What's your favorite color?
What's your favorite snack or food?
What's your favorite animal?
What is your favorite SHPS tradition?
Welcoming all as friends with love and respect.
DEBBIE BROWN, Director (and alum parent!)
It brings me great joy to be the Director of a program that has been committed to learning through play and spending part of every day outside since 1949! Through its years Sleepy Hollow has stayed committed to knowing young children learn best through play. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff is passionately committed to incorporating new knowledge about how young children grow and nurturing their natural excitement and love for learning! I believe the contributions of SHPS parents are core to Sleepy Hollow Preschool’s identity and strengthen our program!
I came to SHPS as a new parent of a 3 year old daughter, Emily, and then brought my younger daughter, Rebecca. I worked as a co-op parent and Board member. As a staff member, I delighted in teaching 3′s, working with parents and collaborating with peers. My studies in early childhood and psychology prepared me well for the work I found to be my calling. Our daughters are adults now living full lives and contributing to the world through their work as parent, emergency room nurse, and health policy analyst. My husband, Edgar, has become an accomplished photographer since his retirement from the Department of Justice, enjoying writing short stories, music, and cycling. My children by marriage, our daughters, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews love to gather to laugh, walk, listen to music, and make merry together – preferably at the eastern shore!
I look forward to getting to know your children and you this year as we work together. Please know you are welcome here! Karibu!
SUSAN BLALOCK, Administrator (and alum parent!)
I am excited to join the Sleepy Hollow staff. My daughter attended Sleepy Hollow and had the "gift of an extra year." Our family loved all of the support that she received while at Sleepy Hollow and that she gained a true love of learning from the teachers.
I am originally from North Carolina and moved to Virginia in 2000. After working as a science teacher in boarding schools for ten years, I left teaching to work for a local youth based non-profit. I look forward to supporting the staff through working in the office.
What is your favorite animal?
What's your favorite song?
The Doc McStuffins theme song.
Have you ever broken a bone?
Yes! My little toe.
Do your ears hang low?
No. But they do wobble to and fro.
JENNIFER HEALEY, Lead Teacher Ladybugs and Redfish (and alum parent!)
I’ve been a part of this wonderful Sleepy Hollow Preschool community since 2000. Both of my children are proud SHPS alums. Now that they’re “big kids,” they love coming back as staff assistants during Summer Fun. Over the years I have enjoyed several different roles here. I have been a co-oping parent, music teacher, and assistant teacher as well as lead teacher for 2′s and 3′s. I have also worked as a preschool music teacher in the Northern Virginia community, and I have worked with an all-day, mixed-age early childhood program in Alexandria.
What's your favorite color?
What is your favorite song?
I love singing and dancing so much, it’s hard to pick a favorite! But it’s always fun to march around to We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner
What is your favorite book?
Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes, By Eric Litwin: “The moral of Pete’s story is: No matter what you step in, keep walking along and singing your song. Because it’s all good.”
I’m originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and received a Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University. I have found my passion working with young children, and I’m grateful to be able to work so closely with parents and fellow staff in this warm, cooperative setting to support families and children during these very special preschool years. I enjoy being outdoors, and the practice of fostering connections with the natural world is one of the many things I love about Sleepy Hollow. I enjoy reading, creating, and getting messy with my little friends, and I absolutely adore singing, dancing, and making music together!
JULIANA TEIXEIRA, Assistant Teacher Redfish and Ladybugs
There is a book titled “Everything I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” I don’t believe that for a minute. I believe that along with the family’s teaching and support, preschool helps create the foundation for what the child will become.
I joined the Sleepy Hollow Preschool staff in the fall of 2014. My interest in preschool comes directly from my love and passion for working with children. I am musical, playing guitar and singing, and I enjoy getting the children excited about music too. I am happy to get dirty with them as we play in the different elements that nature provides. And I can communicate using American Sign Language, which might come in handy. I am looking forward to a fun and enjoyable year helping the children learn and grow!
COREE YOUNGBLOOD, Lead Teacher Dragonflies and Rainbowfish
I am really excited to return to Sleepy Hollow again this year but as a Lead Teacher. I loved working with Pam Holran (Dolphins Lead Teacher) the last 4 years. I look forward to working with Jen and Dana and learning new things. I enjoy working with parents who take such an interest in their children’s education. I like the concept of full immersion program and the opportunities it offers to the children. I look forward to a full year and the changes that the students will make through this year. Embarking on my teaching career I am looking forward to the things that I will learn from the 2’s and 3’s and the things that I can teach them to help encourage their social and emotional skills and their excitement to learn. I am looking forward to working with Vicky and ready to provide an atmosphere of learning and fun that will help the children thrive and enjoy their experience here at Sleepy Hollow.
VICKY GONZALEZ, Assistant Teacher Dragonflies and Rainbowfish
Hello my name is Victoria Gonzalez or Vicky. I am the AT for the Bluefish and Butterfly class with Mrs. Youngblood. I am so excited to be apart of the Sleepy Hollow family and cannot wait to be able to get to know every child.
To tell you a little bit about myself I am currently studying Elementary Education hopefully at George Mason University. My family is all from Guatemala and I also have an older brother who was in the military. I love arts and crafts especially painting and calligraphy. I also love to go out on hikes and be at the beach when ever I get the chance. My favorite season is summer so I am very sad that it’s almost over. Ice cream is my guilty pleasure, especially mint chocolate chip. I also enjoy Peruvian food or basically any type of Spanish food. Thank you for accepting me into the family and I cannot express how excited I am to start the school year.
My Favorite Book is:
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
My Favorite Song is:
My Favorite Color is:
LAURIE BARKIN, Lead Teacher Butterflies
I am thrilled to be a part of the Sleepy Hollow Preschool community and our remarkable team of teachers, administrators and parents who share a commitment to our exceptional program. Teaching at Sleepy Hollow Preschool brings my teaching career full circle as I began teaching as a parent volunteer for a wonderful cooperative preschool. I have been a preschool teacher for almost 30 years and feel so lucky to have spent my career doing the work that I love. I am a AMS certified Montessori teacher with an extensive preschool background that includes teaching in Play based, Reggio and Emergent preschool curriculum. My work as an early childhood educator has given me the gift to inspire my students to explore, question, and develop a joy for learning. As a preschool teacher, I get to spend my day sharing great children’s music, poetry and literature with my students. I look forward to exploring the beautiful Sleepy Hollow Preschool hiking trails, playground and gardens and the wonder they bring to our students and the SHPS community.
PAMELA HOLRAN, Lead Teacher (and alum parent!)
I have been working at SHPS since 2008. It truly has been a wonderful experience working at this unique and very positive play school. I am a believer in the “Sleepy Hollow way” and hope that I can add to your child’s experience as they grow in confidence, skill, and understanding of themselves and others. I love working in a cooperative environment. I find the daily interactions with the parents to be invaluable in helping to create a truly meaningful emergent curriculum for their children.
Prior to becoming a staff member here, I was a SHPS parent. I have two teenage children, Carolyn and Gaarison, who both went to SHPS. Before, SHPS and before children, I practiced law and worked for a number of years in a law firm specializing in wireless telecommunications law.
Do you have any pets?
I enjoy being able to bring my maltipoo dog to school for children to pet or walk.
What are some of your hobbies?
My family and I spend time in the Adirondacks (upstate NY) hiking, kayaking and swimming.
ALEXIS CABRALES, Assistant Teacher Dolphins
I am excited to be the Assistant Teacher for the Dolphins! I have a little brother who, three years ago, graduated from this same preschool, and I helped co-op for his class. I am currently studying Marine Biology at Northern Virginia Community College. I joined Sleepy Hollow Preschool staff last year. I have worked with kids all throughout my high school years and kept babysitting even until college. I have always had a passion for younger child and fascinated with the way they are with the world & learning. I am looking forward to having a wonderful school year with you all!
LINDSAY FITZPATRICK, Lead Teacher Frogs
I am thrilled to be joining Sleepy Hollow Preschool community as the Lead Teacher for the 4’s Frog class! I am inspired to work with the talented SHPS teaching team and to embrace the cooperative environment in a positive play-based setting, honoring the traditions and philosophy of SHPS. I love working in a cooperative environment and look forward to establishing strong relationships with the students and parents. My goal is to provide a safe, loving, and positive environment through play, in order to foster confidence, emotional/social development, and skills to prepare your child for the school years that lie ahead.
I have a Bachelors degree in special education and Psychology, a Masters degree in Psychology, and have been a licensed teacher for the past 8 years. I’ve worked with children of all ages, ranging from preschool to High School for Fairfax County Public Schools, as well as private schools. I have also worked as a co-teacher in an elementary general education setting and found collaborating with teachers and parents to be best practice in helping a child reach their full potential. I have a strong respect for play-based learning and look forward to the opportunity to participate in the fantastic program Sleepy Hollow has to offer.
I have a 1-year old daughter and can’t wait for her to eventually join the Sleepy Hollow Community!
My Favorite Books are:
The Pout Pout Fish
Giraffes Can’t Dance
My Favorite Songs are:
We are the Dinosaurs
5 Little Speckled Frogs
TINA MORA-CASTRO, Assistant Teacher Frogs
I started at Sleepy Hollow as an assistant teacher in the 2017-18 school year. I enjoyed working with Mrs. Healey in the Redfish classroom and spending time with other classes as the float teacher. I am excited to join the SHPS staff this year as the Frogs Assistant Teacher with Ms. Quinn.
I have three boys of my own. Two of them are grown and one is in middle school. I have my Associate’s Degree in Tourism and Hospitality. Continuing education in Early Childhood Development with Headstart and Fairfax County Office for Children. I am bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish.
I spent several years working with children in FCPS as a Teacher Assistant. Working with kindergartners and in the multiage classroom (K-2). I saw how important a good foundation is for success in kindergarten and beyond. I look forward to working with the preschool children at Sleepy Hollow to help them build the skills they will need to develop that strong foundation, especially including their social and emotional skills. School is about much more than learning the ABC’s! I like to read with children, especially the Dr. Seuss books, which I read with my own boys. I also like to play and to listen to children and watch them gain confidence in themselves. I’m looking forward to another rewarding year at SHPS!
Savannah Ross, Float Teacher
I am so excited to be part of the family and community at Sleepy Hollow. I am currently a student at Northern Virginia Community College majoring in Social Science with Children and Adolescents and plan to graduate in the Spring. In the Fall I will be transferring to George Mason University to study Psychology. I am fluent in American Sign Language and have worked with children and young adults with disabilities. I love to go hiking and take road trips with my friends. My favorite season is Fall because the weather is the best and Starbucks has their seasonal drinks! I also love trying new restaurants and new food so if you have any recommendations please let me know. I look forward to having a great school year with all of you!
Special Classes Teachers
ERIC KELLER, Music Teacher (and alum parent!)
I am very happy to be continuing as the Music Teacher at Sleepy Hollow Preschool this year! I have been a co-oping parent with my sons Asa and Elliot from their Rainbowfish days through his time as a Dolphin and Frog. I am honored to be among the staff, and I am looking forward to teaching fun and engaging music classes. My wife, Emily, and I met at Appalachian State University, where I graduated in 2001 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. We then moved to Washington State, where I was a Field Science Educator at the Olympic Park Institute. I designed and taught K-12 inquiry-based curriculum that fostered environmental stewardship. We then moved to Virginia, where I have been a private music instructor to kids of all ages for the last decade. I am passionate about guiding my students towards a deep and lifelong connection to music, and I am very excited for the new school year teaching at Sleepy Hollow!