Meet Our Staff

 

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Tori Koneya

Owner/Executive Director

A bit about how LUP came to be: We opened Little Urbanites Preschool in 2013 with just one classroom of 12 children. My vision was to create a quality play-based preschool that offered a supportive environment for Teachers. As a long-time Teacher myself, I believe when Teachers are give space to be creative they shine! And when Teacher shine children thrive!

Our program and community has steadily grown and today we offer two locations with a 46 student capacity and a continued focus on small classrooms and creative learning approaches.

 

My favorite teaching tools: 

Silliness: Well timed silliness and laughter builds connection and brings joy to the moment!

Patience: Our gift to children is our time. When you provide the time for things to happen at their pace, you'll fully see their capability.

Trust: The foundation of all relationships. By creating and modeling trust we provide a sense of security at school that is essential to learning.

 

Outside of LUP:

I love time spent by the ocean and in the forest with my husband, Enver, our 8yr old Thalia and 2yr old Desmond.  In "normal" times we also love to travel and adventure with friends.

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Ally Beard

Head Teacher & Middle Group Lead

Favorite teaching tools:
Creativity!

Creating environments for children that foster creativity is a part of my purpose.
I place great emphasis on using open-ended materials and activities that provoke investigation. Creativity is the instrument that allows us to communicate with and understand others!


Storytelling!

This type of play allows our imagination to run wild and free while encouraging children and Teachers to think without boundaries.


Music!

Playing musical instruments or singing is my favorite way to connect with my children. It’s a fun creative way for them to feel seen which naturally helps me to better understand them.


What you love about Little Urbanites:
The four C’S: The Community, Creativity, Connection and the Children!

Favorite Quote:
Creativity seems to emerge from multiple experiences, coupled with a well-supported development of personal resources, including a sense of freedom to venture beyond the known”.
—Loris Malaguzzi

 

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Greta Gulbinaite

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Favorite teaching tools:

There are a few teaching tools that I truly use everyday.  

Books are a wonderful teaching tool. I love reading and I think it’s a great way to expand your knowledge, so I truly want to inspire a love for reading and learning.

Nature is a great tool to use to teach children curiosity and exploration of life and science.

 

Modeling behavior is a tool I always use as well. I have learned through my experience in teaching that the best way to inspire kindness and positive habits, is by modeling it yourself.

Lastly, and possibly most importantly,  love and connection. In most situations, a bit of love and compassion, along with mutual respect, goes a really long way! One motto I truly believe  is “Connection,before you correction!”

 

What you love about Little Urbanites:

There are so many things I love about Little Urbanities. I love that our location is right near the park, a lot of nature to work with and explore! I love the play-based environment that encourages learning through exploration and play. It’s a very encouraging, positive, and loving environment to work in, and I love that the most! 

Favorite Quote:

“If you can’t fly then run, if you  can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”  Martin Luther King Jr.

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Amy Chang

Assistant Teacher

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Site Director & Teacher Mentor

What are your favorite teaching tool?

Observation: I learn so much from the children.  I watch the way they respond to people, materials, transitions, books, room arrangement, materials, and conversations. They are the inspiration for my curriculum and give me cues about when I need to change things or provide more of something.

 

What do you love about Little Urbanites?

I like the small environment, and low ratios so I can give families and children more individual attention and get to know my co-workers better forming a close knit supportive community.

Favorite way to play outside of work?

 hiking ,cooking and doing creative projects.

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 Lead Teacher of 2.5-3.5yr Group

Favorite teaching tools: 

Engaging with the children... I get easily enticed in their worlds, and I enjoy the moments of their ever changing growing mind.

Seeing and feeling the connections... When, we sing, dance, chat, teach, hug, create, guide, build, and hug.  

Reading Silly stories/books to the children... those get the best giggles! 

 

What I love about LUP: 

The kids, the love, the laughter, even the tears. 

 

Outside of LUP: 

Busy raising three children of my own: 12yrs, 10yrs, and 5yrs! and a restaurant (Bask), enjoying good wine, colorful sunsets, and vintage cars!

Favorite books: 

The Piggie and Elephant series! So funny!!  

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Lead Teacher of Young 2's Group

What are your favorite teaching tools?

One of my favorite teaching tools is to have real conversations where I listen and follow the children's lead, it always takes us to somewhere super interesting that sparks our next concept of exploration. The concepts we choose to dive into are inspired by the children which keeps them curious and builds agency!  

Another favorite teaching tool for me are science projects!  They sparks curiosity in all of us and allows us to really bond through discovery. 

 

What do you love about Little Urbanites?

I love how connected Little Urbanites has been through all of these tough, not-normal times.  It is such a blessing that we can all still communicate daily, and feel such a strong sense of connection.  We all deeply care about each other and are supportive of each other through personal and work related endeavors.  

 

Favorite Quote:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” 

- Maya Angelou

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 Assistant Teacher

Information to come....

1214 Early Learners
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