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 14, 9 and 5. 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 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.
Mrs Tamara, Lead Teacher 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, Lead Teacher Allison R., Lead Teacher -- First Steps - 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, Lead Teacher Amanda ("Mandy") E., Co-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, Lead Teacher Sylvia L., Co-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, Lead Teacher 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.
Ms Abigail, Lead Teacher 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 Kimberly, Lead Teacher Kimberly M., Co-Lead Teacher -- Preschool I - Education: Ms. Kimberly graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Experience: Ms. Kimberly has been a nanny/babysitter for many families since 2003. This past year, she taught Pre-K at an early childhood education center. Ms. Kimberly was also a teacher at a church sponsored school, where she worked with Kindergarten class.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Kimberly wants to make learning fun and engaging, especially for younger children. She states each child is different so you have to take their strengths and their weaknesses and find a way to balance them so they can succeed. Ms. Kimberly believes that if a child is a visual learner, then you have to utilize this strength in each lesson, but also make note of those who may be audio learners, so that each child may learn the same concepts but in their own way.
Mrs Daniela, Lead Teacher 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 Maureen, Lead Teacher Maureen D., Co-Lead Teacher -- Early Preschool - Education: Ms. Maureen has an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from Community College of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, GA. Ms. Maureen also holds a Bachelor in Justice from The American University, Washington DC, and graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Experience: Ms. Maureen worked at Akers Academy from February 2007 through 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 from 1989 to 2001.
Philosophy on Teaching: Ms. Maureen believes that children learn best through play and positive role models. By working at home and in school, students will receive a superior education.
Ms Hannah, Lead Teacher Hannah F., Co-Lead Teacher -- 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.
Mrs Meghan, Lead Teacher Megan B., Co-Lead Teacher -- Pre-K - Education: Mrs. Meghan holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from
Vanderbilt University. Mrs. Meghan is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Brenau University.
Experience: Mrs. Meghan worked as a Sunday school teacher,
a children’s therapeutic riding instructor,and an infant teacher at another Goddard school.
Philosophy on Teaching: Mrs. Meghan believes that each child is an unique individual who needs a secure, caring
and stimulating atmosphere in which to grow and mature emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially.
Ms Cindy, Lead Teacher Cindy R., Co-Lead Teacher -- Jr. 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.
Ms Danielle, Lead Teacher Danielle F., Co-Lead Teacher -- Jr. K - 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, 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.
Mrs Noemi, Assistant Teacher 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, Assistant Teacher Christine H., Assistant Teacher - Toddlers (PM)-
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.
Ms Shanti, Assistant Teacher Shanti W., Assistant Teacher -- Toddlers - 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.”
Mrs Diana, Assistant Teacher 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 Suman, Assistant Teacher Suman ("Mrs. S") K., Assistant Teacher -- Pre-K - Education: Mrs. S received a Bachelor's Degree in Commerce and a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Delhi University.
Experience: Mrs. S has worked with children in various school and child care settings for 16 years, both in India 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 Jemima, Assistant Teacher Jemima S., Assistant Teacher (PM) -- Kindergarten - 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.
Mrs Demenia, Resource Demenia ("Dee") C., Curriculum Coordinator/Teacher Support Specialist -
Education: Mrs. Dee holds a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in English, General Literature 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 six years of experience working with preschool-aged children. She has also worked as a tutor during the Summer 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 two sons (ages 9 & 3) and two daughters (ages 18 months & two months).
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.”
Ms Jenny, Resource Jenny G., Office Administrator/Advanced Spanish Teacher-
Education: Ms. Jenny is currently attending Kennesaw State University, where she is pursuing a Psychology Degree. 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, Resource 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.