After a childhood in Miami, FL, full of babysitting and tutoring, I carried my love of children into college as I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida. While in Orlando, I taught in a Varying Exceptionalities Pre-Kindergarten, as well as in a mainstream Public Kindergarten classroom. During college, and for the first four years that I lived in San Francisco, I was a nanny and loved the close interaction with the families and children that I was blessed to be able to work with. However, the call of the classroom returned me to teaching and I finished my years in San Francisco teaching at a wonderful preschool, employing the methodologies of the Reggio Emilia Early Childhood Education child-directed approach, which I had studied in college as well as in Italy.
After returning to Florida and blessedly becoming a mother, I decided I could not miss a moment of time with my sons Jadon and Dax, so I chose to stay at home with them; but I also could not stay away from my love of teaching and being with children, so I decided to open a Family Home Child Care in order to do it all at once! Thus brought about the ABC (Ashton Black Creative) Center, a licensed Day Care facility, that I owned, operated, and enjoyed for 2 years in Ft. Lauderdale.
I hold a current Child Development Master Teacher Credential in California, as well as a non-expiring Teaching Staff Credential in Florida, and have also completed postgraduate coursework on Early Childhood Special Education and Educational Administration at City College of San Francisco and UC Santa Cruz. Additionally, I am an active member of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA), the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI), and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), and of course, am certified in Pediatric CPR and First Aid. I have also been a presenting member of the Innovative Teacher Project, and enjoy continued participation with that network in order to remain abreast of the most current Best Practices in Early Childhood Education. Finally, I achieved my Child Development Site Supervisor Permit, and we returned to the Bay Area to fulfill our dream of opening a mixed-age green preschool! Soon after, I earned my Program Director Permit, the highest Child Development credential offered by the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Most recently, I became a California Early Childhood Mentor Teacher to help others in my field as we strive to create the highest quality Early Childhood Education experience for as many children as possible!
After much searching through many school site possibilities, and much frustration due to the institutional feel of most of what we were finding, we stumbled upon what we felt was a perfect place in 2010. Conveniently near downtown, yet nestled in redwoods with lots of natural play space and across the street from a big fun park, it is quite fabulous! Regarding environment as one of a child’s many teachers, I feel that we have been truly blessed with this beautiful place for us all to grow, learn, and play together; however, being residential, we have been stuck at a very low capacity for a long time, and very limited in our ability to share our program with the many folks who wanted to join our crew. Now, after years of searching (and years of waiting for many families), we have finally found another amazing site in which to expand our community. We are thrilled to incorporate our new facility at the Farmstead on Lia Lane into the Mix, and are so excited by the opportunity to serve even more local children! We’ve had so much fun building our green dream at this new site and can’t wait to share it with you. I so look forward to enjoying the wonder of childhood with your family, at either or both of our fabulous Green campuses!