Bigelow offers an excellent child/teacher ratio that meets NAEYC guidelines and often exceeds the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC).
Dawn Lorino, Director
Dawn has been an early childhood educator since 1995. She has a vast range of experience including Family Child Care Provider, Family Support and Education, Early Childhood Coordinator, and Food Program Coordinator. Dawn comes to us from Broadway Babies Child Care Center where she was the Center Director. As well as being Director II qualified, Dawn is a certified facilitator for the “Active Parenting” Publishers education program. She is a lifelong resident of Medford where she currently lives with her family.
What attracted me to Bigelow was the family involvement, strong sense of community among Bigelow families, and the enthusiasm of the staff. I believe that it is important for children to see everyone working together as a team. Here at Bigelow, children witness the collaboration between staff and parents on a daily basis, creating an atmosphere filled with creativity and exploration.
Little Rainbow Teachers
Jodi has worked at Bigelow for the past 6 years, helping start and create Bigleow’s first infant program. She has over twenty years of infant/young toddler experience working in field. Creating creative child-based curriculum for infants and young toddlers is a passion of hers. She graduated from Salem State College with her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and is infant and toddler certified by the MA Department of Early Education and Care.
Brianna also works with the infants in the Little Rainbow classroom and has been at Bigelow for over one year.
Rainbow 1 Teachers
Petra has over 14 years of experience in working with young children, toddlers as well as preschoolers. She grew up in Trinidad but has lived in the US for more than 20 years. She has two sons. Among other places, Petra worked with the Clinton Family and Homes for the Homeless child care program in New York for 7 years and taught toddlers and preschoolers in a Somerville child care center for 6 years. Petra has a warm and cheerful disposition and works with our young toddlers.
I like working with children. I like interacting with the kids, learning what they like and what they don't like. They each have a unique personality.
Ray has been at Bigelow since 2007. Ray is preschool teacher certified and has completed certifications for Power Play and Rainbow Dance. Prior to Bigelow, he had been teaching at an early childhood center in Jamaica Plain for 4 years. He continues to be a Facilitator of Power Play Groups as well as Rainbow Dance, both therapeutic programs for children. Before that, he worked at Jumpstart for Young Children for 4 years, where, as a Corps Member he worked one-on-one with a child at a Center, participated in creating a literacy-based curriculum, and facilitated a team of corps members. Ray is working towards his BA in education.
Rainbow 2 Teachers
Karen has been teaching at Bigelow since September 1989. She is a graduate of the Elizabeth Peabody House Teacher Training Program. She earned her Lead Teacher qualification at Wheelock College. Karen has vast experience with children of all ages and their families. She is thoughtful and nurturing, loves singing and dancing, dress up and role play, and provides amazing consistency for the children in her care. Karen has a grown daughter and recently was thrilled to announce her first grandchild.
Sometimes it's hard to put into words things that come naturally. As for me, I like being a teacher because you get to experience the growth and development that each child accomplishes each day. I feel that children learn best through play and when they are being cared for in a safe and nurturing environment, which I hope to provide each day.
Rebecca has been at Bigelow since the fall of 2016 starting off in the Rainbow 1 room and eventually transferring to Rainbow 2. Before Bigelow, she taught at Children of the World Child Care Center in Somerville, a multi age grouping of children ages two through five for three years. Prior to that, she did her student teaching in a kindergarten classroom at the Arthur D. Healey School in Somerville and a first-grade classroom at the Andrew Peabody School in Cambridge. Rebecca has her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Studies and her Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Integrated Teaching through the Arts from Lesley University.
I enjoy bringing my passion for crafting, cooking, and nature related activities into the classroom. It has been fun to watch the kids grow and develop their unique personalities in the classroom.
Rainbow 3 Teachers
Becca is entering into her eleventh year at Bigelow. She has been a part of the Bigelow community since 2007. After two years in RB1 and three years in RB3, Becca took on the challenge of helping to start up the new infant room at Bigelow, the Little Rainbow classroom. She has also taught in the RB4-pre-K classroom at Bigelow. Currently Becca is a preschool teacher in the RB3 classroom. As a preschool teacher she enjoys teaching and learning from her students. Becca is Infant/Toddler and Preschool Lead Teacher certified. Prior to Bigelow, Becca spent five years as a preschool teacher at a Harvard Daycare Center in Cambridge, including two years as a resource teacher for infants through preschool. In addition to her teaching, Becca has served on the executive committee as a teacher representative. Becca holds a BA in Sociology from Keene State College and a Masters in Early Childhood from Lesley University. Becca enjoys creating appropriate curriculum themes for the children, from the rainforest, to artistic and painting styles, to exploring the alphabet. Becca believes that the most important part of teaching young children is helping them gain social and emotional independence. Through social stories, Becca teaches children how to be respectful, empathetic, and able to express how to resolve social conflicts.
As a preschool teacher you are giving young children the strategies to survive on the playground. As a teacher I see the value that all children can--and do--bring to my classroom.
Christina joined Bigelow in Fall 2015. Christina is currently in Rainbow 3 and also has been Extended day 3/4 Teacher. Prior to Bigelow, Christina has worked in a Head Start Program in Arlington, a preschool in Weston, and as an ABA therapist in the Newton Public Schools. Christina is a graduate of Wheelock with BS in Human Development and Elementary Education. She resides in Belmont with her husband, young daughter, and dog Penny.
I strongly believe in the school's philosophy of fostering children's emotional and developmental growth through play and hope to install a love of learning during these important years.
Rainbow 4 Teachers
Anntonnette rejoined Bigelow in the summer of 2008 as the preschool/extended day teacher. She first came to Bigelow in 1991 as an intern. After gaining her teaching certification from the Tri Cap teaching program, she joined the full-time staff in 1992. She briefly retired in 2007, but she missed the children too much and returned 10 months later to her position in the preschool room. Anntonnette is very creative and is known as the "Junk Art Queen." She has a vivid imagination and inspires preschool children to create and experiment with different kinds of material. She is always full of energy, loves reading with children as much as chasing them in the park, and is a great story teller. As one of the senior teachers at Bigelow, Anntonnette is committed to the importance of creating learning opportunities for children of all ages. She has seven grandchildren.
I love being a teacher. When I first came to Bigelow many, many years ago I felt accepted by the children. Whenever I would walk into the classroom they were all over me. I don't know what they saw in me so it made me come back day after day. So after being here for almost twenty years, when I walk into the classroom the children are still running over to me and that makes me love being a teacher. That's my answer and I'm sticking to it.
Ashley started working at Bigelow 2 years ago. This is her first job working with children and she absolutely fell in love with it. Helping out in Rainbow 1 has inspired her to further her education in the field of early childhood and is currently working towards her Lead Teacher Certification. When she is not in Rainbow 1 you can find her in the kitchen preparing morning snack for all the classrooms. Just look for the woman in the impeccably color coordinated outfits, who is also a huge Patriots fan and absolutely loves all holidays!
“I honestly cannot believe I’ve ever had any other type of job after working with the children at Bigelow.”
Full Time Substitutes
Susan has been at Bigelow since 1988! She has taught all ages at various times. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Susan has served as the Program Coordinator. Susan has more than 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator in early childhood programs. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education from the Elliot Pearson School at Tufts University. As the longest employed teacher, Susan has a wealth of experience and carries the 'institutional memory' at Bigelow. She is the MVP of our staff and a friend and mentor to all families. She loves everything around and about curriculum and provides an endless source of ideas. Susan has three grown children, as well as four grandchildren. Susan works at Bigelow 4 days a week.
I have been so fortunate to have been a part of the Bigelow community for such a long time. Each year brings new challenges and wonderful experiences. I feel Bigelow families are vested in their children's education and their sense of community but they are also very supportive of the teaching staff. I know I have always felt valued not only as a teacher but as a person. For me this is huge. I use this quote quite often but for me it is true,"If you love what you do, you don't work a day in your life." Children bring joy as well as challenges and I am so happy to be part of their development.
Annie has been at Bigelow since October 2012 when we moved to our new facility. She is in charge of all food preparation. Annie is ServSafe, CPR and First Aid certified. Annie can also frequently be seen assisting in the classroom.
For me, it is the interaction with the children. I love watching them grown and learn. Everyone makes it special for me here.