Meet Our Staff

Playland Nursery School is owned by Gary, Barbara, and Steve Bloom who also own and direct Camp Playland. Gary has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and is certified by the State of Connecticut as a Head Teacher. Barbara has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Reading. Gary and Barbara taught in the Stamford Public Schools prior to the opening of Playland Nursery School. Gary and Barbara’s son Steve has a B.A. in English and Human Development, an M.S. in Camp Leadership and M.Ed in Independent School Leadership from Columbia University’s Klingenstein Center .

Our superior staff coupled with continuity in leadership makes Playland a premier school. Playland Nursery School is a private, non-denominational nursery school and is licensed by the State of Connecticut.

Directors

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Kathy is a certified teacher with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and a Master’s Degree in Teaching. Kathy is also certified by the State of Connecticut as a Head Teacher and has completed all the requirements for the Connecticut Director’s Credential. She has taught in the Stamford and Fairfield Public Schools.  Kathy has worked summers at Camp Playland since high school! Kathy lives in Fairfield and is the proud mom to two children, ages 24 and 27. When she’s not working, she enjoys baking, knitting, fostering kittens and spending time with friends and family.

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Vivi is from Costa Rica. She has worked at Playland Nursery School since 2014, first teaching the two’s class and now teaching the 4’s (in addition to her duties as Assistant Director). She loves getting immersed in the children’s world and connecting with them. Vivi has a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood, a Master’s degree in Special Education and a minor in Human Services. She lives in Trumbull with her husband and two daughters (both Playland alumni!). Vivi is an avid athlete who represented her native country of Costa Rica in various Worldwide swimming events. She is still the current record holder of the 200m back-stroke – women, back in her country! She loves to spend time with her family at the beach, riding bikes or dancing to latin music.

Head & Associate Teachers

Our classrooms are led by Head Teachers.  Head Teachers are experienced preschool educators with a passion for teaching young children. They are dynamic, creative individuals who are committed to providing each child (and their families) with an enriched and nurturing Playland experience. Head Teachers are supported in the classrooms by Associate and Assistant teachers who enhance the program with their diverse experiences and backgrounds.

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Biography coming soon

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Elizabeth (Liz) started working in Early Childhood in 1997 teaching Music and Movement classes. She received her CDA from Norwalk Community College in 2003, and began working in the classroom at The Cowan Center preschool for Greenwich Academy. Throughout the years she has worked with children in many different capacities, teaching gymnastics, Zumba, and Mommy and Me classes. In 2018 Liz retuned to the classroom as a 2’s & 3’s teacher. She feels very lucky to be able to help children learn and grow in so many different ways. Working in Early Childhood is a passion of hers, and finding fun and different ways to learn is her specialty! Liz is a Mom of 2 boys ages 18 & 24, and 2 dogs. She enjoys animal and people portrait drawing, and hanging out with her family.

I am a Mom of 2 boys ages 18 & 24, and 2 dogs.
I enjoy animal and people portrait drawing, and hanging out with my family.

Rachel has been at Playland since January 2014.  Rachel has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Franklin Pierce University and Head Teacher Certificate from CT State. She loves teaching preschool-aged children, specifically seeing their big smiles after new accomplishments. Rachel is a twenty five year resident of New Canaan and lives with her husband Matt, their two boys, Kyle and Dylan, and dog Bailey. Outside of the classroom Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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Cara is has been teaching at Playland since 2015. She has a BA William Smith College and a MS Ed. Bank Street College and her Head Teacher Certificate from the State of CT Office of Early Childhood. Cara taught at Cisqua School and Brick Church School before stopping to raise her family. She has 3 children (two of which are Playland alumni!). Cara loves to ski, play tennis and is a very messy cook!!

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Laurie began at Playland teaching Fit Kids and Movement after school enrichment classes and substituting in our classrooms. In 2020 she joined our staff as an Assistant Teacher and Music/Movement Instructor. She was the Head Gymboree Instructor in the Fairfield County franchise for many years and has taught enrichment programs in Norwalk and Rowayton preschools for over 12 years. Laurie loves using creative and engaging activities to engage with the children. Laurie is married and the mother of 3 young adults. Her youngest son is a counselor at Camp Playland. Laurie loves spending time with her family and dogs. She loves the beach, music and dancing.

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Kim lives in New Canaan with her daughter Kendall who is a student at Saxe Middle School. She graduated from Union College and then completed her Masters in childhood education/special education in NY. Kim previously worked at Scarsdale Middle School, where she taught 6th grade English and Science. Kim works in the summers as the Camp Playland Ropes and Mats specialist. She is happy to be a part of the Playland Nursery School staff and looks forward to playing, growing, and learning with her students.

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Silvia is from Lima, Peru. She lives in Stamford, CT with her husband Bob. She is Nana to two granddaughters and two grandsons and aunt to four nieces and one nephew. Silvia has many years of experience working with preschoolers and is thrilled to join the Playland staff. She earned her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2009 from Norwalk Community College and is currently enrolled at Charter Oak State College pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Silvia enjoys dancing to Latin music on the weekends, whether with her husband or by herself! She enjoys yoga, biking, and going on walks by the beach. She is looking forward to sharing fun, creative, and “messy” activities with all the children.

vivi

Vivi is from Costa Rica. She has worked at Playland Nursery School since 2014, first teaching the two’s class and now with the 4’s. She loves getting immersed in the children’s world and connecting with them. Vivi has a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood, a Master’s degree in Special Education and a minor in Human Services. She lives in Trumbull with her husband and two daughters (both Playland alumni!). Vivi is an avid athlete who represented her native country of Costa Rica in various Worldwide swimming events. She is still the current record holder of the 200m back-stroke – women, back in her country! She loves to spend time with her family at the beach, riding bikes or dancing to latin music.

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A mother of four and grandmother of six, Jo-Ann began her career as a Registered Nurse. After working in the medical field for a number of years she decided her heart’s desire was to work with children and teach. She began as an assistant teacher at Playland with Missy Trenck as her mentor and took the courses necessary to obtain her Head Teaching Certificate from the State of Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. Jo-Ann has found great joy and satisfaction leading the Playland Polar Bears as they play, learn, and explore. Jo-Ann enjoys spending time with her family, photography and playing with her dog Eddie.

Assistants

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Anthony (“Ant”) was born and raised in Stamford and recently moved to Monroe with his family.  He enjoys playing soccer, singing, and raising his two year old godson! Anthony attends Western Connecticut State University and is pursuing a degree in Theater Performance. Ant works at Camp Playland in the summer, most recently as the Theater Specialist.  Ant feels teaching is extremely rewarding; he is very excited to be a part of the Playland Nursery School staff. 

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Biography coming soon

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She has worked at Camp Playland for several summers with the Pre-K and is excited to be part of the nursery school staff as well. She lives in Norwalk and is a Senior at Johnson & Wales University where she is majoring in psychology. After she graduates, Jenna hopes to take more classes towards Early Childhood Education.

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Biography coming soon

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Lucy lives in New Canaan with her loving husband and four wonderful kids, three of whom are Playland Nursery School alumni! Before getting married, she worked at The Family School in midtown Manhattan for two years and  received Montessori training at the Princeton Montessori School in New Jersey. Lucy graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea. She is excited for the privilege of returning to Playland as a teacher after being a Playland parent.

Lynne is our resident Music Specialist. She began at Playland Nursery School in 1984. In addition to working at school, Lynne spent many summers at Camp Playland as a Music Specialist. Lynne is a Licensed Kindermusik Instructor and the sole proprietor of Lynne’s Kindermusick Studio (classes offered at Playland). She is on the Board of Directors of Kids Creative Collective (KCC) which provides theatre and music to underserved children in New York City. Fun Fact:  I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing!

Missy has been at Playland since 1985…a long time. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) from Manhattanville. She is passionate about the importance of connecting young children to literature, loves to swim, read, root for the NY Mets and spend time with her six grandsons.

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Natalia graduated from Colby-Sawyer College in 2017 with a Bachelors Degree in Child Development. Natalia has been working in the child care setting for four years. This is Natalia’s first year at Playland and she is looking forward to getting to know the children and staff. In her free time Natalia loves the beach, reading and going to cycling class.

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Stef received her Bachelors Degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 2020,  graduating top of her class. She joined the Camp Playland staff in summer of 2021 and Playland Nursery School in the fall of 2021. Stef’s babysat for many years and has always wanted to be in a classroom. Stef loves seeing children grow and learn new things. In her free time she enjoys going on hikes, cooking and spending time with my niece and nephew. Fun fact: She harvests pumpkins every year!

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Zuhra is super excited to be a part of Playland this year! She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood from NCC and lives in Norwalk with her husband and 2 children. Zuhra’s favorite colors are green and pink and her favorite foods are tacos and ice cream. Zuhra loves to go hiking and do adventurous things with her family. She’s looking forward to meeting her students and learning about all their favorite things!  We will have a lot of fun and also learn a lot!

Tracy has been at Playland since we started our two’s program in 2014.  She really enjoys spending time with your children and loves to see the proud look on their faces when they accomplish something new.  Whether it be a new food, shapes, numbers or even tackling the potty! Tracy has lived in New Canaan for thirteen years with her husband Marc and their four children, Sydney, Harrison, Alec and Tatum (plus Lilo their dog)!  In Tracy’s spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, cheering on her kids at various sporting events at NCHS or dance competitions, cooking, reading, and traveling (she has been to every continent except Antarctica)!

lynette

Lynnet began working at Camp Playland as a camp counselor in 2016. This will be her first year as an assistant teacher. In addition to working here at Playland, she is an after school art teacher for many elementary schools in Fairfield county. She is a graduate from Greenwich High school. Lynnet is pursuing a Fine Arts degree from Norwalk Community College to aid her with her dream to become an art teacher. Lynnet loves connecting with students through art, play and reading!

Liz joined the Playland staff in 2015.  She has her Head Teacher Certificate from the State of CT Office of Early Childhood. Liz attended Connecticut College and Columbia Business School, working in business for fifteen years before switching careers and becoming a teacher.  Liz lives in New Canaan with her husband and two daughters (both of whom are Playland alumni!). In her free time, she loves to walk, read, cook, practice yoga and take hikes with Sammie, the family golden retriever.

Joyce has worked at Playland Nursery School for 15 years. She has a Bachelors degree in Computer Systems from Baruch College. Joyce particularly enjoys watching preschoolers develop their love for reading, writing and art. The messier the art, the better!

Missy has been at Playland since 1985…a long time. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) from Manhattanville. She is passionate about the importance of connecting young children to literature, loves to swim, read, root for the NY Mets and spend time with her six grandsons.

Joan began her career working in elementary school but left to start her family. When it was time to return to teaching she chose nursery school because of her love of and patience for preschool children. As a result she has been at Playland for over 30 years. She continues to love the children each year as if they were her own. Joan’s greatest joy is to see each child grow and have fun each day.  Joan enjoys being around family and friends either cooking for them or doing special activities. Joan has a BS in education from Southern Connecticut and a masters degree from Fairfield University.

Rachel has been at Playland since January 2014.  Rachel has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Franklin Pierce University and Head Teacher Certificate from CT State. She loves teaching preschool-aged children, specifically seeing their big smiles after new accomplishments. Rachel is a twenty one year resident of New Canaan and lives with her husband Matt, their two boys, Kyle and Dylan, and dog Bailey. Outside of the classroom Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and watching her sons play sports at NCHS!!

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Sergio is so excited to be joining the Playland Nursery School staff. He has been a counselor at Camp Playland for the past two summers and has worked with children coaching and at camps for seven years. Sergio is currently part of the Norwalk High School Soccer coaching team. Apart from teaching and coaching, Sergio is also a professional opera singer! He looks forward to meeting and working with all the parents and children at Playland Nursery School.

Whitney started at Playland Nursery School in 2016 after moving to CT from Massachusetts. (Yes, she is a New England sports fan!) A graduate of Bridgewater State College in 2009, she began working in her family’s business and coaching high school soccer. Whitney loves the personal connection she’s able to create with each student due to the “hands on” nature of the Playland curriculum.

Lynne is our resident Music Specialist and an assistant teacher in the Teddy Bear class. She began at Playland Nursery School in 1984. In addition to working at school, Lynne spent many summers at Camp Playland as a Music Specialist. Lynne is a Licensed Kindermusik Instructor and the sole proprietor of Lynne’s Kindermusick Studio (classes offered at Playland). She is on the Board of Directors of Kids Creative Collective (KCC) which provides theatre and music to underserved children in New York City. Fun Fact:  I don’t sing because I’m happy, I’m happy because I sing!

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Kevin is currently finishing up his BA in Mathematics at Western Connecticut State University and will graduate in December 2019. Kevin has worked at Playland for five summers as a junior counselor at the start, to now being our “Director of Fun”! Kevin is excited to be interning with the directors of Camp Playland to learn everything camp throughout this next year as well as joining the Nursery School Staff for the first time!