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Our Staff
The Center is staffed with trained and experienced teachers and assistants.  One of the unique characteristics of NCDCC is the longevity of our staff. Half our staff has been with the Center for 15 years and three employees since the inception.

The staff receives 15 hours of training each year.  All staff is First Aid trained and all teachers are CPR trained. We are also licensed to administer medication.

Our staff provides children with a loving, secure, and safe environment. We strive to achieve the following goals on a daily basis.

Our goals for your children are:
  • to develop self-confidence (personal adequacy and self worth),
  • to learn responsibility for actions and words,
  • to learn honesty, sharing and fair play,
  • to channel emotions in positive ways,
  • to develop independence - an ability to meet and solve her/his own problems and plan her/his own work,
  • to provide an opportunity for creative expression,
  • to develop an understanding of others,
  • to provide opportunities for group social experience,
  • to provide an opportunity for rest and relaxation.

Natacha Cruz (Toddler, K & First)

My name is Natacha Cruz and I have lived in Niskayuna my entire life. I am part of a family of four; my parents were both born and raised in Puerto Rico. My family and I are very involved with the Spanish community which includes fundraisers and volunteer work. I graduated from Niskayuna High School in 2011 with honors. I majored in Fine Arts at Hudson Valley Community College. I started working at the daycare as a teaching assistant in August 2013. Soon after I was promoted to After School teacher for second and third grade. I have always enjoyed working with kids and especially love working at Niskayuna Community Day Care. In December 2015 I was promoted to morning toddler teacher and after school teacher for Kindergarten through first grade. I am proud to say that I am currently obtaining my Child Development Associate (CDA) Credentials for early childhood. I consider myself a hard-working and self-motivated teacher who puts a great effort into preparing my lesson plans and making sure the kids learn while having fun.

Cassie Guzior (Grades 2-5)

My name is Cassie Guzior and I graduated from Niskayuna High School in 2011. I then studied Fine Arts at Hudson Valley Community College. In the fall of 2013 I began my career as a Preschool Assistant at Niskayuna Community Day Care Center. At the beginning of the 2014 school year I was promoted to Lead Teacher of the after school students in grades 2-3. For the 2015-2016 school year I am the Lead Teacher for grades 2 thru 5.

I try to make the afternoons fun and easy after a long day at school. When the children arrive we work on homework, eat snack make fun crafts, and then go outside! I believe in having a relaxed classroom environment. I also enjoy mentoring our younger teacher assistants who work with me at the daycare.

I grew up in Niskayuna and took my vacations camping at Fish Creek Ponds in the Adirondacks. I have a lot of cousins of almost every age so I've always been around kids. I have a younger brother who lives in the Bronx now and I enjoy going to visit him on weekends - I love to shop in the city! I am passionate about animals and I'm currently fostering a black lab named Katie while her family builds a house. I am a nurturing and understanding teacher who loves taking care of children, my family, and animals alike!

Danielle Goodermote (3 yr olds)

Hi! My name is Danielle Goodermote and I am a preschool teacher at NCDCC. I started working here in 2011 as the lead lead teacher in the toddler room. I also spent a year teaching the After School program in the afternoons. In the fall of 2015 I was offered a position to teach one of the preschool programs and I am absolutely loving it!

I have spent the majority of my life working with children - babysitting and teaching Sunday school when I was younger, helping with my niece and nephew, and student teaching and observations during college. I graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with a focus in Special Education.

I believe in teaching the child as a whole, focusing on cognitive learning, as well as social, emotional, and physical skills. Children develop these skills through play, stories, projects, and interactions with peers and adults. My classroom is very supportive and nurturing. I get so excited to watch as each child has their “ah-hah” moment with a topic that they have been struggling to grasp and seeing them light up with excitement! And the best part is that we have so much fun along the way!

Mary O’Connor (3 yr olds)

My name is Mary O’Connor. I live in Rexford with my husband and am a mother of three grown children who attended Niskayuna schools. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Oswego in Early Childhood Education and hold my permanent teaching certification in this area.

I am a teacher of three year olds at Niskayuna Community Day Care Center. I have worked here for over 20 years with all the various age groups. In the past I taught Kindergarten for the Central Square school district in northern New York. I also taught pre-K at Brown School.

I enjoy teaching young children because they are enthusiastic and excited about everything we do and they make me laugh every day.

My educational philosophy is that I believe young children are active, eager learners. As the teacher, I develop an environment that meets the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of the children. Fostering an independence is very important. I plan a child centered curriculum that includes a wide variety of successful experiences that build self confidence. Positively guiding children and reinforcing their love of learning helps all children grow and have a positive school experience.

Elizabeth Popolizio (Toddler)

My name is Elizabeth Popolizio and I'm happy to say I've been working at Niskayuna Community Day Care Center since 2013. I started working at NCDCC as a Teacher Assistant and was recently promoted to lead Toddler Teacher. During this span of time I have also been working on my education. I recently finished my Bachelors Degree in Art Education K-12 at The College of St. Rose. As a teacher my priority is to create a loving and nurturing classroom environment filled with opportunity for growth and fun. I've worked with children through various jobs and volunteer opportunities; including the Friday Knights organization at The College of St. Rose. The Friday Knights program offers children on the autism spectrum and their families a place to grow socially and explore art, music, and games. Children of all ages have always found a way into my heart. I'm proud to be a part of the lives of the children of NCDCC. Each smile and milestone reached is what makes my job unparalleled.

Lisa Salerno (4 yr olds)

My name is Lisa Salerno. I hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in English from The College of Saint Rose . I graduated from their program in 2010

My experience with children began when I started babysitting at the young age of 13. I worked with many different families and acquired experience with children of many different ages. I was a summer nanny two years in a row for two young boys and loved planning indoor and outdoor activities to keep them busy all summer long. I began working at NCDCC when I was 16 years old. I was the afternoon assistant in the four year old classroom and Ms. Chris was the head teacher. When I turned 18, I got accepted to college and also accepted the 2nd grade after school head teacher position at NCDCC. After student teaching in a pre-k/k and a 1st grade classroom, I graduated from The College of Saint Rose and a couple of months later I became the head 4 year old teacher here.

On a personal note, I have a large Italian family and am one of six children. I am a very proud aunt and am very involved in my nephew and niece’s everyday lives. I enjoy reading and hanging out with friends.

As for my educational philosophy, I believe that children learn best through play. My classroom is center based and allows my students to move freely from center to center and have hands on experiences with a variety of learning tools such as building blocks, arts and crafts materials, age appropriate games and puzzles, and imaginary play items. Through play, they are learning. Their play is supported by a teacher created pre-kindergarten curriculum which not only includes fine/gross motor practice, literacy material, and STEAM activities but also self-help skills which will help prepare them for their upcoming Kindergarten year