Meet our Directors


Barbara Sullivan has been the Executive Director of ACNS since 1980. In 1989 she opened ACNS Too by popular demand. She has a BS from Framingham State and a Masters in Supervision and Counseling from Suffolk University. Barbara was a first grade teacher, a special ed. teacher, and a school counselor. She has been a Newton resident since 1973 and has always been involved in the Newton community. Barbara was a “Big Sister”, a volunteer for Parent & Child Program, PTA President, YMCA Board member, founding member of NECA and Underwood After-School Program. She was Chair of the former Newton Child Care Commission for 20 years. She is also a member of the CPC Council, a member of NAEYC and NECA, and was an NAEYC Program Validator. She has 3 adult children (2 of whom are ACNS graduates) and 6 grandchildren, 2 of whom are also ACNS graduates.

imagePaula Fallon Dolan has been a Director at ACNS since 1997. Prior to this, Paula was the Director of an infant, toddler, and preschool program for 10 years. She also taught at the pre-school program at Wellesley College. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Special Education, from Framingham State University. She has pursued graduate studies in Early Childhood Education and Administration, Family Studies, and Early Childhood Environments at Harvard and Tufts. Paula is Chairperson of the Newton Community Partnership for Children and Families, has served as a member of the Dover/Sherborn Guidance Advisory Committee, and has been a NAEYC validator and consultant. Paula, her husband, and two daughters are from Sherborn. One of her daughters is an ACNS alumni.

imageKatie Donovan has been at ACNS since 1986; she started when her daughter was in the Teddy Bear Class. She was the lead teacher in the Dinosaur Class for 15 years and she has been a Director at the school since 2001. Katie earned her Masters in Elementary Education at Boston College in 1990. She was a commissioner on the former Newton Child Care Commission, is on the board of the Newton Early Childhood Association (NECA) and a member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Katie and her husband, Mark, are life long residents of Newton and have two adult children who both went through the Newton Public Schools; they have four grandchildren, one of whom graduated from ACNS in June and another who attends ACNS.

tashaTasha Sullivan Ayers has been a teacher at ACNS since 2011. She is a graduate of ACNS and the Newton Public Schools. In the summers during high school and over her college breaks she worked at the nursery school. She has a B.A. in Communication from UMASS Amherst and has pursued graduate studies in early childhood education and administration. She is currently a member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and NECA. Tasha and her husband reside in Newton with their two children; one is a recent ACNS graduate and one is currently attending ACNS.