Hello I'm Becka, I am overjoyed to join the Woodland Playhouse as an Assistant Substitute Teacher. When moving to the Catskills in 2003 as a youth educator from the Syracuse area, I fell in love with the mountains and began working with children, enjoying the outdoors as the classroom. I have a BS in Human Service with a concentration in Special Education and worked primarily in youth programs through the YMCA and Catholic Charities in the Syracuse area. I began working in the Catskills with youth at the Pine Hill Community Center and the School of the New Moon and have continued to run Kid Programs at the PHCC over the last several years. After my first son was born, the outdoors became our playground and still continues to be the case, 4 children later. Over the years, I have been inspired by schools, such as the Woodland Playhouse, and have tremendous respect for all they offer students. I am very much looking forward to being part of your children's learning adventure.
Hi! I am Christina. I began my experience at Woodland Playhouse during the 2014-15 school year when my oldest child, Isabelle, attended. I fell in love with the school, the atmosphere and the teachers and decided to enroll my son, Leonardo, as soon as he was old enough. When Grace approached me in 2016 about partnering, I was thrilled. I hold a BA in Childhood Education (B-6) with a concentration in English, and a MA in Childhood Education with a concentration in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). I have spent years running a small, family owned business before creating Woodland Playhouse, LLC with Grace - an expansion of the original Woodland Playhouse. Upon Grace's leaving Woodland Playhouse in 2019, I took up the torch on my own. As lead teacher of the Grizzly Bears and owner/director, I've worked hard to hold fast to the heart and spirit of the original Woodland Playhouse that I fell in love with as a parent. I love combining my natural entrepreneurial spirit and my love for children and teaching in a developmentally appropriate, experiential way -- playing, reading and exploring!
In November 2022, I was thrilled to present at the National NAEYC conference in Washington, D.C. on "Where The Magic Happens: Taking Play Based Learning Outdoors". I'm excited to share my experiences with other educators and empower them to take their students outside in all situations and circumstances!
Hi, my name is Alisha. Christina and I go way back to about 2007 at SUNY Ulster, where we became fast friends and study partners as we both wanted to be educators and took a lot of the same courses. That is how I learned about the Woodland Playhouse. I loved hearing about what her daughter Izzy was learning and the artwork she would complete. I could tell that Woodland Playhouse focused on exploration and not the traditional teacher-centered approach to learning. This is something that I wanted to learn more about myself and soon I found myself subbing, working Summer camps, teaching as a support staff, and more. I just couldn’t stay away because the staff is amazing, the students are incredible, and so are the families that make up this wonderful playhouse community. I am now the lead teacher of the Polar Bear classroom!
A little about myself, I have two children; Arya (4 years old) and Ryker (6 years old). I earned my Bachelor’s in Childhood Education and Masters in special education and literacy. I am certified to teach elementary school and special education. I have held various jobs within the field from being a substitute teacher in districts like Saugerties, Catskill, Onteora, and Hudson as well as being a substitute here at the Woodland Playhouse (and working Summer camps since 2017), Boys and Girls Club counselor, preschool and toddler teacher at the YWCA of Ulster County, and preschool teacher of a self-contained classroom at Columbia County’s ARC (The Starting Place). I enjoy science and instilling wonder, creativity, and curiosity with all my students as well as witnessing the connections they make while learning. I love to inspire children to read by conducting read alouds and bringing stories to life through discussions and acting as I read. After all, “reading is the magic key that takes you where you want to be.”
I look forward to continuing my passion for teaching and learning here at the playhouse this year and many more!
Hi, I’m Belinda. I first learned about the Playhouse when it moved to it’s current location. I had signed my two sons, Brantley and Kody up for summer camp. I loved this place the minute I walked in. It had such a great atmosphere and the teachers were wonderful with the children.I worked in the nursing field for five years as an aid for geriatrics. Once I had my second son, Kody we decided I would stay home with them. In the fall of 2018, I was offered the wonderful opportunity to work aftercare for the Playhouse. Since I have started, I haven’t looked back. I couldn’t be happier to work with these young individuals. I love helping them learn and grow as I continue to learn and grow myself. Most of all I truly love working with your little ones.
I’m Danny. I graduated from Onteora and went to SUNY Ulster for a degree in business, but I found that I prefer working with children. I started working with children at Shandaken Rec when I was 18 years old. I continue to work at Shandaken Rec each summer. For about four years, I also worked at Belleayre Mountain in the drop off child care center, but have chosen to work at Woodland Playhouse exclusively during the winter months. I've been a part of Woodland Playhouse since 2017. I love working with children and helping them learn, grow, and succeed.