Rebecca Newhouse, Acting Site Director
Cindy Contarino, Asssistant Director
Site Director - Rebecca Newhouse
Rebecca received her B.A. in Studio Art from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH. She went on to receive an MFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Rebecca's deepest joys revolve around her personal studio practice and teaching others about art. She believes that play, experimentation, intuition, questioning and critical thinking are essential in making art, as well as the excitement of discovery. In her free time, Rebecca loves to see friends and share jokes, read books to learn more and cook meals for loved ones. Rebecca started at Lextended Day as a teacher and served as the assistant site director at both the Hastings and Fiske sites.
Assistant Site Director - Cindy Contarino
Cindy comes to us from Lextended Day at Estabrook where she was the assistant director for four years. Her expertise and training lie in supporting children that are challenged by social and behavioral issues. Cindy's attention to the children and families is paramount. It is her goal to make every child feel special and included. Cindy is very happy to collaborate with staff and families in helping our students reach their goals.
Susan Gallant - Kindergarten Coordinator
Susan supervises daily activities with our youngest children. She consults with other staff around art projects, gym activities, games and "Chill-out Time"; a period of relaxation and stories for the younger children. After earning two Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education (graduating Magna Cum Laude), she worked as an teacher in a licensed family day care program and taught part time in the Medford Public schools coordinating and teaching all art projects in a kindergarten classroom. After earning a Master's degree in counseling from Suffolk University in Boston, Susan worked as a substitute teacher (grades k-6) while concurrently caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease and another with a Non-verbal Learning disorder. During this time she also volunteered with Alzheimer patients at the Golden Living Nursing and Rehab Center in Lexington. Susan lives in Medford with her family.
Kristi Grout - 1st Grade Group Leader / Art and Nature Teacher
Kristi has worked in child care for over 2 decades in various roles both in public and private settings. She hopes to bring a fun and happy experience for the children while they are at Lextended Day. Her hobbies include: Music, being outdoors, cooking, spending time with family and friends
Alan Sutherland - 2nd and 3rd Grade Group Leader / Robotics, Game Design, and Art Teacher
Alan received a B.F.A in Drawing and Sculpture from the University of Colorado, Boulder and received a Master's Degree in Art Education at Pratt Institute, NY. Prior to joining our staff, Alan worked as a substitute art teacher for the Lincoln Public Schools. Alan combines his time at Lextended Day with his work as an artist and electronic musician. Alan has composed music for the Cartoon Network and several years ago was named "Best Electronic Artist" by the Boston Phoenix In addition to conducting art activities with children, Alan is helping enrollees learn chess strategies. He is the program's number one handyman, repairing carts and adapting furniture to our environment. Alan enjoys chess and is a member of the Winchester Chess Club. During winter months, Alan tries to hit the slopes with his snowboard at least once a week. Once an avid traveler, he now spends his resources renovating his Winchester home where he lives with his wife Lorraine, a dancer and choreographer, and their cat Butters.
Laura Greene 2nd and 3rd Grade Group Leader / Art Teacher
Laura holds a masters degree and professional license in early childhood education. She has been working at Lextended Day in various roles since 2006. She currently works with first, second and third graders doing art, science and games. Before working at Lextended Day, Laura taught kindergarten at a private school. She has also worked as a kindergarten assistant and in other after school programs. When she is not working, Laura enjoys spending time with her family and friends and loves traveling and baking.
Nina Rich - 1st Grade Group Leader
Nina is a graduate of the Maria Hastings Elementary school and of Lextended Day. She is thrilled to have returned as a teacher. Nina's passions include art, music (she plays ukulele and guitar), and writing. She loves assisting our students in discovering the natural artist within each of them. She believes that all children ae creative and artistic. Nina graduated from Lexington High School in 2014 and currently lives in Lexington with her family.
Chris Elbag - 4th and 5th Grade Group Leader / Gym Teacher
Chris received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies and Digital Arts from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. Before joining Lextended Day, Chris served as a sports intern for WHDH (now NBC Boston) in Boston and as a staff writer for the Burlington Free Press in Vermont. Currently in his second year with Lextended, Chris plans and supervises all gym activities at Hastings. He enjoys keeping the students active at gym and on the fields during recess. Outside of school, Chris enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends. He currently resides in Watertown.
Eric McGowan - 2nd and 3rd Grade Group Leader / Drama Teacher
Eric graduated from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA with degrees in Theater and English. Since graduation, he has worked with several theater-based educational programs, including Citi Performing Arts Center, Kidstock! Theatre Company, and Shakespeare Now! Theatre Company. When not leading drama groups at Lextended Day, Eric is usually off taking part in one or more professional theater production. He has performed with multiple theater companies in and around Boston over the past few years (either in acting, directing, or technical roles), with several productions featured in local news papers (including the Boston Globe). Originally not anticipating a career in theater education, Eric is incredibly happy that he decided to apply several years ago to Lextended Day.
Melissa Caraballo - Kindergarten Group Leader
After studying Criminal Justice at Salem State University, Melissa decided it just wasn't her passion, and began pursuing a career in education. Since then she has become EEC certified and has begun her coursework. Melissa has been in the childcare field for over a decade, working with students from three months to thirteen years old. "I love being a part of enriching minds and fulfilling my goal every day to help the children feel more empowered." When Melissa isn't at Lextended Day she is spending time with her two year old daughter Mya Rose. Together they explore new parks, beaches, and ice cream stands.
Jon Kuffert - 2nd and 3rd Grade Group Leader
Jon is a Specialized Instructional Assistant at the Hastings school and joins us during our afternoons at Lextended Day. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Recreation Management and Policy. He is currently completing his master's degree in Education. In his free time he enjoys scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and playing hockey.
Johanna St. Pierre - 1st Grade Group Leader
Johanna is a Specialized Instructional Assistant at the Hastings school and joins the Lextended Day in the afternoons. She graduated from Salem State University with a degree in Elementary Education. Johanna is working towards completing the necessary licensure requirements to become an elementary school teacher. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with her three dogs in New Hampshire. She is excited to bring her passion for education to the Lextended Day!