Nichole Olson, Executive Director
Nichole was raised in Central Massachusetts where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Worcester State University. Nichole has over 20 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.
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 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 names. 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 ukelele and he plays the guitar. I enjoy going for walks with our dog, Nutmeg.”
Joanne McAveety, Teacher
Joanne has been with Small Friends since 1999. 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 traveling.”
Sarah Lanctot, Teacher
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 her 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.”
Barynn Boucher, Teacher
Barynn is a certified Infant and Toddler teacher. She was born on Nantucket and has lived here her whole life. What do you love about teaching? “I enjoy sharing the natural beauty of our island with the children. I love getting on the children’s level and playing with them.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “Outside of Small Friends I enjoy going for hikes and walking my dog.”
Clara Jeffrey, Teacher
Clara has been with Small Friends since 2020. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Family Relations with studies in Individual and Family Studies and Education. What do you love about teaching? “I like being able to watch the children grow, and see their different personalities start to show. I love that moment when a child has been working so hard on something and then they can do it without help!” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy mountain biking when I get the chance. I love to read, travel, and listen to live music.”
Jane Morrow, Teacher
Jane has been with Small Friends for 9 years. She is a certified Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Teacher. Jane has called Nantucket home for many years and raised her family here. What do you love about teaching? “I bring my love of music to the classroom and I love to dance and sing with the children as much as I can.”
Tiffany Caetano, Teacher
Tiffany joins Small Friends with over 5 years experience working with children ages 3 months to 8 years. She has called Nantucket her home with her husband and infant son for the past 6 years. What do you love about teaching? “I love to see children learn and learn from them what they can teach us.” What do you like to do outside of Small Friends? “I enjoy going to the beach with my family.”
Tiger-Robin Amerman, Assistant Teacher
Tiger has a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Western State Colorado University in Resort Management with a minor in Business Administration. Tiger joins Small Friends with a love for making people and animals feel welcomed, supported, accepted and special. She enjoys volunteering for Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals (NISHA) which she has been doing since 2014. She also enjoys writing, reading, arts & crafts and photography.
Anastasia Tumash, Marketing Director
Anastasia has a background in Graphic and UX (User-experience) and a passion for social media strategies. She holds a Master’s degree in Graphic design from NCSU. She is excited to share her experience in brand design, print and presentation design, social media management, user-experience design, prototyping and website design.
Heidi Fee, Administrative Assistant
Heidi has been with Small Friends since 2015. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Fisher College. She is Lead Teacher and Director II certified by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care. Heidi is a Nantucket native and resides on island with her husband, and three children.
Cate Boulter, Teacher
Cate holds a bachelor’s degree in human development, a second bachelor’s degree in psychology, and has taken courses to obtain her master’s degree in social work. Cate’s experience has been with infant through preschool aged children while serving as a nanny for several years. Cate enjoys going to the beach, reading and knitting with her grandmother.
Kayla Tomasello, Teacher
Kayla holds a bachelor’s of science in communication disorders with a minor in education. Kayla has worked with toddler through preschool aged children as an assistant teacher in a center based program, and as speech language pathologist in the public school system where she previously lived. Kayla enjoys reading and exploring nature in her off time.
Natalia Torres Asprilla, Assistant Teacher
Natalia holds a certificate in social work from the National Council in Columbia. She has experience working with elementary aged children through adults in the field of social work. She enjoys traveling and listening to music.
Lishae Papley-Beckford, Teacher
Lishae worked for Small Friends from 2019 to 2020 as an assistant floating teacher. She left her position in July of 2020 to attend college off island. She is currently taking courses at Southern New Hampshire University where she is expected to graduate in January 2024 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Lishae enjoys baking, the beach and reading in her free time.
Catherine Padian, Development Director
Catherine graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minor in Public Health. After completing a postgraduate degree in Comparative Social Change from University College Dublin & Trinity College Dublin, I began to pursue a career in nonprofit fundraising. In her free time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, and watching baseball.
Alyse Bierly, Assistant Teacher
Alyse holds a bachelor’s degree in musical theater, and a minor in special education from American University. Alyse’s experience has been with children ages four and up. Alyse enjoys skiing, skateboarding, swimming, biking and seeing friends.
Edni Garzon Clavijo, Assistant Teacher
Edni holds a certificate in Human Management. Edni has worked with toddler through school aged children as an nanny. Edni enjoys communicating and visiting with her family in Columbia and going to the beach.