Executive Leadership

Ali DeMaria

Executive Director

In 2003, Ms. DeMaria graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and earned her Florida Child Development Associate Equivalency from Seminole Community College in 2005. Ms. DeMaria received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College in 2010, where she also earned a certificate in Marriage & Family Therapy. In July 2011 she received her Advanced level Florida Child Care and Education Program Director Credential from the Florida Department of Children and Families. In 2013, Ms. DeMaria earned her certificate in Non Profit Management from the Rollins Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership Center.

Ms. DeMaria joined the staff of the Winter Park Day Nursery in January 2005 and has accepted roles of increasing responsibility over the course of her time at the Nursery.

Crystal Levsen

Director of Administration

Crystal received her Associate degree in  Computer Animation at Full Sail University is currently working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She was a Camp Director teaching computer animation, computer graphics, web design, and robotics with Cyber Camps. She has 9 years experience in the mortgage business including managing her own branch office.  Crystal is also a proud parent of 2 Winter Park Day Nursery students.

Megan Brown

Director of Family Services

Megan has worked with children for ten years since she was a senior in high school. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in social work and she also has her CDA. When Megan is not at school, she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets, reading, and dancing. She truly believes, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

Amy Wenner

Assistant Director 

Ms. Amy studied Early Childhood Education and Child Psychology, while earning her Florida Staff Credential. She has done volunteer work with children at the Homeless Coalition and at the Women’s Residential Counseling Center. Her passions include working with children, art, and photography. She strives to live each day with kindness, positivity, and love!

Dara Morris

Office Manager

Ms. Dara completed her AA degree at Seminole State College and is currently pursuing her AS to BSN in Nursing. She would like to be a pediatric nurse or a flight nurse. When she is not at school or work, she enjoys spending time with family & friends, being by the water, and going for a run. Ms. Dara is a proud parent of 1 daughter and is also fluent in sign language.

 “Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Kitchen

Shirley Shankle

Kitchen Manager

Ms. Shirley has a culinary arts credential from Lake Technical School and taught culinary arts at Umatilla High School.  Ms. Shirley encourages the children to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, prepares almost everything from “scratch”, and limits serving processed foods.

“The best thing I like about working at WPDN is the way everyone pulls together as a team. I also enjoy watching the children progress as they learn from the very dedicated teaching staff.”

Pre-Kindergarten

Paige Baldocchi

Teacher

Ms. Paige started working with children in high school when she got her first job in the nursery at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park. She graduated from Orlando Tech with her Staff Credential and is pursuing her Director’s Credential.  Teaching children has always been Ms. Paige’s passion.

“There is nothing better than going to work each morning to hear the children yell, “Ms. Paige!” as they run over and give you hugs. Working with children is such a joy that most days it doesn’t feel like a job at all.”

Vicky Diel

Teacher

Ms. Vicky attended Seminole Community College studying Early Childhood Education earning her CDA and VPK credentials.  She has taught Pre-Kindergarten for over 18 years.  She is also a Florida native.

“I love teaching Pre-K.  There is nothing better than watching them accomplish, learn, and grow.”

Jasmine Browder

Teacher

Ms. Jasmine received her Associate Degree from Brevard Community College.  She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at the University of Central Florida.  Ms. Jasmine has over 12 years of experience working with children from the ages of infant to 14 years of age and continues to inspire young minds.

“If I can just make a difference in one child’s life, then I have done my job”.

Vanessa Medina

Teacher

Ms. Vanessa graduated from Nyack College with her Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management.  She is currently working towards her M.B.A. degree. “Children can learn and soak up so much information.  I love seeing the great improvement from the start til the end of the school year.”

Preschool

Beryl Chung

Teacher

Ms. Beryl earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She operated her own in-home daycare for several years. Ms. Beryl has 2 teenage children. “Each child is a special gift. With positive nurturing and guidance they can achieve their highest potential.”

Jessica MacWithey

Teacher

Ms. Jessica was born and raised in Orlando, Florida to a single mother, and is the oldest of 5 siblings. She graduated from Seminole State College High School program in 2004 and went on to pursue her college education at Seminole State College in 2007. Eventually Ms. Jessica transferred to St. Catherine University in De Paul, MN to pursue her love of the arts. She majored in Visual Arts with a focus in metal work as well as Education. Ms. Jessica has had many accomplishments in her life. She received her DCF 45-hour training and was lead teacher in a preschool. She was employed through the Community Wodk and Learning Leadership Program sponsored by St. Catherine University. Ms. Jessica was selected to attend an intense art program and show case her metal work at the Women’s Art Institute of Minnesota. While attending St. Catherine’s she worked for 3 years at the YMCA Youth Acheivers Program as an after-school program teacher for under privileged youth between the ages of 6 and 14. Ms. Jessica has experience dealing with social workers and behavior specialists because of her experience at the YMCA. She relocated back to Orlando in 2012 where she has been a preschool teacher for 4 years.

Toddlers

Stacey Hayes

Teacher

Ms. Stacey has been in the childcare profession for most of her life. Early on, she worked with her mother in their home daycare. Ms. Stacey is a mother of two, and in her spare time she volunteers as a Girl Scout troop leader. She has her Childhood Development Associate Equivalency and graduated with honors from Orlando Tech’s Early Childhood Education program.

Stephanie DeScalzo

Teacher

In 2007, Ms. Stephanie began her career in the childcare profession caring and teaching multiple age groups. She has worked with infants through VPK for the past 8 years.  She received her Child Development Associates Degree in 2012 and is currently pursuing her Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education.

“I have always desired to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. I love working with young children as they always make me smile as they are full of wonder about the world around them and the fact that I can help them engage in learning is a bonus for me.”

Support Staff

Jazzy Vasquez

Teacher

Ms. Jazzy earned her Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice at Seminole State College.  She is currently working on pursing her Bachelor’s degree.  She enjoys food, music, and spending time with her son. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Alexandra Sarton

Teacher

Since 2002, Ms. Alexandra has been a champion of the music and arts community in the Orlando area. With a Bachelor’s degree in Film, she has also been documenting her entrepreneurial process. Ms. Alexandra started as a teacher’s assistant here at WPDN in 2010. After taking a break to tour with her musical group, she joins us now as WPDN’s Creative Director, helping to implement more STEM discoveries, bring in creative elements, & encourage an inspired classroom environment. “To me, children are our greatest teachers. Their ability to live fully in the present moment and their determination to experience joy is a reminder to go for what we want in our lives, and that we are so powerful when we work together.” 

Natalie Kinscy

Teacher

In 2016, Ms. Natalie earned her Associate’s degree from Valencia college. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education at the University of Central Florida. Ms. Natalie has been working with children for 3 years from VPK age to 5th grade. She enjoys spending time with her family & friends and going places and having a good time. 

“Children are like wet cement, whatever falls on them makes an impression.” – Haim Ginott

Sierra Clare

Teacher

Ms. Sierra Clare started her teaching career in her junior year of high school. At that time, she knew that she wanted to attain a degree in Early Childhood Education. Sierra has completed her 40 hours of DCF training, and is currently completing her AA Degree in Elementary Education at Valencia College. She is scheduled to graduate May of 2017. While attending Valencia College, Sierra was part of the study abroad program. She has traveled to Spain, where she has taught children ages 3-8 how to read, write, and speak English. She plans to continue her studies at UCF to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in ESOL. In the future she plans on opening her own school in Miami, Florida that accommodates students who are refugees, with hopes to make a smooth transition to America.

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.” – Brad Henry

 

Nicole Goracy

Orlando resident
Joined Staff June 2015

Ms. Nicole graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education.  In 2014, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Exceptional Student Education K-12 from the University of Central Florida with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorders among other severe and profound disabilities.  She is a volunteer with Autism Speaks and enjoys renovating her home and spending time with her 3 dogs and bearded dragon.