Nichole Olson, Executive Director
Nichole was raised in Central Massachusetts where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Worcester State University. Nichole has over 18 years of experience in childcare and the non-profit sector. She was the Child Care Director at her last center before becoming the Senior Program Director where she oversaw youth programming, summer camp, after-school programs, and child care. Nichole is very excited to have the opportunity to get to know you and your child.
Jacqueline McGrady, Development Director
Jackie was raised on Nantucket and after graduating from the public school system here, went on to receive degrees from Amherst College, Harvard University, and General Theological Seminary. She returned home to the island to raise her two children and explore new opportunities. She is an ordained Episcopal priest, writer, experienced teacher and a pretty good cook in addition to being an organized and energized development professional.
Morgan Lindsay, Lead Teacher
Morgan is a Nantucket native and has a strong devotion to the island. Morgan received both her Bachelor’s degree and Masters degree from Wheelock College in Boston, MA. Using open-ended materials that encourage children to create and define their purpose, Morgan also develops curriculum based on developmental goals and emergent interests of your children. She strives to make learning visible by documenting your children’s efforts. This not only shows the child how we value their work but also allows us to assess their learning. The passion Morgan has for working uniquely with each group of children she discovered while working at Strong Wings in 2007 and has been involved in the field since then.
Joanne McAveety, Lead Teacher
Joanne has been with Small Friends since 1999, as a teacher in the infant room. Joanne is originally from Belfast, Ireland where she attended the University of Ulster. Her daughters Katie and Amy Rose are both Small Friends alums. What do you love about teaching? “I love the babies because they are so much fun and it is great to watch them grow and learn. They are so smart and loving.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I like movies, going out to dinner and travel.”
Kimberly Alexis, Teacher
Marie Kimball, Lead Teacher
Scallops: Young Toddlers
Marie joined Small Friends in September of 2004. Marie earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education from the New Hampshire Technical Institute of Concord and has a wealth of experience working with young children in a variety of settings.
Teneshia Chennis, Teacher
Scallops: Young Toddlers
Teneshia joined the Small Friends family in September 2011. She has worked with children of varying ages in a number of different capacities, including being a mother. We are excited about Teneshia’s future as part of the Scallop team.
Brie Carr, Teacher
Scallops: Young Toddlers
Brie has been with Small Friends since November 2016. She holds an Early Childhood Education Certificate. What do you love about teaching? “I love how enthusiastic and how energetic the students are.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I like to bake and love raising my preschool-age daughter.”
Sarah Lanctot, Lead Teacher
Starfish: Older Toddlers
Sarah has been with Small Friends since 2013. She holds a bachelors of arts degree in Psychology from the University of Rhode Island. She has worked in a number of different early childhood settings, including a Head Start program. Sarah provides a warm, nurturing environment for the Starfish class. What do you love about teaching? “I love the openness and curiosity of the students.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy hiking, reading, and going to the beach.”
Carol Pillion, Teacher
Starfish: Older Toddlers
Carol is a Teacher in the Starfish Room. She received her Bachelors in Business Administration from Bryant University before eventually working in the Nantucket Public Schools for 11 years, 6 of which were involved in the Special Education Department as a Teaching Assistant. In addition to teaching, Carol comes to us with a banking and paralegal background. She is a member of both the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and Nantucket Petticoat Row, a group of women in support of women entrepreneurs.
Niki Santiago, Lead Teacher
Niki has been with Small Friends since August 2017. She holds a bachelor of science degree in Social Work from Salve Regina University. What do you love about teaching? “I love all of their different personalities and seeing all the progress they make throughout the year.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I like going to the beach, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.”
Laine Cutts, Teacher
Carol Warburton Ellis, Assistant Teacher
Carol has been with Small Friends since November 2018. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology and Applied Social Relations from Eastern Connecticut University and a diploma in Teacher Education: Secondary, Mathematics and General Science from Mico Teacher’s College in Jamaica. What do you love about teaching? “It is fun as you watch them evolve from a stage of dependency to independence. Watching them learn through play and develop their leadership, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills is even more rewarding.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy reading, cooking, meeting people, and going to church.”
Amanda Lendway, Lead Teacher
Amanda has been with Small Friends since 2015. She has an Early Childhood Certificate from Mass Bay Community College and a Primary Certificate from Northeast Montessori Institute. What do you love about teaching? “I love helping to foster their independence and confidence at school, and preparing them for the big things to come after Small Friends.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I like to knit and craft, read, swim in the ocean, play music, and perform in plays and musicals.”
Kelley Badger, Assistant Teacher
Kelley has been with Small Friends since October of 2018. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Baking and Pastry Arts from Johnson and Wales University. What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, taking my yellow lab Barley on long walks, and finding new spots to explore on island. I own a cake company on island, so my spring through fall is very busy with wedding cakes!”
Jen Dunbar, Lead Teacher
Jen has been with Small Friends since August 1992 when she began teaching at the Vesper Lane campus. She has worked with the pre-k group since September of 1995. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in Education from the University of Delaware. What do you love about teaching? “I love watching my students master skills throughout the year such as writing their name. I love singing with them. I love performing plays with them based on books that we love.”
What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I love writing songs with my husband, Rob. I love doing sing-a-longs with him when I play the ukulele and he plays the guitar. I enjoy going for walks with our dog, Nutmeg.”
Jane Morrow, Teacher
Jane joins the Small Friends family with over nine years of experience working in the early education field. She attended Forest Park Community College where she obtained her Early Childhood Associates degree. Upon moving to Nantucket Jane started her own home day-care, she is now a loving member of our staff and works beautifully with the students
Ally Diamond, Assistant Teacher
Ally has been Small Friends since 2012. She is a Teacher Assistant in the afternoons. Ally holds a bachelor of arts degree in Child Development from Mitchell College and has received her EEC Certification. She is Teacher I/T, LT P, Director I and II certified. Ally has previously assisted with the Pathways preschool and STAR program on the island. What do you love about teaching? “I love their personalities.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy reading.”