Meet Some of Our Team

Maria Clifford

Director

Prior to her role as Assistant Director and Director at Santa Fe, Maria worked at multiple childcare centers as Head Teacher and Enrichment Teacher while assisting Administration and Healthcare Officers on-site. She has always had a love of teaching and learning starting at an early age which prompted her college degree in Spanish and Translational Communications. She is also fluent in Italian and proficient in German.  She has her Childhood Developmental Associates Degree, as well as many other certifications in High Scope Curriculum, New Jersey State Licensing and has worked with NAEYC and Grow NJ Kids.

Meagan

Program Coordinator – Pre-K Center and Lead Teacher, Pre-K & K

Meagan graduated from Kean University with a dual certification in Early Childhood Education (P-3 and K-5). and has been working with children for over ten years. Joining Santa Fe in 2011, she views teaching as guiding children to become the best version of him/herself simply by understanding his/her own personality. She is full of energy and brings a love of learning to the kids every day.  She always says learning does not have to be boring, it is up to the individual to tap into and acknowledge their areas of interest. “We foster what children love and build upon that. Eventually, everything else falls into place.”  She has also authored her first children’s book titled Powerful Pete

Tara

Pre-K/K

Tara has 6 years of experience in educational environments and has joined Santa Fe from the Madison Public School system where she was adored by all of her students.  She completed her Bachelor degree in Psychology at William Paterson University and received her teaching certificate through their teaching program. She is currently working towards her Masters in Early Childhood Education. She says, “It is truly my dream to bring light to learning and ignite a passion for education in early learners. I am beyond thrilled to be part of the Santa Fe team. I hope to bring students a positive environment and memorable learning experience.”

Tony

Lead Teacher, 3.5-4 year olds

Tony has been with Santa Fe since 2002. With a B.S. in Nutrition and a CDA as Professional Development Specialist, Tony focuses on mentoring kindness, compassion, empathy and by nurturing curiosity, exploration, and appreciation of the natural world around us. It is her hope that through the practice of these two broad teaching concepts, our youth will grow up to be happy and productive citizens of our global community. She says, “I credit Santa Fe’s strong commitment to the implementation of Developmentally Appropriate Practice – it works. Our proof is that we have thriving, confident, joyful students walking through our doors every day.” She believes that one of her most important roles as a preschool teacher is “to guide very young hearts and minds in positive directions and help them develop the social emotional intelligence they need to carry themselves throughout life.”

Yenny

Lead Teacher, 2.5 – 3.5 year olds

Yenny joined Santa Fe in 2004 and often talks about how it has been the most rewarding experience giving new meaning to the term “work.” She has her CDA and has been trained in multiple areas of child development including HighScope, and Ages & Stages.  She loves to incorporate new information about child development into fun, learning activities in her classroom. “When you find something you love to do, you never work a day in your life. I haven’t worked since 2004.”

Annie

Lead Teacher, Toddlers

Starting at Santa Fe in 2012, Annie came with 10 years of elementary education and a passion for teaching. She is has a B.S. in Theology as well as a CDA. She knows just the right way to engage the kids, with laughter and lots of singing! She says, “I believe there is nothing to hard. Take the ‘t’ off ‘I can’t’ and say ‘I can.’”

Anne

Lead Teacher, Mobile Infants

Anne has been involved in childhood education since 1992, first working at a local preschool and Kindergarten and then coming to Santa Fe in 2016. She has attended well over 150 hours of Early Childhood Education courses and most recently completed the High Scope Curriculum.  She says that joining Santa Fe was one of the best decisions she ever made. “It is rewarding to see the results of the work I do as I watch children progress and grow. It is a thrill to know that I had a part in the advancement of their learning.  The joy I receive daily from the current children in my care, to those who have moved on to the next level and the many I see from the past in our communities, is a true and lasting blessing.”

Amber

Lead Teacher, Infants

Amber is a creative spirit who is a humanitarian, at heart. She has participated in human service events, volunteering her time towards needy causes such as Habitat for Humanity, TryCAN, American Red Cross and Bubbles for Autism. Trained as a Peer Mentor for TryCAN, a recreational program for youth with special needs – Amber sought out professional development opportunities/trainings in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education. Working at Santa Fe since 2011, she has a strong background in team collaboration, activity/resource development, sensory integration, and leadership in her roles as an Infant and Toddler Coordinator, Preschool Teacher, Shadow Teacher, and Assistant. Amber loves sharing her passions and special talents with others as well as in seeking new and creative ways to get her students to showcase their own strengths and abilities in what they love about learning! Her favorite quote: “Our task regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible, no one can do more.”

 

Alison & Mark Aromando

Owners

Santa Fe Centers is owned by Alison and Mark Aromando who have been members of the extended local community throughout their life.  They grew up in Summit and Florham Park, met in high school, graduated from Georgetown and Villanova Universities respectively and then when married, settled in Madison, NJ, where they currently reside with their three children ages 7, 11 and 13.  They know first-hand the challenges of looking for good childcare, as they were both working in NYC when their children were young.  Finding the right childcare is one of the most important decisions parents have to make and therefore, they want to help others as they try to balance work and family.  Through the teachers and staff at Santa Fe, they offer the same loving and safe environment to families in the community that they searched for years ago when their children were young. They believe it’s important to maximize outdoor play and learning through social activities that can really benefit kids in the long run.

Interested in joining our team?