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Mackenzie Hakey (She/her)
Early Educator

Growing up in Vermont and being surrounded by incredible educators her whole life, Mackenzie aimed to find a career that embodied the community values she cherished. She first fell in love with teaching when she started at the Greater Burlington Y in 2012 as a camp counselor. After graduating from the University of Vermont in 2017 with a Bachelors in Psychology, she continued at the Y as a toddler teacher and eventually as a site director.

Mackenzie's love of being part of Vermont’s community led her to join the team at Let’s Grow Kids. The campaign's goal of creating equitable access to high-quality child care for all of Vermont’s children fit perfectly with her personal goals and values. While she continues to be deeply passionate about this work, Mackenzie's heart never left the classroom. She decided to re-enter the field in 2023, joining the incredible team at TCC as well as pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education at UVM.


When Mackenzie's not in the classroom, she enjoys traveling, spending time outside, creating pottery, reading, doing yoga and cooking. She loves bringing her passions into the classroom, exploring cooking, music, nature and art with children. Mackenzie believes that through their own exploration of their curiosities in a positive and inclusive environment, children are able to build and develop their own passions. Through this exploration they are also able to build confidence, problem solving, imagination and other important lifelong skills. She loves exploring the world alongside each child and believes it is such a privilege to be part of their learning journey!

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Fiona O'Neil (She/her)
Teaching Assistant

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Alex Baron (He/him)
Early Educator

Alex grew up in Andover Massachusetts with his mother and sister and lived there until he graduated high school.  It was then that he made the big move to New York City where he started a sound design program at Brooklyn College.  Alex was grateful to also be able to pursue a music career at the same time and ended up touring with his band for a few years.  They went across this wonderful country and back a few times.  Whenever Alex wasn't on tour he was looking for a way to make some extra money and that's when he started an after school music program in Brooklyn with his bandmate.  Alex was also a nanny and taught private drum lessons during his time in the city. This is how Alex discovered his love for teaching and working with children.  These years were so important for Alex to find his teaching style, and truly understand his love of teaching and working with children.

 In 2018 Alex and his wife (and their big bulldog, Stella!) moved to Burlington VT and fell in love with this community! Alex has worked as a paraeducator for the Burlington School District's Essential Early Education program, as well as a part-time support staff member here at TCC.  Alex became a Lead Early Educator at Trinity Children's Center in 2021 and is currently pursuing his degree in Early Education.

As a child himself who grew up listening to and playing music all of the time, he is sure to bring music and auditory learning to his classroom and the program.  His passion lies in fostering creativity, confidence, and problem solving skills in children. 

Alex loves spending time with his family, practicing drums, and listening to as much music as he can!

Growing up in Vermont, Fiona spent a lot of her time outdoors. She graduated from Middlebury highschool and continued her education at Bennington College. She studied Environmental Studies and Public Action with a focus on outdoor education and environmental history. During her time there she worked at a Headstart pre-school and was the co-leader for the local DREAM program. She worked summers at an all-girls adventure camp called Songadeewin of Keewaydin where she led week-long canoeing trips. As a nature lover, she believes access to the outdoors and hands-on learning is an essential part of growing up.

After graduating college, Fiona moved to Burlington where she worked at the local Boys and Girls Club with kids aged 9-18. She organized activities and provided homework support. During the summer, she led field trips and outdoor excursions. One thing she was proud of was organizing the Boys and Girls Club talent show which showcased the children’s unique talents and abilities. Fiona found out about Trinity through a friend who encouraged her to apply. After visiting once, she was inspired.

Fiona’s love for working with kids stems from her experience being a kid. She remembers the big emotions and learning that comes with growing up and the importance various mentors and teachers had on her ability to grow. As a teacher she tries to incorporate patience, understanding, and most importantly compassion into her teaching style; along with, the ability to explore oneself through self expression and nature based play. Saying this, Fiona learns every day from the unique perspectives of the kids she works with. She loves creating a space in which children feel like they can play and create authentically and is in constant awe of the various talents and opinions each child possesses. 

In her free time, Fiona is an avid reader and beginner rock climber. She likes to go on hikes and camp with her friends and enjoys playing various instruments. She loves being a part of the community and attending art nights and concerts with her friends. She has a pet cat named Calypso who she loves very much.

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