Spirit At Play was one of the first, and for a time the only, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) accredited program in Missoula. Child Care Resources of Missoula solicited me as an independent contractor to first conduct the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (ECCERS) to assess the quality of local child care centers and then to mentor other local programs through the NAEYC accreditation process. Under my direction, Spirit At Play (SAP) was accredited by NAEYC from 1997 through April 2007. The program continues to follow the old NAEYC guidelines while working to make changes to meet the new NAEYC standards.
My early involvement in the creation of the Montana Best Beginnings Starts to Quality program in 2009 has helped shape SAP into a progressive educational school for young children. Spirit at Play is a Star Two program within the Stars system.
I hold a B.S. degree in Health & Human Development from Montana State University with an emphasis in Child Development. From the beginning, I was drawn to SAP because of the small, family-like atmosphere and the drive of the previous director to insure that the school was NAEYC accredited. In the 22 years that I have been affiliated with the school as director, I have grown immensely as a leader in the early childhood field. I am grateful for each and every experience, both rewarding and challenging. They have truly shaped the person I have become.
Serving as an Infant/Toddler coordinator at a NAEYC accredited child care program in Iowa City, Iowa for four years, and teaching at an English speaking preschool in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico for 2 1/2 years further developed my skills in working with young children. I also have experience working with adolescents in youth emergency shelters and correctional facilities.
I love young children! They constantly inspire me to be more spontaneous, curious, playful, find the sense of humor in situations, forgive easily, express love and smile! Children remind me that life is too short to hold onto the trivial problems of the moment.
I take pride in leading a quality staff of teachers who are committed to ensuring that all children are provided with a safe, loving, and nurturing environment where they can grow and develop into unique and independent individuals.
Residing in Florence, MT on a 5 1/2 acre farm, my husband Shane and I love the rural lifestyle! We stay happy and busy tending to our feathered and furry friends as well as our gardens and fruit trees.