Staff

Who’s Who at ONE Arts Community School Colchester

Sam Lyons (she/her) Director of Colchester & Superintendent of ONE Arts Schools

I am a CT native who fell in love with Vermont when I came up here to attend Champlain College. That was 10 years ago and I have not looked back. I have my VT teaching license for infants through 6th grade. Though my passion in teaching has always been with the younger years. I believe that early education is very important for children’s growth and development. I strongly believe in emergent curriculum as children are active learners in their environment and what they are learning about should be based on their questions and interests. As director I hope to create a center that is a safe and welcoming space for the community we create together.

Infant Room

Holly Courage (she/her)
Infant & Assistant Director

My name is Holly. I moved to Vermont in 2016 to get my children settled in one place throughout their education.  In my free time I enjoy hiking with my dog, cooking, house projects, and spending time with my family. Before moving to Vermont I operated a FCC home childcare center on a military base. Since moving to Vermont I have worked at a drop-in care facility, and then I was a teacher at Heartworks. I am currently attending classes at CCV to get my Early Childhood Education degree. I believe that children learn and grow at their own pace. By providing the children with a loving, developmentally appropriate environment that fosters their growth, they will reach their full potential. I am excited to continue my early childhood education career in a program that involves and supports their community.  

Abby Adams (she/her)
Infant

My name is Abby and I am happy to be a part of the growing community of ONE Arts community! I was born and raised here in Vermont and I love it. I have been in the childcare field for fifteen years. I received my Childcare/Human Services certificate from Center Of Technology Essex and have an associates degree in Visual Arts. In my free time, I love creating art, gardening, traveling, camping, kayaking, biking and spending time with my pets.

Young Toddler Room

Jaileen (she/her)
YT Classroom Support

Hi families! My name is Jaileen, I typically go by Jai as it’s easier for the kids. I am so happy to be here with ONE Arts! My son Wilder is also here with us in the infant room and we are having a blast. I have been working with children for 10 years and I am working on my Ed.D. in Leadership with a focus of study in Early Childhood Education. I will be the Director at the up and coming Saint Paul location when we open it later this year, for now I am thrilled to be getting to know the families, children, and staff at Colchester. I grew up in Naples, Florida and have been living in Vermont for three years. I love our sense of community and look forward to growing with ONE Arts!

Tiffany Morse
YT Support

Hi, I’m Tiffany! I’ve worked in Early Childhood Education for about 20 years and I am excited to spend the summer caring for your little ones! I live with my boyfriend and our two daughters, ages 12 and 17, our two dogs, two cats and some chickens. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and our dogs by the lake, as well as reading and binging netflix shows. I look forward to getting to know your families over the coming weeks!

Christel Tonoki (she/her)
Infant and Toddler Support

Hi, I’m Christel! Here’s a little about me: I am Congolese, I love to dance, cook, and write. I am  a rising junior at the University of Vermont. The end goal is to pursue law and public health. I have cared for kids since I was a kid, so your children are in very good hands. If you see me, always feel free to have a chat if you have the time. Happy to see you and your children!

Older Toddler Room

Laci Stanhope (she/her)
Older Toddler

Hi, I’m Laci! I am so happy to be a part of the One Arts Community! I graduated from Castleton University in May of 2020 with a bachelors in MDS. I’m a big believer that children learn the most through play. I believe it helps them learn about the world around them, develops their social and cognitive skills and also helps them gain self confidence all while having fun! Mission statement -To treat students as individuals and to meet their intellectual and emotional needs. I want to help inspire students to develop self-confidence that they can carry with them for years to come.

Abby Schmidt (she/her)
Classroom Support

Hi! My name is Abby, I’ve lived in the Burlington area for most of my life, and I have been working in schools with kids for almost 2 years. I love playing and exploring, so being in a classroom of little humans suits my personality. I’m interested in arts & crafts both at home and at school, and I love bringing my own hobbies here to school. Exploring the outdoors together is so much fun here at ONE Arts, as well as the heart-filling, nurturing aspect of accompanying kiddos through our days together. I’m happy to be a floating teacher in your family’s school. 

Bonnie Thomas (she/her)
Older Toddler

Hello! My name is Bonnie, and I am so happy to be a part of the One Arts family! I graduated from Castleton with my degree and MDS, and I am currently trying to go back to school for art. I’m a firm believer in having equity in the school and classroom. I love to bring laughter, art, and music into the classroom! 

Preschool Room

Julia Cornell (she/her)
Preschool

Hi, I’m Julia! It has been a pleasure to be a part of the growing ONE Arts community team since the day we first opened our doors back in August of 2021. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, I have lived and worked in various positions within the field of community arts and education in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and now Vermont. In 2019, I graduated from Lesley University where I received my degree in expressive arts therapy; a holistic counseling psychology degree that focuses on incorporating music, drama, dance, creative writing, and visual arts into the field of healing. I have been a musician for my entire life and am passionate about sharing the transformative power of music and the arts with children and families. Having been fortunate enough to grow up in a household full of warmth and laughter, I believe that early childhood education should reflect that same welcoming sense of warmth and provide a safe space for children to learn, grow, and explore the world around them. When I am not spending time with my littlest friends, I love writing and performing music of my own, traveling, swimming and hiking, and visiting with my family and friends.

Maddy Wilson (she/her)
Preschool Support

Hi, I’m Maddy! I am so happy to be a part of this program and initiative with ONE Community Schools. Since graduating from SUNY Potsdam with a degree in Biology, I have taken on many roles in the education sector in both public and private school settings as well as at Environmental Education Centers. I really enjoy teaching my students about science and nature, and have really put an emphasis on outdoor play and exploration as well as helping children learn in a way that feels exciting and beneficial to them as individuals as well as a group. ONE Community School has allowed me to excel and create programming that works towards benefitting the whole child by allowing them to explore and learn in fun, productive ways. I look forward to continuing to create with our class and this amazing school and program.

Mark Stein (he/him)
Preschool

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where I began working with children when I myself was a child. By thirteen I was regularly performing magic shows at children’s birthday parties, working with Special Olympics, and teaching art and drama classes at my synagogue.  I went to college at Columbia University in New York City and, after demonstrating a sincere lack of talent for waitering and bartending, returned to education. I got my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Bank Street School of Education, and spent about a dozen years working in New York public and private schools, and eventually founded an independent tutoring and educational consulting business before moving to Vermont in 2010. In addition to teaching in public and private schools around Vermont, I have been a Teaching Artist for the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. I hold a Level II Vermont Elementary School Teaching License. My educational philosophy is focused on experience-based, play-based education. The arc of my curriculum always points towards developing the skills, both academic and social/emotional, that lead to long term success in school. This is something that I have a deep perspective on, having worked extensively with the range of learners from age two through Eighth Grade, and witnessing the many challenges that can accumulate over time. My top priority during the school day is, at all times, the safety of my students, including their emotional wellbeing. 

My own interests tend towards the artistic and scientific. I spend a lot of time writing, drawing and making things. Toy design is a passion; I design and build many of the toys and materials that I use in my work with children. I perform as a storyteller and improv comedian, skills which are also useful in my work as a teacher. I live in Burlington with my wife, Hyon Joo Yoo, who is a professor of Film and Television Studies at UVM.

Bella Clary (she/her)
Preschool

Hi there! My name is Bella and I am from Chicago, Illinois. I am a recent UVM graduate and studied studio art and psychology. I have passion for the arts and enjoy drawing and painting in my free time. I also have a love for stuffies/stuffed animals which I collect (especially frogs!). Some of my favorite activities are going on hikes, gardening, and taking my cat Remi for walks in my neighborhood. Over the summer, I helped out at the ONE Arts summer program where we created pinatas, collages, puppets, and so much more! I am so excited to be a part of this program and look forward to not only teaching but also learning from all of you. 

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