Our Staff

Danielle Kelly

Interim Director

As an active early childhood teacher, yogi, dancer, and musician, Miss Danny loves bringing her passions together to create opportunities for young learners to get moving! Having recently relocated to Ithaca from NYC, she brings her experience of working with hundreds of children in the five boroughs teaching everything from cooking, to hip hop, to yoga, and contemporary art for babies, toddlers, and young children. Miss Danny has been teaching for nearly 10 years and working with children aged 0-18, and is hoping to spread her love of the fine and visual arts to the growing little ones of Ithaca. Danny has her MS in Childhood Education as well as her BS in Speech Language Pathology. When she is not leading the toddler classroom at CNS, she can be found teaching yoga, teaching various enrichment classes at Jillian’s Drawers, or enjoying Ithaca with her husband, her dog, and her cat.

Chiharu Dexter

Lead Teacher in the Nest

Chiharu loved and had a great experience her first year of teaching at CNS, 2017-18. Working with great teachers, she got to learn various new teaching techniques and , through spending time with the school’s cherished students and through various professional development trainings, she came to understand and appreciate early childhood development even further. She looks forward to learning and developing further in the field of early childhood education.

Prior to joining CNS, she studied hospitality and worked in the field of tourism in Japan. After moving to America, she worked in the import/export industry. She loves cultural exchange and finds working with the diverse families of the CNS community an absolute delight. At home, she is raising three children whose ages range between teenager and kindergartener. One of her dreams is to visit the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, and she feels very lucky to be living in Ithaca, home to so many gorgeous waterfalls!

Adriana Cardenas

Teacher in the Nest

Adriana grew up in Mexico, in a small city on the Gulf of California, in the Sonoran Desert. She studied biochemical engineering with focus in marine biology and received a masters degree in food science. Adriana came to Ithaca in 2005, where she has raised two children, currently fourteen and a twelve years old. She looks forward to working at CNS and applying her child-rearing experience, strengthened by her volunteering work at St Paul’s Nursery School and with the Family Reading Partnership. Adriana can’t wait to share her love of reading with the children at CNS and to introduce them to cultural diversity in the classroom. Adriana enjoys each of Ithaca’s four seasons and loves reading, crocheting stuffed animals and dolls, and scuba diving.

Holly Schindler

Lead Teacher in the Roost

Holly’s experience ranges from teaching in progressive private preschool programs to working in public Pre-K with the Ithaca City School District. Her teaching experience includes owning, directing, and teaching at her own arts and nature based preschool in Caroline, NY. Holly’s love for the arts and the natural world, silly sense of humor, and deep affection for children make her an asset to CNS. She has an AAS degree in Early Childhood. She also has training and a deep interest in the Reggio Emilia approach to early education. In her free time Holly enjoys dabbling in many forms of the creative arts, being with her two energetic sons, and laughing with her husband. 

Christina Williams

Teacher in the Roost

Having studied textile design in the UK, Christina moved to Ithaca with her husband and two daughters in 2005. After her youngest daughter started Kindergarten, Christina began working at St. Paul’s Nursery School in downtown Ithaca. She spent ten happy years at the school and gained experience teaching across a broad developmental spectrum. Christina proudly became an American citizen in 2016!

Emily Babin

Teacher’s Aid

 

Naomi Terrell-Langlois

Bookkeeper

Naomi is the new bookkeeper for CNS and is excited to join the team! She has lived in or around Ithaca her entire life and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree from Ithaca College. She currently resides in Trumansburg with her husband and two young sons, Lawsen and Colt. In her free time, Naomi enjoys cooking, hiking, and chasing after her boisterous boys!