“A good teacher is like a candle…it consumes itself to light the way for others.”
All of our amazing teachers are truly part of our family. Some of these fine ladies have been with Miss Marta for 20 years! Others have been part of The Learning Tree for 3 to 12 years while some are brand new. No matter how long they have been part of the family, each was selected first and foremost based on their love and dedication to young children. All of our lead teachers hold at minimum, a certificate of credentials in NC early education while many have Associates, Bachelor’s or Master’s Degrees in education or related fields. Within 45 days of being hired, all staff complete 18 hours of Health and Safety Training in addition to CPR, First Aid, and SIDS certifications. Many of our teachers are currently enrolled in degree programs to further their knowledge base in the field of Early Childhood Education. Those who are not currently enrolled in a degree program are required to take continuing education courses through Smart Start of New Hanover County, Pro-Solutions, or other accredited programs. Many of our teachers attend the annual NAEYC Conference in Raleigh while our administrators attend 3-4 educational conferences each year in an effort to stay abreast of current trends, requirements, and best practices for our program.
Miss Marta – Owner
Miss Marta is the owner of The Learning Tree. She is a graduate of Marshall University with a BA and an MA in education. Since moving to the Wilmington area in 1997, she has been very active in the early childhood community, serving on the local, state and national levels. In 2005, she was honored as the National Director of the Year. Her goal is to offer quality child care to the families of this area. Her mission for The Learning Tree is truly inspiring. She has an incredible love for her staff, the families and children of TLT. She has created a place that is very special. Miss Marta’s vision and big heart truly reflect in our school family.
Mrs. JC – Director
Mrs. JC is originally from Ontario, Canada. She has been living in North Carolina since 2004. She worked as a teacher since 2003, and joined the Learning Tree family in 2009. She taught at The Learning Tree for 6 years, before moving into the administration. She holds a BS in Education and a BA in French Literature. She is also a credentialed Early Educator and Administrator. Mrs. JC has a son, Zachary, who graduated from The Learning Tree in the spring of 2018. Her daughter, Isabelle, currently attends The Learning Tree. She is a skilled and dynamic director. When you come to TLT and see Mrs. JC, you can always expect to be greeted with a big smile and genuine conversation. Her most used quote, and one she lives by is, ” teamwork makes the dream work”. She is truly a blessing and a pleasure to work with and be around!
Mrs. Paula– Administrative Assistant
Mrs. Paula has been with TLT since July 2016. She works as as the administrative assistant. Mrs. Paula worked in the preschool setting for 20 years, specifically with 3’s-pre-k. She has worked as both lead and assistant teacher. She loves being in the Early Childhood Education environment, serving children and families. She has been married to her husband Clay for many years. They have two grown daughters and a sweet pup named Piper. Mrs. Paula is our Mary Poppins. She sprinkles her love and kindness every where she goes.
Miss Dacia- Office Assistant
Miss Dacia is the office assistant at The learning Tree. You always find her with a smile. In 2019, she welcomed her rainbow baby. We are excited to have Miss Dacia and her sweet girl as a part of our TLT family. She says adjusting to motherhood and working has been a challenge, however, she is thankful to be able to have her at work with her every day! Miss Dacia has been in childcare for the past few years. She wants to do her part to help ensure that children are successful in the world today! She promises to make their time worthwhile and do her part in helping them learn and grow! Ms. Dacia is a light and a pleasure to know and be around.
Mrs. Sandy – Lead Teacher Willows
Mrs. Sandy is a Lead Infant Teacher. She has worked in childcare for over 20 years, and has been working with Miss Marta since 1997. Mrs. Sandy holds her NC Childcare Credential and furthers her education through in-service training each year. She loves children and loves guiding their development. Mrs. Sandy is also a wonderful resource for parents of infants and is always available to the families of her babies. She always goes beyond a teacher’s responsibilities. Her devotion to The Learning Tree and to her families is truly inspiring.
Ms. Becky – Assistant Teacher Willows
Ms. Becky is an assistant in the infant room. She has been working in childcare for more than 20 years, and has been working with Miss Marta since 1997. Ms. Becky is very family-focused, and has spent a lot of time raising her nieces and nephews. She has a son and two daughters. She brings that emphasis on family with her to The Learning Tree. “A lot of our teachers have been together for 15-20 years, and we feel like a family. We hope you and your child will feel like part of our family, too.”
Mrs. Mary – Lead Teacher Magnolias
Mrs. Mary is a lead teacher in the Magnolias infant room. She became an infant teacher when her own girls were in pre-school, and brings more than 30 years experience raising three daughters. She also brings over 15 years experience in a group care setting. Mrs. Mary is a very hard working individual. She has an Associates Degree in Early Childhood and, she is always finding ways to educate herself furthermore. Mrs. Mary sees working with children as a privilege and is excited to be part of The Learning Tree team!
Mrs. Gwen – Assistant Teacher Magnolias
Miss Alyssa– Infant Floater
Miss Alyssa is a floater in the infant rooms. She is passionate about children and develops an incredible bond with them. She has an incredible sweetness that blends well with the early childhood educational field. She is also very artistic and likes to think “outside the box”. You often find her creativity while decorating bulletin boards or classrooms.
Ms. Nancy– Infant Floater
Ms. Nancy has been in the education field for over 35 years. She holds a BA in Early Childhood Education and a Masters in education. She feels being a teacher has always been a passion and a dream come true! She loves working with children and making a difference in each life she touches. Ms. Nancy has brought experience and dedication to our TLT family. We are blessed to have her as a part of our team!
Ms. Meg– Lead Teacher Peaches
Ms. Meg holds a BA in English from Guilford College and an MFA in creative writing from UNCW. In addition, she has her NC childcare credentials. She has been teaching for 17 years, 11 of those years she has spent at TLT. She loves working with the one-year old classroom. She feels their energy and milestones keep routines fresh and exciting day after day. At home, she is a stepmom of 4 and a dog mom of 3. She is passionate about animals, music, reading and crafts, inside and outside of the classroom. Ms. Meg is the lead teacher of our younger one’s classroom, where she faces the challenge of the first transition from the infant classroom. She is a strong leader and member of our TLT family. We value her dedication and excitement for teaching and the love she has for her kids. She is a joy to be around!
Mrs. Dorene- Assistant Teacher Peaches
Mrs. Dorene has been working in child care for over 20 years. She has worked with all age groups, from infant to Kindergartners. She has a son, as well as a step son. She enjoys working with children and values how rewarding her job can be. She loves that there is never a boring moment and attributes that to her love for what she does. Ms. Dorene has been an excellent addition to The Learning Tree family. You will always find her with a bright smile and an eagerness to make you feel welcomed.
Miss Lizz– Lead Teacher Maples
Miss Lizz holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Forensic Science. However, she has always adored children and worked as a nanny for several years. After giving birth to her own daughter, she decided to follow her passion and began working for The Learning Tree. She is has her NC Early Childhood Credentials, and continues to pursue her early childhood education. Her daughter, Ava, is also a part of our school family.
Miss Andee- Assistant Teacher Maples
Miss Sydney– Lead Teacher Cherry Blossoms
Miss Sydney was born and raised in Wilmington, NC. She holds a BS in family and consumer sciences from Meredith College, with a concentration on education and family relationships. She enjoyed her time in Raleigh, but she is glad to be back home to her roots, as a 7th generation Wilmington native. While teaching is a new challenge for Miss Sydney, she has jumped right in and made herself at home. We are thankful to have her as a part of our school family and are excited to continue to watch her grow and flourish as a strong, knowledgeable teacher.
– Assistant Teacher Cherry Blossom
Miss Meaghan- Lead Teacher Palms
Miss Meaghan is the lead teacher of the Palms classroom. She takes a lot of pride in decorating her classroom. Her love for early childhood education is demonstrated through her interactions with her students and through her lesson plans.
We are excited to share that Miss Meaghan is expecting her first child in the Spring!
Miss Anah– Assistant Teacher Palms
Miss Anah is the assistant teacher of the Palms classroom. Miss Anah has spent several years working with children. She recently moved back to North Carolina after living in Hawaii for a few years. Miss Anah is very soft spoken. She is very observant and attentive to our children’s needs. She has been a great addition to our school family.
Miss Becky– Lead Teacher Coconuts
Miss Becky is the lead teacher in the Coconuts. She has her NC credentials and continues to pursue her education in early childhood. Miss Becky is very energetic. Her enthusiasm to be surrounded by children reflects throughout the classroom. Her son, Jeremiah, also attends The Learning Tree.
Miss Payton- Assistant Teacher Coconuts
Miss Payton is the assistant teacher of the Coconuts’ classroom. She graduated from Ashley High School in 2018. Her aunt runs an in-home childcare, where Payton helped her and truly found her love for working with children. Payton grew up in church and loved helping her grandmother in the nursery. She loves working with children because she feels they motivate her to be a better person, and bring out the best sides of her. She loves how they are so loving and freely giving of themselves. Her favorite part of her job is watching the progress the children make and seeing how excited they are about learning. It brightens her day to see how excited her kids are to see her daily, and how rewarding it feels that they look up to her and make her feel like a superstar! She says she could not imagine herself doing anything else, working with kids is where her heart belongs! Miss Payton has been an excellent addition to our TLT family.
Ms. Dricka– Lead Teacher Sycamores
Ms. Dricka has been in childcare for over 20 years and a part of the TLT family for over 13 years. She was born and raised in Wilmington. She graduated from New Hanover High School. She has 5 children and 5 grandchildren. She enjoys the 2 and 3 year old’s the most. Working with children is her passion. Ms. Dricka’s loyalty and dependability bring such an excellent dynamic to The Learning Tree! We have been blessed to have her for so many years and look forward to all of the years to come.
Miss Taylor- Assistant Teacher Sycamores
Miss Taylor has studied sociology and psychology at Cape Fear Community College; however, she found her passion has always been teaching and caring for children. She feels her love for children has always come naturally, due to being around her nieces and nephews. Now that she has a son of her own, this love has grown and validated her place in childcare. Her goal is to become an elementary teacher or a school counselor. Regardless the direction she goes, her desire is to help children be the best they can be every day! We have enjoyed having Miss Taylor and look forward to watching her continue to grow and flourish in our childcare setting.
Mrs. Ann– Lead Teacher Bamboos
Mrs. Ann has been in childcare for over 20 years. She has worked at The Learning Tree for over 10 years. She believes that children are given an amazing opportunity to learn through guided instruction, self-discovery and play. In her classroom, she incorporates this belief in her daily routine. Giving each child support in developing positive social skills as they work together in a learning environment. Mrs. Ann is a ray of sunshine and a blessing at The Learning Tree!
Mrs. Jeannie Assistant Teacher Bamboos
Mrs. Jeannie is the assistant teacher of the 3’s classroom. Mrs. Jeannie has worked with Miss Marta since 1998. She has taken many early childhood classes throughout the years. She is a very soft spoken teacher who demonstrates an incredible amount of love for children. Mrs. Jeannie is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of a beautiful girl and baby boy. She loves watching children grow. “I consider doing what you love, every day,” says Mrs. Jeannie, “to be one of life’s greatest blessings.
Miss Samantha– Lead Teacher Kapoks
Miss Samantha has been with The Learning Tree for 5 years. She is currently finishing her BA in Early Childhood Education, at the University of Mount Olive. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her pets. She has 1 cat, 3 reptiles, 10 fish and says her pet family is still growing. She believes in teaching the whole child through play and exploration. Miss Samantha brings a fresh new learning style to TLT, that our kids and parents love!
Mrs. Sarah Assistant Teacher Kapoks
Mrs. Sarah graduated from UNCW with a BA in social work. In 2019, she got married to her husband Irving. Mrs. Sarah has always had a passion for working with children and specifically loves working with our 4’s classroom. In her free time, she enjoys expressing her creativity through drawing and scrap-booking. She also is working on Spanish in hope of becoming bilingual. Mrs. Sarah has been an excellent addition to our TLT family.
Mrs. Linda– Lead Teacher Dogwoods
Mrs. Linda was raised in Wilmington, and received her education from Berkshire Christian College in Massachusetts, where she graduated with a degree in Theology and Christian education. Her husband is the Senior Pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church. Mrs. Linda serves as youth Pastor at United Advent Christian Church. She and her husband have a daughter named Jessie. She also has two grandsons. Mrs. Linda has been working with Miss Marta for many years. She strives to provide the very best for her students in all settings.
Miss Brianne-Assistant Teacher Dogwoods
Miss Brianne was born and raised in Wilmington, NC where she received a private education. In her high school years, she helped monitor the Kindergarten children during lunch time, along with working as a teacher assistant for the after school program/summer program. During this time, she found her passion for teaching. She graduated from Amy Bradley School in 2008, briefly attended Cape Fear Community College, where she began her journey into the Early Childhood Education field. She received her credentials in ECE in 2010. She found her true passion and where she belongs when she joined The Learning Tree in April of 2019. Miss Brianne has a friendly, loving personality and truly has brought a smiling, loving presence to our TLT family.