Director: Mrs. Lucia Hassen has a BA in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Certificate of Teaching from the College of St. Elizabeth where she also earned credits towards a Master’s degree in Education. She began working at Westminster as a helper when her two children were students here and later became the movement teacher, combining her love of music and teaching. As her children grew, she decided to pursue her teaching certificate. After completion she returned to Westminster Nursery school to teach the 2 ½s, 3s, 4s and Kindergarten Enrichment classes. In 2020 she was named director and couldn’t be happier. Mrs. Hassen plays violin with the Summit Symphony.
Teacher 4s enrichment: Mrs. Amy Tarabokia has a BA in History with a minor in Music from Ramapo College of New Jersey, as well as a Master’s in Elementary Education from Seton Hall University. She has experience teaching preschool and Kindergarten. Through a variety of activities, Amy hopes to encourage creative thinking and provide opportunities for her students to develop new skills and hobbies that only add to each of their individual strengths. She has lived in Berkeley Heights for over 20 years. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, visiting her sons at their colleges in Pittsburgh and exercising. She’s also a certified personal trainer! She’s excited to be back working in the classroom and honored to be a part of the wonderful staff at Westminster.
Lunch and Learn Lead: Mrs. Donna Marsh is a parent of two children and proud grandmother to three. Donna was teaching at Union Village Nursery School for 34 years. While there, she taught the 2 ½ year old program and assisted in the 3’s and 4 year old pre-k classes. She also was the teacher for the before care and after care programs. In September 2021 she joined the staff at Westminster Nursery School where she leads the 3s Lunch and Learn program. She is very excited to be a part of Westminster Nursery School.
Teacher of 4s: Mrs. Nancy Ripps, has been an early childhood educator for over 20 years. Mrs. Ripps has an undergraduate degree in early childhood and elementary education from American University, Washington DC as well as a Master's Degree in Special Education from Columbia University/Teacher's College. Her teaching experience began at The Hoffman School Riverdale, NY, The McBurney School, NYC and Temple Har Shalom prior to joining Westminster Nursery School. There is great satisfaction in building the foundation for learning, growing and socialization for our students. She enjoys spending quality time with her family. She just started biking and finding all of the great local paths. It is always a thrill to come in contact with students in the area and see the success and happiness they have attained.
Director Designee/Lead Teachers' Aide: Mrs. Eileen Vass has been at Westminster since 2012. She has a BS in Business Mgt. and Marketing from Kean University. She grew up in New Providence, never knowing she would return and raise her family there. She has 3 boys in which 2 of the 3 went to Westminster for preschool. She enjoys spending time with her family, pets, biking, photography, outdoors and going to the movies.
Teacher's aid: Mrs. Katie McGurn graduated from Gettysburg College with a BA in Psychology and a Minor in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career in 1st grade at Salt Brook Elementary school in New Providence. From there she taught 3rd, 2nd, and Kindergarten in Georgia and Maryland. A move brought her back to New Jersey where she taught a 3’s class at Gentle Shepherd in Basking Ridge and preschool became her passion! She got her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University and has taught 2’s, 3’s and 4’s. She recently taught a 2 1/2’s class at New Providence Presbyterian and is thrilled to be here at Westminster. She is a mom to 3 amazing kids and loves running with her husband and her dog!
Teacher of 2 ½s: Mrs. Terry Machin is a graduate of Montclair State, over the past 25 years she has taught children ranging in ages from 2 ½ to 7 years old. She has worked at Westminster Nursery school since 2014. She has been the teacher of our 2 ½s. Mrs. Machin is also a state licensed director and in her capacity as a director and during her career has been responsible for two YWCA programs and started a Daycare Program at a private church in Bergen County. She has held positions of camp director at numerous summer camps in our area. Mrs. Machin loves to cook and travel, and is a happily married wife, mother and grandmother.
4s Teacher's Assistant & 4s Enrichment Assistant:
Mrs. Jaime Andrews has a BA in Psychology from Roanoke College and has experience teaching Greek language classes to kindergartners and working as an elementary school lunch aide. Jaime and her family have lived in Berkeley Heights for over 10 years and she was first introduced to Westminster in 2011 when her son joined the 2 ½ years class and continued with the preschool program for 3 years. Jaime is excited to be a part of the WNS staff.
Teachers' Aide: Mrs. Marilyn Klein has been an early childhood educator for over 25 years and has worked with children ranging in age from ages 2 ½ to 7. She graduated from Lesley college with a BA in science and has a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street. Mrs. Klein is married with 2 children and 1 grandchild. When not working with children she enjoys playing tennis, swimming and loves to travel. She is happy to join the staff at Westminster Nursery School.
Teacher of 3s: As a parent of two children who attended Westminster, Mrs. Bocian loved the school environment and was thrilled to become part of the staff a few years later. She has been with Westminster for over twenty years. She started out as an assistant and was the "lunch bunch" teacher. She is a coordinator and teacher of Westminster's very popular Spring Camp program. She has enjoyed teaching the 3s for over fifteen years and is looking forward to being part of your child's first school experience!
Teachers' Aide: Ms. Ruth Gomas graduated from Kean University with a BA in teaching and certifications in Special Education and General Education. She has worked as a Special Education teacher for more than 20 years and has loved providing instruction in an elementary school setting as a resource center and in class support teacher, for grades K through 5. Prior to this career, Ruth also enjoyed working over a period of 12 years as a Registered Nurse. Ruth is blessed to have a wonderful daughter and son-in law as well as two wonderful grandchildren (both of whom have attended Westminster Nursery School). She feels honored and fortunate to have joined the warm and dedicated staff at Westminster.
Teachers’ Aide: Mrs. Andrea Welsh grew up in Berkeley Heights. She has now moved back to the area and very happy that her youngest child was able to attend Westminster Nursery School. Andrea graduated from the University of the Arts with a BFA. She has used her art degree in jewelry design, metal working, creating museum installations, and as an auction coordinator. Andrea is also a Licensed Sales Agent/ REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®. She enjoys spending time camping in the summers & skiing in the winters with her family. Starting in 2022, she is proud to be the most recent addition to the Westminster family.