Teachers

Susan Straut Collard, Ph.D.

Director

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About

Susan has been a professor in the Child Study department of St. Joseph’s College since 1988. She served as the Director of the Dillon Center from 2004-2013, and now she is back as the Director. Susan earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Columbia University. Working with children who have special needs has always been her passion. Susan has 4 children, all of whom attended the Dillon Center!

About

Susan has been a professor in the Child Study department of St. Joseph’s College since 1988. She served as the Director of the Dillon Center from 2004-2013, and now she is back as the Director. Susan earned her Ph.D. in Special Education from Columbia University. Working with children who have special needs has always been her passion. Susan has 4 children, all of whom attended the Dillon Center!

Danielle Endes

Assistant Director

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About

Danielle Endes was the Special Education Teacher at the Dillon Center from 2013- 2017. She is now serving as the Assistant Director. Danielle received her M.A. in Special Education from St. Joseph’s College and is now working on a second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

About

Danielle Endes was the Special Education Teacher at the Dillon Center from 2013- 2017. She is now serving as the Assistant Director. Danielle received her M.A. in Special Education from St. Joseph’s College and is now working on a second Master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Katherine Goldsmith, RN, BSN

Executive Administrative Assistant

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About

Katherine Goldsmith has been the school nurse at the Dillon Center since 2001. During this time Katherine also ran the Toddler playgroup as well as the After School Program. Starting in August of 2017, Katherine took on a new challenge of being the Executive Administrative Assistant at the Dillon Center.

About

Katherine Goldsmith has been the school nurse at the Dillon Center since 2001. During this time Katherine also ran the Toddler playgroup as well as the After School Program. Starting in August of 2017, Katherine took on a new challenge of being the Executive Administrative Assistant at the Dillon Center.

Gina Guglielmo

Special Education Teacher in Classroom One — Inclusion

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About

I am a graduate of St. Joseph’s College. This is my first year teaching at the Dillon Center. I love traveling. I have traveled through most of the US, Italy, and the Caribbean. I am also very passionate about animals and I have adopted a dog from the North Shore Animal League.

About

I am a graduate of St. Joseph’s College. This is my first year teaching at the Dillon Center. I love traveling. I have traveled through most of the US, Italy, and the Caribbean. I am also very passionate about animals and I have adopted a dog from the North Shore Animal League.

Emily (Emmy) Sabando

Head General Education Teacher in Classroom One - Inclusion

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About

Emmy has been at the Dillon Center since 2016, and is enrolled in a Master’s program for Early Childhood and Special Education. She loves working with younger children and enjoys cooking, singing songs and art projects!

About

Emmy has been at the Dillon Center since 2016, and is enrolled in a Master’s program for Early Childhood and Special Education. She loves working with younger children and enjoys cooking, singing songs and art projects!

Merlina Pollidore-Joseph

Special Education Assistant Teacher in Classroom One — Inclusion

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About

Merlina is the Special Education Assistant Teacher in Classroom One. She has been working in the Inclusion classroom since 2002.  She is the mother of three children, the oldest of whom is a Dillon Center alum. She has a passion for working with young children, and helping them to grow. She loves planning big art projects such as murals, paper mache, and puppet making.

About

Merlina is the Special Education Assistant Teacher in Classroom One. She has been working in the Inclusion classroom since 2002.  She is the mother of three children, the oldest of whom is a Dillon Center alum. She has a passion for working with young children, and helping them to grow. She loves planning big art projects such as murals, paper mache, and puppet making.

Claudia Marriello

Assistant Teacher in Classroom One — Inclusion

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About

Claudia is a wife, mother, friend, and has been a Teaching Assistant at the Dillon Center since 2000. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College in January 2016, with her B.S in Organizational Management. “The children of Dillon are a constant inspiration for me to remain young both in body and mind. Their inquisitive minds help me to remain a constant learner so that I can help them to discover the world in which we live.”

About

Claudia is a wife, mother, friend, and has been a Teaching Assistant at the Dillon Center since 2000. She graduated from St. Joseph’s College in January 2016, with her B.S in Organizational Management. “The children of Dillon are a constant inspiration for me to remain young both in body and mind. Their inquisitive minds help me to remain a constant learner so that I can help them to discover the world in which we live.”

Sameena Rahman

Head Teacher in Classroom Two

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About

Sameena Rahman was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 1983. She completed her M.A. in literacy and cognition at St. Joseph’s College. Sameena has worked at the Dillon Center since 1995.

About

Sameena Rahman was born in India and immigrated to the United States in 1983. She completed her M.A. in literacy and cognition at St. Joseph’s College. Sameena has worked at the Dillon Center since 1995.

Kellan Waverly

Assistant Teacher in Classroom Two

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About

Kellan was a Dillon student when she was a little girl, and now she is a teacher here! Kellan loves to paint and draw, and can’t wait to do that with her students.

About

Kellan was a Dillon student when she was a little girl, and now she is a teacher here! Kellan loves to paint and draw, and can’t wait to do that with her students.

Emily Figueroa

Head Teacher in Classroom Three

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About

Ms. Emily loves young children and enjoys learning from them as well as teaching them. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College with a Master’s in Literacy and Cognition. Ms. Emily is the mother of eight grown children and a Girl Scout Leader for over 25 years.

About

Ms. Emily loves young children and enjoys learning from them as well as teaching them. She is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College with a Master’s in Literacy and Cognition. Ms. Emily is the mother of eight grown children and a Girl Scout Leader for over 25 years.

Margaret (Peggy) Donovan

Assistant Teacher in Classroom Three

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About

Miss Peggy has been at the Dillon Center since 1995. Even after all that time, she is still excited to play with the children every day. She especially likes to bake and cook with them.

About

Miss Peggy has been at the Dillon Center since 1995. Even after all that time, she is still excited to play with the children every day. She especially likes to bake and cook with them.

Stephanie Vaccaro

Assistant Teacher in Classroom 3

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About

Stephanie attended St. Joseph’s College and did fieldwork in the Dillon Center. When she graduated, she knew she wanted to work there. Stephanie’s favorite things to do with the children involve music and movement.

About

Stephanie attended St. Joseph’s College and did fieldwork in the Dillon Center. When she graduated, she knew she wanted to work there. Stephanie’s favorite things to do with the children involve music and movement.

Melyssa Herisson

Head Teacher in Classroom Four

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About

Melyssa loves singing, reading books, and baking delicious goodies. She is excited to introduce those activities to your child.

About

Melyssa loves singing, reading books, and baking delicious goodies. She is excited to introduce those activities to your child.

Tiffani Davis

Assistant Teacher in Classroom Four

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About

Tiffani especially likes music, dancing, and artwork. Her children attended the Dillon Center, and she loved it so much that she came back as a teacher.

About

Tiffani especially likes music, dancing, and artwork. Her children attended the Dillon Center, and she loved it so much that she came back as a teacher.

Sister Patricia Dittmer CSJ

Head Teacher in Classroom Five

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About

Sister Patricia Dittmer received her B.A. from St. Joseph’s College, her M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education, and her P.D. in Supervision and Leadership. She is the co-author of the book Look Listen and Plan — Developing Literacy in Young Children. Sister Patricia is also a Consultant at Catholic School Academy, and an Instructor of Early Childhood Education at St. Joseph’s College. She has a passion for art and creativity, music and movement, and learning.

About

Sister Patricia Dittmer received her B.A. from St. Joseph’s College, her M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education, and her P.D. in Supervision and Leadership. She is the co-author of the book Look Listen and Plan — Developing Literacy in Young Children. Sister Patricia is also a Consultant at Catholic School Academy, and an Instructor of Early Childhood Education at St. Joseph’s College. She has a passion for art and creativity, music and movement, and learning.

Victoria Contreras

Assistant Teacher in Classroom Five

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About

Victoria Contreras has been at Dillon since 2001. She enjoys singing songs, reading stories and cooking with the children. Sometimes she plans activities in Spanish because she is bilingual.

About

Victoria Contreras has been at Dillon since 2001. She enjoys singing songs, reading stories and cooking with the children. Sometimes she plans activities in Spanish because she is bilingual.