top of page
IMG_7363 (1).jpg

Marie Pinchbeck

Head Teacher

Marie holds a Master's degree in reading.  She believes every day is a new adventure when working with preschool children. She loves how eager they are to learn and loves teaching them new skills, which she has been doing at FPNS since 2003. Before joining FPNS,  she spent 31 years as a public school kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade teacher at Cos Cob School in Greenwich, West School, and Center Schools in New Canaan.

Marie lives with her husband and Maine Coon Cat, Sassy, in Ridgefield. She loves reading, gardening, traveling, and spending time with her daughter. 


Lauren van Roden

Assistant Teacher

Lauren van Roden has a B.A. from Gettysburg College in Sociology and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from BankStreet College. She has been teaching for 20 years. She also tutors and works closely with the NCPS. Lauren has been on the board at FPNS and joined the staff in 2022.  


Tanya Jessop

Assistant Teacher 

Tanya grew up on Frogtown Rd in New Canaan, where as a child, she tended to the family donkey, goats and sold eggs from her chicken coop. Her love of animals is second only to her love of children. She attended New Canaan Country School and Brooks School. She received a BA in Art History from Washington College. After college, she worked as an event planner for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC before moving to London with her husband. She has been living in New Canaan with her family since 2005. She looks forward to teaching and playing with your children at First Presbyterian Nursery School.


Neely Leslie

Assistant Teacher 

Neely graduated from The University of Illinois with a bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. Upon graduating, she worked in Sales and Marketing for Hyatt Hotels in Dallas and Chicago.  While in Chicago, she decided to go back to school for teaching.  Neely graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor's in Elementary Education.  After graduating, she taught 2nd grade in Houston, TX, with a specialization in ESL. Neely is so excited to be back in the classroom at FPNS.  She loves seeing the excitement and joy the children have each day learning something new. 


Neely has lived in New Canaan since 2009 with her husband and three children.  During her free time, you can find her cheering on her children at either a hockey, soccer, or lacrosse game or walking and running the trails at Waveny Park.

bottom of page