Director Emily Clark
Education and background: Emily has a BS in Health Education from Texas A&M University and spent the first part of her career life working in the field of public health education at Planned Parenthood Education Departments in San Antonio, Texas and San Diego, California. She met her husband, Greg, in San Diego where they married and had their two daughters, Catherine (now 10) and Libby (now 7). They relocated to the Research Triangle Park area in 2008 for Greg’s work in bioscience and Emily became keenly interested in her children’s early learning experiences. She received her NC Early Education license and began working in preschools in the North Raleigh area alongside her children. Most recently, Emily worked as a Youth Director at the YMCA of the Triangle overseeing the Discovery Kids Preschool at the A.E. Finley YMCA.
Favorite part of being Director: “My favorite part is two-fold. I love the small connections we make with the children. The little sparks we see when a discovery or resolution is made. And then, I love the “big picture” when you can look at how much a child has grown (mentally, spiritually) after a few short months of a preschool year. It’s astounding.”
Favorite books for kids: Little Wizard by Kazuno Kohara and really anything by Eric Carle, Bill Martin, Leo Lionni and Mo Willems.
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “I am honored to be here at Family Preschool, where every day I see children and families learning and growing together. Each of us brings so much with us when we walk through those welcoming doors. I am excited to see what I will be learning from each individual here at the preschool – every adult and every child."
What parents say about Director Emily…
“Teacher Emily always connected with me and my daughter on a personal level that made me feel welcome and uniquely special.”
“Teacher Emily was everything you want in a Preschool Director. She was caring and loving with the children, always took the time to listen to parents concerns and questions, and always had open communication with the staff and preschool families.”
“Teacher Emily created an environment at the preschool that was fun and educational. The care she took to ensure things were colorful, interesting, and fresh, really made the experience that much more enjoyable for all. My son loved coming to school everyday eager to learn and play.”
Education and background: Teacher Alison grew up in San Antonio and in 1990, earned a BFA in Theater and Film from Texas Christian University, in Forth Worth. In 1999, Alison graduated from Columbia University in New York, with a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education. She has more than 17 years experience working with infants and toddlers. She holds teaching certificates in three states and is an active member of the National Association for Young Children. Alison moved to Chapel Hill in 2010 and has spent the last six years working part time in the Early Intervention System with birth to 3-year-olds. Alison has taught preschool Spanish classes for more than eight years in various preschools.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “Getting to experience the joy children show when they learn through play. I love to form playful, joyous interactions with children that build relationships and trust and then watch them grow and learn from that foundation. ”
Favorite books for kids: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Sciezka
Anything else you want to share about yourself… "I have three children: Ethan, Ellis Jane, and Dylan."
Education and background: Teacher Sue has a BA and MA in Fine Arts from New York University's Tisch School of Arts where she majored in dance and studied lighting design and theater production. Teacher Sue has been working as a preschool teacher for 14 years, and she has been with FPS since 2003.
Professional organizations: Durham Orange Preschool Association.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “Discovering new ways to engage kids in things that they may have tired of (like cleaning up :-)!.”
Favorite books for kids: Pie Rats Ahoy by Richard Scarry and The Best Nest by P. D. Eastman
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and I train 2 or 3 times per week. The exercise and discipline keeps me calm and balanced, and gives me an appreciation for how it feels to practice things that are really difficult, just like our kids do everyday.”
What parents say about Teacher Sue…
“Teacher Sue was a wonderful first teacher. She has been called 'the toddler whisperer.' Not only did I feel comfortable leaving my child with Teacher Sue, but she helped me become a better parent."
“Teacher Sue has a connection with toddlers that goes beyond the typical classroom - she puts in the extra effort and it shows.”
Education and background: Teacher Susan has been working with children of all ages for over 27 years as an art therapist, art teacher, mentor, child care provider and a mother. She is a certified art therapist and holds her MA in art therapy and counseling. She has a BA in art therapy and psychology. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, West Africa where she taught art education and was part of the guidance counselor group for girls at her school. She first came to FPS as a parent while her son was a 4 day friend.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “My favorite part is observing the children creating and exploring their environment. I love to view the world through their eyes and see all the wonder and excitement they experience each day.”
Favorite Book for kids: The Maggie B. by Irene Haas; City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems and Jon J Muth; and Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “Being part of a co-op preschool started when I was little. I attend the community Cooperative preschool in my town growing up. I still have very fond memories of my teachers and time spent at that preschool. I am so grateful that my son and our family found FPS. I am appreciative of its amazing community and project and play based learning and I am even more excited to teach at FPS!”
Education and background: Teacher Hannah has been at FPS since 2008. Her early childhood background is experiential. She began working with this age group as a teenager when she ran her church nursery at the St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough and taught dance camps at Bounds Dance Studio in Chapel Hill. She has a BFA in Dance with a minor in English from UNCG. She has spent her professional dance career teaching children from 3-8 years of age how to dance and how to turn stories into ballets. She continues to teach ballet to this age group at the Triangle Youth Ballet in Chapel Hill.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “I really love seeing the new babies grow up and become Ducklings, Treefrogs, and 4/5 day kids, and then come back to visit after they are in elementary school. It’s wonderful to be part of such a great family run organization.”
Favorite books for kids: The Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. She has recently been reading Ursula K. Le Guinn's Catwings series.
Anything else you want to share about yourself… “My experience in the cooperative preschool community began when I took my daughter to a cooperative preschool in Wilmington, NC. I felt so supported there as a parent by the partnership between the teachers and the other parents. This model helped my daughter and our family on our first steps into a school environment that has stayed with us throughout our next steps in education. When we moved to Chapel Hill, I was overjoyed to find Family Preschool and be able to offer that same environment to my younger daughter. I enjoy being in that teacher role with each new class of children at Family Preschool. I strive to help the children to love to come to school and to know that they are valued in the classroom.”
What parents say about Teacher Hannah…
“She’s always made me think of sunlight; warm, caring, always brightening your and your child’s day, always patient, always happy to see them.”
“She really talks to the kids like they are equals, and I think they appreciate having such a caring friend. Our son cannot wait to see her again at the start of the week every time we have a weekend or break!”
“I love working with Hannah because I feel like she really values the parents' input throughout the helping parent day.”
Education and background: Teacher Molly’s background is in art education. She has taught art, art history, and ceramics for the past 15 years to all ages from preschoolers to adults. She has a BA in English, Art Education, and Art History, and an MA in Art History. She was first part of the community for 5 years as a parent while her daughters attended FPS.
Favorite part being a preschool teacher: “My favorite parts of teaching at FPS are engaging the children, sharing their enthusiasm for learning through play, and being truly present for them--and with them--each morning.”
Favorite books for kids: Ish and The Dot by Peter Reynolds.
Anything else you want to share about yourself…“I feel so privileged to teach at FPS - this is an amazing school!"
What parents say about Teacher Molly…
“Calming and affirming to parents. Interested in really getting to know your child and finding fun and creative ways to engage them.”
“Molly has been a great addition to the 4- and 5-day rooms! Her creativity and willingness to get messy with the kids is awesome! And because she was a parent of FPS kids, I feel like she's in tune with what parents are experiencing as helping parents.”
"My son loves Teacher Molly, and so do we! She is patient, kind, and creative - a great mix of attributes for a preschool teacher."