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Meet The Staff

Mount Carmel Kindergarten is a family run nursery school and our staff form part of this family.  We pride ourself on the diversity of our staff team and the broad range of experiences they bring to the setting.

Lucia Federici

Director of Education 

Lucia established Mount Carmel Kindergarten with her husband Franco in 1985.  As a mother of ten children herself she is considered, by many, as a guru in the Early Years sector. 

Qualifications: Early Years Professional Status (2009), BA (Hons) Educational Studies 2007.

Franco Federici


Franco deals with the administration, fee enquiries and general maintenance of the nursery school.   He grew up in Rome and has a passion for pizza (he even installed a wood burning pizza oven in his kitchen).

Gabriella Spooner

Principal - Sandpit House 

Gabriella Spooner (nee Federici) has worked in Early Years since 2008 and brings her experience from a number of different roles within the sector. Now as a mother of 2 children she has gained a new perspective and understanding of the pressures on modern Mums. In her ‘spare’ time she enjoys singing and dancing with the St Albans Musical Theatre Company. 

Qualifications: Early Years Professional Status (2013), BA (Hons) Educational Studies and Early Years (2013)

Roberto Federici

Principal - Kinder Lodge 

Roberto had initially pursued a career in law and qualified as a Solicitor in 2014. However, not enthused about a lifetime behind an office desk he retrained as an Early Years Teacher and joined the family business. Roberto brings a male perspective into the nursery and has enhanced the parents’ experience through introducing online learning journals, weekly blogs and social media. 

Qualifications: Early Years Teacher Status (2015), Solicitor (non-practising), LLB Law (2010). 

Publications: M.Sakr, R. Federici, N.Hall, B. Trivedy, L.O'Brien, Creativity and Making in Early Childhood, 1st ed. Bloomsbury, 2018

Natalie Rayment

Kinder Lodge

Miss Natalie organises one to one sessions with the preschool children to develop their maths, literacy and reading skills in the classroom.  Outside of nursery she runs her own face painting company which is a big hit at our holiday club.  She also has an interest for indoor skydiving! 

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Educational Studies (2014)

Stacey Cannell

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Cannell is a mother to two girls and brings her insight as a parent when supporting families at the nursery.  Mrs Cannell loves to be outdoors, riding horses or walking her dog, and shares this interest with the children at every opportunity. 

Qualifications: CACHE Level 3 Childcare

Tegan Beechey

Sandpit House

Mrs Beechey has a natural affinity with children and enhances their experience with her energy and enthusiasm. Before working at the nursery Mrs Beechey sailed the seven seas working on cruise ships, then working her magic at the Harry Potter tour in Leavesden. 

Qualifications: CACHE Level 3 in Childcare

Megan Richards

Kinder Lodge

Miss Richards has been a dancer since the age of 5 and has competed in events around the country, bagging her over 50 trophies in disciplines including street, ballet, tap and modern.  Miss Richards brings her energy and enthusiasm into everything she does in the nursery, particularly when leading dance activities in the gym. 

Qualifications: CACHE Level 2 in Childcare and currently undertaking Level 3.

Barbara Fordos

Sandpit House

Mrs Fordos brings her energetic spirit and natural rapport with children to the nursery school. She is Hugarian but comes from Slovakia, and outside of nursery has an interest in photography. 

Qualifications: Currently undertaking CACHE Level 3 Childcare

Marta Coronado Colorado

Marta Coronado Colorado

Sandpit House

Originally from Spain, Miss Marta brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from a range of different settings across the continent, together with her zest for life and beaming smile. She turns any session into a fiesta and loves to show the children her flamenco at every opportunity! 

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Early Years (2011), Early Years Teacher Certificate (Spain, 2012), BA (Hons) Primary Education (2016)

Hannah Axworthy

Sandpit House

Miss Hannah undertook her University placement with us in 2016 and joined our team after graduating. She has a wealth of experience and is always thinking of new ideas for fun activities and games; there’s never a dull day with her around! 

Qualifications: Level 3 in CACHE Childcare Learning and Development, BA (Hons) Education Studies (2017).

Maria Campagna

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Campagna is a mother to two young daughters (and a puppy!), so brings a parent’s perspective and an insatiable sense of fun. Maria’s family come from Sicily so she shares the Federici family’s passion for all things Italian! 

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Geography (2004).

Catherine Tarelli

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Tarelli qualified from University as a Primary School Teacher and she has subsequently spent the past sixteen years working in schools with a passion for Early Years. She has a solid understanding of how to prepare children in their transition to Primary School and supports them with her kind and warm nature.  At home she is a busy mummy to her daughter and two sons. 

Qualifications: Ba (Hons) Primary Education with Initial Teacher Training (2003)

Karen Connell

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Connell has 15 years of experience and knowledge of working in preschools. She loves supporting children and parents in overcoming the different challenges they may face in the early years and brings her boundless enthusiasm to the role. In her spare time she runs a Beaver group and is also involved in the St Albans Scout and Guide Gang Show. She has a teenage son and relaxes by walking her chocolate Labrador ‘Mollie’.

Qualifications: CACHE Level 3 in Childcare

Charlotte Pugh

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Pugh’s career began in Speech and Language Therapy, working for the NHS in schools, nurseries and children’s centres. She has experience working with children with a variety of communication difficulties and special educational needs.  Since becoming a Mum she has moved into Early Years and uses her past experience to support language development in the setting.  Charlotte is also talented musician and her band “One Hope Project” is moving up the charts on Spotify.

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Education & Sociology (2013), MSc Human Communication Sciences (2016)

Susan Wilkins

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Wilkins brings a wonderfully personal degree of warmth and experience, having watched her own children enjoy their nursery years at Mount Carmel. After they started school she just couldn't stay away! Before moving to St Albans, Susan worked as a PA at Google and L'Oréal. 

Qualifications: MA (Hons) Sociology (2004).

Ishanka Fernando

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Fernando has experience working with children with additional needs and is currently developing her skills in Makaton signing and Downs Syndrome.  Outside of nursery Ishanka is an avid baker, creating celebration cakes and other baked treats for friends and family – watch out Great British Bake Off! 

Qualifications: CACHE Level 3 in Childcare

Siobhan Ward

Sandpit House

Mrs Ward took a career break from the world of academia to have her two young daughters. She quickly realised that her passion for teaching and learning lay in the EYFS rather than Higher Education. She bring a parent’s perspective and an understanding of how make fun activities double up as learning opportunities. Outside of nursery she can be found in an art gallery or museum, or with her head in a book. 

Qualifications: PhD in Art History and Medical Humanities (2015); PgCert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (2010); Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2010)

Delia Gil Alamo

Sandpit House

Miss Delia has a calm, nurturing and gentle approach which helps to build strong relationships with the children in her care.  Originally from the Canary Islands, she is fluent in Spanish and is on hand to support children with English as a second language. Prior to Mount Carmel she has worked as a private Nanny which gave her hands on experience working with young children and families.

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Education (2013)

Cristina Baker

Kinder Lodge

Mrs Baker is a member of Equity and her passion lies in Italian opera. In her spare time she loves to perform at local events, including the St Albans Christmas Lights switch on. She brings her musical talents and dramatic personality into all that she does at the nursery.

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Drama and Theatre Studies

Harleigh McShane

Sandpit House

Miss McShane is energetic, disciplined and full of enthusiasm which has been greatly influenced by her love of playing rugby.  Nothing phases her and she jumps at any opportunity to get involved and she doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty.  

Qualifications:  Currently undertaking CACHE Level 2 in Childcare

Peta Milward

Kinder Lodge

Miss Milward loves all things creative, with a particular passion for art, photography and baking. She comes from a large family and has a natural empathy for young children.  In her free time she loves the outdoors and enjoys camping holidays with her family and friends. Can you guess what her favourite colour is?!

Qualifications:  Currently undertaking CACHE Level 2 in Childcare

Talia Gilbert

Kinder Lodge

Miss Gilbert is a positive, upbeat and kind natured person with a passion for Early Years. She is always ready to play and always makes sure that everyone is included.  

Qualifications: Currently undertaking CACHE Level 2 in Childcare

Georgina Thomas

Sandpit House

Miss Thomas’ interest in psychology and mental health lead her to pursue a career in Early Years education. She has knowledge of the importance of childhood attachment and understands how a child’s early years experience has a significant impact on their future development and wellbeing.

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Psychology (2016), MSc (Hons) Mental Health Studies (2018)

Amy Watts

Sandpit House

Miss Watts was inspired to work in Early Years after her Year 10 work experience at a local Primary School. She has also worked as a creche helper at the Celebrate Conferences, assisting children with arts and crafts activities. In her spare time she enjoys horse riding and is a member of the St Albans Gang Show.

Qualifications:  Currently undertaking CACHE Level 2 in Childcare