Offering The Best Childhood Preparation for Social and Academic Success.

Our teachers blend the highest standards in early childhood development with nurturing care.

JoAnn (Jodi) , Owner Hello and welcome! I am Jodi Straub, the proud franchisee/owner of The Goddard School in Bala Cynwyd. I was born and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania, and I am excited to bring a renowned education system to the Lower Merion and Philadelphia communities. My husband and I are proud parents of 3 children, who are all in their teens. Simply, we have a passion for childhood education. I realize the importance of high-quality educational childcare in a safe and nurturing environment. As the owner, I am proud to say that I am actively involved in the daily operations of the school, and I am committed to maintaining the highest quality standards that our parents expect.

JoAnn (Jodi)

Laura, Director Hello! My name is Laura. I have worked in the Early Childhood field for the last 20 years in many different program areas from classroom teaching to curriculum development to administration. For the last 5 years I was the Director for a Child Care program located in Philadelphia. I have a master’s degree in Education from West Chester University and a Bachelor of Art in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from Neumann University. My family and I live in Ridley. I have three children, Ben is 19, Carolyn is 16 and Michaela is 12. We adopted our dog Frankie in 2019 and he will be a year old in March! I love the outdoors and enjoy just about any activity outside from snowboarding in the winter to hiking in the summer. I look forward to meeting the families, children and staff at Goddard!


Sarah, Director Ms. Sarah is our director here at the Goddard School in Bala Cynwyd. She graduated
from West Chester University with a B.S. in Elementary Education. Ms. Sarah has
worked in the early childhood field for 15 years and began her career as a childcare
director in 2015. She is certified in Pediatric First Aid/CPR, Health & Safety, Fire Safety,
Medical Administration, and Mandated Reporter. She is excited to join the Goddard
team and be a part of the educational development of the children in the school and for
the new adventures every day!


Alexis, Assistant Director Ms. Lexie is our assistant director here at the Goddard School in Bala Cynwyd. Lexie holds a degree in Psychology from Cabrini University. She has experience working with pre-school and school-aged children and loves infants. She is certified in Pediatric First Aid/CPR, Health & Safety, Fire Safety, and Mandated Reporter. Lexie lives in Havertown, Pa and enjoys watching sports and spending quality time with family and friends.


Melissa, Lead Teacher Hi,
My name is Melissa. I've worked with children since graduating high school in 2013. I studied Psychology at Temple University, and I took several courses related to Early Childhood Development. I graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2017. Aside from my educational experience, I am a huge Philly sports fan with a love for the 76ers. "Trust the Process."


Kimberly, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Kimberly. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and in Women and Gender Studies. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with children and help them navigate the world. I believe that children are not only the future, but they are now. The minds and hearts of children are so pure and my goal is to teach them how to flourish and grow.


Rita, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Rita. I have an associate degree in applied science. I am excited to work at The Goddard School because I am looking forward to getting to know the children. I also love The Goddard program and I am excited to be a part of this great team. I am a wife and a mother of a 12-year-old little boy. I enjoy fishing with my family and relaxing on the beach with a good book.


Caitlin, Lead Teacher Hello! I am Miss Caitlin, and I have been working in the professional childcare field since 2008. I find that helping to shape the minds of young children is one of the most rewarding things a person can accomplish. I also love doing arts & crafts with them. I am certified in CPR/First Aid. In my spare time I enjoy making homemade & delicious candies, spending time with my family & friends, karaoke, and trivia nights. And I love everything Disney!


Gail, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Gail. I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I taught in the public-school system before raising my children. I have been in early childhood for 10 years and have loved it! I am very excited to join the team at Bala Cynwyd Goddard! My hobbies are spending time with my grandchildren and gardening! I love exercising and long walks with my husband and two dogs.


Janay, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name Is Janay. I graduated from Manor Junior College with an Associates in Psychology and I will be graduating in November of 2020 with a Bachelors in correctional support services. I have been teaching for six years with children ages 6 weeks-12 years old. I have worked with children who are Autistic, and those who are on the spectrum. I have also worked with children who have been diagnosed with ADHD, impulsive disorders, speech delays, and various behavior issues. I have a son named Jacob who is 5 years of age and is starting kindergarten in August. I was always taught that education is key, so I'm a stickler for academics. I am looking forward to teaching the children here at Goddard and working with their parents.


Jordan, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Jordan. I have a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University. I am certified in both CPR and first aid. I have always had a passion for working with children and being a source of impactful change on young minds. I believe I was put on this earth to create a positive change in it and believe the first and most impactful part of that change is cultivating young minds and creating well rounded human beings. My goal is to help all children that come across my classroom become the best version of themselves they can be.


Emily, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Emily and I am so excited to be here at The Goddard School. When I am not here, I am dancing on my roller skates or at the skate park with friends. I am also a music therapist and especially love drumming and playing my ukulele. I like playing video games even though I am not very good. I cannot wait to continue having fun with everyone here!


Haley, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Miss.Haley. I just graduated from Messiah College where I received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education PreK-4 with a minor in disability and family wellness. I have had over 10 years of childcare experience which includes babysitting, summer camp, and morning childcare at a local church. During my free time I love listening to music, coloring, doing puzzle books, and spending time with family. I love working in fun environments that helps children's minds and bodies grow, and that is why i chose to work at The Goddard School!


Angela, Lead Teacher I am Ms. Angela, the new teacher at Avocets. My professional background brings to Goddard solid experience teaching at public and private institutions as well as other educational centers. A degree in Curriculum and Instruction in Childhood Education (Ph.D), a MA in Elementary Education (PK-8) and a BA in ELL prepared me to teach incorporating contemporary diverse perspectives using effective methodologies. My college education took place in Spain, Chile, Italy and the USA. I believe that an environment of respect stimulates learning. My philosophy focuses on providing opportunities to succeed, to develop skills, to facilitate independent thinking and to set high standards to advance the learning process. In depth examination of Keystone Stars, PA Learning Standards requirements (preparation and practice) and STEM adds to my classroom practices. I have the flexibility to create a variety of activities, being my favorite the incorporation of fine arts, music and games in the content areas. Being also a visual artist, I'm very creative, bringing to our classroom, the experience of organizing attractive activities for children making our program interesting and engaging. My professional experience includes teaching methodology certifying teachers at different universities. In addition to traditional teaching methods, I also have experience using Montessori and Waldorf particularly appropriate for personalized education. I should add that my knowledge of languages, other than English, has made my teaching very motivational to young audiences. I hold all required national and PA professional clearances to be a member of Goddard.


Katie, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Katie and I am so excited to return back to a Goddard School! I have my Bachelors degree in Speech Therapy from West Chester University. I have been working in childcare for over 10 years- from Goddard Schools to behavioral therapy for children with autism. I have such a strong passion and love for working with children and helping them grow not only educationally but emotionally. In my free time I enjoy yoga and meditation, baking and cooking, and hanging out with my family and friends. I am overjoyed to be back at Goddard, continuing my passion and implementing mindfulness, love, and love in my classroom.


Kelly, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Ms.Kelly and I am happy to be a part of The Goddard School family. I graduated from LaSalle University in 2011 with a double major in Secondary Education and Social Studies. Since then, I have worked as both a classroom teacher and a nanny. I love Christmas and play Christmas music in my car on the 24th and 25th of every month. I also am a huge Flyers fan and was lucky enough to be at multiple playoff games during their 2010 run. i am excited to meet and watch your children grow!


Alyvia, Lead Teacher Hello,
My name is Alyiva. I studied Elementary Education at Stockton University where I received my K-6 teaching certification. I love working with kids and have been for about 10 years. Outside of my passion for education, I love to draw, paint, and spend time outside.


Sakeenah, Assistant Teacher Hello,
My name is Sakeenah. I am fairly new to the Goddard School. I must say, I enjoy it immensely. The administration and staff have made me feel very welcomed. I have worked with children 6 weeks-12 years of age since 1991. It truly is a god giving passion. I also come from a family of teachers. I have one daughter Khayla and one granddaughter Paris who is 2 ½ years old. Those two are my entire world. I believe in fostering young minds and giving them the tools, they need for a great beginning. I love to intentionally teach and see good outcomes academically, socially, and emotionally. My philosophy is to teach a child something new that I did not teach the day before to help them reach their highest potential.


Grace, Assistant Teacher Hello,
My name is Grace. I have bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, but my passion has always been working with younger kids. I am enjoying this experience working with all of these lovely students. My goal is to give them the confidence to take on this incredible world. They are the future, and I think we are in some pretty great hands.


Kwanasha, Assistant Teacher Hello,
My name is Kwanasha. I am currently in CCP to receive my AA in early childhood education. I have completed the mandated reporter. I am excited to work at The Goddard School because I know it will help me expand diversity with the children. On my free time I enjoy reading and dancing for fun.


Chelsea, Assistant Teacher Hello,
My name is Chelsea. I have been teaching and caring for children for seven years. I specialize in behavior and early childhood education. I have worked in two reputable daycares in the city of Philadelphia, I have also worked as a nanny for three years. I am over the moon excited to join the Bala Cynwyd Goddard School. My hobbies are spending time with my 3-year-old daughter, my fiancé, and our 1-year old dog and we also love going to our beach house in Florida to enjoy the nice breeze and bright sun.


Payton, Assistant Teacher Hello!
My name is Payton. I am currently a senior at Temple University studying Secondary Education and English. I have been working with children since I was in High School through tutoring programs and a summer day camp. When I’m not at school, I enjoy playing soccer and snowboarding. I’m so excited to be joining the Goddard School team!


Lena, Assistant Teacher Hello,
My name is Miss. Lena. I have been a pre-school teacher for the last four years. I love working with children. I am CPR certified and a mandated reporter. I love to sing and dance with the kids and create beautiful are projects. I am currently enrolled in school studying Early Childhood Education. I cannot wait to sing and dance with all the new friends.


Gabriel, Assistant Teacher Hello,
My name is Gabriele. I have been babysitting for many years, so I decided it would be a perfect fit for a career. I look forward to caring for the children here at The Goddard School and helping them grow, and I know they will help me learn and grow as well.


Aliyah, Resource Hello,
My name is Aliyah and I am a floater at The Goddard School, which means I am here as a helping hand. I am originally from New Jersey, but I became an official Philadelphia resident in June of 2019. I graduated from South Brunswick High School in 2018 as an honor roll student and was a Varsity cheerleader for three years. I am currently a student at The Community College of Philadelphia. I will soon be earning my associates and furthering my education at a university of my choice. I am super excited to have the opportunity to get to know and work with your children!


Madison, Resource Hello,
My name is Madison. I am working towards a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at Temple University. I am excited to join the team here at The Bala Cynwyd Goddard School. In my free time, I like to practice yoga, bake, or relax with a good book. I am very happy to be here!


Marissa, Resource Hello,
My name is Marissa. I have been working at different Goddard schools for the past two years. I have my bachelor’s degree in Psychology and currently a graduate student at Villanova. I hope to become a child psychologist in the future. In my free time I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I am so excited to be joining the Goddard school in Bala Cynwyd.


Mia, Resource Hello,
My name is Mia. I am currently a sophomore, Early Elementary and Special Education double major at Saint Joseph’s University. I am a floater here at The Goddard School, which means that I am a helping hand wherever needed. I have been working in childcare since I was fourteen years old and I am so excited to continue to work in a field, I am so passionate about at The Goddard School. In my free time I enjoy cooking and baking, reading, spending time with my friends and family, listening to podcasts, and watching documentaries!


Neeka, Resource Hello,
My name is Ms.Neeka. I chose to work at The Goddard School because their values, beliefs, and approach to engaging and educating students aligned perfectly with mine. It is a bonus that my father used to teach at this establishment before it turned into The Goddard School. A fun fact about myself is that my siblings named me when they were five and six after a tv show. I love to travel! I like to write poetry in my free time, and also photography. I am also in school studying business marketing and pursuing M.S. at Neumann University.

Paige, Resource Hello,
My name is Paige. Currently I am a floater for The Goddard School. I am a junior Elementary and Special Education major at Saint Joseph's University. I am really excited to be working here!


Victoria , Resource Hello,
My name is Victoria and I am currently a school psychology major at PCOM. I recently graduated from Penn State with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. I love working with children and watching them learn, play, and grow.


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