Orchard Park Co-op Teachers

Our Teachers

All of our teachers are experienced early childhood specialists with bachelor and master degrees. They bring to the Co-op high expectations for student growth within a culture of respect and nurturing. Every day is planned to provide the children with opportunities to practice sharing and caring, learn about the world around them, develop reading and math skills, and express themselves through the joys of art and music. Co-op parents consistently praise our program for its strong educational curriculum within an atmosphere that makes their children eager to come to school every day.

Kelly Abel Teacher for Four-Year-Old class

Mrs. Abel earned an M. Ed from Cambridge College in Massachusetts after receiving a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania. She joined the Co-op in 2008 and teaches one of our Four-Year-Old classes. Her previous professional experience includes teaching kindergarten in the Columbus, Ohio public schools, as well as at the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School in Massachusetts. Most recently, Kelly has been enjoying her return to Orchard Park and staying home with her two young children.

Jen Coyle Teacher for Four Plus Class

Mrs. Jen Coyle earned a M.A. in Secondary Education Mathematics from Hunter College in NYC after earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo. Her previous professional experience includes teaching Seventh and Eighth Grade Mathematics for the New York City Board of Education for 5 years before taking time off to raise her family. After moving to Orchard Park, Jennifer’s involvement at the Co-op began as a parent while her three children attended. During those years, she held various positions on the Board including Treasurer and President. She has previously taught at the Co-op as a 3 year old teacher. She is very excited to take on a new role teaching with Mrs. Kapaun in the Four Plus class this year.

Susie Kapaun Education Director & Teacher for Four-Plus class

Mrs. Kapaun has degrees in both Speech Pathology and Elementary Education. Susie has taught kindergarten, first, and second grades for 13 years in Colorado prior to moving to New York. While in Colorado, she was also a freelance writer for Mailbox Magazine, a publication of ideas for classroom teachers. She started working at the Co-op in 2000 and has taught in both the Three-Year-Old and Four-Plus programs. This year, Susie is once again co-teaching the Four-Plus class with Kathleen Lindell. Susie is the mother of three boys and an active volunteer in the Orchard Park community.

Jonelle Smith Teacher for Three-Year-Old class

Mrs. Jonelle Smith holds a B.S. in Paralegal Studies from Hilbert College and a M.S. in Elementary Education from Medaille College.  She spent two years subbing in the Orchard Park and Hamburg School Districts before taking time off to stay home with her two children.  From 2012-2016, she served on the Board of Directors (2013-2016 as President) for the Co-op while her children were students at the preschool.  Currently, she serves as a PTO Officer at Windom Elementary.  This is her first year as a 3 year old teacher.
Sally Stephen Teacher for Four-Year-Old class

Mrs. Stephen holds a B.S. in Elementary Education and a M.S. in early childhood education from Fredonia State College. She joined the Co-op in 2005 and teachers one of our Four-Year-Old classes. Previously, she taught kindergarten for 18 years in area schools including Sweet Home and Alden. As a kindergarten teacher, Sally conducted a math workshop for teachers, managed the kindergarten screen program, and ran a summer program for entering kindergartners. She took a leave to raise her two children who now attend Orchard Park.

Cindy Wiencek Teacher for Three-Year-Old class

Mrs. Wiencek earned her B.S. degree in Early Childhood Development from Buffalo State College. Prior to teaching at the Co-op, Cindy taught pre-kindergarten and kindergarten in both Buffalo and Hamburg. She joined the Co-op in 2000. Cindy teaches one of our Three-Year-Old classes. She enjoys cooking inside and outside of class. She also enjoys children’s literature and has an extensive collection of children’s books.

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4369 S. Buffalo Street | Orchard Park, NY 14127
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