Meet Our Staff

Here Wee Grow! teachers are trained in the Responsive Classroom Approach. This approach to teaching and learning fosters safe, challenging, and joyful classrooms and school. The outcome from using this approach shows an increase in social skills and academic engagement; establishes a positive classroom climate, increases learner investment and independence and decreases disruptive behaviors. To learn more about the Responsive Classroom Approach go to www.responsiveclassroom.org.

Phyllis Phelan, Director

  • Founding Director 1995
  • Member of Hazardville United Methodist Church who sponsors Here Wee Grow!
  • Native Texas
  • BS in Education from The University of North Texas
  • MS in Speech and Language Pathology from The University of North Texas
  • Phyllis and her husband Tom have two children. Daughter Grace makes her home in Boston. Their son Patrick and wife Maggie make their home on Cape Cod. They have two children Hadley and Holden.
  • My favorite classroom activity is to observe children as they play then engage them in conversation.  I hope I help to build knowledge and connect what they already know to learning new ideas and skills. These observations help me to learn what interests your child so we can create an emerging curriculum that all will enjoy. It is a curriculum that will open doors to new information, provide challenging but achievable goals and provide fun activities while learning.
  • My favorite pastime activities are reading, gardening, drives in the country (but a stop at Starbucks before getting out of town) and spending time with my children and grandchildren.

Patti Glaspie, Teacher

  • Began teaching at Here Wee Grow! in 2004
  • Born and raised in Michigan
  • Moved to Enfield over 25 years ago with husband John
  • Has one daughter
  • Associate in Arts Degree from Jackson Community College
  • Bachelor of Science degree in Botany from the University of Michigan

Robin Barrett, Teacher

  • BA degree from Syracuse University
  • Robin and her husband Michael have lived in Enfield all of their married life. They have three sons John, Daniel and William. Son Daniel and his wife Kara are expecting their first child this year.
  • Her favorite classroom activity is exploring art materials with the children and encouraging their creativity.
  • Her favorite pastime activities are reading, attending auctions and visiting Martha’s Vineyard.
  • Robin has been associated with HWG since 1996.

Mandi Herzig, Teacher

  • Associate degree in Early Childhood from ACC.
  • Bachelor of business from Bay Path College.
  • Mandi has three children. Daughter Emalie is a freshman at Enfield High; son Tyler is in the 6th grade at JFK Middle School and youngest daughter Madilyn is in the 5th grade at St Bernard School. Also a part of her family is a one year old puppy named Oatmeal.
  • Mandi has lived in Enfield for fourteen years.
  • Favorite activity to do with children: “We have the most fun doing hands on messy activities!”
  • Her favorite pastime is spent reading, spending time with friends; and watching her children’s various sport activities.
  • Mandi has been associated with HWG since 2010.
  • Her two youngest children attended HWG.

Mary Jo Gilbert, Assistant Teacher

  • BA from North Adams State College
  • She and her husband, Steve have three children. Zachary is a senior at UCONN and daughter Kayla is a freshman at UCONN. Youngest daughter Madison is in the 6th grade.
  • Favorite activity to do with children is read and make puzzles with them.
  • Her favorite pastime is baking.
  • Mary Jo has been a member of the HWG since 2011.
  • All of her children attended HWG.

Trudy Heck, Teacher

  • Began teaching at Here Wee Grow! in 2006
  • Born and raised in England, moved to America over 20 years ago
  • She and husband Ken have one daughter in the 11th grade
  • Very active in daughter’s school and sports activities
  • Holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and Teaching
  • Certificate, Asnuntuck Community College.

Penny Riley, Teacher

  • Attending Asnuntuck Community College and working towards completion of Early Childhood Education degree.
  • Living in Suffield for four years with husband John and, the mother of three sons ages 23, 18 and 16.
  • Favorite activities to do with the children are too read to them and do hands on art with a variety of materials as they explore their creativity.
  • Hobbies are reading, trying new recipes and traveling to new places.

Amanda O’Leary, Teacher

  • Teacher of three year olds and coordinator for the STEM ACTIVITIES
  • Bachelor of Science degree from UCONN
  • Has one four year old son
  • Has lived in Enfield most of her life
  • Enjoys yoga, reading music and dancing
  • Looking forward to being back with lots of children and learning together

Cindy Kissel, Teaching Assistant

I am very excited about starting my third year at HWG. I have been married to my husband John for 23 years and have two sons, Nathaniel who is 21 and Tristan who is 13. When I am not working I enjoy spending time at Cape Cod with my family. I hold Associate degree in Science.