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.
Voyagers Lead Teacher
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.
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, 2 cats, 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".
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!
Voyagers Co-Lead 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.
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!
Trailblazers Lead Teacher
Trailblazers Lead Teacher
Candace’s love and passion for working with children started at a young age as she is the oldest of five children and her mother ran an in-home daycare during her childhood. Candace started babysitting for families at her church and in her neighborhood as a preteen and went on to teach swim lessons and coach basketball in high school. Candace played four years of intercollegiate women’s basketball and majored in Business Administration with a minor in early childhood education. For over 20 years Candace has worked with all ages in a school setting and as a professional full-time nanny. She lives in Charlottesville with her husband and her two daughters who both attend LEDS!
Sabrina is our Explorers Teacher. Sabrina began her childhood career in 2010, 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."
Explorers Lead Teacher
Laura is in our Explorers classroom. She holds a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington. After College, Laura spent three years serving Boston Public Schools with Americorps. She worked at a humanitarian organization in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, until her first child was born. She and her husband, Eric, returned to Virginia with their two children, Theo (9) and Willem (6), in 2016 and have lived in Crozet ever since. In her free time, Laura loves to read, do yoga, and spend time outdoors.
Laura Dowell Urban
Adventurers Lead Teacher
Emy is the Lead Teacher for our 2-3 year old Adventurers. Emy graduated from University of South Carolina with a degree in retail & fashion merchandising, and has also taken graduate courses in elementary education. She has previously worked with various age groups from Kindergarten to 3rd grade, as well as been a nanny. Her daughter, Harper, is in the Trailblazers class at LEDS! She writes, "Working with the curiosity of the little ones is my favorite! I spend my free time with my daughter and husband, connecting with friends, and staying active through running or biking."
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.
Pathfinders Lead Teacher
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.
Pathfinders Lead Teacher
Kailee started at Little Explorers in the summer of 2021. This year she is one of the teachers in the Adventurers and Pathfinders classrooms, but has experience helping with all of our LEDS students! 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.
Pathfinders + Adventurers
Bianca is our Afternoon Lead Teacher as well as Assistant Teacher at Little Explorers. Bianca has a Masters degree in International Security from Georgetown University, and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish. Although she worked several years as an International Affairs analyst and Linguist in Washington, DC, she realized since having children that her heart was truly in child development. As a homeschooling mom until recently, Bianca had been an avid reader of child development, responsive parenting, and natural learning books. Bianca is excited to start this new chapter in life working at LEDS, and is excited to meet all the little ones and their families!
Aftercare Lead Teacher
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.
Discover Days Lead Teacher
Discovery Days Lead Teacher
LEDS handyman + builder
Josh is a lead teacher in our Discovery Days program. He's also our handyman - building all of the natural equipment for the playgrounds, and using his carpentry and renovation skills to support our teachers with all of our innovative classroom dreams! 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.