Meet The Team


Co-Early Education Director specializing in Infant & Toddlers

Erica grew up in Upstate New York and moved to Vermont in the mid 90’s to pursue an early childhood education degree at Goddard College. After a pause to welcome her first two children (now ages 23 and 19) she got her BA from Sterling College in Circumpolar Studies and Early Childhood Ecological Education. Erica has worked with children and families in education, social work, counseling and coaching for 25+ years. Currently, Erica is working at NOW full time, working as a trauma-informed family coach, and homeschooling her younger 2 children (ages 11 and 14). In her free time, Erica enjoys writing, art, being outside with her children and 2 dogs, and restoring historic wooden windows.


Co-Early Education Director specializing in Preschool

Suzanne has a bachelor's degree in Education from East Stroudsburg University in PA. She is from the Delaware Water Gap region of New Jersey, and spent the majority of her childhood exploring the Appalachian Mountains and the Jersey shore with her family and friends. She's been Visiting Vermont since 1992, and became a "transplant" here in 2015. Suzanne moved here for a teaching opportunity, and that lead her to finding NOW.


Lead School Age Teacher & Social Media Manager

Lauren was born in Queens, New York and has lived in several states growing up including New Jersey and Tennessee. She traveled to Vermont to begin her education at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont where she also began working as a preschool teacher for the first time. She became a certified Pre-K teacher in Massachusetts while continuing to take classes at MassBay Community College. In her free time, Lauren loves to dance, play instruments, sing, do crafts, do yoga, and see live music.

NOW Commitment to staff: 

A livable wage for all employees  

A focus on the mental health and wellbeing of every employee  

A commitment to provide continued high-quality education and training


Chris Buckridge


Chris moved to Vermont in June 2020 after completing an English degree in New Haven, CT. Previous to that, Chris had grown up in Ohio and lived in Brooklyn, NY for 15 years, where he worked as a musician and barista.


Patty Kirpan

Lead Teacher

Patty lives in Moretown,Vt.
After getting her Bachelor's Degree from Trinity College in Human Services/Early Education and Master's in Special Ed. from Johnson,
she has been a licensed preschool and Kindergarten teacher in local schools for years. After officially retiring in 2012 and raising 11 kids, she couldn't resist jumping right into the MECA program with Moie ( whom she has known before birth) because she knows Moie is awesome! Patty has never left. When not at NOW, Patty enjoys swimming, kayaking, downhill skiing and traveling.


Founder & Executive Director

Moie grew up in Vermont, and has a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Union Institute and University. She started the Neck Of the Woods (formerly MECA) Program in 2012 and has absolutely loved watching the Program and families grow through the years. In her free time she loves reading, singing, playing soccer and spending time with her sweet family.


Cofounder & School Age Director

Katie grew up in Pennsylvania, and moved to Vermont 2 years ago. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Juniata College and is a licensed early educator in the state of Vermont. In her free time, she enjoys hiking with her dogs, reading, and playing field hockey. She also coaches the Harwood High School Field Hockey team. She has worked for NOW for 3 years. Katie has a bachelors degree in early childhood education, a Vermont teaching license and 5 years experience working with children. 

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