The infant room accommodates nine children from 6 weeks to 18 months. Floor to ceiling windows and heated floors make this a comfortable place for our smallest children. The activities in the room focus on engaging the senses, building trusting relationships, and highlighting the milestones for each individual child
Infant Room Staff
Carrie Dupell, Lead Infant Teacher
I believe that children have a natural curiosity to learn and explore their world. By observing the children in my care and being an active participant in their learning, I am able to make every day a new adventure! The sense of community between families, teachers and students at the CFDC makes it feel like home.
I have been working with young children since 1994 in a variety of environments. Earning my associate’s degree in early childhood education at NHTI, I came to the Child and Family Development Center when it opened in November of 2001. The CFDC provides teachers the opportunity to try new ideas and provoke children’s learning, helping them to reach their potential.
When I am not learning alongside children and college students at CFDC, you will find me with my own family. My son and daughter have taught me how important it is to take the time to slow down and see everything as if it were a first. So that we never miss the little things life brings us. Some of our favorite things to do together are being creative with art materials, going on adventures around our yard, building sand castles at the beach or enjoying a warm day out on our boat.
Kristen Gagne, Assistant Teacher
Being a teacher has been my dream since I was a young girl and I have learned more than I could ever imagine as I have followed this dream. I have worked in child care with young children for almost five years now, infants up to preschool, earning my associate’s degree in early childhood education from NHTI.
Being a student at NHTI for two and half years I have learned so much about children, teaching and myself. Through my student teaching experience I had not only found a center that respected children and their learning, but also the age that really was the pull at my heart. I knew then that this was what I was meant to do, and have been with the Child and Family Development Center since 2009. I love the idea that I will never stop learning and each day brings something new and exciting.
When I am not with children I enjoy putting together scrap books of all different kinds. My fiancé is in the military so when I can I travel to see him. I also spend a lot of my time with my mom either shopping, taking walks or just relaxing.
Jessi Rice, Teacher Aide
Recently I accepted a new role within the infant program and look forward to working with the children, families and the team! Working with the youngest of children now enhances my ability to work with an extensive range of children. Not only have I been a part of the Child and Family Development Center for four years, but I’ve also been an active member, program facilitator and ambassador for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains and program staff for my favorite resident camp Wanakee UMC.
My personal philosophy is to do all that I can do, to use my resources and advocate (be the voice) for those that might not otherwise have one. I continue to write grants for GSGWM and provide ample opportunities for children and their guides to make this community a better place, have fun and learn something about themselves along the way. (I believe that each life's opportunity is an adventure.) You’ll also notice that in my work here with the children, with our college students, parents and community. I strive to educate, lead by example and advocate for the things I’m particularly passionate about. In my spare time (when I’m not working on a degree or progressing my professional development) I enjoy the outdoors! I love hiking, camping, bonfires, boating and even spend a great deal of time wishing for snow, as I am a huge winter enthusiast and avid snowboarder!
Mary Brunnegraff, Teacher Assistant
I have been working as a shared teacher at the Child and Family Development Center since 2008 and am proud to be a member of the infant team.
I have enjoyed being with young children since I was first trusted to take care of my sister’s children when I was 13 years old. I worked for five years at a wonderful program in Andover, MA, working with 2- and 3- year olds and while attending Salem State College to acquire my elementary school teaching certificate, I worked with my aunt for an agency called Minute Women. Although I have worked in several elementary school settings, I always desired the early child care environment. I also provided in-home care for 10 years for my own children, my neighbors and referral families.
I spend my free time with my family. We enjoy swimming, music and our pets. I work out, walk, cook, and read. I love taking pictures of children and nature. I plan to spend as little time worrying as possible.
Tracy Phillips, Student Intern
I have always been drawn to young children. I find their wonder and excitement in everyday things to be contagious. I started working with children straight out of high school, but six years later I decided to do the corporate route. I had a variety of different jobs along the way, but the one that I enjoyed the most was when I was helping my coworkers to learn. While volunteering at a local charter elementary school, I realized that teaching children was what I truly wanted to do. I am in the process of completing my associate’s degree here at NHTI and will be graduating this upcoming spring. I hope to work with school-age children in their first years of school and become a reading specialist. Working with the teachers, families and children at CFDC is such an amazing learning experience and I am thankful for the two years that I have spent here.
In my spare time, I enjoy baking, sewing, beadwork, and other crafts. My husband and I just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. One of our favorite activities is geocaching - treasure hunting in the woods using GPS coordinates. I volunteer for several non-profit organizations including Sentinel Baptist Camp, Manchester West High Schools US First Robotics Team, and the NH Renaissance Faire. We have one very fluffy cat named Smokey who looks like a dust bunny with legs.