Hillary Hughes, Program Director at Woodside

Hillary began her career at Growing Places as an intern in 1998 and took on a professional role that fall, continuing as preschool teacher and then infant teacher until 2001. After time off to be with her growing family, Hillary was hired to be a program director at Forest Park (and subsequently, Woodside) in 2002. She was instrumental in developing the beautiful center at Woodside on the UNH campus. Hillary graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Hillary is proud mom of Cody and Saige who attended Growing Places. Hillary’s husband Todd teaches middle school math. Both kids are active in sports and school. The entire family enjoys time together, hiking, going to the beach, playing with dogs, and they are avid Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots fans.

Hillary sees that each day is an opportunity for children to learn. She is known for providing environments for children to explore at their own pace. Hillary has built a culture at Woodside in which a fun loving atmosphere is created every day for children and adults, and all learn and grow together. She has found, with her strong team of teachers and full classrooms, that Woodside is a “home away from home.”

 

Emily Kluun, Preschool One Teacher at Woodside

Born in Chicago and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Emily (Hoagland) Kluun first came to Durham in 1999 to attend UNH as a marine biology student. She began working for Growing Places the following spring as a teacher aide, and discovered a love for working with young children. Two years later, Emily joined Growing Places full time as an infant teacher. In the time that Emily has worked at GP she has worked with every age group that Growing Places serves. Currently she teaches in the Preschool One classroom at Woodside.

Emily says that her favorite thing about her job is the opportunity to see children experience joy through learning. “I love watching the wonder and amazement in a child’s eyes when they accomplish or learn something new!”

Emily has a very calm, happy demeanor in the classroom and her leadership abilities as well as her great sense of humor help children feel safe and secure in her presence.

Outside of work Emily enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and being outdoors, especially near the ocean.

 

Ashley Studer, for webEarly Childhood Teacher

Ashley grew up in Portsmouth, NH, and started at UNH by getting her Bachelor’s in Psychology. She came back to get her Master’s in Elementary Education and graduated in 2014. After working with Growing Place’s Afterschool and Summer Programs during college, Ashley is excited to be back working full-time as an Early Childhood Teacher. She will be working in many classrooms at both Growing Places sites and is looking forward to getting to know as many children and families as she can!

Her favorite thing about working with children is the pure joy they get from play and learning. You will often see her being silly and exploring right alongside the children. She has a very friendly and eager attitude but also very much enjoys quiet one-on-one time with children.

Outside of Growing Places, Ashley is a competitive CrossFitter and loves to adventure outdoors!

 

Wendy Rousseau, Preschool Two TeacherWendy Rousseau
Wendy has been a part of the Growing Places family since receiving her dual Bachelor degrees in Early Childhood and Psychology from the University of Maine in 1997. Over the years, Wendy has worked with all of our age groups (6 weeks to 12 years old). In the fall of 2010 she left the classroom to become the Program Administrator at our Pinkham Road early childhood location. In 2014 Wendy embraced the goals of marketing and event planning for the organization and she subs in the classrooms at times.  She finds her work very gratifying and truly enjoys working alongside such talented staff in such a friendly and cooperative atmosphere. She particularly loves meeting new families and community members and feels fortunate to be a part of an organization that is so passionate about their work.

Wendy resides in South Berwick, Maine with her husband, two children and their English springer spaniel.  She enjoys watching her children participate in the multiple sports, being outside, gardening, bikram yoga and cycling.

 

teach-Becca-KellyBecca Kelly, PreKindergarten and Kindergarten Teacher at Woodside

Becca Kelly has taught at Growing Places since 2004. She has her BS in elementary education from Plymouth State College, and has over 12 years of experience in child care. Becca lives in Dover with her husband Nick and daughter Allison. She loves cooking, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

Becca loves working with the high caliber of teachers at Growing Places, and also loves the opportunity she has had to really get to know families at the center over the years. Becca enjoys facilitating outdoor play and sensory experiences for the children, and offers very process oriented art activities in her classroom. She can often be seen snuggling with a child sharing a story book. She loves the rate at which children grow in their young years. She loves watching them explore the world around them.