Early Childhood Learning Center



Our Mission Statement

St. Lawrence O’Toole Early Childhood Learning Center will provide each child entrusted to their care with the opportunity to grow spiritually, educationally, emotionally, socially and physically, as well as to become life-long learners in a Catholic environment.

St. Lawrence O’Toole Early Childhood Learning Center is a child-centered, value-oriented, co-educational Catholic school serving children ages three and four.  The Center aims for academic excellence in an environment of religious and moral formations.  Along with teaching formal subjects, St. Lawrence O’Toole Early Childhood Learning Center will strive to give direction to the lives of its students by instilling certain values

  • Responsibility
  • Respect for authority
  • Consideration for the rights of others
  • Self-discipline

Particular emphasis will be placed upon inter-personal relationships as a long-term goal.  In a world which today challenges the ability and opportunity for people to be of service to their community, in their own homes, in their “back yard” and in distant lands, we will, through a variety of service experiences, help our students learn to appreciate the role of one who has come to serve.


Meet Our Staff

Director - Mrs. Barbara Blank

Mrs. Barbara Blank has worked in the education field for over thirty years in a variety of capacities: Teacher Assistant, Teacher, Director and Principal both in General Education and Special Education. Most of her work experience has been in the private sector or parochial settings. In fact, she is a product of a Catholic education from 1st grade through graduate school. Mrs. Blank holds a Masters degree from the College of New Rochelle and an advanced certificate in School Administration and Supervision (S.A.S.) from Pace University. Her career has provided her with the chance to work with all age groups: from toddlers to high school seniors.

Born and raised in NYC, Mrs. Blank currently resides in Danbury. She and her husband have two daughters; one lives in North Carolina with her husband and the other daughter lives in Brewster with her husband and two children.







Pre-K 4 Head Teacher - Mrs. Renee Torchiano

Mrs. Renee Torchiano has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Manhattanville College.  She has been teaching for 15 years.  In addition to teaching all age groups in early childhood, she has also been a Director of a preschool in White Plains and a Literacy Coach for Sylvan Learning.  Mrs. Torchiano’s passion is creating, implementing and practicing developmentally appropriate early childhood curriculum.  She started working for St. Lawrence O’Toole in 2011 as the Kindergarten teacher.  In 2015, she was the “Just the 2 of Us” teacher for St. Lawrence.  Mrs. Torchiano has three children, 2 of which attended St. Lawrence. Mrs. Torchiano and her husband moved to Brewster seven years ago, and the first place that welcomed them and made them feel like they were part of a BIG family in a new neighborhood was St. Lawrence O’Toole ECLC!

Pre-K 4 Head Teacher - Mrs. Janice Nastasi

Mrs. Nastasi was a teacher for 28  years before coming out of retirement to join our staff as a Pre-K 4 teacher in September of 2012. Mrs. Nastasi taught Kindergarten for 14 years, First Grade for 7 years and Reading for 7 years at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Brewster. She also taught 5 th and 6 th Grade Science for 2 years here at St. Lawrence and taught 4 years of Math in various
Middle Schools in Texas, Carmel and Pleasantville. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Connecticut State College and received her Masters in Education from Cambridge College.

Pre-K 3 Head Teacher - Mrs. Jessica Grutzner

Mrs. Grutzner joined the ECLC as a parent in September of 2012.  She came full circle, and in September 2013 she became one of our Pre-K 3 teachers.  She holds an Associates in Liberal Arts from Westchester Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Fordham University.

Pre-K 3 Head Teacher - Ms. Charlotte Strasheim

Ms. Strasheim joined ECLC in September 2018. She was an Assistant Teacher in
the NYC Public Schools for 11 years. Ms. Strasheim holds an Associate’s Degree in Science from Queensboro Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Children and Family Studies from Empire State University.

       Additional ECLC Staff


Mrs. Eileen DePaoli   

Gym Teacher


Mrs. Gina DiBenedetto

Teacher Aide and Lunch Bunch


Mrs. Carol Feehan

Teacher Aide and Morning Care


Mrs. Carol Fisher  

Spanish Teacher


Ms. Siobhan Herbstritt

Office Worker, Morning Care and After Care


Mrs. Mary Ann O’Neill  

Teacher Aide, Office Worker and After Care


Mrs. Luisa Pitkat

Teacher Aide, Morning Care and Lunch Bunch


Mrs. Danielle Salvo 

Office Worker


Mrs. Lynn Sherman 

Office Worker


Mrs. Nancy Tucker 

Teacher Aide and Library Coordinator


Mrs. Nelva Zambrano 

Teacher Aide, Music Teacher and Lunch Bunch




















Programs Offered

3 Year Old

4 Year Old

Lunch Bunch

AM/PM Care




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