Listen to Lemberg parents

"I am very pleased with the job the Lemberg staff has done. They have encouraged my daughter to be an inquisitive and thoughtful child. They are doing a great job of imparting good values and a strong sense of independence on her. Over the last year, the staff has been very professional from the director, Howie Baker down to all the TAs."

— L.T., Weston

Listen to Lemberg parents

"Lemberg teachers and staff celebrate the many cultures and languages represented in their classrooms, sparking a child's natural curiosity and appreciation for diversity.

"My 4-year-old loves to listen to foreign languages, practice Lemberg's counting from 1 to 10 lessons in various languages, hear about foreign countries and meet people from countries outside the United States.

"Combined with the lessons we teach at home, Lemberg has provided such a great basis for valuing multiculturalism."

— I.F., Boston

Listen to Lemberg parents

"I like Scott's songs. I love it when I whisper at home and my son says, 'No secrets at Lemberg!'"

— M.M., Waltham

Meet the Staff

Executive Director

Howie Baker


Howie, our Executive Director, has a 45-year career in early education and care as a childcare provider, university teacher, program administrator, policy analyst, advocate, marriage and family counselor, curriculum developer, mentor-teacher, and advisor to government leaders. In 2012 the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Center’s awarded him Director of the Year. A member of several professional associations, he is Co-President of the Council of Child Development Laboratory Schools (CCDLA). His career with the Lemberg Children’s Center at Brandeis University began with teaching in September 1972. In 1979 he was chosen as Director and Executive Director in 1985. From 1979 – 1996, he taught early education course at Brandeis University, and continues to serve as the Brandeis Education Program’s Early Education Coordinator. In addition to providing professional presentations in US, he has been a guest presenter in the UK, Canada, Italy, France, and China. Earlier in his career he chaired several Massachusetts governmental committees charged with writing the first standards of care and was a doctoral fellow of the National Institutes for Health for the study of intellectual disabilities at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. He also is the Director of APA’s ACT Raising Safe Kids Boston Regional Center, a part of the Lemberg Center and a Master Trainer for the APA’s Violence Prevention Office.


Our Staff

Alyssa Campbell

Head Teacher, Hummingbirds (infants/toddlers)

Alyssa earned a B.A. from Binghamton University in Political Science with a concentration in Education Policy. She received a M.Ed. in Early Childhood from Grand Canyon University. Alyssa has taught infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners throughout her career. She started with older children and kept going younger.  Alyssa served as the director of a childcare center in Boston before coming to Lemberg.  She is also a birth and postpartum doula and a child sleep specialist.

The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” drives Alyssa’s work in early childhood.  She feels passionately about working together with families to find what works for them and their children. Alyssa has a strong focus in emotional development and believes that it is at the core of learning.  Her goal for her children is for them to know how to identify and manage all of their emotions.  She loves working with older infants and young toddlers as their language skyrockets and they can build their library of social and emotional language.

When she isn’t at work Alyssa is often traveling throughout New York and New England with her husband.  They enjoy weekend trips upstate New York, through Vermont, and up to Maine.

Angela Garcia

Head Teacher, Navigators (preschool)

Angela completed her M.A in Curriculum and Instruction (spec: ECE) in 2016. While working on her Master’s degree, she worked as a co-teacher at the Reggio Emilia inspired lab school - The NMSU School for Young Children. This is where Angela gained an in-depth understanding for the importance of continued communication and collaboration with colleagues, families, and community members. Prior to this, she worked as a curriculum and training consultant for the University of New Mexico. Today, she is a second year preschool co-teacher at Lemberg Children’s Center at Brandeis University. The development of an emergent collaborative curriculum in a developmentally appropriate setting is at the center of Angela’s educational philosophy.

Anna Graves

Office, Administration & Enrollment Coordinator

Anna completed a women's studies program at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand before getting a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, MA.

Anna has worked in day programs and summer camps for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She focused her work on children; specializing with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She also worked as a Martial Arts instructor for adults and children. Anna worked as an Operations Manager and store department manager for several years before coming to Lemberg. She is so happy to be a part of such a wonderful community.

She is looking to persue a Masters in Non-Profit Administration at Suffolk University in Boston, to better support her role at Lemberg Children's Center.

Becca Leibowitz

Teaching Fellow, Adventurers (toddlers)

Becca graduated with a B.A. in Child Study and Human Development from Tufts University in May 2017. Originally from Westchester, New York, Becca has spent her past few summers as a nanny for an 18 month old, a camp counselor for 4 year olds, and a reading teacher for 1st graders. In the spring, she worked in the 3s class at Tufts' lab school. She also spent a semester abroad in Denmark studying cultural differences in early childhood education.

Joining the Hummingbirds for the summer, Becca will start as a teaching fellow in the fall. She loves working with young children and is so excited to join the Lemberg community and to get to know the children and families who make it so special!

Chandra Pieragostini

Head Teacher, Voyagers (preschool)
Drama Specialist and 
Director of Creative Connections Camp

Chandra brings an extensive and diverse background in theater to her role as Lemberg’s drama specialist. She has studied theater arts at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The National Theatre and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

As a theater educator, she has worked in classrooms with children from elementary to high school for many years. Along with her part-time Lemberg responsibilities, she is the associate director for education for Boston’s City Stage Co. and, during the summers, is the Young Artists at Play director for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre.

Chandra’s acting credits include Clara in "The Nutcracker Players" (Boston Area), Alice/Kristy in "Fitkids" (New England and Indiana), The Wife in "The History and Adventures of Tom Thumb" and various roles in Shear Madness. She has also worked on numerous commercials, industrial videos, independent films and voice-over spots. She is a member of all three acting unions, AEA, AFTER and SAG.

Chandra earned her B.A. in theater arts from Brandeis.

Project Manager, Summer China Program

Teaching Fellow, Butterflies (infants)

Hannah graduated from the University of Connecticut this past May with a BA in Human Development and Family Studies, concentrating in Early Childhood Development and Education. During her time there she completed a student teaching and field work practicum where she gained experience working in infant, toddler and preschool classrooms. Outside of the classroom, she has taught swim lessons to children of all ages and volunteered as a mentor/tutor for elementary and middle school students throughout her high school and college careers.

Hannah is excited to join the Lemberg community and grow as an educator, working alongside an amazing group of teachers. She hopes to develop close relationships with the children and families at Lemberg and support every child on their own developmental paths. She is looking forward to meeting the children in the Butterflies classroom and is excited to explore the world with them!

Teaching Fellow, Butterflies (infants)

Hannah graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis in May of 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and Theater Arts. She is Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Teacher certified through EEC. Hannah has worked with children in various capacities for as long as she can remember. While earning her bachelors, Hannah coordinated for a volunteer group that led an afterschool program at two Waltham elementary schools

Hannah has been a part of the Lemberg community since the beginning of 2013. Her past roles include teaching assistant and summer teacher, and she has worked with every age group throughout her years at Lemberg. Hannah is thrilled to start her position as a teaching fellow with the infants and toddlers. She is looking forward to building relationships with the families at Lemberg and growing as an educator.

Teaching Fellow, Explorers (toddlers)

Jaimie is a graduate of The University of Connecticut with a BA in Human Development and Family Studies and a concentration in Early Childhood Development. While attending UConn, Jaimie worked in the NAEYC accredited UConn Child Development Labs with infant, toddler, and preschool aged children. For the past three years, Jaimie has worked as a Lead Preschool Teacher located in Sharon, MA, where she grew up.

Jaimie has a passion for working with young children and has a lot of fun doing it. You can tell with her ready smile, energetic dance moves, and love for singing songs! She is excited to become a part of the Explorers classroom as the Teaching Fellow in the Fall, and open young children’s eyes to many new concepts through play and hands on activities. Jaimie has also worked with young children at Camp Everwood in Sharon, MA. Jaimie is delighted to be joining us and to work with such a talented team of educators!

Joshua Rose

Teaching Fellow, Voyagers (preschool)

Josh has been working with children since the year 2000, getting his B.A. from UMass Amherst in 2006. He started in various after school and summer camp settings, including the Rowe Camp and Conference Center in the Berkshires, the Easter Seals Goodwill Industries' Family Learning Center in Connecticut, and iD Tech Camps at various locations in New York. While working with youth ages 8-18, Josh has led technical and philosophical workshops that promote creative growth and emphasize acceptance of others.

Josh is an EEC Certified Preschool Teacher at Lemberg. He has been working in Early Childhood for the past four years, singing songs that he wrote specifically for this profession. Josh plays guitar and leads a group at Lemberg that focuses on mathematical and memory-retaining aspects of Music. He is very excited to work with the Voyagers in his second year as a Teaching Fellow to build a positive, creative, fun environment that children look forward to experiencing every day.

Karen Eichenlaub

Office, Director of Staff Development

Karen came to Lemberg in 1983, has been a Head Teacher  preschool classrooms, and is now Director of Staff Development. She also works to monitor and address classroom safety and maintenance as well as coordinate and assist with program assessments and evaluations.

Karen also took a principal role in managing our successful 2010 NAEYC accreditation. She graduated with honors from Brown University and received her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College.

Having worked with all ages at Lemberg, Karen's skills span many areas. She enjoys working with parents and helping families with the transition between home and school. Mentoring Brandeis students and supervising student teachers is another important aspect of Karen's work at Lemberg.

Karen's own children attended Lemberg and have returned to work as teaching assistants. One of her outside interests involves working with the elderly, especially those with dementia, and helping support family caregivers.

Katharine Braun-Levine


Head Teacher, Voyagers (preschool)

Katharine has been part of the Lemberg community in various roles since 2000 and began her role as head teacher for the Explorers in 2007. 

Prior to that, she spent a year teaching at the Tufts Educational Day Care Center (TEDCC) with a special emphasis on the inclusion of children with special needs.

Also trained as an ACT facilitator, Katharine looks forward to joining parents in discussions about Raising Safe Kids, about Galinsky's book Mind in the Making, and just about any other topic related to families and young children.

Katharine especially enjoys working with toddlers, preschoolers, and college students in a safe and secure classroom and helping them to feel more open to new experiences and learning. Social skills, emotional development, and warm relationships are at the heart of her entire play-based curriculum, from free-play to nap time, from the block area to the sensory table, and from cooking projects to yoga.

She earned a B.A. from Brandeis University in theater and early childhood education and a master's degree in child development from Tufts University.

Kelly Farina

Teaching Fellow, Navigators (preschool)

Kelly comes to Lemberg as a recent graduate of the University of Connecticut’s Early Childhood Development and Education program. She completed a fieldwork and student teaching practicum at the UConn Child Labs, and has enjoyed working with children in the infant, toddler, and preschool rooms. During her senior year, Kelly spent time completing an Administration and Leadership practicum in an Early Head Start, which gave her a passion for finding ways to help those in the community who need it, and instilling this passion in children as well.

Kelly is excited to join the Lemberg staff, and to learn and grow alongside a team of exceptional teachers, families, and children. She hopes to build bonds, make discoveries and have a blast with everyone at Lemberg over the course of the year!

Kumiko Yamamoto

Float Teacher, Explorers & Adventurers (toddlers)

Kumiko is new to Lemberg this year, and is a teacher in the Adventures room. Kumiko began her academic career by studying biology in her original home, Japan. Seventeen years later, she returned to school to explore her passion in Early Childhood Education. After finishing her studies in education, she worked in infant and toddler classrooms for several years before beginning work with preschoolers, whom she has worked with for the past 13 years. 
Outside of Lemberg, Kumiko works with "The Genki Spark", a Japanese Taiko drumming group. In addition to performing with the group, she teaches drumming and Japanese Folk Dancing at schools and universities. Kumiko also has a passion for animals, and worked at a farm when she was young. 
She is very excited to work with the Adventures and to introduce Japanese culture to her new Lemberg family.

Float Teacher, Butterflies & Hummingbirds (infants & toddlers)

Rachel Bloom
Teaching Fellow, Hummingbirds (infants/toddlers)

Rachel graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in May 2014 with a BS in Communication Disorders. Throughout her time at UMass she volunteered at the nearby elementary school in both the general and special education classrooms as well as in the afterschool program. During the summers, Rachel worked at an early childcare center with preschoolers. After Rachel graduated, she attended Teachers College- Columbia University where she earned her Masters degree in Early Childhood with a dual certification in General and Special Education. Throughout her time at Teachers College, she had several student teaching experiences in an array of settings throughout the city. During her final year of graduate school, Rachel worked as a graduate assistant in the infant room at the Rita Gold Early Childcare Center.

Rachel is very excited to join the Lemberg community and is thrilled to be with infants in the Butterfly room! She looks forward to working and learning alongside the other teachers and meeting the children and their families!

Roberta Adario

Head Teacher, Butterflies (infants)

Roberta has been working with infants and toddlers since she was just twelve years old at her family's home daycare business. She also began teaching children's dance classes at a young age and continues to incorporate dance into her curriculum. Roberta went to Framingham State College and studied education and psychology. During college, Roberta was the assistant director and lead teacher for 10 infants and toddlers at her family business. Roberta went on to get a Master's degree in Education/Counseling at Cambridge College and is licensed through DESE as a School Social Worker (grades K-12). Roberta has worked as a dance teacher, infant/toddler teacher, kindergarten teacher, nanny, counselor, elementary school social worker and mentor for young adults.

"I am so happy to have found such a wonderful, positive environment to work and teach. I am excited to incorporate my skills with children, families and college students here at Lemberg Children's Center." -Roberta

Sarah Sian

Head Teacher, Adventurers (toddlers)

Sarah has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 20 years. After graduating from Tufts University in 1995, with a BA in Child Study, she was a teacher at the Tufts Educational Day Care Center for 6 years. She earned her masters degree in Early Childhood Education, also from Tufts, and continued her career as a professional development specialist in several different capacities. She worked with preschool teachers in Cambridge and Lowell as a literacy specialist and mentored preschool teachers in Boston through the NAEYC accreditation process. Before coming to Lemberg, Sarah was the Education Coordinator at a childcare center in Lexington, where she helped teachers plan curriculum and assess children’s developmental progress. It was at this center that Sarah fell in love with toddlers and decided to return to the classroom as a toddler teacher. Last year she was the lead teacher in the Hummingbird classroom. Sarah is fascinated with the way toddlers interact with materials and make sense of their physical world. She loves to plan curriculum focused on open-ended interactions with Loose Parts. Sarah also helps toddlers develop strong emotional intelligence skills.

Sarah lives in nearby Newton, with her husband, two middle-school aged children, a dog and three backyard chickens. In her spare time she loves to read, run and spend time with her family.

Scott Kepnes

Head Teacher, Voyagers (preschool)
Associate Director of Music Education 

Scott has been a head teacher for the Thunderbirds at Lemberg since October, 1993. He loves all aspects of teaching preschoolers, including science experiments, gardening, outdoor games, book making, storytelling, and all creative art and writing activities. He is especially interested in music and movement activities. Scott leads Aloha Friday - Lemberg’s weekly, center-wide sing and dance along. 

Outside of Lemberg, Scott is a writer and performer of songs for children and families. For more than 25 years, he has been entertaining audiences with his upbeat and funky folk songs, rock tunes, and stories at libraries, childcare centers, elementary schools, hospitals and town events.  Additionally, he leads small music and movement groups for infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and offers workshops for teachers and parents to help them incorporate music into their classrooms and homes.

Scott is a member of the Children's Music Network (CMN), a national organization that celebrates the positive power of music in the lives of children by sharing songs, exchanging ideas and creating community.

Scott has a B.S. in early childhood education from the University of MMassachusetts, Amherst, and is EEC certified. He has two children, and absolutely loves being a dad. For more information about Scott, visit his website.

Sieara Lopez

Head Teacher, Explorers (toddlers)

Sieara has been a member of the Lemberg family since 2012 as a teaching assistant, summer head teacher, teaching fellow, and now, a head teacher. She has worked with every age group, and is especially excited about working with the toddlers! 

Sieara earned her B.A. from Brandeis University in psychology and elementary education in May 2015. She has Infant, Toddler and Preschool EEC Certification, and an Initial Elementary Teaching License. She also student taught in a second grade dual-language classroom her senior year. Sieara is currently working towards her Masters in Early Childhood Education and Care at Wheelock College and is in the process of getting licensed to teach pre-k through 6th grade.

As her role at Lemberg changes, Sieara looks forward to further developing as an educator. She is thrilled to continue being a part of such a loving and joyful community!

Additional Staff

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Additional Staff

Substitute Lead Teacher

demeo, paula

Paula ino novice in the field of education. She has numerous years of experience in both administrative roles and classroom teaching. Paula has been an early childhood educator for over 25 years. A graduate of Bridgewater State, she began her career teaching at the LEAP school in Lexington MA in 1993. Her experience includes teaching toddlers, preschoolers, and overseeing a team and their curriculum development for an entire school year of content. For the last 12 years at LEAP, Paula was the Program Director of the Concord School where she led a team of talented teachers and developed her skills and built wonderful relationships with teachers, parents, and children. Sharing resources with parents on child development and everyday parenting skills has been a truly satisfying part of her career. As rewarding as the Program Director role was, Paula recently transitioned to a nature-based school program that proved to be the perfect change of pace. 

Paula has obtained her 300-hour Teacher Training Certification with YogaKids. This completed a yearlong study in children's yoga. She is passionate about teaching children through nature, creative arts, movement, emotional intelligence practices, and joy. She brings her experience and love of teaching to Lemberg. 

Speech and Language Pathologist

Julie SellaJulie is Lemberg’s speech language pathologist. She has worked in a variety of therapeutic settings including schools, clinics and early intervention programs, and in private practice. Julie has also worked extensively with children who are on the autism spectrum, use Augmentative Alternative Communication, and have sensory and motor-based feeding difficulties. She has worked with children and adults who have language/communication delays, motor speech and articulation concerns, and hearing loss.

Julie’s clinical interests include social pragmatic methods and approaches such as relationship development intervention (RDI), executive functioning skills, and the work of Michelle Garcia-Winner, Jed Baker and Sara Ward.

She values the relationship between sensory integration and communication and has developed clinical expertise in the area. She enjoys working with families to help build developing skills in settings that are meaningful for each client. She is excited to be part of the Lemberg team!

She received her master’s degree from the MGH Institute of Health Professions and a Certificate of Early Intervention Specialty (CEIS) through her work with the Cambridge-Somerville Early Intervention.

Associate Director of ACT: Raising Safe Program

Karen Ciesluk-Gutterman

Karen has been a certified coordinator at the APA ACT-Boston Regional Center since 2009. She leads many of the trainings held at Brandeis University for professionals in their use of the American Psychological Associations’ evidence based parenting education and violence prevention program. A graduate of the University of Connecticut, she also holds a Master degree from Wheelock College (2001) in Birth to 3 Development and is a consultant specialist in Early Intervention. From 1997 to 2011 Karen was the Head Teacher at the Lemberg Children’s Center at Brandeis University and has presented on parenting education and early education and care at several NAEYC national conferences. She was the keynote presenter for the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children Conference in 2012 and has been an ACT Master Trainer in Boston since 2010.

Associate Director of ACT: Raising Safe Kids Program

Kristina Irizarry

Sylvia Pena

Sylvia's research interests include how to bring awareness, understanding, and respect for multicultural diversity into the classroom experiences of children, and into the teacher training experience of the student workers. She monitors new early education trends and theories. Sylvia is a trained ACT Raising Safe Kids Facilitator, and leads workshops for educators and parents interested in raising safe kids. She holds a degree in early childhood from the University of California.

Sylvia retired from Lemberg in June 2014. She worked as a head teacher in the classroom for several years before taking on the role as Associate Director for Staff Development. She now lives in California but continues to stay part of Lemberg and train parents in ACT.

Lemberg Summer Program Director
Research Associate, Center for Early Childhood Teacher Development

Bruce first taught at Lemberg from 1985 to 1989 when he was head teacher in the Explorers classroom.  In 1989 he moved on, spending the next 10 years in the Massachusetts early childhood community as a consultant in the area of educational reform, early childhood curriculum, teaching professional development and as an educational administrator in schools and programs for young children.  

In 1999 Bruce was recruited to help create an undergraduate teacher education program at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.  While continuing to teach overseas, since 2004 he has returned to Lemberg each summer to serve as the Lemberg Summer Program director.  In addition, Bruce holds the position of research associate at the Lemberg-based Center for Early Childhood Teacher Development.

He holds an M.Ed. and Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.