Southern New Hampshire Services, Child Care Aware of NH Team
Tracy Pond is the Program Manager for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire. In this capacity, Tracy provides support and oversight to all Child Care Resource and Referral Regional Outreach Offices and Child Care Resource and Referral Staff to ensure that high quality delivery and accountability of child care resource, referral, recruitment, training and targeted technical assistance is consistently and thoughtfully provided throughout the state of New Hampshire. Tracy has over 17 years of experience in the field of early care and education and has served in various capacities within the field: as a Navy Licensed Family Child Care Provider, Center Float, Lead Infant & Preschool Teacher, Child Care Resource and Referral Coordinator & Child and Adult Care Food Program Coordinator, Child Care Licensing & Evaluation Coordinator, Adjunct Faculty Member and as a Mentor for the Trainer Development Program. Tracy has a Masters’ Degree in Early Care and Education through Wheelock College. She is the parent of two children, who both continue to be the catalysts for what drives her work in ensuring that all families have access to quality child care programs and that the programs serving them have access to quality professional development opportunities and experiences in the field of early care and education. In her spare time, Tracy likes to spend time with her children, read, dance, hike, take photos, kayak and work on training her Boston Terrier, Harlan Reddison Rose McGee Pond, “Harley” for short.
Donna Lake began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in January 2016. She began at CCAoNH as a Training and Technical Assistant Specialist. In December of 2017, she moved into a new role as the Professional Development Support Coordinator. Donna has worked in Early Care and Education for over 14 years. During those years, Donna has held the positions of Lead Teacher in a multi-age infant toddler program and as the Assistant Director. Donna is also a trained Occupational Therapy Assistant and worked for 6 years as the Occupational Therapy Assistant in a local school district prior to her career move. Donna holds an Associate’s Degree from River Valley Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree from Granite State College. Donna is credentialed as an Early Childhood Teacher, Early Childhood Administrator and Early Childhood Master Professional: Individual Mentor & Program Consultant.
Meg Atwood began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in November 2017. Before her employment at CCAoNH, Meg worked with children of various ages in both Vermont and New Hampshire for 8 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from the University of New Hampshire. Meg completed an internship at the Child Development Bureau. She has always been passionate about implementing emergent curriculum with toddlers and strengthening relationships with families. Meg also loves advocating for Early Childhood Education at a State and National level. In her free time, she loves spending time with her dogs, friends and cooking with her husband.
Diane began working as a T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood NH Counselor since its NH inception in July 2020. Diane has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education & Research from UMass-Amherst and a Bachelor’s Degree in Family Studies from UNH. She has worked in a variety of roles in early childhood field: as a teacher, director, child care resource & referral counselor, student teaching mentor and curriculum coordinator. Immediately before starting at Child Care Aware of NH, Diane was Adjunct Faculty as the Early Childhood Practicum Coordinator & Supervisor at Nashua Community College. In her free time, she enjoys spending time reading, volunteering for my son’s sports/activities, hiking, traveling and making memories with her husband, her three active teen boys and her Wheaten Terrier Zeke.
Child Care Resource & Referral Outreach Team
Karen Abbott began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in October 2014. She began working as a Child Care Resource and Referral Outreach Specialist. Currently Karen holds the Lead Child Care Resource and Referral Outreach Coordinator position. She is a graduate of North Shore Community College with an Associates in Early Childhood Education and is currently pursuing her Bachelors through Granite State College. Karen has spent over 30 years caring for children, her roles have been as a teacher, Lead teacher, an assistant director and as a Center Director. Karen also spent 2 years working with Autistic children both in a residential setting and school setting. Karen is credentialed by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Child Development Bureau as an Early Childhood Master Professional with an Individual Mentor endorsement, Early Childhood Master Teacher and as an Early Childhood Administrator. Karen lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, 6 children, and multiple pets. Karen enjoys time with family, genealogy research, and volunteering in several community groups that her children are involved in.
Meriba began working at Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in January 2021. For 12 years prior to coming to CCAoNH, Meriba was the owner and director of a child care center. Meriba also has experience as an early childhood classroom teacher, family child care provider, children’s librarian and work in Child Care Resource and Referral. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Development, Early Childhood Concentration, from Wheelock College and an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Westbrook College. Meriba has always had the personal and professional mission of working to support and enhance the development of young children, whether by helping and educating their families, working with teachers and child care providers or directly providing care and educating children. In her free time, Meriba enjoys reading, doing volunteer work involving children or theater, being outside and spending time with her young adult children. Meriba lives in Manchester with her husband, son and two cats.
Kathy began at SNHS, Child Care Aware of NH in September of 2020. She started her career in early education over 16 years ago when a friend encouraged her to take a job at a nearby child care center. She quickly fell in love with the position and developed a passion for providing quality care for children. She received her Bachelor’s from Rivier College in 2009 in Human Development/ECE/General SPED. Throughout her career as an educator, Kathy worked in a variety of settings including large and small center-based providers, multi-age groups, a Montessori program and an elementary school. She has worked with all age groups from infancy through third grade in various roles. Kathy lives in southern NH and in her spare time enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Debbie Verdicchio began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in August 2015. Her career in Early Childhood Education started over 20 years ago and she has worked with children of all ages, from infants to Kindergarten. She holds an Associate’s degree from Plymouth State University in Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Studies and Integrated Arts from Granite State College. Debbie has an Early Childhood Master Teacher Level II credential with an Infant and Toddler Endorsement as well as Early Childhood Master Professional credential. Debbie live in the seacoast area and enjoys theater, cooking and yoga.
Lead Training & Technical Assistance Coordinators
Lisa Piccolo began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in January 2019. She went to Plymouth State University and has a Bachelor’s degree in Childhood Education K-8 with a minor in Child Welfare and Family Services. She began her work in the field as a camp counselor, working with children ages four to ten years. Lisa began teaching kindergarten after she graduated and taught that age group for 14 years. While working in the kindergarten classroom, she was also an office assistant, working with the other teachers and classroom to help with curriculum development and classroom management. Lisa currently lived in Merrimack with her husband, 2 cats and a bunny.
Stephanie Therrien began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in September 2019. She has a Master’s degree in Child Development. She has taken on many roles during her 27 years in the field of Early Care and Education including being a float in I/T and preschool classrooms, an Assistant and Lead teacher and a Director. Most recently, she worked as a Behavioral Support Coach at Easterseals New Hampshire where she coached teachers in the Pyramid Model for Promoting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. She also teaches Child Development and Early Childhood Education classes at NHTI and Nashua Community College. She lives in Southern NH and loves to read books, watch movies and spend time with her family.
Training & Technical Assistance Specialists
Chris Brown began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in February 2019. She has 22 years of experience in Montessori preschool education, as both a lead teacher and a director/owner. She arrived in the USA in 1981 and became a citizen in 1990. She has a Bachelor of Science and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from Newcastle University in the UK and a preprimary credential from the American Montessori Society. She also holds credentials through the NH Early Childhood Professional Development System as a Master Teacher Level 2, an Administrator Level 1, and a Master Professional with endorsements of Individual Mentor, Program Consultant and Workshop Trainer. She is delighted to be expanding her work into the wider world of the education of NH’s young children. She lives in Southern Hampshire, with occasional forays to Portland ME, with her husband. Her 4 children now live up and down the East Coast.
Connie Davis began working with Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in February 2013. Since Connie owned and operated a family child care program from her home for over 15 years, the transition to assisting families with their childcare search as a Resource and Referral Specialist was an easy one. Currently as a Family Child Care Support Specialist, Connie embraces the opportunity to connect with early childhood professionals to promote professionalism and best practices in the early childhood settings. Connie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education and is credentialed through the New Hampshire Early Childhood and Afterschool Professional Development System as a Master Teacher with an Infant & Toddler Endorsement and a Master Professional with a Program Consultant Endorsement.
Katelynn Karugu began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in January 2021. Before her employment at CCAoNH, Katelynn’s work focused on infant care and program leadership. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Administration from the Ashford University and will soon complete her MBA with a concentration in Nonprofit Leadership from Crown College. Katelynn is passionate about quality care and has focused a lot of her career on trauma-informed care and health and safety topics. In her free time, she is an avid reader, a foodie and loves music, especially playing the piano.
Bekah Kistler began working with Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in January 2020. She has taken on a variety of roles in her early education career including teaching across the age groups in a variety of child care centers. She was a family provider and then returned to center-based care, in which she guided her team through NAEYC Accreditation. She was a center director for more than 10 years and navigated through challenges such as the sale of a school, building a brand new school and relocating a large school to a new building through concept, design and implementation. Bekah has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Granite State College. She also holds credentials through the NH Early Childhood Professional Development System as a Master Teacher Level 2, an Administrator Level 3 with an Infant & Toddler Advance level endorsement and a Master Professional with endorsements of Individual Mentor, Program Consultant and Workshop Trainer. She is excited to continue her work in supporting the education of NH’s youngest children. She lives in southern New Hampshire with her husband and 3 children who enjoy counting their chickens, exploring outside and finding a new adventure.
Liz Costa Scruton began working for Child Care Aware of New Hampshire in July 2017. Before her employment at CCAoNH, Liz created a goal to work with each age group in Early Childhood Education, so she has spent time teaching children from infants through Kindergarten. Liz also has spent time in administration roles and is highly skilled in NAEYC accreditation-helping over eight centers attain accreditation status. Liz holds a Master of Arts in Education with a focus in Family and Society Services, a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Administration and an Associates degree in Elementary Education. Liz is passionate about supporting learning through natural environments utilizing emergent curriculum, strengthening families through a partnership lens and emergency preparedness. Liz enjoys spending time on the water by relaxing or kayaking, hiking with her dogs or exploring the wonders of NH with her husband.