8 Corporate Circle | Albany, NY 12203 | (518) 452-0984 p | (518) 452-3786 f | pumpkinpatch@nycap.rr.com

Pumpkin Patch Staff


Christine Rinella - Owner/Director Christine is a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She opened the PUMPKIN PATCH Nursery School in Cohoes, New York in January, 1975. Seeing the need for full day child care, she opened the PUMPKIN PATCH Early Learning Center in Guilderland in 1989. In addition to directing two child care sites for over 33 years Christine develops and regularly presents professional trainings with an emphasis on child care administration, marketing, program and staff development and parent communication. She has presented programs in New York City; Binghamton; Saratoga Springs; Boston; Richmond, Virginia and Anchorage, Alaska. Chris is Infant/Child First Aid and CPR trained.  You will currently find Miss. Chris teaching in the Pre-School room.


Miss Rhonda -- Assistant Director Rhonda has an Early Childhood degree from Hudson Valley Community College.  She worked as a UPK teacher for eight years.  She also holds a NYS teaching assistant certificate and was the after school director for Pre-K summer program with the YMCA. In doing all of this, she has also been able to raise her own child, who is now becoming an adult himself.


Miss Gail - Toddler Teacher/Program Coordinator  Gail started teaching at the Patch in 1990. Over the years she has worked as a full time teacher in every room in the center.  She received her Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from SUNY Cobleskill. Over the years Gail has become a mentor to all new staff. She is responsible for creating classroom environments that are developmentally appropriate for all the children at the Patch. Gail is certified in both Infant/Child CPR and First Aid.


Miss Wendy - Office Manager-Wendy’s accomplishments include a degree in Early Childhood from Hudson Valley Community College, and she is also a mom of daughter, Izabel. She has worked in childcare for 22 years both as a teacher and as an administrator.  Wendy has been a great addition to the PUMPKIN PATCH family since joining us in September 2011.  She is First Aid, Infant/Child CPR and MAT certified.


Miss Holly - Toddler Teacher  Holly attended Sage College and  over the past 20 years had worked in a variety of childcare centers. She is the mother of 4 children, and has a passion for engaging the minds of Toddlers.


Miss Bonnie - Floater  Bonnie comes to us with past infant experience, having worked in a local day care center.  She also recently worked with developmentally challenged adults at Albany ARC.


 Miss Muna - Assistant Preschool Teacher Muna has a degree in art from Birenda College, Tribhuvan University, Nepal. All of the children at the Patch respond to Muna’s gentle spirit.


Miss Michele T. - Toddler Teacher-  Michele is a student at the College of St. Rose studying Marketing Communications.Michele has been with the Patch for over a year and is a wonderful asset to our program.


Miss Elizabeth - Floater.  Elizabeth is a graduate of Hudson Valley Community College with a degree in Human Resources, and is presently enrolled at SUNY Albany pursuing a degree in social work.


Tomi-Lee Springer- Infant Teacher. Tomi-Lee comes to us with a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Suny Cobleskill.  She has worked for the past two and a half years at a local daycare, mainly three to five year olds.  She is looking forward to watching the infants grow and excel and learning all of their needs.


Rain Steenland-PT Infant Teacher- Rain is a student at Maria College studying to be a pediatric nurse. She also has a strong background in licensed Family Childcare.


Miss Chey -- Floater Chey is a graduate of Russelll Sage College. She is the parent of two Pumpkin Patch Alumni, and is a wonderful asset to our program.


 Arianna Buonanno-PT Floater -Arianna is a second year student at HVCC studying to obtain her Associates degree in Early Childhood Education.


Jennifer Zyniecki- PT Floater- Jennifer is a second year student at HVCC studying to obtain her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education.


Sarah Baluch- Afternoon Floater- Sarah is a student at South Colonie High School. She is an honor student, as well as the lead pitcher and First Baseman of the Girl's Softball Team. Sarah is Pumpkin Patch Alumni from the Class of 2005.


Miss Sharon -  Music Teacher.  Miss Sharon engages the children in musical activities twice a month.  The children are encouraged to participate and learn thru musical games and songs.  It truly is the highlight of their day when the "music lady" visits.


Miss Julie - Sign Language Teacher.  Miss Julie enhances our program twice a month by offering each class a lesson in sign language.  She has a nurturing stature to herself that allows her to connect with each child.  Each time she comes she comes with new signs for the children, as well as the staff, to learn.  The children look forward to her silly signing games and her "Old Lady" books.