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Promotions and New Hires at Wonderspring

Promotions

As you may be aware, the early childhood sector is experiencing an unprecedented staffing crisis. At Wonderspring, we are working hard to ensure that we are an employer of choice and that we retain our talented and dedicated staff. One important way we do this is by providing pathways to career growth to our employees. To that end we are proud to highlight Wonderspring staff who have recently been promoted.

Elissha Mattheis is Wonderspring’s new Talent Development Manager. Elissha, who previously served as the Director of our Powelton Village center, Elissha has more than ten years of experience working with young children in various roles both in the United States and Abroad. Prior to joining Wonderspring she  worked in roles that include Intensive In-Home Specialist, Teacher, and Assistant Director. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Social Relations, Elissha is devoted to ensuring that Wonderspring continues to hire quality employees that will serve Wonderspring’s children and families. She is excited about recruiting talented and enthusiastic people to join our team. 
   
Monica Williams has been promoted to Director of our Powelton Village center. Monica has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern University and 17 years of experience working with children and families. She most recently served as Assistant Director at our Narberth Center. Monica is passionate about fostering child development through positive engagement and play-based learning and is excited to bring her skills to her new role at Powelton!
   
Angela Giuliani has been promoted to the role of Assistant Director at our Narberth center. Angela has been a Pre-K teacher for over 15 years, with the last three at Wonderspring. She has a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts from Penn State and a dual Master’s from Neumann University in elementary and special education. This year she was also one of only 50 teachers nationally to receive the 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award, which acknowledges the critical role of child care teachers in providing quality early care and education.
   

New Hires

Bob Harker is Wonderspring’s new Director of Facilities Operations. Bob has 15 years of building and trades experience. He has an associates degree in Facilities Management from the Community College of Philadelphia and is pursuing a degree in Business Administration. When he’s not working he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, playing games, watching movies and listening to music. He’s also a a huge Philly sports fan, Bob is excited to bring his knowledge and experience to Wonderspring to ensure it is safest and most desirable location for children and families.
   
Leah Booker is the new Director at our New Market West center. Leah received her Bachelor’s degree in in Kinesiology from West Chester University and her Masters in Early Childhood Education from University of Phoenix. Working with children and being a youth advocate has been Leah’s life’s work. She has served in various capacities for the School District of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia YMCA and most recently, Storefront Academy Charter Schools. Leah is looking forward to leading the awesome New Market West team, creating dynamic relationships with families, and impacting every child beyond expectations!
   
Alicia Vaux is the new Assistant Director of our Wynnewood center. Alicia previously served as a Pre-K Counts teacher for the Berks County Intermediate Unit. She has also taught Head Start and worked at a private childcare center. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education Pre-K through 4th grade from Shippensburg University and Master’s in Reading Education from Holy Family University. Alicia has a passion for child development and leadership and is excited to support the children and staff at Wynnewood. 
   
Rasheeda McLean is the new Assistant Director at our Powelton Village center. Rashida has a wealth of experience working with young children. Prior to joining Wonderspring, she taught Pre-K and Kindergarten students for 6 years before founding a pre-school in Philadelphia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Special Education from Rosemont College and received her Pennsylvania Director Certification in childcare from Arcadia University.
   
   
 

We’re still hiring!

Do you know someone who wants a career making a difference in the lives of children and families? Wonderspring is still working to fill numerous teacher and assistant teacher positions at its centers. 
You can learn more about what makes Wonderspring such a wonderful place to work and view all our open positions HERE.

 

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Tour our brand-new center

Tour Wonderspring’s brand new center at New Market West at a safe, socially distant Open House event. The events, featuring tours of the beautiful facility, light refreshments and giveaways, will offer an  opportunity to learn about our high-quality programs and our Early Bird Discounts

New Market West is located at 5901 Market Street, Suite 101 in Philadelphia (enter on 59th St.)

Dates and times for the events are:

 

Tuesday, January 19th, 7am-1pm
Wednesday, January 20th, noon-6pm
Thursday, January 21st, 8am-noon

Conveniently located directly adjacent to a public transportation hub, New Market West will serve infants through school age. And, as you’ve come to expect from all our centers, it will provide high-quality, evidence-based programming that meets the state’s Early Learning Standards by focusing on the intellectual, developmental, social, emotional, and relational aspects of the whole child.

The new site also features a beautiful outdoor learning space that will offer children many opportunities for exploration and connecting with nature.  As with all our centers, the New Market West site will accept ELRC subsidy. 

For more information about New Market West go here.

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Wonderspring welcomes new Board members

Charles Bragitkos and Rafael Sonder

December 1, Narberth PA—Wonderspring Early Education, a nonprofit provider of high-quality, safe, convenient, and affordable early childhood education throughout Greater Philadelphia, is pleased to welcome Charles Bragitikos and Rafael Sonder to its Board of Directors.

Bragitikos is a principal and co-founder of Vibrant Development Group and Vibrant Ventures. At Vibrant Development Group, where he works with gaming companies, developers, professional sports teams, and the public sector on conceiving and developing large-scale, mixed-use destination projects. Through Vibrant Ventures, he creates and invests in select dining and entertainment concepts. In addition to serving on Wonderspring’s board, Bragitikos sits on the Board of Directors of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and serves as clerk of the finance committee at Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Bragitikos says he was inspired to join Wonderspring’s board because of the positive impact it has on children. “Wonderspring checked all the boxes for me,” he says. “They have a heart-felt mission that resonated with me, a passionate and driven CEO, and a terrific set of committed Board members.  I am excited and honored to join this incredible group.”

Sonder has 20 years of experience working in Finance, Strategy and Management. Currently, he serves as CFO of WatchBox, a global luxury-goods e-commerce company based in Bala Cynwyd, PA.  Previously, for 15 years, he held various positions working for one of Latin America’s largest private equity asset managers,Tarpon Ivestimentos. Sonder holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. 

“Education has always been a passion for me for the way it can change a person’s life,” says Sonder. “I am inspired by the Wonderspring’s mission and the energy of its staff. The Management team and the Board take their responsibility to the children and the families very seriously. It is a privilege for me to contribute my personal and professional experiences to help advance their mission.”.

Wonderspring operates in nine locations throughout the region and will open a brand-new early learning center, New Market West, at 59th and Market streets in Philadelphia in 2021. In addition to its early education centers, Wonderspring offers school-age programs to ensure children receive educational experiences and care before and after the school day as well as homework assistance and care for virtual learners. The organization’s summer camp for children entering Kindergarten through 6th grade offers weekly themed sessions that provide opportunities for fun, exploration and learning throughout the summer. For more information, visit wonderspring.org.

 

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Wonderspring is Family

Ask Amanda Rubiano what one word most describes Wonderspring and she will tell you it is FAMILY.  
 
Before her daughter Amiyah started at the Powelton Village center three years ago, Amanda had been a stay at home mom. So, understandably she had some reservations about returning to work and putting Amiyah in care. But those reservations quickly faded.
 
“From the very first day, we felt so welcomed, it put us immediately at ease,” she recalls. “The staff was great about staying in touch and letting us know how Amiyah was doing. They sent photos and texts and emails, so I felt like I was connected to her day.”
 
And it wasn’t long before Amiyah was equally comfortable at Wonderspring. “Initially, Amiyah had a hard time adjusting and clung to me at drop off, but the teachers did such an incredible job helping her get acclimated that now she runs off happily with her teacher. It is amazing to see how much she has progressed and how independent she has become.”
 
In fact, Amiyah and her two-and-a-half-year-old sister Ariyah feel so at home at Wonderspring, that even on days they aren’t in school they follow their Wonderspring routines. “When they are home, they sing the songs they learn at school, do their ABCs and numbers and even pretend they are having circle time or playing with their school friends,” says Amanda.
 
Amanda and her partner Isaiah were particularly grateful that Wonderspring stayed so connected to their family during the COVID-19 lockdown. “Their teachers regularly checked in with us and interacted with the kids through facetime and Zoom,” she says. “They also sent lesson plans and activities for the kids to work on every week. I was still working, and Isaiah was home with them all day, so he really appreciated having ways to keep the kids busy and engaged.
 
I trust Wonderspring to care for my kids because it is such a family-oriented place and everyone on staff is so caring. There’s a real sense of community.
 

Help ensure that all children have access to high quality care and education. Make a gift to the Harwood Scholarship fund so more children can be part of the Wonderspring family. Wonderspring is a nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible.

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