Meet the Team
Teachers are viewed as facilitators of learning, building upon experience and knowledge each child brings to the classroom.
Co-owner and Director
Hello, my name is Tracey Triebel and I am the Co-owner and Director of Funshine Nursery School. In 1991 while attending college to complete my Bachelor of Science in Education, I began teaching alongside my mother in law, Kathleen Triebel, who established Funshine a couple of years earlier in 1989. After taking some time off to raise my three children, I returned to Funshine and have been here in several different capacities ever since. It is an honor to continue my mother-in-law’s legacy of ensuring Funshine truly is a special place for children and families to be.
When I am not at Funshine, I spend my time with my husband, going to the movies and enjoying all of the delicious restaurants we are blessed to have in our area! What can I say – I am an avid supporter of local culinary arts! I also have an amazing time hanging out with my two adult children and my teenager, whether it is at home playing with our Golden Doodle Henry, venturing out to discover new places to shop, visiting our favorite family spot in Southern Maine or simply being together to share a meal, I consider myself blessed. I am also fortunate to have formed some wonderful friendships with my work colleagues, and to have my extended family close by to spend time together.
Being a part of this learning community has allowed me the opportunity to form meaningful relationships with many families, for which I am grateful. A community of people who care for one another is the heart of what Funshine is all about! Thank you to all of our families past and present, and to our future families – I look forward to getting to know you!
Hello! My name is Mara Goulette and I am the Assistant Director here at Funshine Nursery School. I am so excited to begin the next chapter of my teaching career with you. My goal is to help our students become learners in the ways that interest them most. It is my belief that that is what sparks a lifetime of loving to learn. I currently possess my Bachelors of Science degree in Nutrition from Fordham University, and after graduating college I started my career as a Dietician. I worked with children and families in the local WIC program (Women, Infants & Children) and also in a short term rehab/nursing home setting for approximately nine years. After taking time to raise my own two children, I changed my career path remembering how much I had enjoyed making a difference to the children and families in the WIC program where I once served. I pursued my Child Development Associate’s Degree and have been a preschool teacher for thirteen years, ten of which have been with Funshine. I’ve held the position of a lead teacher in the classroom for three-year-olds, and the mixed age pre-k and afternoon pre-k classes.
Through my training in Conscious Discipline, I have realized that our relationships with children and our ability to see every child in a positive light is essential to jumpstart both academic and social emotional growth. It is because of this knowledge that a successful relationship with the children, as well as families, is so important for the success of the child. I look forward to fostering successful relationships with you and being a part of your child’s journey.
When I am not at Funshine I enjoy spending time with my children and my husband. I love pouring over new recipes and spending time with friends.
Lead Toddler Teacher
My name is Janelle Stary and I am the lead toddler teacher at Funshine. I grew up in Red Hook and graduated from Red Hook High School and attended Columbia Greene Community College, graduating in 2014 with an Associates of Arts degree. I’ve been working in early childhood education for nearly ten years, and started at Funshine in 2019. I am currently completing my Childhood Development Associate, with a concentration in children eighteen months through three years of age.
In my spare time I love to read and bake. You will also find me outside kayaking on a nice day! I am excited to be spending time with your children this school year and can’t wait to watch them grow and learn in our classroom! I am looking forward to assisting them in reaching new milestones and watching their personalities blossom!
Three year old Lead Teacher
Hi! I am Sandy Nadeau and I am the lead teacher for our three-year-old class at Funshine! This is my first year as lead teacher and I am overjoyed to be working alongside Funshine’s wonderful staff!
I have worked with children for the past three years. I started my career in early childhood education as a full-time nanny to two-year old twin boys and an infant. Child development happens when strong relationships are in place, as well as supporting children’s social emotional learning, so that is the focus of my care and expertise. I assisted all three boys with their homeschooling. We would partake in activities engaging in developmental growth and cognitive problem solving. I developed a wonderful and lasting relationship with the family I worked for. During those years I have come to realize how much I genuinely enjoy working with children and find it to be one of the most rewarding privileges I have been fortunate enough to experience.
When I am not teaching our little ones, you can usually find me curled up on my couch with a good book or a scary movie! I love to read and write poetry, and one of my favorite hobbies is taking and editing photos. I hope to one day have my own side project as a freelance photographer! I love anything that includes books, coffee and a cozy night in with my loved ones.
Working at Funshine has given me the opportunity to prove my skills and capabilities, develop successful relationships with our staff and families, as well as furthering my career in early childhood studies. I am currently in the process of obtaining my Associate in Early Childhood Development, as I understand the significance and value of education. My goal is to ensure that every child under my care receives the proper guidance and direction they need at this crucial age. I am beyond excited for the road ahead of us and I look forward to getting to know you!
Four year old Lead Teacher
Hello. My name is Samantha Sirbaugh or as the children call me, Ms. Sam. I grew up locally in Red Hook and attended Dutchess Community College where I obtained my Associates Degree in Early Childhood/Childhood Education. I recently graduated from SUNY New Paltz with my BS in Early Childhood/Childhood Education and I married my best friend that same month! I love to spend time with my family, be outdoors hiking, and eat black raspberry ice cream from Holy Cow!
This will be my fifth year at Funshine and I am excited to be spending it with your children. My hope for the year is that we will create an interactive learning environment where your child will learn through hands on experiences and play with peers. I look forward to welcoming your child and family into our classroom community!
Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher
Hello! My name is Patricia Watkins and I am the lead teacher for our pre-kindergarten class here at Funshine. I have been married to my husband James for twenty three years. We have three children, ages nineteen and fifteen year old twins. I enjoy being outside hiking, camping and swimming. I also love to play and watch sports, do yoga and meditate.
I have been teaching preschool for thirty two years and have a BA in Psychology with many credits in Early Childhood Education. I have also been trained in the Pyramid Model, which promotes social emotional competence in young children. My teaching philosophy is to create meaningful play based learning experiences while also appreciating what makes each child unique to build on strengths to learn new skills. I believe in developing the whole child, especially regarding problem solving skills and social emotional wellness. I Iook forward to getting to know you.