My name is Libbi Helfman. I have been working at Little Acorns since 1993. I have worked in every classroom and worn every hat possible over the years. I started working in the office as the Director in 2000 and purchased Little Acorns in 2005. I am asked quite often what I like best about my job, well that’s easy, it’s the children and how they keep me young at heart. I am greeted each day with laughter, giggles, warm smiles, big hugs and tons of inquisitive questions. My daughter Ava grew up at Little Acorns. She and I both take Tae Kwon Do classes in our spare time. Little Acorns is my family, the staff, parents and children make this environment a home for everyone every day.
My name is Marina Shellhaas. I was born in Vienna Austria and have traveled all over Europe in my childhood. I was raised in Rockville and attended Wootton High School. I started working here during my senior year of high school in 1990. I have worked almost every classroom at Little Acorns. I came to the office in 2003 and love having the best of both worlds. I love having a job where I am rewarded daily by the children and get lots of smiles and wonderful greetings. I also enjoy getting to know all the children and the parents in the entire center. I have 3 children, Nicole, Alyssa and Matthew. They are all very active in school and sports so that keeps me on my toes. I enjoy traveling and exploring new foods and cultures. I enjoy exercise and have completed 3 marathons and several Triathlons. I also have a beautiful Boxer named Kane. I love to stay active and busy so whether I am at home or work I am always ready for the next activity.
Katie: Office Assistant/Littlest Acorns
My name is Katie Bauman. I was born and raised in Poolesville, MD. I graduated from Poolesville High School in 2005 with my Preschool Certificate and 4 years experience with the child development program. I stared at Little Acorns in 2005 and worked with the infants as the assistant teacher. In 2008 I left to start a family of my own. In November 2008 I became the proud mother of twins, Elayna and Rayleen. They are very cute and outgoing little girls. In my free time I love taking my kids to the park, the pool, and outside to ride their bikes. On the weekends we enjoy going to the racetrack, to watch my family race cars. I returned to Little Acorns in 2010 and joined the office staff. I also help out in all the classrooms when needed. I love having the opportunity to work in each class, as they are curious and fun loving. They change and grow every day. I am very happy to be a part of their growth and development. I also love the opportunity I have been given to work administratively in the office daily.
Stephanie: Littlest Acorns
My name is Stephanie Reid and I joined the Little Acorns team in 1993. I am the lead teacher in the infant room. I grew up in Bethesda, MD. I currently have my CDA and am working towards my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have three children Issac, Christopher, and Cassi. All of my children attended Little Acorns. I also am the proud owner of two American Pitbull Terrier named Boss and Baby and a chug named Bella. I have always worked with infants and toddlers and I love it. It is amazing to watch all the changes and development that occur in just the first year of their lives. It is very rewarding to be a part of that process.
Mrs. Rahman: Littlest Acorns
My name is Ayaz Rahman. I am originally from Bangladesh but have been living in America since 1981. I have been working at Little Acorns as a teacher of young and mobile infants since 2007. In 2011 I became the Lead Teacher in the Sprouts. I have my CDA and have a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. I have 17 years of experience as a teacher. I have always had a great love and interest in children and their well-being. When I first came to America, I saw first hand how parents depend on trustworthy and sociable teachers to take care of their children. I realized that I wanted to give back to the community as a teacher in order to assure these parents that their children were in good hands.
My name is Noha Iesawi. I am originally from Sudan. I came to the states in 2000. I am married and have 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. I speak Arabic as my first language. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. I have received a 90 hour early childhood certificate and a 45 hour infant toddler certificate. I am currently taking online classes to further my education with children. I joined Little Acorns in September 2011. I love to work with children and have been in the field since I graduated college.
My name is Norma Rodriguez, I was born in El Salvador, Central America. I am the assistant teacher in the Toddler room. I have 3 children Erick Stanley, Rafael Antonio and Marvin Gehovany. They are grown now and are professionals. I completed high school and two and a half years in the University studying Medical Technology in El Salvador. My dream was to work as a medical researcher and when I moved to the US the plan was changed. I came to the US in 1993 and worked as a nanny during the week and as the director for a children’s program at my church on the weekends. In 2008 I came to Little Acorns and have been working with the Sprouts ever since. I am still working with the children in my church on the weekends. I think I work with the best age group. I have the most wonderful experiences with the children and am loved every day. This makes me enjoy my job.
My name is Gigi Babu. I am originally from India. I am currently living in Potomac with my family. I completed all of my studies in India with the
exception of my 90 hour Early Childhood Education Certificate. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Masters in Biology from Bofany, India.
I am married but have no children of my own yet. I enjoy being with children.
I have been working at Little Acorns since July 2012. I worked with school age children back home and decided when I came to the states that I wanted to experience younger children. I have come to realize that
the wonderful moments I share with children makes me happy. To be able to witness and be part of their little steps, songs, dances, smile’s and to hear them
shout ‘Gigi’ when I enter the room, these moments all stimulate me to be more involved with them.
My name is Ericka Carroza and I am originally from Valparaiso, Chile. I am the lead teacher of the Seedlings 2 year old group. I am a proud mother of two college students and whatever free time I get I like to spend it on yoga and working out. I migrated to the United States fifteen years ago and I have been living since then in Montgomery County. I have been teaching young children for more than twenty years. My educational background starts in Chile, where after high school I went to an institute and studied pre school education. While I was in Chile I was given my first hands-on experience by being a teachers assistant in a four years old classroom. When I came to United States I worked for more than six years at Crossways Community Montessori School. In 2007 I started working at Little Acorns Early Learning Center where I am now the lead teacher of the two year old classroom. Throughout the years I have been taking courses to expand my knowledge in order to become a better teacher and better prepare the children in my classroom, which is something I enjoy the best.
Hello my name is Barbara Ratti. I was born in Washington D.C. and was raised in Rockville Md. I started working at Little Acorns in September of 2011. I love spending time with my family and friends. I love cooking, reading and music. My favorite sport is hockey. I am married with 2 children, Katie and Andrew. My son has Autism, which keeps me very busy. I love working at Little Acorns and watching the children grow and develop their own unique personalities.
Hello my name is Dora Ticona. I am the teachers aide in the Seedlings 2 year old group. I was born and raised in Bolivia. I have been a US resident since 1977. I have been working at Little Acorns since 2000. I speak both English and Spanish and love to cook. I am married and a mother of Albert. The most rewarding part of this job is taking care of the children. I love to see them learn and that makes me strive for more education.
My name is Rachel Mejia. I’m an aide in the Seedlings class. I was raised in Gaithersburg, Maryland. I graduated from Quince Orchard High School in 2009. I am currently a student at Montgomery College. My favorite color is pink, I am the youngest of 4 children. I have 3 nieces and 1 nephew. I have been working at Little Acorns since 2012. What I love most about my job is working with 2 year olds, they say the best things. I really enjoy watching them grow.
Hello, I am Sujata Nayak. I was born and raised in Orissa India. I received my bachelors degree in India in Psychology and Political Science. I immigrated to the United States in 1986 to join my husband. I am the proud parent of 2 children, Srotalina and Sonal. I volunteered for 5 years as a teachers aide in a Montgomery County Public school. I always had a love for Child development and joined Little Acorns in 1996. Little Acorns has enhanced my passion for teaching and provided me additional education and training in early education. While here I attained my child care certificate and CDA. I love to watch the children grow from a very young age and be a part of their growth. This is what makes teaching so wonderful for me.
Hello, I am Michelle Reid both a loving mother and teacher. I was born in Washington DC and raised with Jamaican background. I graduated from Roosevelt High School in the district. I am currently seeking a child development associates degree, I have enrolled in cosmetology classes as well. I have been at Little Acorns since 2003. I enjoy teaching children and I love the relationship I have with the children. Watching them learn and grow and helping them enjoy a positive learning experience. I feel it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done, except for parenting my own children.
Marie-Therese: Sapling Helper/Breaker
My name is Marie-Therese Badou. I am currently a break aide in the Sapling and Oak Tree classes. I was born and raised in Cote D’Ivoire. I am married with five children; I have three sons and two daughters. After my high school diploma, I went to a trade school and obtained a secretarial certificate that enabled me to work at the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Abidjan. I worked there for eight years and became increasingly interested in working with children and therefore started volunteering at a friends daycare. I came to the United States in 1998 with my family. Given that French is my first language, the first thing I did upon coming to the USA was taking some English classes to improve my knowledge of the language. I have been here working at Little Acorns since 1999. I started as a part time staff member at the day care center and was simultaneously working at the French International School on a part time basis as well. I have consistently worked with small children with ages ranging from 3-5. I started working full time at Little Acorns in 2008. I have always enjoyed working with children- each one is special. The most rewarding aspect of my work is to be able to assist children through development changes and seeing them grow as individuals as time goes on. Completing the CDA class gave me the high quality education I needed to improve my knowledge and be a great teacher.
Janie: Oak Trees
My name is Janie DeBord and I am from Olney, Maryland. I graduated from St. John’s College High School in 2009 and then went off to Towson University. When I was at Towson I was a double major in Special Education and Elementary Education. In 2011, I started at Montgomery College as an Early Childhood Major and I received my Associates degree in the spring of 2012. I have worked with children since I was 13 years old doing jobs from being a mothers helper to being a full time nanny. I have been working since 2010 in a three-year-old classroom, as the Senior Staff teacher. I have also completed an internship at a local elementary school as a Kindergarten aide. Working in a Kindergarten setting helped me become familiar with all of the requirements needed for children to be ready to start kindergarten. I am very excited for many fun experiences at Little Acorns and many memories to be made.
Haoua: Oak Trees
My name is Haoua Samake-Kondombo. I am the assistant teacher in the Oak Tree group. I was born in Burkina Faso, in West Africa. I am married and the mother of two children. I have worked at Little Acorns since 2001. I received my degree in social work and worked as a civil servant for the government in Burkina Gaso for over 13 years prior to coming to this country. I had extensive experience working with children in my home country. I moved to the United States in 1988. I began working with children in the French International School ‘Lycee’Rochambeau, located in Bethesda from 1995 through 2001. I completed my 90 Hour Early Childhood certificate in 1999 and went on to complete the CDA certification in 2003. Since then I have attended many workshops to improve my teaching skills. I love working with children. Each and every day is unique as you watch them grow and change. It is so amazing to experience how fast they learn and develop. I am happy to be a part of their lives and help them have a good start. I also learn from them as they each are so different in their own way. They all are adorable and bring me much joy.
Tamisha: Oak Trees/Mighty Oaks
My name is Tamisha Rose Reid. I am the Aide in the 2 year old Seedlings class. My family is originally from Jamaica but I was raised in Gaithersburg. I graduated from Quince Orchard High School in 2009. I will complete my Associates at Montgomery College in late 2012. I love to do hair and get my nails done. I will attend cosmetology school next year so look for me in a salon in the coming future I am secretly afraid of ALL bugs. I have been working at Little Acorns since 2009. What I love most about my job are the children. Watching them grow, especially in the baby room. They seem to just grow overnight. Every day is something new and always exciting. It is funny how we think we know everything and a 4 year old comes along and teaches us something new. In 30 years when I have kids;-) I will be well prepared.
My name is Jialing Liao. I came to the US from China in 1989 after graduation from Zhong Sham University with a degree in Literature. I am happily married to my husband and we have a wonderful daughter together. I have been working with Little Acorns assisting all of the classes since 1998. I work mostly with the Oak Trees now assisting with their projects, writing and other activities. I love the children at Little Acorns as much as I love my own daughter. It makes me very happy to see them grow up well. I enjoy introducing the children to art and writing.