Our staff is made up of 13 professionals who each have years of experience working with young children. Head teachers and assistants are well-versed in guiding students in nonviolent conflict resolution, which is a focal point of each child’s social and emotional development throughout their time at Swarthmore Friends Nursery School. Teachers set the stage in each classroom for a school year full of friendship, learning, and exploration.
Assistant in On Our Way to K class
My route to teaching was not a traditional one. I began with a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University in Canada, and spent many years in Sales and Marketing. When my children were young I developed a children’s program based on charitable giving. Once my family moved to Swarthmore more than 10 years ago, I had the good fortune to begin teaching in a local preschool part time, which inspired me to become accredited in early childhood education, and eventually lead my own classroom. My son attended SFNS, and now I have the pleasure of reconnecting with the school in a new way. I spend my “spare time” with my husband cheering on our 2 teenagers in swim meets, hockey games, and attending their musical events. As a family we enjoy time at our lake house, and visiting family and friends at “home” in Canada.
I have had the pleasure of working with young children for over 25 years. I continually delight in children’s exploration and discoveries. I love the enthusiasm they express when they are able to accomplish a challenging task or discover something new. Outside of school I am blessed with a wonderful family (husband and three sons). I love the outdoors, and am always amazed by the natural world. I also take inspiration from art and music.
My love for Swarthmore Friends Nursery School began as a parent of a student here. I have been teaching at the school for over 8 years. My time at school is balanced with my family (husband and three kids), pets, a love of reading, and cake. On occasion you may even catch me running.
Morning Pre-K 4’s
I have been teaching and working in education for the past 11 years, the last 3 of which at Swarthmore Friends. I have an undergraduate degree in English and a Masters in Library Science. As a former children’s librarian, I truly believe that the most important gift we can give our children is a lifelong love of reading and learning. I also feel passionately about incorporating recycled and repurposed everyday objects into our projects to teach environmental consciousness. Don’t be surprised if you receive a request to raid your recycling bins for our classroom projects! I have two young children; one who is a current student at SFNS. When we’re not at school, you can often find us cheering on the Swarthmore College men's soccer team where my husband is an assistant coach.
My journey at Swarthmore Friends began over 8 years ago. I take great pleasure and joy from working with young children. When I’m not at school I enjoy fitness, vacationing with my family (wonderful husband and amazing daughter), zip lining and reading.
Afternoon Pre-K 4's
My experience at Swarthmore Friends dates back to my own enrollment as a student here. My love of learning continued through college as I earned a degree in Secondary Education English and Social Studies. I spent 8 years teaching at Strath Haven Middle School. Now, when I’m not at SFNS, I spend time with my husband and 3 sons. I coach my sons’ soccer teams, play my own sports, and enjoy being outside hiking and gardening.
Head Teacher Pre-K 5’s
On Our Way to K class
Many years ago all four of my children attended Swarthmore Friends. I actually started teaching in the Pre-K class over 16 years ago when my youngest was in the four year old class. I took a short break from SFNS and taught Kindergarten in Chester for 5 years. I LOVE teaching 4 and 5 year olds because they are so excited about learning. My favorite part of the morning is our circle time when I can read (especially silly books), and we can dance and sing. I also love to go on walks to explore “our” beautiful campus – the fish pond, the magic tree, the big chair, and the amphitheater. When I’m not at SFNS, I like to sail on the Chesapeake, spend time with my family at Keuka Lake, read teaching blogs and volunteer at a kindergarten classroom in Chester.
Assistant Teacher Pre-K 5’s
As I move into my 19th year at Swarthmore Friends, you could say I am an “oldie”, but hopefully also considered a “goodie”. My education includes Bloomberg University and Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences. I love teaching preschool because we are usually children’s first school experience and we can lay the groundwork for a love of learning. I find great joy with the unexpected things that preschoolers will say – from the very sweet to the utterly hilarious. Away from school I am the mother of 3 children and I love to travel, garden, read, and have a love of fashion.
I am thrilled to be spending my days with kindergarteners once again. While I may be new to Swarthmore Friends, I am not new to kindergarten. I taught first grade and kindergarten in the Wallingford- Swarthmore School District for twenty years. I took a break from teaching to allow my own children a chance to grow taller than me. Now our two teenage children keep my husband and I busy running to practices, games, lessons and concerts. It gives me lots of opportunities to develop my photography skills. When we’re not running I simply enjoy puttering around my house and garden.
I love watching the children discover new ideas in science and I am always amazed at how much they already know. Before SFNS, I was at home with my 3 children. My background includes a BJ and an MBA, 15 years working in advertising, as well as teaching Sunday school, Pioneer Club, and Scouts. I enjoy reading, playing tennis, watching Swarthmore College soccer games, and walking my dog.
My background is in illustration and design. Before teaching pre-school I was a decorative painter and mural artist. I have been lucky enough to work with children of all ages doing various forms of art from the Fifth Grade Art Project at SRS to helping children paint murals with Philadelphia Mural Arts. One of my favorite things to observe is the look of pure joy when a child looks at a blank piece of paper that has been transformed into something amazing. When I am not working with children, I am usually busy creating something at home whether it is a painting or growing something in the garden. I can also be seen on the back porch with my husband and two boys. PS - I love glitter!
Music and Assistant in Science and Art
A variety of experiences has preceded my tenure at Swarthmore Friends Nursery School. Not least of which, I was a parent of an SFNS student. I have worked as a paralegal for attorneys in Philadelphia and New Mexico. I also lived in Guadalajara Mexico for 18 months. My teaching experience includes teaching English as a second language for students from age 7 through adult.
Creative Movement Teacher
I began working at SFNS as a substitute teacher. Previously I worked as a teacher's assistant at The Art of Growing Nursery School and St. Matthew's Pre School. I LOVE everything about nursery school, whether I'm doing a craft, playing a game, reading a book or doing a fun experiment with children, I enjoy having the opportunity to watch young children flourish.
I reside in Wallingford with my husband Steve and our 3 boys. When I'm not traveling to watch my boys play ice hockey, I enjoy fishing, boating and the beach at Ship Bottom, NJ and visiting my parents in Cape May, NJ. I also love when my boys and I have free time to enjoy cooking and baking together.
Lunch Bunch Assistant Teacher
My connection to SFNS began when my daughter and son were students here and I volunteered in their classrooms. Prior to my time at SFNS, I taught special education in the Philadelphia public schools. I have my undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware, my law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and my masters in education from Chestnut Hill College. I am also trained in the Orton Gillingham method, which is used to teach reading to children with learning differences.
Assistant Teacher in On Our Way to K Assistant and Lunch Bunch
I have been a member of the Swarthmore Friends Nursery School community since 2011 when I returned to the Philadelphia area from Chicago and enrolled my oldest child in the 3yr old program. While in Chicago, I worked as a Development Officer at the main children’s hospital in the city; I also volunteered at the hospital by walking therapy dogs around the floors to visit with and cheer up the kids during their respective stays at the hospital. Earlier in my professional career, I taught at both the high school and elementary grade levels which I did following my undergraduate training in English and Education.
On a personal level, I love hanging out with my husband and my three fun kids, listening to podcasts and avoiding cooking at all costs (though I do enjoy baking). I love all animals … well, except cats.