~ Explorers Progressive Educational Program Director/Creator
My philosophy of early childhood education is based on personal experience from working with young children for 30 years, ongoing research, and theories. Also incorporated are my core values, professional ethics, and the theories of philosophers such as Piaget, Vygotsky, Maslow, and Gardner. The classroom environment should be engaging, include age-appropriate activities, provide opportunities for learning experiences that are interesting, fun, and respectful of each child's individual needs and learning styles.
I have been employed at the YMCA for 34 years. During the first 20 years, I acted as Fitness Director while developing an out-of-the-box program which eventually became the Explorers' program. What began as a gym class to enhance gross motor skills eventually grew into a multi-level program that had a hands-on teaching concept centered around art and science that evolved into a four-level creative-enrichment program for children ages 2-12. While maintaining the ongoing required CEC's in the fitness area, I returned to college to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education. During my years at the Y, I have received several Program Development Awards in both the fitness and early childhood areas. Having the opportunity to spark the imagination and curiosity of children has been rewarding beyond words. The privilege of making a positive difference in a child's life is a blessing... and this I will always cherish.
My husband and I were high school sweethearts and have been together ever since. We have a daughter that teaches first grade at Kiski Area, a standard schnauzer named Huckleberry, and a groundhog that lives under our playhouse (not by choice, we just don't have the heart to evict him :). My husband, Bill, and I love bicycling and try to find as many different trails as we can to explore. My daughter and I harvest milkweed during the summer to provide a Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary that provides a safe environment for Monarchs from egg to butterfly.
Kindergarten Explorers, KinderClub, WEE Explore! assistant > Jenn Mazur
"I've been married for almost 14 years to my husband Marcus. We were blessed with three wonderful children Chase, Cherlynn, and Camden. We have two cats, Oscar and Leia. Recently we added two Bettas Po and ZincWhite. I've worked through the Head Start program for five years in two different counties Armstrong and Westmoreland. I was first employed as a Special Needs Aide for a sweet little girl with severe autism. As I stayed with the programs, I've had several opportunities to educate myself on child development. I received my Child Development Associate, which is a widely recognized credential in early childhood education. I also have CPR, CPI, and child abuse reporting. Being a specialized aide, a bus monitor, a Family Service Specialist, and a Family Advocate are also other areas I have experience in. I enjoyed my profession but when I found a summer position in 2019 with Miss Andrea, I found the right match for me."