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Our Staff

SUSAN SAUNDERS

Educated at Rutgers University, Ms. Susan has had several careers.

Ms. Susan was part of the team which created the after school enrichment program for grades K-5 for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School district. She also taught Theater Arts and Musical Comedy within the district for more than sixteen years, directing the high school dramatic club productions from 1989-1993. She was also part of the committee which developed the Village Green performance program in Scotch Plains which is now celebrating its 30th year of existence. She currently teaches religious school to first graders at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains. However, her interactions with young children have been the highlight of her career. Working at Crawlers 2 Scholars has given her the opportunity to work and play with all of the children and their families, who have become an integral part of her life.

Ms. Susan is also a published author of the novel "Sunset Walk", a murder mystery not written from personal experience. Ms. Susan became a widow in 2012, after a fantastic 38 year long marriage to her husband Dick. Her greatest treasures are her daughter Dana and grandson Benjamin.



SUSAN SAUNDERS

Educated at Rutgers University, Ms. Susan has had several careers. 

Ms. Susan was part of the team which created the after school enrichment program for grades K-5 for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School district. She also taught Theater Arts and Musical Comedy within the district for more than sixteen years, directing the high school dramatic club productions from 1989-1993. She was also part of the committee which developed the Village Green performance program in Scotch Plains which is now celebrating its 30th year of existence. She currently teaches religious school to first graders at Congregation Beth Israel in Scotch Plains. However, her interactions with young children have been the highlight of her career. Working at Crawlers 2 Scholars has given her the opportunity to work and play with all of the children and their families, who have become an integral part of her life. 

Ms. Susan is also a published author of the novel "Sunset Walk", a murder mystery not written from personal experience. Ms. Susan became a widow in 2012, after a fantastic 38 year long marriage to her husband Dick. Her greatest treasures are her daughter Dana and grandson Benjamin.


DORA PINTO

Ms. Dora was born in Lima, Peru, and moved to the United States in 1983. She attended Union County Community College and completed her certification in Child Development Associated (CDA) in 2007. She speaks Spanish and enjoys singing to the children as they seem to enjoy dancing and singing. Dora has been with this school for seven years. Prior to working here, she was a babysitter for several years, as she has always loved working with children.

Ms. Dora is married and has two grown children and two granddaughters. In her spare time, she likes reading, going to the beach, dancing with her granddaughters and visiting family. Her favorite things to do with the children are reading stories and playing outside. Her favorite thing about Crawlers 2 Scholars is the families they serve and the teachers who work so hard for them. She truly loves being a part of the children's growth and development. The children are in child care most of their waking hours, and Ms. Dora wants to be an important part of making their environment safe, stable, and nurturing.

MERYL PORTNOI

Ms. Meryl brings to C2S over fifteen years of pre-school experience with all age groups. She has had experience as both an assistant teacher and lead teacher. During the last nine years, Ms. Meryl has been a para-professional for children with pre-school disabilities and autism.

Ms. Meryl was educated at Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson Universities. She continues her education by taking seminars and courses related to pre-school education.

At C2S, Ms. Meryl enjoys making "big messies" with science experiments and cooking projects. When she is not at work, you can find her at the beach, playing tennis, or bicycling – or with her best buddy Jaxx (her dog). She lives with her husband and daughter in Warren.

MARY KUZNER

Ms. Mary has an Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts Education, as well as more than eleven years of experience working with children aged six weeks to thirteen years. In addition to working with children, Ms. Mary is a very passionate artist, having dabbled in some of the many media the field has to offer such as drawing, painting, welding, and jewelry design. She brings this passion into the classroom and the children are the beneficiaries. She fires their imaginations and helps them create wonderful artwork. Much of Ms. Mary's work can be seen displayed throughout the school.

When not at work, Ms. Mary loves to get away to the two homes in the Poconos owned by her family, where her closely knit relatives enjoy spending time together. She especially loves the time she shares with her two young nephews and niece, and is proud that her parents have been married for more than thirty-seven years.

PATRICIA BUTRICO

Ms. Patty has worked in early childhood education for fifteen years. Her patience and gentleness with the children is always apparent, as is her love of working with little ones.

Ms. Patty and her husband, Peter have two grown children. They also have a puppy named Yogi. Her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her family, especially during the summer when they vacation together on the Jersey Shore along with Ms. Patty's brother and three sisters. She also loves shopping with her daughter and watching her son play baseball for his college.

CAROL GREEN

Ms. Carol is the happily married mother of two young adults. She retired in January 2014 from Rutgers University after thirty-six years so that she could work with children. Children have always been her passion, and she is thrilled to have Crawlers 2 Scholars as part of her dream.

Ms. Carol grew up in Bloomfield, NJ with one sister and two brothers. She achieved a degree in English Literature from Rutgers University and is a Certified Public Manager in the State of New Jersey. She is proud to say her husband and two daughters are also Rutgers graduates, and together, they reside in Warren.

Ms. Carol is infant/child CPR certified and Firs Aid trained. She considers herself truly blessed to be able to interact with these special little ones at C2S.

REBECCA LERMAN

Ms. Rebecca received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from West Virginia University. She has worked in Early Childhood Education for more than six years, teaching Pre-school, Pre K, and running Camp Explorations for school age children during the summer. It is her plan to continue on for her Masters Degree in Education.

In her spare time, you can find Ms. Rebecca dancing or doing something in the outdoors such as camping, hiking, or fishing. Her favorite color is pink.

VANESSA CHAVEZ

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go". Dr. Seuss

Ms. Vanessa was born and raised in North Plainfield, NJ. She possesses her Associates Degree from Middlesex County College. She has been working with children for more than ten years, and wouldn't want it any other way. She enjoys being around children of all ages, believing they bring out the best in her.

Ms. Vanessa is very creative and loves doing projects. A few of her favorite things to do are bowling, photography, hot yoga, and travel when she gets the chance. She is an animal lover, especially of her puggle, Kobi.

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