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Our Teachers and Director

Amy Mitchell (Dewdrops, 2-year-olds)

Fabia Simpson (Ladybugs, 2-year-olds
Education and Background:
Originally from UK, I have a background in Dance and Performing Arts and have been teaching dance to children and adults in the Triangle area for over 15 years. I was a substitute teacher at the co op for 5 years before joining as the Ladybug Teacher.  I am the mother of two Playschool graduates. 

What being a co-op means to me:
I came to know the co op through my own children attending. I found a nurturing, gentle and supportive environment that suited our family and I love the sense of community, the collaboration between teachers and staff about everything that goes on and the long lasting friendships that have remained until this day.

What I enjoy most about being a teacher:
I cannot put into words how special being a part of sharing the discovery of the world around us is. To be able to share a child’s natural curiosity about the everyday things we take for granted like the joy of feeling a raindrop or observing the leaves fall from the trees or watching a shadow echo our every move. I get to see a whole new world through the eyes of a child and it’s a wonderful view!

Favorite Books and Classroom Activities:
Just as children are born with the potential to learn and speak and understand their native language, ­ children are born with the potential to learn and perform and understand music and movement. Encouraging and exposing children to music and songs and movement is my favorite thing to do because it’s their favorite too! Favorite Books: ​The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boyton. 

Amy Hart (Sunbeams, 2-year-olds)

Education and Background:

I started out at UNC as a drama major. I worked part time at a preschool to earn extra money and realized working with young children was what I wanted to do with my life. I have also led drama clubs and classes for middle and high school kids.

What being a co-op means to me:

I love teaching at a co-op. I think a co-op really allows families to feel directly involved in their child’s school, and lets each child know that their parents and teachers work together to help and teach them.

What I enjoy most about being a teacher:
I love witnessing a child’s discovery and joy. I love the relationships I build with children and families. Every day I learn something from the children I teach -- each child is so different, and it constantly challenges me to find new ways to teach and communicate.

Favorite Themes and Classroom Activities:
My favorite teachings themes are literary centered. I enjoy really exploring a great book—doing art inspired by a book, talking about it with the kids.

Tonya McGuire (Rainbows, 3-year-olds)

Sarah Carrington (Dragonflies, 4 and 5-year-olds)

Education and Background:

I have been a preschool teacher since 1992 and have had the privilege of working in some unique and wonderful schools. I have an English qualification in Early Childhood Education which allows me to work with children under the age of 6.

What being a co-op means to me:
I have loved working with all the age groups but 3 and 4 year olds are very special to me. It’s so rewarding to encourage independence, confidence, and social skills. As a teacher I like to build community -- to respect and value each individual child.

What I enjoy most about being a teacher:
My favorite thing in the classroom has to be children’s art work. I foster open ended art as children explore many materials, encouraging creativity. I also love classroom design- setting-up the environment to best achieve independent success.

Favorite Books:

My favorite children’s books are Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming and The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone by Timothy Basil Ering. 

Lauren Fitzpatrick (Wildflowers, 5-year-olds)
Education & Background:
I went to school at The University of Illinois at Chicago for English and Education.  I’ve been working with preschoolers, mostly 4 and 5 year olds, for the past 10 years at local 5-star centers.  I just returned from Korea this Spring after teaching preschool in the southern city of Busan for two years.  It was a great experience, but I’m happy to be back with friends and family and to start the school year at CCP!

What being a co-op means to me: 

This will be my first time teaching at a co-op, but I’m very enthusiastic to see how teachers and families come together to make the school environment the best that it can be.  The idea of a co-op preschool follows suit with my own belief that only good things can come from everyone working together and teaming up with the child’s happiness and best interest in mind.  

What I enjoy most about being a teacher:  

I love playing!  I’m very hands on in the classroom and I love getting down to my students’ level and participating in fantastical scenarios that get everyone thinking and being silly.  The most rewarding feeling is when I know I’ve played a part in a child’s love for school.  

Favorite Classroom Activities:  

I love dictating wild stories that the class creates together.  Whether it be a sequel to a book we’ve read or it’s own thing, it’s a blast to give the students free reign on paper and then read back their own outrageous tale and share a good laugh.  I also really love doing messy science experiments! 

Kinsey Wennerstrom
is the current Director of the Playschool. 
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from University North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served in numerous management and Board positions in both business and childcare and has also been a teacher at the co-op. She is the mother of 3 children, ages, 17, 15, and 12.

Each of our teachers brings her own special experiences and interests to the school, along with a passion for working with children. We are fortunate to have a staff that works well individually, as well as collectively, to create the best learning and growing atmosphere for our children. Each staff member is required to have current certification in CPR and First Aid. The Playschool also provides regular staff development opportunities to encourage further growth.