Pre-K Teacher, Pre-K Team Leader
Education: UConn: B.A. in Human Development and Family Relations, Sacred Heart University: Masters of Education in PreK-Grade 3, Certified in Connecticut, Holds PreK Director Credentials
When did you join the GCS Family?
I have been part of the GCS family for a total of 15 years. I started my career at GCS in 2001, left briefly to work as a Director of another Diocesan PreK program that was going through a re-structuring, and ultimately came “back home” to GCS to teach and run the program here three years ago.
What do you think makes the PreK program at GCS so special?
Because I’ve been here for so many years, I’ve been part of the continued development of the PreK program, and now lead a team of early childhood experts who are focused on the social and academic growth of their students, with the goal of ensuring each one is ready for Kindergarten. The Dougherty Center for Early Learning offers a comprehensive Early Childhood Education program, with center-based learning, progressive themes and age-appropriate academic goals.
How does the PreK curriculum complement the needs of this age group?
This age group wonders, questions and is eager to learn. We use the Open Court Language Arts curriculum system, which encourages pre-reading, along with sight word recognition and letter and sound formation. Social Studies focuses on “The World Around Us,” which helps children start recognizing that even as young people, they play an important role in society. Over the span of a school year, I’m always impressed with each child’s development related to communication, fine motor skills, and language.
What are some ways that technology is used in the PreK Program at GCS?
Children today are growing up in a technological world, so we plan ways to integrate appropriate technology into our lessons and activities. We use a SmartBoard in the classroom, so the children have interactive learning opportunities, especially within our “World Around Us” lessons. Because movement-based activities are critical to the daily learning experiences of our students, we often utilize technology, like “Cosmic Kids” yoga, to support gross motor development.
What keeps you busy when you’re not at GCS?
I love spending time with my family and friends. My 2-year-old son keeps me very busy, and I enjoy spending as much time with him as possible, watching him grow and discover new things. He’ll be here at the Dougherty Center next year, and thinking about putting him in “the blue and white” and having him join this amazing PreK learning environment, makes me so proud. GCS is my “other home” and having him as a part of it will be very special for me.