Director and Lead Teacher
My philosophy for early childhood education is rooted deeply in fostering problem solving skills, independence, and communication skills. My role as an educator is not to simply oversee the activities of children on a day to day basis, but rather help them discover and develop their abilities, creativity, and voices.
I have led a twenty-year career in early childhood education as an educator, program developer, and advocate. Throughout my career, I've worked at several preschools in Portland as a lead teacher, responsible for implementing emergent curriculums that were developmentally appropriate, encouraged classroom community, and supported the health and well being of the children.
In addition to my experience as a teacher, I have also successfully developed and implemented other preschool programs prior to launching Stumptown Kids. As a strong proponent of the importance of art in early childhood development, I created a developmentally appropriate preschool art curriculum for parent and child classes through the Bureau of Portland Parks and Recreation. I directed these classes at Sellwood Community Center, Mt. Scott Community Center, and Matt Dishman Community Center from 1999 to 2006.
In 2003, I independently developed a preschool program at the Oregon Zoo, which gained popularity among parents and children alike over its eight year span. The two hour class engaged children ages 3-5 in animal and conservation themes in conjunction with zoo exhibits. I believe that conservation education is critical in early childhood education. Teaching children about conservation and its importance to our planet is incredibly important to me and is something that I continue to integrate into my teaching philosophy.
Early in my career, I worked at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) as an early childhood science educator where I helped to create and sustain an appropriate early childhood space within the museum. I interacted with children to help them explore and learn from exhibits and lab activities and trained, supervised, and mentored museum volunteers.
As an early childhood advocate, I am also active with the Oregon Association for the Education of Young Children (OAEYC). Between 2000 and 2002, I served as OAEYC’s Public Relations Chair, where I worked with the OAEYC board to publicize activities and promote the organization’s work with diverse populations.
I hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Portland State University in Child and Family Studies with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. I am a Step 10 with the Oregon Registry Online (ORO)/ STARS program, certified in First Aid, CPR, am trained in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect, and registered with the Oregon State Criminal History Registry.
I have been involved in early childhood education for more than a decade. Prior to my first stint with Stumptown Kids in 2011, I taught at Childswork Learning Center for five years, where I also served as the Italian Enrichment Teacher. A long time resident of Portland (and proud member of the Timber’s Army), I was raised in Rome, Italy where my parents worked for United Nations agencies. My educational experiences in my own early childhood and extensive travels across Europe and the Mediterranean have given me a unique approach to education and the classroom and a globally inclusive perspective of the world. I am fluent in Italian, speak French passably and can get by with Spanish.
My philosophy of education is rooted in three tenets: 1. Empowering children to discover their voice and interests through an emergent curriculum thus helping to create a sense of self and ownership of their education. 2. Emphasizing a whole child approach incorporating the academic, social, emotional, physical and spiritual into one broad holistic approach to fostering lifelong learners. 3. Exploring and discovering the wonders of the natural world and instilling a sense of wonderment and belonging to this big blue marble. I also enjoy creating environments that make students excited about learning and aim to create opportunities for discovery in everyday activities.
Jenn and I have worked together since 2005. I was a lead teacher at Stumptown Kids in its early days before taking a hiatus to return to Italy and work for my family. I returned to Stumptown Kids in 2014.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in History from the University of Rhode Island. I am a Step 6 with the Oregon Registry Online (ORO)/ STARS program, certified in First Aid, CPR, am trained in recognizing and reporting child abuse and neglect, and registered with the Oregon State Criminal History Registry.I am also currently pursuing certification as a Bowen practitioner.
I have worked in early childhood education for more than seven years. I studied Early Childhood education while in high school and worked at my school's onsite school preschool as well. Since graduating, I've been in the classroom, working at various day schools and preschools across Portland. I love being part of the teaching team at Stumptown Kids. My goal as a teacher is to bring a love of learning, art, and new experiences to the classroom and instill those values in children. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and engaging in various art projects, such as painting and latch hook kits.