Our Teachers & Director

Each of our teachers hold a degree(s) in childhood education.
Our teachers never miss an opportunity to update their programs so
your child can be fully prepared to confidently move on to kindergarten.  
All of our teachers are first aid, CPR Certified and NYS Mandated Reporter Certified.
From left to right:
Adele Smith (3's Lead Teacher), Courtney Lupo (3's Teacher), Abby Garcia (Director)

Adele Smith
3's Lead Teacher

Adele Smith has been teaching at NHNS since 1997. She is a 1983 graduate of Pace University majoring in Elementary Education. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she worked in the Lakeland School District in Westchester County before getting married. She then became a full-time stay-at-home mother for nine years raising her three children. She has a beautiful daughter and handsome twin sons.


Born and raised in Westchester County, Mrs. Smith came to the Hudson Valley in 1983 and has lived in Poughkeepsie for 28 years.  When she is not teaching the wonderful 3 year olds, Adele loves to shop at Kohls! Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading and watching movies.

Courtney Lupo 
3's Teacher

Courtney has a degree in Early Childhood development and has worked in the field for 18 years as a preschool lead teacher and then as an assistant director before becoming a stay-at-home mom. She currently lives in Wappingers with her husband and three boys, who are all in the Wappingers central schools.

When not at NHNS, Courtney can usually be found on the baseball field or basketball court, where her boys are involved in many travel sports.

Courtney is very excited about becoming part of the NHNS family and is looking forward to a wonderful experience working with Mrs. Smith and the 3s.

Abby Garcia
Abby Garcia - 2017.jpg

Abby Garcia joined us as Director of New Hackensack Nursery School in February 2017.  In the last 20 years she has held various positions in early childhood education; the first being a volunteer in her son’s nursery school followed by being an assistant, a lead teacher, a program supervisor and a director.  She also has many years of administration experience, gained through working in a leading accounting corporation.

Mrs. Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College, and she thoroughly enjoys all aspects of the early childhood education field, from the behind-the-scenes administrative work to teaching a classroom full of children.

She and her husband are empty nesters, and they reside in Wappingers Falls with their dog, Kayla.  Abby’s immediate family consists of the two best sons in the universe and one exceptional daughter (in-law).  Mrs. Garcia loved being a soccer mom through her sons’ school and college years.  Nowadays she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, attending and volunteering at her church, Valley Christian Church, and

going to the gym.

Debbie Muesser 
4's Lead Teacher
Debbie Muesser.jpeg

Debbie Muesser is a graduate of Iona College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Secondary Education as well as a Masters Degree in English.  She taught middle school and high school in the Bronx until she had her first child and decided to stay home to raise her family.

All three of her children are alumni of NHNS and she volunteered for six years on the NHNS Board of Directors. After her children graduated from NHNS, she loved the school so much and wanted to stay involved so she became a substitute teacher.

Originally from Staten Island, she moved to the Hudson Valley with her husband in 2002 and is quite active in the Wappingers community. She is on the CYO Board of Directors for St. Mary's of Wappingers Falls and coaches basketball for multiple age groups (kdg.- HS).  She is a team mom for one of the SD Patriots Football teams and has also coached T-ball and softball for TOWLL.

When she is not teaching at NHNS, you will find her on a basketball court or sports fields with her family.  She loves spending time with them and vacationing in Disney World. Her hobbies include interior design, gardening, crafts and reading.

Melissa Johnson & 
Jean Moran

4's Teacher's

Melissa Johnson and Jean Moran will join Debbie Muesser in the 4’s classroom.  Mrs. Johnson holds a Master’s degree in Education and Curriculum and Mrs. Moran holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood. They both have years of experience working with children, and Mrs. Johnson’s four children have been through the program.  Her youngest is currently enrolled.  

I speak for the group who interviewed these candidates when I say that we are very pleased to have these two professional educators joining our staff. 

Please feel free to extend a warm New Hackensack Nursery School welcome when you meet them at orientation.

The 4’s teachers can be reached at:

462-0810 x104  OR


The 3’s teachers can be reached at:

462-0810 x103  OR