The Co-op is run by a dedicated staff and a Board of Trustees comprised of volunteers. Our staff is composed of qualified teachers with a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and highly trained classroom aides. The teachers are aided by one or more co-oping adults each day. Our child to adult ratio is 5:1 in the 2 1/2 year-old program, 6:1 in the 3-year-old program and 6:1 in the 4-year-old program. The average tenure of our teachers and classroom aides is 12.5 years.
The teachers and support staff are the heart and soul of the school, spending countless hours to provide a quality pre-school experience for each and every Co-op student. The entire staff regularly participates in local, county, and statewide professional development workshops to keep informed about the most current research and ideas in early childhood education. Monthly staff meetings are held to facilitate the exchange of ideas and to provide a forum for discussion of curriculum and class activities.
Janet graduated from Rider College with a BA degree as a Fine Arts Major and received a Teaching Certificate in Pre-School Education from Montclair State. For 12 years, she taught at the Playhouse Co-op Preschool in their “All Day School” classroom. Janet has been with the Morris Plains Co-op for 20 years, teaching the 2-morning class.
Melissa has a Master’s in Education with a focus on Special Education from Rutgers University. She’s been teaching our Pre-K class at the Co-op since 2010 and is proud to have had four children who are all Co-op graduates.
MARY ELLEN HACKETT
MaryEllen graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with her Masters in the Arts of Teaching. She worked in elementary schools in South Amboy and Chatham. She is bi-lingual and previously taught the 3-year-old preschool class at the Polish Supplementary School in Clark for more than 10 years. She has been teaching the 3-morning class at the Co-op since 2013.
TRACI LYNNE CEPERO
During her previous public school career, Traci taught kindergarten, English as a Second Language, Gifted and Talented classes, and Basic Skills. She received a BA degree from Kean and her Masters in Education from Jersey City State College. This is her second year teaching the 3-morning class at the Co-op.
Director and Educator
Betsy manages the day-to-day operation and is responsible for the delivery of the teaching curriculum and managing the staff of teachers and specialists. She has been with the Co-op for more than 25 years, first as a teacher, then as director since 1992. All three of her children are Co-op graduates. Betsy received a BA in Elementary Education from Westminster College and her Early Childhood certification from Kean University. She has taken graduate courses in Early Education from William Paterson University.
Liz first joined the the Co-op as a parent in 2001 when her older son Andrew was in Janet’s class. Then when her son Will was enrolled in Just the Two of Us, Liz stepped in as the teacher in 2003. Liz moved “upstairs” to teach the 4 afternoon class in 2005. For the next nine years she taught Pre-K in the 4 morning, 4 afternoon and 3 morning multi-age classes. After pursuing other interests in both the public schools and the business world, Liz has come back to help us keep everything running smoothly in the office.
Susan is a CPA who has worked in public accounting for 11 years. She has been serving as the bookkeeper at the Co-op for the past five years. She is proud to say that all of her children have attended the Co-op.
Joann ran her own daycare for 10 years before joining the Co-op as a mom. She began her aide duties while her children attended and has been with the Co-op ever since!
This is Audrey’s second year at the Co-op working as an classroom aide. During the 2016-2017 school year she served as a Board Assistant. Audrey has been an Occupational Therapist since 1996. She has worked mostly with adult orthopedic clients, but she has always had a strong interest in pediatrics and worked with children on the remediation of handwriting issues.
Tom first joined the Co-op as a parent in the fall of 2014, with the enrollment of his daughter Madison. Prior to joining the Co-op, he worked as a 1st grade teacher at Mitchell Elementary in Tampa, FL. This is Tom’s first year working at the Co-op as a classroom aide.