Our staff is a group of dedicated, professional individuals with decades of combined experience caring for and teaching children and building communities. We work cooperatively to achieve our school’s mission, uphold our school’s values, and build the community, curriculum, and future of our school. Scroll down to learn about individual staff members!

Redbud Team

The Redbud class serves 16 children ages 18 months through 3 years.

I moved to Philly a few years ago from Richmond, VA, where I earned a BS in Early Childhood Education on purpose and a BA in Gender and Sexuality Studies by accident. I’ve worked as a preschool teacher, a camp counselor, a literacy tutor, and a “manny.” Grant Park Cooperative Preschool in Atlanta, which introduced me to the Reggio Emilia approach, and Mountain Meadow, a social justice-oriented summer camp for kids from LGBTQ families, are two places that have had a major impact on me as a teacher. I enjoy slow nature walks and bizarre conversations with young children. In my free time, you can usually find me covered in flour, sawdust, dirt, or dog fur. I’m a big nerd who loves learning about all sorts of things—this fall I will be returning to education after taking a hiatus to pursue my interest in baking. I’m super excited to join the CCS team, get to know the families, and spend some quality time playing with kids again!

Madeleine grew up in Lexington, Virginia, and went to school at Wesleyan University, where she studied English and Government. Her studies focused on indigenous politics and the relationship between queer communities and far right extremism in Europe. Throughout college, Madeleine taught at a Montessori preschool, an arts after school elementary program, and an English language school in Russia. Madeleine just moved to Philly, and is thrilled to be joining CCS and hanging out with her new small friends.

I grew up in the Philadelphia area and received a B.A. from Connecticut College. I have taught children from infants to school age, but frequently return to working with toddlers, who continuously inspire me with their innate curiosity and drive to learn about the world around them. I had the opportunity to visit the schools of Reggio Emilia on a study tour in 2010; my teaching has been enriched through dialogue with other educators who center community, inquiry-based learning, and responsive relationships. I am grateful to have found these values at CCS, and am excited to be returning to begin a new year.

Nae is an experienced early childhood educator with a demonstrated history in non-profit advocacy, LGBTQ+ health and wellness, community engagement and facilitation . Outside of the classroom they serve as a freelance educator, model and storyteller. Nae left their hometown Austin, TX in 2012 to study at Tufts University. They graduated with a BA in Child Study and Human Development in 2016. Recently planted from Boston, they are excited to get to know and serve their neighbors and community here in West Philly. Nae attributes their love for youth and their families to the experience of growing up as the eldest child of 12 in a blended, black and Mexican household. The intersections of the traditions and practices of their cultures continue to shape who they are today and the world they work to cultivate with those they share community.

Nae believes we serve in a world where using multiple approaches to address things is a necessity and where we must acquire a multifaceted understanding of teaching and learning.  You can find them centering self care, play, rest and always ready to grow.

Oak Team

The Oak classroom serves 18 children ages 3 through 5.

I grew up in Providence, Rhode Island with my parents and two older sisters. I lived in Boston for about 5 years, completing my BFA in Art Education at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I moved to Philadelphia for a change in scenery and absolutely fell in love with the West Philly community. I started working at CCS as a substitute and then became a Forest Friends Teacher.  Outside of childcare I am a practicing artist and I strive to integrate my studio art practice into the classroom by teaching a variety of materials, techniques and languages of art. I am very excited to start the year in Magnolia and to welcome fresh and familiar faces.

I am originally from Bear, Delaware with roots in Liberia. I graduated from Temple University with my Bachelors in Journalism and an unofficial minor in Art. I am a self-professed renaissance woman, well-versed in abstract painting, digital art, music, ceramics, writing, and more! I love to learn and I understand how much children are truly powerful, energetic sponges. Growing up, I worked at my neighbor’s day care and have babysat for multiple families over the years. It’s an honor to have been able to substitute for CCS for a year and now become an Oak Teacher! Teachers play such a vital role in the development of future generations. My promise is to always cultivate a safe, loving environment where the kids can learn and grow.

I have worked in early childhood education for over 20 years in Philadelphia. Protecting and caring for children is my life passion. I received my Associate’s from Community College of Philadelphia in 2008 and my Bachelor’s from University of Pennsylvania in 2013. I have held many titles along my progressive professional journey in the early childhood and early intervention field: BiG little sister, mommy’s helper, babysitter, nanny, floater, classroom assistant, assistant teacher, lead teacher and behavioral therapist. I have been honored to work with children who require a varying and complex assortment of special needs, support and medical interventions. I love so many things about the early childhood and interventions fields. It has continued to be a source of joy, enlightenment, empowerment, professional and personal growth, learning and evolution. I am continually blessed when parents, caretakers and guardians give me allowance to safeguard and be a positive role model in the lives of the world’s most prized possessions-their children. I strive to and continually focus my efforts to be an effective and efficient teacher. Although, I began by saying I have worked in the early childhood education field. It does not feel like work. It is a happy part of my day. I am glad to have been welcomed into the CCS and am looking forward to getting to know all the children and their families. My hobbies include hula hooping, writing children’s stories, hiking, biking, baking, spending time with my family, travel and outdoor adventures.

Magnolia Team

The Magnolia class serves 13 children ages 3 through 5.

Rachel was born and raised in West Philadelphia to a family of dancers and musicians. She took her love of art and movement into her studies at Oberlin College, where she studied Dance and Child Development. Throughout college, she worked in the Oberlin City Schools and in the Oberlin Early Childhood Center, where, in conjunction with her studies, she started to develop a personal teaching philosophy centered in creativity, respecting the whole child, and being a responsive and innovative educator who is aware of the social milieu which shapes students, teachers, and communities. She studied early childhood education in Denmark and Finland, which strengthened her belief in outdoor education, the importance of risk taking, and child-centered teaching approaches. She is a compassionate educator who finds joy in creating new and exciting learning experiences which are uniquely geared towards her students. She loves sharing dance, art, music, and play with her community. She is excited to be entering her third year as a Magnolia teacher at CCS, while also pursuing her M.S.Ed in Early Childhood Special and General Education at Bank Street College of Education. 

Eliza grew up in Florida and attended Goucher College near Baltimore, Maryland. They’ve been in Philadelphia for five years, and are happy to call it their home. Soon after moving here, they began working at Belmont Academy Charter School. While there, they worked with 7th graders, babies ages 2 months to 1 year, toddlers, and 3-6 year olds. Additionally, they spent a school year as an Assistant Teacher in a 4 and 5 year old Head Start classroom. Their relationship with CCS began in 2015, when they were the Head Counselor for the 5-8 year old campers the first year of summer camp and they have been subbing ever since. They are thrilled to return to CCS as a Forest Friends teacher! Outside of childcare, Eliza is an artist, performer and sometimes comedian. They enjoy art-making, playing games, making people laugh and creating moments of joy, and are excited to share their passions with the kids.

Erika grew up in the Boston area and later moved to California for college. They graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Sociocultural Anthropology with a focus on Latin American studies and Spanish. While living in Bolivia for a semester, they wrote, illustrated, and published a bilingual children’s book that features an environmentalist stick bug named Alfredo. After college, Erika relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area. While pursuing their master’s in Women and Gender studies at San Francisco State University, they gained experience teaching fourth graders, ninth graders, college students, and pre-k children. Erika particularly enjoys early education because of the ways in which young children are unapologetic in their self-expression and joy. Outside teaching, they love cooking, drawing, photography, and all things related to the ocean. After moving back to the east coast, Erika was delighted to be warmly welcomed by the CCS children, families, and staff.

Remote Together Team

The Remote Together class serves elementary-aged children from Kindergarten to 2nd grade.

Tyler has been working with children for 10 years, most recently as a teacher at the Little Green School House. They grew up in El Paso, Texas and graduated from Texas State University with a BA in German. After trying out law school, Tyler realized working with small children was their passion and began working in education. Their favorite part of teaching is engaging and channeling the exuberant energy and excitement the children bring to school into every learning experience. Tyler enjoys playing pretend and reading with children, and is inspired by each of their individual journeys in learning about the world. When Tyler is not teaching they enjoy reading, theater, yoga, and playing board games.

I have been teaching body/mind wellness and the arts to children and adults for over 15 years, and I’m looking forward to applying this expertise to our program to help create a more expansive and healthy experience for our remote learning students.  Specifically, I’ll be addressing ergonomics, sensory supports for learning, and activities that can counterbalance physical and emotional challenges that may arise for remote learners.  My background includes working as a Somatic Movement Educator & Therapist, Reiki practitioner and Teaching Artist.  I am the Director and Founder of The Visioning Body and member of the Diversity & Inclusion Action Group for the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association.  I hold an MA in Somatic Wellbeing/Somatic Movement Education from the University of Central Lancashire, and a BA in Dance and Visual Arts with a minor in Religion from Oberlin College.  In my free time I love to explore nature, and am proud to have completed my first ever backpacking trip this summer!

Caretaker & Janitorial Staff

I was born in Southern California and spent my early years in the Bay Area. After moving across the country to Maryland, and later North Carolina, I earned a B.A. in Psychology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Science from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As the child of a longtime preschool teacher, I have had the opportunity to assist my mother with her work with young people from all walks of life. I look forward to contributing to a safe, healthy, respectful, and socially aware education community where all involved foster an appreciation for and celebration of individual differences. I live in South Philly. In my free time, I enjoy walking my dog, Clark, reading short stories with my cat, Toast, and playing board games with my partner, Andrew. I like to watch nature documentaries, eat lots of fruit, and do jigsaw puzzles. I look forward to helping the children in this community continue on their paths of discovery both in and out of the classroom.

Hi, my name is Leo Jackson and I will be your night shift porter.

Admin Team

Jarrod has worked in early childhood education for over a dozen years. He has a passion for helping young children develop the social and emotional skills that are the foundation of lifelong learning and success. In addition to working as a preschool teacher for seven years, Jarrod has consulted privately with the families of young children, taught early childhood education classes at several community colleges, and led workshops at national early childhood conferences. He’s published several articles in national journals, and his book I’m Okay: Building Resilience in Young Children is available on Amazon. He holds a master’s degree in early childhood education from San Francisco State University. You can find more about his early childhood pursuits at jarrodgreen.net. He lives with his wife Amelia and his son Henry in west Philly where they sing in a choir and host sing-alongs, cook fancy foods, play board games, and take walks in the woods with their dog Watson. Henry is in his second year at CCS, in the Oak room.

I grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, where I developed a fondness for stage acting, choral singing, snowstorms, and small, still bodies of water. I wandered to the east coast to attend Swarthmore College, attained a BA in Sociology and Black Studies, and fell in love with Philadelphia in the process. Determined to live in the city and without a career plan, I easily fell into doing something that had always brought me joy: working with small children. I worked as a one-to-one support for several children who had special needs, and later I was a first grade Teacher Assistant at a fine-arts school. A few years later I enrolled in Teachers College where I earned an MA in Early Childhood Education, and I spent a year after I graduated teaching for an Early Head Start program in east Harlem. I could feel that I had made the right career choice for myself, but I was not yet satisfied because I missed Philadelphia so. Connecting with CCS was all I needed to pack up and return to this community that I cherish, and I am elated to take part in this meaningful work that I love with this school and with all of you.

Stephanie has worked in early childhood education and finance since graduating from the University of Texas in 2008. Originally from Central Texas, Stephanie joined the CCS team after moving to Philadelphia in 2013. Her experience ranges from teaching infants and toddlers to bookkeeping for non-profits. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys gardening, music-making and photography.

I am originally from Culver City, California. In 2017 I graduated from Bard College with a BA in Dance and Written Arts. After graduating, I moved to Philly and fell in city-love. Over the last three years I have occupied many roles at CCS including substitute teacher, Forest Friends (aftercare) teacher, bookkeeper, and Oak teacher! This year, I am stepping outside of the classroom and into the role of administrative assistant, and am very excited to serve families and children in this new capacity. When I am not at school, I am usually dancing at Urban Movement Arts, choreographing, or writing about dance for thINKingDANCE.net.

Board of Directors

Our 2021 Board of Directors:

  • Marissa Amos
  • Mike Brooks
  • Naima Brown
  • Dan Burke
  • Lea Deutsch
  • Lucas Drecksage
  • Miranda Featherstone
  • Rachel Ford
  • Jarrod Green, Executive Director
  • Patricia Houston
  • Octavia Lewis
  • Abram Lipman
  • Denise Lynch
  • Rowan Machalow, Treasurer
  • Alyssa Mutry
  • Alisha Nash
  • Julia Perciasepe
  • Rachel Profeta, Secretary
  • Erin Rooney
  • Laura Rup
  • Nikki Silla
  • Duwayne Terry, President
  • Becca Zinn, Vice President