Our Stamford Preschool Team
At Union Memorial Preschool we believe that each child is unique and special, and deserves a curriculum that is tailored to their needs and interests. The British Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum allows children to develop and grow at their own pace and in their own way. We believe that children learn best when they feel safe and secure, and when positive relationships are fostered between children, teachers, parents and the community.
Our classrooms are set up to enable exploration, discovery and critical thinking skills. Learning through play is a process, and we allow children to express themselves creatively through process based art and expression. The outdoors is a great resource for learning, and children are able to experience seasons first hand through outdoor play in the sun,wind, rain and snow!
Union Memorial Preschool is a special place and we invite you find out more about what we have to offer!
Emily Benett, Director & Head Teacher
Meet Our Teachers
Emily Benett is the founder of Cheeky Monkeys Toddler Program in Stamford, which recently merged with Union Memorial Preschool. Emily studied Early Years and Elementary Teaching at the institute of Education in London after achieving a first class honors degree in Childhood Studies from the University of Leeds (UK). Emily has experience teaching children eighteen months to five years old. She also holds the Head Teacher certification from the state of Connecticut for daycare centers. Emily is the class teacher for the Cheeky Monkeys class. Aside from teaching, Emily also has experience as a day camp leader, respite carer and tutor. Emily lives in Stamford with her son Lucas.
Director & Head Teacher
Elly Newberry is from Scotland in the UK where she received a Bachelors Degree in Education and worked as an elementary school teacher. She moved to the United States in 2002 to work for a nonprofit summer camp in New Jersey where she was the Camp Director. Recently Elly has been a stay at home parent and has worked as an academic tutor and a science teacher locally. Elly is the class teacher for the Terrific Tigers class. Elly lives in Stamford with husband Andy and her daughter Clare.
Alicia Wirgau is from a small rural town in Michigan. She grew up learning and understanding the meaning of hard work while caring for farm animals. One of Alicia’s mantras is “Work hard every day, you won’t be sorry!.” At an early age Alicia discovered love of acting through her local church. She traveled the East Coast and part of Europe singing and dancing with “The Continental’s” a church ministry group. She later moved to NYC and experienced ‘city life’ for 10 years until finally residing in beautiful Stamford with her two sons ages 10 and 2 years. Alicia is in the process of getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Child Development. She is currently enrolled at Norwalk Community College.
Carla Guilmette has worked at Union Memorial Preschool for nine years. She also has experience leading our summer camp for children aged 3-6 years. Carla has three girls and has spent lots of time fundraising and volunteering in local schools in Glenbrook. Carla's professional background is in the legal field, but she decided to open a family daycare when her youngest daughter was born, which she ran for four years. Carla was born in Italy but has called Stamford home since 1968 She currently works in the Cheeky Monkeys class.
Lavanya grew up in a coastal town in India where she developed a love for the Ocean. Lavanya received a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science and also worked for a non-profit company called Knowledge Hub News Magazine for School Kids. She began working as a substitute teacher at Union Memorial and now works in the Cheeky Monkeys class. She enjoys mentoring kids and taking care of them. She moved to the United States in 2008 and currently living with her husband Kumar and her daughter Janaki in Stamford. She is fond of cooking, traveling and cruising islands with her family.
Vineela Nagamalli grew up in India and currently lives in Stamford with her husband and two children, who are both Union Memorial Preschool Alumni! Her educational background is in Electronics and Communication Engineering, and after having two children of her own she decided to seek employment where she could care for and nurture children. In 2017 she joined the Union Memorial Preschool and strives to provide a creative, joyful, positive and safe educational environment. In her spare time Vineela loves traveling and cooking.
Born and raised in Stamford, Lydia has been working in daycare facilities, preschools and after school programs for the past three years. Alongside working at Union Memorial, she also mentors for STEM once a week. She is currently enrolled in college studying to become a school psychologist.