When selecting staff members for our school, we look for individuals who are passionate about education! We also look at the amount of experience and education that they have had. All teachers receive a FBI & BCI Background check prior to working at our school. Kids Advancing Academy teachers are required to take at least ten hours of training per year as well as several health and safety courses.
Jenn McCafferty, Center Director
Jenn has a Bachelor's degree from Wheeling Jesuit University in Elementary Education. She also has a Master's degree from Cleveland State University in Literacy Development. Jenn has wanted to be a teacher since she was little and is very thankful to have had the opportunity to watch many of the children at the center grow from infants into preschoolers! During the past several years, she has tutored various students, taught in several classrooms, and coached high school cheerleading. She has been a director at Kids Advancing Academy since 2010. Her favorite part of working with children is seeing the progress that they make and the excitement that they have when they learn something new for the first time. Jenn also enjoys planning field trips and center events.
Sam Smith, Infant Teacher
Sam is new to childcare and has only been with our school for a short period of time. She has really enjoyed getting to know the kids over the past several months and has decided to make education her career. In the Fall, she will be going to school for Early Childhood Education and upon finishing school wants to teach kindergarten. Prior to working at Kids Advancing Academy she babysat for six years. Her favorite part of working with Infants is watching them change every day. Whether it's a new word or watching them take their first step! Sam loves being a part of helping them grow!
Sarah Miller, Toddler Teacher
Sarah has been working in childcare for 11 years. She has worked with infants all the way up to school age. In addition to working in childcare, she has coached the flag team at Lakewood High School for the past 9 years. Sarah attended Tri- C for Event Planning, but has decided that she would rather work with children! Her favorite part of teaching is helping the children learn new things!
Jaelynn Sheppard, Preschool 1 Teacher
Jae'lynn has six years of experience working in the early childhood development field. She has worked with various age levels and enjoys helping their minds and bodies grow as well as providing an environment where they can feel safe while away from home. Jae'lynn also has 2.5 years of experience as an Assistant Director. In addition to her experience, she has taken several college courses and has a Child Development Associates Credential.
Hayat Dahbi, Preschool 2 Teacher
Hayat has worked with children for several years in various capacities. She has worked as a nanny and has been a teacher for another childcare center as well. She began her career in early childhood as a Teacher's Assistant and then became a lead teacher. In addition to her teaching experience, she also has a 5 year old son. Hayat enjoys every moment she spends teaching and loves to watch the children grow and flourish over the years. She believes that her best skills in working with children are patience, flexibility, and love. Hayat is originally from Casablanca, Morocco where she received a Master's degree in French and Communications. She taught French to middle school students for seven years. Also, she taught French classes to St. Gobbin company employees in Aurora, Ohio.
Shannon Clark, Preschool 2 Teacher
Shannon is new to the childcare field and has been employed at Kids Advancing Academy for a short period of time. She has wanted to be a teacher since she was little; therefore, she made the decision to obtain her Associate's Degree. Through the Early Child Education Program at Tri- C, she has gained experience with several age levels. Her favorite part of teaching is working with children on Art and Literature activities. Shannon also enjoys seeing the excitement a child has when they learn something new.
Ashley Levindofske, Pre- K Teacher
Ashley has been working in childcare since 2008. She has a pre- teen daughter and also did some nannying when her daughter was younger. She has worked with all age groups but especially enjoys working with preschoolers preparing them for kindergarten. Ashley has an Associate's degree in Business.Ashley's favorite part of teaching is coming up with arts and crafts and finding new hands on techniques for children to learn.
Jameel Patrick, School Age Teacher
Jameel has been working with children for seven years. He was an after school director for two years. Jameel has also been a youth advisor for the past few years where he has taught character development. His favorite part of teaching is interacting with the students and creating activities that include media and music.
Ginny Rivera, School Age Teacher
Ginny has been working with children for 30+ years and has always had a love for children. She started working as a mother's helper at age 10. When she was a teenager she babysat for various families and once she started her own family she began doing daycare in her home. Ginny really enjoys watching the children grow and mature as she incorporates fun activities into her curriculum as well as teaching them about Jesus. She believes that working with children is a high calling and she has been privileged to assist parents with their children while they are working. Ginny also believes that as a teacher she is a role model for the children and her goal is to leave a positive lasting impression on their lives that they will never forget!
Destiney Miller, School Age Teacher
Destiney has worked in childcare for five years. In addition to that experience, she also has two children of her own. Destiney is also a very active volunteer for cub scout's. Her favorite part of teaching is watching the children's faces light up when they learn how to do something new.
Emily Horton, Floater
Emily has been working in the Early Childhood field since she was a junior in high school when she was in Lakewood High Schoolís Early Childhood Education Program. Through this program, she worked in classrooms ranging from infants to third graders. Emily is currently attending Tri- C where she is majoring in Early Childhood Education. Upon completing two Associateís degrees, one in Applied Science and the other one an Associates of Arts in Early Childhood Education, she will be transferring to Cleveland State University to obtain a Bachelorís degree in Early Childhood Education. Emilyís favorite part of working with children is being able to assist with their development and watch them grow, whether it be from their first words, first steps, learning how to spell their name or just a new word. She loves seeing the joy and happiness on their faces when they finally master a task!