Kristina Trombley, Director of Small Tales, grew up on Long Island and attended and graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a BS in Early Childhood and Childhood Education and then went on to receive her Masters in Teaching and Learning through SUNY Plattsburgh. This is Kristina's fifth year as a professional in the Early Childhood field. Kristina got married to Luke Trombley in 2013, they have 2 dogs named Rufus and Bailey who they live with in South Glens Falls. They were blessed with the birth of their son, David James, in May of 2017.
Leigh Cain, Infant Teacher, has a B.A. in English from Syracuse University. She was the Playschool Assistant at Hobby Horse Playschool for 5 years and has cared for children in both commercial and in-home settings for over 15 years. Leigh is devoted to nurturing the hearts and minds of little ones as well as sharing her love of literature.
Jan Higgins, Head Playschool Teacher, started her career in childcare in 1974 when she saw a need for her community and herself; Jan wanted to work with and teach amazing play-schoolers so "Hobby Horse" Playschool was created. Jan feels so blessed to have shared this crucial and formative time with hundreds of beautiful and eager to learn children and she believes kids really do learn through play. With the correct, colorful, fun, and loving stimulus, Jan is certain that children can thrive. Mrs. Higgins truly believes in an environment that nurtures and teaches the "whole child" yet allowing their uniqueness to shine through. Jan is looking forward to bringing these same philosophies to Small Tales.
Amanda Morse, Infant Assistant Teacher, has lived in Warrensburg for 12 years. She has been married to Brody for 12 years and they have two daughters named Paige, who is 12, and Haley, who is 9. Amanda has always loved working with children and she followed this passion when she took Early Childhood Education at BOCES for two years, even more so now that she is working at Small Tales. When Amanda isn’t working, she loves to spend time with her family and to be outdoors, especially partaking in fishing and camping. Amanda is really looking forward to being part of the Small Tales team.
Arlinda Birdsall – Arlinda has been happily married for 46 years and has 2 grown children who are both science teachers. She has been a school bus driver for 40 years, 35 of which were spent at Warrensburg Central School. She has also developed and presented a school bus safety program for young children around 5 counties nearby, including Warren county. Arlinda has been involved with children’s activities, such as Little League, Sunday School, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, 4-H and The Special Friends Program at WCS for the last 35 years. She loves to hike, bike, kayak, swim, climb mountains, Tube on the river, go horseback riding, and go anywhere her seven wonderful grandchildren lead her. Arlinda is an avid reader and enjoys writing and illustrating children’s books, including “Safely Around the Hill with Bus Driver Bill,” which has sold about a million copies. Children are the love and light of her life!!
Madeline (Mady) Daniello, Waddler Teacher, moved up here from Long Island 2 years ago. She has three grown children. She worked in customer service for 10 years, then decided to stay home with her children. When Mady’s youngest child started preschool, she went to work at that same school for 10 years as a teacher assistant, and then became a nanny for families on Long Island. She realized how much she loves working with children. Mady is a reiki practitioner, a certified nursing assistant, attended Business school and is looking forward to working at Small Tales. Mady likes to spend time with her family, horseback ride, and play with her dog.
Julina Walker, Preschool Teacher, who goes by Miss J, says “I am blessed to be at Small Tales.” She has been in the field of education for fifteen years, working with different age groups and in various learning environment. She has a sixteen year old son, named Avery. Her family enjoys kayaking, swimming, mountain biking, hiking and outdoor adventures.
Miranda Aldous, Teacher Assistant, says “It’s a privilege working with the school age children.” She is a Mom of two kids, Hunter and Amelia. She loves coming to Small Tales each day and having the children be just as excited to see her as her own children. Miranda enjoys being outside and trying new things. She has lived in Warrensburg for three years and she loves calling it home.
Brandi Anaman, Waddler Teacher Assistant, grew up in Warrensburg and graduated from Warrensburg High School. She has four children - 3 girls and 1 boy, ages 4, 12, 13, and 19. When she is not working, Brandi loves spending time with her children and being there for all their sports, which they love to do. She is also a very athletic person, she loves softball, basketball, soccer and swimming. Brandi received her certification from BOCES in Early Childhood Education and she has put it to good use at Small Tales. Brandi said, “It has been a pleasure so far working at Small Tales because I love watching the group of children that I met a year ago grow and learn educationally, socially, and mentally. My favorite activity that I enjoy doing with the children is reading to them.”
Heather Monroe, Teacher Assistant, lives in Chestertown with her husband Quentin and daughter Alexis. She loves to go camping, four wheeling, and spending time with her family and friends. Heather says, “I am so excited to be a part of the Small Tales family and I look forward to getting to know everyone. Nothing makes me happier than spending time with and caring for children.”
Serena McNeill, Preschool Assistant Teacher, is 31 years old. Serena’s family is her world, she has 5 children as part of her blended family, ranging in ages from 21 to 8 years old. Serena is engaged to Joe and will be married in October. She enjoys horseback riding/training, going to her kids sporting events and being creative. She also loves animals. Serena is really excited to be a part of the Small Tales Family and she looks forward to adventures together with your children.
Ashley Benz, Teacher Assistant, was born in Connecticut but moved to Warrensburg shortly after she turned 1. She lives in Warrensburg with her mother and brother and she graduated from WCSD in 2017. Ashley now attends SUNY Oneonta, where she majors in Psychology and Child & Family Studies and is a member of Psi Chi International Honor Society in Psychology, along with being on the Dean’s List. She hopes to become a guidance counselor or a marriage/family therapist. Her hobbies include volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and music. Ashley is excited to work at Small Tales because she loves working with children and wants to make a difference.
April Millington, Toddler Teacher, grew up and lived in the North Creek/Johnsburg area her whole life. She graduated from Johnsburg Central School with a certificate in Early Childhood Education. After being out of school for 20 years, raising her two girls, Lilly (14) and Audrie (6), she is currently pursuing a degree in social work at SUNY Adirondack. In her spare time, April likes to kickbox and crochet. Along with pursuing her degree, raising her girls and working at Small Tales, April and her boyfriend, Chris are purchasing their first home here in Warrensburg.
Mariah Nissen, Preschool Assistant Teacher, has lived in Warrensburg her whole life with her parents and her two siblings. She is entering her Sophomore year at the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, NY. She is majoring in Music Education while also getting a Certificate for Vocal Performance. Mariah hopes to get a Master’s Degree in either Education or Vocal Performance upon graduating. Her hobbies include singing, performing in musicals and plays, cooking and playing instruments such as clarinet and piano. Mariah said her favorite part about working with children is, “When you see their face light up because they finally understand how something works. The multitude of jokes also never fails to brighten my day!”
Ryley Scott, Toddler Teacher Assistant, was born in Albany County and lived in East Greenbush until she was in 6th grade. She moved up to Warrensburg after that and has lived here ever since. Ryley will be graduating from SUNY Albany in May of 2020 with a B.A in Psychology and a minor in Childhood Education. After she graduates, she is going to continue onto Grad school to receive her teaching degree. Ryley loves to spend her free time outside hiking, attending local Yoga classes, taking care of her plants and spending time with her family. Ryley says, “What I enjoy the most about working with young children is how pure their hearts are and getting a chance to play a role in their development. Having the opportunity to see a child explore and learn is a true gift.”
Shannon Morrison, Playschool Assistant, is the eldest of three siblings and has taken care of many children throughout her life. Early on, she knew she wanted kids to be a focal point of her future, and at a minimum, wanted children of her own. She met her husband, Andrew, in 2009 and in 2013, that dream became a reality when they had their daughter, Charlotte. When Charlotte was two, Small Tales opened and with it came Jan Higgins and her Playschool, which Andrew had attended when he was little, so naturally, they enrolled Charlotte. Shannon says that Charlotte loved it and everyone was so kind and took such great care of her, that when it was time for Charlotte to move on to PreK, it was tough to leave. Fast forward to summer of 2019, when there was an opportunity to become Jan's assistant, Shannon was delighted to take on that role. Since becoming the Playschool Assistant, she has enjoyed making the joke that it is now her turn to “attend” Playschool. Shannon says that she loves going to work everyday and feels blessed to be able to spend time with such wonderful, bright kids as well as all of the adults she works with. Shannon loves reading, art, photography, music, nature, and spending time with Andrew, Charlotte, and their chocolate lab Molé.
Megan Miller, Teacher Assistant, grew up in Chestertown and graduated from North Warren Central School. She received her associates degree in Liberal Arts from SUNY Adirondack in 2019. Megan grew up as part of a big family with two brothers and two sisters and plenty of nephews and one niece. When Megan is not at work, you can find her either on the ski slopes in the winter time or the boat in the summer time with her family. Her other hobbies include camping, hiking, and traveling. Megan says "What I love the most about working here at Small Tales is being able to watch the children grow."