I am very honored and excited to have been involved with this remarkable Catholic community as the Preschool Director since 2011. Having been previously employed at St. Joan of Arc parish as both a Pre-K and a Kindergarten teacher, I feel as though He has brought me back home! It is truly a blessing to be a part of this Catholic preschool where I am able to share my faith and His love with our families and children. Pursuant to this wonderful opportunity, I was the Director at Our Lady of Joy Preschool & Kindergarten for 5 years. I love the fact that I now live only 5 minutes from work! I am a native of York, Pennsylvania where I received a BA in Psychology, with a Minor in Early Childhood Education from Penn State University and pursued my Masters in Clinical Child Psychology at Loyola College. I have lived in Arizona for the last 27 years, and have a 26 year old son.
St Joan of Arc Preschool is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and we believe children thrive when authentic relationships are formed amongst each child and his/her teacher, family, and community. Our intentional nurturing environments open the door to each child's imagination, curiosities, and love of learning. Our program engages the whole child with developmentally appropriate materials. Our project-based emergent curriculum gives our children ownership of their learning with the support of our teachers. I am proud to say that with the determination of our quality staff, our intentional environments, and our low ratios, we have been awarded a 4 Star rating from Quality First. I am so grateful to be part of this active, caring and giving community! It always amazes me how often we are given the opportunity to experience His undying love through the selfless actions of our fellow families and parishioners.
I believe that your child is one of God's most precious beings and He created each and every one of us for a very special part in His plan. It is important that your child acknowledges His immeasurable love that resulted in his/her uniqueness. It is my goal that our school will help our children to become enthusiastic learners, both spiritually and academically, so that they may become independent, self-confident, inquisitive learners...to gain a true love of learning that will remain with them throughout their entire lifetime. I want our school to nourish their souls, as well as their minds.
Our curriculum identifies specific goals in the following areas of development: Spiritually by expanding their love of God and others with a prayerful life that emphasizes faith formation, moral development, and service to others; Socially by feeling comfortable in school, to trust their new environment, make friends, and feel that they are part of a group; Emotionally by helping them to experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control, and to have a positive attitude towards life; Cognitively by helping them become confident learners, to acquire learning skills such as the ability to solve problems, ask questions, and to use words to describe their ideas, observations, and feelings; and Physically by helping them increase their large and small muscle/motor skills, and to feel confident about what their bodies can do. Debbie Hilliard