Assistant Guide, Poppy Classroom
Ana was born in Brazil and has lived in Lexington since 2017. She graduated as a Civil Engineer in Brazil and as soon as she moved to the U.S. she became pregnant. Since then, her whole life is her boy, Sam.
Sam is 3 years old and he goes to Lexington Friends Preschool in the Sunflower room. Ana is a coffee lover so her favorite thing is spending time with her family and friends having a big cup of coffee. Ana started working with kids when her son started to going to daycare and that showed her how amazing it is to work with kids and how much they have to teach every day. She loves to see them growing and being a part of that makes her heart full.
Dani has a BA from Columbia College in Chicago where she built sets, props, and puppets for film and theater and taught art classes in Chicago Public Schools. Since college Dani has worked on several farms in Illinois and Kentucky including a goat dairy, fruit orchard, vegetable farm, and flower farm. When Dani first moved to Kentucky in 2018, she was welcomed as a substitute teacher at LFP and fell in love with the amazing community and inspiring program. She came on full-time as an assistant in the toddler classroom in 2019. In her free time Dani loves to make soup, mend old and broken things, sit on her porch swing, hike, bike, collect and admire natural objects and plants, and sing, dance, and laugh with her daughter, Ida. She and her partner are working toward starting their own farm business on a small piece of rolling Kentucky land. She draws inspiration from the teachers and philosophy of LFP in her own parenting and life pursuits.
Joy is from the Chicagoland area, and first fell in love with Early Childhood Education as a part-time nanny while pursuing her degree back home. Ever since, she has been passionate about and committed to developing young minds. In the summer of 2018, Joy began her journey at LFP as an assistant during Sunshine Friends Camp and completely fell in love with the school, families, and, of course, the kids. After camp concluded, Joy joined the LFP team full-time as a teacher’s assistant in the Pimaryclassroom. During the pandemic Joy was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to co-teach in a pod of several children from the LFP community. She transitioned back to LFP as the Sunshine Friends Summer Camp Director for 2021. During her free time she can be found cooking, crafting, and baking at home, traveling to see friends and family, and spending time with her rescue dog, Miller!
Co-Lead Guide, Sunflower Classroom
Laura earned her BA from the University of Kentucky with a major in Art History and a minor in Studio Art. She has over 10 years experience in restaurant management, event management, and developing pop-up venues across Lexington and Louisville. Prior to joining Lexington Friends Preschool, Laura worked as an assistant teacher in the primary classroom at Lexington Montessori School. She is currently pursuing her Montessori Certification at the Greater Cincinnati Center for Montessori Education. In her free time, Laura enjoys painting, running, cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband, Jesse, and their dogs, Niko and Rosie.
Assistant Guide, Sunflower Classroom
Linelle was born and raised in Puerto Rico. The greatest gift in life is to be surrounded by the sea, family, and plantain trees. During her bachelor’s degree in Biology, she began a journey seeking to be more involved in what she loves the most. She volunteered at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge in Cabo Rojo, PR where she discovered her passion for nature conservancy. This motivated her to pursue graduate studies in Ecological and Environmental Sciences and lead to a thesis project researching native bats. She is a people person and takes leadership very seriously. If you ask her family and friends, they will say she is outgoing, responsible, and courageous. In 2020, during her last year of graduate school, she had to leave the island to give her professional life a chance. She currently finds herself in Lexington, Kentucky with the love of her life. Nowadays she likes to spend time in rivers, forests, creating a collection of tropical plants, and taking pictures. The past two years have been motivation to refocus on a professional career in education.
Co-Lead Guide, Poppy Classroom
Orsola, a native of Southern Italy, has always felt a strong and profound vocation for working with children.
Before moving to the U.S. with her husband Marcello, Orsola worked full-time as an interior designer in her own family business, but since her high school time, and throughout college (where Orsola studied law), she regularly worked with children, as an elementary school tutor and as a babysitter/nanny.
While choosing the right preschool for her daughter Viola, Orsola stumbled upon an opportunity to start working in a child-led, play-based preschool, where art exploration was a daily opportunity for the children.
She found that this approach aligned perfectly with the way she felt about early education.
Orsola has continued to work as a preschool assistant teacher in Lexington up until the pandemic started, and then as a nanny during her one-year hiatus from the classroom.
In her free time, Orsola enjoys cooking, spending time outside gardening, as well as dancing, going to concerts, and restoring old pieces of furniture.
Co-Lead Guide, Sunflower Classroom
Rachel studied Speech Language Pathology and Psychology at the University of Kentucky before receiving her Masters degree in Education and her 3-6 American Montessori Society credential from Xavier University in 2018. Rachel spent three years co-teaching in a primary classroom at Providence Montessori School here in Lexington. Her personal teaching philosophy centers around creating a safe and welcoming community in which young learners can feel empowered as they develop skills in concentration, independence, and friendship. She believes in providing children with opportunities to engage in purposeful and meaningful work and exploration in the classroom, community, and natural world. In her spare time Rachel enjoys hiking, especially in the Red River Gorge, bike rides, cooking, and tending to her houseplants.
Lead Teacher, Dandelion
Rebecca has been with LFP for 6 years, previously leading our Dandelion Primary Classroom. She is a Montessori certified teacher through NAMC and earned her BFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She grew up in exciting cities such as Chicago, Tokyo and Savannah and got to explore the world at a very young age. She now finds herself happily settled in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband of 13 years, Micah, and two children Lionel (12) and Norma (LFP alumni, 9). Outside of LFP, Rebecca is a working illustrator specializing in family portraits and also teaches at ARTplay Children’s Art Studio. She loves spending time with her friends + family, caring for her cats and chickens, gardening, dancing to music, playing in any body of water she can, reading and exploring the beauty of Kentucky. Her teaching philosophies are rooted in Waldorf, Montessori and Reggio, taking inspiration from the natural world. She offers her students a variety of ways to express themselves as artists using exciting materials in an authentic, playful (often messy!) and supportive environment. It’s all about the process!