M E E T   O U R    S T A F F

After earning her B.S. in Education from the University of Minnesota, Mrs. Walker started her professional career as an exhibit curator in the Education Division of the Minnesota Historical Society Museum.  Upon moving back east she taught PreK-4 in Haddonfield for six years, then Math, Science, Language Arts, and Social Studies at Beck Middle School in Cherry Hill.  While in Cherry Hill, Mrs. Walker was trained and served as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program teacher and then Head of School.  Upon  earning her M.A. in Educational Leadership from Rowan University, Mrs. Walker became an assistant principal and then a principal at the middle school level.  During her seven years as principal of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in West Berlin, New Jersey, she led her faculty to earn the honor of being a New Jersey Department of Education Middle School to Watch.  Mrs. Walker moved on to accept a superintendent position with the Mt. Ephraim Public School District.which she left after five years to become Head of School here at Ellison.  Mrs. Walker has assimilated to the private school world with ease and joy.  He husband, recently retired after 26 years as an educator himself, has also invested himself in Ellison as an educator and teacher mentor.  Mr. and Mrs. Walker have six children between them and eight grandchildren (with one on the way and no end in site)!  Children and education are at the center of Mrs. Walker's world in pretty much every way - and she loves it!  Read more from Mrs. Walker HERE.

Mrs. Niessner joined Ellison in 2018. She is excited to continue her career here at Ellison. She has 15 years of public school experience. Mrs. Niessner is married and has 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren. Mrs. Niessner enjoys spending time with her family and friends. 

Ms. Elise Niessner  continues her journey as our Tiny Tot teacher here at The Ellison School.  Ms. Elise enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She is very outgoing and loves to meet new people. She is a wonderful addition to our Early Learning Center Program.

Ms. Kelsey Money-Meneghetti continues at the Ellison School as our Preschool 2 Program teacher.  Mrs. Meneghetti  has been a part of Ellison's family since 2012. She is a 2016 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.A. in Humanities and a M.A.T. in K-6 Elementary Education. She has two daughters, Everleigh and Emma.  She enjoys working with children as well as spending time with her family and friends! She is very excited to continue her career as an Ellison educator!

Mr. Chris Laferty is Ellison's preschool 4 teacher. He is a 2011 graduate from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and holds  a B. A. in Literature and Creative Writing. Mr. Laferty joined the Ellison staff in 2012 as a summer camp aide and went on to become a substitute teacher.  In 2014, he became a full-time aide and worked in both the preschool 3 and preschool 4 classrooms. In 2017, Mr. Chris completed his P-3 Alternate Route Program at Montclair State University.  In his free time he enjoys writing, reading, working on his old typewriters, and painting.  He is also an avid fisherman and can be found most  fall or spring weekends fishing for striped bass along the New Jersey shore from Island Beach State Park to Cape May. 

Susan M. Belmonte has been part of the Ellison family since 2016. Mrs. Belmonte earned her BA in Humanities and Social Sciences from Montclair State University. She holds PreK-3 and K-5 New Jersey teaching certificates. Mrs. Belmonte is also working on her M.A in K-8 Special Education at St. Joseph University. Susan has been a teacher since 2000 and has taught grade levels from early childhood through 5th grade.  While at Ellison, Mrs. Belmonte has taught 4th grade, PreK-4, and Upper School Character Education and Mindfulness.  In school year 2017-18, Mrs. Belomonte served as Ellison Interim Head of School.   Besides teaching Kindergarten, Mrs. Belmonte currently serves as our Head Teacher, Director of Student Life, and our Explorers Summer Camp Director.  Susan is married with two children. Her daughters are part of the Ellison Family. 

Mrs. Ramona Schlaegel joined Ellison in 2018. She has her BA in Elementary Education and History. She has taught in public schools in both New York State and Florida. Before joining Ellison, she taught in the Media Center and assisted in both special education and regular education classrooms at the elementary and middle school levels. She holds her  NJ elementary certification for grades k-5, and middle school social studies. She looks forward to another wonderful school year.

Ms. Kristin Charlson is the 2nd grade teacher and she absolutely loves books! She sets high goals for her students and thinks learning should be fun. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rowan University and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in education. In her free time she likes to watch movies, exercise, and of course, read. She is also the proud mother of Alexandra, Ellison alumni, who is currently a writing major in college.

Meagan Thornton - Grade 3

Ms. Thornton graduated in 2015 from Lees-McRae College in North Carolina with a B.A. in Elementary Education. She spent three years teaching fifth grade at Bunn Elementary School  in Bunn, North Carolina before moving back to New Jersey to be closer to her family. Ms. Thornton  loves teaching and believes that learning should be challenging but exciting! When she's not in the classroom you can find her at the gym, playing video games, spending time with her family and friends, or hanging out with her sweet pups, Hannah and Yodi.

Mrs. Deborah Worchel is Ellison's Humanities teacher.  An avid reader, freelance writer and regular contributor to Ocean City Magazine, Deborah  loves sharing her love of reading, writing, and history with her students!  Deborah began her teaching career as an English teacher and is a certified K-12 Teacher of English. She earned a BA in Psychology & English from the College of Wooster in Ohio and a Master’s Degree in Religion & Literature from Harvard University.  Deborah and her husband Jason have lived in South Jersey for 14 years and have three daughters. When she isn’t shuttling one of her daughters to or from an activity, Deborah might be found attempting to knit, sewing, running, or adding more books to her dauntingly heavy “to read” shelf on Goodreads.  

Gina Hartman - Grades 5-8 - Science and Mathematics

Mrs. Gina Hartman graduated from Rowan University in 2013 with a B.A. in Mathematics and a B.A. in Elementary Education. She holds an Elementary K-5 teaching certification with a Middle School Math Endorsement. Since graduating, Mrs. Hartman has been home with her three children, Brooke, Natalie, and Stephen, who will now be attending Ellison!  She has also worked part-time as a substitute teacher and a tutor for homeschool students. Mrs. Hartman is looking forward to this new adventure as the Grade 5-8 Math & Science Teacher at Ellison!

Mrs. Jacquelyn Fabian joined Ellison in 2016! She teaches our Tiny Tot through 8th grade classes. She grew up in South Jersey. After high school, she attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, where she double majored in music and history. Upon leaving Centre, Mrs. Fabian attended Rutgers University to earn teaching degrees in elementary education and music. Recently, Mrs. Fabian completed her Master's Degree in Special Education at Drexel University.  Mrs. Fabian has been teaching for ten years in school districts in southern NJ and Philadelphia. She is very excited to be working at the Ellison School! She and her husband have two wonderful girls (who are now students at Ellison) and an energetic husky.

Mr. Mike Mayhew, a  graduate of West Chester University, is Ellison’s Health and Physical Education teacher.  He began teaching at Ellison in 2008. He enjoys teaching the foundations and principles of sport to his younger students, while challenging the skills of his upper schoolers. He believes, “What makes Ellison so rewarding as an educator is its students.  They are engaging, charismatic, and genuinely want to become better people.”

Savanah Jenkins - Spanish TT-8

 Mrs. Savanah Jenkins is Ellison's Spanish Teacher. Mrs. Jenkins has taught Spanish at St. Mary's for 4 years, and also for Vineland, Millville, and Bridgeton Charter School for 5 years. Mrs. Jenkins studied for 4 years at The College of N.J. and finished with a B.A. in Speech/Theatre/Dance at Rowan University.  She also studied at LaSalle University for Legal interpretation . In her spare time,  she is a fitness instructor and also enjoys spending quality time with her daughter and two sons. Mrs. Jenkins is eager and excited to start her new journey at Ellison.

Ms. Noelia Biddle joined the Ellison Family as the our Art Teacher in 2019. She has an Associates degree in Liberal Arts from Cumberland County College and plans to further her education focusing in Fine Arts. Ms. Biddle was an early childhood teacher for seven years. Growing up in a household that was greatly influenced by art and creative freedom, Ms. Biddle is a firm believer that art makes children powerful and she’s ready to help the students at Ellison unleash their inner artist! When she’s not creating art, you’ll most likely find Ms. Biddle spending time with family and friends, exploring antique shops, or freshwater fishing. She also loves to stay in with her dog and cat, Bella and Sullivan. 

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T H E    E L L I S O N    S C H O O L

1017 South Spring Road

Vineland, New Jersey 08361




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