Who We Are
We are a highly-respected Reggio-inspired Jewish early childhood program, recognized on both a local and national level. We are a model program hosting numerous visitors from a variety of educational settings. We teach workshops, lead days of learning and present at conferences sponsored by a variety of educational institutions and agencies. Many of our faculty members are leaders themselves in the professional Jewish Early Childhood community. We were honored to be the first Jewish preschool to host several distinguished founders and leaders of the schools of Reggio Emilia and were proud to have 75 early childhood leaders from throughout the country join us for that milestone event.
A core part of our school identity are the relationships between the child, the teacher, and the learning processes. In practice it means that we, the teachers, are all dedicated students; we are readers and researchers. We gather together at least once a month for a night of learning; study together at “lunch and learns;” are active participants in the D.C. Reggio-Emilia Study Group and attend a wide variety of workshops sponsored by the JLL. We are committed members of the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance and attend their national seminars. We have studied in Reggio Emilia at seminars organized by Reggio Children International and have joined Jewish study groups and academic conferences there. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from our teacher, mentor and advisor, Dr. Naama Zoran, a developmental psychologist and educational systems specialist. Dr. Zoran is Israel’s International representative in the Reggio Children International Network, and inspires us to always work towards the highest level of excellence.
We are a collegial, collaborative and gifted faculty, committed to the values of Temple Emanuel ECC. We are 20 co-teachers with Bachelors or Masters Degrees; a Pedagogista (pedagogical coordinator) an Atelierista (studio/materials specialist): a hands-on Assistant Director and a Director with over 25 years of leadership experience. We are all well-educated in a wide variety of disciplines and have diverse backgrounds and interests. We have several teachers who have strong music backgrounds and several who have majored in psychology. We are actors, visual artists and athletes. We have a teacher who worked as an art-therapist and others with science backgrounds. We are also fortunate to have the entire Temple Emanuel staff as active participants in the daily life of our school. What binds us all together is our common belief that we will never compromise on quality for our children!
|Madeline Lowitz Gold, Director, has over 25 years of leadership experience in Early Childhood Education, and is a leader in the field on both the local and national level. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and also has a background in arts education, writing and editing. She has been the Chair of the Federation’s Early Childhood Director’s Council and represents the Early Childhood Community on the board of the Jewish Life and Learning Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She is an active member of the National Reggio Emilia Alliance; and has participated in a large number of conferences and seminars focusing on the Reggio philosophy including four study tours in Reggio Emilia, Italy. She is a founder of the DC Reggio Emilia Alliance and serves on that board.|
|Rachel Siegel, Assistant Director, has been an integral part of the preschool for the past six years. In addition to teaching every age group, she has taken on numerous leadership roles. She is excited to move into her new role and continue to build relationships with the greater community of children, parents, families, and teachers. Rachel recently received her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Towson University. She grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and attended George Washington University.|
|Gary Mayes, Pedagogista (Pedagogical Coordinator), received his BMED in Music Education and a BA in Theater from the University Of Cincinnati College Conservatory Of Music. In addition, he received an MFA with an emphasis in education. Gary has had a number of years of experience as a Head Teacher and Curriculum coordinator in Reggio-based preschools. He has participated in national seminars and conferences focusing on the philosophy of Reggio Emilia. Gary has participated in two Jewish Early Childhood Seminars in Reggio Emilia and in turn, has created innovative professional learning materials and led teacher-training mentoring programs. Most recently, Gary was selected to be a fellow in the Jewish Early Childhood Learning Institute and completed two years of intense learning.|
|Melissa Williamson, Atelierista, is a graduate of Hamilton College, where she majored in English with a minor in studio art. She has a wide range of experience with different art medium, but her primary emphasis was in drawing and painting. Melissa has participated in number of conferences focused on the Reggio Emilia approach and has presented materials workshops both locally and nationally. Melissa was a participant in two Jewish early childhood study seminars in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
|Jennifer Gauthier, Mentor Teacher, has been a long-time gifted early childhood educator and part of our community for the past six years. She has attended a number of conferences focused on the Reggio Emilia approach and enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. Jennifer also has a strong science background and is interested in marine biology.|