wisdom begins with wonder

The Leadership Team

Co-founder & Owner

Head of School

Director of Admissions

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."

Benjamin Franklin

Our teachers are the footsoldiers of our vision and are at the heart of what we do.

As a Reggio-inspired school, Aspen Grove teachers serve as guides to a child’s natural curiosity. They understand the importance of being little and bring optimism, nurturing and connection to their classrooms. Our teachers represent the world that our children will grow up in and many speak a second language. Our lead teachers are degreed in Early Childhood Education or in a related field and our assistant teachers are either degreed or have CDAs (Child Development Associate). Meet some of them:

Our Teachers

Joanna Martinez

Classroom: Infants

Diah Rahayu

Classroom: Infants

Tanya Johnson​

Classroom: Toddlers

Alexis Gardner

Classroom: Pre-K
Our Leadership Team

Sharon Jayakumar

Co-Founder & President

Sharon worked in the corporate world for almost 20 years before becoming an entrepreneur.  A Philadelphia-based mom of 2, she was inspired to start The Aspen Grove School for her son.  After many tours and long waitlists in search of finding a joyful learning environment for him, she decided to build one. Sharon works hands-on with the leadership team in bringing Aspen Grove’s vision to life. She believes in joy at the center of all learning and in the strength of an interconnected community.

Sharon has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.  She is a member of NAEYC,  North America Reggio Emilia Alliance and an Ambassador for the Association of Early Learning Leaders.  Sharon is also the co-founder of Bhagya Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating girls in her hometown Bangalore, India.

Our Leadership Team

Samaad Robinson

Head of School

Samaad holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education and a Master’s in Educational Administration.  Samaad has over a decade of experience in education administration.  Prior to Aspen Grove, he was Dean of Climate and Culture at Thomas H. Dudley Family School in East Camden, New Jersey as well as Family Enrollment Guide for the Camden City School District and played a key role in student and community outreach. 

Samaad is a classical trained pianist and started his career in education as a music teacher.  He loves working in early childhood education as he sees the powerful impact we can have on a child’s life by helping shape their early years.

Our Leadership Team

Jade Wagner

Admissions Director

Jade holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College. She started her career as a Preschool and Toddler teacher and most recently served as a Center Director for 5 years. During this time Jade successfully managed enrollment, parent communication and community events. Jade is a lover of nature and nature-based learning and enjoys the joy and wonder that young children exude. When she’s not at Aspen Grove, you’ll find her exploring the many amazing green spaces and restaurants of Philadelphia.