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 2.

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.

I have a Masters in Social Work, and have enjoyed many years working with children, youth, and families. I enjoy listening to children tell their stories, laughing with them, and accepting their invitations to play as ways to connect and learn what’s important to them. Outside of school I enjoy being outdoors with my family, bike riding, reading, and eating delicious foods. I’ve worked at CCS as a substitute teacher, and I’m delighted to be joining the Redbud Team in a new capacity. Looking forward to a year of adventures in learning with your family!

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!

Oak Team

The Oak classroom serves 18 children ages 2 through 4.

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.

Lane Speidel is white, trans, disabled, Jewish, artist and teacher. They believe and work towards societal change in and out of the classroom, through organizing and fundraising efforts for liberation. They see children as collaborators, learning, growing, and making messes together. Some favorite classroom moments are multi-step art projects, puppet shows, dress up, and asking questions. They have an extensive rock and stuffie collection.

D’Auriel is a New Orleans native, Texas raised after Hurricane Katrina, that has most recently found xyr home here in Philadelphia as of a year ago. They graduated from Texas State University with a degree in Theatre Performance and Production with a minor in Music. Most recently, xe have worked at Houston’s illustrious Alley Theatre as a Costume Technician and Dresser before xyr move to Philadelphia. Their experience working with children (age 4 – 14) and young adults has spanned across the art and music industry and as close to home with work as a babysitter, nanny, dresser, counselor, mentor, and now CCS’ Afternoon teacher. Outside teaching, they love skating, all things nature, photography, cinema, singing and creating music, and exploring this beautiful city. It is D’Auriel’s greatest joy to be so warmly welcomed by the CCS children, families, and staff.

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.

Juneberry Team

The Juneberry class serves 13 children ages 3 through 5.

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 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.

Amelia (she/they) is a writer, a storyteller, and (she hopes) a pretty good story listener. She’s taught creative writing and theatre to elementary and middle school students with Mighty Writers and Camp Sojourner, and coached high school and college students on application essays and other writing. She believes in learning through play for all ages, and deeply values learning about communication and self-awareness from toddlers. She earned her BA in Economics and German from La Salle University. Her organizing, advocacy, and volunteer work is focused on public libraries, food justice, literacy, creative writing, the arts, and gender justice. She grew up in East Oak Lane and now lives in Point Breeze, where she is about to become a block captain!

Magnolia Team

The Magnolia class serves 18 children ages 3 through 5.

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.

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. 

(She/Her) I have worked in early childhood education for 5 years. I am currently finishing up my Associate’s degree at the Community College of Philadelphia. I absolutely adore teaching and also learning from children, as their inquisitive nature challenges me to obtain more knowledge. I am a very passionate and patient individual. My personal hobbies include everything from portraiture, to crocheting to gardening. As an artistic person, I regularly try to incorporate art and visual self expression into my lessons. I am grateful to the amazing individuals who entrust me with the care of their children. I do not take for granted the task of nourishing and cultivating their minds, as they will inherit the future.

Janitorial Staff

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

Admin Team

Jarrod has worked in early childhood education for nearly twenty years years, as a classroom teacher, a private consultant to schools and families, a college instructor, and most recently as the director of CCS. He’s published several articles in national journals as well as a book for preschool teachers (I’m OK! Building Resilience in Young Children). 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 in west Philly with his wife Amelia, their kids Henry and Noah, and their dog Watson. Henry recently graduated CCS after four wonderful years, and Noah is just starting in the Redbud 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 was born and raised in Raleigh, NC, where I received my B.A. in Communication Media in 2020. I’ve loved assisting young children in their exploration of the world since I was a child myself, and I’ve loved Philly since my fateful first visit in 2019. Moving here and finding CCS have been a dream come true! I’m learning so much from the staff and children around me every day, and I’m so excited to grow with this community as I take steps to become a teacher. When I am not working, I enjoy dancing, playing the harp, cooking, and studying pop culture.

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