The staff at The Strong’s Woodbury School employs a Reggio Emilia-inspired, curriculum approach to learning that encourages students to delve deeply into topics that fascinate and stimulate learning. Collectively, the team has nearly 90 years of teaching experience and, in addition to educating Woodbury School’s preschool and early-kindergarten students, has developed or led hundreds of conferences, seminars, and individual training opportunities on playful learning.
Deborah McCoy, Assistant Vice President for Education
Debbie directs all museum education programs, including the Woodbury School, and leads professional development training in playful learning and the play-based Reggio Emilia Approach for educators across the country. In 2013, she participated in a North American Study Tour of the schools of Reggio Emilia in Italy. As a founding teacher of the Genesee Community Charter School at the Rochester Museum and Science Center, Debbie implemented the innovative Expeditionary Learning model there and has presented national seminars for Expeditionary Learning Schools. Debbie holds a master’s degree in elementary education from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Cheryl Nichols, Lead Teacher
As lead teacher, Cheryl teaches both preschool and early kindergarten programs. When she joined the museum in 2008, Cheryl brought more than two decades of teaching experience, including at Bloomfield Nursery School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Alma College in Michigan and has studied reading specialization and environmental education at the graduate level.
Audrey Brett, Co-Teacher
Audrey is a co-teacher in Woodbury School’s preschool programs and served previously as both an elementary and special education teacher in the Gates Chili Central School District. Audrey holds a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in elementary education and special education from Roberts Wesleyan College.
Andrea Bonafide, Co-Teacher
Andrea is a co-teacher in both preschool and early kindergarten programs at Woodbury School. Andrea has prior teaching experience through St. John Early Childhood Program, Child Care Council of Rochester, and Action for a Better Community. She holds a master’s degree in education for childhood literacy from the State University of New York at Brockport.
Linda Phillips, Co-Teacher and Education and Community Outreach Services Coordinator
Linda oversees a number of The Strong’s community outreach programs, including Museum Access for Children, which serves youth from disadvantaged populations. She also coordinates other education team activities and serves as a co-teacher with Woodbury School, which she assisted in establishing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from DePaul University in Chicago.
Lisa Bishop, Teacher Assistant
Lisa assists in the Woodbury School preschool program. She served previously as a teacher at Penfield Village Nursery School and holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
Pat Tracy, Teacher Assistant
Pat assists in the Woodbury School preschool program and has taught at the elementary level for more than 20 years, including in Gates Chili Central School District. She holds a master’s degree in elementary education and interdisciplinary arts for children from the State University of New York at Brockport.