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, and experienced teacher in addition to being an organized and energized development professional.
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.”
Sarah Lanctot, Lead Teacher
Starfish: Older Toddlers
Sarah has been with Small Friends since 2013. She holds a bachelor 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.”
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.”
Carol Warburton Ellis, 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 are even more rewarding.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy reading, cooking, meeting people, and going to church.”
Ally Diamond, Assistant Teacher
Ally has been Small Friends since 2012. She 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.”