This has been the most pleasant of all summers. I certainly hope all of you got to enjoy the warmth of our NJ summers. Dudley and I have had the pleasure visiting Connecticut several times as we watch our granddaughter grow. Just reminds us of watching all of your children–it never ceases to amaze us how quickly they mature into such wonderful people. 

I wanted to fill you in on some changes. As you all know Cindy has left to be a full-time grandma and she is having a wonderful time! I will be seeing lots of pictures this week as she has already made a few trips to Canada and Chicago. Hard to be so far away, I am sure. 

As most of you may know, I wanted to clarify that Meagan will assume the role of Head Teacher at the Pre-K site (a position Cindy had been doing for many, many years). The responsibilities of the Head Teacher are to ensure the implementation for the center’s child development and activities program for all children in the Pre-K building, and to ensure the appropriateness of all program activities are run according to both the age and developmental level of the children. This position requires the Head Teacher, an advocate for the school, teaching staff, and children to openly discuss and observe the purposes for any program activities taken place at the center. This will include that of working collaboratively with staff members for all groups of children in the building, as well as sharing experiences with the Infant Toddler teachers. In addition to Meagan’s position change—she will still be the Kindergarten Teacher. 

We will also be welcoming two other new individuals to the centers, Margaret Manse as Pre-K Lead Teacher and Amber Oksuz as the Cuddly Cubs Coordinator at the Infant Toddler site.  

Margaret has come to us with a BA in Education and additional work towards a master’s in Early Childhood. She has been teaching children between the ages of three and seven for a combined total of twenty years. “I look forward to being a part of the Santa Fe family. As I work with the children, I look forward to exploring, creating, and building foundations for them that will last for many years. We will work together to build on their cognitive and social skills that will help them to be independent problem solvers”- Margaret. 

Amber has come to us with a Dual BA in Elementary Education and Special Education K-6, as well as gained additional experiences in Early Childhood working as a Collaborative Teacher, Shadow Teacher, and Assistant previously with students 3 months – 7 years old. She is a highly adaptable, energetic, and compassionate individual who has spent the previous 8+ years in the education field through her studies in child development, material exposure and play-based learning, and sought numerous professional development opportunities that have helped align her beliefs in the field.

“I am excited to be returning to the Santa Fe family! This is a great opportunity where I am motivated and ready to share my experiences and methodologies to help locate developmental milestones achieved, strengthen cognitive capabilities and many more with the wonderful staff as well as add a new element of inspiration to the centers. It has grown tremendously! My aim is to continue providing supports all-around to the ITC staff and advocate for the continual growth of the student’s capacity for learning through their many key explorations and experiences as proactive thinkers. We can work together to promote their individual interests and strengths as the remarkable individuals they are”

– Amber

Amber is and has always been one of those who strives the best for all children. I am excited to have her on board. With the increasing numbers of infants and toddlers asking to come into Santa Fe, I have hired Amber to work as the Cuddly Cubs coordinator to work with Anne and her staff to coordinate our ongoing activities to bring about more sensory explorations and creative experiences for our little ones. She will work alongside Annie to assist in transition from one area to the next.

Furthermore, we will continue to make outside time paramount in terms of our children’s activities, encouraging hands-on and creative opportunities for active learning and personal growth. You as parents are encouraged to look at all aspects of what we do, comment, suggest. We hope you will take the time to get involved! Mike Kestin did just that recently. He taught all of us how to tie dye a shirt with enthusiasm. Their shirts are beautiful. Thanks so much for your time, your expertise as you shared this wonderful experience with our children. Please come back next year for a repeat performance! 

Lastly! We want to ensure that everyday items can be turned into works of art. So please feel free to save everything for us and contribute!! We kindly ask that items be placed in a bag and dropped off in the office. We can most definitely utilize these items (e.g. lids, toilet rolls, empty wipes bins, jars, plastic bottles, etc.) and repurpose them as works of art.