The staff at The Strong’s Woodbury School employs a Reggio Emilia-inspired, curriculum approach to learning that encourages students to delve deeply into topics that fascinate and stimulate learning. Collectively, the team has nearly 90 years of teaching experience and, in addition to educating Woodbury School’s preschool and early-kindergarten students, has developed or led hundreds of conferences, seminars, and individual training opportunities on playful learning.
Deborah McCoy, Assistant Vice President for Education
Debbie directs all museum education programs, and leads professional development training in playful learning and the play-based Reggio Emilia Approach for educators across the country. In 2013, she participated in a North American Study Tour of the schools of Reggio Emilia in Italy. As a founding teacher of the Genesee Community Charter School at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, Debbie implemented the innovative Expeditionary Learning model there and has presented national seminars for Expeditionary Learning Schools. Debbie holds a master’s degree in elementary education from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Cheryl Nichols, Director of Woodbury School
Cheryl directs Woodbury School and teaches some preschool and early kindergarten classes. When she joined the museum in 2008, Cheryl brought more than two decades of teaching experience, including at Bloomfield Nursery School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Alma College in Michigan and has studied reading specialization and environmental education at the graduate level.
Erin Cavellier, Teacher
Erin is a teacher in both preschool and early kindergarten programs at Woodbury School. Erin has a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in studio art from Binghamton University. She has taught toddlers, as well as preschool- and school-age children in several programs in Asheville, North Carolina. She will teach the morning preschool class, as well as assist in other Woodbury School classes.
Andrea Bonafide, Teacher
Andrea is a teacher in both preschool and early kindergarten programs at Woodbury School. Andrea has prior teaching experience through St. John Early Childhood Program, Child Care Council of Rochester, and Action for a Better Community. She holds a master’s degree in education for childhood literacy from the State University of New York at Brockport.
Syble Martella, Education Coordinator
Syble is education coordinator at The Strong, a teaching host for school lessons, and a teacher in the Woodbury School. She has contributed to several museum projects and programs outside of her teaching responsibilities, including interactive storytelling, Boy Scout and Girl Scout workshops, and Storytime Club.
Vicki Cairns, Teacher Assistant
Vicki is a teaching assistant in Woodbury School’s preschool program and has experience as a teaching assistant in elementary school programs. Vicki holds a bachelor’s degree in life sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).