Old South Preschool Teachers

Leslie Caputo

At Old South since 2009

Leslie’s career in Early Childhood Education began after graduating from the School of Fine Arts at Boston University. She started working as an assistant teacher at a private preschool, which sparked her love of teaching young children. Since that initial experience, Leslie decided to pursue her studies in ECE and began her professional career as an ECE Lead Teacher in 1993. Leslie has taught young children in a variety of settings, from private preschools to public school after-school programs. She brought her love of teaching and passion for creativity to the Blue Room at Old South Preschool in 2009.

Leslie has always been fascinated by how young children develop through the different stages of life. She particularly enjoys observing children being deeply involved in the creative process because of their pure ability to express themselves and their uninhibited approach while exploring new ideas. From easel painting or block building to dramatic play, Leslie feels privileged to be able to encourage different possibilities while scaffolding children’s creative ideas at Old South Preschool. It is amazing for her to see how innovative young children can be throughout their day. She finds them all so inspirational when fully immersed in the creative process.

Summer Marsh

At Old South since 2002

Summer has recently transitioned from being a long-time Green Room teacher to her new role as Director of the Preschool. She has been at Old South Preschool since 2002. In many ways the school feels like home to her, and she strives to make sure it feels that way for her students as well. Prior to Old South, she taught at a preschool in Newton as well as at a school for children with autism in Southborough. It was summertime when she interviewed for a job at Old South, so the classrooms were empty when she visited, but something about the building and the space just felt right. Summer loves Old South’s location in Copley Square, where it seems the possibilities for exploration and adventure are limitless.

Summer has always enjoyed using children’s literature as a jumping off point for curriculum. When a particular story strikes a chord with the children, she finds it so exciting to search for other books by that same author together. The anticipation on their faces when they continually request a beloved book never gets old to her. For Summer, if she can have some small part in instilling a lifelong love for reading in her students, then she feels like she is doing her job. Her favorite part of the last few school years was the “Green Room Book Club.” Everyone had a copy of the same story and would “meet” in various locations around the building, and even outside, to read and discuss it. After several school readings, each of the children would take their book home to read with their families. A strong home-school connection has always been something that is important to Summer.

Summer has a passion for photography, which inevitably finds its way into the classrooms and the school. Capturing moments of discovery, incredulity, concentration, excitement, or joy is always special, and she thinks it is important for the kids to see themselves in action, represented on the walls of the school, as well as for families to be able to see glimpses of what is happening each day.

Summer never ceases to be amazed at the amount of growth and development she witnesses during a school year. She finds it inspiring, energizing, and fulfilling to be able to actively participate in this on a daily basis.

Raela Gjecka

At Old South since 2022

Raela came to Old South Preschool in early 2022 after having previously spent 10 years teaching at Old South’s Church School on Sundays. Her familiarity with the building and surroundings was a wonderful help as she transitioned to being a full time Blue Room teacher. Together with her co-teacher Jane, Raela creates a warm, loving, and engaging environment for the Preschool’s youngest students. She has a number of years of experience in the field of early childhood education, and attends to the children with a clear grasp of child development, patience, and sensitivity. Raela is a proponent of children’s literature, and she prioritizes making time for reading as she feels it is such an important aspect of learning, stimulation, and enlightenment.

Creating meaningful relationships with colleagues, families, and children is at the forefront of Raela’s teaching style. Old South Preschool is a special place to her and she strives to make it feel that way for everyone else she encounters.

Sharon Reardon

At Old South since 2005

Sharon began teaching full-time in 1996 working with two-year-old children, and then had the opportunity to work with children of various ages over the next few years. At Old South, she’s been a teacher in the Red Room with four and five year olds for fourteen years.

“Children change so quickly and it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to see them grow. When they first join the classroom in September, most of the children are shy and timid, and unsure of how to interact. Shortly after the year begins, the children’s individual personalities start to shine as they become more comfortable with their surroundings. It is a joy to see them develop, socially, emotionally, and physically. When a child faces a challenge, it is inspiring to watch as they persist until they achieve success. This past year, one of the children was struggling with fine motor tasks such as zipping his coat and gripping his pencil. At first he was reluctant to even try, but with continued encouragement he soon realized that he COULD do it. He even verbalized his plan “I’m going to practice all the time, even at home.” When he finally achieved his goal, he was proud and eager to share his accomplishments. The next morning, he ran into the classroom to announce the good news and demonstrate his expertise.”

Sharon particularly enjoys the lunchtime conversations that give students and teachers both an opportunity to share some of their personal experiences with each other. It is during this time that teachers really see and hear who the children are as individuals. Students enjoy sharing their stories and it is a treat to hear their take on life.

She knew from a very young age that she wanted to be a teacher. It was just part of her being from the very beginning. Sharon is happy to have finally found the place where she feels meant to be and considers her time at Old South to be an on-going privilege.

Jane Salamin

At Old South since 2021

Jane’s teaching career started in 1999 after receiving her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education in the Philippines. She is passionate about teaching, traveling, and  learning about different cultures, which paves the way to becoming a global citizen. She has been privileged to work with students, parents, and teachers in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, China, Switzerland, and here in the U.S. Throughout  the years of teaching learners ranging from one-and-a-half to 50 years old, Jane came to realize that she is most enthusiastic and inspired in the field of Early Childhood Education. So, she returned to school to finish her Master’s in Education, and wrote a thesis on Emergent Curriculum. One of her joys as a teacher is seeing children’s faces light up when they’ve discovered what they can do and create independently, or what they can accomplish together.  

“Being given an incredible opportunity to guide young learners and support them in their daily experiences and skill development is a gift that I’ll be forever grateful for. In a toddler’s world, every day is a surprise, a learning process, a trial and error, a success story, and there is never a dull moment. It is an extraordinary adventure to be a part of a toddler’s developmental journey.”

Kathleen Walsh

Returned to Old South in 2022 after a hiatus

We were so happy to welcome Katie back home in the summer of 2022. She was a Green Room teacher years ago, and then both of her children attended Old South Preschool. After seeing them off to college, Katie felt called back to the field of early childhood education, and to the Green Room in particular. In many ways, she has been able to pick right back up where she left off, while also having the added wisdom and experience that comes with parenthood. Katie’s open and outgoing nature makes the ability to form relationships a strong suit. She makes the classroom warm and inviting while incorporating consistent teachable moments throughout the day.

Natalie Logan

At Old South since 2022

The stars aligned when Natalie found us in the summer of 2022. She and her seasoned co-teacher have proven to be a natural fit and the best possible combination for our Red Room classroom. Without missing a beat, Natalie adapted to the tone and culture of Old South Preschool. Inherently a calm, mature, and responsible soul, she serves as a wonderful role model and teacher to the children in our oldest class. She has shown a knack for photography, art, various facets of our emergent curriculum, and relationship building. Together, Natalie and Sharon make a dynamic duo and make the Red Room a consistently welcoming, vibrant, and intriguing space.