Margaret Potter, Director
President, Arlington Early Childhood Association
B.A. in Psychology and Women’s Studies, Wellesley College
AHNS Board Member, 1996-present
AHNS School Coordinator 2000-2001
AHNS Assistant Director 2001-2005
AHNS Executive Director 2005-present
Began working at AHNS in 2000.
More about Margaret
I have been interested in children’s development for as long as I can remember. Child development holds so many fascinating questions: How do children gain a sense of self? How do they incorporate their early experiences and come to understand how the world works? How can we most effectively support young children and their families as they negotiate our increasingly fast-paced world? How can we best protect children’s play, and advocate respect for childhood and for young children’s well being? These and many other questions drew me to pursue a degree in developmental psychology and then to AHNS, where I feel fortunate to have a position that captures such a perfect blend of my interests.
Prior to joining AHNS, I worked for five years in the pediatric department at Boston City Hospital (now Boston Medical Center), where I was a research assistant and project manager on several large research studies of infants and their development through the preschool years. I was fortunate to receive excellent training in observing and documenting children’s development. Working with infants in the NICU and with the multi-disciplinary teams of clinicians caring for them was a fascinating experience that deepened my interest in child development.
A move to New York City created the opportunity to work at Cornell Medical Center on the New York City Children’s Health Project, working with homeless children and mothers, and documenting the impact of homelessness on children and families living in welfare hotels and shelters. In addition, I worked at the Stone Center for Developmental Services and Studies at Wellesley College where I worked on a research and outreach project conducting qualitative research with women in prison in Massachusetts. Working with women and children in such traumatic and demanding settings were powerful experiences that shaped my understanding of how stress, separation, and poverty impacts families.
I have been active on the Community Partnerships for Children Council, as member and chairperson, and have served on the board of directors of Arlington Family Connection and Warmlines Parent Resource Center. I currently serve on the board of the Arlington Health and Human Services Foundation, and am a commissioner on the Arlington Historic Districts Commission.
I’m passionate about my work at AHNS, where I have overall responsibility for the school, manage the administrative and teaching staff, and collaborate with the staff to ensure that that the mission, philosophy and goals of the programs we offer are carried out in the daily life of the school. I also truly enjoy working with families and assisting them with the challenges of raising young children and of understanding developmental changes and issues. I appreciate the opportunities I have at AHNS to observe children at play, listen to parents, and develop strategies for addressing challenging behavior, transitions, or special needs.
I live in Arlington with my husband and our four children, each of whom have attended AHNS. My children are a source of endless wonder and inspiration to me and my work at AHNS.
Jessica Bagley, MPH, MSN, R.N.,
B.A. Psychology and Women’s Studies, University of Vermont, 1998
Master of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health, Tulane University, 2001
Master of Science in Nursing, MGH Institute of Health Professions, 2005
AHNS Assistant Director 2008-present
Began working at AHNS in 2008
More about Jessica
My love for children and families and my strong interest in maternal-child health deeply influenced my educational path and career in early childhood education.
I began my higher education at the University of Vermont, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women’s Studies with a special interest in Women’s Health. In 1999, I attended Tulane University where I received a Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health.
After graduating from Tulane, I was eager to apply what I learned to the field of public health and accepted a job as Program Coordinator of the Boston HAPPENS program at Children’s Hospital, a program that provides services and support to HIV infected, homeless and at-risk adolescents and young adults ages 12-24. While working closely with the children in the program, I discovered that I had a strong interest in nursing and decided to pursue a Masters of Science in Nursing specializing in Women’s Health at Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health professions. I worked as a Registered Nurse at MGH, where I provided nursing care for women and newborns during the postpartum period. I also provided teaching and support around breastfeeding and infant care. After working at MGH, I helped open Isis Parenting in Arlington, where I managed a large staff, worked with families and their babies, and had overall responsibility for the operations of the Arlington center.
I discovered Arlington Heights Nursery School when I was choosing a school for my daughter. As I developed relationships with the staff and administrators at AHNS, I realized that the school was not only a perfect environment for my daughter, but also for me. I joined AHNS as Assistant Director in February of 2008.
I have several roles at AHNS. As a nurse with a strong background in child development and maternal-child health, I consult on health care issues, review and update our health care policies, disseminate important health information to families, and provide professional development training on health-related issues to the staff. I also work closely with families who have children with chronic health conditions and allergies to ensure they are healthy and safe at school. As an administrator in the office, I help with admissions and school tours, work closely with staff on a daily basis regarding health, safety and performance and help contribute to the smooth operations of the school.
I live with my husband and two daughters (both AHNS alumnae!) on the North Shore of Massachusetts. In my free time, I love hiking with my dog and spending time with my children. As an administrator and former AHNS parent, I look forward to building a relationship with you and your family!
Varinthon Chiewcharnvalijkit (Ann),
MBA, Les Roches School of Management (Switzerland)
Korean Language Certificate, Yonsei University (South Korea)
Bachelor of Science, Mahidol University (Thailand)
Began Working at AHNS in 2014
More about Varinthon
At AHNS I am responsible for the oversight of financial and administrative functions, as well as ensuring an efficient operation of the school on a daily basis.
Prior to joining AHNS, I spent more than 10 years in Boston, Singapore, and Bangkok managing the financials and daily operations of several organizations, including US, German, and Japanese industrial firms and non-profit organizations.
I enjoy applying my private sector experience to benefit organizations that pursue more than just one bottom line. I am particularly interested in exploring new ways to improve the efficiency of our services to the AHNS community.
Originally from Thailand, I have moved several times in my life: to Seattle in the early 1990s; Seoul, South Korea in 1997; Switzerland in 2004; and, again to the U.S. in 2009.
I live in Waltham with my partner and we love to travel. We have traveled to all 50 U.S. states and nearly 60 countries worldwide.
Silvia James, Administrative Coordinator
A.A. in Early Childhood and Social Work, Fachschule fuer Erzieher
Began Working at AHNS in 2011
More about Silvia
I grew up in Berlin, Germany where I studied early childhood education and worked in the field as an early childhood teacher with infants, toddlers and preschoolers.
My love for working with children began when I volunteered at an after school program at the age of 15. A growing interest in child development then led to studies in the field.
My husband and I and our two children moved to the US and New England in 1985. I continued my career in ECE, working at the YMCA in Cambridge and the Brookline Infant and Toddler Center.
In 1989 I joined the early childhood program at Minuteman Regional High School in Lexington where I worked as an early childhood teacher. I moved into the director position in 2001. Working at Minuteman’s Child Development Center provided a unique opportunity to not only work with families and their children, but also to introduce, guide and mentor students who were interested in the field.
The diversity reflected among families, students, and staff that I have had the privilege to work with over the years, led me to develop a special interest in issues of cultural diversity in early childhood settings, as well as dual language learning and how to support it.
I believe in a child-centered, play-based emergent curriculum that builds upon the interests of children and events in the family and/or community.
I believe in a team approach and view the role of a teacher as a facilitator who sets up the environment and then guides and learns alongside children.
Throughout the years I have attended continuing education workshops and conferences. I have also taken classes at a number of area colleges as well as Lesley University.
I am a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and am active in the Boston affiliate, serving as co-chair on the annual Directors’ Conference committee.
Christa Lilley, Administrative Coordinator
email@example.com (on leave until January 2022)
Began Working at AHNS in 2017
More about Christa
To be written
Faith Sgroi, Administrative Assistant
B.A. in Communications and Theatre Arts, Bridgewater State University, 2000
Certificate in Early Childhood Education, 2011
Began Working at AHNS in 2021
More about Faith
I have been given many different opportunities throughout my career to explore multiple aspects of management through Theatre, Art and Early Childhood.
As part of my studies at BSU, I worked in press & marketing and stage management where I aquired skills to manage large groups of people with many different tasks at hand. After college, I developed my administrative and marketing skills by working with an Artist to create her own Gallery & Art Studio for teaching adults and children. There, I taught drawing for elementary age and mixed media for preschool age, where I fostered my passion for teaching children.
After starting my own family, I decided to further persue a teaching career in Early Childhood Education and have taught infants through preschool. I discovered I could merge my love for teaching with my excitment for marketing & administration with my roles as Business Director for The Learning Experience and Program Director for Bright Horizons; I had the privilage to run their facebook page and head their Diversity & Inclusion Cohort.
I’m happy to join the administrative team here at AHNS and offer support in different aspects of the school.