School Staff

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School Staff


Nanci Dower

Nanci Dower


Nanci has owned and operated SSU since 1982.  Prior to this she taught public school.  Her background is in Education and Reading.  Nanci has her masters degree and still continues with  her education.    She has six children and 2 grandchildren with two more on the way. She had previously owned Enchanted Tale Bearers, the first childrens’ only bookstore in Connecticut.  She has taught both online and on ground at GWCC and Post University.










Christina Spadacenta

Older 4′s and 5 year old

Hi, my name is Christina  and  I have been working in the three year  old classroom since September 1999. I began working at SSU as a Sophomore in high school and fell in love with the early childhood career as well as the children. It has been an amazing 7 years thus far , I have learned so much from my co-workers and children and continue to  learn more everyday.  It has been an  honor to work with such wonderful children and families.








Jaime Manacchio


Hi my name is Jaime. I’m a teacher in the infant and toddler room and I’m expecting my own little one in August. I graduated from Cheshire Academy, went to Gateway for Early Childhood and I also attending Southern Connecticut. I decided to take some time off and went into the work force which I’ve tried many different jobs such as banking, office, and waitressing. Now I’m back working with children which I enjoy very much probably because I come from a large family. I have three beautiful dogs that my husband and I love to take walks with. I am also Nanci’s oldest daughter.







Jodi Iamunno

After college majoring in Education, I went on a world tour.  I have been learning from my mom Nanci all my life. I am furthering my education.  After sunnyside my life is full with my 3 kids and my husband.

3 year old’s








 4 year old’s






Toni Ann Carey

Toni Ann Guarino Carey has been teaching musical theatre acting classes and assistant directing children’s plays for the past three years. She brings her creativity into the classroom incorporating it with most projects the class is working on. She  also has two daughters of her own ages 4 ½ and 6 years old enabling her to be quite familiar with children’s behaviors and abilities.

 4 year old’s







Patti Lawler


Hi, My name is Patti Lawlor.  I have been with Sunny Side Up from the beginning in 1982!  I have been a teacher of the 3 year olds, 4 year olds, and the infant and toddlers.  I have 2 grown children of my own and I am now a very proud Grandma.  I retired from full time teaching a few years back, but I can’t stay away and I now work here part time.

Kristen Mazziotti