Stephanie Dozois started attending the First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury in March of 2012. She and her husband knew right away that this was the right church for them and soon became members. Stephanie had spent her whole adult life as a nanny and knew that she loved working with children. Over the summer Stephanie started working with the CE director, and in September 2014 she stepped in as the Sunday School Superintendent. When the position became open in November of 2014, Stephanie took over as Director of Christian Education. She has worked with the Sunday school, Confirmation classes, and the youth group, and it has been more fulfilling that she could have possibly imagined. Stephanie has thoroughly enjoyed being part of a Communities of Practice and getting to know so many other Christian educators. Working with the young disciples of the Church is exactly where she needs to be.
Libby Fielder has been the Church School Director for the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard since 2012. Although trained as a ballet dancer rather than an educator, she has a passion for guiding children on their faith journeys. Libby danced in Washington, DC and Europe for a decade, and then lived in England, Israel and Paraguay with her husband, David, and their two sons. When they settled in Virginia, she created a puppet curriculum for three-year-olds at their Methodist church in Virginia, and taught for eight years. During that time, Libby also worked as a translator and paralegal with Just Neighbors Ministry, an immigration legal aid organization supported by the UMC. Her work on Martha’s Vineyard includes serving on the Faith Formation Board and the Worship Planning Team. Libby looks forward to developing an ecumenical Community of Practice on Martha’s Vineyard, and working with the Island-wide youth group, The Net.
Heather Helger (not pictured above) is the Director of Children and Youth Ministries at the United Congregational Church of Little Compton, RI. Heather feels blessed to have been baptized into and raised in the very welcoming Salem United Church of Christ Church in Pennsylvania as a child. She aims for the children and youth in her church to feel that same sense of welcome in her own congregation! Heather has a Bachelor’s of Science in Zoology from the University of Rhode Island, which led her down the road of environmental and other non-profit education, and which also included a few years teaching as a high school science teacher. She began working as an assistant to the Sunday school program in spring of 2002. Heather took over as part-time Director of the Sunday School in Jan. 2003 which then became a full time position for her as Director of Children and Youth in the spring of 2008. Heather oversees and manages the child care, Sunday school, youth group, confirmation, college student outreach and all family programing. Heather recently served for four years as the RI Representative to the NEAUCE (New England Association of United Church Educators) Coordinating Committee. She now is beginning work as the CE Representative to the RIC UCC Board of Directors. In addition to the MACUCC CE certification program, she just recently received her EEYM (Education for Effective Youth Ministries) certificate.
Karen Kilty is a member of Maple Street Congregational Church in Danvers and is a lay leader, high school church teacher, acolyte coordinator and Yoga-as-Faith formation instructor at Maple Street. She is a spiritual director, and has completed the “Gateways to God” program, training in spiritual direction and congregational formation at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover. She has found the CE Certification program an opportunity to deepen her understanding of faith development and who we are as people of the United Church of Christ. Karen is the Program Coordinator for the Center of Spirituality and Leadership at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center and is grateful to be called to companion people of all ages along their faith journey.
Jennifer Piescik is currently the Christian Education Coordinator at the Trinitarian Congregational Church in Northfield, MA. She took the part-time position in January of 2011 after volunteering as a Sunday school teacher and committee member. She grew up in this church, being baptized and then confirmed as a teenager in 1980. As a young adult she received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and worked for several years in child care centers in CT and NH and then in her own in-home childcare center. Motherhood took her on her next journey in life. She was able to stay home with her two boys for 8 years while occasionally looking after other children. After a major change in her life in 2007 she moved back to Northfield and went back into the workforce. She also went back to the Trinitarian Congregational Church and found many familiar faces and caring people. She has worked full time for the past nine years for the Pioneer Valley Regional School District as an instructional assistant; the last six with students with disabilities. Jennifer has found participating in the CE Certification Program and working with children an important part of her faith journey.