66 Main Street, Harrisville, NH 03450
603.827.3905

Linda MacGillvary

Director

Linda has been the Director of the Harrisville Children’s Center since 2002.  She has her Bachelors of Science degree in Elementary Education and her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education/Special Needs.  She has taught preschool through grade two in both private and public settings.  Linda is the mother of two sons, Jonas and Zachary, who are in college and high school respectively.  She enjoys gardening and landscaping, photography, reading, and browsing bookshops whenever she has a chance.  She is excited to start the 2015-2016 school year with nearly full enrollment, a waiting list for some classes, and a wonderful staff.  Linda’s hours are typically Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:00.

Claire Gargan

Teacher - Infant Program

Claire has been working at HCC since August 2012 as Lead Teacher of the Infant Program.  She enjoys being a part of a hard-working, dedicated team of professionals who have the best interests of every child at heart.Claire has more than 30 years’ experience in the field of parenting, teaching and child care and she is Grandmother of four.  She arrived in NH from Southern Africa in 2012, where she taught in elementary schools as a classroom teacher and school principal for 18 years in both Zimbabwe and South Africa. Claire has two Montessori Diplomas from London in the field of Nursery Foundation Education and Primary Teaching and a Hornsby Diploma in Special Education, also from London. She is certified as a NH Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher. Claire believes in holistic care of infants and toddlers.  Each child learns at his or her own pace and needs to be nurtured to their full potential. She enjoys sewing, knitting, reading, swimming, travel, and spending time with her grandchildren.

Aimee LaRue

Assistant Teacher – Infant Program

Aimee joined the HCC staff in April of 2016.  She has lots of experience working with non-profit organizations and with school-aged children and teens, but really loves working with infants the most.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Arts Management and hopes to continue her education with a Masters in Library Science with a concentration in Children and Youth Services.  Aimee loves working with our babies and helping to create a caring and nurturing environment for them while they are away from home.  Aimee lives in Peterborough with her husband Mark and their two cats, Mr. Mister and Beesly.  She also works at the Peterborough Town Library and loves to grow flowers, read books, bake desserts, and work with stained glass in her free time.

Dona Page

Assistant Teacher – Infant Program

Dona is enjoying her second year at HCC as an assistant infant teacher.  She has more than 26 years of experience working with learners of all ages, from infants in childcare programs through young adults in college. She has a Master’s Degree in Education in Counseling and Consultation from Keene State College.  Dona understands the importance of early childcare and is honored to have the privilege of caring for the littlest members of our community. When not at the Center, Dona enjoys hiking, quilting, reading, gardening, scrapbooking and playing with her grandchildren.  She lives in Harrisville with her husband Don and her retriever Toby.   

Andrea Clifford

Teacher — Floater/Afternoon Infant Program

Andrea is beginning her third year at HCC, and her second as the afternoon infant teacher.  She also spends some time each day in the toddler and preschool rooms as a floater.  Andrea has been working with children over the years since 1995.  She has been a preschool teacher for two and three year old children, kindergarten assistant, before and after school program facilitator, and school age summer program leader. Andrea took a hiatus from children’s programs in 2003 to prepare for opening a café/gift shop in Dublin with her mother, which she ran successfully for 6 years.  She is excited to continue caring for our tiniest precious ones in her role as afternoon infant room teacher.  Andrea lives in Dublin with her three Russian Wolfhounds and enjoys vegetable gardening, cooking, trips to the ocean and New England historic sites, and spending time with her 6 nieces and nephews.

Erika Curtiss

Teacher - Toddler Program

Erika began her education in Fine Arts at Antioch College where she received her BA in Visual Arts.  She then went on to obtain her MFA at Marywood University.  Upon graduating from Marywood, Erika moved back home to Keene, New Hampshire after being gone for fifteen years to take care of her grandparents.  While caring for her grandparents she came to the realization that art assists in the growth and health of all human beings, young or old.  It was then that Erika decided to attend Antioch University New England for both Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education.  Her intention was to integrate art into all aspects of the curriculum with the idea that art aides in the formulation of motor skills, the ability to observe, as well as cognitive development.  Upon completion at AUNE, Erika joined the HCC community as the Toddler Teacher in January 2012.  She is very excited about being with children that are open to opportunities to explore not just art but everything around them. 

Stency Buker

Assistant Teacher — Toddler Program

Stency began working as an Assistant Teacher in the Buttercup Room at the Harrisville Children’s Center for the 2015 Summer Program.  She fell in love with all of the children and was thrilled to continue to be part of the HCC family.  Stency has always had a passion for working with young children.  She has experience as a Pediatric Dental Assistant, a camp counselor, and nanny.  Stency enjoys traveling, kayaking, and crafting.  She loves the change of seasons and celebrates what each has to offer.  She also loves spending time with her family and her black lab, Tucker.

Ruth Klingler

Teacher — Afternoon Toddler Program

Ruth is very happy to begin her third year at Harrisville Children’s Center.  She has a B.S. degree in social work as well as an Associate degree in child development from Ellis College.  Ruth has been teaching young children in a preschool setting for seventeen years and has also run Eager Beavers, a church-scout club for girls and boys ages four to ten years old.  She has a love for nature and brings this interest to the classroom through displays of butterflies and insects, animal collections, and related crafts.  Ruth also enjoys hiking, canoeing, fishing, reading, and crochet work.  She lives with her husband and three children in Hancock.

Jessica Kipka

Teacher — Younger Preschool Program

Jessica is delighted to begin her sixth year at the Harrisville Children’s Center. She finds it absolutely fascinating to explore the world through the curious and wondering eyes of young children.  Jessica holds a B.A. in Sociology and a Master’s in Elementary Education. She has taught tennis, swimming, gymnastics, theater, and first grade.  Her education in human development has been, and continues to be, supplemented by her own three children who range in age from 14 to 21.  Jessica lives with her two kids (the eldest is in college), her wonderful husband, a fluffy dog, and three silly, black cats in Peterborough.

Lilli Somero

Assistant Teacher – Younger Preschool Program

Lilli is a lover of beautiful things including literature, nature and children, all of which have surrounded her throughout her upbringing and continue to be a reminder providing her with inspiration.  Her passions collide through watching the patience and desire of children and their ineffable drive to learn about what surrounds them.  Rarely is there a time when Lilli is not with children, at which point she walks local mountains and forests seeking the solitude and calm that comes with the acceptance of time passing, only to drive home to an atmosphere filled with children playing outdoors and laughter all around.  Lilli begins her fifth year as an assistant teacher at the Harrisville Children’s Center.

Karen Newell

Teacher – Older Preschool Program

Karen is starting her first year at Harrisville Children’s Center as the teacher for the Sunflower Room, but she has been a preschool teacher for over twenty years.  She also spent six years as a one-on-one tutor for an elementary school student, staying with her from first through sixth grade.  Karen has her Master’s in Human Services and her Bachelor’s specializing in Early Childhood Education.  Karen’s biggest teachers are her two daughters who she adopted as toddlers.  One is now off to college and the other is a sophomore in high school.  Inspiring a love of learning and creativity in children is Karen’s passion.  Karen absolutely loves sharing her huge collection of children’s books with her classes.

Philomena LaPlume

Assistant Teacher – Older Preschool Program

Philomena grew up in rural Richmond, NH, surrounded by a love for homesteading, storytelling, and family.  She has enjoyed working with children from a young age and has experience as a nanny and a tutor.  Understanding that every child is unique in their journey of growing, Philomena finds joy in providing a fun, safe, and nurturing environment for each child.  She aspires to own her own educational farm someday, but for now she enjoys her newfound relationship with HCC, hiking, painting, learning, exploring, and adventuring.

Samantha Garfield

Teacher – Afternoon Preschool Program

Samantha is thrilled to be starting her first year at HCC.  She has a B.A. in literature from Southern Connecticut State University.  Samantha has been working with children for over fifteen years and has worked as a nanny, taught preschool through grade 8 at Temple Shalom and Congregation Mishkan Israel, and she was a long-term substitute teacher at Bethesda Nursery School in New Haven, CT.  Samantha hopes to complete her Master's degree at Keene State College in both Education and British Literature.

Karen Baird

Business Manager/Administrative Assistant

Karen began working at HCC in July of 2007. She studied Accounting and Business Administration, leading to a degree at Franklin Pierce College. Karen went on to receive her Master’s Degree at Southern NH University.  She has owned Baird Financial Management for the past 26 years, spending the last eight years focusing on the needs of local non-
profits. Karen’s responsibilities at HCC include billing, accounts payable and payroll.

Testimonials

Both my boys entered H.C.C. as beautiful babies and left as happy healthy kids.  I can't think of a better place for them to have grown.”
~ J. Weisberg

Our daughter thrived at HCC! She developed her "love of learning" from supportive, experienced teachers.”
~ Kipka family

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