Teachers & Administration

Ashley Power

School Director

Hello! I am Ashley Power, the director here at Summerville Nursery School. I am so excited for this brand new position and I have so many exciting new ideas to bring to the school! 

I graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a degree in Marketing, but after graduation I went to London, England were I coached lacrosse and taught physical education to children 3-18. I experienced so many amazing things living and traveling around the world for 4 years the best thing being I met my now husband James while living in London. On returning to New York I worked for a marketing company where I helped small businesses grow their online reputation. I took a small break from work when I started my family, and I now have three amazing children, Oliver, Lucy, and Henry who all attended Summerville Nursery School. I was involved as the registrar on the board and volunteering in the classroom while my children attended and I truly loved my time here.

I started my own business in October of 2019, The Circle Play Cafe an indoor play center where parents could bring their children to play. Unfortunately we opened only three months before the pandemic so we were forced to close for 6 months not long after opening. Upon reopening, because of Covid, we had to completely revamp our business idea and our play center turned into a drop off program, and then into a preschool. I was the school director, owner as well as the teacher for kids 2-4 for two years until we unfortunately had to close our doors. As hard as it was to close the doors on our dream I believe all the experiences I have had in my past have prepared me for this next journey. 

You will see me at drop off and pick up and around the classrooms. I am so excited to get to know all the amazing families we have here at Summerville. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out, I am here to help anyway I can! 


Kristen Brennan

Educational Consultant

Hello, my name is Kristen Brennan.  I graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in Elementary Education and Psychology.  I received my Masters in Elementary Education from SUNY Brockport and I am certified to teach children in Nursery School through 6th grade.   I am also a mother to six children between the ages of 5 and 13.  Each of my children is an alumnus of Summerville Nursery School.  I grew up in West Irondequoit and my husband, Jim, and I have made West Irondequoit our home for 15 years.  I have been involved with SNS for many years as a parent assistant, substitute teacher, registrar and SNS Board member.  This year I am excited to return to SNS as an Educational Consultant.  I will be working with teachers and children in each of the classrooms and will also have contact with parents.   SNS has truly been a terrific experience for our family and I look forward to continuing to be a part of such a wonderful program.


Miss Shanna Murray 

Two’s & Rising Three’s teacher

Hello! I am Shanna Murray, the Twos and Rising Threes teacher at Summerville Nursery School. Welcoming, guiding, and supporting our littlest ones as they begin their journey of lifelong learning is a joy and an honor. Celebrating young learners in their boundless wonder and curiosity through a variety of play and conversation is a dream come true!

In our classroom, we spend our time deeply immersed in exploration through all types of play. We have so much fun! We make happy messes creating open-ended process art, as we try out new and often unconventional art materials and mediums. Our projects are most often centered on the experience versus the outcome, playing and exploring, collaborating and expressing ourselves through the process and celebrating the end result, whatever that may be! We also dive into hands-on science experiments, asking questions and working together to find answers. In addition to art and science, each week we enjoy an intentional selection of books and music as well as a healthy dose of free play! Our months and weeks together are based on a thoughtful theme, grounded in time of year and the rhythm of the seasons. I endeavor each day we gather together to provide everyone the opportunity to try something new, enjoy a favorite something that is comforting and familiar, connect with our classroom family and make connections with the beautiful world we live in. Above all else, I hope to provide a safe, beloved place in which your child will feel included, supported, championed and appreciated for who they are; a place in which they feel free to play!

This year will mark my second year teaching at Summerville, after first being a grateful parent for three happy years, while my son attended. It was during his time at Summerville that the dream of teaching here began. Summerville truly is a magical school and it is such a joy to work alongside and with such wonderful people, both families and faculty alike. My background is both in childcare and the arts. My professional experience with children has been primarily as a nanny, for more than a decade, as well as in directing children’s theater. In addition to teaching, I am a working artist and author.

I live in Irondequoit with my partner, dry stone waller and artist, Chuck Eblacker and our beautiful son, George. Chuck grew up in Irondequoit and also attended Summerville. We knew we wanted to raise our son in this remarkable community and are so happy to call Irondequoit home. My new home at Summerville feels like life coming full circle in the very best way!


Miss Christy Phelan

M/W and T/TH Three’s teacher

Hello! My name is Christy Phelan and I am the 3’s teacher at Summerville Nursery School. I am a graduate of Niagara University with a degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Mathematics. I have a master’s degree from SUNY Brockport. I have teaching experience at various levels and love the new experiences that come with each school year. My favorite part about teaching is when you see a child’s face light up when they learn something new. I love guiding students to think through a process to get to the end result. In our classroom, students will learn through themes, create crafts, listen to stories and enjoy songs that will help them learn. They will also learn how routines can help guide us, and sometimes it’s OK to change the plan for the day!

Teaching at Summerville allows for so many experiences where children learn through play and connect with the world around them. I love working with parents as they assist in the classroom and have real hands-on experience in their own child’s school day! Teaching is a very rewarding career as it helps us to remember that we are never too old to learn something new!


Miss LoriAnn Kessler

AM & PM Four’s teacher

Hello!  I’m LoriAnn Kessler and I am the four’s teacher at Summerville Nursery School.  I’m a graduate of Nazareth College and received a master’s degree from Capella University.  I have been a preschool teacher for over 25 years and have worked in a variety of school settings.  I love being a part of Summerville and the co-op experience.  I enjoy getting to know and work with all of the families in our school community.

I believe all children learn through play and exploration.  The activities I provide will allow your child to follow their own curiosity and creativity; all in a warm, loving and safe environment.  My idea of a successful day is giggling children with toys on the floor, craft supplies on the table and music filling the room!