I believe with all my heart that there is no finer staff anywhere than the one at Front Street UMC Playschool. To help you know them better I have asked them each to write a short self-description, telling you about their backgrounds and their feelings about working at Front Street. ~Miss Barbara
My name is Maria Coble. I grew up in Burlington and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Radiologic Science specializing in Ultrasound (that means I get to look at babies while they are developing inside their mothers). I met my husband, Chad, while in high school and we have four wonderful children. Elizabeth, a college student; John who is in high school; Anthony, a middle schooler and Matthew, who is in elementary school. My two youngest are graduates from Front Street Playschool, which is where my love for this program began. As a parent, I was truly overwhelmed by how deeply the teachers and staff loved their students. I am so thankful that God lead me to Front Street Playschool years ago and that I am a part of such a wonderful place today! I look forward to playing, exploring, learning and sharing with the twos!
Miss Susan works with two year olds five mornings a week, with Maria Coble in the MW twos and with Miss Amanda in the TTh twos and the Friday playgroup. She was a favorite substitute for us before joining our staff. Susan was originally from Charlotte, graduating from West Charlotte High School. She received a BA in Elementary Education from UNC – Charlotte and did post graduate work there also. She is a member at Front Street UMC where she has worked with children of all ages in Sunday School, Children’s Church and Vacation Bible School. She and her husband have two sons, both of whom attended our playschool. She also served on our Playschool Parent Board for three years.
Miss Amanda supervises the Friday play group for twos and teaches twos on Tuesdays and Thursdays, working with Miss Susan.
I grew up in Liberty, NC. I graduated from Southern Alamance and went to UNCW. I graduated from there with a BA in Therapeutic Recreation. I have worked in child care for 13 years now. I find it very rewarding and l couldn’t think of anything I would rather do! I am married to my high school sweetheart, John, and I am a proud mother of two girls, Olivia and Claire. I am a member of Friendship United Methodist Church where I volunteer my time and teach Sunday School. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, watching my girls grow and learn, and also shopping and reading. My girls attended playschool at Front Street for five years. I started subbing on the days my girls were in class and loved it. It is such a family atmosphere. This will be my seventh year working with the Friday Playgroup and my fourth in the Tuesday/Thursday class. I am looking forward to starting a new year!
Miss Karen will be teaching a Monday/Wednesday two year old class with Miss Jennifer. She will also supervise Playgroup. She is another of our super-qualified, super-experienced teachers. Karen is a UNC-G graduate with both a BA & MAed, and holds NC “A” Licensure and NC Advanced Masters “M” Licensure in Birth-Kindergarten. She has many years of experience working with preschoolers in a variety of settings. In addition, she has “parenting experience” with her two daughters: June and Della. Prior to teaching in our program, substituted for us extensively, as well as serving on our Parent Board.
Miss Jennifer will be working with Karen Martindale in a M/W two year class.
Hi, I’m Jennifer McGill, and I am thrilled to be a part of Front St. UMC playschool. I have an MBA from Elon University, and a Bachelor’s degree from NC State. I am married to Jim McGill, Jr., a teacher and coach at Williams High School, and we have a son, Andrew(4) who attends Front St. UMC playschool. I have two amazing stepchildren Jack (14) and Kate (12) who keep us busy with their activities. Jim and I love spending time with family, being involved in our community and watching our children grow and learn.
Miss Vickie will be working with Heather Carson in the MWF threes. She has been an invaluable sub for us for many years and we finally talked her into joining our staff on a regular basis. She will be familiar to many of our families from her years as a secretary at Smith Elementary School and more recently from her work at the Alamance County Children’s Museum.
Miss Heather will be teaching three year olds on MWF with Vickie Lynch. Heather is another of our staff with an exceptional background in both education and experience. She is a Burlington native who graduated from Williams High School. She received her BS degree from The University of Memphis and her MAEd from East Carolina University. She has previously been a coach, teacher, preschool teacher and preschool director. She and her husband have three beautiful daughters.
Miss Linda will be teaching four year olds five mornings a week this year, working with Mechelle Mullis. She has a wealth of experience, having taught kindergarten in the Alamance/Burlington School System for 28 years which makes her an ideal teacher for fours! She is a strong believer in positive discipline and making learning fun, so she is a perfect match for our program. She has brought with her lots of fabulous ideas and resources from her previous teaching experience and a creative, artistic energy that we love. She and her husband, Kyle, have an adult daughter.
Miss Tonya will be teaching five mornings a week, in both the MWF and TTh three year old classes working with Bobbi Jean Williams .
My name is Tonya Joyner and I live in Elon with my husband, Jim, and our three children, William, Thomas and Emma Kate. I grew up in Johnston County, which is just east of Raleigh, and I am a graduate of UNC-CH. I moved to Burlington 17 years ago, and have attended FSUMC since that time. My husband is a native of Burlington and has attended FSUMC his whole life. All three of my children graduated from Front Street. Before becoming a teacher in the playschool, I served on the Parent Board, substituted for all age groups and served as a teaching assistant. I am a strong believer in teaching and learning through play and am looking forward to exploring new ideas and concepts with your children. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family. I enjoy fishing, reading, going to the movies and museums. I have also recently taken up a discipline of martial arts known as Hapkido. I love children and consider my own children my greatest accomplishments in life. I am looking forward to another great year at Front Street.
Miss Staci will be wearing many hats this year, serving as our in-house sub and helping wherever she is needed. She is an Alamance County native who graduated from UNC-G with a major in Elementary Education, a minor in English and K-12 liscensure. She has taught previously in our program, and at both Eon Elementary and Highland Elementary Schools. Staci has two sons: Ethan, a Front Street graduate, and Logan, who will be in our threes this school year. Staci is also the past secretary of our Parent Board.
Miss Mechelle will work with Linda Wills in the 5 day four year old class.
I have lived in Burlington most of my life. I married my childhood sweetheart (Mike) many years ago. We have three fantastic children together; a daughter, Bri, and two sons, Dylan and Chance. Our family also includes a very feisty Westie named Java, a parakeet named Gabbie and many aquatic animals in three aquariums (too many to list). I was a stay at home mom for many years with my own children. I have always felt that God lead me to Front Street Playschool. I am a very patient, energetic, flexible person. This comes in very handy working with the four year olds! While working at Front Street I have completed the NC Early Childhood Credential. Front Street is a wonderful place to work; we are family, not just co-workers. We care about each other just like we care about your children. We nurture and grow each and every day at Front Street. As a parent and a teaching assistant, I have always thought that playschool is the stepping stone that builds the foundation for all further learning.
Miss Betty teaches four year olds with Tammy Woody on Monday/Wednesday/Friday. She has taught in our playschool for over 30 years.
My name is Betty Huneycutt, and I teach the 3 day four year old class at Front Street Playschool. I was born in the small town of Badin, NC and lived there until leaving for college. I attended Montreat Anderson College for 2 years and then transferred to East Carolina College (University now). I majored in Special Education and taught mentally challenged children in the Durham County School System. When our first son was born I left teaching to be a stay at home mom. Shortly after son #1 was born, son #2 came along, and then son #3! I loved being home with our sons through their preschool years, and have always credited my husband for that privilege. When we moved to Burlington in 1980, we joined Front Street UMC. Two of our sons attended Front Street Playschool, and we loved the program, the staff and their objectives. As our youngest son entered kindergarten, I was offered a position on the Playschool staff. The rest, as they say, is history! My life, and the life of my family has been tremendously blessed through these many years by the children, families and wonderful people I have been honored to work alongside. It is a joy and a privilege to work with the special and precious children in our program, their families, and a loving/supportive staff of friends!
Miss Tammy assists Miss Betty on MWF in addition to working with twos on TTh.
My name is Tammy Woody. I was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. I have three brothers and one sister. I am married to Keith Woody. We have two boys, Austin and Chase. I worked for Labcorp for three years until my first child was born; then I became a stay at home mom. Both of my children went through the Front Street Playschool program. We became a part of Front Street in 2002 and I just couldn’t leave! I started working at Front Street in 2008. Best decision I’ve ever made! I consider myself as being fair and fun, and I love to read and sing to the children. I thank God for Front Street Playschool every day!
Bobbi Jean Williams
Bobbi Jean began working at Front Street last year as our in-house-sub/Jill-of-all-trades, going wherever she was needed. She did a fantastic job. This year she will be working with Tonya Joyner in both the MWF and TTh three year old classes. Bobbi Jean is an Alamance County native. She is certified in Effective Teacher Training.
Our Wonderful Music Teacher
When I retired, after 33 years in the public schools, Front Street Playschool was the farthest thing from my mind, Who says “you can’t teach an old dog (that would be me) new tricks?” Playschool has afforded me the opportunity to learn something new. I have the utmost respect for our playschool teachers as I watch and listen to how they interact with two, three, and four year olds. They have taught me so much! I would also add that I have become very attached to these little ones. I have left their rooms many times with tears in my eyes over something that was said. Their honesty is quite humbling! I perceive my job to be more than just teaching a new song. I share my love of music with the Front Street Playschool family just two mornings a week. I believe the enjoyment of music comes from being a participant so my goal is to plan activities that will engage every child. We smile and we laugh as we make music. We become friends and quickly learn that each of us is important. My short time at playschool each week challenges me to “train up a child in the way he should go.” I am quite involved as a volunteer with the music ministry of my church. Singing in the choir, handbells, instrumental ensemble, and children’s music require lots of rehearsals. These are very supportive groups of people with whom I enjoy spending time. I also love to read and “play” with African violets. Mr. Smith and I have been married 43 years. Our three children (plus a son-in-law and daughter-in-law) would probably be what I enjoy talking about most. As a family we have grown up around baseball and also watching college basketball – still two of my favorite things. Miss Joyce loves to get in the kitchen and make a carrot cake or fry chicken when we all get together.