We are a certified institution by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Each of our lead teachers has acquired a bachelor’s degree in their field and are accredited by (MSDE). They are all certified in Infant and Child CPR and First Aid. We also reinforce the learning of our staff by requiring them to take further education in Early Childhood Learning, which includes workshops and conferences throughout the year.
Be acquainted with our experienced, passionate, and dedicated educators:
Damita Robinson, Director
My name is Damita Robinson. I am a graduate from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland where I achieved a B.A. Degree in Elementary Education. I am currently attending Loyola University Maryland where I am seeking my Masters in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction. My teaching career has taken me on a wonderful journey over the last 13 years from preschool to fifth grade, with my most recent experience as a kindergarten teacher. I am married with two sons, Nathan and Michael. I spend most of my free time as a chauffeur for my boys but I also love to read and I still love to cut and paste. My position here with Emmanuel Preschool has allowed me the opportunity to pursue my passion for providing an exceptional first-school experience for young children.
Katie Baus, Office Administrator
My name is Katie Baus. I am originally from New Jersey but moved to Maryland in 2004 with my family. I am a graduate of Park University where I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Social Psychology. After staying home with our two daughters, I decided to go into teaching. I was a nursery school teacher for several years at a local cooperative nursery school and loved it! I was a director at that nursery school for one year then decided to work on the administrative side. I recently worked at an independent school where I was an administrator for two years. I am very excited to join Emmanuel Preschool. I love reading and spending time with my family and friends.
Megan Coe, Teacher
Hello, My name is Megan Coe (formally Wood) and I have taught preschool here at Emmanuel for years. I assisted in the three’s for four years. Last year I had the privilege of working with the two’s and loved it! I get to lead my own class of two’s this year and I am so excited! I most enjoy getting to know each child I work with and what it is that makes them so unique and precious. I marvel in how they grow and have so much fun playing and learning right along with them.
I am recently married with two dogs. I was born and raised here in Laurel and attended Emmanuel as a preschooler. It is amazing to now teach with the teachers that gave me my first experiences in school. I have a Bachelors in psychology from UMBC and am currently working towards my Masters in marriage and family therapy from Capella.
Joyce Ferber, Teacher
Hello, my name is Joyce Ferber. I have wanted to teach young children ever since I was a little girl in “Nursery School” myself many years ago. After receiving my Early Childhood Education degree, I have been blessed with so many wonderful teaching opportunities. They span over 30 years and include 2 years in a Harford County (MD) first grade and the remaining years in Preschool. I love to sing, dance and learn right with the children. My husband and I have 3 grown children- 2 daughters and 1 son. Gardening, scrap booking, card making and being a Grammy are some of the other joys in my life.
Natalia Ferus, Asst. Teacher
Hi there! My name is Natalia (Natasha) Ferus, and I am the assistant teacher at the 2 year old class. I was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. I was 17 when I came to Pennsylvania to attend a university and there I met my future husband, who emigrated from Poland when he was 9. We moved to Maryland in 2006. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration but have had various jobs that I enjoyed, including a front desk agent/trainer at a Ritz Carlton Hotel. My daughter did not attend Emmanuel, but my son did, and we loved the school, so when the opportunity arose for me to work here, I gladly accepted. I had a great time working with the little ones, and I feel very lucky to be surrounded by great colleagues who are also fantastic mentors. Our family loves to travel, try different foods and host friends.
Tracy Geesaman, Teacher
Hi! My name is Tracy Geesaman, and I started teaching at Emmanuel United Methodist Preschool in 2010. I graduated in 1998 from Penn State University with a BA in Music. After graduation, I taught high school vocal music until I had my first child. I have been a stay at home Mom for the past 10 years and have been teaching private piano and voice lessons for the past 7 years. Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a lot of time in my son’s preschool classroom and that is where I discovered my love for early childhood education and I am delighted to be joining the staff at Emmanuel Preschool. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching my boys play sports and scrapbooking.
Kelly Gross, Teacher
Hello, my name is Kelly Gross. I joined Emmanuel staff in 2001 and I have been having fun right along with the children ever since. My degree is in Communications and I have worked in both broadcast and print media. However, after becoming a mother I discovered something fabulous…”little people”! I now have the wonderful opportunity to work with your children. My family time is usually spent outdoors. We especially love national parks and all the activities that go with them!
Kelly Hase, Teacher
Hi! My name is Kelly Hase, and I have lived in Maryland most of my life. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in music education from University of Maryland at College Park, and a Master’s Degree in school counseling from Loyola College. I’m married and have two daughters, both who attended Emmanuel Preschool. I became a stay-at-home mom after having my daughters, and had so much fun volunteering in their classrooms. That’s when I realized how much I truly love working with this age group. In my free time, I enjoy reading, traveling, vegetarian cooking, and playing games with my family.
Kathia Isele, Teacher
My name is Kathia Isele. I am a mother of four children ranging in age of 23,18,15,8 years of age. I have been working in this field for over 24 years. I am really looking forward to this new school year.
Karen Lampron, Teacher
My name is Karen Lampron. I have lived in Howard County since 1992, when my husband and I moved from Silver Spring. I attended the University of Maryland, first in Munich, Germany and finished up my bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Economics at College Park in 1984. I have four wonderful children, all of whom are Emmanuel Preschool alumni! My first child started at the preschool in 1997 and I love the teachers and the philosophy of the school. I started as a substitute and am now happily on staff. My hobbies are reading, yard work, exercising and anything that keeps me out of the kitchen.
Debbie Laskey, Asst. Teacher
Hello, my name is Debbie Laskey and I am delighted to be joining the Emanuel Preschool team. I look forward to building span relationships and making great memories with the staff and families. I am truly blessed to work in the field of early childhood education that I love for the past ten years. I am happily married to a Navy man and engineer. We have three beautiful teenagers, a son and two daughters who ignited my passion for working with young children. I have completed the child care certification and continue to grow so that I can better serve you and your children. My many joys include: spending time with my family, baking, reading, crafting, and growing in my faith. May our journey be blessed by God and filled with love, laughter, and learning. Let the adventure begin.
Denise Lindsay, Asst. Teacher
Hi! My name is Denise Lindsay, and I am happy to be part of the Emmanuel Preschool staff! I am originally from Cumberland, Maryland and now live in North Laurel. I received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education from University of Maryland College Park and Towson University. I spent many hours volunteering and substitute teaching at Emmanuel. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, playing games, and crafting.
Shona Pascarello, Teacher
Hi! My name is Shona Pascarello. I am originally from Pennsylvania but have lived in Maryland since 2003. I am married with 2 children who are both Emmanuel Alumni. I have spent 4 years volunteering in their classrooms and in the past year have substituted at the school. I love the opportunity to work with different children and teachers, and to learn all of the unique routines in each classroom. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in History and certified professional development/education in Early Childhood. When I’m not teaching, I pet sit, shuttle my children around to numerous activities, volunteer at their school and spend time with the family. I also enjoy hiking and traveling.
Bindu Patel, Asst. Teacher
Hello, my name is Bindu Patel. I am happy to be part of the Emmanuel Methodist Preschool. I was born in India and I came to the United States at the age of 10. I am a graduate of Oakland University in Michigan and I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management. I have two wonderful children, one boy and one girl. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, watching movies, playing board games and spending time with my family. My family and I enjoy visiting our relatives who are located all over the United States.
Elena Polkovnikova, Asst. Teacher
Hi! My name is Elena Polkovnikova and I`ve been working as a preschool teacher since 2013. I come to the Emmanuel Preschool with an Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Montgomery College and a Bachelor degree in Linguistics from the University of Russia, my home country. I greatly enjoyed working with a diverse populations of Montgomery County students and I am thrilled to continue my experience here as a part of this great team of professionals. My husband and I like to spend free time with our daughter travelling or engaging in her after school activities. I am looking forward to a new school year!
Kathy Ratcliffe, Teacher
Hi, my name is Kathy Ratcliffe and I am thrilled to be joining the staff at Emmanuel Methodist Preschool. I grew up in the Laurel area, and have lived in North Laurel in 1991. I received a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Frostburg University in 1984. I taught kindergarten at Adelphi Elementary in Prince Georges County, and second grade at Christ Church Cathedral School in Oxford, England. I love teaching and working with children. I’ve also been active with Cub Scouts as well as Murray Hill Middle School’s PTA, drama productions, and Music Boosters. My hobby is scrap booking, and I love traveling, especially in other countries (I’ve been to Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and Greece). My husband and I have three wonderful sons, Zach, Dylan, and Harrison, all of whom attended Emmanuel Preschool.
Maureen Rinker, Asst. Teacher
Hello, my name is Maureen Rinker. I am so happy to be joining everyone here at Emmanuel. I am married and have two children, who both attended preschool here. I graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in nursing. After having both my children, I took some time off from nursing to be a stay at home mom. In 2007, I began working in an elementary school as a teacher’s assistant and worked with children who had special needs. In my spare time, I like to attend my children’s cross country and track meets, listen to my daughter sing and play piano, read, and watch movies. I’m looking forward to having lots of fun working with your children!
Stephanie Seiger, Asst. Teacher
Hi, my name is Stephanie Seiger and I love being part of the staff at Emmanuel as a teacher assistant. I have a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland. In 1994, after 8 years of managing construction jobs, I decided that I’d had enough and wanted to be a full-time mom. Years of volunteering in my boys’ classrooms convinced me that I really loved working with children. I began a career as a substitute teacher at Emmanuel in 2000 and with the Howard Co. Public Schools in 2002. Joining the staff here as a teacher assistant was like a dream come true! My husband and I live with our two sons and enjoy going to the theater, traveling, reading and following the Terps.
My name is Christy Smith. I grew up in Virginia, graduated from Brigham Young University in Early Childhood Education, and moved to Maryland. I taught first grade before moving to Austria, Greece, Ecuador, and Mexico. I taught at a bilingual preschool in Ecuador and discovered teaching preschool is my dream job! Our family moved back to Maryland in 2017 and we are happy to be settling down here. I am thrilled to be joining the team at Emmanuel Methodist Preschool this year. I love reading aloud to my three daughters, going out to eat with my husband, and visiting family.
To know more about how our teachers can guide your little one academically and spiritually, you can here.