Name: Jane Zelinsky (Ms. Jane)
Position: 3 Day Pre-Kindergarten AM & PM Lead Teacher. & 2 Day Preschool AM & PM Lead Teacher
Bio: Hello my name is Jane Zelinsky. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from California University. I have worked in child care for more than 25 years. I was a director at Kinder Care for 15 years, Pre School Teacher here at the YMCA since 2009. Some of the departments that I have worked in are Infants, Toddler, Year Round Day Care rooms, and Pre-School. I love working with children they make me laugh with their little stories. I was married to my late husband Joe for 38 years. I have two children Chad and Clayton and two grandchildren Lita and Steven who I am raising. They are the loves of my life and they keep me young! I have one dog, Crystal. The kids best friend. My hobbies are reading, gardening, and a taxi for Lita and Bubby (Steven).
Name: Kylie Kritikos (Ms. Kylie)
Position: 3 Day Pre-Kindergarten AM & PM Teachers Aide (Ms. Jane) & 2 Day Preschool AM & PM Teachers Aide (Ms. Jane)
Bio: My name is Kylie Kritikos and I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from California University of PA. I have been working in the Child Learning Center since 2005. I have cared for and loved children of all ages. I worked very hard and was given the opportunity in the fall of 2012 to work with Mrs. Diane Nonack as her Teacher Assistant. I am currently working with Ms. Jane Zelinsky. I have a wonderful husband named Jason and love spending time with my friends and family when I have free time. I also keep very busy operating the Valley Skating Center in Donora. We have a kitty named Lune and also a fun loving Australian Shepherd named Lindy.
Position: 3 Day Pre-Kindergarten AM & PM Lead Teacher & Learning Journeys Lead Teacher
Bio: Hello! My name is Brett Greene and I have worked here at the Y since February of 2021. I received my bachelors degree in broadcasting and Public Relations from Point Park University and my masters from Sam Houston State University in Higher Education Administration. Before coming to the Y I have worked at various colleges in a variety of roles from event planning to housing operations. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and 2 dogs.
Name: Katie Irwin (Miss. Katie)
Position: 2 Day Preschool AM & PM Lead Teacher
Bio: Hello my name is Katie Irwin. I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education from California University of PA. I have been employed at the Mon Valley YMCA since 2015. I currently teach our 2day Preschool. In the past, I have worked in the Daycare Department in the 3-5 year old room and I was also a Lifeguard in the Aquatics department. I love working with children and enjoy their excitement of learning! The YMCA is a family and it’s a wonderful organization for communities, families and children.
I have one dog named Willy and we love to take walks together. I also enjoy crafting, shopping and spending time with my family.
Name: Janie Rodriguez (Mrs. Rodriguez)
Position: 3 Day Pre-Kindergarten AM & PM Teachers Aide (Mr. Brett) & 2 Day Preschool AM & PM Teachers Aide (Miss. Katie)
Bio: Hello! My name is Janie Rodriguez. I graduated from California University of Pennsylvania. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education (Elementary/Early Childhood) and a Masters Degree in Education (Reading Specialist). I was a Reading Specialist in the Monessen School District. I have been a substitute teacher at Madonna Catholic Regional School for several years and was the Preschool teacher for two years. I have been working at the YMCA since August of 2014, where I have taught 2-day Preschool and worked in the childcare program. Working with children and having a positive impact on their life is very important to me. My husband Randy and I have a wonderful daughter Gracie, who is our pride and joy. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and walking.
Name: Laura Castaneda (Miss. Laura)
Position: Learning Journeys Teachers Aide
Bio: Hi! My name is Laura Castenada. I have worked with children at the YMCA since July of 2019. I am currently working towards my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Teaching little ones is my passion and I cannot wait to meet everyone! When I am not working, I enjoy cooking, baking, drawing and painting.
Name: Tricia Caputo-Lerda (Mrs. Lerda)
Position: Pre-K Counts Administrator.
Bio: My name is Tricia Caputo-Lerda. My students call me Mrs. Lerda since my last name can be quite a mouthful for youngsters. I have been with the Mon Valley YMCA since June of 2016.
I graduated with honors from California University of PA in December of 2007. Before my graduation date, I had been hired as a teacher for the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program and taught within that program until fall of 2015 at another site up until the time when my son was ready to be born. I couldn’t stay away from early learning long!
I started my journey at the YMCA doing special children’s programs in the summer of 2016. I then began teaching the Teddy, Me and You Class in the fall of 2016. In the summer of 2017, I became the lead teacher of the Pre-K Counts program at the Mon Valley YMCA. Our Pre-K Counts program here at the YMCA is something I hold extremely dear to my heart, as I have been with it since it’s very beginning here at our site, and with the Pre-K Counts program since it’s inception in the state of Pennsylvania. There is nothing I hold in greater regard in my professional career as the honor of facilitating discovery, learning, and developing independence in children. In addition to my early childhood educational experience at the Mon Valley YMCA, I have taught art classes for kids and adults, and have assisted with the Plants and Pillars Program for youth and teens.
The things I hold MOST important in my life are my family. My husband and son. I also have some amazing pets. I am happy with all of them no matter what or where we are. I love cooking, baking, sitting around a bonfire, music, and taking joy in the simple things in life like a sunny day, or picking stuff from our garden. Life is fast and people are busy all the time. In our free time we have learned it is important to slow down and get as much in. I have many hobbies and they all involve creativity and art.
Name: Maura Carr
Position: Pre-K Counts Lead Teacher
Bio: My name is Maura Carr. I have been with the YMCA for the past three years and I am very excited to start my journey as the Pre-K Counts teacher . I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg with my degree in early childhood education. I have worked with all ages of children but young kids hold a special place in my heart . Nothing makes me happier than watching young children grow! When I’m not working I love spending time with my family and being outdoors. I also enjoy cooking and trying new foods.
Name: Lauren Bird (Ms. Lauren)
Position: Pre-K Counts Teachers Aide
Bio: Hello, my name is Lauren Bird. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and am pursuing my Child Development Associate credential. I have been with the Mon Valley YMCA since 2015. I am a Teacher Assistant in the Pre-K Counts Classroom. I love watching my students grow and learn everyday. When I’m not in the classroom I enjoy camping in Lake Erie and fun adventures with my family.