Rebecca Newhouse, Site Director
Cindy Contarino, Asssistant Director
Parent Board Member: Sarah Conrad
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.
Filis Warren - Art Coordinator
Bio coming soon!
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.
Kristina Ploof - 1st Grade Lead Teacher
Kristina received her BA in Psychology from Endicott College in 2017. She is also a certified yoga teacher as of June 2018 and spends her time outside of Lextended practicing and teaching yoga. Kristina also brings this joy for movement to her work here at Lextended day- once a week she runs a movement group which allows the children to dance, move, and even practice some yoga sequences and poses.
Kristina is passionate in allowing each child to showcase their individuality. With any activity that she runs, whether it be movement, art, or even science, her goal is to allow each child to express themselves and feel empowered. Her main rule with the children is to steer away from “perfection” and allow room for full and unbounded creativity, curiosity, and play.
Kristi Grout - 1st Grade Teacher / Art and Nature Teacher
Kristi holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development - Family Studies and Elementary Education from Lesley University. She has over 20 years of experience working with children of all ages. Beginning Lextended Day in 2005, Kristi enjoys finding new and different project ideas to engage the children, year after year.
Kristi is involved in many volunteering roles, including teaching Faith Formation at her church, assisting at her daughters’ schools and being involved with her local mother’s club. Her interests include: listening to all genres of music, cooking, spending time outdoors including bike riding, hiking, and gardening.
At home, Kristi is married to Lorne and has 2 daughters, Leah age 5 and Lily age 8 and a step-son Justin, who is off to college. Kristi enjoys watching her children excel in their activities and spending quality time with family and friends.
Alan Sutherland - 2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher / 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 Teacher / 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 - Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher
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.
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 through 5th Grade Teacher / Gym Teacher
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.
Edward Tsui - 2nd through 5th grade Teacher / Art Teacher
Edward has a BFA in Illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design and a Masters in Art of Teaching from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has worked in Newton and Wellesley, but is excited to discover new opportunities here in Lexington. During the early afternoon, Edward also works at Hastings as a School Support Personnel. Truly working for the kids, he hopes to share his love of art with all of the students. As an artist, Edward has experience in various types of media, but is now focused on cut paper works. He is looking forward to sharing not only his love of art, but also love of education with the kids.
Rachel Tadeu - 2nd and 3rd grade Assistant Teacher / Art Teacher / Magic the Gathering Club
Rachel Tadeu received a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University and has since worked on several medical simulation projects as the lead artist. She decided to pursue her passion for teaching art and is now getting her Masters in Art Education at Lesley University. Rachel is eager to collaborate with other teachers and share her joy for art and games with her students.