Staff Profiles

Karen Lamoureux. Executive Director

Karen Lamoureux joined Sophia’s Hearth as Executive Director in July. Karen brings over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership of services to children and families. She graduated from Boston College and New England College.  She has served as Vice President of Children’s services at Lutheran Social Services of NH and later as the Chief Executive Officer of Pace School in Pittsburgh PA.

Lauren Hakala, Childcare Director

LAUREN HAKALA, Childcare Director, joined Sophia’s Hearth in 2015 with a long career in early childhood education in programs in Vermont and New Hampshire. She has worked in academic environments including the Child Development Center at Keene State College and the Child Study and Development Center at the University of New Hampshire.  She taught in several early education programs in the Monadnock region, previously. in Vermont at the Vermont Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Windham (VT) Child Care Association. She completed the Sophia's Hearth Early Childhood Teacher Education Certificate in 2018

Mary "Bunny" Ballantine, Early Childhood Teacher

Bunny has been working with children for most of her adult life. She has taken courses at River Valley Community College and completed the Level 1 Teacher Education Program at Sophia’s Hearth. Prior to Sophia’s Hearth she worked at the Orchard School, and as an assistant at the Monadnock Waldorf School.

Jessah Blanchard, Childcare Teacher

Lily-Rikia Chandler, Childcare Teacher

Kim Chasse, Childcare Teacher

Andrea Farnsworth, Early Childhood Teacher

Andrea is a graduate from Keene State College and has been working with children for the past 13 years. She has been a lead infant teacher here in Keene and most recently worked at a local elementary school supporting children in the classroom. Andrea completed Sophia's Hearth Birth to Three Specialization in July 2018.

Margaret Foxweldon, Early Childhood Teacher

Margaret grew up in Buffalo, NY, went to college at Kent State University, and taught elementary school in Watertown, NY. She earned her MA in Reading Education from Syracuse University and has taught reading from elementary to high school level and even started a reading tutoring business.


For several years Margaret planned many Craft Fairs, events, and conferences for Monadnock
Waldorf School as well as teaching teaching handwork and subbing. She is happy supporting the work at Sophia’s Hearth, spending time preparing healthy meals and snacks, and being with the children.

Rebecca Rood, Childcare Teacher

Abi Shapiro, Childcare Teacher

Susan White, Parent & Child Class Leader

Susan has worked in education and administration for over 40 years. After co-creating and co-leading a Waldorf-inspired, early childhood home-school cooperative, she joined the faculty of the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm in Beverly, MA. She taught in both early childhood (Nursery and Parent & Child) and the grades programs. Following this, Susan was the school’s administrator for many years until a recent move to New Hampshire.  In March 2016 she attended the Pikler Institutes training in Florida. Susan completed Sophia's Hearth Birth to Seven certificate in July 2019. She and her husband Guy reside in Wilton. 

Mari Yamguchi, Childcare Teacher

Thia Zakrzewski, Early Childhood Teacher

Thia's experiences include Director/Lead teacher at Cobb Meadow Preschool in Dublin NH, and Director of Helping Hands Eco-friendly Preschool Center in Marlborough NH. She spent seven years teaching the grades at Monadnock Waldorf School. She holds a degree in Human Services and is a graduate of the Antioch's Early Childhood and Elementary Program. She brings a passion for sharing the outdoors with children and as a freelance artist sparks a joy of painting and crafts. She has begun training with Jane Swain to learn more about the Pikler method and how to implement those methodologies in the early childhood classroom. 

Cynthia Cote, Business Manager

Cynthia holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Bentley University and a master’s degree in business administration from Plymouth State University. She has over 20 years experience in non-profit work including finance and management, budgeting, fundraising data management, project planning, and data analysis.

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700 Court St, Keene NH 03431

Voice: 603.357.3755

Fax: 603.352.1839

info@sophiashearth.org