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Early Childhood Center
Early Childhood Center
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OFFICE STAFF

Rebecca Dabbs MacLean, MS Ed

Director

rdabbsk@siue.edu

Christy Horton, MS Ed

Administrative Specialist

chorton@siue.edu

My first experience with the SIUE Early Childhood Center came when I was three-years-old and attended the center myself. I later earned my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1989 and Master of Science in Early Childhood Education in 2005, both from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. I have worked at the ECC since 2001 and enjoy learning more every year about early education and young children.

I married my husband Dave in 1994 and we have two children. Jake was born in 1995 and Katie was born in 1998, and they both are graduates of the Early Childhood Center. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time at our cabin on Bull Shoals Lake, reading a good book, and watching reality television. I have also been a school board member for the Triad School District since April 2005.

Amie Sudbring

Office Support Associate

asudbri@siue.edu

I have been serving as office support at ECC since 2008. I am most parents' first introduction to our center with enrollment management. My husband, Allen, and I have four children altogether, Ryleigh, Kenny, Aidan, and Olivia. The youngest, Olivia, is a 2011 graduate from our center. In my spare time, I enjoy taking in a concert or movie, singing karaoke, spending time with my family, and gardening.


TEACHING STAFF

Early Pre-School (2-3 Years Old)

River Room

Trisha McCulloch, MS Ed

Lead Teacher

trigray@siue.edu

My first experiences with the Early Childhood Center actually came during my undergraduate years when I did my observations in the two year old room. I later started substitute teaching at the ECC in October 1998 and was hired in February 1999. I earned both my Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Early Childhood Education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1998 and 2004, respectively.

The teaching philosophy I bring into the classroom every day is that children learn through play. I emphasize this factor in every aspect of the children's day.

I married my husband, Bob, in 2000, and have three children, Joseph, Mykenzie, and Marissa, and two step children, Bobby and Madison. Joseph and Mykenzie both attended the center when they were younger. When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my children, going on bike rides with my family and taking evening walks.

Elizabeth Mayfield

Assistant Teacher

emayfie@siue.edu

I started teaching at the Early Childhood Center in August 1999 after receiving my associate's degree from Lewis and Clark Community College.

I believe that children learn through life experiences, which is the way I approach every day in the classroom. The children's experiences and interactions are their own unique form of work.

My husband, Mark, and I have two beautiful children, Joshua and Jenna, with a third expected in September 2013. Both Joshua and Jenna are graduates from our center. I enjoy reading, shopping, and spending time with my family and friends. I am also a peer companion for SHARE, which is support group for the Pregnancy and Infant Loss organization.

Meadow Room

Sheri Rallo, MS Ed

Lead Teacher

srallo@siue.edu

I started teaching at the Early Childhood Center in 1991. Prior to beginning teaching, I received my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1989. While working on my undergraduate degree I worked at the SIU Carbondale Child Development Lab, where I also completed some of my undergraduate course work. I later received my Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2005. In 2006, I was awarded the Student Affairs Students First Award in 2006.

In the classroom, I believe in providing a safe and nurturing environment where children are respected and valued. I also believe that children learn through play and that the curriculum should be based on their interests.

I married my husband, Jeff, in 1990, and we have two children, Sierra and Chad. Both of our children attended the Early Childhood Center when they were younger. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and watching movies.

Judy Ryder

Assistant Teacher

jryder@siue.edu

I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1976 from Indiana University at Indianapolis and a Juris Doctor Law degree in 1980 from Indiana University Law School at Indianapolis. I was also a member of the Missouri Bar Association 1980-2005. After my career in law, I began substitute teaching in 2006 and became a full time staff member in 2010.

It is calculated that your child from birth to age 3 will be forming one million brain connections a day. Amazing "growth" being done by those wildly cute and sometimes frustrating toddlers. Brain connections, small motor skills, gross motor skills, speech and language, emotional and social skills... WOW! I am thankful everyday for those "wow" feelings I experience by being with your child, your most special child. I will be present with your child and let her know that my eyes light up when she comes into the room. I will provide kindness, care, hugs, and acceptance without conditions. Your child will know he is special to me.

I am married with one daughter, Erin, and one granddaughter, Lily. My son, Connor, died in 2000 and many of his organs were donated. I am good friends with his heart recipient, Sandy. Both of my children attended ECC as children. My hobbies include reading, traveling, swimming, and camping. Also, I like many kinds of music and enjoy going to concerts.


Pre-School (3-5 Years Old)

Prairie Room

Beth Martens - Staff Photo

Beth Martens, MS Ed

Lead Teacher

bmarten@siue.edu

I earned my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1998. While working on my undergrad, I worked as a teacher assistant as a student worker at the Early Childhood Center from 1994 to 1996. Upon graduation, I taught kindergarten at Mullanphy School until 2005, a St. Louis Public magnet school with a math and science focus. Since we were down the street from the Missouri Botanical Gardens, we were able to collaborate with the Gardens and often went on walking trips. During my time at Mullanphy school, I helped establish a school/community garden. I also became interested in teaching children to read and began a Master's degree program in literacy education during the fall of 2005, the same year I began teaching at ECC. I completed a Master of Science in Literacy Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2013.

I believe that children learn in open-ended project work. Once children are immersed in a project, they become problem-solvers, communicators, and are able to exhibit their personal strengths. In project work, I believe it is my job to pay close attention to details and pursue answers to questions to further strengthen the project. I am always amazed at how much I learn from a project. If it is exciting and new for me, it will be for my students as well.

My husband, Brad, and I have two children, Claire and Dylan. The youngest, Dylan, currently attends our center part time. I enjoy being outside; hiking, walking, swimming, and gardening. I also enjoy arts & crafts; baking, scrapbooking, stamping, and jewelry making (beading).

Amber Larson

Assistant Teacher

amlarso@siue.edu

Before coming to The Early Childhood Center in 2009, I taught at a preschool in Missouri for 10 years and worked in home care for three years. I have my Child Development Associate (CDA) certification and am currently working towards an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education with plans to graduate in 2015.

I strongly believe in the Reggio Emilia Approach, which focuses on their belief of "The Image of the Child". The "Image of the Child" is that children come to us already full of knowledge. It is our privilege to extract that and guide the expansion of what is already there within them. It is not necessary to "fill them up" with our pre-conceived notions.

I have been married for 23 years and have two college age children, Wyatt and Chelsea. My hobbies include cooking, spending time with my family, and researching children's artwork.

Willow Room

Stephanie Henschen, MS Ed

Lead Teacher

szacha@siue.edu

I graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1989. Two years later in August 1991, I started teaching at the Early Childhood Center. I earned Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2006. I was also awarded the Dr. Susan W. Nall Early Childhood Education Award for Academic Achievement in 2006.

I believe it is important to provide children with a safe and supportive environment in which they are able to learn and grow at their own pace and feel successful along the way.

My husband, Jeff, and I have two children, Taylor and Drew, who both attended the Early Childhood Center. In my free time, I enjoy reading science fiction, being outside, spending time with my family, and watching my children play sports.

Tracy Traylor

Assistant Teacher

ttraylo@siue.edu

My first introduction to the Early Childhood Center was through student teaching here. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 1994 and am a 04 Certified Teacher. I taught Pre-k for 12 years at an Illinois State Board of Education Preschool for All program for children ages 3-5 years old. I began teaching here at ECC in 2012.

I believe children need to experience a hands-on approach to learning that is child directed, interactive, and open-ended. Successful teaching begins with total commitment, patience, compassion, and a great love and mutual respect for all children. It requires flexibility, consistency, structured guidance, and good parent involvement in all areas. Teaching is a true work of love for me and has enriched my life in countless ways.

I am the oldest of four children and have very close family ties. I am from Southern Illinois and was born in Carbondale. I am the proud aunt of two young nephews, who are the highlight of my life. I am single and live with my spoiled, mischievous fox terrier, Jesse. Some of my hobbies include reading, hanging out with my friends, volunteering at my local church in the nursery, going for long walks with my dog, hiking, riding my bicycle, and spending time with my family. I also love yoga, swimming, and aerobics. I'm a big Cardinal fan and love the spring and fall, since they are the most beautiful times of the year.

Cypress Room

Trish Scheibal

Lead Teacher

tohm@siue.edu

My first experiences with the Early Childhood Center came in 2000 when I completed my observation hours during my first semester in the Early Childhood program. I went on to earn my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Sociology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2002. After graduation I taught 2nd grade at St. Mary's School in Edwardsville for six years. I also taught swimming lessons at the YMCA for about 17 years. I started teaching at the Early Childhood Center in 2009. Currently, I am pursing my Master of Science in Education at SIUE.

I believe that each child is a unique individual that we, as educators, are privileged to help mold by using our knowledge and experience with their ideas and thoughts.

I am blessed to be married to my best friend and true love, Dave. Altogether, we have four children: Christopher, Megan, Greg, and Kristan. In my free time, I enjoy being reading, camping, tending to our landscaping and flowers, and watching sports; especially Cardinals baseballs.

Deena Gaddy

Assistant Teacher

dgaddy@siue.edu

I started teaching at the SIUE Early Childhood Center in 1996 after receiving my Child Development Associate (CDA) certification. In 2009, I earned my Associate of Arts from Southwestern Illinois College and went on to earn my Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 2013.

As a professional educator, my goal is to best serve my students' needs while providing adaptive education. I believe my best teachers are my students. I feel it is important for teachers to be positive, flexible, caring, warmhearted, approachable, and welcoming to their students. My greatest role in the classroom is to make sure each child can achieve success.

I have two children, Terrance III and E'Shara. When I am not working I enjoy going to the gym, shopping, attending church, and spending time with my family and friends.

Health & Safety

Lealia Williams - Staff Photo

Lealia Williams

Assistant Teacher

leawill@siue.edu

I have been working at The Early Childhood Center, between military moves with my husband, since 1998. In between, I worked in a child care center sponsored by the United States military working with children from infants through middle school. I have a Bachelor in Arts degree in Sociology from Southern Illinois University. I am currently working on an additional Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Kendall College.

I believe that the early childhood professional is responsible for more than preparation time and the instruction of young children. I subscribe to the theories of educators like Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia. As an advocate of the practices developed by Maria Montessori, I view the proper educational environment for a child is one that is child-centered. Additionally, I think that the educational setting should be one where the child is naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a supportive, thoughtfully prepared learning environment. Following the ideas set forth in the Reggio Emilia Approach, I believe children have an enormous potential and curiosity. Children strive to understand the world, making their own theories to explain how it functions and that children's knowledge needs to be brought out using their natural curiosity.

My husband, Major Christopher Green-Williams, and I have been married for 18 years. We have four children together: Amelia, Marcia, Christopher, and James. The youngest, James, currently attends ECC. In my free time, I like to travel, read, shop, volunteer in the community, serve at my church, spend time with my family and friends, and attending and supporting the activities in which my children are involved.