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Where We Play to Learn

Teachers & Staff

All of our staff members are well qualified and serve as positive role models and learning facilitators. All lead teachers have college degrees, including early childhood coursework. Additionally, all staff are required to attend continuing education training each year. Our assistants are experienced and educated in early childhood education. Teachers and assistants work together as teaching teams, facilitating a positive and rich learning environment.

We have dedicated office staff who also serve as a positive part of the ECC experience. They take the time to get to know the children and parents, and assist the teachers as needed.

Teachers

Esha Bhattacharya

As a teacher, Esha wants to instill strong values, hopes, dreams and knowledge inside her students, and enjoys learning from the next generation. She believes in nurturing social concepts such as respect, pride, share and love of learning. For Esha, these concepts are equally important as introducing math, language and science.

She is married and has two children, one of whom attended ECC as a four-year-old. Esha enjoys reading books, gardening, puzzles, traveling, and spending time with her own children. She is from India where she earned her college degree. In order to start a career in early childhood education, she took the 90-hour Montgomery County lead teacher qualifying course in Early Childhood Development.


Guhhan Green

Children having fun and learning from their play is central to Guhhan's philosophy for children's development. She believes that we all learn differently, and each child is a unique individual. She encourages independence and self-reliance by building confidence and setting children up for success. Guhhan enjoys observing in many different classrooms to further deepen her understanding of how the play-based philosophy is implemented by a variety of teachers. She joined ECC in the fall of 2005 and has taught twos, threes, and fours.

Guhhan successfully completed the 90-hour Child Development and Curriculum Planning training in the spring of 2004. Her eagerness and passion in working with young children continues to evolve, and she is furthering her knowledge through continuing education courses at Montgomery College. In addition to her primary job at ECC, Guhhan teaches and tutors children in both written and spoken Mandarin Chinese. She was born and raised in Taiwan and majored in design.


Shashi Gupta

Shashi is committed to encouraging children to learn through play, loves working with kids, listening to their stories, and playing with them. Her favorite times of the day include free play and art projects. She also enjoys sharing her Indian heritage with the children, including celebrating Indian festivals, food, and dress. Shashi is celebrating 16 years at the ECC, having joined the staff in November 1996. She has taught two-year-olds, three-year-olds, and four-year olds.

She grew up in India, and has lived in the United States for more than forty years. She is married and has three adult children, two grandchildren, and a third grandchild on the way. One of her grandchildren was a student at the ECC. In her free time, she loves gardening, sewing, knitting, traveling and spending time with her children and grandchildren.


Liz Harless

Liz feels very privileged to observe the benefits of play-based learning and is excited to support that philosophy everyday as a member of ECC's teaching staff. She has over fifteen years' experience working with children teaching directed play, music and dance.

As a senior area manager for Gymboree Play and Music, Liz trained teachers to implement a play based curriculum targeted to children from birth to five years of age. Liz is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and a mother of three.


AnnMarie Kase

AnnMarie is committed to ensuring a nurturing classroom environment for children to learn through play. Her teaching style brings out opportunities for the children to express themselves, stimulate knowledge and develop an interest in learning. Her two daughters attended ECC and when they graduated to elementary school, she made the transition from ECC parent to ECC teacher. After taking a break from the work force to stay at home with her children, she has now returned to ECC.

From a very young age, AnnMarie knew she wanted to work with children. Originally from New York, she graduated from the University of Maryland and earned a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from The George Washington University. She began her career at the Arc of Montgomery County, teaching young children who had chronic medical conditions.


Cassie Castro

In 2010 I graduated with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Human Resource and Development from James Madison University. Soon after, I completed my 90 hours certification in Early Childhood Education at Montgomery County College. I am intrigued by adventure and love anything that challenges me. I feel that in the classroom, everyone is a teacher and a student. I believe that growth and learning are never ending processes. I enjoy playing lacrosse, spending time with friends and family, and traveling.

My goal is to create a safe and fun environment for the children that will grow their individuality and creativity. In this environment, the children will interact and learn through play, fostering confidence and independence. In addition, I also hope to instill values of equality, integrity, and forgiveness in our future generations.


Ann Posner

Ann truly embraces the school's philosophy that children learn through play and enjoys creating an environment that is warm, nurturing and fun. She has been an important part of ECC for over 17 years.

She started her teaching career as an elementary school teacher in Baltimore City and in Prince Georges County. She joined the ECC staff as a substitute when her son was a student at the school. While her son was young, she worked at The Potomac Village School as a teacher of three-year-olds. She returned to ECC in 1997 as a teacher.


Pearl Chu

Pearl believes that it is important for children to know that their ideas and opinions are accepted, valued, and supported by their peers and adults. In her classroom, creativity and creative expression are not limited to one part of the curriculum or one area of the classroom, but are expressed continuously through the playful exploration of objects, language, and ideas in a nurturing environment.

She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science and is now working towards a 4 year degree in Early Childhood Education. Pearl has had fourteen years of experience working with children, starting first at Gymboree Play and Music, Sunday schools, and then working as an administrator and preschool teacher for 8 more years. She now lives in Poolesville, Maryland with her husband, two children, and a miniature schnauzer. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and encouraging children to take risks that will inspire their learning.


Vicki Tosques

Albert Einstein once said 'It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.' Every time Vicki reads or remembers this quote, it fills her with a sense of purpose and responsibility. At its heart, this quote speaks of a side of early childhood education that is, at times, forgotten. By Vicki's understanding, when there is joy and true creative expression on the part of the teacher there is joy and creative expression present in the children. A complete early childhood education is one that helps young children feel safe and loved. She strives to provide an environment that is filled with conversations and is creatively stimulating to help young children develop.

Vicki has been working with children since she was a kindergarten aide in high school over 35 years ago. She has worked with all ages of children from young infants to middle school age. She has also worn every hat there is in a child care setting. She has been a classroom assistant, lead teacher, kitchen manager, an assistant director as well as a director of a child care center. She has an associate's degree from Montgomery College. She is currently enrolled in Penn Foster University and plans to pursue her Masters degree at Walden University.

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