The Open Center employs nurturing teachers who understand the stages of childhood development, respect family needs, and promote cultural diversity. Our staff is dedicated to building strong partnerships with families to enrich children’s experiences.
The Open Center hires experienced and dedicated teachers from a variety of backgrounds that reflect the diversity of the families; several teachers are also bilingual. All teachers are certified by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and have attained advanced certificates (Child Development Associate – CDA) or college degrees in the field. In addition, staff is required to continue their professional development by attending college-level courses, early childhood workshops and in-service trainings each year. Teachers are additionally certified in CPR and first aid to ensure each child’s safety.
Gale Morano has been the Director at Open Center since 1974. She has a Masters of Science in Parenting Education and Family Support from Wheelock College. Gale loves fostering a supportive collaboration between parents, teachers and the community. "I believe that children learn much of what they need to know through what they do naturally - play! Our goal at Open Center is to provide children with a safe, nurturing environment in which they can explore, develop new skills, learn to play cooperatively, and to resolve conflicts peacefully."
Wanda Berrios has been at Open Center since 1993. She earned a Child Development Associate (CDA) credential and is working toward an A.S. Degree in Early Education at Bunker Hill Community College. Wanda is a Blue Room lead teacher and works with her co-teachers to develop a play-based curriculum that provides children the opportunity to develop and enhance their social, cognitive and motor skills while having fun.
Mercedes De La Cruz has been working in the Green Room since 2001. Like Wanda, she earned her Child Development Associate credential and is taking classes toward her Associate's degree. She is the lead teacher in the younger classroom and works with her co-teacher to create a warm environment with fun activities that will challenge the children's developing skills.
Marlee McLaughlin-Bell began working at Open Center first in the Blue Room in 2010 then in the Green Room with Mercedes since 2014; She currently works part time with Gale in the office and part time in the Blue Room in the afternoon. She has her MS degree in Applied Social Research.
Daniele Di Martini joined the Open Center team in 2016 after working for many years at a large child care program in Connecticut. Daniele is working to complete her Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. She works primarily in the Blue Room but also assists in the Green Room.
Mercia De Aguiar worked at Open Center for a year and half from 1992-2000 before she returned to her home in Brazil to raise her family. She returned in 2016 to work with Mercedes in the Green Room with the younger children. She earned her Bachelor's degree in Education from a university in Brazil.
Marcie Swartz is our newest teacher; she will begin working in the Blue Room in September. Marcie has her Master's degree from Lesley College in Elementary Education and has many years of working with young children in both public and private schools. She also leads children's workshops in dramatics and creative expression.