Executive Leadership

Ali DeMaria

Executive Director

In 2003, Ms. Ali 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. Ali 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. Ali earned her certificate in Non Profit Management from the Rollins Philanthropy and Non Profit Leadership Center. Ms. Ali 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.

Megan Martin

Director of Family Services

Ms. 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 Ms. 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

Stephanie DeScalzo

Behavior Coach

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.”

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

Executive Assistant/Donor Relations

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 2 children and is also fluent in sign language.

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

Heather Horne

Administrative Assistant

Ms. Heather has a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science and received her Master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in 2004. She has been a natural healer in our community for 20+ years, educating our youth and elders towards a better lifestyle. Ms. Heather is also a proud mother of three fantastic children, two of which are graduates of WPDN. In her free time she enjoys exploring all mother nature has to offer.

“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein

Yulissa Santana

Volunteer Coordinator

Ms. Yulissa is a public ally who joined Winter Park Day Nursery to help manage our amazing volunteers. She developed her passion for children through her work with her impressive ten nieces and nephews. Ms. Yulissa believes that anything is possible when you are hard-working and committed to making a difference. In addition to her work here at the school, she is also an executive leader in a youth led organization that is dedicated to eradicating youth homelessness in Central Florida. 

“I dream big dreams, that’s my thing.”

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.”

Preschool

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.

Steven Chang

Teacher

Mr. Steven graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. He values education and its importance when teaching students, especially in early childhood education.

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

Toddlers

Maria Velez

Teacher

Ms. Maria was born and raised in Columbia. When she was 14 years old her parents decided to migrate to the United States. She graduated from high school in New Jersey and then graduated from Kean University in New Jersey with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts of Spanish in 2013. Ms. Maria has worked with special needs children for over 10 years. Her family moved from New Jersey to Florida and Ms. Maria never gave up her passion of working with children so she became a teacher here at Winter Park Day Nursery. 

“I’m very blessed to help and watch the students grow into the wonderful children that they are. I am excited to continue my journey of working with children and I can’t wait to see what new experiences are coming up”

Vanessa Melendez

Teacher

Ms. Vanessa graduated from Valencia College with her A.A degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been in child care for two years and has done volunteer work with local elementary schools.

“Accept children with reverence, educate them with love, send them forth in freedom.” – Rudolf Steiner

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.

Shay Sheffield

Teacher

Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Ms. Shay used to baby-sit and take care of her five nieces and nephews starting as early as 2008 while she was in high-school. Ms. Shay graduated  from the University of Central Florida with her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development and Education. She hopes to soon be pursing her Masters in Social Work. Ms. Shay enjoys playing board games such as Monopoly and Life & watching Spongebob to relax.

“Children are so creative and sometimes they can teach you more than you teach them; never limit those teachable moments.”

Infants

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

Support Staff

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.”

Lonni Kenon

Teacher

In 2014, Ms. Lonni graduated from Lake Brantley High School with 6 college credits in Early Childhood Education from Seminole State College. She furthered her education at SSC and received her Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education Preschool Specialization. Ms. Lonni has 3 years childcare experience, her 45 hours DCF training, and is trained in CPR-First Aid. 

Bailey Lankford

Teacher

Ms. Bailey began the Early Childhood Education program at Lake Howell High School as a freshman gaining experience at their site daycare. Through the class she received her Child Development Associate certificate at the completion of her senior year. Ms. Bailey began working at a local daycare in 2015 becoming a VPK assistant teacher. She graduated from Seminole State College in December of 2018 and now attends the University of Central Florida as a junior to earn her Bachelor’s degree.

“The influence of a good teacher can never be erased.”

Nadine Batoche

Teacher

Ms. Nadine (Meme) has always loved working with children and has over 15 years of experience. She started working with children back home then came to the United States in 1987 where she began baby-sitting and teaching them French. Ms. Nadine moved to Orlando and received an opportunity to put together a proposal for a before & after school program and it was a big success. This lead her to get her home childcare license and work at a child care where she received a promotion of active Director. Her grand-daughter attended VPK at WPDN which prompted her to start volunteering. She volunteered so much that she was offered a position in our infant and toddler classroom.

“Kids bring joy to my life and my dream is to be a voice for them.” -Nadine

“Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling you cherished them.” – Richard L. Evans