Bird’s Nest, Infants
Lead Teacher, Aisosa Ogunbor (she/her)
Full-Time Assistant, Dana Christmas (she/her)
Part-Time Assistant, Janeece Ader (she/they)
Beehive, One Year Olds
Lead Teacher, Barbie Deveau (she/her)
Barbie was born and raised in Massachusetts and relocated to New Orleans after graduating from LSU in Baton Rouge. She has always known that working with children was her calling, and she began working at her local elementary school at the age of 15. She realized then that she loved helping children find the tools and methods they need to communicate. This led her to major in Communication Sciences and Disorders, giving her ample opportunities to learn about speech acquisition and child development. After spending several years working with children from pre-k to 6th grade, she ultimately fell in love with early childhood, and has loved having the opportunity to help children find their voice and discover themselves at Abeona. She sees herself spending the rest of her life looking for new and meaningful ways to help the children around her blossom into compassionate, confident and joy-filled individuals.
Full-Time Assistant, Shannon Connolly (they/them)
Coming from a big Irish family, I was always surrounded by younger siblings and cousins and enjoyed helping them learn about the world. I felt called to go into early education to one day become a teacher. After moving to the states I accepted a job opportunity in New Mexico as a rehab tech helping to treat patients recovering from strokes, surgeries and people living with various degenerative diseases. I enjoyed the hands on nature of the job and the rewarding feeling of helping people to adapt and improve their quality of life, as well as developing relationships of trust and mutual respect with the patients. In 2020 I moved back to New Orleans and again felt called to teach, making the move into childcare. Shortly after I was offered a job at Abeona and a chance to follow the path I have felt drawn to from a young age. The children are our future and they deserve to grow up in a loving, nurturing and stable environment. I’m very excited to help be a part of that for the kids and to enjoy watching them grow and experience the world, and also to be a part of the Abeona community!
Duck Pond, Looping Room
Lead Teacher, Brittany Thierry (she/her)
Brittany was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana then moved to New Orleans to attend the University of New Orleans in 2011. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an applied interest in Child Development and Educational Psychology. Ever since Brittany was little, she knew she wanted to work in the childcare profession and previously nannied for a family before finding Abeona House. During that time, Brittany felt the calling to make a greater impact with more children by teaching. She understands how important the early stages of children’s lives are for their development and believes that children have just as much to teach us as we can teach them.
Brittany has been the Lead Teacher in the Duck Pond classroom since its inception in 2020. In the Duck Pond, we are a classroom rooted in equity and empowerment. We celebrate all of our differences and teach our kids that differences give us power. Our goal in the Pond is for the ducklings to be empathetic, autonomous, and stand up for what is right. She is excited to grow alongside the ducklings in this role!
Full-Time Assistant, Corrin McManus (she/her)
Part-Time Assistant, Carmen Lasagna (she/her)
Carmen Lasagna was born in Providence, Rhode Island and grew up mostly in Southern Maine. She has been fascinated with caring for young children from an early age and started babysitting when she was twelve. Later, while in high school, this interest led to working in the children’s section of her town’s public library and holding numerous volunteer positions helping children from Maine’s Somali refugee community practice English. After attending college at Bard in New York, where she pursued E.L.L. (English language learners) teaching, Carmen moved to her favorite city she’s ever been to, New Orleans, in 2012. She began nannying full-time immediately upon moving to the south. Through nannying, Carmen got connected to the magical and inspiring community that is Abeona House. Since living in New Orleans, Carmen has also dedicated much time to helping provide free childcare for the weekly meetings of social justice organizations in town through the Crescent City Childcare Collective, both as a volunteer and a core organizer of the collective. She is passionate about seeing that children without privilege receive the quality care that all kids deserve and that loving support is available for parents in need. Carmen loves her neighborhood in the 7th ward where she lives with her best friend and a very special cat named Witchy. She loves to ride her bike and find new nature spots to explore!
Rabbit Burrow, Two Year Olds
Lead Teacher, Amanda Moretinni (she/her)
Amanda is a native of Metairie. She has been working in childcare for 5 years along with spending her time babysitting while growing up. She has had a lifelong passion for caring for children and is devoted to creating a warm and nurturing environment where children can grow. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys reading, cooking, and being in nature. Amanda has her Associate Degree in American Sign Language. While interning at a school after graduating, she realized that she thrives in the classroom environment. Amanda knew then that the road to happiness would lead to working in childcare and being able to create a compassionate and accepting space for children to blossom. She is excited to be welcomed into the Abeona House family and is ready to begin this new adventure!
Full-Time Teacher, Michele Wojcik (she/her)
Part-Time Teacher, Harper Brown (she/her)
Fish Cove, Three Year Olds
Lead Teacher, Paris Schofield (she/her)
Full-Time Assistant, Katie Jones (she/her)
Emma Goldman (she/her)
Hi everyone! My name is Emma. I have lived in New Orleans for almost 7 years now, and I grew up in New Jersey. I have always loved teaching, whether it be for adults or for children. Throughout college I taught ESL (English as a second language) to a nighttime adult class. When COVID hit, I started doing some at home tutoring for different families. I have worked at the Louisiana Children’s Museum, and now The Abeona House! Throughout the years I have managed a few restaurants, but I am super excited to focus on my passion for teaching. I love to travel and explore new places, though my favorite place is the beach. I enjoy cooking, painting, and all sorts of arts and crafts. I love animals, and I feed a lot of the cats in my neighborhood. I love being outside, and I spend a lot of my free time gardening and bike riding. I am excited to get to know everybody!
Garden Room, Three and Four Year Olds
Lead Teacher, Vesper Harrington (he, they)
Full-Time Assistant, Theo Triplett (he/him)
Theo Triplett is a New Orleans native. He graduated from the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts (NOCCA) in creative writing before graduating Magna Cum Laude from Spelman College with a degree in English. From his teenage years onward, Theo fell in love with working with children of all ages, particularly those considered differently-abled. They most recently worked at McDonogh 35 Senior High school as a creative writing and English teacher before volunteering at the Noble Minds Center for Whole Child Learning on Carrollton. He looks forward to his journey at Abeona and fostering a community of curiosity, discovery, and joy.
Alix Jason (she/they)
Alix has been working with children for over 10 years. She has worked in foster care, behavioral therapy, and alternative education. Though she loves biking around the city, reading out loud is her favorite sport. In her spare time Alix volunteers with a harm reduction collective, runs a book club, writes, and makes books.