WOW! What a year 2016 has been! It has been a busy, successful and truly fulfilling year here at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. Every single educator and management team member has contributed something special and lasting to our team. Our successes lay at the feet of our educators and we are lucky to have the BEST team in the world teaching and learning with our kiddos every day. Throughout the year we had over one hundred educators nominated at their respective schools as “Teacher of the Month”, we ended 2016 with twelve spectacular educators that we recognized as “Company-Wide Teacher of the Month”. From those twelve, we had a difficult decision ahead of us. Who would be the last educator standing as “Company-Wide Teacher of the YEAR”? We chose three of the best educators we’ve ever had at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. These three were caring, driven and smart, but most of all, they adored their students and went above and beyond in their classrooms and schools.

These nominees were:

  • Daniel Plump: University City, Missouri
  • Ellen Simmonds: Springfield (3), Missouri
  • Jessica Watson: Lakeway, Texas

Each of these educators are loved and respected among their families, their co-workers and their management team. We had nominations flood in for each one of them, and it only reinforced that these teachers were the best of the best!

Daniel had the following remarks on our Facebook page:

  • “Daniel is one of those people that walks in a room, and no matter the state of what’s going on, it just feels like a giant sigh of relief! The calm presence he brings to the children is like no other – he is literally a child whisperer! Daniel is beyond one of the best teachers at U.City, and as our sports teacher he always has the children engaged and excited for what’s to come! He definitely gets my vote for sure!!” Kate Taylor
  • “Daniel has my vote 100% Every time I see him interact with anyone at work–kids, adults, or other teachers– he demonstrates what every teacher should strive to be. He has such a sincere, heartwarming way of interacting with children, is always stepping in where needed before anyone can think to ask, maintains a consistently positive demeanor, and goes above and beyond his job description on a daily basis. He is such an incredible asset to our U City team and anyone who knows him would agree!!” Jessica Jandernoa
  • “Mr. Daniel! Our son has SO much fun with him…he has been a fantastic teacher and caregiver!” Loren Lasch

Ellen also had wonderful words spoken about her:

  • “Miss Ellen!!!! She is literally the best ever. My son learns so much from being with her only 2 days a week and he credits her for teaching him. She is patient and kind. She also started the compliment corner which is amazing and also develops great relationships with the parents!!!” Sarabella Luntsford Brady
  • “Miss Ellen!! She is the best ever. Two of My kids were fortunate enough to have her as their teacher and she was so caring and kind. Her thoroughness in lesson planning was amazing and my kids loved being in her room!! She always showed so much enthusiasm too, which is much needed at that age! We  her!!” Karen Buckman
  • “I enthusiastically recommend Ellen. She is an amazing teacher, and we could not have asked for better. She is one of the reasons I highly recommend Little Sunshine. I know that those I refer will receive excellent care. It is clear she hasa passion for preschool education.” Amanda Brodeur

Unbelievable! We could go on and on about Daniel and Ellen, their families and peers love them both and had so many phenomenal things to say about each of them! Thank you Daniel and Ellen for all of your hard work and dedication at each of your schools. You are valuable assets to our team and we are extremely lucky to have each of you!

With that being said,on. Jessica had an outpouring of love and admiration from friends, parents, staff and management that made her our choice for Teacher of the Year. Jessica has done phenomenal things for her classroom and her classroom parents are so happy to have Jessica’s charisma, enthusiasm, and attitude towards teaching instilled in their children every day. Jessica’s love for her students is abundantly clear in the way she teaches and loves on her kiddos every day. Her daily communication to parents let them rest assured that their children are in a safe and nurturing environment, ready to learn! We received the following remarks from family feedback about Jessica:

My son was in Miss Jess’ class for his first year at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool and loved every minute with her. He left her class a few months ago and continues to bring up her name every chance he gets. “Is Miss Jess coming? Are you going with Miss Jess?” I see him light up when he sees her in the hall, running for a hug and seeking comfort by her side when he’s sad. My son went through a phase where he had a really hard time at drop off; Miss Jess played a pivotal role in helping him to be comfortable walking away from me or his dad. He knew he was in a good place with someone who cared and was a constant.” Sarah Bernfeld

Every morning when we turn on the road to school my son asks if I can see Ms. Jess’s car. She is the first person he looks for in the morning and the last person he hugs when he leaves. A day without Ms Jess leads to multiple questions as to when she will be returning! We are so impressed with Ms. Jess’s positive attitude, professionalism and commitment to the kids. She has such a wonderful relationship with the kids and I can see that they not only love her, but respect and trust her. She personifies the attributes I believe any successful childcare business strives to be: constructive, dependable and trustworthy. I consider Ms Jess a valuable asset to the team at LSP as well as a friend of our family. She deserves to be recognized for the hard work and positive affect she has on the kids as well as her peers.” Poppy Poth

“Ms. Jess is amazing! She exudes positivity, kindness, and patience. My youngest has been out of her class for 6 months now and she still lights up and runs to her for a hug anytime she sees her. We love Ms. Jess!” Jessica Dodge Horwath

“My son, Max, has been at LSP Lakeway since the doors opened last year. Ms. Jess was his first teacher and we were so fortunate to have her. Starting a new school is never easy and always a transition, but knowing that Max had a teacher that he loved made the transition so much easier. When asked who his favorite teacher was, Max would always reply…”Ms. Jess!”. She is always smiling, always friendly, and happy to see the kids.” The Yarborough Family

Congratulations, Ms. Jessica! Thank you for all you do in the lives of your kiddos and families. It is evident how much you are truly cherished. We are so excited that your path led you to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, Lakeway!