Private School Administration and Staff
Meet the team at our elementary school in Kingston
Linda Jo Ferraro-Swearer
Linda Ferraro-Swearer has owned and operated Jenny Lynn Academy, a private preschool and kindergarten since 1979. She wrote curriculum for both grade levels and directed the program. She has served as director and head teacher since the school’s conception. She is also part of the adjunct faculty at Luzerne County Community College, teaching Early Childhood Courses, including a course on Management and Administration. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Psychology (K-6), and has earned a Private Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education. Linda has also earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Development and Strategies from Wilkes University. Linda sits on Luzerne County Community College's ECE Advisory Board representing the private school sector.
Marya Nackley is a fourth grade teacher, instructing gifted children in an inclusive program. She has ten years of teaching experience with first and second grade curriculum in a first grade program. Marya has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Elementary Education with a K-6 certification and a minor in Psychology. She has earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Development and Strategies from Wilkes University. Marya completed the Graduate Reading Education program at King’s College and is a certified K-12 Reading Specialist. Marya and Linda founded the Jenny Lynn Elementary school in 2014.
school CLASSROOM TEACHER: FIRST GRADE
Justine is the first grade teacher in the Jenny Lynn Elementary program and she brings over 20 years of teaching experience. She loves teaching and especially enjoys seeing her students experience the joy of learning and helping them to gain confidence in their abilities. Justine was born and raised in Hanover Township. She has an identical twin sister, as well as a younger brother and sister. She currently resides in Hanover Township with her husband, Joe and their very spoiled dog, Maxie. They are all avid Penn State football fans! Justine graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in Individual and Family Studies with emphasis in Early Childhood and a Psychology minor. She later attended King’s College and earned a degree in both Early Childhood and Elementary Education. Justine looks forward to many years of teaching the exceptional students at Jenny Lynn Elementary!
school CLASSROOM TEACHER: SECOND GRADE
Sarah Billek Gifoli
Sarah is a lifelong resident of Kingston, graduating from Wyoming Valley West and Bloomsburg University. Sarah is the second grade teacher at JLE. She is certified in Elementary Education K-6 and English as a Second Language K-12, with 15 years teaching experience. Sarah has had the opportunity to teach in many of the wonderful schools and centers we have around the Wyoming Valley. Also, she enjoys teaching Kids Zumba throughout our community. Sarah values being able to spend her time with students, exploring, learning and showing off their creativity. She believes teaching truly is the best job in the world.
school CLASSROOM TEACHER: UPPER GRADES
Marina is a graduate of Wilkes University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education with a minor in Reading. She has experience teaching Pre-K Counts as well as experience teaching at Luzerne County Head Start. Marina has plans of returning to school to earn a Master’s Degree to become a Reading Specialist. Currently she lives in Dallas with her slightly overweight, very spoiled cat, Cali. Marina loves being a teacher and is dedicated to helping her students reach their full potential.
Matthew graduated from Wilkes University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Spanish. He teaches Spanish class on the elementary level at Jenny Lynn Elementary and a beginner level Spanish class at Jenny Lynn Academy. Matthew also teaches all levels of Spanish learners in another local program. Matthew thinks teaching is very rewarding and he enjoys seeing students learn another language. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys traveling, going to concerts and sporting events, and drumming.
ZUMBA KIDS® INSTRUCTOR
Susan Woods is a certified Zumba®, Zumba Kids and Zumba Kids, Jr. instructor. Prior to teaching children fitness classes, she worked as a dance and gymnastics instructor at a local dance studio. Susan graduated from Wilkes University with a B.A. in Psychology and graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry with a B.S. In Biology and a Doctorate of Optometry. Susan is also the choreographer for local theater productions. Susan resides in Kingston with her husband and two children.
Kelley Kavanagh Watkins
Kelley earned her Bachelor or Science in Actuarial Science at Penn State University, and subsequently received a Masters in Business Administration from Wilkes University. After a career in finance and accounting, she decided to leave the corporate world and stay home with her four children; it was then she discovered yoga and was instantly drawn to this transformative practice. After six years of practicing yoga, she has come to cherish not only the physical aspects of yoga, but also the boundless benefits for mind, body and soul. For this reason, Kelley is currently pursuing her 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher Training Certification. In particular, however, Kelley believes children can benefit greatly from the fun and relaxing breathing and postures associated with yoga, as well as the tools it provides to improve their coordination, focus, confidence, and overall well being.