Role: Executive Director, Outgoing (effective June 30, 2020)
Bio: Kate Murphy has extensive experience in the field of early childhood education. After graduating from the George Washington University with a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology, she began her career as the Site Manager for Jumpstart at Georgetown University, an AmeriCorps program which promotes preschoolers’ language, literacy, and social skill development. Kate then taught Pre-Kindergarten at a DC charter school for five years before becoming an Instructional Specialist with District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). In this role, she was responsible for the coaching and professional development of early childhood educators to ensure all children received high-quality services. In her most recent role, she served as Manager of the ECE Learning Lab, a professional learning program within DCPS that provided visiting educators the opportunity to observe developmentally appropriate, rigorous and joyful instruction, to then set goals for implementation in their own classrooms. She holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Early Childhood Education for Diverse Learners from George Mason University.
Role: Executive Director, Incoming (effective July 1, 2020)
Bio: Kate Moody has over 20 years of experience working with young children. She grew up in Baltimore, MD and graduated from Frostburg State University with a B.A. in Psychology. This is where she developed a strong passion for working with children. She spent summers during college working at a residential camp for children and adults with special needs in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland. After graduating college, she spent the next few years working at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. In this role, she was responsible for developing and implementing plans for children who demonstrated severe challenging behaviors. She then decided to pursue her Master’s Degree in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. She graduated with her degree in June 2000 and had her first child that same month. After having three more children, Kate returned to the workforce to teach Pre-K class at Katherine Thomas School in Rockville, MD. While there, she learned how to best connect and teach children on the autism spectrum. In 2011, Kate was hired at the Community Preschool of the Palisades as a classroom teacher. She also held the leadership positions of as Extended Play Coordinator and Special Needs Coordinator during her tenure before being promoted to the Executive Director position. She fully embraces the principles of play-based learning and enjoys collaborating with the preschool's teachers to ensure all children are provided with creative, fun, and engaging early learning experiences.
Role: Assistant Teacher in the Polliwog Classroom
Bio: Ms. Benamri has served as an Assistant Teacher at The Community Preschool of the Palisades since 2012. She loves working with young learners and their families in a community-based setting. Ms. Benamri can be found engaging and laughing with the preschoolers in her classroom each and every day. She is also a phenomenal cook and provides children with regular opportunities for cooking and baking in the classroom! She finds that these activities naturally allow her to incorporate learning objectives across various developmental domains.
Role: Assistant Teacher in the Tadpole Classroom
Bio: Ms. Cantrell has been teaching at The Community Preschool of the Palisades for the past twenty years! She has built and maintained longstanding relationships with many of the families that have come through the preschool over the years. Ms. Cantrell is nurturing, attentive, and loves to support children's learning each day. She strongly believes in the preschool's play-based philosophy. As such, she can regularly be found engaging with children as a partner in their play in the classroom and on the playground. She is quick to put on "dress-up" items and cook elaborate meals with children in dramatic play and beside the sandbox. She also loves reading books and planting in the garden with children. She looks forward to welcoming your child to the Tadpole classroom!
Role: Lead Teacher in the Tadpole Classroom
Bio: Ms. Comeau has worked in the field of education for many years. She moved to Washington, DC in 2001 and has since worked at LADO International College, Roosevelt High School, Cardozo High School, F.S. Key Elementary School, and spent a summer teaching abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico at the Universidad de Benito Juarez. She started teaching at the Community Preschool of the Palisades in 2003. She left the preschool when her youngest son was born, but returned in 2018 when he started school. Ms. Comeau loves being part of the CPP community and became a preschool teachers because she came to understand how very important the early years are for children. She also loves how working with children requires her to be present and focused. She hopes that the children in her classroom develop independence, friendships, critical thinking skills, and a love of learning!
Role: Lead Teacher in the Tadpole Classroom
Bio: Ms. Macedo is beloved by the many children and families that she has served at CPP for the past 30 years. She considers the preschool to be her home away from home and loves the warm and supportive community of children, families, and staff. She enjoys teaching the preschool's youngest learners because this allows her the opportunity to support their autonomy and confidence as they acquire new skills. Ms. Macedo is always amazed at how rapidly young children learn and grow when they have the space to make choices and take initiative. She also helps children understand how to be a good friend and use words to solve problems. Children are always allowed to get messy with Ms. Macedo, as she knows they learn best through hands-on, active exploration. She encourages children to put their hands in the paint and jump in the puddles, and she will jump in with them! She loves to see how children's unique personalities blossom while in her care. Ms. Macedo truly appreciates getting to see each child grow throughout their preschool experience and looks forward to serving your child!
Role: Lead Teacher in the Frog Classroom
Bio: Mrs. Owen earned her Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education from York College and completed a 90 hour course in Early Childhood Education. She has spent her career of over 20 years working in a variety of educational settings. In addition to serving as a classroom lead teacher, Mrs. Owen has served as the Summer Camp Director at CPP, run programming for young children in museums, and worked at the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. Mrs. Owen has been teaching at the preschool since 2010. She enjoys discovering alongside children and getting to share in their "aha" moments each day. She loves the sense of community that is fostered at the preschool and appreciates that this is truly a place that celebrates the best of childhood. She hopes that the children in her classroom have a year full of exploration, discovery, creativity, and experiences that support their learning and growth!
Role: Assistant Teacher in the Frog Classroom
Bio: Mrs. Soltani earned her Bachelors degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management from The De Ocampo Memorial College in Manila, Philippines. She also completed a 90-hour course in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Soltani has been working with children and families for over 20 years. She began her career as a professional nanny and then became a substitute teacher at CPP in 2012. She taught at Spring Hill Montessori before returning to the Community Preschool of the Palisades to teach. Mrs. Soltani loves to be a part of children's learning process and to watch them blossom. She also enjoys building relationships with children, families, and colleagues and feels like the preschool is her home away from home. She hopes that the children in her classroom build and share new knowledge that prepares them for their next steps beyond preschool with the support and guidance of the teaching staff!