Academy at Stone Mill Newsletter Academy’s Mission Academy Child Development Center

Academy at Stone Mill Newsletter
Academy Child Development Center
December 2013
Academy’s Mission
Academy recognizes and respects the
uniqueness of each child. Established
in 1981, the school’s primary mission
is to foster a love of learning in each
student. Our curriculum skillfully
weaves artistic and practical disciplines into everyday academics. Students learn to follow their curiosity, to
think creatively, and to work both independently and cooperatively with
At Academy, we celebrate diversity
and strive to instill integrity, compassion and confidence in each child. We
give each child support and
Special thanks...
 To all our families who participated
in the “Manna Food Drive.” Your
generous contributions yielded a total
of 266 lbs of food. This will truly
help Manna Food Center continue its
mission to eliminate hunger in Montgomery County through food distribution, education, and advocacy.
Academy Child Development
Center at Stone Mill
encouragement to become his or her
own unique self.
 To all our Academy students for their
wonderful performances during our
annual “Family Night.” We also want
to thank the families who were able
to join us in this wonderful event. .
Inside this issue:
Our Mission and Purpose
To offer developmentally appropriate early childhood/
school age programs.
To provide safe, healthy and reliable child care options for working parents.
To maintain a dedicated, professional staff through competitive
salaries, benefits, and ongoing
professional development training.
To develop and maintain partnerships with parents, staff, community, local, state and national organizations.
Parent Participation
MSDE Accreditation
Emergency Contact Information
Avoiding the Holiday Stress
Meet the Academy Staff
Guess Who?
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Parent Participation
Parent participation at Academy
is always encouraged. Our relationship with you, the parents of
our children is especially important to us. With this partnership
we can provide the children with
the highest quality program possible.
Please let us know if you would like to volunteer,
share a hobby or just come by to visit. There are
always opportunities to participate in our Parent/
Teacher Exchange meetings (PTeX). The goal of
the PTeX is to establish committees and to encourage parents to volunteer to meet the needs and
mission of our school.
Several of our committees include: Fundraising/
Development, Newsletter, and Room Parent.
Please join us at our future meetings. We encourage your participation!
Parent Participation-PTeX Volunteers for 2013-2014
Special thanks to the following parents who volunteered to participate in our parent participation programs.
Melissa Crow & Victor Katz – Tiny Tots special
events, activities with pets and teaching about
Jewish holidays
Jane Haizel – preschool newsletter, special events
& other activities
Michelle Ma & Yin Lin – Tiny Tots field trip
chaperone & and help with yearend picnic
Suzanne Podberesky – School age & Pre K inservice on speech and language development
Josh Lavine – Preschool room parent
Meredith Milk – Pre K room parent
Valarie Ackley – Infants/Toddlers room parent
Ke Ren – Preschool room parent
Prema Sharma – Preschool room parent
Emily Dakoulas – School Age room parent
Courtney & Matt Millin – Tiny Tots room parent,
special events & other activities
Eleni Niknia – Tiny Tots room parent, special
events & other activities
Meghan Inwood– Tiny Tots room parent
Eric Wu – Preschool MSDE team
Xiaojie Li – Preschool – other activities
Brie Charles – Pre K special events & other activities
“With this partnership we can provide the children
with the highest quality program possible.”
December 2013
Page 3
Maryland State Department of Education: Re-accreditation 2014
Academy Child Development Center is accredited by
the Maryland State Department of Education
(MSDE). We are one of only a few preschools in
Maryland to have five accredited preschool programs.
The State accreditation is a voluntary process that encourages excellence in preschool programs, and gives
parents assurance that the school has undertaken vigorous educational standards.
According to the MSDE:
"...children benefit from accreditation because their
learning environments are exciting, positive, and
growth-oriented. Parents of young children benefit
from this process because their children are enrolled
in stimulating learning environments that reflect the
research and best practices of the field. Early care
and education programs benefit because their services are publicly recognized as being of the highest
caliber. Local school systems benefit from this process because accredited programs increase the
chances for young children to be better prepared to
enter public school primary grades."
Always proactive about developing the best experience for young children, Academy is committed to
the preschool accreditation program as a way of continually setting higher standards for our early childhood programs. The MSDE Accreditation Program
measures many criteria, such as the staff credentials
and training, classroom size, curriculum, our school’s
interaction with parents, the incorporation of technol-
ogy into the classroom and other
Academy at Stone Mill is in the
process of self-appraisal, program
improvement and re-accreditation.
In order to maintain accreditation
MSDE requires accredited programs
to meet the high standards and best
practices for Maryland’s early education every three years.
Emergency Contact Information
Academy is continually updating information and
procedures in the event of an emergency or crisis.
Since our locations are housed in Stone Mill Elementary School and the Modular, we will follow the procedures outlined by MCPS if there is a crisis that affects us.
It is important that Academy has up-to-date emergency contact information for your family. If there’s
ever a crisis situation, MCPS ensures a smooth, systematic process for uniting children and their parents
which involves identification being checked for all
parents picking up a child.
This is outlined in the information pamphlet MCPS
has on their website concerning emergency preparedness. The MCPS information pamphlet is offered in 6
languages at:
Academy at Stone Mill Newsletter
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Holiday Related Stress: Strategies to Avoid It
The holiday season promises to
bring joy and excitement. It also
can bring chaotic schedules, stress
and over whelmed children. All of
this can be energy draining for
both parents and children. The demands of the holidays can be
avoided or at least controlled.
With wise prioritizing and planning we can help children experience the feelings we want them to associate with the holidays, such as warmth, togetherness
and magic. Here are some tips to help avert holiday
related stress in your home.
Don’t start talking up holidays too early. Waiting weeks or even months ahead of time can
put a strain on children.
Don’t over plan festivities. Keep your most
treasured holidays rituals the same each year.
Rotate other activities every few years so they
are fresh.
Plan holiday events that are developmentally
appropriate. Attending the Nutcracker Ballet
is a wonderful family event, but not when
your child is a toddler.
Keep daily routines as consistent as possible.
Continuity provides security that keeps children calm and secure.
Plan festivities geared to your child’s interests.
Children benefit from activities geared to their
understanding, skills and abilities. Avoid making children tag along to adult parties and
marathon shopping sprees.
Plan relaxing activities. Sensory plan, such as
playing with play dough or finger painting is
soothing for children. Ten minutes of playing
with water and water toys can be relaxing.
Emphasize with your child’s feelings. If your
child is afraid of Santa, don’t push it. Give
children time to ease into what they feel comfortable with.
Plan for quality time with your children. Your
child can feel left out during the busy holiday
Assign age appropriate holiday jobs to all.
Delegation of household chores makes holidays easier for everyone.
“With wise prioritizing and planning, we can help children
experience the feelings we want them to associate with the
Don’t forget to make time for adult companionship. While holidays focus on family, it is
also important to maintain your adult friendships. Also, make time for your own holiday
interests and festivities.
December 2013
Page 5
Meet the Academy at Stone Mill Staff
Training/Education: BA in Early Childhood Education; Seminar Workshops related to Early
Childhood Education; Reiki Master and Certified Practitioner in Alternative Medicine
Experience: has worked with children of different ages (from age two to 10th grade);
Azam Babataher
Tiny Tots Teacher
With Academy since
December 1989
taught Persian to children aged 6 to 12 for a few years
Favorite Children’s Book: Eric Carle books, Rockwell, Dr. Seuss books
Hobbies: traveling, listening to music, watching movies, walking, going out for fun; my healing work
My Most Fun Job: worked with a group of professional players as an assistant director
and stage manager for a number of years– it was so much fun!
A Fun Fact About You: I love music, dancing, and traveling; I also enjoy serving as a volunteer in the community in using alternative medicine (energy healing); especially for the elderly
Training/Education: Early Childhood Education Workshops
Experience: worked with various groups of children (Infants to Preschool)
Wendy Brummell
Preschool Teacher
With Academy for 19 years
Favorite Children’s Book: Abiyoyo
Hobbies: cooking, reading, listening to music
My Most Unusual Job: working with my brothers during weekends– painting and
A Fun Fact About You: I collect figures and figurines
Training/Education: BA in Early Childhood Education
Mina Carr
Infants/Toddlers Teacher
With Academy since 1999
Experience: Has been working with children since 1982
Favorite Children’s Book: All Nursery Rhymes
A Fun Fact About You: I have many
Academy at Stone Mill Newsletter
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Training/Education: Two Year Certificate in Early Childhood Education; 45 Hours
Child Growth and Development; 45 Hours Curriculum Planning for Childcare
Experience: Taught Preschool in South Korea from 1994 to 1998; Korean Teacher
Teresa Chang
Tiny Tots Teacher
With Academy since
September 2013
in the US from 2010 to 2013
Favorite Children’s Book: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon; The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
Hobbies: biking, hiking, and camping
A Fun Fact About You: My laughing sound is silly :)
Training/Education: Bachelor of Science in Education; ED 120 and 121-Early Childhood Courses; Training in Core Knowledge for Preschool; PEP-Pilot Training
Ma. Victoria Cheng
Preschool Teacher
With Academy for 8 years
Experience: 14 years in the Education Field
Favorite Children’s Book: Books by Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, Jan Brett, and Ezra
Jack Keats
Hobbies: reading, writing, working out in the gym
My Most Unusual Job: shopping for Academy
A Fun Fact About You: My stress therapies include cleaning, multi-tasking, singing, and listening to music :)
Training/Education: Child Development Associate; I am currently pursuing an Associate’s
Degree in Early Childhood Education
Experience: I have worked with children for almost 20 years; I have a licensed home daycare for weekend care and I also worked at Stone Mill ES as a playground and cafeteria
Sharmin Huda
Infants/Toddlers Teacher
With Academy since 1999
monitor for almost 4 years
Favorite Children’s Book: Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Joosse
Hobbies: taking care of children, cooking, traveling, watching T.V., shopping, reading books
My Most Unusual Job: I take care of the people in our community if they are sick or in
need of help
Volume 1, Issue 1
Page 7
Training/Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Experience: Secretary in a lawyer’s office for 1 year; PreK Assistant Teacher in
Sophia Kotsoudi
With Academy since
November 2013
Greece (4 years); R.N. in General Hospital of Chios for 12 years (Greece); R.N. Supervisor in General Hospital of Chios for 8 years (Greece); PreK Assistant
Teacher for 2 years (United States)
Favorite Children’s Book: Snow White, Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs
Hobbies: watching movie, listening to music, taking walks, gardening, reading
A Fun Fact About You: Going to the mall when it was closed on Thanksgiving Day
Training/Education: BA in Communications from West Virginia University
Experience: have worked with children for 14 years
Daniel Kramer
School-Age Teacher
With Academy since 2011
Favorite Children’s Book: Where the Wild Things Are
Hobbies: DJing, sports, traveling, spending time with my 3 year old daughter and
newborn son
My Most Unusual Job: DJing a 100 year old’s birthday party
A Fun Fact About You: I have traveled to 6 of the 7 continents….just waiting for
Antartica to warm up.
Training/Education: BS in Russian; Montessori Method and Early Childhood Training; 90
Hour Course in Early Childhood Development; CPR & First Aid Certified
Experience: 20 years working with children; 14 years teaching in Chinese School
Hsu Kuan
PreK Teacher
With Academy since 1999
Favorite Children’s Book: The Grouchy Ladybug
Hobbies: beading, clay sculpture, walking outdoor with friends
My Most Unusual Job: working on the computer :)
A Fun Fact About You: I think projects are like little adventures for myself and the children. I like making a mess with them, transforming the mess into a piece of art and then
appreciating the result together with the kids
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Training/Education: Diploma in Preschool Practice; 90 Hour Course in Early Childhood Education; Certificate in Counseling
Experience: 14 years of working with children
Ebba Kunaka
With Academy since 2010
Favorite Children’s Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Hobbies: reading, flower arranging, traveling
My Most Unusual Job: worked as a Maintenance Assistant in a Senior Citizen’s
A Fun Fact About You: I am so scared of chameleons that I always have nightmares
Training/Education: BS in Accounting and International Business; Workshops for
Early Childhood Education
Experience: More than 1 year working at Academy
Polly Lee
School-Age Teacher
With Academy since 2012
Favorite Children’s Book: Harry Potter
Hobbies: listening to music, dancing, playing volleyball, anything with art
My Most Unusual Job: worked at the sales department for a tennis racket company
A Fun Fact About You: I enjoy watching movies
Training/Education: Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Family Science and Elementary
Education; Child Development Courses
Experience: Interned in public schools (2nd to 4th Grade) for 2 years; Children
Linda Liu
PreK Teacher
With Academy since
May 2013
Camp Summer Employee (4th to 10th Grade)
Favorite Children’s Book: Judy B. Jones Adventures
Hobbies: doing arts and crafts, watching movies, traveling, exploring new places
My Most Unusual Job: worked at a Tea Company
A Fun Fact About You: I have been on the Great Wall of China and walked the
steep handmade steps. I enjoy fishing and camping on the beach.
Volume 1, Issue 1
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Training/Education: BA English from Loyola College Baltimore; 45 Hour Infant/
Toddler Class, plus ongoing continuing education to keep MSDE Childcare Credential, CPR & First Aid Certified
Julie Meyers
Tiny Tots Teacher
With Academy for 6 years
Experience: Full time parent from 1998 to present; in classroom for 6 years
Favorite Children’s Book: Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley
Hobbies: fun family time on soccer sidelines, at beach, at good restaurants, or
funny movies; reading, exercising
My Most Fun Job: Lifeguarding (where I met my husband of 20 years)
A Fun Fact About You: I have eyes in the back of my head!
Training/Education: Studied Elementary Education at University of Maryland College Park;
90 Hour SA Course and currently enrolled at Montgomery College
Experience: Child Care Manager at Fitness First; Kindergarten Enrichment Program Assistant then School-Age Teacher at Academy
Karen Miler
School-Age Teacher
With Academy since 2001
Favorite Children’s Book: ‘Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey, Pippi Longstocking Books, Harry the Dirty Dog, Curious George
Hobbies: dance, yoga, fitness, health and nutrition
My Most Unusual Job: bagged groceries at a military commissary for tips; security guard
at National Gallery of Art
A Fun Fact About You: I am a Zumba Instructor and Certified Group Fitness Instructor
Training/Education: Child Development Associate in Preschool; 90 Hour Child Growth and
Development; 45 Hour Infant and Toddler Class; Ongoing Continuing Education Courses and
Training in Early Childhood Education
Jennifer Orellana
Preschool Teacher
With Academy since 2011
Experience: 14 years working with children under 5 years old (Early Childhood)
Favorite Children’s Book: Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Sattler
Hobbies: dancing, Zumba, reading, spending time outdoors with my boys, family and friends
My Most Unusual Job: worked for a photography company-we took prom pictures :)
A Fun Fact About You: I like to sing (especially religious music)
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Training/Education: Classes at Montgomery College
Experience: School-age Assistant Teacher for 4 years (Kindergarten to 5th
Josselyn Portobanco
School-Age Teacher
With Academy for 4 years
Favorite Children’s Book: If You Give Mouse a Cookie, Rainbow Fish
Hobbies: dancing; doing hair, nails, and make-up
A Fun Fact About You: I am a member of Island Touch Dance Academy (Bachata
Dance Group)
Training/Education: Bachelor’s Degree in Education; Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and Journalism; Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in School Leadership
Experience: Director in a finance and insurance company in Greece for 10 years,
Pantelis Psoras
K1-K6 Teacher in Elementary Schools in Greece for 12 years, Greek Language
School-Age Teacher
Teacher (Kindergarten to Adult) in the United States, Director in a PreK in Falls
With Academy since
Church, VA for 1 year
November 2013
Favorite Children’s Book: Greek Mythology, Aesop’s Fables
Hobbies: soccer, swimming, sailing
My Most Unusual Job: Naval Engineer
Training/Education: BS in Child Development and Education; Currently pursuing a
Master’s Degree in Special Education
Avigail Quindiagan
School-Age Teacher
With Academy since 2011
Experience: Taught 1st to 5th Grade and Adult Education to less fortunate and
illiterate adults for 3 years in the Philippines; Taught Kindergarten and 1st Grade
in Price George’s County Public Schools for 4 years
Favorite Children’s Book: I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Hobbies: watching movies/TV series, reading books, cooking
Volume 1, Issue 1
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Training/Education: Associates Degree in Elementary Education; Working towards my degree in Communication; CPR Certified
Experience: 5 years experience working with children
Rebecca Sanders
Tiny Tots Teacher
With Academy since 2012
Favorite Children’s Book: I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch
Hobbies: spending time in NC visiting my family, going to the beach; camping, hiking, biking,
kayaking-really anything outdoors :)
My Most Unusual Job: Manager at an Ice Cream Shop
A Fun Fact About You: I think a platypus is the most fascinating animal. The males are
venomous, the females are 1 of 2 mammals that lay eggs, and they trace back to the dinosaur age. Interesting stuff.
Training/Education: Majored in Early Childhood Education (2 years in college);
Worked with preschool for 4 years while in high school
Experience: 10 years working with children
Christina Sanfilippo
Infants/Toddlers Teacher
With Academy since 2012
Favorite Children’s Book: Go Dog Go
Hobbies: crafting, reading writing, walking my dog, going to museums
My Most Unusual Job: helped my dad set up his classroom for a blood stain pattern course
A Fun Fact About You: I have been teaching children since I was a child; I was
always the one to help other students when they couldn’t figure out their assignment
Training/Education: BA Religious Studies Minor in History and Art; 90 Hour Certification
Experience: Americorps Mentoring and Tutoring Program in CA, Mentoring and
Chris Schaefer
PreK Teacher
With Academy for 10 years
Tutoring Program in Gaithersburg
Favorite Children’s Book: In the Night Kitchen
Hobbies: running, reading, napping
My Most Unusual Job: Livestock Feed Stockboy
A Fun Fact About You: I love the smell of skunk
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Training/Education: BA in Psychology and MS in Child and Family Development
Experience: Over 35 years of experience working with young children and their
Bruce Kahan
With Academy for 5.5 years
Favorite Children’s Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Hobbies: I enjoy music, especially from the 1960s and 70s. I have a collection of
old sports memorabilia. I love to attend sporting events
My Most Unusual Job: When I was in college, I works many “odd” jobs. My one
month at a box company was brutal. Feeding sheets of cardboard into a machine
for eight hours a day wasn’t lots of fun.
A Fun Fact About You: From age fourteen to approximately 22, I played keyboards in a rock band.
Training/Education: BS in Family Life and Child Development; Currently pursuing
my Master’s Degree in Special Education
Experience: Worked as the General Educator in a Special Education class for 1
Glaiza Carpio
Assistant Director
With Academy since 2011
year; Taught PreK-3rd Grade in Prince George’s County Public Schools for 4 years
Favorite Children’s Book: David Shannon Books
Hobbies: crocheting, reading books, crafting, watching movies and TV shows
Best Job I’ve Ever Had: Taste-tester for my older sister when she took cooking
classes :)
A Fun Fact About You: I have watched every episode of the TV show “Monk”—at least twice
Volume 1, Issue 1
Guess Who?
Page 13
Can you guess the names of the staff members in these pictures?
(Answers are on the next page)
Academy at Stone Mill Newsletter
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Answers: 1. Victoria 2. Rebecca 3. Linda 4. Azam 5. Bruce 6. Wendy 7. Sharmin 8. Karen 9. Chris 10. Teresa 11. Julie 12. Christina 13, Ebba 14. Hsu 15. Polly 16. Jennifer 17. Glaiza 18. Mina 19. Josselyn 20 Danny 21. Pantelis 22. Avigail 23. Sophia
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