Staff

Administrators

Susan Parker, Director

AUCP Director Susan Parker came to AUCP in 1997 as a co-oping parent and a Panda teacher. Formerly the director of recruiting for a law firm, Susan became a teacher in 1997, served as AUCP’s assistant director in 2003 and 2004, and became director in 2005. Susan earned bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and English from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in education from the University of Virginia. Susan and her husband have an 18-year-old daughter and twin 15-year-old boys. Susan encourages parents to “enjoy the journey with your child–the highs and as well as the lows. Help your children savor the few years they have to be self-directed learners and explorers. If you provide them with the tools to be life-long learners, you’ll never have to teach them anything else.”

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Diann Vaughan, Assistant Director

Diann earned her Bachelor of Arts from The College of William & Mary, and her Master Degree in Counseling form Argosy University. She and her family joined AUCP in 2005 and all three of her boys, Christopher, Erik, and Owen, attended. Diann was so impressed with the community and its approach to working with children that she accepted a job as Assistant Director in 2011.

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Teachers

Joan Boswinkle, Koala Teacher

Affiliation: Parent at AUCP from 2001 to 2006; paid co-op substitute/aide from 2007 to 2009; fourth year teacher.

Education: B.S. degree in Nutrition (University of North Carolina – Greensboro); B.S. degree in Hotel Restaurant Management (Virginia Tech).

Background: Worked with Marriott in its Health Care Division for 10 years; performed a variety of managerial duties.

Family: I have been married for 20 years. My husband, Bill, is a CPA and works for General Dynamics. Bill has just published his first novel “This Sane And Rocky Earth.” We have three Children: Jackson, Kaleb and Willow. Kaleb and Willow are former AUCP graduates.

Hobbies: I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, and cycling with my family. I like watching my children play soccer on the weekends. I am known as a “gym rat.” I also enjoy reading and relaxing with family and friends.

Philosophy: Provide opportunities for young children to explore, grow, and learn about themselves and the world around them.

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Anna Bowman, Monday and Wednesday Panda Teacher

Affiliation: AUCP hired Anna in 2007 to teach Pandas, and she has been there ever since!

Background: Anna taught 1st grade at Barrett Elementary School in Arlington for 12 years. Before that, she taught two years of pre-k in Buffalo, NY.

Education: Anna received a BS in Early Childhood Education (pre-k through 6) at Buffalo State College in NY and has taken many graduate classes in Reading and ESOL at GMU and other universities. Of course, she continues to attend CE workshops and graduate classes in early childhood development.

Children: AUCP Alum, JD Buscher. He started as a Koala. Anna took the teaching job to get him into AUCP! He’s doing great!

Philosophy: Children are amazing people and they are our future. We have so much to learn from them and we have so much to teach them. I strive to provide them with an environment where they feel loved, nurtured, safe, free to explore, excited to learn, confident and most definitely happy!

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Ann Marie Douglass, Monday Owl Teacher

Ann Marie Douglass has been in early childhood education field for over 12 years. Her last 5 years were at Fairlington Preschool in Alexandria where she taught the 4s class and was the Outdoor Classroom & Garden Coordinator. Ann Marie is an Arlington Regional Master Naturalist and Tree Steward. She founded a Nature Immersion Program: Nature Club Kids, LLC in 2014. Learning from primary sources and in outdoor settings is ideal for all learners. She holds a BS in Psychology and Philosophy from Frostburg State University. She attended CCBC (Catonsville College of Baltimore County) to obtain MD education certifications requirements and started her Masters of Ed (Pre-K-4th) at Marymount University. Becoming a mother to Aidan (12) and Paige (9) has taught her more than any degree. Ann Marie strives to make her classroom an enriching place where children espouse their curiosities and find joy in learning through child-initiated exploration and play.

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JJ Gardiner, Kangaroo and Penguin Teacher

JJ holds a Masters Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Galludent University. She worked as an SLP in public schools with students from preschool through high school before taking time off when her sons were born. JJ’s boys are proud AUCP graduates. She has been an active member of AUCP since 2005 and has been teaching here since 2011. She also oversees AUCP’s garden and continues to see preschool age speech-language clients in the afternoons.

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Kathy Kane, Eagle Teacher

My name is Kathy Kane. I was born and raised in Sydney Australia. I am married and have 2 wonderful children ages 17 and 19. I took all of my early childhood classes at Ventura college in California and this is will be my 22nd year of teaching. I have taught ages 2-6 year olds in preschools both here and in California. I taught bible school and was a summer camp director for a school ages 5-12 years. I run my own summer camps here in Arlington and I now have my own children’s party planning business. I am excited to work at AUCP this school year.

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Alison Marino, Dolphin Teacher and Music Teacher

Affiliation: I started at AUCP as a parent in 2000. I started teaching one day a week in the Panda class in 2003 when my oldest daughter started kindergarten just to discover that baby #3 was on the way. I went back to the co-oping parent role until another Panda teaching position opened in 2005. In 2007 I started doing the music program in addition to teaching the Pandas.

Background: I have been working with children in some capacity since 1988. I was a classroom assistant as a college student, have been head teacher in various pre-k programs and have been both an assistant director and director of child development centers. In 1997 I became a stay at home mom.

Education: I got my degree in ECC at Union College and studied Special Education at Kean University in NJ.

Children: I have two daughters and a son.

Philosophy: My philosophy is to create a safe, fun, and creative environment that the children are able to explore and experience while learning and having fun!

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Julie McDonald, Cheetah Teacher

Julie grew up in Gainesville, Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters in Elementary Education. She spent 10 years teaching fifth grade, first grade, and Kindergarten for Fairfax County Public Schools before electing to stay at home with her children. Julie became a member of the AUCP community in 2015 when her son Connor joined the Penguin class. Her early years working at an outdoor education summer camp, and new experiences co-oping at a play-based preschool, influenced her choice to teach at AUCP. Julie is so excited to be the Cheetah teacher this year and to continue her teaching and parenting journey at AUCP. She and her husband Paul live in Arlington with their three children, Connor (Kindergarten), Anna (Koala), and Rose (Panda).

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Kevan Miller, Monday and Wednesday Owl Teacher, Timber Tuesday and Forest Friday Leader

After five years in the publishing field, Kevan began her teaching career in 1996 as a pre-kindergarten teacher at Burgundy Farm Country Day School in Alexandria, VA. She completed a Masters in Early Childhood Education at George Mason University in 2000 and spent the next nine years teaching first grade for Fairfax County Public Schools. Kevan joined the AUCP community as a parent in 2006 and has enjoyed teaching at AUCP since 2010.

Inspired by children’s natural curiosity and sense of wonder about the world, Kevan strives to create an environment that encourages children to ask questions, express their thoughts and ideas, and grow as creative problem solvers and learners. She and her husband Steve live in Arlington with their two children, Phoebe (12) and Noah (9), both AUCP alums.

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Elizabeth Rodas, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday Panda Teacher; Monday and Wednesday Panda Aide

Affiliation: I have been teaching at AUCP since 2001, at all age levels.

Background: I moved here from El Salvador in 1988. I worked with children as a nanny until my arrival at AUCP.

Education: I went to school in El Salvador and completed my CDA last year. I love to introduce children to new words in Spanish.

Children: In addition to all my children at AUCP, I have a grown son named Alexander who just moved here from El Salvador.

Philosophy: I try to create an environment at AUCP which offers security, pleasure, and satisfaction for both the children and their parents. I believe that social, emotional, and physical development should be all integrated into one program. In other words, each aspect should reinforce the others. I think it’s important to teach children respect for themselves, each other, and the adults in their lives. I think teaching them to have good manners is a part of that. I truly love all children, no matter what age. My favorite part of the day is when the children run up to me when they first see me in the morning and they give me a giant hug—then I know that they are happy to be here and that they feel at home.

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Asmaa Rosenberg, Puffin Teacher and Substitute Teacher

Asmaa Rosenberg joined AUCP as a teacher and parent in 2008. Asmaa holds a Diploma in Childhood Education from the Croissant Rouge, Rabat, Morocco and is fluent in Arabic, French, and English. With this background, Asmaa has taught preschoolers from Rabat, Morocco to Arlington, Virginia. Asmaa draws inspiration from her father, also an educator and principal: learn one thing every day; have fun with your friends, and believe in yourself.

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Maruja Ubelaker, Art Enrichment and Lunch Bunch Teacher

I have enjoyed my affiliation with AUCP since 1994. I was the lead Dolphin teacher for nine years and the Owl class teacher for a few years as well. I believe that AUCP is a unique place that promotes the involvement and participation of parents in every child’s path of growth and discovery.

Originally I am from Ecuador; I came to the United States in 1975 after marrying my husband Douglas. Our two grown children are living in Buenos Aires and Massachusetts where they write and teach.

I have been in the education field for a long time; I first taught kindergarten in Ecuador at the Americano School in Quito, Ecuador. After receiving my BA from Marymount College I worked as a co-oping parent for ten years at Beverly Hills Co-op and Sleepy Hollow Co-op Preschool for my two kids.
After my younger child went to elementary school in Fairfax County I worked as an assistant at Sleepy Hollow Co-op Preschool for about 5 years. I arrived at AUCP soon after and over the next twenty years I have been proud to serve and learn from our community. Currently I teach art and direct a Lunch bunch class.

My philosophy is centered on giving children opportunities to discover, experiment and explore different aspects of real life transferred to the class. What is most important to me is to have children find out for themselves the best ways to express themselves. Through play and experimentation children are able to explore their abilities and develop core interests throughout their preschool years.