Mr Jay 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 14, 9 and 5. The family enjoys a variety of sporting activities and traveling.
Ms Thonja 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 2010.
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 Brianda Brianda C., Office Manager & Assistant Director; Advanced Spanish Teacher -
Education: Ms. Brianda is currently a student at Georgia Perimeter College and is pursuing an associates degree in Business Administration.
Experience: For the past four years Ms. Brianda has taken on the task of raising her two younger siblings, and she also has extensive experience sitting for other families' children. She is doing a great job with all of the children in our School.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Brianda believes that everyone has potential in life and that education is the only way to show the world what you are capable of achieving.
Ms Caitlyn Caitlyn M., Assistant Director - Education: Ms. Caitlyn has Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Georgia State University. She also attended the University of British Columbia before moving back to the United States.
Experience: Ms. Caitlyn rejoins our School as an Assistant Director after having taken a break as our Lead Teacher in Jr. Kindergarten for the 2011 to 2012 school year to work in Corporate America. Prior to her teaching position with our School, Ms. Caitlyn was a Daycare Assistant at The University of British Columbia Daycare Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, from June 2006 to May 2007. Ms. Caitlyn was also an Assistant Teacher at The Goddard School in Cumming from June 2007 through September 2007 and January 2008 through May 2008, while taking a break from her studies.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Caitlyn states that “each child is unique and, therefore, they have their own strengths and weaknesses. It is our responsibility, as teachers, to recognize and work those within each student.” She also states that, “all children are wildly intelligent and if given the right tools, they can build and expand their intelligence.”
Mrs Tamara Tamara M., Lead Teacher -- Infant I - Education: Mrs. Tamara holds a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine with a concentration in Athletic Training and a Minor in Health Administration from Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Experience: From 2008 to 2010, Mrs. Tamara worked at Adventure Center as an assistant teacher where she worked with children from two weeks to six years old. From 2010 to 2011, Mrs. Tamara worked as the Infant teacher for Children’s Ark Learning Center. Immediately prior to joining our School, Mrs. Tamara worked as the assistant infant teacher for The Goddard School, in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Tamara believes that children learn by exploring the world through creative activities and storytelling. Lessons plans should encourage children to grow as individuals. Each child is different and learns at its own pace. In addition, children need to learn skills such social, physical, and emotional skills.
Ms Allison Allison R., Lead Teacher -- Infant II - Education: Ms. Allison graduated from Greater Atlanta Christian School. In addition, she holds a Child Development Associate's degree.
Experience: Ms. Allison has over 7 years of childcare experience and she has worked with several well-known childcare schools. From September 2009 to April 2010, Ms. Allison worked at The Goddard School located in Snellville, Georgia. From September 2006 to September 2009 she worked at Primrose School. Ms. Allison also worked with an in-home daycare, with Kids R Kids in 2006 and with Legacy Academy in 2004 and 2005.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Allison’s philosophy on teaching is that children are best at play. She believes early childhood development is very important to each child's future well being.
Mrs Mandy Amanda ("Mandy") E., Lead Teacher -- Young Toddlers - Education: Mrs. Mandy has Bachelor of Fines Arts from the Art Institute of Atlanta.
Experience: Mrs. Mandy has over 10 years of experience working with children. From July 2009 to April 2013, she worked as a Lead Teacher for children ages 14 months to 3 years old at New Hope Preschool of Dunwoody, Georgia. In addition, Mrs. Mandy has held several jobs as a nanny and tutor. From July 2005 to December 2009, Mrs. Mandy worked at the Art Institute of Atlanta’s academic center, where she did private tutor sessions in English, Geometry, computer skills and various other subject matters.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Mandy believes children become more involved in the learning process when they are able to use all of their senses. She loves incorporating art through colors, textures, songs, and rhymes into daily discussions.
Mrs Sylvia Sylvia L., Lead Teacher -- Young Toddlers -
Education: Ms. Sylvia has a Child Development Associate Credential (CDA) from the State of Georgia. She has taken many courses in Foreign Language and is fluent in Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and proficient in French, all of which she studied in her native country of Slovakia. She is currently studying Spanish as well.
Experience: Ms. Sylvia has over 13 years of experience working with children. She worked as a nanny for many years and her most recent teaching job was as an Assistant Teacher and Floater at a prominent preschool in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She comes 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 child’s talents through fun activities.
Ms Tieisha Tiesha ("Tie") F., Lead Teacher -- Toddlers - Education: Ms. Tie is a certified massage therapist.
Experience: Ms. Tie has been assisting in different classrooms throughout the School since joining Goddard in February 2012. Ms.Tie joined us from The Goddard School located in Suwanee where she was the Assistant Teacher for the Get Set classroom. Prior to working for The Goddard Schools, Ms. Tie spent almost 2 years with Primrose.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Tie believes that each child is a unique individual who needs a secure, caring, and stimulating environment in which they can grow and mature.
Mrs Tina Tina C., Lead Teacher -- Toddlers - Education: Mrs. Tina has a Bachelors of Applied Life Science in Child and Family Studies from University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana. Mrs. Tina also holds a Masters of Educational Leadership from Argosy University-Atlanta, Georgia.
Experience: Mrs. Tina worked at the Sunshine House from February 2002-November 2009. Prior to that, Mrs. Tina worked at Acadia Youth, Inc. as a Senior Counselor. While at Acadia Youth, Inc. she counseled teenage mothers in the areas of self-development, academics, and career choices.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Tina believes in promoting positive learning that will spark learner enthusiasm and provide a strong foundation of lifelong learning.
Ms Abigail Abigail L., 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.
Ms Danielle Danielle F., Co-Lead Teacher -- Preschool 2 - Education: Ms. Danielle has a Bachelors of Science of Psychology from Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
Experience: Ms. Danielle worked as a lead trainer at Bit of Heaven Farms, in Canton, Georgia, where she taught riding lessons and planned and implemented camps for children ages 3 to 17 years old.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Danielle believes that every child is different and learns differently. 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.
Ms Sharan Sharan A., Lead Teacher -- Preschool 2- 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.
Ms Amber Amber H., Lead Teacher -- Preschool I -
Education: Ms. Amber has a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree from Central Michigan University where she majored in Child Development, Early Childhood and minored in Psychology.
Experience: In the Spring of 2008, Ms. Amber did her student teaching at Ganiard Elementary School in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Also, in the Spring of 2008, she worked at the Kinney Child Development Center in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where she taught a Preschool class. From August 2008-June 2009, Ms. Amber was an Assistant Student Teacher at the Isabella Child Development Center in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. Ms. Amber did additional student teaching from April 2009-June 2009 at Gretchens House Child Development Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to moving to Georgia, she was an Assistant Teacher at Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy in Lansing, Michigan from September 2009-August 2010.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Amber believes that all students can learn and that she must design lessons that encompass the diverse learning styles of each student. She wants her classroom environment to encourage academic interaction and open discussions.
Ms Megan Megan W., Co-Lead Teacher – Preschool 1
Ms. Megan graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Ms. Megan has over 300 hours of teaching field experience with children four to ten years old.
Philosophy on Teaching:
Ms. Megan believes the best teaching come from those who are passionate in motivating students to learn and help them thrive.
Mrs Daniela Daniela R., Co-Lead Teacher -- Early Preschool - Education: Mrs. Daniela holds Associate Degree in Practical Theology from Christ for the Nation Institute in Dallas, Texas. She will be attending Chattahoochee Technical College, where she will pursue her Early Childhood Education degree.
Experience: From 2009 to 2011, Mrs. Daniela taught 2nd and 4th graders at Colegio Bilungue Madison, located in Mexico. Mrs. Daniela worked at The Goddard School in Alpharetta as a Preschool Lead Teacher and a Jr. Kindergarten Assistant Teacher from 2007 to 2009. Additionally, Mrs. Daniela worked as a nanny from 2003 to 2009.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Daniela believes that teaching should be a fun experience. Learning in the classroom is enjoyable when one can observe excitement in students when mastering new skills.
Ms April April W., Co-Lead Teacher -- Pre-K - Education: Ms. April holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Experience: Ms. April babysat all through middle and high school. While in high school, Ms. April participated in Early Childhood Education classes, which included teaching in a lottery funded preschool. During summer 2008 and summer 2009, Ms. April aided in church program providing daily care for infants. While completing her studies at Kennesaw State University Ms. April did her student teaching with children in Preschool to 5th grade and she was responsible for observing, assisting, and teaching the students.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. April believes that a solid education during these early years lays the foundation for future success. Educators should strive to develop tools to better assist students in these years.
Ms Cindy Cindy R., Co-Lead Teacher -- Pre-K - Education: Ms. Cindy attended Community College of Rhode Island in 1995. She attended URI Feinstein Building-Med Tech Center in 2004. She also attended Child Care Education Institute from 2010 to 2011.
Experience: Ms. Cindy worked as a lead teacher at a preschool from March 2008 to August 2011, where she assisted with infants, including daily activities such as feeding, diapering, and interacting with the children. In addition Ms. Cindy provided daily logs for parents, provided monthly and weekly evaluations on her students developmental skills, and provided a weekly lesson plan that implemented the curriculum of the school.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Cindy believes that children learn very fast and everything we teach them now will help them later in life. She also believes we should always be positive because children learn from what they see and hear.
Mrs Demenia Dee C., Lead Teacher -- Junior Kindergarten -
Education: Mrs. Dee holds a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in English, General English and Rhetoric from Binghamton University and an Associate of Science Degree in Individual Studies with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from Broome Community College.
Experience: Mrs. Dee has over three years of experience working with preschool-aged children. She has also worked as a tutor during Summers since 1999, was a mentor for the R.E.A.D. Foundation in New York City, and in 2007, she was a youth counselor for Catholic Charities in Binghamton, New York. Mrs. Dee joins us with an energetic enthusiasm for teaching. She also has a five year old son.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Dee believes that children learn best when they are encouraged and supported. She states that, “when children show an interest in something, we should follow their lead and encourage their exploration.”
Mrs Diana Diana M., Assistant Teacher -- Infant I -
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 Heidi Heidi H., Assistant Teacher -- Infant II - Education: Ms. Heidi is currently pursuing her degree in Psychology from Kennesaw State University, in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Experience: Ms. Heidi has babysat for a number of years and most recently she worked as a nanny.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Heidi believes children should be allowed to explore on their own through supervised activities. Children need to have the freedom to ask questions, make their own mistakes, and receive guidance when necessary.
Mrs Iliyana 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.
Mrs Noemi Noemi G., Assistant Teacher -- Young Toddlers -
Education: Ms. Noemi attended Antelope Valley High School in California.
Experience: Ms. Noemi has two children of her own and has been home with them for four years.
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."
Ms Christine Christine H., Assistant Teacher - Toddlers -
Education: Ms. Christine is currently a student at Georgia State University and is pursuing a B.A. in Sociology.
Experience Working with Children: Ms. Christine has been a student mentor at Woodland Elementary School. She is also a member of the Vietnamese Student Association and was also a mentor at Dunwoody Springs Elementary School.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Christine believes children should be able to learn and play in a happy, comfortable and diverse setting where each student is paid attention to individually.
Mrs Diana Diana R., Assistant Teacher -- Get Set- Experience: Ms. Diana has a child of her own and has babysat family and neighbors for number of years.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Diana believes every child learns in different ways and teachers must be patient.
Mrs Jemima Jemima S., Assistant Teacher (PM) -- Jr. K - Education: Mrs. Jemima has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, where she received her Major in Business and a Minor in Music. She is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to English, she speaks Creole and French.
Experience: In addition to formerly teacher at our School in 2011, Mrs. Jemima was a Pre-K Teacher and Assistant Director at Christian Academy Preschool and Child Care Center in Florida from 2005-2010. She was also an Instructor at Inlingua English Centers in 2007. She is also a piano Teacher. She owns and operates her own Art and Music program called “Aunt Jemima’s Playhouse.”
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Jemima’s Philosophy is that we should value individuality and creative expressions.
Ms Jenny Jenny G., Advanced Spanish Teacher & Floater-
Education: Ms. Jenny pursued a Communications Degree at Chattahoochee Technical College and recently transfered to Kennesaw State University to pursue a degree in Psychology. She is a graduate of Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs.
Experience: Ms. Jenny has worked with an array of age groups since January 2008. She was an after school tutor, a summer camp counselor, and has worked in each classroom at another childcare facility in the Atlanta area. Ms. Jenny's first language is Spanish and she will be providing additional advanced Spanish instruction to all children in the School two days per week.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Jenny believes that all children should get the best education possible because they are our future leaders. If we instill the foundation for them now, they will be very successful.
Ms Jeraldine Jeraldine C., Floater - Education: Ms. Jeraldine graduated from Rabun County High School and plans on pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education commencing with the next school semester.
Experience: Ms. Jeraldine volunteered for the Awana program, which helps churches and parents work together to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Jeraldine believes that through social encouragement, love, and making learning fun, we can secure a fruitful future for all children. That is, she believes, what makes Early Childhood Education so important.
Mr John John A., Science Teacher & PE Coach -
Mr. John Andre has a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University.
During the Spring & Fall of 2012, Mr. John served as a student teacher for Timber Ridge Elementary School, located in Marietta, Georgia. Mr. John was responsible for teaching/co-teaching and grade level team planning for the school’s third grade class. Mr. John also has a three year old son and a new born baby.
Philosophy on Teaching:
Mr. John believes in motivating and inspiring life-long appetite for learning.
Ms Whittley 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.