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Meet Our Staff

Cynthia Paris- Director

The Director of the Laboratory Preschool is responsible for leadership in program development and maintaining high quality programming for children and families and for the UD student in clinical experiences. She provides leadership and oversight of research activities and supervision and evaluation of the staff. She is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies as well as a Faculty Affiliate in the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood. She has taught children from 3 through 8 years old in public and private early childhood settings, is a former Kindergarten Master Teacher of the UD Laboratory Preschool and was Director of The Martin Luther King Jr. Parent Cooperative Preschool. She earned a PhD in Educational Leadership, Curriculum, Instruction, and Supervision from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Life Span Development and BS with Honors in Early Childhood & Elementary Education from the University of Delaware. She is a licensed teacher of Early Childhood/Primary K-4 in Delaware and Preschool through Grade 3 in New Jersey; an Early Childhood Administrator and School-Age Administrator in Delaware; a Supervisor in New Jersey; and a Certified Master Instructor in the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.

Sarah Bergan- Administrative Coordinator

The Administrative Coordinator provides leadership and guidance to ensure optimal day-to day operations and compliance with state licensing and national accreditation criteria and fiscal management.  She works with the director and master teachers to develop, implement and evaluate program policies and procedures and to support parent involvement. She schedules, supervises and evaluates support staff, work-study students and volunteers. Sarah graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Delaware in 2007, and she is currently working towards an MS in Public Administration. She is a licensed teacher of Early Childhood Birth-Grade 2, Elementary Grades K-6, and Exceptional Children Birth-Grade 12; and an Early Childhood Administrator with Specialized Training Credentials for School-age and Infant/Toddler. Sarah competed for the University of Delaware’s diving team and coached diving for children ages 4-18 for eight years.

Master Teachers

Master Teachers supervise and serve as model teachers for undergraduate student teachers and practicum students. They are responsible for curriculum planning and implementation that is aligned with the Delaware Early Learning Foundations and K – 12 Curriculum Standards.  They engage in daily observation and assessment of children’s learning and modifies activities based on that information, and ensure active two-way communication with families.

Debbie Torbert- Master Teacher- Toddlers (2′s) & Preschool (3′s)

Debbie is an Instructor of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, teaching HDFS 222, both in the spring and fall. She serves as the Master Teacher of the 3’s class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and the 2’s on Tuesday and Thursday.  She serves as clinical placement supervisor for HDFS 224 students and as supervisor, as well as cooperating teacher, for student teachers.  She has worked with children for thirty-seven years, having taught children from 2 through 6 years old in private early childhood settings, and served as Program Director for eighteen years. She attended the University of Delaware, and graduated with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education with certification in Preschool/Kindergarten.  She begins her graduate career here at the University this fall.  She holds an Early Childhood Administrator Credential with Administration and School Age Specialized Training Credentials, from the Delaware Department of Education.   She is recognized as a Certified Master Instructor by the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood (DIEEC), providing many community based workshops for early child care professionals in the field.   She has presented workshops here in the state of Delaware, as well as in Washington, DC for NAEYC. She contributed to the profession by serving on many state task forces for the field of ECE, including Delaware Early Learning Foundations for School Success, Partners in Excellence, T.E.A.C.H. Advisory committee, and the Office of Child Care Rules Revision Task Force. She served on the Board of DAEYC, and is a current member of NAEYC and DAEYC.

Laura Morris- Master Teacher- PreK/Kindergarten

Laura has a MS in Elementary Education from Wilmington University and a BS in Human Resources from the University of Delaware. Her major areas of study include Preschool and Kindergarten Education/Young Exceptional Children. She completed 34 hours of additional graduate work in Learning/Behavior Disorders at the University of Louisville. She has a Delaware Department of Education Early Childhood Administrator Certificate with Specialized Training Credentials for School-age and Infant/Toddler. She is a certified Master Instructor in the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood. Laura has 7 years experience as a Childcare Administrator, 16 years of teaching experience, and 7 years of experience supervising student teachers.

IMG_2351Kelley Hanzely- Master Teacher- PreK (4′s)

Kelley has 9 years of teaching experience in preschool through first grade. Before joining the Laboratory Preschool, she taught at a school in Kissimmee, Florida that focuses on STEM education.  She is a graduate of the University of Delaware’s Early Childhood Education program and is certified to teach children from birth through 6th grade, and English to speakers of other languages (ESOL) for children in grades Kindergarten through 12th. Kelley earned a Masters of Education in Reading Education in 2008. She grew up in Newark, DE and graduated from Newark High School.

Diane Crossan Lawler- Master Teacher of Art

Diane is an artist and instructor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She serves as the art instructor and curriculum consultant in the UD Laboratory Preschool and The College School. She teaches courses for undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Education and Human Development emphasizing the importance of the arts in education. Diane was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware and is currently doing graduate work in art and education with a focus toward art therapy. She has worked with children and adults for over twenty years and is an accomplished painter whose work hangs in collections nationwide. She is recognized as a Certified Instructor by the Delaware Institute of Excellence in Early Childhood and an Early Childhood Teacher and School Age Teacher in Delaware.

IMG_2436 - Version 2Anabelle O’Malley- PreK/K Co-Teacher

The PreK-K Co-Teacher is responsible for participating in the planning and implementation of curriculum and assisting in documentation and evaluation of children’s progress through the year. She will co-teach morning activities with the Master Teacher to ensure that all children are receiving individualized attention when needed. Additionally, the Co-Teacher will serve as site supervisor for pre-student teaching field placement students assigned to the Laboratory Preschool for undergraduate and graduate clinical placements and internships. Last year, Anabelle taught in the 4 year old program as a long-term substitute. She received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware. For sixteen years, she worked with young children in the public school system. She has developed and implemented trainings and has served as a teaching coach, traveling throughout the state to visit classrooms and support program improvement. Additionally, she has worked with UD students teaching an early literacy course in the HDFS department. Anabelle completed her practicum courses at the Laboratory Preschool as an undergraduate, and while her son attended the Laboratory Preschool, she was a part of the Parent Advisory Committee.

IMG_1505Katie Pollock- Social Thinking Teacher & Family Partners Leader

As a teacher of Social Thinking skills, Katie will be collaborating with the classroom teachers to provide learning activities in full class activities and in small groups of children Katie will also be taking on responsibility for building a vibrant family group and exciting family events. Katie worked as a Master Teacher at the Laboratory Preschool for six years teaching both the Kindergarten and 4 year old programs, and prior to that, she taught for the Christina School District. Katie earned an MS in Literacy from Wilmington University and a BS in Early Childhood Education from the University of Delaware. She is a licensed Delaware teacher of Early Childhood & Early Childhood Special Education, an Early Childhood Administrator in Delaware, and a certified Master Instructor in the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.

 

Jane Shire- Play & Grow Together Instructor & Support Teacher

As the instructor of the Play & Grow Together program, Jane is responsible for planning and implementing various interactive sessions for infants and young toddlers, while providing guidance to their parents/guardians.  As the Support Teacher, Jane provides in-class supports for individual children as needed, assists the Master Teachers in conducting child assessments and in designing activities and materials to help meet all children’s needs. In addition, she will serve as substitute teacher when a Master Teacher is absent.  Jane Shire holds a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Education in Reading and additional graduate work in Early Childhood Inclusive Education. She holds professional teaching certification in Delaware in Early Childhood General and Special Education, Elementary Education through grade 6, Special Education through age 21 and as a Reading Specialist from K through 12th grade. She has taught birth through 2nd grade, with most years in preschool and Kindergarten Special Education. She has worked as both cooperating teacher and supervisor to UD Early Childhood student teachers. She currently works as an adjunct faculty member for the Early Childhood Department at UD, instructing undergraduates in Programs for Children with Exceptionalities.

IMG_2367 - Version 2Juana Gaviria- Loaiza- Graduate Assistant

Juana is a PhD student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her work with us will include responsibility for programming and management of our new after school program and data collection and analysis related to research conducted by Laboratory Preschool staff.

 

Kimberly Hill- Projects Coordinator

The Projects Coordinator assists staff in the Laboratory Preschool and The College School to ensure optimal day-to-day operations. Responsibilities include preparing weekly snack menus and snack daily for all Laboratory Preschool classrooms, organizing and maintaining supplies and equipment, and planning and managing school-wide activities and events. Kimberly works part time for the Laboratory Preschool and the College School, and also owns a wedding, events, and flower business.

Judy Bachman- Senior Secretary

As the senior secretary, Judy provides administrative support for the Lab Preschool (25% of the time) and The College School (75% of the time).

 

Student Teachers

The Laboratory Preschool enjoys the benefit of one or two student teachers who are majoring in Early Childhood Education in each classroom throughout the school year. Prior to admission to student teaching, they must successfully complete course work and four prior practicum experiences in inclusive early childhood education. Student teachers are responsible for phased-in curriculum planning and implementation and work with families under close supervision of the Master Teachers. Master Teachers prepare the children and families for the introduction of new student teachers each nine weeks and prepare the children to say goodbye to those who are leaving.

Practicum Students

Students in UD’s Early Childhood Education major have their first practicum placement in the Laboratory Preschool.  One or two students are placed in each classroom for four hours a week through a full semester.  Students must be formally admitted to the Early Childhood Education program prior to being placed in this introductory practicum experience and enroll concurrently in an introductory inclusive curriculum course.  They are responsible for working with small groups or individual children under close supervision of the Master Teachers.  Master Teachers prepare the children and families for the introduction of new practicum students and prepare the children to say goodbye to those who are leaving.

Independent Study/Internship Students/Honors Assignments

Students in Early Childhood Education and related fields may request to conduct independent study, honors or internship assignments in one or more of the Laboratory Preschool classrooms. Requests must be approved by the administrators and staff. The responsibilities of these UD students will vary depending on the goals and credit hours of the independent study, internship or honors assignment.

  • Laboratory Preschool  •  459 Wyoming Road  •  Newark, DE 19716  •  USA
    Phone: 302-831-2304  •  E-mail: labpreschool@udel.edu  •  ©2012