MEGHANN CARRASCO
MEGHANN CARRASCOCo-Founder & Director of Operations
Meghann grew up in South Portland for most of her childhood and eventually moved to Raymond where her Mother bought an old farm house. While her Mother raised her with an incredible understanding of nutrition and health, this is where her love of gardening and food truly began. She grew up with a Sister diagnosed at the time with autism and a cognitive delay. Her sister’s unique needs and food sensitivities challenged her throughout her life to create food that was clean, allergen-free, but still delicious. She has lived a life in non-profits as her Mother ran a non-profit for much of her teen years for adults with disabilities. She also worked in college for the Bangor YMCA working in the before/after care with children…
CHARLOTTE JACOBS
CHARLOTTE JACOBSDirector
Charlotte has been with Seedlings to Sunflowers since we opened our doors in June of 2018. She grew up in Scarborough, ME and is currently attending Southern Maine Community College, majoring in Early Childhood Education. Charlotte has worked with a childcare center for the past 10 years, working with ages 6 weeks to 2 years. She is CPR/First-Aid Certified and a Level 4 on Maine Roads to Quality. Her and her husband have two wonderful kiddos, an 8-year-old girl, a one-year-old boy and a dog. She loves to watch children grow and learn using hands on experiences! Charlotte also loves to give children, even during infancy, the chance to learn through exciting sensory activities. During her free time with her…

Meghann graduated in 2005 from the University of Maine with a degree in Sociology. She was a member of the Green Campus Coalition and has always strived towards a more sustainable life. A couple years later, Meghann acquired her culinary degree from the New England Culinary Institute. She then moved to Colorado and became the Director of Admissions at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts. In Colorado, she was involved with Slow Foods Denver and was heavily involved in their School Garden Project. She spent a lot of her free time building vegetable gardens at various schools in the greater Denver area.

Most recently, Meghann worked for six years here in Maine for a chiropractor where she really took her passion for nutrition to the next level. She is currently pursuing a Certificate in Nutrition from the International Foundation of Nutrition & Health. The chiropractor, she worked for eventually deferred to Meghann for patient supplement needs and nutrition evaluations.

When her first son was born and they started introducing food, Meghann started a blog called “Feeding Bebe” where she explored supporting his development through food with all of you! She has always involved him in food preparation. She has challenged herselt to create food that is both delicious and nutritious. She is now using what she’s learned while just introducing her 5-month-old to food for the first time. Meghann look forward to taking this passion of hers and working on food fears or aversions with your kiddos! She is also very excited to use their incredible green house to teach Seedlings to Sunflower’s children about the life cycle and teach them how to get in the dirt with all of the plants.

Meghan shares a home in Westbrook with her husband Donny, who is a Chef and their two boys. They love to be outdoors as much as possible with their kiddos.

family, they enjoy all the natural wonders of Maine! Hiking, swimming at Sebago, camping, gardening at home, and just relaxing with each other!

KAT BINFORD
KAT BINFORDAssistant Director
Kat graduated from USM with my Bachelors in Social Behavioral Science with a minor in Early Childhood Development. I have worked in child care since 2015 and have absolutely loved every part of it! I am CPR and water safety certified as well! I have a very bubbly and expressive personality and love to talk to anyone and everyone, so make sure to say hi!…
CAITLIN DIGGLES
CAITLIN DIGGLESMarketing & Communications Coordinator
Caitlin has a background in volunteer programing, online marketing and design. She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Vermont where she expressed her passion for volunteer programming and service learning as the Director of Programs for Volunteers in Action, overseeing 22 various volunteer programs…
TERESA JAYNES
TERESA JAYNESBookkeeper & Administrative Assistant
Teresa comes from a background in business with a degree in small business management, most recently having managed a financial practice. Of Italian heritage, Teresa comes from a long line of people who love to feed people. Her family runs and cooks for the Italian Bazaar in Portland each year. Teresa loves being a part of the Seedlings…

I am so excited to be apart of this amazing opportunity that has really truly turned into a family and I am so grateful for it!

and their leaders.

She has an extensive background in online marketing from account management, brand and media, consulting, website and graphic design, social media marketing, as well as photo shoot design and styling.

She is thrilled to be able to bring her marketing, media, design and volunteer programming expertise to the board of Seedlings to Sunflowers. Being a part of a non-profit dedicated to cultivating a lifelong commitment to positive educational experiences for children is an amazing honor. She is thrilled to serve alongside caring, creative, intelligent and passionate individuals whose mission is to help carry out the vision of this wonderful, innovative school.

Caitlin is overjoyed to have her children attending Seedlings to Sunflowers – a place where they thrive and where her family feels supported by their loving community.

to Sunflowers Community! She resides in Windham with her husband, Joe and her 2 sons, Sam & Rowan.

AMANDA LAROCHELLE
AMANDA LAROCHELLELead Teacher in Sunflowers Room (Pre-K)
I am a mom of 2 children, Violet & Fiona, who both attend Seedlings to Sunflowers. I’ve lived in Gorham for the past 9 years. My partner and I bought our first house 4 years ago and have since renovated and are working hard on homesteading. We have 20 chickens, a dog named Oscar and a cat named Glenda. I have my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and plan to enroll…
NANCI EGGLESTON
NANCI EGGLESTONCurriculum Coordinator & Floating Teacher
Nanci graduated from UMaine Orono in 2016 with degrees in Physical Education, Health, and Psychology. She has an extensive aquatic background as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and aquatics director. She is currently CPR, AED, First Aid, and Wilderness First Responder certified, with plans to add more safety based certifications soon! She is also a CPR, AED, and First Aid Trainer.

in a Masters Program in either Early Childhood Education or Social Work in the near future. I’ve worked as a substitute and lead teacher in an outreach program in Portland for 6 years, and as a CNA on a long-term dementia unit for 12 years. I have been at S2S since Spring of 2020, and I just love the nature-based family atmosphere!

AMANDA ROBINSON
AMANDA ROBINSONLead Teacher in Little Runners (3-4 yrs)
Amanda is very excited to be a part of the S2S family. She started her journey in the childcare field in 2011. Amanda received her CDA for preschool in 2013. She devotes her time to teaching every day life skills in a loving, kind and safe environment. Her goal is always to have everyone feel accepted and loved in her care. Her favorite part of being a teacher is watching the…
AMIE KROOT
AMIE KROOTTeacher in Little Runners (3-4 yrs)
Amie is very happy to be a part of the Seedlings to Sunflowers family. Amanda and Amie were co-teachers at a past school and are excited to team back up with Miss Michelle. Amie enjoys being silly with the kiddos and engaging in sensory play! Oobleck is her favorite! In her free time she likes to hang out with her fiancé and stepson. Amie loves to be creative with arts and crafts…
MICHELLE GREENLAW
MICHELLE GREENLAWTeacher in Little Runners Room (3-4 yrs)
Michelle has over 20 years of experience in Early Childhood Development. She has her CDA (Child Development Associates) from SMCC and is currently undergoing schooling at Penn Foster University in Early Childhood Education. With her background primarily teaching 3-5 year olds, she is thrilled to be a Co-Teacher in the Little Runners Room. Her goal is to provide a safe, healthy…

…excitement on a child’s face when they can do something on their own for the first time.

In her free time, Amanda likes to spend time with her husband, best friend and pets. She has 2 cats, a bunny, a parakeet and an African Grey Parrot. She enjoys going to the movies, the ocean, roller skating and going to concerts.

…playing games, being outside, and exploring nature.

…and nurturing environment for children and families to feel welcome. Michelle lives in Gorham with her 3 boys, 1 nephew and her 3 fur babies.

DEBORAH STUART
DEBORAH STUARTCo-Lead Teacher in Sprouts Room (2-3 yrs)
My name is Miss Deb and I am the Sprouts Co-Lead Teacher alongside Miss Vicki. I absolutely in love with our culture, atmosphere, and level of professionalism and character our little establishment possesses! I have been working in Childcare for over seven years. It truly is not just a job, but a calling. My favorite part…
VICTORIA DORAZIO
VICTORIA DORAZIOCo-Lead Teacher in Sprouts Room (2-3 yrs)
My name is Victoria, I work in the sprouts classroom (2-3 year olds), I’ve been in sprouts for a little over a year now! I love spending everyday with the kids and watching their growth. I’m a dog mom to a beautiful mixed breed named Bailey, on weekends we normally go for hikes or just take a walk around the neighborhood.
AUTUMN YOUNG
AUTUMN YOUNGTeacher in Sprouts Room (2-3 yrs)
My name is Autumn and I’m a new teacher here in the sprouts room! I just graduated UMF in December and have a degree in Early Childhood Education! I’m super excited to be working with all of your amazing kiddos and getting to know all of you as well! Feel free to reach out and say hi!

about working with children and their families, is forming that special bond and relationship. I believe it is so important to have trust and understanding in order to learn and grow. Some of my hobbies include reading, hiking, painting, gem collective, and rug hooking.

ALICIA ROSS
ALICIA ROSSLead Teacher in Seedlings Room (1-2yrs)
Alicia was born and raised in Portland, Maine and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a BA in English. During her time at USM she took several education classes and volunteered in a Head Start program and also in a couple local elementary schools.
Alicia has 2 sons, Noah (9) and Ezra (1) and loves being a mother and spending time with her family! Working with children has always…
AMY CARIGNAN
AMY CARIGNANTeacher in Seedlings Room (1-2yrs)
Hello my name is Amy and I’ve been enjoying my time as a teacher in the Seedlings Room – I love it! I have worked in childcare for 5 years and earned my associates degree in Early childhood education. I also have lots of experience as a baker and cook. I live in Gorham and I have a daughter that’s 18 who will be attending Columbia College in the Fall. I also love my pets – I have 2 cats and 2 Guinea pigs.
JESSICA CARON
JESSICA CARONTeacher in Seedlings Room (1-2yrs)
Hi! I’m Jess and I am a Mother to my 12 year old son, Preston. I homeschooled Preston for 6 years before moving to Gorham. We have 2 cats, Snowball and Brady, along with a bearded dragon.
I am a certified herbalist and will be a advanced herbalist Fall 2021 where I will be able to take on patients. I love foraging for wild herbs and mushrooms. I make my medicinal teas, creams, salves, tinctures…

…been Alicia’s passion and she’s honored to be surrounded by such an amazing group every day!

…and I also infuse my own oils. Aside from herbalism, I am an outdoor enthusiast! I like to study weather and I am also a local weather watcher for channel 13 and NOAA. I love storm chasing!

I enjoy many outdoor activities! love camping, kayaking, biking, and photography just to name a few. Camping is one of my favorite things to do! My son and I also like to camp out in the backyard a lot just for fun! My favorite place to camp is Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake, where I was a campground host/volunteer for 5 years. My son and I go up as much as we can in Spring, Summer and Fall. We enjoy bombing around the dirt roads looking for moose and other wildlife.

I also enjoy hunting and fishing. I like to hunt deer, grouse, and moose! I harvested my first moose back in 201 weighing almost 800 lbs. Even though I am a hunter, I do love and appreciate wildlife. I have many deer that visit my yard daily; I live on the reserve, so I can’t hunt them, but I am able to watch and learn from them. My family and friends call me Snow White because I always seem to make friends with many animals. I have one deer friend at Lily Bay that I have bonded with over the past 5 years where I am able to pet and feed her out of my hand. She’s even given me a kiss.

This is my first time in the childcare field and I’ve been enjoying it so much! The kids make me laugh and smile. Even on an off-day, the always seem to make it better!

BRYANNA GRIFFIN
BRYANNA GRIFFINLead Teacher in Nursery 1 (6 weeks - 9 months)
My name is Bryanna Griffin (Miss Bryanna) and I was hired summer 2020, in the Infant 2 Room. I am 24 years old and recently bought my first home in Limerick with my husband. Working with children is truly one of my greatest passions in life. I love being around kids, it’s not…
NATALIE RUDDY
NATALIE RUDDYNursery 1 Room (6 weeks - 9 months)
My name is Natalie (Nat) Ruddy. I have a background in swim instruction and theater, so I’m quick on my feet! Outside of work, I am in grad school for social work and care for my dog and lizard. I think we can all learn from kids, from their interesting observations
EMILY FIELDS
EMILY FIELDSLead Teacher in Nursery 2 (9 - 18 months)
I graduated from the physical education program at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine about a year ago. I hope to one day teach young minds how to be able to keep their bodies moving, have fun while doing it, and learn to enjoy the outdoors. I love seeing young minds be…
TIANA PEAKALL
TIANA PEAKALLTeacher in Nursery 2 (9 months -18 months)
I grew up in Limington, ME and now own my own home in Limington as well. I just recently finished taking my CDA course and will be testing out within the next couple months. Working in a childcare setting is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I married…

 “work” to me. I believe it is important to provide children with a fun, fulfilling, creative, enriched environment. My dreams are to some day pursue a degree in Early Childhood Development. I am so excited to watch the kids in my new classroom learn and grow. I look forward to letting them explore and creating different projects to help their development. I like to think of myself as a compassionate, patient, responsible, determined person. I’m an old soul in a young person’s body. I am an only child, so I hope to have lots of children. I love living in a state where we are fortunate enough to experience all four seasons. I was born here and I don’t think I will ever live somewhere else.

to their ability to create their own fun. Babies may not “talk”, but they sure have a lot to say!

able to explore and learn through play. I love spending time with my family and going on trail walks with my dog. Coming on board as an infant teacher is something new and exciting. I am looking forward to this new chapter.

my childhood sweetheart and we have two children, a ten-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. I am very excited to be here at Seedlings to Sunflowers and excited to see where the journey will go. During my free time I’m a part-time photographer and I love to spend as much time with family as I can. In the fall you will catch me either at Gillette Stadium rooting for my favorite team (the Patriots) or you’ll catch me in front of the TV rooting them on!

AMBER DECKER
AMBER DECKERFloating Teacher
I recently graduated with an Associate’s Degree in psychology, where I regularly made the Dean’s List. I am currently enrolled in the Saint Joseph’s Bachelor’s Program for Social Work. I consider education to be a lifelong process, and I have been studying psychology and development for many years. I plan to become a LCSW, and eventually earn my PhD in Clinical Psychology. I…
LAEL DAIGLE
LAEL DAIGLEFloating Teacher
Hello Families! My name is Lael Daigle and I am thrilled to be a member of the Seedlings to Sunflowers community. I recently moved to Portland from Vermont and am excited to continue growing my roots in this lovely community. I have a degree in outdoor education/leadership and more than 5 years of experience teaching, leading and mentoring…
MOLLY CASE
MOLLY CASEFloating Teacher
Hello Seedlings Families! My name is Molly Case and I’m excited to be joining S2S as a floating teacher. Most recently, I’ve been working in a professional office setting, but my passion is working with kids! My degree is in therapeutic recreation and I’ve worked in both community and hospital settings with children of all ages. My son, Milo, is in the Sprouts Room and we’re currently…

hope to delve deeper into my research on children’s development, specifically in regards to resiliency and trauma. My special interest in the field of Social Work includes helping families and the disenfranchised populations gain access to the services they need. I have also written several research papers on how society could better serve its vulnerable populations, (especially children) better in order to facilitate the future for us all.
As a float teacher, I get the opportunity to meet and learn from all of your wonderful children. I believe that youngsters have so much to offer us adults in terms of insight and experience. Outside of work and school, I have a husband and our three-year-old daughter, who is in the Sunflower Room. Our motto at home is “always interested”, meaning that we are game for just about anything and everything- music, books, art, homesteading, sports, traveling to name a few! I look forward to putting this potpourri of experience and interest into action and connection with the community during my time here at S2S.

…kiddos – both outside and in a classroom. When I’m not at work, I can be found in nature, spending time with my family, reading, playing music and/or doing an art project (sometimes all at the same time!). I am here to grow and learn alongside the kids, and I couldn’t be happier.

expecting our second child! As a family, we enjoy spending time outdoors and finding new trails to explore. I’m excited to be a part of the team and to meet all of your kiddos too!

ERICA KEAY
ERICA KEAYBoard Member
Erica is a kindergarten teacher in Scarborough and mother to two young children, Fiona and Devan. She lives in an old farm house in Gorham along with her husband Sean, dog Josie, and two barn kitties. Erica grew up in a small coastal town in Maine and attended The Bay School, a Waldorf-inspired private school. This is where her inspiration and passion for teaching started. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wheaton College and Master’s from Lesley University. Erica’s education and teaching experience has given her a solid foundation to build her career upon. She is honored and humbled to be working with such an incredible group of women that are so devoted to children and families.
NATALIE FLYNN
NATALIE FLYNNBoard President
Natalie is a Site Coordinator for Special Education at Windham High School where she provides leadership and consultation to both regular and special education teachers to collaboratively
achieve the best research-based instructional strategies and programs to meet the needs of diverse learners. She has both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine.

She lives in Westbrook with her husband, Ethan, and 3 year old daughter, Lucille. Lu has been attending Seedlings to Sunflowers since she was 4 months old.

LEAH STURM
LEAH STURMBoard Member
Leah is an environmental scientist at VHB in South Portland where she works with a great team of colleagues analyzing environmental costs for environmental cleanup sites across the nation. She has dual bachelor’s degrees in Geology and Environmental Studies, with a focus on environmental policy. She has spent her professional career working for environmental engineering/consulting firms in the Portland area.

Leah and her husband have two children and have lived in Gorham for the past 10 years. Prior to living in Maine, they lived in the White Mountains of NH. Leah hails from the midwestern state of Indiana where she and her family travel annually to share time with family.

MARISSA RITZ, LCSW
MARISSA RITZ, LCSWCo-Founder
Marissa has been in the field of Social Work for over a decade and has spent much of her career working with individuals, couples, parents and children in an effort to strength family relationships. Marissa holds an Independent Clinical Social Work License and has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Vermont. In addition to her work with Seedlings to Sunflowers, Marissa acts as an Adjunct Professor at the University of New England and provides statewide training for the Sweetser Training Institute.