Our teachers and staff members are enthusiastic about children and teaching! The interaction between children and adults is positive, warm and nurturing, with lots of attention to each child's needs. We find that our teachers are happy here, with many of our staff remaining for a number of years.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as the Program Director of both A Child’s Garden and Wee Lad & Lassie Early Learning Center beginning in 1985. I am especially proud of our Level 5 rating in MD EXCELS which is evidence of our dedication to high quality early childhood education and care. My guiding philosophy is to meet the needs of each child and family through the application of best practices in early education and my knowledge of child development.
I completed my undergraduate education at Penn State University in Biology with an Early Childhood Education minor, followed by a Masters in Early Childhood Education at Towson University. In 2016 I earned my doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in Education with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Leadership. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to prepare young children for success in school and in life!
Courtney Johnson, Threes Lead Teacher
I have am pleased to be teaching the three's again, after a short break to have my second child. It is my goal to create a respectful, safe, and engaging environment for your children. Throughout the year, I want to inspire their natural curiosity, and build their self-confidence as they sharpen the skills, they need to become life-long learners.
I am currently attending Towson University to obtain my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Alyssa Fortune, Assistant Three's Teacher
I joined the Wee Lad & Lassie team in 2019, while I was still in high school. I am currently attending Anne Arundel Community College and working towards a degree in Early Childhood.
i have been with Wee Lad & Lassie since I was in high school. I am currently attending Anne Arundel Community College and will be graduating soon with my degree in Early Childhood.
Frankie Nicklin, Teacher Assistant
I joined the Wee Lad & Lassie team in 2022. I am in my second year of college at Anne Arundel Community College, studying Early Childhood Education.
I am happy to have been a part of the Wee Lad & Lassie family since 1999. I have spent many years in the classroom learning from many wonderful teachers and children. In 2012, I moved from the classroom to become the Assistant Director of Wee Lad & Lassie. This is a great opportunity to be able to continue to work with children, as well as be helpful to parents and teachers. This also gives me the chance to be a part of the ever changing world of Early Childhood Education and overseeing many changes as we continue to grow and maintain our commitment to excellence and meeting our families and children’s needs.
Stephanie Malafarina, Lead Twos Teacher
I’m Stephanie. Pronounced “Stet-anie “ by some of my students :)I am a single mom of two (plus a cat) and the lead two’s teacher at WLL. I have received my AA at AACC for Early Childhood Education and I’m currently attending Towson University to get my BA in Early Childhood Education. I believe that every kid and every day deserves a fresh start and I implement that in the classroom. I look forward to teaching your child and learning with them along the way.
Pre-K Lead Teacher
I have a Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have worked in the early childhood field for many years and joined the staff in 2017. I am excited to be part of the Wee Lad & Lassie team. It is my goal to create a respectful, safe and engaging environment for children to be able to discover and learn through play. I want to feed their natural curiosity, and build their self- confidence as they sharpen the skills they need to become life-long learners.
Cecelia Smith, Pre-K Lead Teacher
I am ecstatic to be welcomed by the Wee Lad & Lassie staff and families for another year. I will be leading the Pre-K Language & Literacy group this year. As a Pre-K teacher previously, my desire to teach has given me the ability to learn something new every day. I enjoy engaging children through the are of learning, using my creative and instructional way to teach. I am looking forward to a bright school year. One of the many reasons why I choose to teach is because making a difference in a community will ignite the spark of learning in children's growth and success.
Lindsay Wooster, Two's Teacher
I have worked with children for many years in different positions, such as a nanny, a preschool aid in high school and as an intern in an AACPS kindergarten class. I recently graduated from in Anne Arundel Community College with my degree in Early Childhood Education. I am currently attending Towson University to get me BA in Early Childhood Education.I am very excited to be part of the Wee Lad & Lassie team this year by working in the two's class
Leigh Baker, Lead Pre-K Teacher
I am so excited to be joining the Wee Lad and Lassie team! I am an MSDE certified teacher in early childhood education, reading, and special education, with a Masters Degree in special education and a post graduate certificate in dyslexia. I have been in the education field for over eight years, working in various areas at the elementary level. I have an extensive background in early literacy and I’m so excited to be teaching language arts and literacy blocks. My goal is to create lasting relationships, confident children, and a safe, fun, and engaging learning environment.
I joined the Wee Lad & Lassie team in 2021. I graduated from Anne Arundel Community College with a degree in Early Childhood in 2023. I am currently attending Towson University to earn my BA in Early Childhood.
Ashley Steckler, Pre-K Assistant Teacher
I joined the Wee Lad & Lassie team in 2023. I am currently taking classes for my 90 hour Preschool Teacher Certification.