Meet the VNS Staff

Maureen Bajko


Maureen has been teaching toddlers and preschoolers for over twenty years, this will be her twelfth year at VNS. Maureen holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education and has completed studies towards her Master’s in Education, as well as additional coursework in Early Childhood Education. Maureen is a certified Lead Toddler, Lead Preschool Teacher, and Director II.

Maureen believes in hands on learning experiences to foster children’s growth in the classroom. Maureen lives in Lunenburg with her husband, sixteen and eleven year old daughters, and their dogs Cookie and Kirby.  Besides spending time with her family, she loves to read, run and enjoys hiking. Maureen looks forward to another great year at VNS!

Katie Ward


We’re thrilled to be welcoming back Katie for her third year in the Threes! Working in the medical field for many years, Katie is enjoying being in the classroom, and it shows. Katie is a certified preschool and toddler teacher. She lives in Leominster with her partner, John, three children Johnny (16), Trevor (13), and Scarlett (5), and dog, Roxy. She is a member of both the Middle School PTO and High School Football & Cheer Booster Club. In her free time you can find her cheering on local sporting events and spending time with my family.

Michele Borsari


Friday 2.9

Michele is looking forward to her Eleventh year of teaching at VNS.  “My youngest son, James, attended VNS and I was so pleased with the school and the teachers.  I am really enjoying working with all of them.”

Michele has lived in Bolton for the past 17 years where she raised her four children. She holds a BA from Villanova University and a JD from The Dickinson School of Law, and is a certified Lead Preschool and Lead Toddler teacher.

She has been extremely active in the public schools her children attend, both in the classrooms and the PTA’s. For fun, Michele enjoys attending her children’s athletic events, exercising, reading and cooking.

Rachel Hatch


We are thrilled to welcome Rachel to our VNS team this year! All of our teachers have known Rachel and her abilities with children as a nanny to some of our students over the years. She has a background in early childhood education and several year of practical experience.

Carley Rigby

Young Fours

Friday 2.9

Carley began working with preschool children over twenty years ago while attending Saint Michael’s College in VT. There she completed courses in Early Childhood Education and received a BA in Fine Arts. She is a certified Infant/Toddler and Preschool Teacher. Carley went on to teach at the Child Care Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital before taking leave to raise her children. She is thrilled to be a part of the VNS community.

Creative expression is something Carley feels strongly about and believes it is closely tied to a child’s confidence and ability to learn.

Carley lives in Bolton with her husband Bill, her daughters Sydney (12) and Rowan (10) and their dog Penny. Some or her favorite activities include soccer, hiking, landscaping, cooking, painting and playing board games with her family.

Heather Thomas

Young Fours

Creative Connections

We are thrilled to welcome back Heather to VNS for her third school year. Heather is a certified preschool and toddler teacher, and soon to ve Lead teacher.  She and her family moved to New England from Arizona nearly 5 years ago.  Heather has been involved with children for many years: coaching soccer, ski team, teaching yoga to adults and kids and volunteering in her children’s school.  She is looking forward to spending more time with the twos this year. Heather has a BA in Mathematics and Computer Science, she enjoys hiking and creating with yarn and paper.

Emilie Staiger

Assistant Director


Creative Connections

Emilie has been teaching young children for more than twenty years, and has a particular interest in curriculum and planning engaging activities for children. She has a degree in Elementary Education from Green Mountain College and is a certified Lead Preschool and Toddler teacher. Emilie lives in Harvard with her husband, son, and twin daughters. In her free time she enjoys going to concerts, spending time with her family, and baking.

Deb Barton


Deb is no stranger to VNS, as her youngest daughter (now a college sophomore) attended preschool at VNS.  Deb has a Masters of Fine Arts from RIT, with a focus on metalsmithing, with minors in woodworking and ceramics. She has been an active volunteer in the Harvard Public Schools and Harvard community since moving here in 2004. Deb has enjoyed coaching soccer over the many years her daughters played. She is excited to bring her art experience as well as lifelong love of Children’s Literature and storytelling to VNS. “Some of my favorite pieces of art that my daughters made came from her time at VNS!” Being around children is one of her greatest joys in life. She also loves her family, daughters, Grace and Izzi, and husband Bill. Outside of VNS, Deb enjoys nature, reading, swimming, boating on Bare Hill Pond, skiing, traveling and cooking for family and friends.

Sue McClain


We are happy to be welcoming back Sue for her sixth year at VNS. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, and has completed graduate work in Early Childhood at Lesley University. Sue has a total of 15 years of preschool teaching experience in both public and private settings in the Boston area and is a certified Lead Preschool Teacher.

Sue lives in Harvard with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. Outside of teaching, Sue enjoys walking her dogs, yoga, running, gardening, and being with her children.

Elizabeth Horne


While Elizabeth has been an educator at VNS for four years, her experience in early childhood classrooms goes well beyond that. Elizabeth has returned to Harvard with her husband, Chris, to raise her two children here. Her approach in the classroom connects with the children and ensures a positive, happy, and fun experience.