Staff

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Priscilla Esquivel, Director, Email Priscilla 

Priscilla serves as the Director of Vineyard Children’s Center. Priscilla has over 15 years of experience teaching in and managing early learning and child care programs. Priscilla has earned a degree in Early Childhood Education, a degree in Child and Family Community Services and a JD. She is also certified in Ohio and Michigan to provide training courses to early education and child development educators, and by the Council for Professional Recognition to conduct CDA verification visits. Priscilla is mother to Viviana (aspiring chef), Angelica (U of M student), Julia (Huron High Student) and Alexandra (heading to kindergarten in the fall). Priscilla enjoys working with staff and parents to provide quality early education programs for families. Priscilla lives in Ann Arbor and her hobbies include perusing books and drinking espresso at Literati, enjoying the Ann Arbor parks with the kids, helping her daughter Julia write plays and musicals, and trying to score Hamilton tickets.

Donnell Wyche, Managing Director, Email Donnell

The Reverend Donnell Wyche serves full-time as the Senior Pastor for the Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor and Managing Director for the Vineyard Children’s Center. Donnell has served as the managing director of the Vineyard Children’s Center since 2011. Pastor Donnell joined the Vineyard church in 1997 and joined the staff in 1999 and was ordained in 2004. He grew up in Washington, DC and received his B.A. in computer science from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio and is a graduate of Vineyard Leadership Institute. Passionate about the intersections of race, faith, politics, and technology, Pastor Donnell started out as a Solution Architect at IBM in Southfield, MI. Since then, Pastor Donnell has served as a national task force leader for youth ministry and multi-ethnicity within VineyardUSA. He has led seminars and trainings on becoming culturally competent, transitioning your church to a multi-ethnic church, and has served as a part-time instructor in web technologies at Washtenaw Community College. Pastor Donnell is the president of the board of the InterFaith Council for Peace and Justice and has pursued issues of affordable, fair, and accessible housing as a board member of the Religious Action for Affordable Housing. As a trained computer engineer, Pastor Donnell created, in partnership with the late Phyllis Tickle, the online home of The Divine Hours. His latest technology project is Community Center for Churches, a software tool to help pastors better care for and shepherd their congregants.

 

Tanya Atkins, Lead TeacherInfants

Hello, my name is Tanya Atkins. I am forty three years old, a wife of twenty years and a mother of four; one biological daughter, one stepdaughter both in their 20’s and the adopted mother of my two nephews ages 15 and 14. We have three grandchildren, the youngest born this past February. I enjoy creative writing and art in all forms. I am honored to have one of my paintings used for the cover of a recently published book. As a child, I benefited greatly from my grandmother’s experience as an early childhood educator. I was able to accompany her to a child development center where I learned to read and developed a love of learning at a very young age.   After raising our family and working for many years in Public Service positions, as a bus driver for Ypsilanti Public Schools and at Detroit Metro Airport in the security department, I was able to pursue my degree in Early Childhood Education and Development; a love I first developed working with children in the limited capacity as a bus driver, and volunteering in the classrooms of my children. I have completed my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education, received a certificate in child development and CDA credential from Washtenaw Community College. I plan to attend Eastern Michigan University to complete a Bachelor Degree, Children and Families major. I have always enjoyed enlightening, engaging and interacting with young children. Because of my family and extended family experiences, I am a firm believer in the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”. The cooperation between educators, parents and families, as well as positive community influences are essential to developing well-rounded students and adults. As a mother and because of my experience as a foster parent and adoptive mother, I see the need for dedicated educators for our children, especially those who may lack economic and social support. My desire is to work with children and parents in fulfilling the potential of young children as they begin their journeys.

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Naga Narayana-Pillai, Lead TeacherMobile Infants

Naga has a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology and a CDA in Infant and Toddler care and education and is currently attending college as a nursing major.  Naga enjoys sharing new activities such as painting, singing and outdoor explorations with the mobile infants as they grow and develop into toddlers. Naga looks forward to making your child’s day at VCC fun and carefree.

 

Mary Ann Leidlein, Lead TeacherTwo’s

Mary Ann has been with VCC for over 4 years and enjoys working in the Two’s room everyday.  She currently attends college as a nursing major.  Mary Ann strives to provide  safe and calm environment in the two’s classroom, and to meet the individual needs of the children in her care.

 

 

00172Kaia Houston, Lead TeacherPreschool

Hello, my name is Kaia Houston. I am so excited to be the Lead Teacher in the Preschool Room! A native Ann Arborite, I have a deep love for this city and all that it has to offer developing minds. After realizing that teaching is truly my passion, I am now going back to school working toward achieving my Bachelor’s degree in Early Education. In between academic pursuits, I’ve been the Children’s Ministry Director at my church for several years’ now, in addition to teaching Sunday school every week. I first found Vineyard Children’s Center in 2014; I immediately felt a connection to the school and the unique sense of community that exists among the parents and staff. Now, three years later, I feel fortunate to be able to teach alongside this incredible group of women, it’s icing on the cake! I love teaching in the Preschool class! The rate of language acquisition and social development at this age never ceases to amaze me! The highlight of my day is snuggling up with my Preschoolers and a book on the Circle Time rug.

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Cassie Cecil, Lead Teacher, Pre-K

Hello, I am Miss Cassie. I have a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I am graduating with my Masters of Arts in Educational Studies: Leadership and Policy. I have always been fascinated by the interaction of family and education and how that influences the child’s life. I have committed my studies to better understand how to support children in an educational setting, and have been able to apply this knowledge at several other childcare settings. I hope to bring my vast experience with children and my education together to support your child’s success in the classroom. I look forward to meeting you and your child, and seeing how I can support your family.

 

1294478_10201184041696701_1069725994_oAngelica Esquivel, Lead Teacher, Summer Program (5 and Older)

Angelica Esquivel is currently a senior at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She is majoring in English (Creative Writing), Education and Latino Studies.  Angelica has spent the past 3 summers as a summer program teacher for school age children in a childcare setting, including designing and implementing an art studio as well as providing art lessons to children ages 2 to 12 in the studio. Angelica hopes to provide a fun filled summer for the school age children, and looks forward to all of the exciting “big kid” activities she has planned.

 

Mira Jones, Assistant Teacher-Infants

Mira has worked at VCC for the past four years as the assistant infant teacher.  Mira loves caring for the babies and watching them grow and change everyday. Her goal is to help parents feel confident and comfortable that their little ones are being loved and nurtured while in her classroom.

 

 

Marwah4490Marwah Baidoun, Assistant Teacher-Mobile Infants

Marwah is attending EMU majoring in social work. She has over 6 year of experience working in early childhood education programs. She is a mentor for Big Sister’s/Little Sisters of Washtenaw County. She has three younger sisters that she enjoys spending time with. Her hobbies include long distance running including 5k’s, 10k’s, and is currently training to run a half marathon and eventually a marathon. She also loves to make abstract art. Marwah likes helping children develop healthy eating and fitness habits. She looks forward to working with your family to provide a loving and fun environment in the VCC mobile infants room.

 

Mary-Roselie Koutsavdis, Assistant Teacher-Preschool

Rose has been at Vineyard Children’s Center since April of 2015 as an assistant teacher, and is currently earning her CDA in Preschool Education. Rose has a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from University of Negros Occidental Recoletos as well a Nursing degree from West Negros College in Philippines. Before joining the team at Vineyard, She was teaching English as a second language. Rose enjoys every aspect of teaching, especially with young children. Her teaching approach leverages the use of play, visual aids and arts and crafts. Her biggest satisfaction is when, at the end of the day, they learned something from her while having fun at the same time. Rose enjoys gardening, cooking, baking and arts and crafts. She lives in Ypsilanti, with her husband and a three year old Yorkie, Hermes.

 

JoAnne Lynn, Classroom Support Staff (Mobile Infants/Preschool)

JoAnne Lynn is a retired educator that enjoys spending her free time working with children and volunteering at her church.You will usually find JoAnne helping out in the Infant and Mobile Infant rooms.  She enjoys providing nurturing attention to the little ones.

 

 

Mallary Haworth, Classroom Support Staff (Mobile Infants/Two’s/Preschool/PreK)

Mallary is from Dundee, Michigan. She is currently studying Children’s Literature as well as Theatre for the Young at Eastern Michigan University. She is extremely passionate about education and once she’s done with her undergraduate degree she plans on obtaining her masters degree in K-12 Educational Leadership. When Mallary isn’t at school, she is usually spending time with her sorority sisters or volunteering for EMU’s theatre department. She is so happy to have the opportunity to be working here at Vineyard Children’s Center!”

 

 

Katrina Dresaj, Classroom Support Staff (Infants/Mobile Infants)

I am currently attending EMU for my third year in Early Childhood Education. I  have taken a variety of classes with a focus on combining the latest research on childhood development with the best ways to individualize curriculum, learning style and best practices in instruction. My philosophy centers on holistic, integrated approaches to promoting development and encouraging creative exploration as the best way to engage each child’s learning abilities. Play especially has been found to be even more effective for learning in early childhood than traditional teaching methods. It will be my goal to find play activities that draw out each child’s unique interests. I look forward to communicating with you in the next couple semesters as we support an environment that fosters creative expression, and many important values like compassion, tolerance and self-worth.

 

Fan Zhang, Classroom Support Staff

Fan Zhang was born in Qiqihar, a city known as the “Hometown of Red-crowned Manchurian Crane” and “Chinese Capitol of BBQ”. During her childhood in Qiqihar, she received more than 10 years of training in dancing and had been an on-stage dance performer before entering college. She earned her B.S. degree in Dental Sciences from Qiqihar Medical University and had more than 4 years of experiences as a pediatric dentist before moving to Ann Arbor. She is now living in Ann Arbor with her lovely family including her husband and a two-year old son Kevin. She enjoys taking care of children at all ages, in particular their dental hygiene. 获取