga center in the world, Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, where he studied and taught yoga full time, eventually becoming the lead director of their world famous yoga teacher training program. Jay continues to teach yoga to adults in the Hudson county area, where he currently lives with his fiancé, Erica. 

When he is not teaching yoga or preschool, Jay loves to spend time with his certified therapy dog Diesel, visiting mental health facilities and schools, sharing his passion of therapy dog work. Last year, Jay and Diesel completed a 1,800 mile bicycle trip across the USA! 

Carolyn Kilponen-Maher
Classroom Teacher (Sprouts)

Many children in the community see Carolyn Kilponen-Maher in town and shout out her name:  MRS. MAHER, rhymes with STAR! For over a decade, Carolyn has been working with children of all ages and has developed a professional expertise (and love) for teaching early childhood classes and developing creative curriculum. In her previous positions she has instructed hundreds of children who will most certainly  tell you their love for school all began from their first classroom experiences where they were welcomed, safe, and felt loved and secure.  Carolyn’s creativity, high energy, and positive attitude levels are not only contagious when combined create an optimum learning environment especially for young children.

Carolyn is a graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a BS in Finance and applied it to a successful 25 year career in Commercial Lending/Banking. After achieving increasingly higher levels of responsibility (including managing a commercial lending credit training program and heading a credit group for a $3 billion financial institution), she realized her true calling was teaching.

Carolyn pivoted to a career in early childhood education, most recently working at another school where she developed and taught a wide array of enrichment programs, including Eti-Kid Manners, Eti-Kid Family Manners Matter, Eti-Kid Cultural Diversity and Piggy Banking. Carolyn is an active member of the Warren and surrounding communities and schools and is passionate about giving back and helping others and has organized philanthropic events and activities involving her classroom children resulting in outstanding lifelong learning experiences for each of them.

In the Summer of 2016, she worked at Camp Harmony as an Assistant for the Blueberry II Stars.  In her third week working there, she was nominated by head staff and earned the AFTK (All For The Kids) Award.  This unique Camp experience allowed Carolyn to observe children reaching their highest potential and having the SUMMER OF THEIR LIVES!  Truly great things happen at Camp Harmony, ask Carolyn, she knows.

Carolyn currently resides in Warren with her two amazing, talented, and smart children, John and Kenneth.  In her spare time she enjoys many things, but mostly having fun with her children.

Alison McCaffrey
Classroom Teacher (Cedars)

Alison is thrilled to be joining The Orchard Academy and is looking forward to continuing to grow professionally among such passionate and talented colleagues.

After focusing her field study on developmental psychology while working as a full time assistant manager in retail sales, Alison graduated from Rutgers University in 2004 with a BA degree in Psychology.

Following graduation, she began working at The Sundance School for over 10 years as a preschool Group Leader where she maintained a strong parent/teacher partnership in order to develop and implement educational strategies tailored towards individual students needs. Creating a productive, hands-on, age appropriate play-based learning environment young children and introducing them to a group environment while aiding in their comfort and safety as part of a community is of Alison’s utmost significance.

While still a student, she enjoyed working as a summer counselor for both Rutgers Boys Soccer Camp and Edison Township Recreational Soccer Camp. More recently, Alison succeeded as an assistant varsity and head junior varsity/freshman girls volleyball coach for Edison Township Board of Education.

She loves to travel internationally and enjoy everything including the mountains, the lakes, and the shores of the northeast with friends and family. Alison resides in Metuchen with her husband, Patrick and adorable dog, Zoolander.

Lindsay Morris
Child Care Assistant (Seedlings)

Lindsay Morris was born and raised in Green Brook, NJ. She recently graduated from The University of Alabama with a BS in Restaurant and Hospitality Management. She is eager to begin her career with children at TOA and is interested in pursuing her Masters in Education next Fall. During her time as student, she traveled both domestically and abroad learning different cultures, admiring the beauty of nature, and appreciating local musicians.

Lindsay enjoys many sports, such as, volleyball, basketball, and baseball. Lindsay also enjoys the arts, she has a passion for playing guitar and singing. She believes her wanderlust and experience seeing different places has helped her appreciate all aspects of life. She strongly believes it is crucial for herself, the guardians, and the child to work as a team to reinforce rules and routine. This will benefit the child in a variety of ways and help each child’s growth as an individual. She looks forward with great anticipation to make a significant contribution to the TOA program.

Bonnie Omick
Classroom Teacher (Redwoods Kindergarten)

Bonnie Omick has been a dedicated educator for over 20 years since earning a Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood. Most of her experience has been teaching kindergarten and preschool in New Mexico and Arizona. She holds certifications in preschool through 3rd grade, kindergarten through 5th grade and as a teacher of student with disabilities. Her most recent experience has been teaching in an integrated preschool in the Bernards Township School District.

Bonnie has completed the Reading Workshop at the Teachers College, Capturing Kid’s Heart Program as well as several cooperative learning workshops. She enjoys helping children build self-regulation techniques, responsibility for their own behavior and conflict resolution skills. She does this through positive encouragement and fostering an environment that allows for academic risk taking.

She has lived in Basking Ridge since December of 2014. Hiking is one of her favorite things to do and she is an avid reader. She has recently taken up running.

Catherine Phillips
Child Care Assistant (Seedlings)

Catherine has been teaching 2 and 3 year olds for over 10 years now and has known since she was a little girl that she was going to be an educator. When she was younger, she was able to help her mom (a teacher herself) with lesson plans, setting up her classroom and discovering new ways to teach students. She was given the opportunity at 17 years old to teach a religious education class and after that initial experience teaching first graders, she knew that education was going to be her career. Catherine continued to teach these classes for 3 years, working with both first and eighth graders, and has been teaching ever since.

Catherine was born and raised in North Plainfield, NJ and began her formal studies in education at Raritan Valley Community College where she received an Associates in Education and later transferred and graduated from Caldwell University with a degree in history, having also taken further education classes. During her time as a student, Catherine was able to study abroad in Paris, France, delving into everything from the history of ancient artifacts to that of churches and statues. Catherine’s love for learning never stops as she plans to begin studies for her master’s degree in education next fall.

In her spare time, Catherine likes to kayak, paddle board, run, hike, travel, read books, go to football and baseball games, cook and bake. And her favorite children's book is Horton Hears A Who by Dr. Seuss.

Sally Rosenberg
Child Care Educator (Seedlings)

Sally Rosenberg has been an educator/childcare provider for over 30 years. She graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL with a Bachelors in Education. She worked in the infant/toddler room at Summit Childcare; taught first grade at Holy Cross School in Harrison, NJ; taught in a bilingual Title 1 preschool in New Brunswick; and then left the classroom when she had her first child.

Sally went on to be an in-home child care professional, working with a wide array of families including a pediatrician, a Monmouth University professor and even a Camp Harmony Director.  During the summers, Sally worked at the sleep away camp in the Adirondacks that she attended as a child, as a camp counselor and then was promoted to Unit leader.  It was there that she met her husband, now of Camp Harmony fame, "Pete Pioneer."

Thankfully for Camp Harmony, Sally and Pete wanted to stay more local during the summers so they started working at Camp Harmony. They are both now distinguished Lifers! Sally started out as a Blueberry I Group Leader for 3 year olds (her now counselor daughter was actually a camper in this group at the same time).  In 2001, Sally was asked to be the group leader for the newest camp group, the Munchkins, a very special camp group made up of Camp Harmony staff children ages 2 months to 2 + years.  Sally's youngest daughter, now 13, was part of this inaugural group at 5 months old. The program was such a success, that in 2012 Camp Harmony offered the 2 year olds program,  the Munchberrys,  to all families--not just Camp Harmony staff. Sally was the Munchberry group leader for  two years and is now back with the Munchkins.

As you can see Sally and her whole family are an extended part of the Camp Harmony family. She is very excited to join the amazing directors and teaching staff at The Orchard Academy at Camp Harmony. 

Carol Sager
Classroom Teacher (Acorns)

Carol has been a devoted educator spending over a decade teaching children ages 2-2 ½ years old and holding her Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) accreditation from the National Early Childhood Program (NECPA). She loves designing curriculum rich with hands on learning experiences to promote a love of learning within each individual child.

Carol works to include enriching activities involving art, cooking, and creative movement to encourage each child’s self-esteem to blossom. In the past, Carol has taught American Sign Language to preschoolers ages 4-5 in a play based environment and has also headed events centered around family and community involvement with her school. Carol continued her professional growth by creating and implementing annual camp-wide summer curriculum for the children ages 2-5 as the Assistant Director while overseeing the staff and execution of activities.

Outside of teaching young children, Carol loves spending time outdoors playing golf and she brings the joy she finds in nature into her work as a sculptor, creating pieces in stone using nature as her main inspiration for her art over 30 years.

Elaina Soto
Classroom Teacher (Cedars) & World Language/Culture Educator

Elaina graduated in 2016 from Flagler College with a Bachelors of Art degree in Elementary Education. During her years at Flagler College, she was lucky enough to spend time student teaching in first grade and Pre- K classrooms working with all different types of students, including students on the autism spectrum. Through this work, she has gained and understanding and appreciation for embracing students' multiple learning styles.

Elaina is currently working towards her Master degree in Special Education from Saint Joseph’s University and wants to continue her education, working eventually towards her doctorate in behavior analysis.

As TOA's World Language & Culture Educator, Elaina is also ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsed and has had the opportunity to teach students English as well as practice her Spanish language skills.

Elaina is very excited to be able to have this opportunity to be a part of such a great school!

Peter Willoughby
Child Care Assistant(Seedlings)

Peter Willoughby is excited to experience his first full school year at The Orchard Academy.

Peter worked at Camp Harmony this past summer as Wild Peter, the Wilderness Specialty Head, leading campers on hikes through the woods and teaching them survival skills. Peter also worked last year as a substitute teacher and was able to experience working with each age group at The Orchard Academy.

As the son of a preschool teacher, Peter is excited to follow in his mother’s footsteps. For the past 3 years Peter has been a youth leader for his church youth group and a sunday school teacher for 1st and 2nd graders. Peter has also spent 7 summers as a camp counselor with ages 3 to 12, with 2 summers as the head counselor.

Aside from teaching, Peter enjoys reading books and attempting to write them. He also enjoys the outdoors and spending time with his family and girlfriend.

Jen Wojie
Child Care Educator (Seedlings)

Jen Wojie has been an early childhood educator for 16 years, in almost every capacity. She taught pre-K at a campus lab school after college. After moving back to CA (where she is from) she began a Master’s Degree program in early childhood education and worked with one of her professors to open a preschool in the East Bay, where she was the program director and taught 2-5 year olds over the next five years.

Jen and her husband moved to Warren after a short but exciting period overseas. She became the Executive Director of a state-funded program in Passaic, NJ, with 25 classrooms in four locations serving the pre-K population. She taught Preschool-3rd grade certification classes at Montclair State University for 2 years during this time. Later she served as a Regional Director for Catapult Learning, supervising, providing support and writing curriculum for preschool and wrap-around programs in several cities. When her second child was a toddler she took a break from work to focus on and enjoy her own children, who are now 8, 7 and 5 years old.

Time has flown by and she is so excited to join a program as innovative and enriching as The Orchard Academy!

Amy Dempsey
Yoga Educator & Ecology Educator
Founder of KIN yoga and FAMILY wellness, LLC

As a teacher by trade and at heart, Amy has always been passionate about the craft of teaching others. With her own children, and with those that she encountered in her practice, she had a keen sense of a “calling” for a large part of her adult life. This lead to the founding of KIN yoga and FAMILY wellness, LLC in April of 2014. She has practiced yoga for over 20 years (including for a summer at Camp Harmony) and, as a mother of two young children, has a keen understanding of the benefits of yoga to all members of the family.

Amy worked with Master Teacher Ranjitha Sandeep, and received her certificate as a Registered Yoga Teacher, RYT, in February 2011. She then went on to be a part of the Ha-Tha Kids Teacher Training with Leslie Hadley, ERYT, and completed that certification in April 2011.

Amy has an understanding of the family, within yoga, and truly believes that her life experience has led her on the path to share her practice with other mothers, children and families in the community.

Her work experience began when she introduced her Children’s Yoga program to several local yoga studios in Somerset and Morris Counties. The After School Adventures at The Sundance School in North Plainfield also benefited from her classes for four years. Amy officially launched KIN yoga and FAMLY wellness, LLC in April of 2014. In addition to private teen classes and the various classes offered at her home studio, she can be found teaching classes at the North Plainfield Library, and to local Girl Scouts.

Amy cultivated her love of teaching while attending Brooklyn College, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education, and concentration in Child Psychology.

Galadriel Hasbrouck
Art Educator

Galadriel Hasbrouck is thrilled to be part of The Orchard Academy Team.  Since 1998, she has been a Group Leader at Camp Harmony; having previously attended as a camper, a CIT and then working as a counselor as a teenager.  She is proud and honored to continue working with the talented and dedicated educators from Camp Harmony as they begin this new and exciting chapter.

Galadriel studied Elementary Education at Kean University and began her career in Education as a Special Education teacher at The Children’s Institute in Verona where she worked for six years.  In addition to teaching a variety of academic subjects, Galadriel planned and implemented a variety of social and recreational activities and clubs for the students.  She served as the student council advisor, was a member of multiple curriculum committees and was on the school culture committee which served to improve the climate of the school and create an environment of teamwork and accountability throughout the school.

For the past 7 years, she has worked as a preschool teacher in Cranford and Westfield.  She has taught children ranging in age from 2 ½ to 5 years old in a traditional classroom setting as well as teaching enrichment classes such as: Art, Music, Science, Cooking and Folktales & Fairytales- a class that she created and designed for the program.  Prior to her time in the classroom, she taught parent and child art and music classes and after school cooking classes.

Galadriel’s philosophy of Early Childhood education is a simple one: young children learn best through play.  She believes that young children need to explore the world around them with all of their senses, they should be provided with lots of opportunities to discover, create and move.  With this in mind, her preschool classroom is one in which children are free to explore a variety of sensory materials, engage in hands on discovery, create art, sing, dance and move their bodies, use their imaginations and let their creativity shine and laugh often.

When she is not playing and learning in preschool, Galadriel consults with parents and school personnel as a Special Education advocate; working to assure that all children receive the best education possible. She lives in Cranford with her two wonderful children, Chloe and Charlie.

Karen Morgan
Dance Educator, Movement Educator, Drama & Imagination Educator

Karen has been teaching dance, gymnastics, theater arts and early childhood movement for over 37 years. She has been an award-winning Choreographer The Central Jersey Dance Company for the past 36 years and has dedicated her life to working with and bringing movement to children.

Karen worked at the Sundance School for 30 years and, while there, created the “mat room” physical education program and co-created their “stage” program. For the past eight summers, Karen has been working at the Sundance theater camp, another program that she co-created and directed to success.

Karen is very excited to be part of the TOA family! She is looking forward to a fun creative year and, among her inventive programs, will be directing and choreographing two shows in the winter and spring!

Kiersten Morgan
Music Educator

Kiersten is beyond thrilled to be a part of the staff at The Orchard Academy and to be back on campus during the school year.

Kiersten had the privilege of working at Camp Harmony this past summer as a Group Leader for the Big Fry Stars (five year old girls and boys). Kiersten is a recent graduate of Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater Studies with a minor in Dance. While in school she served on the Executive Board of the student run theater organization Players as the Box Office Manager, and the Head of House.

Although performing is an enormous role in her life, Kiersten has experience in teaching children of all ages. She has been a dance and gymnastics teacher for ages 2-18 at Central Jersey Dance and Gymnastics for 7 years. For three summers she was lucky enough to work as a shadow for a special needs child both at the family’s home and at various summer camps. She has just returned home to New Jersey from a magical semester long internship in Florida with Walt Disney World. While there, she not only experienced an incredible amount of hard work, but confirmed her love for magic and for making people smile.

Colleen Grundfest
Administrative Assistant

Colleen Grundfest joined the staff of TOA in 2015 bringing with her six years’ experience working as a Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher Assistant. Previous to that Colleen taught Mommy and Me classes for eight years at PEP Club, Inc. in Warren, Long Hill and Bernardsville and helped launch their New Providence site. Colleen was also an active member of the PTO at both Woodland Elementary School and Warren Middle School here in town.

Recently returning to acting after a twenty year hiatus, Colleen has performed in shows at The Chatham Community Players and will be working with their Educational Outreach helping promote theatre in the Chatham community.

Colleen has lived in Warren for 23 years with her husband Bob. They have two children, Josh and Abby. When Colleen is not at school she enjoys spending time with her family, writing material for her stand-up routine, acting, reading, swimming and watching TV.