Teachers and Staff
We are fortunate to have a stable, professional staff, many of whom have been at Arsenal for ten years or longer and are uniquely capable of serving the diversity of the children in our programs. Our professional teachers and mentors hold Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education, Child Development, or Psychology and are dedicated to developing children in a safe and nurturing environment.
Melissa has been the Executive Director of Arsenal Family and Children’s Center since 2010. She has more than 25 years of experience in Early Childhood and received her M.ED from Carlow University. Melissa says the Arsenal staff amazes her everyday as they work with the families and children they serve. In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Head Teacher, Senior Room
Jane has spent 26 years working in early childhood education at Arsenal. She enjoys being with the children and sharing information on their development with their families. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Carlow University. In her free time, Jane enjoys bike riding and taking long walks.
Assistant Teacher, Senior Room
Karen has spent 25 years working with children and teenagers and received her master’s degree in Education from Harvard University. Joining Arsenal in 2008, she has enjoyed interacting with the children, helping them grow and develop readiness skills for kindergarten. Karen’s interests include traveling and reading.
Teachers Karen Nesbitt, left, and Jane Smith, right.
Executive Director Melissa Hankin
Head Teacher, Junior Room
Christin began working at Arsenal in 2013, after her children attended the school. She holds an Associate’s degree from the Community College of Allegheny County and will . She will be graduating from Carlow University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a Prekindergarten – 4th grade certification. She enjoys the leadership and cooperation among staff to maintain a loving, knowledgeable, high quality environment. Christin loves to travel, garden, spend time with her family and dog, and participate in the arts community in Pittsburgh.
Assistant Teacher, Junior Room
Jess earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Development and Learning from Carlow University. She has been working in early childhood education for over a decade. She loves that Arsenal provides a welcoming environment and that the teachers are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children and their families. Jess enjoys gardening, hiking, trying out new restaurants, and going to the movies. She also likes to spend time with family and friends.
Program Coordinator of Supervised Parenting Programs
Tanya earned her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Religious Studies from West Chester University. She went on to receive her master’s degree in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Tanya has spent a total of 25 years in the fields of social work and education. Since joining Arsenal in 2004, she has enjoyed helping parents learn effective parenting techniques and become really enthusiastic about being a better mom or dad. In her spare time, Tanya likes to sing and play music.
Head Teacher, Toddler Room
Maryann earned her bachelor’s degree in Child Development from the University of Pittsburgh. She has spent 36 years working in the field of education and joined Arsenal in 1993. Maryann says her favorite thing about Arsenal is the welcoming atmosphere that creates camaraderie between the staff and the families Arsenal serves. In her spare time she volunteers at her church and supports Pittsburgh sports teams.
Assistant Teacher, Toddler room
After attending the University of Florida, Ana obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She previously taught Kindergarten, but joined Arsenal in 2021, after being a long time parent of the community for five years. When asked what Ana enjoyed most about working at Arsenal she stated, “The close-knit feeling among the teachers and families. The community at Arsenal is the best!” In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, cooking, and being outdoors.
Tanya Marshall, Program Coordinator, Supervised Parenting and Play.
Tina has been in the field of child development for 20 years. 16 of those years have been shared with Arsenal. She enjoys Arsenal because of the ability to help parents and children have the best relationship and interactions possible. Tina has obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and a Masters Degree in Education, both from the University of Pittsburgh. In her free time, Tina enjoys taking hikes, playing board games, and reading with her family.
Janais joined Arsenal in August of 2021, as an Administrative Assistant, after previously being a teacher for 6 years. She has enjoyed the welcoming embrace of the Arsenal community, stating she has grown to view Arsenal as an educational haven. Janais attended CCAC and Carlow University for Early Childhood Education. In her free time, she runs an online bookstore.
Administrative Assistant Janais Jackson