That learning should be meaningful for children.
We believe that learning, including Biblical learning, must make sense from the child’s point of view. We trust that if a child’s learning is meaningful to the child, the learning is deeper and enduring. We constantly strive to meet children where they are developmentally and in terms of their interests in order to maximize their preschool experience.
That children should be an active participant in their own learning.
At VPCP, each child is encouraged to propose topics to explore, plan those explorations and carry out those plans in a safe and encouraging environment. Children are also encouraged to evaluate their plans and retool as necessary to achieve their desired results with teacher support. We have learned that the more child-directed our curriculum is, the more motivated and engaged the children are in their learning environment.
That our classrooms are a third teacher, after other children and adults.
We aim to provide children with a rich learning environment that is warm and welcoming, free of distractions, yet full of learning opportunities including open-ended materials and well-managed props and art supplies.
That collaboration between teacher, parent and child leads to the best possible learning experience for children.
We invite parents into our classrooms and school often to share in the learning process. To foster community, we host a variety of events throughout each school year, including family events and educational opportunities for parents.
Our teaching philosophy at Vienna Presbyterian Church Preschool is rooted first and foremost in the belief that God created each and every child, and every moment we have with them is a precious gift.
We incorporate these three attributes into all of our curriculum:
- Developmental: Our curriculum enables all children to realize their full potential. It allows our teaching staff to determine what each child knows and is able to do and to help them move to their next level in all areas of development including spiritual, physical, cognitive, social-emotional and language.
- Emergent: The emergent nature of our curriculum relies on children’s ideas, thoughts, and observations.
- Flexible: Our experienced staff have developed the curriculum over many years of working with children.
Mission and Objectives
The mission of VPCP is to provide an environment that is Christ-centered and dedicated to support families in the Christian nurturing of their children.
In keeping with its mission, the objectives of VPCP are:
- Spiritual: To create a Christ-centered environment where each child’s uniqueness and special gifts are celebrated.
- Social-emotional: To provide a sense of community and to teach each child the skills necessary for achieving a sense of self, taking responsibility for self and others and accepting and expressing emotions appropriately.
- Cognitive: To provide a learning environment that supports and encourages growth in problem solving and thinking both logically and symbolically.
- Physical: To provide a physical environment that will encourage children to achieve both fine motor (hands and wrists) and gross motor (large muscle groups) control.
- Language: To provide a language-rich environment in which children can begin to practice and learn the skills related to listening and speaking as well as those of pre-reading and writing.
VPCP’s curriculum is based on the development of the whole child. Teachers focus on each child’s spiritual, social-emotional, cognitive, physical and language development and emphasize age-appropriate activities and learning through play and fellowship. VPCP’s curriculum is unique to our school and has been built over time by our professional teaching staff but builds on the foundations taught by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Teachers and assistant teachers practice positive discipline techniques similar to Early Childhood experts Becky Bailey, Ph.D. and Katherine Kersey, Ph.D.
I have been working as Director at VPCP since 2011 and I have been a member of VPC since about 2005. I taught 2 and 3 year olds at Vienna Baptist Children’s Center for the previous 5 years. We moved to Vienna from Charlotte, NC eleven years ago.
I have a BS from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX where I double-majored in Geology and Religion. I have a PhD in Geochemistry from Duke University where I studied deep ocean volcanoes along the mid-ocean ridge and hot spot volcanoes like the Society Islands, Hawaii and Iceland. My studies took me 2.5 miles deep to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in ALVIN. I have taught at Duke University and at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, but I find preschoolers challenge me every day in the best possible way.
In my spare time, I enjoy travel, yoga, walking, writing personal essays and memoirs, reading memoirs and novels, and interior decorating.
I grew up in Fairfax County and attended UVA where I earned a BS in Commerce. I worked for IBM for 10 years in various administrative, technical support and sales positions. My husband and I met at IBM and we have attended Vienna Presbyterian Church since 2001. While our sons were young, I was a stay-at-home mom, substitute elementary/middle school teacher and church & school volunteer.
I joined VPC Preschool in 2009. I feel so blessed to work with our wonderful VPCP families and staff. In my spare time I enjoy walking Sammy, my super-sized bichon, gardening, photography, cooking and music.
Bears Team: Catherine Wideman, Juliet Johnson
Frogs Team: Casey Dressendorfer, Gwynne Corridon
Pandas Team: Emily Seskey, Laura Freeman
Owls Team: Sally McConville, Laura Freeman
Three Year Old Program
Dragonflies Team: Sandy Hogge, Anna Wu
Ladybugs Team: Beth Herzog, Kathy Fast
Butterflies Team: Beth Herzog, Brenda Klimavicz
Two and Half Year Old Program
Turtles Team: Hayley Keeter and Cookie Sticinski
Specials and Office Staff
Allison Brake and Linda Criscitello (Music), Marnie Sturm (Chapel and Director), Terri Franke (Assistant Director)
2019-2020 VPC Preschool Staff
Back Row from Left to Right:
Marnie Sturm, Juliet Johnson, Emily Seskey, Hayley Keeter, Kathy Fast
Middle Row from Left to Right:
Sally McConville, Beth Herzog, Gwynne Corridon, Laura Freeman, Cookie Sticinski
Front Row from Left to Right: Catherine Wideman, Terri Franke, Brenda Klimavicz, Anna Wu, Sandy Hogge, Casey Dressendorfer
Music Teachers are not pictured: Allison Brake and Linda Criscitello