Our "Roll Models"

Through extensive training, certification and dedication, our staff enjoys sharing their knowledge of child development, passion for fitness and love of children in our classes and programs. Here are the Rolly Pollies of East Amherst, North Buffalo and Orchard Park's "Roll Models", or as we like to call them, our Rolly Pollies family:

Jim Fleckenstein

Jim Fleckenstein, owner, is an honors graduate of the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Upon completion of his studies, Jim moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the television and film industry. After four successful years in the industry, working on numerous commercials, independent film such as the Academy Award nominated film “Ghost World” and 20th Century FOX’s hit “Family Guy”, Jim moved to Annapolis, Maryland to pursue film in a smaller market. Upon arriving in Maryland, Jim chose another career path; one that would combine his love of television production experience with his affinity for children. He found this at Rolly Pollies in Severna Park, Maryland. Working at Rolly Pollies as a gym instructor from 2002 until 2005, he helped the company grow in a variety of ways. He trained with Martina Balke, who wrote the Rolly Pollies gym curriculum, and had input in forming the program. His production company Hazelnut Productions produces the company’s franchise information videos, as well as training videos for future instructors and franchise owners. He has also helped lay the groundwork Rolly Pollies planned expansion into the home video market. Jim is also certified in First Aid and Infant and Child CPR. Jim and his wife Danielle, returned to the Buffalo area and opened their first Rolly Pollies of East Amherst in 2005, a second, Rolly Pollies of Orchard Park in 2008, and Rolly Pollies of North Buffalo in 2017.

Email Jim

ORCHARD PARK

Justine Affronti

Justine Affronti (Location Manager Orchard Park) studied Elementary Education and Special Education at St. John Fisher College. She also has a degree in Conflict Studies and Dispute Resolution from Hilbert College. Justine has been working with children since high school through coaching, refereeing, and lifeguarding. She was first introduced to Rolly Pollies classes as a caregiver in classes while nannying her twin nieces. She has been hooked ever since! Justine’s love for children and passion for the many social and physical benefits of play will bring the best to her new position, and we are thrilled to have her in this leadership role. She is certified in Adult, Infant and Child CPR and first aid. Justine joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2017. 

Julianna Foster

Julianna (Julie) Foster (Assistant Manager/Gym Instructor Orchard Park) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is a student at Buffalo State College studying mathematics . Julie graduated from a performing arts high school majoring in dance. Her strong passion for dance naturally lead her to working as a teaching assistant at a dance studio for five years teaching children ages 3 thru 13 years old. Her experience with children doesn’t only stop there!  Julie worked in daycares and loved to watch over her little sister back home. Besides working with kids and doing work for school, on my free time I spend a lot of time planning the next move for my future, that and shopping!  Julianna joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2017.

Jillian Rybczynski

Jillian Agro (Assistant Manager/Instructor Orchard Park) 
graduated in 2015 from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Sports Medicine, and earned her Masters Degree in Physiology/ Exercise Science from the University at Buffalo in 2017.  She is currently a nursing school student at Trocaire College.  She is an avid runner and competed for almost 7 years.  Jill loves working with children and has experience both nannying and working at a local daycare.  Jill has been certified in advanced first aid and CPR since 2012 years.
Jillian join the Rolly Pollies family in 2016.

Sarah Ciesielski

Sarah Ciesielski, (Assistant Manager/Instructor Orchard Park) is an undergraduate student at SUNY Fredonia, majoring in Early Childhood and Childhood Education. She plans to go on to receive her masters degree to pursue a career as a teacher. An avid dancer of more than 10 years, Sarah has worked as an assistant teacher and has performed in many events in the community. Sarah has always loved working with children and known from an early age that it was her passion. Sarah is also certified in First Aid and CPR.
Sarah joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2016.

Sara Braun

Sara Braun (Party/Gym Assistant Instructor Orchard Park) is currently studies Elementary Education at Niagara University and is a graduate of Orchard Park High School where she was involved in student government, Educational Outreach, music, and soccer. Sara has been playing competitive soccer for the past 10 years. She danced competitively for 11 years at Mary Alice’s Dance Studio and was also a teacher’s assistant. Sara enjoys being around kids and hopes to eventually become an Elementary teacher. Sara also enjoys doing arts and crafts, exercising, and helping people. She is certified in Adult, Infant and Child First Aid and CPR. Sara joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2015.

Starr Norton

Starr Norton (Party/Gym Instructor Assistant) is a recent graduate of Orchard Park High School who is currently studying to begin a career as an X-ray technician.  She spends her free time with her son, Tyler, bringing him to Rolly Pollies every chance she gets!  Starr loves working and playing with children, and has experience working at the YMCA in their childcare area and frequently babysitting for friends and family.  Starr is also a CNA and is certified in CPR.  Starr joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018.

Danielle Fleckenstein

Danielle Fleckenstein, the owner, graduated with honors from SUNY College at Buffalo with a degree in Elementary Education. She is certified to teach in 3 states and taught over 5 years at the elementary level and 5 years at the preschool level prior to opening Rolly Pollies. Additionally, Danielle is certified in First Aid, Infant and Child CPR, and is USA Gymnastics Safety Certified. Dedicated to her students learning and growth and committed to her community, Danielle was awarded a school collaboration grant for a project related to literacy and recognized by USA WEEKEND’s annual Make a Difference Day while teaching at St. Amelia School in Tonawanda, New York. While teaching 2nd Grade at Fernangeles Elementary School in Los Angeles, California, Danielle worked as a Parent Academy Teacher Trainer to create a link between the home and school environment that promoted the value of reading and the discussion of literature. She was awarded a grant on behalf of the South Baltimore Community Advisory Panel, piloted a federally funded Math program, and hosted a visit from the Secretary of Education while teaching at North Glen Elementary and Walter S. Mills-Parole Elementary School in Annapolis, Maryland. In 2004, Danielle was awarded one of teachings highest honors; National Board Certification. Knowing that opening Rolly Pollies would allow her the opportunity to teach, be involved in the community, and raise her family in a unique and special environment, she trained at the Rolly Pollies in Severna Park, Maryland. Danielle and her husband Jim were married and returned home to Buffalo to open Rolly Pollies of East Amherst in 2005, Rolly Pollies of Orchard Park in 2008, and Rolly Pollies of North Buffalo in 2017.

Email Danielle

NORTH BUFFALO

Alexus Scott

Alexus Scott (Location Manager North Buffalo) is a graduate of Niagara University with a Masters degree in Education and a concentration in Literacy. She taught at the Elementary and Middle School levels for over 7 years, before joining the Rolly Pollies family. She is a firm believer that children learn through play. She strives to provide opportunities for them to "play with a purpose" and build problem solving skills and grow emotionally and socially. When she's not at Rolly Pollies, she and her husband enjoy the outdoors and exploring their North Buffalo/Hertel neighborhood, with their two young boys, Oliver and Leopold. She is certified in Adult & Child CPR & AED and First Aid. Alexus joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2017.

Alicia Stradley

Alicia Stradley (Party/Gym Instructor North Buffalo) is a kindergarten teacher at St. John the Baptist school, and a mom to one of Rolly Pollies newest members! She has taught kindergarten for 3 years and pre-k for 3 years prior to that. She has experience teaching children of all ages in various situations such as teaching Spanish, Sunday School, and lifeguarding. She has her Masters Degree in Literacy from Canisius College, and her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Fredonia State University where she also played lacrosse. Alicia loves to spend time outside, waterski, read, and hang out with friends and family and travel the world! She and her husband have been married for 8 years, recently adopted their first son from India, and have 2 cats! . Alicia joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2017.

Julia Noonan

Julia Noonan (Party/Gym Instructor North Buffalo) is currently studying Occupational Therapy in a 5-year BS/MS program with a minor in Biology at D’Youville college. She graduated from Nichols School in 2016 and was a player on the basketball and soccer teams. She has been babysitting for 7 years and has experience coaching soccer for kids ages 3-7. Julia has always loved working with and being around kids and hopes to someday work as an OT in pediatrics in a trauma care unit or in early intervention. Julia joined the Rolly Pollies Family in 2017.

Matthew Noonan

Matthew Noonan (Party/Gym Assistant Instructor) is a senior at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He has a passion for singing, dancing, and spreading joy to others. In his time at St. Joes, he has been involved in Freshman Football, Indoor Track, multiple musicals (Mary Poppins, Grease, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Meme Club, Current Events club, French Club, Varsity Singers, and Swing choir. Throughout everything he has done at St. Joes Swing choir helped him find his passion of working with children. In swing choir he has sang, danced, and interacted with children. He has also helped babysit his cousins while he has been growing up. Through this and his job at Rolly Pollies he has realized he wants to major in Education when he goes to college. He has a passion for teaching and can’t wait to help kids learn, develop, and have fun. He is extremely excited to be a Roll Model. Matthew joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018.

Kara Sciog

Kara Sciog (Gym/Party Instructor North Buffalo) is currently studying Radiologic Technology at Niagara County Community College and graduated Kenmore East High School in 2015. She have a passion for dance with 12 years experience as a dancer and as an assistant teacher for young children for many years.  Kara loves working with Children and has vast  experience working at a daycare and as a babysitter for many families. She enjoys spending time with her nephew and also bringing him to Rolly Pollies classes! Kara joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018.

Laury De La Rosa

Laury De La Rosa (Gym/Party Instructor North Buffalo)  is a student at Buffalo State College majoring in Business, she was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Laury has a passion for fashion and specifically loves to style which brings out her creativity and imagination. Laury was raised in a big family and has a great connection with kids. When she’s back at home visiting she is spending time with her family, babysitting her cousins, and niece. Spending this quality time with family opened up a door for her to realize that she has another interest, that she wants to work with kids. She enjoys coming up with new game ideas that will help young minds think and be active. Laury has a positive spirit, great character and great work ethic that includes having integrity, being a team player, and responsible. Laury joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2019.

Jennifer Durmaj

Jennifer Durmaj (General Manager) graduated from Canisus College with a Bachelors of Science in Physical Education. Jennifer has been with Rolly Pollies since the East Amherst, NY facility opened its doors in 2005. Jennifer is an integral part of Rolly Pollies of Western New York, overseeing all 3 Rolly Pollies of WNY facilities. Jennifer recently completed the Disney Institute's Quality Service Program in 2017, and the Disney Institute's Employee Engagement Program in 2019. She is certified in Adult, Infant and Child CPR, First Aid, and Lifeguard training.  Jennifer was the very first member of our Rolly Pollies family, and has taught and manager all 3 locations since 2005.

Veronika Paszko

Veronika Paszko (Director of Curriculum and Development) graduated from the University of Tennessee with her BS in Education, majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in child and adolescent development. She has spent the past nine years coaching youth volleyball,  in WNY and around the country. Her passion is to teach and inspire youth via physical activity, giving them the tools they need to go after life with energy and vigor! In writing curriculum, Veronika values the building blocks of proper and safe motor skills!  She is certified in Adult, Infant and Child First Aid and CPR and joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2015.

EAST AMHERST

Megan Matson

Megan Matson (Location Manager East Amherst) is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where she earned her BFA in Dance Performance. After graduation, she began touring with Sesame Street Live, which gave her the opportunity to pursue a career in dance, as well as see the United States and travel to Japan. She then moved to New York City, where she continued dancing and teaching dance to children of various ages. This is also where she was introduced to opportunities in the field of children's enrichment. Working with children for as long as she can remember, this was the perfect career transition for her. She managed the New York Kids Club and Preschool for 6 1/2 years, where she was awarded the Outstanding Customer Service award. Megan recently moved back home to Buffalo with her husband and son, and joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2017.

Jen Kerr

Jen Kerr (Manager/Art, Music, Yoga,
Montessori Instructor East Amherst) is a graduate of SUNY Albany with a Bachelors Degree in Social Welfare. She earned her Infant/Toddler Montessori certification from The North American Montessori Center and her Early Childhood Montessori certification from the Utah Montessori Teacher Education Program. Jen has over 12 years of experience working as a lead teacher in Montessori communities within Salt Lake City, Utah. Jen recently completed her children’s yoga certification thru Kidding Around Yoga and is excited to bring this new program to our families.  She loves connecting with children and parents thru all the specialty classes we offer.  Jen has developed many programs at Rolly Pollies including a Montessori Program called Practical Play, “Hang Time” Ninja Nights, Family Fun Nights, Play Cafe and Action Art.  When she's not at Rolly Pollies she and her husband enjoy exploring WNY with their 2 middle school aged children. She is certified in Adult, Infant and Child First Aid and CPR. Jen joined the Rolly Pollies family in September 2014. 

Serena Timineri

Serena Timineri (Assistant Manager, Party/Gym Instructor East Amherst)a is an ACE certified personal trainer/ program designer with loads of experience at gyms in WNY. She has competed in 7 NPC bodybuilding shows including the Mr/Mrs Buffalo where she placed second in her class. Serena plans to be a physical education and health teacher. Fitness and children are her passion, and it is easy to see in the gym, Rolly Pollies combines the two perfectly! Serena joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018.

Mary Blackley

Mary Blackley (Party Manager/Gym Instructor East Amherst) is currently in the 5 year BS/MS Occupational Therapy program at D’Youville College with 2 minors in Spanish and Psychology. She runs cross country at school, and participates in different clubs on campus. Mary danced ballet and pointe for 12 years. She has been babysitting for 6 years and has 7 seven siblings so she has grown up surrounded by children. Mary has always loved working with children and plans to work as a pediatric OT. Mary joined the Rolly Pollies Family in January of 2018.

Jonathan Torres

Jonathan (Jon) Torres (Gym/Party Instructor East Amherst)  is currently working toward his doctorate degree  in Physical Therapy at D’Youville College.  Prior to his entry into the doctorate program, Jon completed his bachelors degree in Exercise Science at D"Youville as well. A natural with children and an athlete, Mr Jon makes all of his classes educational and fun!   Jon is also certified in Adult, Infant and Child First Aid and CPR.
Jon joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018.

Morgan Auten

Morgan Auten (Party/Gym Instructor East Amherst) is currently a student at Williamsville North High School. She is involved in Yearbook Club, Student Council, and was recently inducted into The National Honor Society ans well as The German National Honor Society. She loves working with kids and intends to major in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. She has been babysitting for four years now for children of all ages including special needs children. She also has recently participated in an internship program at her school in which she student teaches at Casey Middle School. Morgan has been dancing for 7 years both in hip hop and acro. She also plays softball and is a long jumper, triple jumper, and a sprinter for her schools track team. Morgan is certified in adult and child First Aid and CPR. Morgan joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2016.

Rory Patton

Rory Paton (Party/Gym Assistant Instructor East Amherst) is currently a student at Williamsville East High School, and is involved in Sources of Strength. She is the oldest of fourteen cousins and loves watching them develop personalities and learn new skills everyday. She's been babysitting for four years. Her goal in the future is to teach elementary students. She always had a passion for dance and danced for three years and loves to run. She likes to teach people new things and is very excited to work at such an awesome place like Rolly Pollies! Rory join the Rolly Pollies family in 2017.

Christian Cugno

Christian Cugno (Party/Gym Assistant Instructor East Amherst)  Mr Christian is the first ever Roll Model of ours to have started with us (13 years ago!) as a student!  Christian, is currently attending Canisius High School in Buffalo. As captain of the Canisus varsity volleyball team, his team is the Monsignor Martin Champions for the 19th straight year. He is a twin, an older brother, and one of the first customers of Rolly Pollies in East Amherst! He plans to pursue a career in law following college and recently spent part of the summer at Stanford University for an intensive law and trial program. He has always loved working with children and is super excited to work at Rolly Pollies, a place he himself grew up! Christian is certified in Infant and Child First Aid and CPR and joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018. 

Jordan Waterbury

Jordan Waterbury (Party/Gym Assistant Instructor East Amherst)  is currently attending Genesee Valley Boces In Batavia. She is the 2nd oldest of 6 children and enjoys seeing every single one of them grow in their own ways!  She has been babysitting for 5 years and plans to persue a career in education and music. She has always had a passion for children and is ecstatic to work at Rolly Pollies! Jordan joined the Rolly Pollies family in 2018.

Mary Bieger

Mary, our Music Instructor, is now an Instructional Support Specialist in the Ken-Ton School District after teaching at the elementary level for 16 years, and she was elected as a board member of the Williamsville School District's Board of Education in 2016. Mary graduated from SUNY College at Cortland with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Music. She received Griffis Scholarships for performance on piano, and she holds a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University at Buffalo where she taught infant and toddler Music Play classes. She has extensive training in Gordon’s Music Learning Theory upon which the Rolly Pollies Music Adventures Program is based. Mary has been leading the Rolly Pollies music program since 2006.

Abel

Abel, spokesmodel/empolyee in training and son of Jim and Danielle, was born into the Rolly Pollies family in July of 2009. A born manager, Abel has tons of experience participating in classes at Rolly Pollies and hopes to be teaching in no time.

Silas

Silas, spokesmodel/empolyee in training and son of Jim and Danielle, was born into the Rolly Pollies family in April of 2011. Silas is all about fun and loves to be challenged in gym classes. He loves babies, especially little Rita, his sister, and is the first to welcome our littlest members into the gym.

Rita

Rita, spokesmodel/empolyee in training and daughter of Jim and Danielle, was born into the Rolly Pollies family in 2013. Rita was born believing she was about 5 years old, and strives to keep up with the big kids! She is a ball of climbing, jumping, crazy energy!