Staff/Teachers

The Director and GFNS Teachers are active members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the CT and Mid-Fairfield Association for the Education of Young Children.

GFNS Staff

Christina McKay-DiChristina, Director
Mrs. McKay-DiChristina joined GFNS in September 2009. She received her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Education from Northwestern University. Her music and general teaching experience spans Preschool through High School. She has also worked as a Music and Lovaas Therapist for young children with Autism. Mrs. McKay-DiChristina is a certified Connecticut "Designated Head Teacher for a Child Care Center for Children ages 3-5." She lives in Westport with her husband, John and her daughters, Daisy and Addie.

Laura Rachinsky, Executive Assistant
Mrs. R has a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential from The Council for Professional Recognition in Washington D.C.. Mrs. R is certified by the State of CT as a "Designated Head Teacher for a Child Day Care Center for Children ages 3-5 years of age," and is working to obtain her Associate Degree in Early Childhood. Mrs. R is the mother of two alumni.


GFNS Teachers

Jayne Abbott, 2ís Teacher
Mrs. Abbott came to our school in 1998 as a Munchkins Teacher. In September 2000, Mrs. Abbott began teaching the 2's with Mrs. Abed . Mrs. Abbott was born in England where she received her education and worked in social services and at a nursery school in London. Mrs. Abbott and her family live in Westport. Both of her children attended our school.

Wendy Abed, 2's Teacher
Mrs. Abed joined our school in 2000. Prior to joining us, Mrs. Abed taught special education at Bernard Fineson Developmental Center in Manhattan. She has a Bachelors Degree in Human Services from Queens College. Mrs. Abed is the mother of three children, one who attended our school. Mrs. Abed and her family reside in Westport.

Megan Adams, 4's Teacher
Mrs. Adams joined GFNS in the fall of 2006 after working for five years at Community Nursery School in Westport. Mrs. Adams holds a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern CT State University. She is the mother of two boys and lives with her family in Fairfield.

Linda Forcino, 4's Teacher
Mrs. Forcino joined GFNS from Holy Cross Nursery School in Fairfield where she taught threes and fours for nine years. She graduated from Endicott College and has recently earned her Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. Mrs. Forcino also volunteers as a Jr. Achievement mentor where she reads to Kindergarten classes. She lives in Fairfield with her husband, teenage son and puppy.

Patty Gatto, 4's Teacher
Mrs. Gatto joined GFNS from Holy Cross Nursery School in Fairfield where she taught threes and fours for 15 years. Mrs. Gatto holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Bridgeport. She lives in Fairfield with her husband and two children.

Rita Kane, 3's Teacher
Mrs. Kane earned her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Norwalk Community College. Currently, she is working on her Bachelor's Degree in Child Studies at Charter Oak State College. Mrs. Kane has several years of experience working with children and enjoys learning about each child's individual personality and learning style. In 2011, she completed her student teaching internship at GFNS. Shortly thereafter, she was hired as a 3's teacher. Mrs. Kane lives in Westport with her husband and two elementary school aged boys.

Colleen Oppenheimer, 3's Teacher
Colleen, known to the children as "Mrs. O", joined GFNS in 2010. She introduced musical yoga into the classroom during the fall and spring semesters and was responsible for the summer camp music program. Colleen received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut. She is a long standing member of Actor's Equity Association and the Screen Actor's Guild. Colleen lives with her family in Westport, CT. Her oldest son is an Alumni of GFNS and her youngest is currently in the 4's program.

Lorely Peche, Spanish Teacher
Senora Peche, owner of Mi Escuelita, a Spanish Immersion Program, was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, where she received her education in Business Administration. A native Spanish speaker, she also speaks English and Portuguese fluently. She moved with her family from Brazil to the United States to work at the United Nations in New York City, where she worked until 2003. She has taken early education classes at Norwalk Community College towards her CDA and has completed 12 credits. She lives with her husband in Norwalk and is the mother of a multilingual 18 year-old son and a bilingual 6 year-old daughter.

Lisa Sandhaus, 3's Teacher
Mrs. Sandhaus has a BA from Lehigh University and a MS from Bank Street College of Education in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. Prior to joining GFNS she worked as a 2s and 3s teacher at the Toddler Time Program in Darien, CT and as a Teacher's Assistant in the Nursery School of the Bishop Gilpin Primary School in London, England. In both schools she developed a curriculum entitled "Learning Letters Through Cooking" suitable for three and four year-olds. Before starting a family, she taught in the third grade at the Ethical Culture School in New York, NY. Lisa is the mother of three children. She lives with her family in Westport. Her youngest child, Claire, attended GFNS.

Pat Workman, 4's Teacher
Mrs. Workman became a 5-Day 4's teacher in 1984. Mrs. Workman has an A.S. Degree from Bay Path College and has earned a CDA (Child Development Associate) credential. Mrs. Workman is married and has three children and five grandchildren. She and her husband reside in Milford, CT.