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Meet Our Teachers!

Patricia Whitaker (Lead Teacher, Three’s Class)
“I graduated from the University of Delaware with degrees in English Literature and Sociology. After graduating I worked as a School Social Worker. I was fortunate to be able to stay home when I had my first son. I taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School and loved working with the younger children.  When my youngest was ready for school I decided to get my Early Childhood Education Certificate from Delaware Technical Community College. I have been the Teacher for the Twos class for three years now. It has been a privilege to watch the children explore and learn about God. When I am not teaching, I am spending time with my family or training for a 5K with the Special Olympics.”


Tina Fernandes (Teacher’s Assistant, Three’s Class)
“I had never imagined that I would be so fortunate to be working with the same talented, loving, and very professional staff that my daughter, Joy had the privilege to learn and grow from for three years. I’m truly blessed, this being my second year with the Two’s class in Brandywine Valley Christian Preschool. I was born and raised in Mumbai, India. I have a Master’s degree in Cost and Works Accounting from the University of Pune. I’ve also obtained a certification in training for Early Childhood Education from the Technical College of Delaware. I live with my husband, Wilson, my six year old daughter and my almost 2 year old dog, Luna. I enjoy listening to my daughter tell me about her day in school, make art with her and take long walks with my dog. I also enjoy long naps.”


Hickey_AmyAmy Hickey (Lead Teacher, 3-day Three’s Class)
“I graduated from the University of Maryland with a Masters in Social Work in 2000. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to stay home with my children once my husband and I started our family. As my children began to grow older and graduate from Brandywine Valley Christian Preschool and Kindergarten, I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the school. I was fortunate enough to be hired in the two-year-old classroom. After working with the Little Lambs for two years, I was blessed with our fourth child and took two years off from teaching to spend time with her. I am so excited to be returning to school this year and feel extremely blessed to be working with the three-year-olds. To prepare for an awesome year, I obtained the Early Childcare Education Certificate from Delaware Technical College. When I am not at BVCP, I am volunteering at my children’s school, running kids to practices and lessons, or doing laundry.”


Michelle Baker (Teacher’s Assistant, 3-day Three’s Class)
“I graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and from Denver Seminary with a Master’s degree in Counseling Ministries.  I have had the opportunity to work with children in a variety of settings for over twenty years.  My background includes being a nanny, directing a preschool program within a facility for homeless women and children, and teaching Sunday School.  My husband and I have two teenage daughters.  I enjoy cooking for my family, being outdoors, 80’s music, and coffee.”

 


Julianne Cruser (Lead Teacher, 3-day Three’s Class)
“I’m blessed to be able to return to Brandywine Valley Christian Preschool for my fifth year. As a child I wanted to be a mother and a teacher. I was raised in Lancaster County and moved to North Wilmington as an adult where I have had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Although a country girl at heart, I love my little piece of North Wilmington and all the convenience it provides such as the opportunity to teach three year olds. I love to interact with children and engage them at their level. I enjoy teaching, encouraging, and watching children grow into all that God has created them to be. Outside of the classroom you can find me cheering my three boys on at the baseball field and doing arts & crafts with my daughter. I also enjoy decorating and designing along side my husband.” 


Lisa Baker (Teacher’s Assistant, 3-day Three’s Class)
“It is with great pleasure that I re-join the 3-Day Pre-Kindergarten class as a lead teacher.  I have been teaching on and off since 1998, taking time out in-between to care for my young family.  With a master’s degree in Education, I am certified in elementary and early childhood education.  Additionally, I have had the privilege of leading children’s ministry, serving as a Sunday School teacher, serving in MOPS leadership, and am currently serving in youth ministry.  I take great joy in facilitating and watching children grow.  With my husband, I am blessed to be a proud parent of 3 wonderful children!  The joy of watching them grow and mature is immeasurable, and to have the opportunity to briefly witness and participate in that process with your children is truly a blessing.  During my down time, I enjoy spending time with my family, relaxing at the beach and pool, listening to contemporary Christian music (and going to concerts), as well as spending time in fellowship with my small group.”


Amy Marchioni (Lead Teacher, Pre-K Classes)
“I am blessed to have been part of Brandywine Valley Christian Preschool and Kindergarten staff for the past four years. I was born and raised in Delaware, currently residing in North Wilmington. My husband, Tim, and I have two grown children, Matthew and Amanda. I hold an early childhood teaching certificate from the state of Delaware and have been in the early childhood field for 19 years. When a preschool classroom is safe, nurturing, and full of exploration, you will see a child grow in all areas of development, and that’s the joy I get from teaching young children. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, going to the beach and taking long walks.” 


Maria Gonzalez (Teacher’s Assistant, Pre-K Classes)
“2016-2017 marks my third year as an Assistant Teacher for 3’s. Being involved in the process of helping children grow, develop and learn is a privilege. My only daughter attended BVCP until she reached elementary school. I have much affection and admiration for the wonderful people at BVCP who helped teach, love and pray over her during these formative years and am very proud to have joined their staff. I am a graduate of New York University with a BFA in Theater Arts. I obtained a teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education from Delaware Technical College in 2015. Currently involved in teaching theater arts and being a dance mom.”


Emily Tobia (Lead Teacher, 3-day Pre-K)
“I graduated with a from American University in 2002 with a degree is Elementary Education. I received my Masters in Literacy from Wilmington University. I taught 1st and 2nd grade until I had my first child. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with my children for a few years. When my daughter started school at Brandywine Valley, I became a long term sub there for a year before starting in the 3 day pre k class.”

 


Susan Baer (Teacher’s Assistant, 3-day Pre-K)
“This is my third year as an assistant teacher in the 3-Day Pre-Kindergarten class.  I was born and raised in Delaware, currently residing in North Wilmington with my husband, Bob, and our triplet boys.  Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom after the birth of our sons, I worked for the Federal Court System.  I really enjoy watching the children as they progress throughout the year.  It is truly a blessing to be a part of their early learning experience.”

 


Sandy Ebbott (Teacher’s Assistant, 3-day Pre-K)
“I have a bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and a master’s in special education. I taught at a school for children with language based learning disabilities for four years prior to having children. While raising my children I tutored, taught classes for Reading ASSIST and homeschooled my children for eight years. Most recently, I worked at the Pilot School, first as a teacher and then as Head of the Lower Division. While volunteering for Awana with the Cubbies, three and four year olds, I fell in love with this age group.”


Marci Norat (Teacher’s Assistant, Pre-K/Kindergarten)
“This is my 18th year as a teacher’s assistant. I also have the pleasure of teaching Art to the kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes, as well as to children at the YMCA. I graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. I worked for 3 years in the Bush School summer program as a paraprofessional. My husband and I have 2 boys. Both of my sons have recently graduated from college and still play on soccer teams. My husband and I are involved in our church and love travel. I enjoy working with young children, watching them grow and develop socially, emotionally and creatively in a loving, Christian environment.” 


Phyllis Munch (Librarian)
“A native of Delaware, I have over 20 years of teaching experience.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Primary/Kindergarten Education from the University of Delaware.  I have taught 2nd grade, preschool gym classes, Pre-Kindergarten classes, Kindergarten classes and have also been a preschool director.  My husband and I have two grown sons and 5 grandsons.  I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, getting together with my Bible Fellowship group, and UD football.  In addition to preparing the children for kindergarten, it is my hope to show them how much God loves them and plant seeds for a lifelong faith in Jesus Christ.”


Heidi Friedkin (Gym Teacher)
“I graduated from University of Delaware with a Physical Education and Health Degree.  I taught Driver Education for 5 years at Padua Academy, while coaching field hockey and gymnastics.  I stayed home for a few years to raise my 4 children, but even then was always working with kids somewhere; Sunday School, VBS, gymnastics classes and volunteering on the Children’s Ministry team at BVBC with the most awesome women and mentors.  When my kids were all in school I came to BVCP and have been teaching gym and an after school gymnastics program since 2005 and have loved every minute.  I love spending time with my husband and family, spending time with the BVBC youth, doing anything outdoors and especially love being at Phillies games.  My newest very favorite thing is being a Nana!”


Kristy Farrell (Office Manager)
“I currently reside in North Wilmington with my husband and two children. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom after the birth of my daughter, I worked as an Advertising Sales Director for a medical publishing company. I am ecstatic to join the office team at BVCP and thoroughly enjoy seeing the children as they learn & grow. It is truly a blessing to be a part of such a great preschool.”


Anne Kozicki (Teacher’s Assistant, Two’s Classes)


Beth Ann Reid (Teacher’s Assistant, Two’s Classes) 


 

Kerri Wodzinski (Director)
“I have been teaching children since I graduated from Juniata College in 1996 with dual-certification in Early Childhood and Elementary Education.  Ever since I was a young child, I have had a love for babies and children.  When I entered college, I thought I wanted to be a physical therapist but God directed me toward working with children.  Thus began my passion for enriching the lives of children.  I love helping children learn and grow in academics and faith.

I have taught in both preschool and school settings.  I joined the team at Brandywine Valley Christian Preschool and Kindergarten in 2011 as the kindergarten teacher.

When I am not immersing myself in kindergarten life, I can be found riding horses, running and reading.  I live in Chester County, PA, with my husband, 2 daughters and a menagerie of animals – cats, dogs, guinea pigs, chickens and a pony.”


Melissa Williams (Lead Teacher, Kindergarten)
“I have over 15 years teaching experience in a variety of settings. I hold Delaware teaching certifications in both special education and elementary education as well as certifications with the Delaware Department of Early Childhood Education. I have five children ranging in ages from 13 to 5 years old. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy cooking and spending time in nature.”


Shannan Keeler (Lead Teacher, Two’s class)
“I am originally from the Philadelphia area where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. My husband, Nate and I have been married for 13 years and we have two boys. Since I was young, I knew I wanted to have a career that involved working with children. I thought it was going to be as a pediatric nurse, but I had the realization early on in nursing school that I preferred to be with kids in the classroom environment rather than in a doctor’s office or hospital room. I love that I have this opportunity to be a part of what God is doing here at BVCP and I especially love that I get to teach these little ones about the love of Jesus Christ, our savior.”

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” -Psalm 127:3