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.
The Redbud class serves 16 children ages 18 months through 3 years each morning.
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 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.
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 grew up in Paris, France, moved to Vermont for college and have been living in Philly for the past year. I started working with young children in Vermont and loved it so much that it was an easy decision to work in preschools after moving to Philly. I’m so excited to work at CCS, to get to know all you lovely families and to grow as a teacher!
The Oak classroom serves 18 children ages 2 and 3 each morning.
I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and moved to Philadelphia in 2013 after studying Humanities at New College of Florida. I see teaching preschool as an opportunity to share my love of play and learning with children and their families. Completing a course on playwork this year, I am interested in loose parts and the way open ended materials affect play and social interaction. What I particularly enjoy about this job is growing through encouraging others’ growth, and in that way am excited to spend another year learning from teachers, caregivers, and kids.
Rasheeda has been graced to teach children. Her ability and creativity in weaving together concepts and ideas provides both children and adults with many opportunities to develop their understanding and knowledge of any given principle from the start. Rasheeda’s endeavor is to always teach the love of learning; giving the children a riveting learning adventure while developing holistic life skills. She believes a major component is developing social skills through learning about cooperation and trust. The student becomes the teacher by encouraging them to construct their own learning in an environment that stimulates and helps them to realize their potential. Along with teaching, Rasheeda has directed early childhood learning facilities. She enjoys doing Missions work and has served in Jamaica, Ronald McDonald House, and as a missionary teacher here in Philadelphia. She loves being and doing creative things, and is a graphic designer.
I am originally from Culver City, California, where I was lucky enough to grow up within a supportive school system and an engaged intercultural community. I attended a language immersion school during my elementary years, and have been continuing my studies in Japanese (to the best of my ability!) ever since. 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. I have worked as a babysitter for many years, and when a friend recommended I check out CCS, I knew I’d found a match—I love being able to foster physical and emotional independence in children, and give them the tools necessary to transform into engaged and socially skilled community members. I started out here as a substitute teacher, then became a Forest Friends teacher, and am so excited to be a morning teacher this upcoming year! I am most looking forward to exploring movement and sensory imagination in my class. When I am not at school, I am usually dancing, choreographing, or writing about dance for thINKingDANCE.net.
The Juneberry class serves 13 children ages 3 through 5 each morning.
Magda is a performing artist and educator. She moved to Philadelphia in 2012 to study at the Headlong Performance Institute. She makes original dance/theater works for the stage and has been presented locally by theaters such as FringeArts and regionally by Dance NOW Joe’s Pub and JACK. As an educator she has worked for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Mural Arts, Smith Memorial Playground, and several early education programs. She loves the way her art-making informs her work with children and vice versa. She is very excited to join the community at CCS. More info about Magda about magdasanmillan.com.
I grew up in upstate New York and received my bachelors from the University of Scranton, studying Early Childhood and Primary Education. I then went on to do an AmeriCorps fellowship at Phoenix Academy in Lawrence, Massachusetts, an alternative high school. It was as the school’s early childcare center that I realized that early childhood is the best fit for my love of inquiry and social-emotional based learning. I received my Masters in Education from Boston College while a member of their Urban Catholic Teachers’ Corps. I studied Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on mindfulness education and social-emotional development. I decided to continue that study, taking courses at the Boston College School of Social Work while working as a graduate assistant and teaching PreK Spanish. I’m excited to continue my journey in early childhood education in Philly and be a part of the CCS team!
The Magnolia class serves 18 children ages 4 and 5 each morning.
Jordan is originally from Houston, Texas. She attained her BA in photography from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and moved to Philadelphia to continue to work as a photographer. Jordan began teaching art in the after school program at a Philadelphia area private school where she discovered her love for working with children. She continued to teach, wearing many hats in the early childhood department while completing her Masters Degree in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University. After four wonderful years she decided to find a school that best fit her teaching philosophies. She immediately fell in love with CCS and the loving environment that is created for the students. She loves watching children grow through art, movement, and music, and she believes helping young students explore the world around them is the best job in the world. Jordan currently lives in South Philadelphia with her partner, Lucas, and their dog Tuesday. She loves riding bikes, practicing yoga, and spending time in her garden where she pretends to have a green thumb.
Rachel was born and raised in Cedar Park, 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. After working at CCS as a summer educator in 2016, she is thrilled to be returning to the school full time.
Forest Friends Team
The Forest Friends serve approximately 30 children ages 18 months through 8 years each afternoon.
Charlie has been a childcare provider for over a decade. They grew up in Wisconsin with dozens of cousins, then went to Bard College, where they got a liberal arts degree with a concentration in Literature and Creative Writing. After that, they moved to the Tohono O’odham land known as Tucson, Arizona. They were a part of the Tucson Childcare Collective and worked as a certified caregiver for adults with severe dementia. They worked also as a trained crisis counselor for the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault, and as a counselor’s assistant in a residential treatment program for teens and adults. Over the years, Charlie has continued to provide childcare, and to work for liberation from the governmental and interpersonal structures that seek to prevent people of all ages from realizing our capacity for compassion and creation. Charlie moved to the Lenni Lenape land known as West Philly in the summer of 2017. They are enlivened by the mechanisms, often punished or dismissed, by which kids adapt, celebrate, defend their autonomy, mourn, resist, and care for each other. Charlie feels honored to sing strange songs with people who haven’t been on the planet very long yet.
(Photo coming soon!)
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!
Caroline grew up in California. They received degrees in Political Science and Economics from Barnard College. They moved to Lenni Lenape land (“West Philadelphia”) in 2015, and currently live with their dog, 포도. In addition to being an early childhood educator, they nanny, provide free mental health counseling to local LGBTQ+, write surreal poems with 3rd graders, teach music, and play keyboard/bass in several projects.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia. I first discovered my passion for teaching when I was 5 years old. It amazed me to watch my teacher write on the chalk board, give out stickers and interact with children. I used to go home and write on the walls with crayon, “teaching” my baby dolls what I learned in school! In May 2016 I graduated from Clarion University with a B.A. in History and a minor in Black Studies. I chose to study History to get a better understanding of my culture and how influential I could be to the youth and society. Since graduating, I’ve worked at several child care facilities as a teachers assistant. In addition, I worked as a Therapeutic Support Staff in early intervention classrooms. This pass summer I worked as a counselor in the Redbud room! On my spare time I love to crochet, watch Netflix, travel, dance and watch hair and makeup tutorials. I love working for CCS because the support is so genuine and helpful. Although I resist the urge to write on walls anymore, teaching children is still my passion!
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 has just started in the Redbud classroom.
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.
Carrie has worked in early childhood education for over fourteen years in Philadelphia and San Francisco. She has taught preschool through first grade in both mainstream and special education classrooms. Carrie is passionate about creating curriculum cooperatively with young children that nurtures their cognitive, physical and social-emotional growth. Carrie comes to us most recently from The Philadelphia School, where she spent eight years serving as both a classroom teacher and the Social-Emotional Learning Specialist. She has led workshops for Philadelphia-area independent schools focusing on emergent curriculum, mathematics and social-emotional development in the early years. Carrie holds a master’s degree in education from the University of California at Berkeley, where she conducted her thesis research on teaching algebraic concepts in the early childhood classroom. She lives in West Philadelphia with her husband Aaron and her children Calvin and Idgie, who both attend CCS.
Emily comes to CCS from a background in school and nonprofit administration. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Saint Louis University and her M.A. in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St. Louis. Originally from Kansas City, she is a proud Midwesterner, an amateur florist, an avid baker, and a casual fiber artist. Her passion for social justice is fed by her work around racial justice and feminism. She is excited to get to know the families of CCS and to continue to develop a culture of giving. She can often be found with her dog Pepper (who is half Muppet) walking the streets of West Philly, so say hello!
Marcy Morgan: Literacy (Magnolia class)
As a retired teacher who has lived in West Philly since 1970, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to teach two mornings a week at CCS, to get to know new families and young children, and this year to have my grandson with me in the Magnolia class. During my 45 years of teaching I taught nursery school, earned my masters degree in reading at Penn, and taught kindergarten and first grade in both public and private schools. I still love to work with young children as they begin the empowering process of learning to read and write. I am also active in our local community garden and teach classes in Re-evaluation Counseling, an organization that uses listening partnerships to assist people to transform our lives, build a diverse community, and create a more just and sustainable society.