• North Guilford Nursery School

Laura Caporale, 4s

As a former elementary educator working in both first and second grades, Laura brings the experience of classroom management, curriculum development and the ability to create a positive learning environment for students. During her time as an elementary school teacher she was honored as “Teacher of the Year” in her fifth year. She has a passion for teaching and loves being involved in the community. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Charlotte where she earned her BS in Elementary Education.

Laura and her family relocated to Connecticut in 2010. They just recently settled in Guilford and are excited about becoming a part of the Guilford community. In her spare time, Laura enjoys hiking, reading and spending time with her husband and two children.


Tara Huffman, 4s

Originally from Michigan, I joined the U.S. Coast Guard out of high school where I served as an Aviation Electrician for 5 years. During that time, I met my husband who is on active duty in the Coast Guard and currently stationed in Sector Long Island New Haven. Along with our four children ages 15, 13, 10 & 8, we have lived in many different cities. At each new duty station, we try to get involved with the community activities, youth sports and school functions. We also enjoy adventuring out to our surrounding areas to enjoy all that each region has to offer.

For the past three years, I have been working at Melissa Jones as the Lunch Aide. During that time, I also filled in at NGNS when needed. I loved seeing the NGNS alumni in the lunchroom at Jones. They are the most respectful and fun-loving children I know! I am so excited to have a small part in molding these children into the young people they will soon become. Along with my education, I have years of experience working in a pre-school environment. I have a passion for young children and know NGNS is where I am supposed to be!


Francine Russo, 3s

After growing up in East Haven, I moved to Northford where my husband, Rich, and I raised our three children. Wanting to stay home with my children, I used this opportunity to start a daycare in my home, which I did for fifteen years. As my children grew up, I decided to watch two boys in their home which led to my working as an assistant teacher at the community nursery school in my town until it closed.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, taking walks with my dog, Chance, and spending time with my family, especially my five year old grandson, Dylan. I am happy to have the opportunity to be a part of North Guilford Nursery School and I look forward to working with the three year olds.


Stacie Dziurgot, 3s

My husband and I have lived in Guilford for the past 18 years. Prior to becoming a full-time mom, I worked as an optometrist assistant for 17 years. Since then I have thoroughly enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom and taking part in all of my daughter’s school experiences which started with NGNS.

After my daughter’s graduation from NGNS, I continued to be actively involved by volunteering at Melissa Jones School in the kindergarden classroom and in the computer lab. Finding it very fulfilling getting to know and work with all the children, I continued to volunteer in first grade as well.

In addition to volunteering in the schools, I have been a long term substitute teacher for NGNS. This year, I am  joining the 3’s class and am very excited to continue working with all the children, parents and teachers at NGNS.

When I’m not working in the schools, I enjoys spending time with family, taking walks with my Boxer Roxy, gardening and cooking.


Mary Gannon, 2s

As Guilford resident for the past 19 years, I live with my husband of 25 years,Tom, and our three sons, Joseph (19), Ryan (17), and Alex (14).  Two of my sons attended NGNS and loved their experience there, and  I served on the NGNS Executive Board for one year.

My entire professional career lies in the field of education with experience at all levels. Upon graduation from college, I started my career as an Admissions Counselor at a business college, later climbing the ladder to administrative positions. I became a stay at home mom upon the arrival of my third son, Alex. While being mom 24-7, I was very active volunteering in the Guilford community as well as in the Guilford Public Schools where I later became a GPS employee. I worked as the Office Para Educator at Melissa Jones Elementary School for 8 years and am currently a part-time substitute teacher K-12 for the Guilford Public School System.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, playing tennis, gardening, cooking, traveling, and going to the beach.


Penny Lesniewski, 2s

I am originally from Barrington, Rhode Island but have lived in Branford  for many years and love it.  I worked in the public school system in Branford and taught  pre-kindergarten in New Haven. Teaching children has always been a central part of my life and has brought me great joy over the years.

I am very excited to be a part of the NGNS family and can’t wait for the school year to start. Working with 2’s will be a refreshing change and a chance for me to grow and learn as an early childhood teacher.

I live with my husband and my dog Hazel and enjoy going to the movies, reading, and exercising on the treadmill. My two children are grown and gone, and both live and work in the Boston area. Change is a constant part of life and I cannot wait for this new phase of my life to start.