Staff

Executive Leadership

Ali DeMaria

Executive Director exec@wpdaynursery.org

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

Program Director megan@wpdaynursery.org

Ms. Megan has worked with children 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

Crystal Levsen

Director of Facilities crystal@wpdaynursery.org

Our investment in our children directly reflects the future we will live in.  Early childhood education is not just a job.  It’s a mission.

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

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

 

Amy Wenner

Assistant Directoramy@wpdaynursery.org

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 Caulder

Executive Assistant/Office Manager & Donor Relations dara@wpdaynursery.org

Ms. Dara completed her AA degree at Seminole State College and loves event planning where she hopes to open her own business one day. 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.

Heather Horne

Administrative Assistantreception@wpdaynursery.org

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

Kitchen

Shirley Shankle

Kitchen Manager kitchen@wpdaynursery.org

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.”

Fallon Parker

Teacher

In 2018, Ms. Fallon graduated from Morrisville State College in upstate NY, with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology. After moving back to FLorida, she went on to work with a wide variety of children from ages 3 all the way through middle school, including special needs children. Ms. Fallon would like to earn her Master’s degree in clinical psychology and then receive her doctorate degree and become a child psychologist. 

“To me, children inspire change. They are growing and learning new things ever day. I love working with children because I know that they are the young minds who are going to make a difference.”

Kari Gardner

Teacher

Ms. Kari is a graduate student at Rollins College pursuing her Masters in Elementary Education. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Neuroscience. She has over ten years of experience in child care, mostly in sports education with a specialty in gymnastics. 

“Childcare has always been my calling, ever since I was 12 and all the little ones at my brother’s baseball games wanted to hang out with me. I spent my high school and college years volunteering in childcare, and my first job was as a coach. I’m excited to keep working to make a difference in the lives of children. Helping them believe in themselves is my passion.”

Preschool

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 earned her Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Development in 2020.

“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.”

Madison Weil

Teacher

Ms. Madison is joining Winter Park Day Nursery for the second time.  The last time she was a part of our school family, she was a student in our pre-k classroom. She now attends Seminole State College with hopes to transfer to the University of Central Florida to finish her degree. Ms. Madison aims to provide the same foundation  to the children she teaches that she received as a student here.

“Our task is to help children communicate with the world using all their potential, strengths, and languages, and to overcome any obstacle presented by our culture.” -Loris Malaguzzi

Toddlers

Vanessa Melendez

Teacher

Ms. Vanessa graduated from Valencia College with her A.A degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in childcare since 2016 and has done volunteer work with local elementary schools.

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

Ally Dabdoub

Teacher

In 2021, Ms. Ally graduated from Rollins College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Ever since she was 15, she has worked with children of all ages in her hometown, Kingston, Jamaica. Ms. Ally would like to earn her Master’s  degree in clinical mental health counseling and receive her doctorate degree to become a Clinical Psychologist specializing in children. Her hobbies include fine arts and photography.

“I love to work with young children because it excites me to learn about their different personalities. As Dr. Seuss said, ‘Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.'”

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.

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.”

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 grown children.

“Each child is a special gift. With positive nurturing and guidance they can achieve their highest potential.”

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

Lisa Franzese

Teacher

Ms. Lisa graduated from Lake Brantley High School in the 1980s and attended Valencia Community College. She is a former OCPS volunteer, Edible Education Experience student, and has worked with the Homeless Outreach program. Ms. Lisa has raised 4 beautiful and kind humans and in her free time she loves being a dog walker/pet sitter, spending time with family and is a lover of wildlife and being an amateur photographer. 

“Spending time and working with children is my happy place.”