Preschool Teachers & Staff


preschool staff

meet our amazing preschool staff

While our certified staff members each bring a unique set of skills and interests to the table, the one thing they all have in common is their passion for early education and their dedication to making sure each child is learning and developing within the four pillars of the YMCA: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. 

ms. cara apsley


Welcome to the Ridgewood Y Preschool!  I began working with the YMCA at age 17, my first job! Through the years I have worked in many capacities at the Y and as a childcare director full time the past 6 years. Now, as the Senior Director of Childcare + Camp, overseeing our amazing preschool! My goal is to create a community where children gain confidence and a sense of belonging while building character through our core values: respect, caring, honesty, and responsibility.

My Favorite
Color: Green
Subject: Geography
Flower: Peony
Movie: Moana
Food: Tomatoes

ms. claudia


I grew up in Colombia with siblings. I moved to the USA 30 years ago. I am happily married and have a beautiful daughter. I spend a lot of time playing tennis growing up. I love to read, make crafts, and think of fun lessons we can do!

My Favorite

Color: Red
Subject: Math
Flower: Dipladenia
Movie: Frozen
Food: Empanadas

ms. tyra


Over the past five years I’ve been working with children in different settings, from babysitting, leading cooking classes, and being an assistant teacher here at the Ridgewood Y Preschool. Having the opportunity to work with children is rewarding in many ways as it is a joy to see the children learning but also amazing to learn from them as well. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree earned from studying Applied Nutrition. My interests include indoor cycling, photography, and spending time outside in nature with the people I love.

My Favorite

Color: Yellow
Subject: Art
Flower: Peony
Movie: Tangled
Food: Sushi

ms. cristina


I started working at the YMCA almost 3 years ago during the pandemic with their K-8 Solutions program, where I discovered a love for teaching. From there I transitioned into the Assistant Preschool Teacher position and had the opportunity to work as the Assistant Camp Director at the Ridgewood Y’s Camp Woods. I love being able to help the children learn and grow.

My Favorite

Color: Purple
Subject: Math
Flower: Dasies
Movie: Encanto
Food: Buffalo wings

Ready to Join us?