The children in the Stars room continue to build independence as they serve themselves during snack time, negotiate problems with others, and make choices throughout the day. You will also see their social-emotional skills grow in leaps and bounds as they leave parallel play behind and begin to engage in true cooperative play where they build on each other’s ideas and begin to take on role playing (I’ll be the Daddy, you be the baby.”).  Of course this can lead to disagreements and problems, which are all part of learning.  Children learn to use their words to express their thoughts and desires and to negotiate with each other to figure out how to take turns and listen to others’ point of view.  Children this age are really beginning to look to friends for information in addition to their teachers; you’ll find we have lots of spaces in our classroom where small groups may congregate to play a game, look at a book together, or build. We have 4 full time teachers and 16 children in this classroom.

Stars Teachers

Anic Gowens has 4 years of teaching experience, a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education, and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Florida. They also have experience writing curriculum for and teaching Sunday School.

They say: “I love watching children develop confidence in themselves as they explore, play, and try new things. My favorite thing to hear in the classroom is “look, I did it!”  As children transition from adult support to peer-to-peer support, they begin to recognize how capable they are, sparking a new excitement for learning.”

Erick Flores has 8 years of teaching experience and is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in child development. He also has experience as an assistant coach for a kids basketball team.

He says he most enjoys “watching the kids’ development as they grow and progress from the Bluebirds to the Stars and then Rainbows, and how much we work to create a great community in the school and neighborhood.”

Alice Young has 9 years of teaching experience and a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education specializing in English Literature from Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. She also has experience as an outdoor education/wilderness guide and as a horseback riding and skiing instructor.

She says: “I love working here because of the school’s dedication to nurturing individual growth and curiosity. It’s amazing to get to watch the children explore, innovate, and learn every day in new ways.”

Pat Kelbaugh has over 30 years of teaching experience and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson State University. She directed children and adult choirs for over 20 years; owns a dance studio in Gaithersburg, MD teaching ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and pointe. She also has two children and six grandchildren.