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 BakerHowie has been the executive director of the Lemberg Children’s Center since 1979. He is a member of the Brandeis University faculty and leads the early childhood teacher preparation program. Certified as a teacher in Massachusetts for preschool, elementary, middle and high schools in English, social science, communication skills and theater, he also provides in-service development for educators at all levels.

Howie has served as vice chair of the Advisory Council on Early Care and the Education of Young Children to the Massachusetts Board of Education. At Brandeis, he has been a research associate at the Starr Center on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and at the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy and served as an advisory board member of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life.

He has received awards from the Massachusetts Association of Day Care Agencies and the Boston Association for the Education of Young Children, and a training fellowship from the National Institutes of Health for the study of public policy and support for people with special needs.

Howie holds degrees from Emerson College, Boston College, Brandeis University and the Family Institute of Cambridge. The father of four children, he has relied on providers in his home, at family daycare, at group daycare and at extended day school-age programs.


Our Staff


Office, Program Administrator.

Anna Graves

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.


Afternoon Head Teacher, Navigators. (Preschool)

Hannah Minter

Hannah is originally from California, where she studied Human Development and Education at the University of California at Davis. She developed a love of university laboratory schools through her time working as a student caregiver and intern at the UC Davis Early Childhood Laboratory, and moved on to spend three years as Head Teacher of their preschool classroom. Hannah spent many years experimenting with and developing a social/emotional curriculum; nurturing children’s appreciation of the natural world in the Nature Explore certified Outdoor Classroom; and coaching and mentoring undergraduate student caregivers. Hannah moved to Boston to continue her education at Tufts University, where she worked at the Eliot Pearson Children’s school in both the kindergarten and preschool classrooms, and led winter, spring, and summer vacation enrichment camps. Hannah graduated with a Masters of Arts in Teaching an initial state teaching license. Hannah is excited to find herself in yet another laboratory school setting, where curiosity and learning are supported and nurtured, both in the children and the staff! Hannah is looking forward to growing and learning as a community!

Head Teacher, Hummingbirds. (Infants/Toddlers)

Hope Briggs

Hope is excited to be a part of the infant and toddler classrooms at Lemberg.  She looks forward to working with all of our infants and their families through her work at the center.

Previously, Hope worked as the infant supervisor and lead infant teacher at the NAEYC certified non-profit Mount Kisco Child Care Center in Mt. Kisco, NY (MKCCC) for the past nine years.  During her time teaching in public school for several years, she came to value the necessity of providing high quality childcare while working with the infants and their families at MKCCC.  Hope has a passion for working with infants and toddlers and partnering with their parents to meet their child’s educational needs.  She strives to create a caring encouraging and loving classroom environment where both infants and parents feel secure.

Hope has a BA in American Studies and an Elementary Education certificate from UMass Boston. She earned a MA of Professional Studies in Humanistic Multicultural Education at the State University of New York at New Paltz.  Hope has elementary education certification in Massachusetts and New York as well as EEC certification. 

Morning Head Teacher, Voyagers. (Preschool)

Jacky Newell

Jacky has a BS in Early Childhood Education from Boston University and a Master's Degree in Child Development from Tufts University. Previously Jacky taught at the Tufts Educational Day Care Center. Jacky’s favorite part about teaching is engaging in powerful conversations with children. Knowing that each person’s path to comprehension is unique, it is important to Jacky that the children in her classroom are able to notice, acknowledge, and make sense of such differences. Jacky looks forward to using reflection and relationship building to facilitate each child’s discovery of themselves as individuals and as members of their community.

In addition to her work with children, Jacky has received training to support the continued growth of community among staff members. She believes in the power of teachers opening up their practice to each other for reflection and feedback. Like the children, colleagues are constantly learning about each other’s strengths and challenges and figuring out how to best support each other. Jacky is excited to be a part of the growing Lemberg community! 

Teaching Fellow Explorers/Float, Adventures and Explorers. (Toddlers)

Jason Margeson

Jason graduated from Curry College in 2010 with a BA in psychology and minor in math and education. Jason grew up in Brockton, where he played sports throughout his childhood. He was largely influenced by some of the teachers and coaches he encountered growing up. He was a member of three championship football teams - two in high school and one in college. He went on to Curry College to play football where he discovered a passion for working with children after he picked up a work study position at the Curry Early Childhood Center. He started working with preschoolers at Curry in 2007, and was then hired as an infant teacher in 2011 for the Curry Early Childhood Center. He worked as the lead infant teacher until 2012, when he moved up to the toddler age group and worked until 2013.  Afterwards, he moved to the Kennedy Center Program in Charlestown, teaching preschoolers just outside of the Bunker Hill Projects.

Jason is so happy to join the Lemberg community and work in such a positive and learning environment. He is excited to develop bonds with all the children, parents, and other the Lemberg staff. 

Head Teacher, Butterflies. (Infants)Jessica Albert

Jess has a B.S in Early Childhood Education from the University of Connecticut and a Master’s Degree in Child Development with a focus on Early Intervention from Tufts University. Jess worked at Lemberg as the Explorer’s Teaching Fellow before pursuing her Master’s Degree at Tufts. She has also worked at the University of Connecticut Child Labs as well as the Eliot Pearson Children’s School at Tufts University. Jess believes that by creating a sensory sensitive environment, every child can thrive. She also believes that family involvement and communication is important. Jess is excited to be part of the Lemberg Community once again!

Office, Director of Staff Development.

Karen Eichenlaub

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.


Head Teacher, Explorers. (Toddlers)

Katharine Braun-Levine

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.

Head Teacher, Adventures. (Toddlers)

Kumiko Yamamoto

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 begining 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. 

Morning Head Teacher, Navigators. (Preschool) 
lhobson@brandeis.eduLori Hobson

Lori graduated from Boston University in the Spring of 2013.  She majored in Early Childhood Education and holds an initial license for the state to teach Pre-K through second grade.  Lori is also certified as a Lead Preschool Teacher through EEC. 

While at Boston University, Lori was a student teacher at the BU lab school.  She was also a student teacher in a kindergarten class in Newton and then in a second grade inclusion class in Chelsea.  Since graduating last May, Lori has worked as a preschool teacher in an Early Learning Center in Brookline and has also covered a maternity leave in a kindergarten class in a Boston Public School.

Lori is very eager and excited to become a part of the Lemberg community!  She cannot wait to learn how to become a better teacher and to also share fun experiences with everyone at Lemberg.

Teaching Fellow, Voyagers. (Preschool)

Maggie Williams

Maggie graduated from Endicott College in 2011 with a B.A. in early childhood education. While earning her bachelor's 
degree, Maggie completed two internships and a pre-practicum (in preschool and first grade), and volunteered at an after school program for at-risk youth called Beverly Bootstraps. Maggie completed her student teaching in kindergarten and first grade at Joshua Eaton Elementary School. She is certified as Lead Preschool Teacher through EEC and also holds an initial Pre-K through grade 2 license in Massachusetts. Prior to teaching at Lemberg, Maggie spent many years working with children and taught preschool in Brookline.
Maggie enjoys incorporating art and creativity in many aspects of the classroom. She loves to watch children explore and discover, and believes in supporting the whole child by creating experiences that appeal to different learning modalities. Maggie is excited to be a part of Lemberg and looks forward to growing as a teacher while forming strong relationships with the families and teachers. 


Afternoon Head Teacher, Voyagers. (Preschool)
Associate Director of Music Education 

Scott KepnesScott 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.

Teaching Fellow, Hummingbirds. (Infants/Toddlers)

Sieara Lopez

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

Teaching Fellow, Navigators. (Preschool)

Wentian Ma

Tian graduated from Boston University in the May 2015 with a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She holds an initial licences for teaching pre-K to second grade from the state. She is from Beijing, China, and she can speak Chinese.

During Tian’s college years, she did student teaching for the pre-K level in the Early Childhood Learning Lab at BU, and in a kindergarten and second grade class in two Brookline Public Schools. In addition, she worked in preschools and kindergartens in Singapore and China during the summers. Because of her background and experiences, she is truly able to appreciate the diversity of and differences between children. Tian’s particular interests in teaching are science and social studies.

This is Tian’s first year at Lemberg, and she is very excited and grateful to join the community. She can’t wait to grow and learn with the children!

WHEELER DEANGELIS                                         
Teaching Fellow, Butterflies. (Infants)                   Wheeler DeAngelis

Wheeler graduated from The University of Connecticut in May 2015 wit a BA in Early Childhood Development and Education. In his Junior and Senior years he completed his Fieldwork and Student Teacher Practicums at the University’s renowned Child Developmental Laboratories, in the Pre-school and Toddler programs respectively. Throughout his time at the Child Labs Wheeler also worked extensively in the Infant program. Outside of the UConn, Wheeler volunteered his time with Head Start and local elementary schools.

Wheeler loves working with children of all ages and is very excited to be a member of the Infant teaching team. He is looking forward to building a community with the families in the Butterfly room.

Additional Staff

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Additional Staff


Substitute Lead Teacher, Drama Specialist and 

Director of Creative Connections Camp

Chandra PieragostiniChandra 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, AFTRA and SAG.

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

Substitute Lead Teacher

demeo, paula

Paula ino novice in the field of education. She has numerous years of experience in both administrative rolesand 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 Diretor 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 devotes much of her time to helping toddlers and three-year-olds develop social sensitivity skills. In addition to helping the children learn to express themselves verbally, Karen teaches basic American Sign Language as a form of communication. Her room is filled with sensory activities, books, art projects and smiling faces.

Karen is also an ACT Raising Safe Kids facilitator. She leads workshops for educators and parents interested in raising safe kids.

Prior to joining the Lemberg staff, Karen worked for four years at the University of Connecticut Child Development Center with infants and toddlers.

Karen holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood education from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, and a master's degree in early intervention from Wheelock College.

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.