We are very fortunate to have an amazing team of talented teachers at each of our schools who are passionate in what they do and care deeply about their students. Because we know this sentiment is shared by all who are involved with our schools, we have designed a program called the “Company-Wide Teacher of the Month/Year” to recognize our most outstanding teachers for their hard work and dedication!

A teacher from each school will be nominated for this recognition every month and from those nominees, the teacher who has most closely exhibited the ideal Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool teacher characteristics will be earn the title. Teachers can be nominated by parents, students, co-workers, school managers or school owners. The comments submitted are used in conjunction with employment reviews, classroom quality assurance performances, personal exchanges, etc. to determine the winner of the “National Teacher of the Month”. Then, at the end of the year, a “National Teacher of the Year” will be selected out of all the Teachers of the Month.  The winners of these special awards are rewarded with additional paid vacation days and recognized company-wide.

Please take a moment to read about our outstanding Teacher of the Month and Teacher of the Year winners:

LSP National Teacher of the Year

Janie Sheehan

Lakeway, Texas

Janie leaves an everlasting impression on her students and her students’ families. She embodies the Little Sunshine’s culture and philosophy and assists her students in reaching their fullest potential. Janie has an exceptional understanding of Reggio Emilia and does an extraordinary job of implementing the curriculum and Reggio Emilia-based activities into her classroom. Janie’s classroom parents are so happy to have Janie’s charisma, enthusiasm, and attitude toward teaching instilled in their children every day. Her excellent communication with parents let them rest assured their children are in a safe, nurturing environment and will be well-equipped for their educational journeys.

Mrs. Janie has the ability to keep the kids in line while showing love and compassion. Not only do the kids and parents adore her, but we all have incredible respect for her as well.” – Sarah Bernfeld

“Mrs. Janie is a blessing to all her students… not only does she focus on their educational development, but also their emotional development which she understands is equally important.” – Nicole English

“Mrs. Janie has been such a blessing to our family because she made our transition to a new school so seamless for our daughter. Her heart truly goes to her classroom and every single child in there!” – Gayle Henry Nastiuk

“Our daughter absolutely loves Mrs. Janie, and as parents we know she is learning valuable educational and life lessons each day from her. Of course, we love LSP in its entirety, but the year has been extra special with having a teacher that gives so much of herself day in and day out. We are very fortunate and blessed to have Mrs. Janie at LSP Lakeway, and our child is growing to be a well-rounded young lady with the hard work and love that she shows each day to the kids in the Pre-K class.” – Melissa Gamble

Jessica Watson

Lakeway, Texas

“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 Horwat

“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

Alley Sarge

Springfield (I), Missouri

Miss Alley is honestly an inspiration for all of us! She’s always positive and caring with not only her children, but her co-workers. My son will be in her class within the next year and he already knows and loves her. If anyone deserves this, she does.” –Shawnee Phillips

“Miss Alley was a teacher for my child and each day I would know that my child was with a caring, loving person and as a teacher and a parent that was a wonderful feeling. Thanks Miss Alley!” –Mary Hatfield

“Miss Alley’s provided the supportive and safe environment for my child to make great progress at LSP Springfield 1. For that reason and so much more, she deserves to be named the Teacher of the Year!! –Andrew Goodall

“My daughter has moved up to another classroom but still gives Miss Alley the biggest hugs every time she sees her! She is everything you hope for when you leave your baby in someone else’s hands for the day. We love Miss Alley!” –Rebekah Shockey

“…I am a retired first grade teacher of 35 years and know the value of an excellent teacher for children. Miss Alley is consistent, loving, creative, and fair. Her care for her students not only shows in the excitement she has for them when they meet her goals, but in the consistent, fair consequences given when the child does not follow directions. Her daily, weekly and monthly curriculum activities makes me want to be her student.” –Grandparent

Taylor Hardman

Springfield (III), Missouri

“Taylor has our vote!! She is the most genuine and the kindest hearted person I know! I have no doubt she is going to make the best teacher! She is a wonderful role model! She knows how to relate to kids no matter the age! She is the most patience of anyone I know! She deserves this award without a doubt!! She is an amazing person inside and out! She is wonderful with her kids and everyone she is around!”

“We LOVE Miss Taylor, and we are so lucky that our two year old is in her class. My son is not only happy and safe in her class, but he is also learning a lot. Taylor is caring, responsible, hard-working, intelligent, and sweet. I appreciate everything she does for her students, their parents, and her co-workers. Taylor absolutely deserves this award.”

“Taylor Hardman is the most patient, kind-hearted, genuine woman I’ve ever met! She passionately loves each child in her class and makes the best of any situation. She deserves this!!!”

“We are so fortunate to have so many great teachers at our school! Taylor, you stand out to me because but I see firsthand, every single day that you are here the love, hard work, and creativity that you give to the kiddos in your class. Your energy and positive approach fuels our school and the children love to be around you. Your co-workers know that they can lean on you for advice and support. Our Cardinal team would not be the same without you!”

“I vote for Miss Taylor. Our daughter was struggling with the transition to her classroom until miss Taylor took over. She runs her classroom with the utmost care and excitement. She is truly happy to see the kiddos develop. She is constantly challenging them while nurturing them as well. She is absolutely awesome. In the words of my little one “miss Taylor my best friend”!” 

Aimee Darnell

Scottsdale, Arizona

“I vote for Miss Aimee! She not only is an amazing teacher, she is one of the kindest, most loving people I know! I’ve known her for over ten years and she has been such a bright light in my life. She always has a smile on her face and makes the day that much better. She loves her kiddos with all her heart and she has a true passion for teaching and molding young minds! I vote Aimee Darnell 1000%!” 

“Hands down, Aimee Darnell, deserves Teacher of the Year. We began our LSP journey with Aimee and she will always hold a special place in our heart. Aimee’s smile is infectious, her heart is larger than life and she continues to exceed all expectations as a teacher and mentor. My son has outgrown her class; but still runs to give her hugs when he can. Thank you Aimee for making our transition enjoyable and unforgettable. You are a beautiful, amazing woman and teacher. You have a heart of gold and will continue to touch these children’s lives in a positive light. I vote for Aimee!!”

“Miss Aimee Darnell! She has been a wonderful teacher for our daughter Alexa and we are so thankful for her! Her energy is contagious and her passion for children is unmistakable. Miss Aimee deserves to win Teacher of the Year and has our vote!”

“Miss Aimee Darnell has been the lead Toddler room teacher for over a year. And in the time she has become a beloved addition to the school amongst parents and staff. Her friendly and positive demeanor is something to be admired.  Ms. Aimee always has a smile on her face and greets each and every family warmly and enthusiastically.  When you walk into her classroom, you’re guaranteed to see the children happy and engaged in their learning.  Ms. Aimee does an excellent job of creating a curriculum that is designed perfectly to broaden the kid’s horizons and help them grow in such an amazing way!  Thank you for all that you do, Little Sunshine’s would not be the same without you!”

Chandonnie Nou

Springfield (II), Missouri

“Chan has been with LSP for a year as a teacher in the toddler classroom. She arrives at work each day with a smile on her face that she carries with her throughout the day. She is always willing to go above and beyond in her daily work and takes great pride in teaching her children new things. Ms. Chan is also phenomenal at getting to know each child individually, as well as their parents on a personal level. We are very lucky to have her as a part of our LSP family!!”

“Chan is so caring and always has a Smile on her face. She’s always willing to do anything and is a great assist to the LSP team!”

“Ms. Chan has my vote. She is so deserving of this award because she truly loves her job. Each time she sees me or my family she always has a smile on her face and says hello. She also goes above and beyond. I love that she dresses up as Santa Claus. My little girl thought that was so funny and that Ms. Chan is silly. Those little things mean so much. She has left a lasting impression my daughter and family and are so proud to have Ms. Chan as one of our teachers.”

“Ms Chan definitely has our vote. Our daughter had Ms Chan about a year ago and she was definitely one of her favorite teachers – she still smiles and gives her a big hug when she sees her at school. We can’t wait for Ms Chan to take care of our son soon – she is wonderful with children and definitely deserves the recognition as Company-Wide Teacher of the Year!”

“My vote is for Chandonnie Nou !!! Not only is she a hard worker she does it with a smile!! You can’t say that about most individuals her age. She has such a great work ethic and genuinely cares for her children and family that she deals with day in and day out. She is a great listener which again is hard to find these days. Working at LSP is not just a job for her she loves it and caring for children is a passion of hers! The children adore her and with her role model on point, she will leave a lasting impression on these young individuals for years to come! Chan has the ability to be of an authority figure, an educator, a friend and a big kid herself:) And that is why everyone can relate to her and can’t help but gravitate towards her positive energy. She is an asset to your company & I don’t know of anyone MORE deserving of this than her!!! Way to go Chan, I am super proud of you!!”

Kelley Leggett

Springfield (II), Missouri

“Kelley is a truly talented teacher with genuine concern for educational content being delivered along with love and a healthy classroom environment.  Her students have thrived under her guidance and her peers look to her as a leader and advocate for best practices in early childhood education. She has a heart of gold and holds her student’s achievements and individual successes as the highest priority.” 

“Kelley’s love for children is obvious from the first moment you walk into her classroom. She has had the honor to truly shape the minds of young children, and she’s also had the ability to mentor other educators around her. She’s a wonderful asset to the Little Sunshine’s team and her passion for early childhood education positively impacts everyone that has the privilege to work with her!” 

“I have had the privilege to work with Kelley for the past five years. Through these years I have seen first hand the positive impact she has cultivated, not only within the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse family, but in the Springfield, Mo community. Her commitment, humanitarian efforts, and passion for people coupled with her drive to excel truly makes her an MVP of Little Sunshine’s.”

“I have enjoyed working with Kelley for over five years now. She has a drive to excel in all she does and it shows through her performance. She has one of the biggest hearts I know, giving her time and efforts to the community and families in need. I love watching her continue to thrive and grow as a professional and leader for Little Sunshine’s!” 

LSP National Teacher of the Month 2018

Farrah Nawar

Alpharetta, GA

Our 2018 October LSP National Teacher of the Month is Ms. Farrah Nawar from our Alpharetta, GA location! Ms. Farrah is the lead teacher in the toddler classroom, Where the Wild Things Are.

Ms. Farrah has been with LSP for two years now and has been in a multitude of classrooms throughout her time. When asked what she loves most about the toddler group that she currently teaches, she responded “I absolutely love the relationships I have built with the kids in my class and the families”. Her classroom does curriculum projects every day, but her favorite one yet has been planting flowers with her kiddos. “The really enjoy sensory projects and absolutely love to get their hands dirty!”.

When asked who or what inspires her the most, here’s what Ms. Farrah had to say “The positive feedback from LSP as a whole inspires me every day. I am also so encouraged and inspired by my leadership team and my peers!”

Here’s what Ms. Farrah’s supervisor had to say about her: “Her love for her job and every child never goes unnoticed. She walks in with a smile on her face every day and brings such joy to our entire school. You can always find Ms. Farrah at any school function actively participating! Thank you so much for all that you do Ms. Farrah!”

Outside of working at LSP, Ms. Farrah enjoys art, hanging out with her amazing friends, and spending time with her new puppy. Not many people know this about her, but she also plays the piano and the flute and really enjoys playing classical music!

We are so proud to recognize Ms. Farrah as our October National Teacher of the Month!

Heiki Davis

Colorado Springs, CO

Our 2018 September LSP National Teacher of the Month is Miss Heike Davis from our Colorado Springs, Colorado location! Miss Heike is the lead teacher in Wonderland, the infant classroom.

Miss Heike has been with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool for three years now. When asked what she loves most about the age group she teaches, she responded, “I like to nurture the infants and be a motherly figure to them while away from home. I love to see them reach their milestones because it’s rewarding to me to see all the things they learn in my care”.

Here’s what Heiki’s supervisor had to say about her, “She’s phenomenal with the babies in her classroom. Just step in for a second and you can see how she cares and loves every single child as though they were her own. Miss Heike is constantly engaged with the infants, gets down on their level to interact with them, sings and plays with them. While doing circle time, the babies light up as she teaches them all about the curriculum of the month and the world around them! It is easy to tell that the infants adore her, and we do too!”

When asked, a parent had this to say about Miss Heike, “Thank you for always singing and snuggling with the babies! They are growing so well, feeling safe and secure while playing with curiosity because of your attentive care. We love you, Miss Heike and thank you for all you do!”

Miss Heiki says that her inspiration comes from her Assistant Director, Emma Vasquez. “I took over the infant room from her when Emma got promoted and she showed me what it was to be a good infant teacher”, said Miss Heiki. She is also inspired by all of the other teachers she works with who invest in the lives of children. The encourage and motivate her to be better every day!

In Miss Heiki’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and dining out to eat. Not many people know this about her, but she also really loves to crochet!

Congratulations Miss Heiki and Thank you for all you do for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool families. You are so appreciated!

Cherise Centi

Littleton, CO

Our 2018 August LSP National Teacher of the Month is Miss Cherise Centi from our Littleton, Colorado location! Miss Cherise is the lead teacher in Arendelle, the preschool classroom.

When asked what Cherise loves most about the age group that she teaches she answered, “I love watching the immense language development in this age. It is miraculous watching children go from just beginning to assign words to certain situations and form sentences to using well thought out abstract sentences to interact with their peers, perform healthy social functions and most of all express themselves and how they feel and interpret all of their interactions with life. There is nothing as rewarding as hearing a student who only a few months ago could only resort to crying as a form of unhappy self-expression say to his/her friend “I don’t like that, can I please have my stuffy back? For me this is just as gratifying as seeing an increase in letter recognition or an interest in counting because it signifies to me the growth of these beautiful toddlers into admirable children.”

Cherise says she has learned so much about herself working at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool. She loves her classroom and the kiddos that help make up the positive and energy filled environment! “Not only is my classroom, but the entire center here at LSP set up for success. The children are provided the most enriching, healthy, beneficial learning environment to enhance and promote optimal growth and interactions with their classrooms and friends. The management at LSP is one of my favorite things about my school. I feel so supported and assisted at my school. There is never any disconnect or animosity between any of the management or staff and this allows me to maximize my motivation to work beyond my full potential and put 110% into my kiddos and my performance,” Cherise said.

Inspired by her Mother who currently teaches 7th grade English Cherise has observed her Mother raise and teach her 2 younger siblings and has gained so much from that. Cherise says, “Today in my actions regularly I see bits and pieces of my mother poking through in my own educational approach and I could not be more proud during these moments.”

Here’s what Littleton Program Director, Lynda Barraza had to say about Miss Cherise, “Cherise is one of our lead preschool teachers working with our 3-4 year olds. She started in March of this year and has really turned the classroom around. She has wonderful classroom management skills and her lesson plans are so engaging and developmentally appropriate. She has great relationships with all of her students and their parents. We are so lucky to have her on our team!”

Outside of work Cherise fills her free time (when her 2-year old son is not brightening my day) with the mountains and music. She loves hiking in the summer and snowboarding in the winter in the Rocky Mountains locally. Cherise also loves to play her mandolin, ukulele and sing to make her feel at peace after a long day!

A fun little fact about Miss Cherise, she took classical piano lessons and performed in recitals for 13 years!

Congratulations Miss Cherise and “Thank You” for all you invest in to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool families, you are much appreciated!

Colleen Malo

Willowbrook, IL

Our 2018 July LSP National Teacher of the Month is Ms. Colleen Malo from our Willowbrook, IL location! Ms. Colleen is the lead teacher in Land of Oz, the infant classroom.

Colleen has a passion for working with infants and when asked what she loves most about it, she replied “I love watching them grow and develop new abilities. One day babies are just starting to roll over, and the next day they are crawling. It’s amazing that I get to help them and be a part their journey!”

We’ve had so many fun curriculum themes and projects this year – from learning about a “Heart Healthy Lifestyle” all the way to learning “Gardening and Horticulture”. Ms. Colleen’s favorite curriculum project so far this year has gone with our July’s curriculum, “Oceans of Fun”. Her classroom made an awesome bulletin board and each day, the babies added a new part to it. “By the end of the month, we had a beautiful and colorful bulletin board that showed off all of the hard work that had been done” said Colleen.

When asked who inspired her the most, Ms. Colleen responded “My co-teachers inspire me the most. I learn so much from the two of them and both push me to be the best I can be every day. Ms. Mesude has so much experience, and every day I learn a new technique that I can incorporate to make the babies happier. Ms. Jessica always makes sure everyone is positive and looks out for what each baby needs. I get inspiration from them every day and am so glad I get to work with them! Thanks girls!”

Here’s what an LSP family had to say about Ms. Colleen: “Starting daycare with a 3 month old baby can be nerve-wracking, but Ms. Colleen made us feel so comfortable and at ease with Olivia in her Care. She is so kind and gentle with all the infants. Olivia giggles and smiles when Ms. Colleen makes silly faces at her and loves when she holds her. She has helped Olivia with major milestones like rolling over and sitting up. We have been in the Land of Oz room and with Ms. Colleen for 5 months and it is so nice to have her take care of our little girl. We couldn’t be more grateful for all that she does!”

In her free time, Ms. Colleen loves to read and craft. She always has a new book in her hand or a project to work on. Painting, going to the movies and watching Netflix are some of her favorite activities as well. She also loves Broadway musicals and plays – so much so that she collects playbills from every show she goes to!

We are so proud to recognize Ms. Colleen as our July National Teacher of the Month!

Sara Goldsand

Scottsdale, Arizona

Our 2018 June LSP National Teacher of the Month is Mrs. Sara Goldsand from our Scottsdale, Arizona location! Ms. Sara spends the majority of her time in Where the Wild Things Are, the preschool classroom.

When Ms. Sara began working at LSP, she was an assistant teacher, then shortly after became the lead teacher in the preschool classroom. For the last few years, she has been a floater and has really enjoyed spending time in every classroom and with every age group. When asked what she loves most about her position, Ms. Sara replied, “This position affords me the time and opportunity to get to know every single child that walks through our doors. I’ve loved every position I have held but this has my heart. My days have the opportunity to vary greatly from week to week. Every day is a little different and I’ve had the privilege to work with the infants, transition kids, toddlers, preschool and pre-K on a daily basis”.

Ms. Sara has a handful of people in her life that inspire her – her family, her nana, and authors like Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, and Jen Sincero. One philosophy her nana had that she taught Sara was to “light up when a child walks into a room” and that’s exactly what Sara lives by every day.

Here’s what Jenn, Ms. Sara’s supervisor had to say about her, “Ms. Sara walks into the school every morning with a smile on her face, and is not only willing, but excited to be in whichever room she is needed. Her approach to working with children focuses on instilling self-confidence while giving children the tools to be successful, independent and happy. In her time with Little Sunshine’s, Ms. Sara has built lasting relationships and touched the lives of every child and family that she has met. Beyond that, she is a positive role model for all of the teachers and the leadership team alike. We are so thankful to have Ms. Sara as a part of our Little Sunshine’s family, and can think of no one more deserving of this award.”

Outside of working at LSP, Ms. Sara loves to spend time with her wife and family and enjoys reading, writing and cooking. She also loves watching movies and going to concerts.

We are so proud to recognize Ms. Sara as our June National Teacher of the Month!

Gabi Salmento

Leawood, KS

Our 2018 May LSP National Teacher of the Month is Ms. Gabi Salmento from our Leawood, KS location! Ms. Gabi was an aide for two years and is now the assistant teacher in the Under the Sea classroom.

Ms. Gabi currently works full time at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool while also being a full time student. When asked what she enjoys most about working for LSP, Gabi responded “I cannot pick just one thing. To start, I absolutely love my kids. They brighten my day and make me love coming to work. Secondly, my coworkers are amazing encouragers. They help me get through each day. I love them. Lastly, my managers are so supportive and understanding. I could not ask for better managers”.

Gabi explained to us that she loves how the toddlers in her class are little explorers. She enjoys seeing her kiddos develop every single day – from not talking much, to saying her name and their classmate’s names nonstop! She also really loves watching their emotions show and develop as they learn new things in her class.

Here’s what Gabi’s director, Jodi, had to say about her “She is extremely reliable, punctual and very flexible. She is wonderful with the children and the parents adore her. Gabi is a great employee and we love having her as part of our team at LSP Leawood”.

Outside of working at LSP, Gabi loves going out to dinner with friends and going shopping.

We are so proud to recognize Gabi as our May National Teacher of the Month!

Jesika Favuzza

Springfield I, MO

Our 2018 April LSP National Teacher of the Month is Ms. Jesika Favuzza from our Springfield I, MO location! Ms. Jesika is the lead teacher in Daisy, the toddler classroom.

Ms. Jesika began working for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool nearly two years ago. When she originally moved to Springfield, she only knew her roommate and one other person, but her colleagues and the children in her classroom quickly became her family. “They love and support me and I know that I can come to them with anything,” said Jesika. “I love working for a company that is so close knit and family oriented. I have been able to grow into myself as part of this company and I’m so happy to get to do what I love every day, surrounded by some amazing and talented teachers who genuinely love what we do”

Jesika’s supervisor, Melissa, had some kind words to say about her: “She is AMAZING! She is doing a great job beginning to incorporate Reggio Emilia items into her room. She goes above and beyond making a connection with all of her students and the parents adore her!!”

When asked what her favorite curriculum project has been thus far, Jesika said, “For Spectacular Space, we used stickers to make our very own constellations. Each child got to put as many stickers wherever they wanted and my coteacher and I spent the day turning them into pictures and stories that were special to each child. We gave their constellations meaning and did our best to make this a special story and picture that the parents could treasure, adding details about each child into their story.”

Outside of working at LSP, Jesika loves rock climbing, yoga, art reading, being out in nature, watching TV, and spending time with her friends and family. A special fact many people don’t know about Jesika, is that she loves to write poetry. When she was in middle school, one of her poems was published in a collection book!

We are so proud to recognize Jesika as our April National Teacher of the Month!

Tessa Marden

Franklin, TN

Our 2018 March LSP National Teacher of the Month is Ms. Tessa Marden from our Franklin, Tennessee location! Ms. Tessa is the lead teacher in the toddler classroom, Neverland.

When asked what she loves most about teaching toddlers she said, “I love their excitement for learning new things with their friends and of course their cuddles!” Her favorite curriculum-focused project with her students is  exploring mountains, and she is very excited to explore the ocean with them this summer!

Here’s what Franklin Owner and Program Director, Katherine Montgomery, had to say about Ms. Tessa,  “Tessa has demonstrated exceptional passion and skill in many areas including  parent communication, toddler lesson planning and execution, classroom management,  teamwork . Ms. Tessa is a toddler lead teacher who was hired to improve  classroom that had been struggling since we opened. Within two weeks of her starting, Neverland  became one of our strongest classrooms in the school!

Our parents consistently rave about her, and the way in which she interacts so kindly and positively with our team is amazing – she is always willing to help anywhere needed, and does so with a smile! We are so fortunate to have Ms. Tessa on our team, and we truly believe she is deserving of the National Teacher of the Month!”

When Tessa isn’t working at LSP, she loves exploring the outdoors and spending time with friends and family. She also loves listening to music and enjoys playing the violin.

We are so proud to recognize Tessa as our March National Teacher of the Month!

Teresa Obert

Southlake, TX

Our 2018 February LSP National Teacher of the Month is Mrs. Teresa Obert from our Southlake, Texas location! Mrs. Teresa is the lead teacher in Neverland, the pre-kindergarten classroom.

Teresa has been in Early Childhood Education for almost 40 years! While in high school, she was an aide in an elementary school and absolutely loved it – it’s what set her career path in teaching and mentoring young children! What Teresa enjoys most about Little Sunshine’s is the flexibility to expound on lesson plans and the freedom to provide open ended and natural materials that broaden a child’s experiences.

When asked what inspires her Teresa responded, “Truly the spark of light that comes from the eyes of a small child when I connect with them. Even as a child, I knew I would be a teacher. When I look at a child and I see their heart smile, it erases all of my woes!”

Here’s what Southlake Co-Program Director, Emy Cervantes had to say about Mrs. Teresa “Her creative and Reggio inspired activities keep her children busy AND learning for hours at a time. She is so devoted to her classroom and children and it truly warms my heart to see. She comes in an hour before her shift usually and works way past her shift, as well. Her dedication is admirable and many of our teachers go to her for advice and ideas, as she also spent a lot of her career doing Teacher training.”

Even when not at Little Sunshine’s, Teresa said she spends most of her time outside of work reading and researching natural strategies that she can incorporate into her classroom. Teresa is also in the midst of finishing her first children’s book!

“We adore Mrs. Teresa and enjoy getting to see her children come in everyday EXCITED to see what they’ll be working on that day.” Emy said. “We are confident that her kiddos are on the right path to be successful in Kindergarten!”

January 2018 Teacher of the MonthAlyssa McEntee

Granite Bay, CA

Our 2018 January LSP National Teacher of the Month is Ms. Alyssa McEntee from our Granite Bay, California, location! Ms. Alyssa is the lead teacher in the Land of Oz, the twos classroom.

Alyssa first entered the child care industry in 2015 while simultaneously taking early childhood education classes. Alyssa said the whimsy of fairytales and the extraordinary architecture of the school initially drew her attention to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse when the Granite Bay location opened in November 2017. She soon discovered it wasn’t just the school’s design, but it was her colleagues’ devotion to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse

“I am in awe of the dedication and love that each of my peers and administrators demonstrate on a daily basis to their fellow team members, their families, and their students,” Alyssa said. “This team of Little Sunshine’s is what inspires me to grow and develop as a professional in our field.”

Granite Bay Program, Director Allison Peterson, said she receives positive feedback from parents of Alyssa’s students who say they trust the process and the education their children are receiving because they trust Alyssa.

“It has been a lot of work to create structure and routine in this classroom, but Alyssa has done it with such grace,” Allison said.

Alyssa said she enjoys teaching the two-year-old students in her classroom because of their pivotal age as they begin their mastery of self-regulation and their exploration into the realm of peer interactions.

“What I have enjoyed most about this classroom is facilitating discovery through music,” Alyssa said. “With a background in story time and stage performances, I revel in the opportunities to present children with lyrical or musical prompts and watch them do what they will with them!”

Aside from being a teacher at Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, Alyssa enjoys making memories with her family and watching her daughter grow into toddler-hood. An interesting fact, Alyssa has been involved with mixed martial arts since she was 13.

“Alyssa is the true meaning of a team player. She is dependable, nurturing and never gives up,” Allison said. “We know Alyssa strives to be the very best teacher to her students, and we are so lucky to have her as part of our LSP family!”