Demet Bilter
Demet Bilter, Director & Lead 4 Year Old Teacher

Demet has a MA in Special Education from Caldwell College and has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary education and in English Literature, She is certified to teach Kindergarten through 5th grade and also holds P-3 certification. She has been working with children for over ten years and has worked with a range of ages from infants to kindergartners. Demet describes teaching as her “passion”. She enjoys getting to know each child’s individual personality, and accompanying them as they grow to be curious, energetic young people. She most enjoys teaching when she sees a child’s face light up from learning something new, or mastering a new skill, or from just getting a hug. She is mother of two boys. When she is not at work she enjoys spending time with her family. She also loves to read, travel and explore new places.

Carolyn Griffin, Assistant Teacher

Carolyn loves watching the children in The Growing Place grow. Although she enjoyed working in the advertising industry for 13 years in typesetting and computer design, she has now turned her attention towards youth and the process of learning. She says there’s nothing better than watching a child’s face light up when they have accomplished something new. Carolyn is a volunteer in the Kinnelon Public School System and a proud mother of two.

Gretchen Hudson, Administration

Gretchen Hudson has been site coordinator for the Suburban Cultural Educational Enrichment Program (SCEEP) for 3rd Graders in the Newark School System. The program improves academic performance, raises self-esteem, motivates and prevents school drop-outs. She recruits and manages tutors, and manages communication with the school, teachers and parents. Gretchen and her two teenagers love working with the children and their families.

In addition to Gretchen’s devotion to this program, she has 10 years of managerial experience with a firm in NYC and has run her own candy business for 5 years. She has a BA in Economics from the University of New Hampshire.

Rachel Sena, Lead 3 Year Old Teacher

Rachel Sena is the lead teacher for the Teddy classroom. Rachel has a degree in Early Childhood from Union college. She has taught two and three year olds at Rainbow Academy in Rutherford. She created and implemented theme based lesson plans, maintained a clean and safe classroom to ensure a nurturing environment along with daily observations and weekly and monthly reports of the developmental growth of the students.

Megan Fischbeck, Lead 2 Year Old Teacher

Megan Fischbeck is a certified teacher to teach from birth to eight grade. She holds a bachelor degree from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. For three years, Megan worked as a reading specialist, at the TEAM Academy Charter School, Newark, NJ where she Evaluated all incoming students, created groups based on reading levels and assigned teachers, taught reading remediation to students who entered middle school reading on a 1-3rd grade reading level, supported and supervised four other educators in teaching these reading remediation groups. Megan also worked at the Avon Avenue School, Newark, NJ as a Kindergarten teacher.

Janel Zuffi, Teachers Aide

Janel Zuffi is the Teachers Aide in the Bunny Class and on Mondays in Teddy class. Janel a familiar face at the Growing Place, both of her children have attended our school. Janel has been active as the Butler Recreation Commissioner creating and managing programs for toddlers as well as organizing and hosting town wide events. She has also worked as a childcare provider at Peak Performance. Janel has a B.S. Degree in Computer Science and a Master’s Degree of Engineering in Engineering Management from Stevens Institute.