“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. 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 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. 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. Currently she works as front office staff. Previously, she 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 36 years. They have two daughters and a sweet pup, Piper. Mrs. Paula is our Mary Poppins at TLT. She sprinkles her love and kindness every where she can.

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.

Ms. Becky – Assistant Teacher Willows

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 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!

Miss Shannon– Assistant Teacher Magnolias

Miss holds an Associate’s 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 Alyssa– Infant Floater

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. 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 27 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 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, quick wit 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 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 2 year old daughter, Ava, is also a part of our TLT family.

– 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 TLT family and are excited to continue to watch her grow and flourish as a strong, knowledgeable teacher.

Miss Ruby- Assistant Teacher Cherry Blossom

Miss Ruby was born in Albany, GA. Her family is from Wilmington, so she moved to Wilmington to be closer to them. She lives her dream performing as a Disney princess as her side job. She loves all things Disney! She has been a teacher at TLT for 3 years and loves working with younger children. She is an extremely gifted artist. You will always find her classroom decorated with perfection and imagination. She brings life and excitement to any classroom she is in! Miss Ruby is truly a gift and inspiration at TLT.

Miss Kristian– Lead Teacher Palms

Miss Kristian is the lead teacher of the Palms classroom. Her son, Brian,  graduated our program in 2020. Miss Kristian has her credentials and several years of experience in early childhood. She is attentive to her children’s needs and has a great sense of humor.

Miss Meaghan- Assistant Teacher Palms

Miss Meaghan is the assistant teacher of the Palms classroom. She takes a lot of pride in decorating her classroom. He love for early childhood education is demonstrated through her interactions with her students and through her lesson plans.

Miss Becky– Lead Teacher Coconuts

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 Dacia- Assistant Teacher Coconuts

Miss Dacia is very excited to be the assistant teacher of the Coconuts classroom. In 2019,  she welcomed her rainbow baby with her loving boyfriend Joshua. We are excited to have Miss Dacia and her sweet baby 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 2 years. She feels helping children learn and develop puts a huge smile on her face and a joy in her heart. She wants to do her part to help ensure her students 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.

Ms. Dricka– Lead Teacher Sycamores

Ms. Dricka has been in childcare for over 20 years and a part of the TLT family for over 12 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, but working with children is her passion. Ms. Dricka loyalty and dependability bring such an excellent dynamic to TLT! 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

Ms. Taylor has studied sociology and psychology at Cape Fear Community College; however, she has 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 is 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 Ms. Taylor and look forward to watching her continue to grow and flourish in the 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 10 years. She believes that children are given an amazing opportunity to learn through guided instruction, self-discovery and play. In her class room 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 TLT!

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 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.


Miss Samantha– Lead Teacher Kapoks

Miss Samantha has been with TLT for 4 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, 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 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 Early Childhood Education. She received her credentials in ECE in 2010. She found her true passion and place she belongs when she joined TLT in April of 2019. Miss Brianne has a friendly, loving personality and truly has brought a smiling, loving presence to our TLT family.


Miss Payton-Floater


Miss Payton graduated from Ashley High School in 2018. Her aunt runs an in-home daycare, where Payton helped her and truly found her love her working with children. Payton grew up in church and loved helping her grandma in the nursery. She loved 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.