Meet our teachers 

Meet Our Teachers

Our teachers are dedicated to their profession and possess years

of experience working with preschoolers. 


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Hi! My name is Marissa Truong and I joined First Presbyterian in June of 2021 as the Director of The Bucket School. I hold a doctorate in Educational Psychology from Temple University, and a teaching certificate for nursery school and kindergarten. I teach library lessons with our students that help foster literacy skills and social-emotional development. I enjoy long neighborhood walks, collecting children’s books, and hot summer days at the beach. I reside in Paoli with my husband and two children. At The Bucket School, I am known as “Dr. T.” to the students.

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Hello! My name is Jessica and I am thrilled to be a part of the Bucket School. I graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania with my degree in Elementary Education in 2011. Upon graduating, I received my first teaching job working in a 3 & 4 year old classroom where my love and passion for teaching was confirmed. I have spent the last 10 years working in Early childhood and have loved every moment. My goal is to make the classroom a warm and welcoming environment where each student can successfully grow as individuals. Over the last 7 years I have enjoyed living in Chicago and Charlotte NC. My husband and I have recently moved back to West Chester and are excited to be closer to family and loved ones! During my free time I enjoy exploring new restaurants and hanging with my two dogs. I look forward to growing with the Bucket School Family and watching your little ones prosper.

Two Year Olds

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Hi, my name is Stephanie Butler. My husband and I live in West Chester and are parents of 6 wonderful children ranging in age from 12-26. For many years, I have enjoyed being home with my children volunteering in their schools and with their activities. Before having children, I graduated from West Chester University with a degree in Elementary Education. I taught for 12 years in Wilmington, De. I have subbed in local preschools for several years and was an aide for Parents Morning Out. The past two years I have enjoyed teaching The Little Learners Two-Year-Old Class. I enjoy reading, hiking, jogging, and spending time with my family. I am so excited to teach at The Bucket School!

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Hello, my name is Jane Deacon, and I have been active in The Bucket School for the past 10 years, as both a teacher and a substitute. Although my professional career was in public accounting, my second career as a stay-at-home mom sparked in me a passion for working with children. My husband, Roger, and I have lived in West Chester for over 20 years and are the proud parents of 3 daughters ranging in age from 18-23, all of whom are Bucket School graduates! In my free time I enjoy exercising, supporting my daughter’s soccer team, baking, reading, and spending time with family.

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Hi! My name is Laurie Evangelista. I am so excited to be teaching at The Bucket School. This will be my first year at the school. I live in Pocopson with my 8 kids who range in age from 10 – 23. I have had the pleasure of homeschooling them for 18 years. Previously I have worked in various church preschool ministries. I enjoy baking, working out and being with my children.

Three Year Olds

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Hi, my name is Emily Jeffries and I am delighted to be teaching the three year old class this year at The Bucket School.  I love working with children and watching them learn and grow brings me great joy.  After graduating from University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 2006 I went on to get my Masters in Elementary Education in 2012.  I currently live in West Chester with my husband and two children.  My daughter is a Bucket School graduate and she loved her time at the school.  Aside from coming up with new, fun ideas for the classroom, I love reading, paddle boarding and spending time at the beach with my family.  

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I’ve been working at the Bucket School since 2017. Prior to that I was a PE teacher at DASD, Villa Maria HS and in Maryland. I love to be outdoor activities and most importantly to be involved with my three children (one who has attended the Bucket School, one currently attending and the youngest will attend in the near future). I grew up in West Chester before attending the University of Maryland.

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I am entering my 7th year at the Bucket School.  I have taught in both the 2yo and 3yo classes but am currently teaching M/W/F 3yo and T/Th 3yo.  I am also the Assistant Director.  I have a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education from Marywood University, Scranton, PA.  I have been married to my husband, Eric for 16 years and we have 2 boys, Jack and Henry, who are both alumni of the Bucket School.  I reside in the Borough of West Chester.  Teaching young children is my passion and I love to watch them grow throughout the years at our school

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My name is Laura Szilier and I am excited to be teaching at the Bucket School this year! I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and moved to the U.S. after graduating from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. I live in West Chester with my husband, Greg, and our two kids, Kiersten (15) and Evan (13), who also attended the Bucket School. I have a passion for learning and really enjoyed volunteering in my kid's elementary school classrooms and with the PTO. This was a wonderful opportunity to become involved in the school community, meet other families, and assist the teachers in providing a positive learning environment for the students. Most recently, I worked with a local nonprofit organization, Wings for Success, that empowers women and girls in need through education, apparel, and advocacy. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time at the beach, skiing, playing the piano, music, and spending time with family & friends. I am looking forward to providing a fun and caring early education experience for our Bucket School families!

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My name is Patty Tunnell and I teach the MWF 3’s class. This is my 7th year at The Bucket School.  I live in West Chester with my husband Doug and my four daughters, Megan (25), Sarah (23), Madison (20) and Ella (18). When I am not teaching, I enjoy walking, shopping and the beach.

Pre-K (4-5 Year Olds)

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Hi!  My name is Susan Gretz and I am very happy to be working with the Pre-K class at the Bucket School!  I have degrees in psychology and occupational therapy and have worked in home-based early intervention with children aged birth to three prior to this, and I am now looking forward to being a part of a nurturing, supportive, fun-filled classroom that is the foundation for a lifelong love of learning. I live in West Chester borough with my family and love taking advantage of all our town has to offer. In addition to spending time with my family, I also enjoy reading, walking and yoga. 

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Hi! My name is Christie Haelle, and I am excited to be teaching the three Day Pre-K class for the 2021-2022 School Year. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Studies from West Chester University, and a Private Academic Teaching certificate for Nursery School and Kindergarten. I have been in the Early Education field for 15+ years in a variety of roles. I live in the West Chester area with my husband, Eric and two daughters, Lizzie, and Madilyn. In my free time, I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, and going on outdoor adventures.

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Hi, my name is Sue Prochnau. My husband and I have lived in the area for over 20 years. We have two sons, who are Bucket School graduates. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in business and computer science from Ursinus College and was a programmer for 12 years prior to having children. I have been teaching at the Bucket School since 2012 and have taught in the 2 year old, 3 year old, and pre-k classes. I love Science and Math and particularly enjoy teaching the science enrichment to curious preschoolers. In my free time I enjoy cooking, kayaking, hiking, and reading.

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Hello, my name is Tricia Sokurenko and I am excited to start teaching Pre-K at the Bucket School this year. My husband and I have 2 girls, Ella (15) and Lauren (12), and have lived in West Chester for 18 years. My younger daughter graduated from Bucket School. I have a Bachelors Degree in Respiratory Therapy and worked in a hospital setting for 25 years. I changed my direction or focus to enjoying my family. I also enjoy exercising, baking, and watching my girls play soccer.