Director: Cathy Herschelman has been working as a MECE Administrator since 2006 and took over as Director in 2012. Prior to that, she was an Administrator, mentor and new teacher trainer at the Methodist Preschool in Lawrenceville, GA, bringing ten years of experience as a twos and threes teacher to the position. She is a UCF graduate where she majored in Marketing and Psychology, and then received her preschool teacher certification in 1992. She earned a Master's in Early Childhood Education Leadership from the University of North Florida. Cathy is also active at the state level, serving on the Executive Board of the Christian Preschool Association; and she is a Certified Validator on the accreditation committee that certifies preschools with National and Florida Gold Seal Accreditations. She enjoys spending time with her family, including children Rick and Karley and three grandchildren. Cathy is a member and frequent volunteer at the First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton. In her spare time she enjoys Zumba, cooking, and helping her husband, Quent, maintain the preschool’s web site.
Assistant Director: Lisa Bariso has been working in early education for over 20 years. After getting her business degree from St. Leo University, Lisa went on to get her Preschool Certification and eventually began working with another preschool in the Boca Raton area. It was there that she heard about the premier experience offered by MECE Preschool where developmentally appropriate experiences are the priority. She joined the MECE family in 1997 as a Senior Twos teacher. Serving as Assistant Director since 2012, Lisa’s strong background in both early childhood education and business management strengthens MECE’s commitment to quality and excellence. She and her husband of 30 years, George, have two sons, John and Zachary, both of whom she entrusted to MECE for their early education. Lisa is very active in the community: serving as a member and past President of Junior League, volunteers at local non-profit organizations, and in her spare time enjoys traveling, and going to musicals and sporting events of all levels!
Teaching Coach: Sandie Taylor graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Sociology and took some time off from working to stay home with her children. Her youngest two are MECE graduates, and while they attended, she became a substitute in the classroom and discovered a love for teaching. When her youngest daughter graduated from MECE in 1989, Sandie accepted a permanent staff position and found another family. She has worked with all age groups and has been a pre-K teacher since 1999. Sandie received a CDA-equivalent (child development associate) from the State of Florida in 1994, based on her degree and college course work in early childhood development. Sandie brings these many years of teaching experience to her role in mentor other early childhood teachers. Sandie enjoys baking and cooking for her family – husband, 3 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, five grandsons and two granddaughters. She is delighted that her grandsons are MECE graduates. “My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe, happy and fun environment in which all students will feel good about themselves and flourish as they become increasingly competent at new skills and confident in their abilities.”
Stephanie Booker discovered MECE through a dear friend. She has been working with preschool children of all ages for over 16 years. After earning her preschool Teaching Credential, she went on to get her Director Credential. Stephanie is open and flexible, as well as educated and motivated to help each child in her class to meet their individual milestones. Her awesome daughter, Nala, recently graduated from the University of Florida earning multiple degrees. Go Gators! Stephanie entrusted her life to Christ in 2012. She is a Youth Leader and helps with Women’s Department. She loves her church! Stephanie’s favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Catherine Coombs first came to know MECE when her youngest daughters were students. As her children grew, Catherine became involved in their schools, beginning with her service on the MECE Parent Association Board. Catherine has volunteered, by working with children in Sunday School, VBS and at each of her children’s schools. Through the privilege of being a parent and her service at her children’s schools, Catherine discovered that her true joy is working with children and supporting those initiatives that benefit children and families in our community. Catherine began working at MECE as an assistant in 2019. In 2021, Catherine earned her staff credential enabling her to become a lead teacher. Catherine has a degree in Chemistry from Goucher College and worked in pharmaceutical sales for over a decade. Catherine treasures the opportunity to work in such a supportive and uplifting environment of co-workers, students and families at MECE.
Romina Tezak has a long history of working with young children. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, she moved to Boca Raton with her husband and her oldest daughter. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Marketing from the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas. Romina had two more children and enjoyed staying home with them for several years. Being a mom helped her to realize how much she enjoys helping young children, encouraging them to be independent and teaching them the tools to reach milestones. So when her children were in school she started substituting at a local preschool. This role turned into a teaching assistant position. Romina enjoyed this so much she began taking classes to achieve her Early Childhood Teaching Credential. When that preschool closed, Romina knew of just one other school that would feel like home, so she came to MECE. I'm so thankful to be a part of MECE, and for the opportunity to continue growing as a teacher in a happy and loving place.
Chrissy Kinbacher-Donhauser first heard about how wonderful MECE is through some of the Parents' Morning Out (PMO) families. She is extremely excited to be a part of the MECE family. Chrissy has a love of working with children since she was young. She has worked at First United Methodist Church in PMO for over 5 years and is also involved in Sunday School. Miss Chrissy brings years of experience working with young children in centers in Boca Raton and Coral Springs. She is currently continuing her education at Palm Beach State College.
Holli Sutton has been helping children discover how their innate abilities her entire adult life. She started as an outdoors instructor at Lake Tahoe - teaching children to ski during the winter months and taking teenagers on week-long trips into the back country for YMCA sleep-away camp during the summer months. After graduating with a degree in Anthropology from University of California Santa Cruz, she then worked her way around the world on sail boats where she met her husband. In 2015 they moved to Boca Raton with their three beautiful children. Miss Holli joined the MECE family as an Assistant Teacher and then decided to continue her education in early childhood and earn her Teaching Credential. She now brings her can-do spirit to the Senior Twos classroom where she loves MECE’s curriculum based on age-appropriate learning and attention to individual growth.
Sharon Bardos began working as an assistant at MECE in 2002 while her youngest son was also enrolled as a student. She decided she loved working with the children (and staff) and wanted to teach. Miss Sharon attained her Certification in 2003 and has been a Threes teacher ever since. She enjoys music, gardening, the wonders of nature and sharing discoveries with the children. Sharon has two sons, -both MECE Graduates.
Gina Tayem joined the MECE family in 2003 and has taught the PreK/4's ever since. She is originally from New York and has quite happily made Boca Raton her home with her husband of over 30 years and 2 grown children. Miss Gina attained her Lead Teacher Certification in 2000 and recently earned her AS degree in Early Childhood education. Gina feels it is important to be truly present with each child and nurture their unique personalities. She cultivates a loving, and relaxed atmosphere so children are happy to come to school to learn and make new friends. "It is so rewarding to watch the children grow and flourish throughout the year". Gina enjoys reading, swimming, yoga and traveling with her family. "While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."
Susan Davis is happy to have found her new MECE family as she returns to South Florida. Recently she was living in Georgia where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Early Education. She has worked with many different ages and found her calling when she worked in a PreK classroom at another local school. Miss Susan recognizes that children learn best through play combined with guided instruction. She enjoys seeing the growth in children, while making learning fun. Susan and her husband, Joe, have three boys, Jared, Jesse, and Jett. If that isn’t enough to keep her busy, they have two dogs, Zoey and Copper. Susan looks forward to teaching your child academics as well as that God loves them quoting Proverbs 22:6 6 "Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not depart from it".