Amanda Morton first joined Cradlerock Children’s Center in 2006 as an aide, before becoming the Administrative Director. Although her previous experience has been mostly working with high school and college-age students, she has found working with pre-schoolers both educational and most rewarding.
Originally from England, in 2006 Ms. Mandy, as she is affectionally called, moved with her three children to Columbia to be closer to her family. She has thoroughly enjoyed the transition to the community and city of Columbia is beautiful and family-friendly.
When asked why she does this work Ms. Mandy told us, “I enjoy the challenges of child care administration and the building of bridges between families and teachers in the care of their children. Most of all I enjoy working with, building, and maintaining relationships with families.” And she does so with grace and the support from an amazing team of teachers by her side.
ALEXIS ADAMS| Program Director
Before joining Cradlerock Children’s Center, Alexis held the role of Lead Teacher for The Fishing School in Washington DC (A college preparation organization/program) as well as L.P.T.M.P. She has also worked as an Education Coordinator in with SOUL and is an Accreditation Specialist.
Alexis holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a Minor in Education Studies from American University. She enjoys live music, comedy, travel and she is an avid Cross Fit participant.
Alice Moukoudi has always had a passion for learning and teaching. As the only girl in her family, she enjoyed caring for others and working with children. Realizing her gift, she pursued volunteer opportunities with local schools to build the practical skills needed for success in childcare. Her volunteer work with the Africa Star School led to a full- time position as an assistant teacher where he worked for four years.
Currently, a part-time student at Howard Community College Alice wishes to further her education in the medical field. She currently holds a Childcare certification which she has maintained since 2012.
Alice is passionate about language, loves books and learning. She spends her free time at the library, and also enjoys travel with her family. We are excited to have Ms. Alice join the Ducklings class where she will assist Ms. Solange.
Aliya Lyle is a Teacher’s Aide with Cradlerock. She began perusing a child development career by taking courses while still in high school. This advanced study gave her the opportunity to truly realize her interest, teaching and interacting with children. Prior to joining the Cradlerock team, for four years Aliya was the primary babysitter for a family with three children. Aliya absolutely loves working with children, “I think it is a great experience to assist them in learning and watch them as they grow.”
Aliya is currently enrolled at Howard Community College, pursuing a degree in nursing. She hopes to obtain a career in perinatal nursing. When not working with children, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, shopping and trying new restaurants because she loves food!
BERNADETTE (BERNI) MOONEY| Senior Staff Teacher, 3-Year-Olds
Bernadette Mooney is a seasoned Early Childhood Professional and a staple here at Cradlerock Children’s Center. Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Ms. Bernie moved to the U.S. in 1986. Prior to joining CCC, she worked at The Barrie School in Silver Spring for 19 years. She has also taught English as a Second Language (ELI) in Europe and worked as a childcare provider to independent families.
Ms. Mooney is a graduate of University College, Dublin, Ireland. She holds a Montessori Credential from (IAMS) The Institute for Advanced Montessori Studies and is a certified primary level Montessori teacher. Bernadette is a passionate educator who has an instinctive connection to the intuition of preschool-aged children. She enjoys experiencing different cultures and has traveled extensively in her lifetime. Of all the places visited, Turkey is her favorite. She maintains joyful focus on the importance of sharing her love of nature and various cultures with the children around her.
CINDY ISLAND| Senior Staff Teacher, Infant-18 months
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Cindy Island has now lived in Maryland for 22 years. Cindy has worked childcare for 10 years (ages 2-12).
Ms. Island is a talented photographer and enjoys the art both creatively and professionally. Cindy holds an infant/toddler and school-age certification and is actively pursuing a career in elementary education and special education.
DANIELLE DEVILLE| Senior Staff Teacher, 4-Year-Olds
Danielle has worked in Childcare for 3 years, caring for infants, toddlers, and school-age children. She is currently attending College of Southern Maryland where she is concluding her Associates of Arts and Early Childhood Education/Generic Special Education. Danielle will then acquire her Bachelors at either Towson University or Notre Dame of Maryland University.
Ms. Deville is passionate about her work with children, she has discovered that an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life is both rewarding and fulfilling, it is her calling. Danielle is ecstatic to join the CCC team and looks forward to making an impact.
EMONI TURNER| Teacher’s Aide – Busy Bees, 3-Year-Olds
Emoni Turner comes to us from Fountain, CO where she worked as a Teacher’s Aide with Creative Kidz College, caring for children two years old and younger. She was also an active member of her local church where she volunteered her time in the child care ministry.
Ms. Turner will be the Teaching Assistant for the Busy Bees class, meanwhile pursuing an Associates of Arts in English at Howard Community College. Emoni enjoys writing poetry and spending time with her family and friends.
Khodeja Chowdhury is thrilled to have been a part of CCC’s Ladybug class as an Assistant Teacher since 2016. Mrs. Chowdhury began her career as a High School Economics Teacher. Soon after, she moved to the United States with her husband and had two beautiful girls who are now 16 and 18. Khodeja has always volunteered her time and worked in her daughters’ classrooms throughout their elementary years. As she realized her passion for working with young children she then decided to pursue early childhood education.
Mrs. Chowdhury holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from Dhaka University in Bangladesh. Together with a team of amazing and creative teachers, she is committed to providing a loving and caring environment to promote a lifetime learning for all the children in her care.
MYRTIS HOSKIN| Senior Staff Teacher, Ladybugs
Prior to Cradlerock, Ms. Myrtice was a Director of a busy child care center for many years. Planning to retire, she originally joined the team to assist as a substitute when needed, however, with the level of expertise and professionalism she brings to the table, her current role as Senior Staff member is a welcome addition – adding valuable experience to the team.
Ms. Hoskins is a part of the Maryland credentialed program for child care teachers and has achieved a level 6 MSDE Certification.
Sherry Gaba is an organized and enthusiastic Senior teacher overseeing the Ladybug Classroom. “I strongly believe children learn through hands-on experiences and by asking questions,” says Mrs. Gaba. Sherry first worked as the Pre-K teacher here at Cradlerock, before leaving briefly to pursue some personal goals in 2015. She recently returned and has made an amazing impact on our the two-year-old program. Ms. Sherry works diligently to build partnerships with parents, at this crucial age where children transition from babies to toddlers, she helps children and parents navigate through each and every developmental phase. From speech to social and emotional behavior, Mrs. Gaba partners with parents to ensure that children in her care are prepared for the next level.
Mrs. Gaba holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys spending time with family, her husband, and 5-year-old son. She is grateful for the opportunity to nurture the children in her care as they continuously explore and learn about the world around them.
SOLANGE MARCELLUS| Senior Staff Teacher – Ducklings, 18-24 Months
Solange Marcellus worked as a lead teacher and child care provider for several years. Her teaching practice is based on the belief that children can learn while they play. Originally from Haiti and Ms. Marcellus has lived in Columbia for the past 18 years. She is married with two beautiful daughters, a handsome son, and a grandiose granddaughter. Though busy, she still finds time to volunteer in her community, specifically with immigrants from Haiti.
Ms. Marcellus holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood from Howard Community College. Her personal goal is to continue to teach as she continues to pursue both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Early Childhood Development. “I am looking forward to teaching, playing, and growing with your children on my journey to becoming a successful educator.”, says Ms. Marcellus. In her spare time, Solange practices yoga and loves to read.
TERI BECHTOLDT| Senior Staff Teacher – Little Foxes, Infants-18 Months
Teri Bechtold has been a teacher at CCC for seven years. Prior to Cradlerock, Teri was an Assistant Director for a Before and After School program in Montgomery County for eight years. She has been in the childcare field for over 20 years.
Ms. Bechtold is a part of the Maryland credentialed program for child care teachers and has achieved a level 4 MSDE Certification. She thoroughly enjoys reading and spending time at the beach. Teri is a single mother of a 22-year-old daughter, who is her world and her proudest achievement.
WANDA LIVERPOOL| Lead Teacher- Chipmunks, 4-Year Olds
Wanda Liverpool has spent over fifteen years working as a preschool teacher and coordinator in a child care center in Guyana. In this role, she prepared Pre-K children for further education by introducing concepts and studies they would explore in Kindergarten and eventually elementary school.
Though she worked as an assistant teacher and floater previously, Wanda is now a co-lead teacher in the four years old classroom where she prepares the activities and materials that support daily learning and engagement.
Wanda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science –Communication from the University of Guyana and a 90-hour childcare certification from Howard community college. She is passionate about nurturing the growth and development of the children she teaches.
ZAKIA SHAKIL| Senior Staff Teacher, General
Zakia Shakil began a career in childcare in 2001 at the Julia Brown Montessori Center where she stayed for 6 years. Mrs. Shakil began her career in childcare in 2001 when she moved to the United States. She has been a Group Leader as well as a Senior Staff Teacher. In September 2008 Zakia joined the Cradlerock team and has worked with the two and three-year-olds.
When asked about her experience in childcare, Zakia told us, “I learn so much from these children daily”, and she continues to pursue training and increase her education in the field. Mrs. Shakil has completed and maintains a Montessori Preschool Training and the 90 Hour Child Care Certifications. “I enjoy working with the children and have so much fun!” Married for 26 years Zakia has three wonderful children of her own.