Board List

All meetings are held on Monday nights at the Child Care Council, 313 Central Park Ave, Scarsdale NY at 6:30pm

Feel free to contact us at westchesteraeyc@gmail.com

Updated Board List

DEBORAH MUMFORD, EdD
Deborah Mumford, EdD, is the current president of the Westchester AEYC, after having been a board
member for more than 30 years.  She is a Kindergarten classroom teacher in the Edgemont School
District in Scarsdale, NY as well as an adjunct faculty member of the School of Education at Mercy
College.  Dr. Mumford is also the director/owner of The Nature of Things, an environmental education,
live animal outreach program in North Salem, since 1983.  She also serves on the Board of Directors at
the Alcott School in Scarsdale, NY.
SARA ARNON, BBA, MAT-ECE
Sara Arnon was a teacher and then a Director of an EC program in New Rochelle, with NYS Certificate
Administration of Early Childhood Programs.  She has been a member of WAEYC for 31 years, and her
focus has been to help providers of ECE (Early Childhood Education) gain the training opportunities that
are needed to be at the top of the field and therefore provide great possibilities for children and families.
Her hope for the future is that all children learn to use their special skills to make this a better world for all.
GIGI ARONOFF
Gigi Aronoff is currently the WAEYC Recording Secretary, and is the director of Creative Playtime at
Grace Lutheran Church located in Scarsdale, NY.  She has been at her current position for 5 years, and
prior to that was a daycare director, a director of a childcare center for homeless children, a special
education teacher and a Montessori teacher.  Gigi received her educational training at Manhattanville
College and Lehman College.  She loves what she does and says working with children has been a
wonderful experience.
IDIE BENJAMIN
Idie Benjamin, MSED, is the Director of Professional Development at the Child Care Council of
Westchester where she oversees a program of scheduled and onsite trainings and program quality
improvement projects for early childhood providers in Westchester County.  Ms. Benjamin has
professional experience as a college instructor, program consultant, child care center director, and early
childhood and early elementary teacher.  She is an experienced workshop presenter and holds the New
York State Early Learner Training Credential, Level III.
ANGELA GHIOZZI
Angela Ghiozzi has worked in Early Childhood and Special Education for 33 years.  She is an
accomplished special education and preschool teacher, New York City and Westchester school principal,
Staff Development Specialist, School District Administrator, Borough Director for 10 preschools in
Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, and also Vice President of Children and Youth Services.  Angela is
currently the Assistant Executive Director of Early Childhood Services for Leake and Watts.
BARBARA KLEIN
Barbara Klein has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years, beginning as a preschool teacher
at the Ethical Culture Nursery School in White Plains, she then became a kindergarten teacher in
Chappaqua for the Chappaqua Children’s Workshop, and then she became director of the Chappaqua
Children’s Workshop, serving all three elementary and two middle schools in the community.  After many
years in that position, she went on to be the assistant site director for the Alcott School in Scarsdale.
Now that she has retired from that position, she is the co-president of the Board of Directors of Alcott
School, and a recent member of the board of WAEYC.
LYNDA MERCHANT, MSE
Lynda Merchant is the President of NYS AEYC.  Lynda has N-6 teaching certification (NYS), as well as
NYS Early Learning Credential and Children’s Program Administrators Credential. She ran various parent
cooperative nursery schools for 35 years, and retired from Early Childhood Program Management to
continue her leadership role with the state and local AEYC board, and enjoy her grandchildren.
JEANNETTE MIRABILE
Jeannette Mirabile holds an Associates Degree in Nursery School Education; a Bachelors in Elementary
Ed., a Masters in Reading /Speech and a Masters in Special Education.  Jeannette has been a member
of the WAEYC Board for 28 years, and is presently serving on the Nominating and Conference
committees.  She served 2 terms as President of WAEYC.  For 30 years, she has been director of TLC
(Transitional Learning Center) in New Rochelle.  Jeannette is also involved with the new Westchester
Children’s Museum at Rye Playland, serving on its Education Committee and doing programs for
‘Museum Without Walls’. She is proud to be a member of a board that continues to achieve great goals in
the field of Early Childhood.
ELENA NITECKI
Elena Nitecki is the Chair of the Early Childhood and Childhood Education programs at Mercy College.
She coordinates the annual October Conference, co-hosted by WAEYC and Mercy College.  Prior to
teaching college, Elena worked in Early Intervention and as a Pre-K teacher.
BARBARA O’DELL
Barbara O’Dell has a degree in business administration from Pace University, and started in the child
care field in accounts receivable and benefits at Alcott School in 2000. A self-professed ‘carrier volunteer’,
she has been active in local PTA’s and Little League boards, which is where she met her future boss
(Beth Farkas) at Alcott. In 2013, Ms. Farkas unexpectedly passed away, which lead to a reorganization at
Alcott.  Barbara became an integral part of the new executive team, along with two Co-Executive
Directors.  She is managing both Human Resources and Finance.  Barbara is an at-large member of the
WAEYC board.
MELISSA O’HALLORAN
Melissa O’Halloran is the Director of Mamaroneck Community Nursery School, a Parent Cooperative in
Mamaroneck, NY.  She received her BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Art History from SUNY
Cortland.  She holds her N-6 Grade NYS Teaching Certification.  After teaching 3rd grade for a few years
she decided to return to her true passion, early childhood education.  Melissa returned to the University of
Scranton in PA where she earned her Masters Degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction with a
concentration in ECE.  This is her second year on the board.
AKI OHSEKI
Aki Ohseki has been a member of the board for 3 years now.  She is an assistant professor at Mercy
College in the Department of Early Childhood/Childhood Education.  Prior to her work in higher education,
Aki was an early childhood teacher in both New York City and California.  She enjoys her collaborative
work on the board, as they continue to examine issues and contribute to the field of early childhood
education.
LINDA JO PLATT
Linda Jo Platt received her BA in Sociology from Eckerd College and M.Ed. from UVA.  She has been the
director of Community Nursery School in Dobbs Ferry since 1981. Prior to this, she was a teacher in the
southern US, primarily in Head Start, 1st grade, 3rd grade, reading and also taught children with learning
disabilities.  Linda is active in the Dobbs Ferry School district and serves on the Board Finance
Committee and Springhurst Elementary School Compact Committee.  She feels it is essential that those I
the pre-school arena stay in touch with the local school districts to assure quality early childhood
experiences in K-3.
MARY LOU SGRO
Mary Lou Sgro is a faculty member in Early Childhood Education at Westchester Community College, and
is advisor to the club for students.  She specializes in Infant/Toddler programs.  Mary Lou leads
workshops for WAEYC and the Child Care Council.  She also teaches basket-making at libraries in
Westchester.  This is her 2nd year on the board.
CHERYL S. SMITH
Cheryl S. Smith is the Executive Director of the St. James the Less Nursery School in Scarsdale, NY.
With a degree in English and Education from Syracuse University, and graduate programs at Harvard
Business School, she brings her marketing, personnel development and training skills and successful
leadership experience in both the corporate and not for profit worlds to this role.  She is an asset to the
Westchester AEYC Board.

Board Member Bios

DEBORAH MUMFORD, EdD
Deborah Mumford, EdD, is the current president of the Westchester AEYC, after having been a board member for more than 30 years.  She is a Kindergarten classroom teacher in the Edgemont School District in Scarsdale, NY as well as an adjunct faculty member of the School of Education at Mercy College.  Dr. Mumford is also the director/owner of The Nature of Things, an environmental education, live animal outreach program in North Salem, since 1983.  She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Alcott School in Scarsdale, NY.

SARA ARNON, BBA, MAT-ECE
Sara Arnon was a teacher and then a Director of an EC program in New Rochelle, with NYS Certificate Administration of Early Childhood Programs.  She has been a member of WAEYC for 31 years, and her focus has been to help providers of ECE (Early Childhood Education) gain the training opportunities that are needed to be at the top of the field and therefore provide great possibilities for children and families.  Her hope for the future is that all children learn to use their special skills to make this a better world for all.

GIGI ARONOFF
Gigi Aronoff is currently the WAEYC Recording Secretary, and is the director of Creative Playtime at Grace Lutheran Church located in Scarsdale, NY.  She has been at her current position for 5 years, and prior to that was a daycare director, a director of a childcare center for homeless children, a special education teacher and a Montessori teacher.  Gigi received her educational training at Manhattanville College and Lehman College.  She loves what she does and says working with children has been a wonderful experience.

IDIE BENJAMIN
Idie Benjamin, MSED, is the Director of Professional Development at the Child Care Council of Westchester where she oversees a program of scheduled and onsite trainings and program quality improvement projects for early childhood providers in Westchester County.  Ms. Benjamin has professional experience as a college instructor, program consultant, child care center director, and early childhood and early elementary teacher.  She is an experienced workshop presenter and holds the New York State Early Learner Training Credential, Level III.

ANGELA GHIOZZI
Angela Ghiozzi has worked in Early Childhood and Special Education for 33 years.  She is an accomplished special education and preschool teacher, New York City and Westchester school principal, Staff Development Specialist, School District Administrator, Borough Director for 10 preschools in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, and also Vice President of Children and Youth Services.  Angela is currently the Assistant Executive Director of Early Childhood Services for Leake and Watts.

BARBARA KLEIN
Barbara Klein has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years, beginning as a preschool teacher at the Ethical Culture Nursery School in White Plains, she then became a kindergarten teacher in Chappaqua for the Chappaqua Children’s Workshop, and then she became director of the Chappaqua Children’s Workshop, serving all three elementary and two middle schools in the community.  After many years in that position, she went on to be the assistant site director for the Alcott School in Scarsdale.  Now that she has retired from that position, she is the co-president of the Board of Directors of Alcott School, and a recent member of the board of WAEYC.

JEANNETTE MIRABILE
Jeannette Mirabile holds an Associates Degree in Nursery School Education; a Bachelors in Elementary Ed., a Masters in Reading /Speech and a Masters in Special Education.  Jeannette has been a member of the WAEYC Board for 28 years, and is presently serving on the Nominating and Conference committees.  She served 2 terms as President of WAEYC.  For 30 years, she has been director of TLC (Transitional Learning Center) in New Rochelle.  Jeannette is also involved with the new Westchester Children’s Museum at Rye Playland, serving on its Education Committee and doing programs for ‘Museum Without Walls’. She is proud to be a member of a board that continues to achieve great goals in the field of Early Childhood.

ELENA NITECKI
Elena Nitecki is the Chair of the Early Childhood and Childhood Education programs at Mercy College.  She coordinates the annual October Conference, co-hosted by WAEYC and Mercy College.  Prior to teaching college, Elena worked in Early Intervention and as a Pre-K teacher.

BARBARA O’DELL
Barbara O’Dell has a degree in business administration from Pace University, and started in the child care field in accounts receivable and benefits at Alcott School in 2000. A self-professed ‘carrier volunteer’, she has been active in local PTA’s and Little League boards, which is where she met her future boss (Beth Farkas) at Alcott. In 2013, Ms. Farkas unexpectedly passed away, which lead to a reorganization at Alcott.  Barbara became an integral part of the new executive team, along with two Co-Executive Directors.  She is managing both Human Resources and Finance.  Barbara is an at-large member of the WAEYC board.

MELISSA O’HALLORAN

Melissa O’Halloran is the Director of Mamaroneck Community Nursery School, a Parent Cooperative in Mamaroneck, NY.  She received her BA in Elementary Education with a minor in Art History from SUNY Cortland.  She holds her N-6 Grade NYS Teaching Certification.  After teaching 3rd grade for a few years she decided to return to her true passion, early childhood education.  Melissa returned to the University of Scranton in PA where she earned her Masters Degree in Education: Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in ECE.  This is her second year on the board.

AKI OHSEKI
Aki Ohseki has been a member of the board for 3 years now.  She is an assistant professor at Mercy College in the Department of Early Childhood/Childhood Education.  Prior to her work in higher education, Aki was an early childhood teacher in both New York City and California.  She enjoys her collaborative work on the board, as they continue to examine issues and contribute to the field of early childhood education.

LINDA JO PLATT
Linda Jo Platt received her BA in Sociology from Eckerd College and M.Ed. from UVA.  She has been the director of Community Nursery School in Dobbs Ferry since 1981. Prior to this, she was a teacher in the southern US, primarily in Head Start, 1st grade, 3rd grade, reading and also taught children with learning disabilities.  Linda is active in the Dobbs Ferry School district and serves on the Board Finance Committee and Springhurst Elementary School Compact Committee.  She feels it is essential that those I the pre-school arena stay in touch with the local school districts to assure quality early childhood experiences in K-3.

MARY LOU SGRO
Mary Lou Sgro is a faculty member in Early Childhood Education at Westchester Community College, and is advisor to the club for students.  She specializes in Infant/Toddler programs.  Mary Lou leads workshops for WAEYC and the Child Care Council.  She also teaches basket-making at libraries in Westchester.  This is her 2nd year on the board.

CHERYL S. SMITH
Cheryl S. Smith is the Executive Director of the St. James the Less Nursery School in Scarsdale, NY.  With a degree in English and Education from Syracuse University, and graduate programs at Harvard Business School, she brings her marketing, personnel development and training skills and successful leadership experience in both the corporate and not for profit worlds to this role.  She is an asset to the Westchester AEYC Board.