Mr Jay, Owner Jay B. Bryan, Owner -
Education: Jay holds an B.A. from Duke University, where he majored in Economics and Public Policy. He also holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Experience: After practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia, and Washington, D.C., for the past 21 years, Jay decided it was time for a change. Becoming the Owner of The Goddard School® located in Sandy Springs allowed him the opportunity to combine one of his loves -- children -- with one of his dreams -- running his own business. Jay is very excited about getting the school built and filled with children, and making sure the parents take comfort knowing their children are being nurtured, educated, and, above all else, protected. Jay will be actively involved in the classrooms and the day-to-day operations of the School. Having three of his own children, Jay recognized the need and demand for a quality alternative to standard childcare. After extensive research, he decided to open The Goddard School located in Sandy Springs. He looks forward to providing an environment and the resources to give children the opportunity to become happy, confident learners.
Jay and his wife, Lexie Bryan, have three children whose ages are 15, 10 and 7. The family enjoys a variety of sporting activities and traveling.
Ms Thonja, Director Thonja N. Hayes, Director -
Education/Degree/Certificates: Thonja holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has received her Director Certification from Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, and she holds a Technical Certificate of Credit from Atlanta Technical College in Early Childhood Care Program Administration. Knowing things change constantly in the childcare field, Thonja is continuing her education and pursuing a second degree in Early Childhood Education, which she is scheduled to complete in the Spring of 2016.
Experience: In 2007, after spending nine years in the legal profession, Thonja started her childcare career as an after-school teacher for 25 students. Shortly thereafter, she was asked to assume the role of Assistant Director. While serving as Assistant Director, Thonja fell in love with the administrative aspect of childcare. Thonja joined the Goddard family in May 2008, and taught in the classroom for a few weeks before being promoted to the Director of Education at another Goddard School in Georgia. She still enjoys the classroom atmosphere and further honed her skills in the classroom this past Summer while agreeing to fulfill dual roles of teaching Summer Camp and serving as the Director of The Goddard School. Thonja also enjoys the dual role of Curriculum Coordinator and she has extensive training in Promoting Quality Programming for Preschools, age appropriate developmental Lesson Planning, and Sign Language. Thonja is excited about the opening of The Goddard School located in Sandy Springs and is looking forward to meeting our prospective families. Thonja says, “I love interacting with the parents and their precious little ones.”
Philosophy on Teaching: Thonja believes in a learning environment that consists of a balance of both structure and fun, making it easy and enjoyable for children to explore and learn. Her philosophy finds its roots in a family of successful educators dating back to her great grandfather who was the Head Master of a The James School in St. Vincent & The Grenadines, West Indies back in the 1930s and 1940s, a grandmother who was a teacher in St. Vincent & The Grenadines for over 25 years, a cousin who is a principal of a public school in Maryland, and several other family members who have held numerous teaching positions.
Ms Lauren, Lead Teacher Lauren C., Lead Teacher -- Infant I - Education: Ms. Lauren has an Associate of Applied Science degree with honors in Early Childhood Education from Georgia Piedmont Technical College (formally DeKalb Technical College). Ms. Lauren is currently attending Georgia State University and is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Early Childhood Education (Birth through 5th Grade) and Sociology.
Experience: Ms. Lauren has been working and volunteering with children for ten years. She started out working at a child care center in Decatur, Georgia, working with infants and toddlers. She also had the opportunity to work with Autistic children and care for them on a day to day basis. Thereafter, Ms. Lauren volunteered at St. Augustine Preparatory Academy in Decatur, where she worked for half a year prior to pursuing her Associates Degree from Georgia Piedmont Technical College. While at Georgia Piedmont, Ms. Lauren was offered an internship at Barksdale Elementary in Rockdale County. After the internship concluded, she enrolled at Georgia State University.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Lauren is devoted to helping children think creatively, solve problems independently and respect themselves and others.
Ms Bincy, Lead Teacher Bincy B., Lead Teacher -- Infant II - Education: Ms. Bincy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work and a Master’s degree in Social Work, both from Georgia State University.
Experience: Ms. Bincy has worked with every age group in various preschool centers. She worked at another preschool for one year with Infants and children up to 12 years old and at the Montessori School of Snellville for over a year with 6 month old infants and students up through 7th grade. She also taught students from 8 to 12 years old in Sunday school at her church.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Bincy believes that the greatest amount of learning occurs when the classroom environment is one of safety, trust, and understanding.
Mrs Sylvia, Lead Teacher Sylvia L., Lead Teacher -- First Steps --
Education: Ms. Sylvia has a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) from the State of Georgia. She is fluent in Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and proficient in French, all of which she learned while studying Foreign Languages for two years at The University of Comenius in her native country of Slovakia. She is currently studying Spanish as well.
Experience: Ms. Sylvia has been working in early child development with young children, from infants to preschoolers, since 1996. In addition, she worked as a nanny for many years. She has been with The Goddard School in Sandy Springs since 2010 and came to us with a wealth of experience and is dedicated and committed to caring for and educating young children.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Sylvia believes that learning should begin at an early age in order for students to develop a lifelong love of learning as we encourage each each child’s individual development through fun and playful activities.
Ms Rubi, Lead Teacher Rubi R., Lead Teacher -- Toddlers - Education: Ms. Rubi is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology at Georgia State University with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Rubi received her Technical Certificate of Credit in Early Childhood Core and Education Basics.
Experience: Ms. Rubi has been working with children in the child care setting for three years. Ms. Rubi completed an internship at a childcare center in East Point, Georgia. After her internship ended, she was offered a full time position at that childcare center. Ms. Rubi became a lead Toddler teacher and loves working with the two year old children. Ms. Rubi also takes care of her younger siblings.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Rubi believes that every child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring and stimulating atmosphere where they can grow emotionally, intellectually and physically.
Ms Abigail, Lead Teacher Abigail L., Co-Lead Teacher -- Get Set -- Education: Ms. Abigail holds a Child Development Associate's degree from Bright From The Start. Ms. Abigail graduated from Alpharetta High School.
Experience: Ms. Abigail worked at Akers Academy in Cumming, Georgia, from September 2010 to February 2013. Ms. Abigail worked at Kids R Kids, Inc. as a Senior Counselor from March 2008 to May 2010.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Abigail believes that every child is different and, therefore, develops in a manner unique to the child. Children deserve an inviting, engaging, and positive atmosphere for learning. It’s important to know each child’s strengths and weaknesses and support them in every way.
Mrs Diana, Lead Teacher Diana R., Co-Lead Teacher -- Get Set--Education: Mrs. Diana has a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA).
Experience: Mrs. Diana has been working as a two year old teacher since 2011 and especially enjoys this age group. She conducts her circle time completely in Spanish and encourages her students to “use their words,” whether it is in English or Spanish. Mrs. Diana has two children of her own and babysits for families enrolled in our School and for neighbors as well.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Diana believes every child, whether infants, toddlers or preschool, learns in different ways and teachers must be patient and sensitive to each individual child's needs.
Ms Hannah, Lead Teacher Hannah F., Co-Lead Teacher -- Preschool 2/Early Pre-K - Education: Ms. Hannah received her Bachelor of Arts in Child and Family Development from Georgia Southern University.
Experience: Ms. Hannah spent years babysitting before graduating high school. She was a substitute for two summers at a child care center in Wilmington, North Carolina. For one summer she acted as full-time nanny for a 7-month old. To obtain her degree, she had to complete over 100 lab hours. These included a lab in preschool for Child Development, in Toddler 1 for Infant/Toddler Development, and a more extensive lab for Preschool development. Ms. Hannah also worked as a substitute at the Child Development Center at Georgia Southern University. Prior to graduation, Ms. Hannah completed a full-time, semester-long internship at The Salvation Army First Stop Family Services Center. She then acted as camp counselor for the Spring Break Camp with the younger group for three to five year old children. This lead to a job as Lead Camp Counselor for The Salvation Army Kroc Center's first Summer Camp. Ms. Hannah oversaw ten other counselors and worked with children ages five to twelve.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Hannah believes that children learn through play. She states that children should have the ability to choose what they want to learn and always have a say in the curriculum. She believes that children have a voice that should always be heard. Their questions are important and should be answered. Ms. Hannah feels that parents have a big impact on their child's education and that they should be actively involved. Their input is just as important as the input of the child. Children's minds are like a sponge, they soak up knowledge constantly, and it is our job to be sure that they are given the best opportunities to grow and learn.
Ms Mira, Lead Teacher Mira K., Co-Lead Teacher -- Preschool 2/Early Pre-K - Education: Ms. Mira graduated from Augusta State University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Political Science. She also has 20 hours of post graduate courses in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Mira also took graduate marketing courses at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Experience: Ms. Mira has over 27 years of teaching experience. Her classroom experiences range from early childhood through high school and she has taught students at all levels. During her teaching career, Ms. Mira was awarded teacher of the year in 2000, and was also nominated for the American Stars of Teaching and the National Teaching Hall of Fame. Ms Mira, who was born in Nice, France, and also made her home in Alexandria, Egypt, is fluent in three languages, including: French, English and Arabic.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Mira's teaching philosophy is built on love. "Loving the children and giving them individual attention will make them feel confident and motivated to learn."
Ms Maria, Lead Teacher Maria C., Lead Teacher -- Preschool 1 - Education: Ms. Maria holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Work from The University of Puerto Rico at Humacao in, Humacao, Puerto Rico. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Puerto Rico, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Experience: Most recently, from 2013 to July 2014, Ms. Maria worked for Transitional Family Services where she conducted therapy for ages five through adulthood. She developed treatment plans, behavioral therapy, play therapy as well as group and family therapy. Additionally, Ms. Maria was the Site Assistant Director for the afterschool program at the CAY-YMCA. From 2010-2013, she interned and worked in the Social Work field. Ms. Maria is fluent in English and Spanish.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Maria believes that we all have strengths and abilities to discover.
Ms Maureen, Lead Teacher Maureen D., Co-Lead Teacher -- Early Preschool - Education: Ms. Maureen holds an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from the Community College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Maureen also holds a Bachelor's degree in Justice from The American University, Washington, DC, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Experience: Ms. Maureen has over 26 years of experience in early childhood development. She has worked at Akers Academy from February 2007 to April 2013. From January 2008 to present, Ms. Maureen has worked at Acumen Services in Alpharetta, Georgia, where she instructs and assists special needs children in daily activities. From 2004 to 2006, Ms. Maureen worked with Fulton County Schools in Suwanee, Georgia, as a special needs paraprofessional. She also worked at First Academy in Alpharetta, Georgia as the toddler teacher from 2001 to 2003. Ms. Maureen operated her own in home daycare in Alpharetta, Georgia, from 1989 to 2001.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Maureen believes that children learn best through play and positive role models. By coordinating work at home and in school, students will receive a superior education.
Ms Kenyetta, Lead Teacher Kenyetta O., Co-Lead Teacher -- Pre-K/Curriculum Coordinator--
Education: Ms. Kenyetta has a Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Childhood Development. She also has a 40 hour Director Certification from Georgia's Department of Early Care and Learning. In addition, Ms. Kenyetta is pursuing another degree in Business Administration focused on Early Childhood Development
Experience: Ms. Kenyetta has been working with children of all ages as a nanny and early childcare instructor since 2005. For the past three years prior to joing The Goddard School, she worked in the public school system with children 4 to 12 years of age. She has a background in and training for special needs children and she has also coached high school dance.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Kenyetta believes that in order to meet every child's individual needs, you must get to know them, their personality, and their means of development to help them reach their full potential.
Mrs Rachel, Lead Teacher Rachel W., Co-Lead Teacher -- Pre-K - Education: Mrs. Rachel received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Troy State University. Mrs. Rachel is certified to teach Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies from Early Childhood through 8th grade students.
Experience: Mrs. Rachel has taught for 21 years. She taught 7 years of Pre-Kindergarten. She taught in the Fulton County school district for 16 years. Mrs. Rachel has taught Pre-Kindergarten at Parklane Elementary School, KinderCare Learning Center and In His Image Daycare. Mrs. Rachel also taught third grade at Parklane Elementary School. Mrs. Rachel served on the Fulton County Board of Education, for Heards Ferry Elementary School from 2002 until 2014. She was the Science Curriculum Writer for the Fulton County School district from 2006-2007. In 2012, she served as Kindergarten Grade Level Chairperson.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Rachel believes children learn through play.
Mrs Wimberly, Lead Teacher Wimberly Y., Lead Teacher -- Junior Kindergarten - Education: Mrs. Wimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art Print Making from South Carolina State University. She then received her Masters of Education in Teaching and Learning from Argosy University in Atlanta. Mrs. Wimberly is currently working towards her Doctorate in Post-Secondary and Higher Education.
Experience: Mrs. Wimberly has been working with children for over 11 years. She has taught children ages 3 through 18. While working in both public and private schools, Mrs. Wimberly has taught phonics, art education, music and movement, and numerous summer enrichment programs. Mrs. Wimberly has training in classroom management, and for other programs she has acted as assistant director, health and safety coordinator, and developmental teacher trainer.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Wimberly believes that teaching and learning is a gift. As a professional and effective educator, entrusted with the education of young minds, she believes that all students have the most valuable accent to learning, their minds. Teaching and learning are reciprocal processes with the ultimate goal of building lifelong skills for each and every student. In choosing to become a teacher, she has made the commitment to herself and all her future students to be the best academic, effective, and well-rounded educator possible.
Ms Sharan, Lead Teacher Sharan A., Lead Teacher -- Kindergarten- Education: Ms. Sharan graduated from the University of Mobile in Mobile, Alabama, in 2008, with a Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education.
Experience: From December 2007-May 2009, Ms. Sharan taught at Orchard Elementary School in Mobile. After moving to Atlanta, Georgia, she began teaching at Georgia State University’s Child Development Center. She was there from January 2010 to July 2012. Georgia State’s Child Development Center is not only an operating child care center, it is a leading research institution for early childhood development.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Sharan believes that teaching is a calling and it takes a special person to inspire children daily.
Mrs Daonapha, Assistant Teacher Daonapha ("Dao") C., Assistant Teacher Infant I - Education: Mrs. Dao has a Certification from Georgia Association on Young Children and she has also completed the Armatus Online Training Course.
Mrs. Dao was a nanny for a family in Los Angeles, California from September 2005 through August 2007, and after moving to Atlanta in 2007 she was an assistant teacher at Dunwoody Academy and Infants of Dunwoody.
Philosophy on Teaching:
Mrs. Dao believes that children learn very fast with everything we teach them.
Mrs Diana, Assistant Teacher Diana M., Assistant Teacher -- Infant II -- Education: Ms. Diana graduated from Woodstock High School in Woodstock, Georgia.
Experience: Ms. Diana has had numerous babysitting jobs as well as raising three children of her own.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Diana’s philosophy on teaching is to make educational activities fun by playing games to keep the children interested.
Ms Irma, Assistant Teacher Irma ("Iris") O., Assistant Teacher -- Infant II- Education: Ms. Iris graduated from Riverwood High School, located in Sandy Springs, Georgia, in 2009.
Experience: Ms. Iris worked as a private nanny from 2007 to 2009. She also has an infant daughter of her own.
Philosophy on Teaching:
Ms. Iris believes consistency plays a major role in a child’s development and behavior. She believes children should always be treated with patience and care, so they may feel comfortable and safe. Ms. Iris states that respect should be taught and demonstrated at a young age because you are never too young to learn these attributes. Finally, Ms. Iris believes every child is capable of doing whatever they set their mind to.
Mrs Iliyana, Assistant Teacher Iliyana P., Assistant Teacher -- First Steps -
Education: Mrs. Iliyana holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Sofia University in Sofia, Bulgaria, and she also has a college degree in Early Childhood Education from Vratza College in Vratza, Bulgaria. In addition to speaking English, she speaks Bulgarian and Russian.
Experience: After college, Mrs. Iliyana taught at an Early Childcare facility in Vidin, Bulgaria from 1998 to 2001 before moving to the United States. Prior to joining The Goddard School, Mrs. Iliyana taught for several years at an Atlanta area daycare. She also teaches Russian and Bulgarian languages to children on the weekend.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Iliyana “first hugs, then teaches.” She believes that each child deserves a nurturing and stable environment and an environment that comes from loving and caring teachers.
Ms Maria, Assistant Teacher Maria G., Assistant Teacher -- Young Toddlers -- Education: Ms. Maria, who was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, graduated in 2013 from Riverwood High School located in Sandy Springs.
Experience: Ms. Maria is active in the care of her younger siblings.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Maria believes every child should receive an education and that every child should begin their education in their early childhood years because it better prepares them for the future.
Ms Christine, Assistant Teacher Christine H., Assistant Teacher - Toddlers (PM)/Office Administrator--
Education: Ms. Christine is currently a student at Georgia State University and is pursuing a B.A. in Sociology.
Experience: Prior to working at The Goddard School, Ms. Christine was a mentor for children at Woodland Elementary School and Dunwoody Springs Elementary School. She has been with The Goddard School since 2011. She has gained valuable experience with children of all different ages (infants, toddlers, preschoolers) from her classroom work at our School and while babysitting and while acting as a nanny for numerous families enrolled in our School and located in the Atlanta area. Ms. Christine devotes much of her free time caring for children in and out of our School. Kids are her passion.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Christine believes children should be able to explore, learn, and play in a happy and comfortable environment where each child is cloaked with support, patience, and love.
Mrs Tanya, Assistant Teacher Tanya P., Assistant Teacher -- Floater -
Education: Mrs. Tanya holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting Management from Djon Atanasov University in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. In addition to speaking English, she speaks Bulgarian and Russian.
Experience: Mrs. Tanya has raised two children of her own who are now age 20 and 14.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Tanya believes that children should be taught with love and care. She also believes children should feel warmth and love from their teachers. Mrs. Tanya believes it is not what you do for the children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.
Ms Shanti, Assistant Teacher Shanti W., Assistant Teacher -- Preschool 1 - Education: Ms. Shanti is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education at Ashworth College in Norcross, Georgia
Experience: Ms. Shanti began her career in Early Childhood Education in 1998. She has taught at several schools including Child Time and My First Academy. She also has experience teaching in Montessori schools. In addition, Ms. Shanti is the proud mother of four wonderful boys ages 19, 15, 13 and 6.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Shanti states that, “when you combine knowledge, skill, passion, and compassion neither you, nor your students, will ever fail.”
Ms Whittley, Assistant Teacher Whittley M., Floater - Education: Whittley attended Alpharetta High School and will be pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education commencing in the fall of 2013.
Experience: Ms. Whittley worked at Akers Academy in Alpharetta, Georgia, from October 2010 to March 2013, as the Assistant Teacher for Preschool. Additionally, Ms. Whittley has worked with children ages 3 months to 4 years old. She has assisted with Office Administration as well.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Whittley believes in maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment by monitoring students, but still giving them the opportunity to explore and learn on their own. Children need to be cared for, while still allowing them to enjoy being kids.
Mrs Suman, Assistant Teacher Suman ("Mrs. S") K., Assistant Teacher -- Early Pre-K - Education: Mrs. S received a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Delhi University.
Experience: Since 1999, Mrs. S has worked with children in various school and child care settings in countries such as Dubai, Kuwait, Ukraine, and the United States.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. S believes it is her job to know her students, and her responsibility to know what kind of knowledge and experience they each bring to the group. She states that “teachers who demonstrate curiosity and passion about a subject will motivate their students to learn.”
Mrs Noemi, Resource Noemi G., Office Administrator/Advanced Spanish Teacher-
Education: Ms. Noemi attended Antelope Valley High School in California.
Experience: Ms. Noemi has two children of her own and was at home with them for four years prior to joining The Goddard School in Sandy Springs in July 2010. She enjoys being a part of the Goddard family! During this time, she has worked with all age groups from infants, toddlers preschool and school aged children. She has taught Spanish to students ages one and up, and has been a dependable guide and trainer for new faculty at our School.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Noemi states, "Children are our future, therefore, a teacher should take their time and teach them what they need for life.My philosophy is that children are unique and have all different learning styles. I can make a difference by providing the children with a loving and safe learning environment.'