Biographies – Board of Directors

Below, find the the Board Member Biographies which further detail the commitment, experience and dedication to the Acorn School.



Christine Arlington 

My name is Christine Arlington and I am currently serving my first year on the Acorn Board of Directors.  Our family was first introduced to Acorn School when we were considering preschools for our daughter in 2013.  Emily went on to be a Chipmunk, Tadpole and a Mighty Oak; our son Leiland will start his Acorn adventures as a Chipmunk next fall.   Acorn School was an immediate fit for our family, reinforcing our love of nature and strong belief of children developing a love for learning.  I am honored to be able to give back to a place that truly aligns with our expectations of early childhood education.  I am a Registered Nurse currently working in the Outpatient Surgery Center at Exeter Hospital.   In my free time, I enjoy antiquing, exercising, volunteering and being open to any new adventure with family and friends

Debra Grott (Treasurer)

My name is Debra Grott and I have been on the Acorn Board of Directors since September 2014 serving as Treasurer. Two of my three children who are now 25 and 19 years old, were lucky enough to be Chipmunks and then Woolly bears at Acorn School. Some of their very closest friends were from their years at Acorn School. I am honored to be a part of the same strong traditions, educational concepts and loving environment which our family experienced over 20 years ago. I currently work as a CPA in the Seacoast Area as well as a Field Hockey Coach at Exeter High School. I live in Hampton with my family and our dog Sage!

Chelsea Bourassa (President)

My name is Chelsea Bourassa and this has been my family’s first year involved with the Acorn School. My son is currently a Chipmunk and my daughter will be starting at Acorn in the fall. Evan has loved meeting his new friends and enjoys telling his aunts and uncles about “chipmunk school”. Acorn School’s warm, and natural atmosphere is what led my husband and I to choose Acorn for our children’s introduction to learning. We feel that early education should be a lot of fun and that attitude is everything. The enthusiastic teachers combined with the natural, outdoorsy school environment is what makes it the perfect place for our family. I’m excited to be a new addition to the Acorn Board and look forward to helping ensure a solid future for this wonderful school. In addition to being a mother of two Acorn kids, I work at UNH in the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and live in Stratham with my husband and our many animals.

Stephanie Ciccanesi

My name is Stephanie Ciccanesi and this will be my first year on the Board at Acorn School. We enrolled our first daughter in the Chipmunk program when we moved to NH. After searching for the perfect school setting we instantly knew that Acorn would challenge her and help our daughter grow into an independent, caring, and environmentally aware little girl! As we finished out our Woolly Bear year, I can say that Acorn had a positive impact on not just our daughter, but our whole family! Acorn laid the foundation for kindergarten and we started the Chipmunk program all over again with our 3 year old! With my past 11 years in Early Childhood Education and Reading, academics was high on my list when searching for schools, yet we have gotten so much more from the Acorn experience! Our family enjoys and appreciates the outdoors so much more, and we appreciate all of the Acorn Staff for everything they do. I joined the board because I truly believe in Acorn’s educational vision and philosophy and I want to help support all of their efforts so they can continue doing what they do so perfectly!!


Darren Guy

My name is Darren Guy and I’m the newest member of the Board. Our family has been part of the Acorn community for the last 3 years and we couldn’t be more pleased with the experience. Acorn has truly exceeded our expectations. As parents with professional experience in childhood development and who believe in the value of learning from, and respecting our environment, Acorn was the clear choice for our children. Our oldest daughter has been a Chipmunk, Woolly Bear and is now a Mighty Oak. Our younger daughter is beginning her Acorn journey as a Chipmunk and I felt now was the right time to join the Board to contribute to a special place that provides an ever-lasting experience for children. We live in Exeter and I enjoy running, skiing, and taking our girls on new adventures.