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Our Staff

Our wonderful staff members have degrees in early childhood education, considerable knowledge and experience in child development, and are certified in child first aid and CPR. Each preschool class has two teachers providing a good ratio of adults to students.

Photo of Lyme Nursery School Director Kelly Downing

Kelly Downing



Kelly Downing (Ms Kelly) is our director. She holds an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education and NH Early Childhood Professional Development Credentials as Early Childhood Master Teacher Level 1 and Early Childhood Master Professional. Kelly has been at LNS since 2000 and working in the field of ECE since 1997. Kelly and her husband live in Lyme and have 2 grown sons. In addition to her administrative and teaching roles, Kelly enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, spending time outside, riding motorcycles and being on the water.

Photo of Lyme Nursery School Assistant Teacher Olivia Garrity-Hanchett

Olivia Wright

Lead Teacher



Olivia has been at LNS since 2014 as a one-on-one aide. Beginning in the fall of 2016 she took on the role of assistant teacher working with the 3 & 4 year-olds, as well as the extended day program. Olivia attended Lyme Nursery School as a preschooler, attended Lyme Elementary School from kindergarten through eighth grade and graduated from Thetford Academy. She is currently taking currently taking ECE classes and has her Level 2 Teaching Certificate. She lives in Cornish with her husband and daughters. When Olivia is not at work she loves spending time with her family, doing crafts and being outside.

Picture of Ashley Sabens

Ashley Sabens

Lead Teacher



Ashley has been working in the Early Childhood field for 7 years. She has a Child Development Associate, NH Level 1 Certificate, and is actively working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. Working with children is one of Ashley’s passions, and she believes that children learn best through nature and play-based experiences. She is also a firm believer that as much as we teach our children, they will teach us more in return as there is always room for growth no matter how young or old you are. On a weekend or day off Ashley can be found with her children on a beach, barbequing with family and friends, camping, or doing some sort of crafty or artsy project.

Photo of Lyme Nursery School Assistant Teacher Taylor Gavlin

Taylor Gravlin

Assistant Teacher


Bears, Lions, and Extended Day

Taylor recently joined LNS ,she is the floating assistant teacher. She lives in Thetford Vermont and graduated from Thetford academy. She attended Northern Vermont University and graduated with an associates degree in special education and a bachelors degree in elementary education. In her spare time she enjoys doing art projects, baking and reading. During the summer she enjoys kayaking and spending time with family and her dog Duke.