Primrose School of Florham Park

Our Staff

  • Ms. Stephanie Palencia, School Director

    Ms. Stephanie Palencia

    School Director

    Hello Primrose Families!

    My name is Stephanie Palencia and I am the School Director here at Primrose School of Florham Park. I am so excited and grateful to be part of such a wonderful team. I look forward to working with all of you and watching our children flourish and grow!

    I have been in the childcare field for about 13 years now. My career and passion for education began at 15 years old when I was hired as an assistant teacher at a small childcare center in Clifton, NJ. This is where my interest in child development began! 

    I had also worked as a lead toddler teacher and administrative assistant for a few years. During this time, I attended William Paterson University and obtained my Bachelor’s in Psychology. To further my knowledge on developmental psychology, I also spent some time working with adults who have developmental disabilities. 

    I have always enjoyed managing my classrooms and allowing my students to get a little messy and have a lot of have fun! I have also found much joy training my peers on redirection and positive guidance. I have applied my knowledge and experience to the administrative side of childcare centers for about three years now and I look forward to bringing all that I can to the Primrose table! 

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at or stop by my desk! I am always eager to help!

  • Ms. Gissela Portillo, Assistant Director/Education Director

    Ms. Gissela Portillo

    Assistant Director/Education Director

    Ms.Gissela Portillo is our Assistant Director

    She joins us with over 6 years of Early Childhood Education experience and has been working as a Preschool Lead Teacher, prior to joining our school.

    Ms. Portillo currently holds a CDA and is also taking courses at Essex County College to acquire her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.

    Ms. Portillo has always had a passion for teaching young children and loves encouraging them, and watching them grow.

    We are very excited to have Ms. Portillo as one of our Primrose Leadership Team!

    Her goal is to grow with Primrose, and she is definitely succeeding!

    We see a bright future for Ms. Portillo in our school, and are so grateful to have her as part of our team!

  • Ms. Marissa Faillace, Administrative Assistant

    Ms. Marissa Faillace

    Administrative Assistant

    My name is Marissa Faillace!

    Some things that I enjoy doing outside of work include baking, knitting, watching tv, and playing with my dog. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and am currently working on a Master's Degree in Elementary Education. I have been working with children for over 3 years and I love watching children get excited about new learning opportunities. 

    I look forward to working with all of you! 

  • Ms. Lauren Trinh, School Support

    Ms. Lauren Trinh

    School Support

    Ms. Lauren Trinh is part of our School Support Team! We are so happy to have her help our school in any way possible.

    Ms.Trinh’s education is very important to her since she came from a war torn country where education wasn’t possible. Ms.Trinh graduated from Elizabeth High School then continued her education In Cranford NJ, earning her Associates in Applied Science.

    In her fifteen years of working with middle and high school aged children, she has always encouraged them to be successful in their education.

    We are excited to have Ms.Trinh as a part of the Primrose Family and look forward to having her grow with us!

  • Edison Vicuna, Chef

    Edison Vicuna



    I am Chef Eddy! I am so happy to be a part of the Primrose family! It brings me much joy to make delicious meals for all of our friends here.

    I come to Primrose with over 30 years of experience working in different restaurants. Some of my favorite cuisines to make are Italian and BBQ. Cooking is my passion and I’m glad I can show everyone what my favorite thing to do is.

    In my personal life, I have a wonderful wife, Betty, who I have been married to for 4 years. I also have an amazing 17 year old son, who is currently in high school. I strive to provide the best life for my family.

    I hope that I can bring joy to all of our teachers and students with the meals we make each day!

  • Ms. Wislaine, School Maintenance

    Ms. Wislaine

    School Maintenance
    Apple of Our Eye

    Ms. Wislaine comes to us with housekeeping experience. She helps us keep our school clean and sanitized throughout the day and is always eager to help where needed! 

  • Ms. Mary Basnayake, Infant 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Mary Basnayake

    Infant 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Mary Basnayake is the Lead Infant I Teacher, at The Primrose School of Florham Park!

    Ms. Basnayake has been teaching children of all ages for over 20 years. She moved to The United States from Sri Lanka, where she lead the Social Sciences department and taught grades 9-12. Since moving to the United States in 2008, Ms. Basnayake has worked at a Preschool as both a Teacher’s Assistant and Lead Teacher.

    She has a Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts and obtained an Early Childhood Education Degree from the College of Staten Island. What Ms. Basnayake enjoys most about working with children is watching them learn and grow. Children are full of positive energy and she truly loves being around them! Ms. Basnayake is so excited to see her students meet new milestones each day. She said, "Working in a field I truly love, allows me to be a better mother and wife to my family because working with children makes me happy!"

    She is looking forward to continuing her journey with The Primrose School of Florham Park. Ms. Basnayake can’t wait to see her young students learn and grow with her help and assistance.

    In her spare time, Ms. Basnayake likes to cook her family's favorite dishes and decorate her home!

  • Ms. Ebony Neely, Infant 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Ebony Neely

    Infant 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    My name is Ebony and I have recently graduated from the College of New Rochelle with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts.

    Working with children has always been a passion of mine and I really enjoy watching their growth & seeing them become excited about school!

    For the past few years I have enjoyed gaining experience with children through working as an assistant teacher in a NYC charter school, summer camp programs and most recently as a lead teacher for infants and toddlers.

    I am so excited to join the Primrose School of Florham Park as a Teacher for Infant 1!

  • Ms. Yolanda Norville, Infant 2 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Yolanda Norville

    Infant 2 Co-Lead Teacher

    We are so happy to welcome Ms. Yolanda to our Primrose family! She comes to us with over 25 years’ experience in childcare!

    She absolutely loves working with children! She is passionate about helping them reach their milestone & building long lasting relationships with their parents.

  • Ms. Tanya Wallace, Infant 2 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Tanya Wallace

    Infant 2 Co-Lead Teacher

    My name is Tanya Wallace. 

    I am a loving wife, mother of 4 and grandmother of 3. I love to spend my quality time with my family, taking vacations and exploring other countries.  

    I have been in the Education field for over 30 years. I have worked in the Newark Public School system as a Lead in the kitchen where I later went on to become a Special Education teacher’s Assistant/Paraprofessional. I also have experience as a Kindergarten teacher. Within the last 17 years, I have worked in Early Childhood education at the YMCA/ECC in Maplewood, NJ.  

    I enjoy working with children because of the challenges that come with the job but the reward of helping a child succeed warms my heart and makes the work I do even more worthwhile. In doing the work as an Early Childhood educator, I get the chance to provide children with the necessary resources to move throughout their life even at very young age. Working with children has always been a passion of mine and I find an immense amount of joy in watching the students I’ve had reach their milestones throughout educating them.  

    I am looking forward to continuing my journey as an educator here with the Primrose School of Florham Park. 

  • Ms. Jackie Hampton, Associate Infant Teacher

    Ms. Jackie Hampton

    Associate Infant Teacher

    Ms. Jackie is SO excited to join our Infant 2 classroom! She comes with many years of experience; working at multiple summer camps and helping her mom run a successful babysitting business.

    After graduating from Essex County College with an associate’s degree in business administration she realized her passion was helping children grow and learn!

    We are excited to have Ms. Jackie part of our Primrose Family & can’t wait to see all the positive qualities she brings to Infant 2.

  • Ms. Theresa Samuel, Lead Young Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Theresa Samuel

    Lead Young Toddler Teacher

    Ms.Theresa Samuel is one of our Lead Young Toddler Teachers. She has earned her B.A. from the College of New Rochelle while working for the New York City Board of Education. She has over 10 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field. Ms. Samuel has a passion for working with children and feels she could never have enough time with them. Ms. Samuel has completed the New Jersey First Steps statewide Infant/Toddler Initiative course.

    Ms. Samuel is a loving wife and a mother to two teenage boys. She enjoys traveling to Santorini and Aruba. They are here favorite places! Ms.Samuel loves to read a good novel and also enjoys expanding her knowledge and education in the Early Childhood field.

    She is excited to be apart of the Primrose family and looks forward to delivering the best and most trusted Early Childhood Education experience and child care services to all families.

  • Ms.Jayla Fennell, Associate Young Toddler Teacher

    Ms.Jayla Fennell

    Associate Young Toddler Teacher

    Ms.Fennell is our newest Associate Young Toddler Teacher. She is currently planning to attend school to specialize in "Special Education" and has spent years volunteering at several childcare centers. Ms. Fennell is known as a inspiring mentor for here peers and is also known for being a nurturing childcare educator. She has spent the last year as a teacher for the United Neighbors Childcare Center and is so excited to start her new chapter at the Primrose School of Florham Park. Since joining the Primrose School of Florham Park family in August of this year, Ms.Fennell has developed wonderful relationships with the children and families in her care and has been a team player for our school. She is always willing to go the extra mile for her students, our families, and our staff. We are so lucky to have Ms. Fennell as one of our Primrose teachers!

  • Ms. Diamond Johnson, Young Toddler Associate Teacher

    Ms. Diamond Johnson

    Young Toddler Associate Teacher
  • Ms. Janice White, Lead Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Janice White

    Lead Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Janice White is our Lead Toddler Teacher. Ms. White graduated from Weeguahic High School and is a proud mother to her 3 wonderful sons: Bruce, Damian, and Jalen. Ms. White has worked in the Early Childhood Educationfield for over 10 years. She worked at the YMCA of Maplewood for 5 years where she worked with children from Infancy to Preschool. Ms. White also ran her own daycare at her home for the past 4 years where she gained a lot of experience in customer service, teaching, and all aspects of the education and childcare service industry.

    Ms. White has a passion for teaching and caring for young children. She enjoys watching them learn and grow. We are looking forward to having her as a part of our Primrose School of Florham Park Family!

  • Ms. Denisse Ramon, Infant 1 Teacher

    Ms. Denisse Ramon

    Infant 1 Teacher

    Hello everyone! My name is Denisse Ramon; I acquired my associate degree of Arts in General Studies at Pillar College and Graduated Magna Cum Laude. I am currently continuing my studies for elementary school.

    In my Native Country (Ecuador), I worked as an assistant teacher for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade for almost four years. I also worked for two years at a Daycare in Newark. Working with different ages and parents has helped me gain knowledge and insight on how to help students be the best versions of themselves. I believe that education is an essential tool that brings us the opportunity to grow and reach our goals. I am strongly motivated to contribute to it and excited to do so here with the Primrose Family, whose values I share, such as their focus on delivering high quality early learning experiences that lead to the proper foundation for continual learning . And working with families to ensure the best of us is always given to our students.

  • Ms. Rashonda Johnson, Lead Early Preschool I Teacher

    Ms. Rashonda Johnson

    Lead Early Preschool I Teacher

    Ms. Rashonda Johnson is our Lead Early Preschool I Teacher, at the Primrose School of Florham Park. She has been working in the Early Childhood Education Field for over 10 years with children of all ages.

    She loves being a part of a child’s learning process. She enjoys seeing them smile when they learn something new. Ms. Johnson thinks it is such a joy to be around children and enjoys knowing she is a part of their learning process. Ms.Johnson takes pride in her students accomplishments especially when they meet their many milestones and grow socially, academically, and emotionally.

    We are so happy to have Ms. Johnson at The Primrose School of Florham Park! She is a great addition to our school!

  • Ms. Christie Beaucejour, Early Preschool Associate Teacher

    Ms. Christie Beaucejour

    Early Preschool Associate Teacher

    Ms. Christie Beaucejour is one of our School Support Teachers and has been working with young children for 3 years. She enjoys watching children grow and reach new milestones. She started with the Primrose family in May and has been a wonderful addition to all of the classrooms.

    Ms. Beaucejour is also attending Montclair State University, majoring in Animation/Illustration

    We are so happy to have Ms. Beaucejour as part of our growing Primrose of Florham Park Family.

  • Ms. Estela Rios, Associate Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Estela Rios

    Associate Early Preschool Teacher
  • Ms. Pat LaQuaglia, Lead Preschool Pathways 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Pat LaQuaglia

    Lead Preschool Pathways 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms LaQuaglia is the Lead Preschool Pathways Teacher at the Primrose School of Florham Park. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University, and also holds her national Child Development Associate Certification. She has worked with children up to 5 years of age, including children with special needs. She has joined our school with over 22 years of experience working with children in same age group.

    During her spare time she loves spending quality time with her family, creating home décor projects and reading. Her family loves sports particularly basket ball.

    Ms. LaQuaglia had this to say about her experience with children, “I love the time I spend with my students. It is great to see them learning and mastering new skills each day, and guiding them as they grow to become independent is an incredibly satisfying experience for me.”

  • Ms. Rashanna Hampton, Preschool Pathways 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Rashanna Hampton

    Preschool Pathways 1 Co-Lead Teacher

    Ms. Rashanna is our Associate teacher in the Preschool Pathways 2 classroom.

    She has recently graduate from Kean University and has over 5 years of experience working with children.

    Ms. Hampton has worked with children aging from infancy to preschoolers, and also comes from a big family!

    “Children are so pure and innocent, I love the experience of working with them and watching them grow.”

    MS. Hampton is so happy to be part of your child’s educational journey, and we are so grateful to have her on our team!

  • Ms. Essence Negron, Lead Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Essence Negron

    Lead Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Essence Negron is one of our Preschool Pathways Teachers.

    Ms. Negron attended West Caldwell Tech High School. During her Senior year of High school she started working at a daycare in Roseland NJ as a Assistant teacher, and continued on for three years.

    Ms. Negron also spent time volunteering atschool called Stepping Stones. She has a ton of experience working with all age groups.

    Ms. Negron loves working with children because she feels like she is making a difference in their lives, and appreciates that she has the ability to witness their growth and development; that’s what makes her love life.

    We’re so grateful to have Ms. Negron be a part of our team!

  • Ms. Kettny France, Associate Preschool Pathways Teacher

    Ms. Kettny France

    Associate Preschool Pathways Teacher
  • Ms. Phyllis Maglione, School Support Teacher

    Ms. Phyllis Maglione

    School Support Teacher

    Ms. Phyllis Maglione is one of our School Support teachers, and loves helping wherever needed!

    She has been caring for children from the Infant to Preschool Age Group for over 8 years.

    Her teaching and experience with young children has been an asset to our school and beneficial to the children in her care.

    Ms. Maglione brings her fun and loving personality to Primrose every day!

    She enjoys spending time with all the children and it is apparent through the smile on her face, and theirs!

  • Ms. Claudia Bonheur, Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Claudia Bonheur

    Early Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Claudia is our newest Associate Early Preschool Teacher & we are SO excited for her to join our Primrose Family!

    She is currently working towards a Liberal Arts degree at Rutgers University Newark and hopes to one day work in a school setting within her community as a way to give back.

    Ms. Claudia has been working in childcare for a year & has really come to enjoy being able to create a safe and nurturing environment for children of all ages.

    We are excited to see all the positive qualities Ms. Claudia brings to Early Preschool!

  • Ms. Cheryl Dudash, Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Cheryl Dudash

    Preschool Teacher

    Hello! My name is Ms. Cheryl

    Some fun facts about me, I love to bake and I love going on walks. I am attending an online school and studying to obtain my Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education. After completing that, I intend to go for my Bachelor's and then my Master's so i can achieve my life long dream of becoming an Early Childhood Educator.

    I have experience working with children from ages 6 weeks to 10 years old. I have been working with children on and off for the last 15 years. I am also CPR/First Aid certified!

  • Ms. Denise Alicea, School Support Teacher

    Ms. Denise Alicea

    School Support Teacher

    Hello Primrose School parents and friends.

    My name is Ms.  Denise. I’ve been working with children for about 5 years. I grew to love children when babysitting and playing with my nieces and nephews. I enjoy seeing where they are different in their own ways. You see a change in them each day. The excitement of their progress is something you want to continue being part of. My experience includes childcare and private nannying. Coming to Primrose gave me the opportunity to achieve a goal and a passion I didn’t know I had until working here. Being able to work with different age groups showed me that I am in the correct place where I want to make part of the new learning process of our friends here at primrose. I hope to meet more of our little loving children. 

  • Ms. Shirley Loly, Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Shirley Loly

    Preschool Teacher

    Hello! My name is Shirley Loly. 

    I'm 43 years old, and I was born in Peru, where I lived for about 27 years that I spent with a great family with whom I have had wonderful times with and have learned great values from. Honesty, responsibility, organization, integrity, respect, empathy, kindness and love are core values I grew up with, as well as working as a team, being dependable, having a positive attitude, and a very strong work ethic, which are all part of my daily life. 

    Even though I studied system engineering for 5 years, and obtained my Bachelor's degree, I always felt that it wasn't what I really wanted in life. Education is my passion and coming to work every day is not a routine, it is part of my life. I consider myself as a lifelong student because I keep myself updated in this field to give my very best to children that bring joy to my life. 

    Learning through my students keeps me on the right path, the one I love, education. 

  • Ms. Kaitlin Armstrong, Preschool Teacher

    Ms. Kaitlin Armstrong

    Preschool Teacher

    Hi my name is Kaitlin Armstrong!

    I am so proud to announce that I started here at Primrose to become an assistant teacher, I’ve worked with children for three years plus and I love my job and definitely want to higher my education in getting a social worker degree and maybe go on further. I enjoy being here, working with the children, helping them learn new things, and being in their presence overall.
    I look forward to growing with all of our students!

  • Ms. Hamina, Preschool Support Teacher

    Ms. Hamina

    Preschool Support Teacher
  • Ms. Jennifer Joseph, Pre-kindergarten Lead Teacher

    Ms. Jennifer Joseph

    Pre-kindergarten Lead Teacher

    Ms. Jennifer Joseph is our Lead Prekindergarten Teacher, at The Primrose School of Florham Park.

    Ms. Joseph graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a Bachelor’s Degrees in Criminal Justice along with a minor in Forensic Psychology.

    Ms. Joseph has previously worked with children with disabilities, ranging from early childhood through middle school age. She loves working with children and teaching them because she truly believes they are the face and future of tomorrow. Ms. Joseph finds working with children to be a privilege, not a job.

    She truly enjoys watching her young students learn and grow. She feels you must be dedicated, passionate, and patient to be a teacher of young children. Ms. Joseph enjoys being a teacher and role model to our students, at The Primrose School of Florham Park!

    We are grateful to have her on our team!

  • Ms. Tracy Luma, Associate Pre-K Teacher

    Ms. Tracy Luma

    Associate Pre-K Teacher
  • Ms. Marian Ijeh, Associate Pre-K Teacher

    Ms. Marian Ijeh

    Associate Pre-K Teacher
  • Ms. Janet Delon, Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Janet Delon

    Lead Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Delon has been teaching for over 26 years in the Catholic and Private School sector.

    She has taught from grades pre-kindergarten to eighth grade. Ms. Delon has a Bachelor's Degree in Fine arts and Education from Kean University. Additionally, she has a degree in fashion design and illustration and an associates degree from Brooks College in Long Beach, California.

    She was honored for her dedication and commitment to Catholic Education in 2012, by the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ.

    During 2013-2014 she was chosen to serve on two Middles States Teams. They were responsible for the accreditation of schools.

    Ms. Delon was honored to be part of the accreditation protocol to achieve the improvement of two schools.

    The Middle States Commission of Elementary and Secondary Schools has provided her with important knowledge, that can be helpful to others.

    Ms. Delon is also a member and participant of the "City without Walls Gallery" in Newark, NJ.

    Her mission is to teach children to learn, and to keep them motivated to want to learn.

  • Ms. Linda Lauria, Associate Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Linda Lauria

    Associate Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Lauria is our experienced Associate Kindergarten Teacher, at the Primrose School of Florham Park. Ms. Lauria has been teaching children of this age group for over 30 years and loves to be a part of the children’s early learning experiences.

    Ms. Lauria joins us with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from William Paterson University. Ms. Lauria is excited to share her knowledge, experience, and love for learning with her new students and is happy to be a new member of the Primrose School of Florham Park Family.

    Ms. Lauria enjoys catching up on her reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends in her spare time.

  • Ms. Isabel Cunha, Support Teacher

    Ms. Isabel Cunha

    Support Teacher


    My name is Isabel Cunha!

    I have a Bachelor’s degree from Kean University in Criminal Justice and will be starting my Master’s in the spring of 2023.

    I have worked as a soccer coach for children. That Is where I found my love for teaching! During my free time I enjoy playing video games, watching movies, and spending time with my family.

    I am excited to be a part of the Primrose Family and look forward to working with everyone!

  • Ms. Tristana Amadio, Support Teacher

    Ms. Tristana Amadio

    Support Teacher

    Hi, my name is Tristana!

    I am the oldest of 4 and started my childcare/teaching journey when I was 17 during my senior year of high school. I worked in both a preschool and taught beginner dance classes. From there, I went on to earn my B.A. in Dance from DeSales University. While I was in school, I continued to teach dance classes to young children usually year round and would work in a local preschool during my summers. Since graduating, I’ve realized my love for teaching at a preschool age. It is incredibly meaningful to me to be a safe space and role model and also a source of positivity, support, and warmth to little ones in their first years of life and development as they are growing into unique and wonderful individuals! I feel so lucky for the opportunity to get to know each and every one of my students and learn from them every day just like I hope they learn from me! 

  • Nisha and Rocco Varma

    Franchise Owners

    Hello Friends,

    We are Nisha and Rocco Varma - the proud Franchise Owners of Primrose School of Florham Park. Passionate about educating our youth for a better future, we value the importance of the high-quality, educational child care that Primrose Schools provides. We discovered Primrose Schools after searching for a way to give children and families the best possible early childhood education experience. We were incredibly impressed with the unmatched curriculum, teaching method and shared beliefs of those involved with Primrose Schools. We quickly became avid supporters of the brand and its dedication to partnering with parents to set children up for success in school and in life. We are devoted to bringing the best possible child care experience to the Florham Park community and providing children with a solid foundation to excel in the future. We understand the importance of instilling a love of learning throughout a child's early years, and we believe this is essential to building a new generation of bright citizens. We are active volunteers and participants in a variety of community organizations and philanthropic events and are eager to give families an essential, solid foundation through the Primrose curriculum and its unique, comprehensive teaching methods Opening fall 2013, Primrose School of Florham Park will be the third Primrose school in New Jersey and will feature the exclusive Balanced Learning¬ system for children ages six weeks to 5 years old. Developed by and taught exclusively at Primrose Schools, Balanced Learning blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities with a special emphasis on character development in the schools. The goal of shaping young people who are prepared for success in learning and in life also filters into the Primrose Explorers after-school program for students up to age 12. Primrose Schools is The Leader in Early Education and Care and we are committed to delivering the best possible experience when it comes to your child's education. We look forward to meeting you! Sincerely, Nisha & Rocco Varma

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