Meet Our Staff:
Jen Resko
Dena Cohen
Andrea Cortellini
Stacy Sherow
Cindy Jenks

Meet Our Staff

We are very proud of our staff and would like to highlight a few of them on this page from time to time. We have a diverse staff with a broad range of knowledge and experience in early childhood and child development. The common thread among all of are staff is their patience, love for children and ability to create a warm, comfortable classroom setting that provides the right atmosphere for the children's growth and development.

Meet Jen Resko! Jen has been teaching at the Cinnamon Tree in Hopewell Junction for 17 years. Jen is the head teacher in our 3 year old class.

Jen knew from an early age that working with children was what she wanted to do. Jen creates a warm, friendly environment in which the children are involved in interactive circle-times, creative art activities, music and movement and age appropriate readiness activities. Jen is looking forward to having her daughter Alyssa, a Cinnamon Tree alumni, join our staff this summer as a teacher's aid.

"Creative, Imaginative, Thoughtful, Unique…these are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of Jen. Jen is the head teacher in the Daycare 1 classroom where the 3 year olds reside. My daughter, Erica, just began at the Cinnamon Tree in September 2012 and is very happy there. I can attest that this is not only because of the dynamics that make up the uniqueness that is the Cinnamon Tree, but also because of Jen. There is an aura that encompasses Jen, one in which the children feel safe and cared for in her presence. Jen really teaches the children a lot. It’s nice when Erica comes home and tells me about the new things she learned or the arts and crafts projects she did. I love that the kids do so many creative projects. I got the very best gifts ever from Erica, gifts she made with Jen. Erica made me a snowman using her hand prints for Christmas. This snowman hung in our living room window far past the end of the long winter days. And, for Mother’s Day I received the most beautiful picture of a flower as well as a card. The picture will be a permanent fixture in my kitchen for many years to come. Jen is also magical. My daughter stopped taking naps for my husband and I before she even turned one but Jen works her magic and is able to get Erica to shut her eyes and rest.

I’m in awe! I’m so happy that my daughter has spent the past school year with Jen. Erica often does not want to leave Cinnamon Tree, a true testamony to how much my daughter enjoys being there. Thank you Jen!"
Stacey C. Chiarella - Parent
English Language Arts/Special Education Teacher 7-12 Fox Meadow High School P/NW BOCES Yorktown Heights, NY

Meet Dena Cohen. Dena Cohen has a passion for working with our pre-k children. This is evident as soon as you enter Dena's classroom. Dena creates a magical atmosphere that awakens the wonder within each child. Inside Dena's classroom you will find dictated stories, creative science projects and math activities that foster Kindergarten readiness. Most importantly, you will find busy, happy children - exploring, creating and growing.

Dena sets the tone and all the adults in her class work colaboratively to provide a warm, supportive learning environment.

"I am so very lucky to work alongside two wonderful women, Marlene and Elena. We work well because we are all working towards a common goal, the success and happiness of the children. Happy children are successful children. Remember: 'A child is not a vessel to be filled, but a lamp to be lit'."

"Dena's pre-k class has been an exciting learning environment for all three of our children. They learned so much throughout the year, that they were more than prepared for kindergarten. They loved coming to Cinnamon Tree, because there was always something to look forward to in Dena's class. She provides structure, but makes learning fun with theme days, guest visitors, and many special events throughout the year."
Shandra Milroy, Speech Language Pathologist, PLLC and Parent

Meet Andrea Cortellini. Andrea has been a toddler teacher at Cinnamon Tree since 1995. For the past 18 years, every morning at 7 AM, Andrea has been there with a warm smile and a hug to greet her young children.

Andrea class is our young toddler group, and her patient and caring approach helps them deal with separation from their parents. Under Andrea's guidance the children are soon busy in a variety of explorations and learning experiences.

“I enjoy watching the children learn and grow throughout the year. As the year progresses they become more self-confident as their language and social skill increase.”

“Cinnamon Tree and the teachers provide a place for the children to learn and explore. It’s not just a day care center, it’s a family. Andrea is wonderful. It is hard enough to leave my child but knowing she is at Cinnamon Tree surrounded by wonderful teachers makes all the difference!”
Kristine Bargo - Parent

Meet Stacy Sherow. Stacy also began working at Cinnamon Tree in 1995.

She has been the nursery school teacher for the past 15 years. Stacy creates a warm and nurturing environment where the children have an opportunity to explore and make choices while they learn and play. In the nursery program there are weekly themes, art projects, cooking projects, story time, song time, show and tell, outside play and a computer room. Stacy works on kindergarten readiness including letter of the week, number of the week, word boxes and writing journals.

“Each school year I am excited, challenged and rewarded with the growth, change and creativity of the children. I see hesitation and initial caution blossom into self confidence, enthusiasm and excitement”

“Stacy is one of the most creative, compassionate teachers my daughters have ever had. They were much better prepared for kindergarten after having Stacy for preschool at Cinnamon Tree”
Jen Yanoti - Parent

Meet Cindy Jenks. Cindy began working at Cinnamon Tree as a teacher’s aid while she was still in high school. We have been fortunate to have Cindy remain a vital member of the Cinnamon Tree staff over the years.

While pursuing her education and obtaining an advanced degree in Education, Cindy has served in a variety of roles throughout the center. Cindy has been a toddler teacher, nursery teacher and she has run our after-school program. Today Cindy is the Program Director at Cinnamon Tree - supervising and training staff and and planning programming and curriculum throughout the center. But as the children will tell you Cindy is best known for making summertime fun in the Discovery Camp at Cinnamon Tree.

“Cindy makes us have a lot of fun. She plays kickball and wiffleball with us. Cindy lets us go on field trips. We go bowling and many other fun activities. This is why I think Cindy is a fun counselor“.
Anthony Tremarzo (Age 11)

“We do fun things together, the sleepover, pre-teen lounge, bowling, trips, x-box, bracelets, counselors are nice”
Taylor Tremarzo (Age 12)

“I like summer camp. It’s really fun especially the sleepover. Cindy makes our trips lots of fun”
Samantha Guarno (Age 6)

“I like Cindy being at summer camp because she is very nice and helpful. I like when Cindy also lets us go to fun field trips like Redwing Lake and bowling and other fun trips. She also plays games with us. She also lets us go to the pre-teen lounge, in the pre-teen lounge you get to play x-box and other games. She also lets us go to sleepovers, and watch a movie, and eat snacks. And in the morning she lets us eat breakfast. After breakfast we get dressed and go outside and play until our parents pick us up. That’s why I like Cindy being at summer camp”
Scott Byrnes (Age 11)