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Christi taught elementary school for seven years, beginning in 2010. Before that, she earned her undergraduate degree at Marietta College in Early Childhood Education. She went on to obtain her master's degree in special education at the University of Mary Washington. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Josh, and two sons, Canyon and Corbin, as well as playing soccer, staying active, reading and being outdoors.  

Christi Gillette
Executive Director
Voyagers Lead Teacher
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Kate is the Operating Director at LEDS. She has been with Little Explorers as a teacher from the very beginning, and has naturally moved into this leadership role. Kate studied English at East Carolina University and moved to the Charlottesville area soon after. After having her first daughter, she suddenly fell in love with childcare and education. Kate is inspired by creative learning through art and music. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband, exploring the outdoors, and staying active.

Kate Brown
Operating Director
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Kelsey Fatsi
Art Therapist
Administrative Support

Kelsey is our resident Art Therapist and is on the administrative team. She holds a Masters in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Art Therapy from Naropa University. Kelsey has worked with children and adolescents for most of her life as a preschool teacher, art teacher, art therapist, and mother. She is passionate about weaving mental health support into a school-based setting, and is so excited to be on this journey at LEDS. In her free time, Kelsey enjoys creating with any and all art materials, baking the perfect chocolate chip cookie, and working to bring as much color as she can into her purple house that she shares with her handyman/techie husband, her 3 feisty girls, and her 2 dogs, 10 chickens, and lone turtle.

 

For a more in depth look into the aspects of art therapy that she's bringing to our school, check out our "About Us" tab and look for "Art Therapy at LEDS".

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Josh is the Director of our Discovery Days program, as well as one of the Voyagers teachers, and part of the administrative team. Prior to joining Little Explorers in 2020, Josh worked for 11 years in the public schools as a first grade and a third grade teacher. He graduated from James Madison University in 2009 with his master's degree in education. Josh enjoys spending time with his wife, Christi, and his two sons, Canyon and Corbin, as well as walking in the woods, reading and being outdoors.

Josh Gillette
Discovery Days Director
Voyagers Teacher
Administrative Support
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Jessie has been with Little Explorers since September 2019 and is a Lead Teacher in the Trailblazers class, and also on the administrative team. Her background is in social work, where she spent the first part of her career before she had her son, Carter. She now has two children, Carter and Lily. Jessie enjoys spending time with her husband and children, and she also owns and operates the Creative Wagon - a mobile art party wagon for birthdays and workshops in the Crozet/Charlottesville area!

Jessie Foss
Trailblazers Lead Teacher
Administrative Support
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Rita is our Aftercare Manager and an assistant teacher at Little Explorers. She joined the LEDS family in January 2020. Rita has worked in the preschool classroom for over 15 years and enjoys spending time with the children, helping with the logistics of the days, and engaging in creative new ways of reaching the needs of the children!

Rita Baron
Afternoon Manager
Assistant Teacher
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Sara was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia. She moved to Florida in 2004 and graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelors in Education. Sara has been in the education field for 17 years. In April 2021, she moved back home to be near her family. Sara joined our team in May 2021. She writes, "I couldn't be happier at Little Explorers! I am continually learning each and every day. Some fun things to know about me are that I am a proud momma of Gray Kitty and she is my world. I love local coffee shops, to drink tea, and watch Golden Girls."

Sara Gates
Trailblazers Lead Teacher
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Sabrina is our Explorers Teacher. Sabrina has 11 years of experience in childcare, and received her Bachelors degree in early childhood education in 2015. She has worked with children from ages six months to six years, but her passion is with a 3 to 5 year olds. Sabrina was born and raised in Germany but moved to be closer to her family in Georgia in 2019. Just before the pandemic in 2020, she moved to the Harrisonburg area in VA. Sabrina shares, "I'm really excited for my journey here at the Little Explorers Discovery School and can’t wait to work with all your amazing kiddos and families." 

Sabrina Mullner
 Explorers Lead Teacher
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Sarah Craven
Discovery Days Teacher

Sarah started working at LEDs in 2020. She has a BS in Elementary Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Sarah has always worked with children. Her experience ranges from babysitting as a young girl, to working in the public school system, to working with children who have disabilities. Her time at LEDS began as the Lead Teacher for our K-5 Virtual Class during the pandemic and teaching for our Aftercare Program. Sarah has been in every morning and afternoon classroom at LEDS in some capacity (including the nursery!). We're so grateful for her flexibility and confidence with any age group.

Sarah has been married to her husband, Andrew, since 2009 and they have two wonderful children. Garett is a 6th grader at Henely and Clare is in the Pre-K class at LEDs. Their two fur babies are Jeb and Rosie. In her free time she lives to read, crochet, garden, and spend time outdoors.

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Jennifer has been with Little Explorers since December 2019. She has been the Pathfinders teacher for our 2-3 year olds since the summer of 2021. Before fully diving in as a Lead Teacher, Jennifer previously led our Let's Explore Together class for children ages 0-24 months and was substitute at LEDS. Jennifer spent eight years as a nanny before earning an undergraduate and master's degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management. She was in charge of the programming at Little Planets Playroom and leads Hike it Baby Charlottesville. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, and cooking with her husband and two kids.

Jennifer Iyengar
Pathfinders Lead Teacher
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Lauren is our Pathfinders Lead Teacher. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in Elementary Education. Lauren taught Kindergarten for 10 years before stepping away from the classroom after her second son was born. Lauren has spent the last 6 years at home with her boys, but is excited to venture back into the classroom with us this Fall!

Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband, Brian, and her two sons, Ben and Wyatt, as well as running, reading, and staying active with her boys.

Lauren Werner
Pathfinders Lead Teacher
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Amber is the Lead Teacher for our 2-3 year old Adventurers. After earning her associates from Piedmont Virginia Community College, she transferred to the University of the Cumberlands and earned her Bachelor's in Psychology. She loves spending time with her husband Garrett, son Eli, and her daughter Reagan. Amber is very much a people person and loves spending time with kids.

Amber Moore
Adventurers Lead Teacher
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Morgan has been working with Pre-K and Kindergarten children for 7 years. She received her BA at Hollins University and finished her Waldorf Early Child Certification in Vancouver, BC. She loves spending time with children in nature and is constantly inspired by what the students observe. Morgan grew up in Virginia but spent the last 10 years exploring the corners of the US in Washington and Maine. She is excited to be back in the area with her husband and stepdaughter who love cooking and walking their wily pup.  

Morgan Wade
Outdoor Lead Teacher
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Kailee started at Little Explorers in the summer of 2021. This year she is one of the Assistant Teachers in the Voyagers Classroom, but has experience helping out in all of our LEDS classrooms! She is currently going back to school to finish up her degree in Early Childhood Education. She has a background in Paramedic and continues to volunteers in her free time. She has a natural and nurturing connection with the kids. When she’s not at Little Explorers, she enjoys doing any and everything with art, taking on new adventures with her family, and working on her small business. After schooling, she hopes to become a Lead Teacher.

Kailee Burns
Assistant Teacher
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Lauren started at LEDS in the summer of 2021. She was our Adventurers teacher, and is currently acting as a Floater teacher supporting all of our classrooms while she awaits the (nearing!) arrival of her 5th baby. Lauren is a natural with all age groups. Her calm demeanor and adaptability with the changing needs of each child is such a gift to our program. We're excited for her to come back on full time once she returns from maternity leave this Winter.

Lauren Pannell
Adventurers Lead Teacher
Substitute Teacher
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Laura joined the Little Explorers team in fall of 2020. She is a junior at Albemarle High School, and she has a natural way with children. She helps teachers, children, and the logistics of the days at Little Explorers, and she hopes to pursue her career in midwifery after high school.

Laura Rubendall
Assistant Teacher
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Rehka joined the LEDS team during the summer of 2021. She is an assistant teacher in the Trailblazers classroom. Rehka is a high school student, but due to her homeschooling schedule we are lucky to have her on our team this year! She has a natural ability and ease with children, and is confident and excited to learn with us this year.

Rehka Wright
Assistant Teacher