At the very heart of CASTLE is our caring, professional and experienced staff.  The CASTLE staff works hard to ensure that we provide high quality programs to meet the needs of children and families.   CASTLE invests in the professional development of our staff to bring the latest research and best practices into our programs.  We are truly proud of our talented staff team.

Please click on a staff member’s name below to learn more about them:

•    Joan O’Donnell – Executive Director

•    Nicole Turney -  Business Manager

•    Kim Hagan – Program Director

•    Jessica Smith - Assistant Director

Joan O'Donnell - 2 Joan O’Donnell, M.Ed.
Executive Director

Joan has been with the CASTLE family since October 2009.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business/Marketing from Niagara University as well as a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education at the University of Hartford.  Joan has worked in the field of early care and education for over 20 years and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.  Since her start at CASTLE she has found something every day to make her smile.  She loves being a part of CASTLE; where kids get to be kids in a safe, caring and supportive environment.  Locally, Joan is a member of the Collaborative for Colchester’s Children (C3) and the Colchester Business Association. On a state level, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Afterschool Network and is a member of the State of CT Afterschool Advisory Council.  Joan is a mother to 3 beautiful daughters, 4 adopted cats, a rescue dog.  In her words, “life is good!”





Nicole Turney
Business Manager

Nicole has been a part of CASTLE since August 1997!  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern CT State University in 2004.  Nicole loves being surrounded by all of the wonderful families, staff and children that make up the CASTLE family.  She believes that each one of them helps to make CASTLE the wonderful place that it is today!  Nicole enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  In her spare time she loves going shopping and relaxing at the beach!




Kim Pelkey

Kim Hagan
Program Director

Kim has been a part of CASTLE since August 2003!  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Eastern CT State University and then went on to pursue one of her passions and became a certified Pastry Chef.  One thing she loves about working at CASTLE is seeing families come back year after year and watching the children grow and transform into young adults!  She knew she was meant to be a part of CASTLE because her career aspiration in Nursery School was to become a “Princess and rule Colchester” and now she works at Colchester’s very own “Castle”!  In her spare time, Kim enjoys cooking, baking and spending time with her husband, daughter and son. 




Jessica Smith

Assistant Director



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