Pia Gundersen has lived on Martha’s Vineyard since 1995, having moved from New York City, where she was born and raised. She has a BFA from The Hartford Art School and also studied art history and psychology. It was while her children were in preschool that Pia became aware of the pedagogy of the Reggio Emilia and wanted to learn more about this method and approach to early childhood education. She has been teaching and learning in the classroom since 2010 and has been at Chilmark Preschool since 2013. She lives in Edgartown with her husband Kevin and their three teenage children, two cats and several chickens.
Liz Hirsch has an extensive background as an educator and has held leadership positions in various settings in Massachusetts and New York. Since her first visit to the island in the early ‘70s, she returned each year, developing a deeper appreciation for the Vineyard’s unique beauty and diverse communities. Liz is delighted to become part of the Chilmark Preschool Community.
As an educator over the past thirty years working in Preschool, Lower Schools and at the College Level, Liz gained significant experience in the classroom and enjoyed administrative roles, including spending 10 years as the Associate Principal at the Little Red Schoolhouse and 7 years as Director of the 14th Street Y Preschool within the Sol Goldman Y, a Jewish Community Center in Manhattan. She led the community on a journey to integrate the Reggio approach, and supported teachers professional development by, among other things, including them on study trips to Reggio Emilia, Italy. A lover of music and dance, Liz was a co-producer of Jazztrack and Les Muse de Femmes in NYC.
Liz holds an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Bank Street College of Education in NYC, and a B.S in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College in Boston. Liz lives in West Tisbury with her partner. We enjoy frequent visits from children and grandchildren . They are wonderful gifts in her life. Liz’s interests range from floral design, gardening, dance and music to social and economic justice issues.
Anja moved to Martha's Vineyard in 2008 after spending several summers on the island. Born in Germany then raised in Oxford, England, Anja spent time working in South America and the Caribbean. Her career in early childhood started early with volunteering at the age of 14 in the preschool classrooms at the International School she attended. After completing her Baccalaureate she taught English in Bolivia and volunteered in the 4-8 yr. old portion of the La Paz orphanage. In the Caribbean she ran an in-home, multi-age day care on the island of Antigua. Since 2011 Anja has been working at the Chilmark Preschool with Chris Abrams, Heather Quinn and Pia. She studied Social Anthropology and Development Studies at Sussex University in England. Anja lives in Aquinnah with her partner Spa and her two teenage sons.
Dianne Booth arrived on Martha’s Vineyard in 1992 to work as staff at the International Youth Hostel in West Tisbury. Over the next twenty years she travelled extensively in the US, Africa, Australasia, Central America and the Bahamas always returning to spend summers on the island. In 2010, Dianne, her husband Reaan and son decided to settle year round on Martha’s Vineyard. She has since been substituting in various island preschools for nine years and re-discovered her passion of early education. Dianne holds a BA in Literature from American University in Washington DC. While studying she worked as an assistant teacher at the Child Development Center on Campus. She has been working with Chilmark Preschool for over five years and is excited to join the team full time since 2019!
Meeting and learning from children around the world has been a lifelong passion for Dianne. She has a deep appreciation for both the diversity and the shared community to be found on our earth.