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Staff Profiles

Karen Lamoureux

Executive Director

Karen Lamoureux joined Sophia’s Hearth as Executive Director in July 2019. Karen brings over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership of services to children and families. She graduated from Boston College and earned her master’s degree in nonprofit management at 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. 

Karen’s favorite thing about working at Sophia’s Hearth is being surrounded by young children. Observing the sheer joy of a child when their parent arrives to pick them up brings a moment of profound joy to even the most challenging day.

Paula Sousa

Childcare Director

Paula rejoined the staff in fall 2020 returning the position she held from 2010-2015.  She was formerly a teacher at Calendula Gardens and the teaching director at Evergreen Garden.  

Paula holds a M.S. in early childhood education from Lesley College, a M.S. in Waldorf early childhood education from Sunbridge College, a Birth to Three certificate from Sophia’s Hearth Early Childhood Teacher Education Program, and has studied the Pikler approach to early care with Anna Tardos (daughter of Emmi Pikler). 

She was born in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the island of Sao Miguel, Azores and now lives in Keene, NH with her dear sons and dog Andre, Erik and and dog Suzette.  Outside of work, she enjoys balancing time with others and in solitude, landscape gardening, property management and rescuing neglected plants.

Michelle Brooks

Childcare Co-Director

Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Ana Maria College, a Master’s degree in Education from Lesley College and a Waldorf Early Childhood Certificate from Sunbridge College in NY. In addition, she has attended several weeks of training at Sophia’s Hearth. Before joining Sophia’s Hearth, Michelle worked at Hartsbrook School and the Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene.

Bunny Ballantine

Childcare 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.

Kim Chasse

Childcare Teacher

Kim Chasse joined Sophia’s Hearth in 2019 first in the toddler room but moved full-time to the infant classroom. and I am a teacher in the current older infant classroom.

She graduated from UConn with a degree in secondary Home Economics Education. She began her career as the director of a Child Study laboratory preschool in Amherst, MA which was where she discovered my love of early childhood education. She paused her career to start her family of four children. She returned to work in early childhood as her family relocated to Pennsylvania, Canada, and Arizona before landing in Keene. Her now adult children live in Arizona and New Hampshire.

Working at Sophia’s Hearth has been my first experience with Waldorf education. She has completed her Birth-to-Three certification and was surprised at how much there was to learn, even after 30 years “in the business” and raising her 4 children. The calm and gentle, nurturing methodology really speaks to my heart and feels like the right fit for how I relate to children, especially the young infants. The staff here have welcomed me and provide a supportive environment where I feel at home and valued. My colleagues are trained and talented professionals with big hearts and I am honored to be counted among them.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, walking her beloved shi-poo “Sophie” and is an active member of St. Bernard’s Catholic church here in Keene.

Andrea Farnsworth

Childcare Teacher

Andrea is a graduate from Keene State College and has been working with children for the past 16 years. She has been a lead infant teacher here in Keene as well as supporting children in the classroom at a local elementary school. Andrea completed Sophia’s Hearth Birth to Three Specialization in July 2018. She enjoys welcoming new families to Sophia’s Hearth and partnering with parents to provide the best possible care. Andrea lives in Keene with her husband and two sons.

Margaret Foxweldon

Childcare 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.

Leela Kurzmann

Childcare Teacher

coming soon

Olivia Pratt

Childcare Teacher

Olivia joined Sophia's Hearth in June 2021

Laura Beatty (she/her)

Program Director for Joyful Beginnings

Laura has been at Sophia’s Hearth since 2017. She started our in the childcare classrooms and has most recenlty moved into the role of Program Director for Joyful Beginnings.

Laura has an undergraduate degree in Classical Civilizations and English. Laura received her Waldorf teaching certificate from Antioch University. Laura holds an Early Childhood Level I teaching certificate from River Valley Community College. She is also currently in Sophia’s Hearth Birth-to-Three certificate program.

Before coming to Sophia’s Hearth, Laura worked at a co-teacher in the Kindergarten classroom at the Garland School in Brattleboro, VT and was also a class teacher at the Waldorf School of Princeton in Princeton, NJ.

Laura enjoys the wonderful company of her colleagues at Sophia’s Hearth and loves watching the children play in the yard out of her office window!

Laura is a mother of three! Life is very full, but very fulfilling. In moments of free time, Laura enjoys reading, relaxing, and doing handwork of all kinds!

Cynthia Cote (she/her)

Business Manager

Cynthia joined Sophia's Hearth in 2012 after working in non-profits (Monadnock Family Services, Vermont Academy & MoCo Arts) where she has honed her spreadsheet, budgeting and organizational skills. She loves the diversity of tasks that come with small organizations, as well as the reward of making a difference in peoples lives. 

She has a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Bentley University and a Masters in Business Administration from Plymouth State. She lives in Westmoreland with her husband and twin daughters. In her free time, she enjoys photography, digital scrapbooking and crocheting. 

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