Director, 2 Day Teacher
Hi, my name is Jackie Baker. I became a part of the Classroom of Discovery preschool family in 2002. I am the program director and two day lead teacher. I have been an educator for 25 years. When not teaching at the Classroom of Discovery preschool, I am a part-time ELL (English Language Learner) teacher for Loudoun County Public Schools. My prior teaching experience includes: Teaching first grade and as a long term ELL substitute teacher for Alexandria City Public Schools and kindergarten for Northern Virginia Learning Academy ; substitute teaching in the Northern Virginia area and in Brussels, Belgium, and teaching in a Montessori school in Alaska. I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks with a concentration in Early Childhood Education, a Master’s Degree in Education from George Mason University in Curriculum & Instruction with a concentration in working with English Language Learners (ELL). I hold a valid Virginia teaching license (PreK through grade 8). I obtained my National Director Credential through the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership at National Louis University. I am passionate about providing children with a developmentally appropriate learning experience based on the latest brain research in early childhood development. In addition, I am an advocate for the rights of children under IDEA and have education and experience working with children with ADHD, autism (Autism Certification, IBCCES), developmental delays, and dyslexia. I am a voting member of the Loudoun County Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) and Chair of the Dyslexia Subcommittee. I was born in Oregon, grew up in Alaska, and moved to Virginia in 1994. I live in the Sterling area with my husband and my three children. I am a voracious reader and spend much of my free time reading books about education, parenting, and health related topics. Teaching for the Classroom of Discovery has been an especially rewarding experience. I love my daily interactions with our students, staff, and our thoughtful and caring families.
3 Day Assistant Teacher
Hi, my name is Milagros Nagele. I have been the three day assistant teacher for the Classroom of Discovery since 2008. I was born and raised in Lima-Peru and my first language is Spanish. After I graduated from high school, I attended Law School at the University of San Marcos in Lima. I completed two years of studies to become a lawyer, but realized that my career choice lacked the spiritual inspiration that I was seeking. I discovered my nurturing side, and knew I wanted to work with children. I came to the United Stated in 1995 for what was supposed to be a short visit with my sister. Instead I met my husband Paul, with whom I have two wonderful children. When my children were younger, I regularly volunteered in their classrooms, which has given me the opportunity to improve my understanding of early childhood development. I also worked as a part-time childcare provider at McLean Bible Church. After my daughter was born I became a stay-at-home mom and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It is an incredible privilege to see a child grow and develop. I have always enjoyed being around children and working with them. I sincerely look forward to seeing the children at the Classroom of Discovery grow and develop!
Hi, my name is Alexis Gruehn! I taught the three day class for seven years and currently teach for the Classroom of Discovery and the Loudoun County Public School System. I am truly a local girl. I was born in Loudoun County, grew up in Great Falls, graduated from Langley High School, went to college in Charlottesville, and taught in Vienna for seven years. I now live in Sterling with my husband of ten years and two sons! As you can tell, I love Virginia and love teaching even more. I graduated from The University of Virginia where I received my Bachelor’s in Psychology and my Master’s in Teaching. I am currently certified to teach Elementary Education (grades K-8), however I definitely consider myself an early education teacher. I was fortunate to teach at Wolftrap Elementary in Vienna, where I worked with some amazing teachers and students. I taught Kindergarten for two years and then taught second grade for the next five years. When I had my first son I “retired,” but always kept busy teaching in one way or another. I taught Kindermusik for several years and volunteered in our church’s religious education program as well as my son’s classroom. I am currently taking graduate classes in Reading Instruction to renew my teaching license and add an endorsement as a Reading Specialist to my teaching license. I look forward to bringing my experience, enthusiasm, and love of children to the Classroom of Discovery.
3 Day Lead Teacher
Hello, my name is Diana Aparicio and I am the 3 day lead teacher. I was born in Austin, Texas and grew up living in many places around the world until I came to Virginia with my husband in 1989. We have lived in Sterling since 1995 where we raised two sons. I have a BA in Child Psychology from the University of Texas-Austin and have been teaching preschool children since 2000. I originally joined CoD in 2002 until 2006 as a five day teacher assistant as well as in the Lunch and Learn program. I left CoD to teach in the LCPS Head Start program for seven years and came back in September 2013. While working in the Head Start Program, I received extensive training in the HighScope, Conscious Discipline and Second Step curriculums. I am thrilled to be back at CoD working with wonderful colleagues, children and families.
Hi, my name is Cindy Luetkemeier. I joined the Classroom of Discovery Family in 2015 and am the two-day assistant teacher. My education includes studying business at Northern Kentucky University. While in college, I worked in the restaurant industry and I fell in love with serving and meeting people in the community. I worked as a trainer to open new restaurants throughout the southeast and managed duties of the restaurant business. After my two boys were born, I decided to be a stay-at-home-mom. As my children got older, I volunteered in their classrooms, our church’s Sunday School and VBS programs, and with the Lower Loudoun Little League and Eastern Loudoun Basketball League. I have also served as a PTA board member at my children’s schools. It is during these volunteer activities, I decided I loved to help young children learn and grow. This led me to working at a preschool for five years where I learned how to implement the HighScope Curriculum. Following my time at the preschool, an opportunity presented itself to nanny for a family with twins. As the twins became school age, and the family no longer needed a nanny, I reached out to Classroom of Discovery. I am very excited to join this great group of teachers and help the children make positive choices and decisions as their budding minds grow.