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Teachers & Staff

Our staff members are highly qualified and serve as positive role models and learning facilitators. All lead teachers have college degrees, including early childhood coursework. Additionally, all staff are required to attend continuing education training each year. Our assistants are experienced and educated in early childhood education. Teachers and assistants work together as teaching teams, facilitating a positive and rich learning environment.

We have dedicated office staff who also serve as a positive part of the ECC experience. They take the time to get to know the children and parents, and assist the teachers as needed.

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Bailey Falcone-Director

Bailey has been the Director of ECC since 2013 and is committed to the school’s play based philosophy. Bailey knows that for many of our students, coming to ECC is their first school experience and she strives to cultivate a nurturing school community. ECC’s small class sizes ensure that teachers and staff are able to get to know each child and foster their love of learning as they are continually challenged academically in developmentally appropriate ways. As Director, Bailey ensures that cognitive and social emotional learning is integrated into purposeful play activities throughout the day. 

As a school, ECC is fortunate to have families from diverse cultures and backgrounds and because of this Bailey believes we have the opportunity to foster cultural awareness in our young learners. Our school community embraces diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Each individual's experiences are shaped by many factors and this variety of backgrounds allows us to grow stronger as a community. 

Bailey earned her degree in Elementary Education from Elon University with a certification in Early Childhood Administration. She began her career teaching Head Start and Kindergarten before moving into Early Childhood Administration. She lives in Rockville with her family including an exuberant dog.  

Pearl Chu-Lead Teacher

Pearl believes that it is important for children to know that their ideas and opinions are accepted, valued, and supported by their peers and adults. In her classroom, creativity and creative expression are not limited to one part of the curriculum or one area of the classroom, but are expressed continuously through the playful exploration of objects, language, and ideas in a nurturing environment. 

 

She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science and has a second degree in Early Childhood Education. Pearl has twenty years of experience working with children, starting first at Gymboree Play and Music, Sunday schools, and then working as an administrator and preschool teacher.  She lives with her husband and has two college aged children and a labradoodle.  She enjoys thinking outside of the box and encouraging children to take risks that will inspire their learning.  

Denise Harvey-Lead Teacher

Denise started working at ECC in 2015 when her daughter entered first grade. She began as an Assistant Teacher in Afternoon Adventures, then the 2’s class and then moved to the 4’s class.

 

Observing the work of the wonderful ECC teachers and the resulting growth the children experienced led Denise to obtain her Lead Teacher certification. With a BA in Psychology and MS in Counseling Education, Denise believes learning can only begin once a foundation of feeling safe and comfortable is established. She strives to provide these important factors every day in the classroom.


After growing up in upstate New York, Denise and her husband Todd moved to Phoenix. As they welcomed their daughter Jiandra, they searched for a more diverse environment to raise her and have found Rockville to be the ideal place for them. Denise understands that love and understanding is the most important part of any family and wants all to feel welcome at ECC!

Sarah Gilbert-Assistant Director

Sarah joined the ECC staff in 2022. She is a former ECC parent who loved the great sense of community, amazing school staff, and play-based philosophy at the school. She was happy to take on the roll of Assistant Director and again be a part of the community.

Sarah graduated from Goucher College with a degree in Art. She worked for ten years in Development and Board Relations at the Baltimore Museum of Art before starting a family and deciding to spend time at home with her young daughters. She lives in Gaithersburg with her husband, daughters and puppy.

Lisa Biggs-Assistant Teacher

Lisa believes in using unconditional positive regard when working with children.  She believes this helps them have a growth mindset.  She believes play, nature, music, and movement are important to the child’s growth.


She graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, a Secondary degree in American Ethnic Studies and Minor in Rhetoric/Communication.  For over 25 years, she has worked with children and adolescents.  She has worked in recreation, mental health, child care and educational settings. She lives in Rockville with her husband, 3 sons, and 2 cats.

Janelle Fernandez-Assistant Teacher

Janelle loves sharing the joy of learning with children through play and exploration. She believes in meeting children where they are, honoring their unique selves, and providing a supportive environment where each child can grow and thrive. Janelle loves interweaving nature, art, music, science, and movement to engage children’s natural creativity. 

 

Janelle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Florida State University. After seeing her own child thrive as a student at ECC, she was excited to join the staff and engage with the ECC community in a new way. Janelle lives in Rockville with her partner, child, and pet cat.

AnnMarie Kase-Lead Teacher

AnnMarie is committed to ensuring a nurturing classroom environment to learn through play. Her teaching style brings out opportunities for the children to express themselves, stimulate knowledge and develop an interest in learning. Her two (now adult) daughters attended ECC and when they graduated to elementary school, she made the transition from ECC parent to ECC teacher.

At a very young age, AnnMarie knew she wanted to work with children. Originally from New York, she graduated from the University of Maryland and earned a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from The George Washington University. She began her career at the Arc of Montgomery Couny, teaching young children who had chronic medical conditions.  

Ann Posner-Assistant Teacher

Ann fell in love with ECC 37 years ago when looking for a preschool for her then three year old. She found exactly what she wanted for him at ECC with the play based school with a loving, nurturing, and talented staff.  She immediately registered him and soon became part of the staff she so admired. Ann started out at ECC as a substitute, became an assistant, and then worked as a teacher for ten years at another preschool. Ann grabbed the opportunity to come back home to ECC as a teacher in 1998. She taught the three year old class for 15 years and in her "retirement" found her niche as an assistant at ECC once again.

 

Ann earned a degree in theater and education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.  ECC is Ann’s happy place and she hopes to be here for many more years.

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