“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 a love for her staff, the families and children of TLT, that make this not just a place to drop off your child, but you become part of a family. The Learning Tree is a special place, due to Miss Marta’s vision and her great big heart!
Mrs. JC – Director
Mrs. JC is originally from Ontario, Canada, but has lived in North Carolina for the last 11 years. 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 director position. 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. 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!
Ms. Monica– Assistant Director
Ms. Monica is originally from Greenville, North Carolina. She’s currently in her last semester of obtaining her BA in Early Childhood Education, at The University of Mount Olive. Her plans after graduating are entering the master’s program in educational administration. Her goal is to obtain her PhD in Education. She has a passion for working with children, and a love for the administration aspect, these two married together have lit a fire in her. She feels she is now fulfilling her purpose! She loves being part of TLT family, and loves the challenges and rewards this position entails.
Mrs. Sandy – Lead Teacher
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.
Ms. Becky – Assistant Teacher
Ms. Becky is an assistant in Ms. Sandy’s infant room. She has been working in childcare for more than 20 years, and has been working with Miss Marta since 1997. Becky is very family-focused, and has spent a lot of time raising her nieces and nephews. She has a son in elementary school and two daughters who attend The Learning Tree. She brings that emphasis on family to her job at the center. “A lot of our teachers have been together for 15-20 years, and we feel like a family,” she says. “We hope you and your child will feel like part of our family, too.”
Mrs. Mary – Lead Teacher
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!
Ms. Tracey – Assistant Teacher
Ms. Tracey has been with Miss Marta for nearly 20 years! She has worked with all ages, however, she has truly found her home with our infants. Mrs. Tracey has worked along side Mrs. Mary in the Magnolias classroom for the past two years helping to make our infant rooms truly special! She holds her NC Early Childhood Credentials and has taken hundreds of hours of early childhood classes throughout the years. Ms. Tracey has two adult children and a beautiful energetic granddaughter, Brooklyn
Miss Sarah was born and raised in Pilot Mountain, NC. She has lived in Wilmington for 9 years. Miss Sarah has worked with young children for seven years and currently holds her NC Early Childhood Credentials and is currently enrolled in classes at UNCW. While she loves working with all ages, she is especially fond of infants and toddlers. Her kind and gentle spirit is perfect for our Learning Tree babies who absolutely adore her. You will most often find her helping out in the Willows, Magnolias, and Peaches.
Ms. Meg – Lead Teacher
Ms. Meg is from Rockville, Maryland. She moved to Wilmington in 2009 for graduate school. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Guilford College and has a Masters of Fine Arts in creative writing from UNCW. Ms.Meg has her Early Childhood Credentials. She began her career at Hope in August 2009. She became the lead teacher of the ones when The Learning Tree opened in December of 2009. In 2012-2013 she worked as the assistant director before moving to Jacksonville in June of 2013. She worked as a ones teacher in a 5 star center called New Beginnings. Ms.Meg returned to her old post of Lead Teacher of the ones at The Learning Tree in June 2016.
Ms. Emily – Assistant Teacher
Ms. Emily was born in the Philadelphia area. She went to Widener University and received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. In 2008, Ms. Emily moved to Wilmington and taught in an NC Pre-K in New Hanover County for 3 years. She then took some time off to foster and adopt a beautiful baby girl. She later adopted her niece and nephew. Ms.Emily was a Teacher Assistant at Cape Fear Center of Inquiry for 2.5 years. Ms.Emily has a big heart and is a great asset to The Learning Tree family.
Miss Samantha – Lead Teacher
Miss Samantha currently holds her NC Early Childhood Credentials and is working towards her Associates Degree in Early Childhood at Stanley Community College. She has always had a passion for working with young children and is thrilled to be the new lead teacher in our Maples classroom. Miss Sam’s enthusiasm is contagious! You will always find her smiling, laughing, dancing, and loving on her babies. She grew up in Wallace, NC and now lives in Rocky Point with her boyfriend Neil and considers his 12 year old son, Hunter, to be like a son to her. When she’s not at The Learning Tree she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her beloved cat, Boo.
Miss Lizz – Assistant Teacher
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 in April, she decided to follow her passion and began working for TLT in August. She is currently enrolling at Cape Fear Community College to earn her NC Early Childhood Credentials. Her 4 month old daughter, Ava, is enrolled in our infant room.
Miss Brooke– Assistant Teacher
Miss Brooke grew up in Wilmington, NC and has always enjoyed working with children. She spent the beginning years of her professional life in other fields, however, she found herself gravitating towards a career with young children. She loved her time spent in the nursery and teaching Vacation Bible School at her church. Miss Brooke joined TLT in 2017 and is set to begin school in the fall to earn her early childhood degree. She has found her niche in our toddler classroom where her gentle nature and calm presence compliments our busy little friends. Miss Brooke loves spending time with her 8 year old son Jacob and enjoys going to the beach on the weekends. She also has a nephew who attends The Learning Tree.
Ms. Dricka – Lead Teacher
Ms. Dricka has worked in childcare for over 21 years, 10 of which she has spent at The Learning Tree. She is a credentialed teacher. She has five children of her own and four grandchildren. Ms. Dricka brings years of skill and experience to our center, and loves watching her students grow and learn.
Miss Shannon – Assistant Teacher
Miss Shannon is a full-time floater in our front building. She holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as several other educational certificates. Her vast experience with ages birth through 3 as well as her ability to adapt well and get along with all of her colleagues makes her the perfect candidate for a floater position. You may even find her helping up front from time to time. She is also a licensed foster parent who has touched the lives of many children in their time of need. Miss Shannon’s caring heart and giving spirit shines through in all she does!
Miss Becky – Lead Teacher
Miss Becky is the lead teacher in the Coconuts. She has her NC credentials and has taken many early childhood classes. Miss Becky is very energetic. Her enthusiasm to be surrounded by children reflects throughout the classroom.
Miss Jessica – Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Ann – Lead Teacher
Mrs. Ann – Mrs. Ann has been in childcare for over 20 years. She actually worked under Miss Marta at United Advent Christian Church when TLT’s story began over 20 years ago. She left to explore other opportunities, however, she eventually came back to the Learning Tree where she now teaches one of our three-year old classes. Mrs. Ann’s enthusiasm and positive energy shine through in everything she does in her classroom and beyond!
Mrs. Jeannie – Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Jeannie is the assistant teacher of the fours 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 baby girl. She loves watching children grow. “I consider doing what you love, every day,” says Mrs. Jeannie, “to be one of life’s greatest blessings.
Mrs. Linda – Lead Teacher
Mrs. Linda is a lead fours teacher. 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, Jessie. Mrs. Linda has been working with Miss Marta for many years, and feels strongly called to teach. She strives to provide the very best for her students in all settings.
Miss Alyssa – Assistant Teacher
Miss Alyssa is originally from Lake George, NY. She recently moved to the Wilmington area with her parents who retired down here in 2017. Miss Alyssa has worked with children for the past 5 years with a diverse range of experiences from a Catholic School setting to a Montessori program. She is currently enrolled in classes to become a certified teaching assistant and plans to pursue a degree in elementary education at UNCW. Miss Alyssa bonds easily with the children she works with through one on one conversations as well as engaging large group activities. She is full of energy and is always smiling. She has a beloved black lab named Clifford and absolutely loves living near the beach!
Mrs. Jackie – Lead Teacher
Mrs. Jackie – Mrs. Jackie is one of our Pre-K teachers. She is originally from Rockville, Maryland. Her wonderful husband, Matthew, is a veteran and currently works for the department of defense. After a 10 year stint on the West Coast, they finally had the opportunity to move back east in late 2017. Although she is new to the Wilmington area, her and her husband hope to call this their “forever home”. Miss Jackie has worked with children for over 17 years from infants to teens. However, most of her experience has been with 4 and 5 year olds. She has worked in both the private sector and military educational settings. She has an intense passion for positively influencing the lives of young children which is obvious when you see her interacting with her students. Mrs. Jackie is full of compassion and always has a smile on her face!
Mrs. Meg – Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Meg has been a staff member at The Learning Tree for the past 6 years. She is a graduate of Cape Fear Community College and holds an Associates Degree in Early Childhood. She is very loving and cares deeply for all children who enter her life. As an assistant teacher in the Bamboos Classroom she enjoys interacting with the children during both individual and group time and often leads the Bible lesson for the children. Mrs. Meg lives in Wilmington with her husband Rob and two beloved pups, Kona and Sadie. When she’s not at The Learning Tree you will find her spending quality time with friends and family and cheering on the Panthers.
Mrs. Debby – Assistant Teacher
Mrs. Debby is an assistant teacher. Originally from Southern California, Mrs. Debby has travelled all over the world with her husband, Bill. She first became involved in Early Childhood Education in Germany in the 1970’s. Since then, she has brought her skills to a number of areas and settings. Despite over 25 years of experience, three children and four grandchildren, Mrs. Debby considers herself a lifelong learner, and believes there is always something to be learned from children.
Mrs. Paula – Administrative Assistant & Floater
Mrs. Paula has worked with young children for 18 years! She has been a lead teacher, assistant teacher, and Sunday School teacher. She currently holds her NC Early Childhood Credentials and enjoys taking continuing education courses whenever possible to expand her knowledge base within the field. Mrs. Paula also has many years of office experience which makes her a wonderful asset in that area. She is known as the “Mary Poppins” of the Learning Tree! As a floater and admin assistant, she is able to spread her magic to all of our classrooms. Mrs. Paula has a wonderful husband, Clay and together they have raised two grown children, Emily and Holly.
Miss Tiffany – Assistant Teacher
Miss Tiffany is a floater in the front building at the Learning Tree which allows her to share her infectious smile with all of our littlest friends. She currently holds her NC Early Childhood Credentials and has worked with young children since she fell in love with it as a 10th grade intern almost nine years ago! When she’s not at the Learning Tree you will find her at home playing with Bear Bear, her pet ferret, and her beloved doggy, Mr. Hank.
Mrs. Ruby – Afternoon Assistant Teacher
Miss Ruby is originally from Georgia, however, she has lived in the Wilmington area for 13 years. She has always loved being around kids and even works as a Disney Princess for children’s parties and events! She has a beloved dog named Mojo and recently lived out one of her bucket list items by going to Las Vegas to see her favorite singer, Elton John!