Our Staff

Mrs. Pamela Lukowicz

Director Emeritus

I am the founder and director of the Little Shepherd.  I opened the school in 1979 and my youngest entered the three year old program.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood education from Rhode Island College, and a Master’s degree in Reading Education, also from RIC.  I have taught all age levels ranging from preschool through 8th grade.  In December 2006, I retired from Ponaganset Middle School, after many years of teaching Social Studies.

Joe and I have been married for over 45 years this year and have all three of our married children living in New England at last!  My daughter Amy  with her family and son Ben, with his family live in Connecticut.  My daughter Katie currently lives with her family in Massachusetts.  I have have been lucky enough to work with Katie here at the preschool.  I also have had two of my six wonderful grandchildren attend our preschool.

Besides spending as much time as possible with my grandchildren, I also enjoy my newest passion, Lady’s Loft.  We make and sell handbags, decorator pillows, and other handmade items.  In addition to knitting, I also enjoy reading and traveling.  During school vacations, you may find Joe and I visiting one of our favorite beaches!

Mrs. Debbie Barber

Mrs. Debbie Barber


Hi!  My name is Debbie Barber.  I have been  here at the Little Shepherd Preschool since 1989.  I have a Masters in Early Childhood Education.  My passion in life is children.  I love working with them and spending time with them.  I especially love being a part of their growth process and helping them learn to love school and learning.

I have been married  to my husband David for over 40 years.  We have three grown children(Melendy, Megan and Matthew) and ten grandchildren.  All of my children and grandchildren have attended the Little Shepherd.  Each of them have wonderful memories of their time here, and they have maintained friendships with those they met during their Little Shepherd years.  My family is the most important thing in my life, and I love to spend time with them.  I love to travel to see all the beautiful places our world has to offer.  Disney World is one of my favorite places to visit, and my goal is to experience Hawaii.

I am very blessed to have two wonderful families, my family and my Little Shepherd family.  Thank you for sharing your family with ours.  I look forward to many more blessed years here at the Little Shepherd.

Mrs. Melendy Johnson


Hi! my name is Melendy Johnson. I have been a Teacher at The Little Shepherd since 2015, and currently act as an administrator in the office, and website maintenance.  I have served many roles here as  a substitute,  an art/music teacher, and a janitor at one point. My teaching resume includes second grade at a small christian school in Massachusetts,  Teacher Assistant in the Providence Public Schools,  Sunday school teacher here at Phillips, as well as the Children’s choir director from 2003-2005. I have an Associates Degree from CCRI in Special Education, and Early Childhood Certificate, and I am currently enrolled at Rhode Island College to complete my BM in Music Education and BA in Music. I am also a volunteer Assistant Coach for the CLCF Track and Field program, Head Coach for the CLCF Cross Country Program, and a volunteer coach within the Cranston Schools. I find coaching to be an extension of my teaching, and something I am extremely proud of.

My husband Stephen and I have been married since 2002, and we have 3 sons. Caleb, Logan and Aaron. They love reading, drawing, running, and acting. We have a dog, Ginger who keeps us all on our toes, and we all love to vacation at the ocean, and going to Disney.

In my spare time I enjoy the beach and pool days with friends, running long distance races, Learning new skills (and sharpening old ones),  reading, photography, singing, drawing, painting, seeing off Broadway productions, trying new foods, and taking in Nature. I believe that this life we live is only lived once and we need to take in everything we can!

Mrs. Christine Vartanian


Hi!  My name is Christine Vartanian.  I am excited to be returning to the Little Shepherd Preschool this year! I have taught various preschool and elementary grades, however, preschool is where my passion lies. There is just something about the joy they exude and the discoveries they make.

I have a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from URI. I have utilized this degree to spend many years teaching young minds, and creating memories of learning that inspired me to return to my passion of teaching preschool.

In my spare time I enjoy reading a good book on my deck, shopping, or spending quality time with my family. I look forward to making many new memories with the students here at The Little Shepherd!

Mrs. Joan Moran-Izzo

Assistant Teacher

Hi! My name is Joan Moran-Izzo and I am the Assistant Teacher in the 3 year old room on Tuesday and Thursdays. I come to this position with experience in teaching as both a Substitute Teacher at a local elementary school in Cranston and a Teaching Partner in the Woonsocket School District.       

Before teaching, I spent almost two decades in the news business as a General Assignment Reporter and News Anchor in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

I have a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism from Emerson College. My husband and I have two children, our greatest gifts, who make us feel blessed every day. 

Besides family time and engaging your children in all kinds of learning and fun activities, I also enjoy writing, reading, the beach, shopping, traveling and watching investigative news stories. But, two days a week, your children make me smile!