Meet the VNS Staff

Maureen Bajko


Maureen has been teaching toddlers and preschoolers for over twenty years, this will be her thirteenth 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 I and II.

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

Katie Ward


We’re thrilled to be welcoming back Katie for her fourth 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 (17), Trevor (16), and Scarlett (6), and dog, Roxy. She is a member of the High School Football & Cheer Booster Club and a youth cheer coach. In her free time you can find her cheering on local sporting events and spending time with her family.

Michele Borsari

Twos and Friday 3’s

Michele is looking forward to her fourteenth 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 recently moved from Bolton to Lancaster and is enjoying getting to know her new town. 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 was extremely active in the public schools her children attended, both in the classrooms and the PTA’s. For fun, Michele is rediscovering her love of knitting, exercising, reading and cooking, now that her youngest child has left for college.

Rachel Hatch

Twos and Friday 3’s

Rachel Hatch is very excited to get started on her second year of teaching here at VNS in the Two’s and Three’s classroom. After spending almost a decade as a private in-home nanny, the teacher world is right were she fits in. She’s passionate about helping children progress their social and emotional wellness, and helping them feel loved and safe at school!

Outside of VNS, Rachel really enjoys being outdoors. She spends her summers camping in with her boyfriend and relaxing on the beach. In the winter she is cheering on the Bruins, and curling up with a good book. Spending time with her friends and family is very important to Rachel and she does so whenever she gets a chance. After living in Worcester for seven year, she recently moved to Leominster and is looking forward to being closer to family and to VNS!

Carley Rigby

Young Fours and Friday 2.9

Carley is excited to begin her fourth year at VNS. She began working with preschool children over twenty five 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.  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 daughter’s Sydney (13) and Rowan (11) and their dog Penny. Some of her favorite activities include soccer, camping, skiing, 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 fourth school year. Heather is a certified preschool and toddler teacher, and soon to be 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, Pre-K, 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 Barton has been teaching at VNS since 2017. She has a Masters of Fine Arts from RIT, with a focus on metalsmithing, with minors in woodworking and ceramics. She loves how teaching at VNS affords her lots of opportunities for her to use the creative/problem solving side of her brain. She is excited to bring her artistic experience as well as lifelong love of children’s literature and storytelling to VNS. Being around children is one of her greatest joys in life, that, and spending time with her family: husband, Bill, daughters, Grace and Izzi as well as their big extended family who live nearby. Since moving here in 2004, she and Bill have been active volunteers in the Harvard Public Schools and Harvard community. Outside of VNS, Deb enjoys creating, being in nature, reading, swimming, boating on Bare Hill Pond, skiing, traveling and cooking with family and friends.

Sue McClain


We are happy to be welcoming back Sue for her eighth 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.

Kelly O’Connor


We are so excited to have Kelly O’Connor joining us this year at Village Nursery School! Kelly has been teaching preschool for twenty-two years and has many fabulous new ideas to bring to table. When not at school Kelly enjoys hanging out with her daughter, husband and two crazy dogs! Kelly also coaches two high school girls sports teams, tennis and field hockey.