About Our Staff
Our two classes (the Jellybeans and the Gummibears) are led by dedicated, licensed teachers. A full-time teaching assistant works in each classroom. Part-time aides and college fieldwork students also help to keep the student-teacher ratio low. Many of our full-time staff themselves started out as college fieldwork students. The following are short biographical descriptions of some of our Center's full-time staff members.


Marilyn Loftus (blue shirt) Jellybean Teacher; Tara Conover (black shirt)Gummibear Teacher; Amanda Chan (red shirt)Gummibear Assistant Teacher; Stacey LeBrocq (pink shirt) Jellybean Assistant Teacher; Jennifer Manuola (yellow shirt) Director

Jennifer Manuola
Director


Jennifer has been working with the Child Study Center since 1996 in varying capacities that have led up to her current position as Director. Jennifer has had the opportunity to teach each of the existing classrooms, and the Kindergarten class when it was offered at the Center.

Jennifer completed her undergraduate coursework in English and Psychology at Rutgers. She is also a licensed N-8 teacher, having completed her education coursework through the College of New Jersey.

Jennifer is the Past-President of the Kenyon Chapter of the New Jersey Association for the Education of Young Children (NJAEYC). NJAEYC is the state affiliate of the larger, national organization, NAEYC. The Kenyon Chapter is over 700 members strong and serves the Middlesex and Union counties. In this capacity, Jennifer provides professional support for early childhood professionals (through providing high quality training and professional development opportunities) and actively advocates for the young children in New Jersey. Jennifer also serves on the New Brunswick Tomorrow Childcare Consortium, which strives to provide support and professional development to the educators working with children in the city of New Brunswick.

In her time outside of the Center, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her husband, Joe, and three children, Joey, Alessa, and Aria. The family enjoys foreign travel, swimming, biking, cooking and working on arts and crafts together. Jennifer had the good fortune of growing up in Wall Township, which is located "down the shore" and very close to the beach. Her family enjoys visiting her hometown and spending time at the beach and on the boardwalk.

Marilyn Loftus
Jellybean Lead Teacher


Marilyn joined our Center staff in July 2011 and is our newest staff member. She brings over 15 years of teaching experience to our program, 11 of those years in the area of Early Childhood. Prior to working with preschoolers, Marilyn taught Physical Education and Health classes at the elementary school level. In addition to assisting in the Jellybean class, Marilyn also teaches the weekly physical education classes offered to our children at the Center.

Marilyn graduated from Montclair State University with a B.S. in Physical Education. She has New Jersey teaching certificates in Elementary Education, Health Education and Nursery School Education.

Marilyn lives in South Brunswick Township with her husband, Bob. They have three children, Meg (22), Dan (20), and Casey (15). Meg and Dan are currently students here at Rutgers University. Marilyn's interests are traveling with her family, playing volleyball on the township recreation league and playing hand bells in her church's hand bell choir.

Tara Conover
Gummibear Lead Teacher


Tara has been with the Center for six years, working in both the Jellybean and Gummibear classrooms. She began as a fieldwork student, worked as a Teacher's Aide, then as a Teacher's Assistant and now as the Lead Teacher for the Gummibear class.

Raised in New Brunswick, Tara attended Douglass College and earned her B.A. in Psychology with a focus on Child Development. She is also a New Jersey licensed teacher, qualified to teach Kindergarten through fifth grade, and has teaching experience in a fourth grade class.

Tara currently lives in Edison with her husband of almost one year, Matthew Sherman. Her interests and hobbies include a love of cats, photography, art and music.

Amanda Chan
Gummibear Assistant Teacher


Amanda has been with the Center for four years, working in both classrooms. She began working at the Center as a fieldwork student, then as a Teacher's Aide, and now serves as the Teacher's Assistant for the Gummibear class.

Amanda is a Douglass College graduate, earning her B.A. in Psychology, with a minor in Cognitive Science. She also completed the Early Childhood/Elementary Education program at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, earning her M.A. and New Jersey teaching certification in Kindergarten through fifth grade, with student teaching experience in a first grade class.

Amanda currently lives in East Brunswick (born and raised) with her parents and grandma. Outside of work, she partakes in capoeira, dance classes, baking and other artistic, active hobbies.

Stacey LeBrocq
Jellybean Assistant Teacher


Stacey is a recent Rutgers Graduate, earning her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education. She has experience working in preschool through second grade classrooms during field work assignments. Stacey has been an active member of the Douglass Psychology Child Study Center for the past year, working in both the Gummibear and Jellybean classrooms.

Stacey is also a certified personal fitness trainer and works with clients on a weekly basis out of her own gym in Edison where she resides. She is a mother to three beautiful children ranging from six years to thirteen years. Stacey is an executive board member for the Edison Jets Organization as well as the Edison Little Eagle Wrestling program. Additionally, Stacey participates in the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) for the elementary school her two younger children attend. Personal hobbies/interests include family time, party planning, and fitness/body building competitions.

Stacey’s personal life philosophy is most certainly contained in her educational philosophy:

“Whatever I do in life, I want to make a difference; I want to leave the world a better place than I found it…and I want to enjoy every step of the way!”

Stacey believes teachers have a significant opportunity to make a difference in the world, one student at a time. As a teacher, she enters her classroom with the highest of expectations for each and every child. It is her goal to create a positive and productive learning environment in which mutual respect is encouraged. She promotes self-esteem and personal responsibility, as well as critical thinking. At the same time, Stacey is flexible and willing to change direction in order to take advantage of what may be a “teachable moment.” With consistency, diligence and warmth, Stacey’s ultimate hope is to inspire and encourage a hunger for life-long learning. Her desired goal as a teacher is to make sure each student who leaves her classroom, leaves a better person with the confidence and skill to achieve success at any level.