Katie Knuppel

Director of the Early Learning Center
Katie Knuppel is Head of Primary School and Director of the Early Learning Center at Fay. She spent close to twenty years teaching in New York City independent schools, namely The Chapin School and The Buckley School, in Kindergarten through fifth grade. Before coming to Fay, Katie was the Assistant Director of Lower School at The Buckley School and is a graduate of the New York State Association of Independent Schools Emerging Leaders Institute. Katie's passion for early childhood and elementary education stems from her love of school as a child and her passion for creative, engaging curriculum. She adores the imagination and intelligence of young children, the ever-changing challenges of each school day, and the joy and laughter of students learning. She is an educational leader who believes collaboration and communication between students, families, faculty, and staff are the keys to a nurturing, dynamic educational program. She lives on the Fay campus with her family, including her husband, two children, and two dogs. Her daughter Kit attends Fay, and her son Rufus attends Groton School as a boarder.

Lauren Cilley

Associate Director of the Early Learning Center
Lauren Cilley has been working with young children for more than fifteen years. She taught Pre-K at Fay since the inception of the program for seven years before becoming the Program Coordinator for the Early Learning Center at Fay School. Previously, Lauren worked as a teacher and assistant to the director at Boston University’s Early Childhood Learning Laboratory. Lauren is passionate about early childhood education and play-based learning. She loves working with young children because of the excitement, sincerity, and innate curiosity that the children bring to school every day. Her favorite part of teaching at Fay is designing inquiry-based curricula around the children’s interests and finding creative ways to incorporate academic skill development. Lauren’s writing about teaching science to young children was featured in Marcia Edson’s book, Starting with Science. In 2015, Lauren completed a study tour of early childhood centers in Pistoia, Italy. In addition to working with Fay's youngest students, Lauren has been a dorm parent, led several clubs for Fay After School, and was a unit leader for FaySummer. She has lived in Massachusetts since 2003, but is originally from Philadelphia and remains a devoted Phillies fan.

Priscilla May

Lead Teacher - ELC 101
Priscilla has more than 15 years of experience in early childhood education. Prior to coming to Fay, she was a lead preschool teacher at First Steps Learning Center in Southborough. Priscilla enjoys the dynamic opportunities that teaching young children brings. As a pre-school teacher, she loves supporting each child in his or her own individual path and strives to give children the care and resources that they need for their independent growth. She is thankful to be part of the lives of young children who are so passionate and excited about the world around them.

Shehla Eledroos

Assistant Teacher - ELC 101
Shehla Eledroos has been a teacher for toddlers through grade 4 for over 20 years in various settings. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science with a minor in English literature from St. Anne’s College for Women in India. She is Lead Teacher certified through the Department of Early Education and Care. Shehla is fluent in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Telugu with some knowledge of Bengali and Italian. She encourages student learning by incorporating creative learning centers, hands-on experiences and fun-filled activities consisting of arts, crafts, songs, and fingerplays. An avid believer that “a strong body makes the mind strong,” Shehla incorporates yoga, stretching, and dance in the curriculum. She is passionate about bringing diversity into the classroom by teaching numbers, greetings, and songs in Chinese, Spanish, Italian, and Hindi. In her free time, she volunteers to teach English to refugees. She is also a member of Westborough Connects’ Diversity & Inclusion Committee as well as MLK Day planning teams and various interfaith organizations. She loves gardening, singing, and making new friends.

Tricia Bzenk

Lead Teacher - ELC 102
Tricia has been a preschool through first grade teacher for over 20 years. She earned her bachelor’s in elementary education with a concentration in early childhood from SUNY Oneonta and her master’s in early childhood from American International College. Before coming to Fay, Tricia taught at Saint Bridget School in Framingham for 18 years. She taught Kindergarten and first grade and coordinated the opening of the preschool program as the director. She was involved in the middle school drama program as the director of the stage crew, costumes, and scenery. Prior to working at Saint Bridget School, Tricia taught Kindergarten at St. Ann’s in Somerville, Pre-K at Lincoln Lab Children’s Center in Lexington, and preschool at Waltham Childcare. She enjoys working with young students because each day is a new adventure with their excitement for learning and their curiosity about the world around them. Tricia lives in Marlborough with her husband Dave and son Jack.

Julie Gardner

Assistant Teacher - ELC 102
Julie has over twenty years of experience working with children and supporting families. Julie’s journey began with providing childcare in her home while raising her four children and earning her early childhood education/psychology degree at Becker College. Julie's professional experiences include Assistant and Lead Preschool Teacher at KiDoodles Learning Center in Holden, MA and Instructional Teaching Assistant in Kindergarten and Special Education K-4 at Abby Kelley Foster Charter School in Worcester, MA. Most recently, Julie was service coordinating as a Child Developmental Specialist at Thom Early Intervention for families with children birth to three years old at risk of developmental delays. Julie’s passion is to enrich a child’s growth and development by providing an opportunity to explore and discover the world around them. Julie is blessed and grateful to have played a small part in the growth and lives of so many families and friends.

Mary Hupfer

Lead Teacher - ELC 103
Mary Hupfer has been an educator since 2001, when she graduated from Plymouth State University with a bachelor's degree in early childhood studies. Before joining Fay in 2017, she was employed by First Steps as a preschool teacher. She is currently pursuing a master's degree from Southern New Hampshire University in psychology with a focus on children and adolescents. Mary has a passion for teaching and working with children because they are so full of curiosity and wonder. She lives in Holliston with her husband Mike and her children Mikey and Macy.

Liza Hsin

Assistant Teacher - ELC 103
Liza attended UMASS Amherst for her undergraduate education and Simmons University for her Master of Arts in Teaching. She has worked in diverse educational settings as a tutor, reading specialist, assistant teacher, and lead teacher. Liza loves working with children in their foundational years of education, particularly in the area of literacy. In addition to her work in education, Liza is very interested in fitness and nutrition and has worked as a fitness trainer, Pilates instructor, and nutritionist. More recently her days are filled with playing with her two young children, Darren and Lana. When there is an opportunity, she loves trying new restaurants with her husband Ron.

Matthew Graham

Teacher's Aide
Matthew Graham joins the Fay community after working as an ABA in Massachusetts. Matthew also has experience as a behavioral technician. He holds a BA in Psychology from Iona College, where he graduated in 2018.

Leah Perez

Teacher's Aide
Leah joined the ELC in 2022, and with two children of her own, she enjoys the wonder and curiosity of younger children. She appreciates the ELC's model of immersive and inquiry-based learning experiences and is excited to play a role in developing each child's sense of self. In her free time, Leah loves to be outdoors or cooking many different types of cuisine for friends and family.

The Early Learning Center at Fay School

elc@fayschool.org  |  508-490-8260 | About Fay School | About FaySummer
Location - 23 Middle Road, Southborough, MA 01772
Mailing Address - 48 Main Street, Southborough, MA 01772

Fay School admits students of any race, color, religion or creed, national or ethnic origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic background, or with any disability that can be reasonably accommodated by the School, to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Fay School. The School does not discriminate on the basis of such factors in the administration of its educational policies, employment policies, admissions policies, financial aid programs, athletics, or other school administered programs.