wisdom begins with wonder
Welcome To Our Parent Portal

This is a Members-Only Portal for families of children currently enrolled at Aspen Grove.

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.

Infant Educator

Joanna Martinez

Rittenhouse Square

My name is Joanna Martinez. I have been with The Aspen Grove School going into my third year. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education from Eastern University and recently decided to go back to school to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Childhood Studies, which I am currently working on. I have worked in early childhood for 11 years, 4 of which have been with infants. It has been a wonderful journey and experience that is a career for me. I also have a certification as a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA). Being a teacher is a passion that started in my heart, the size of a mustard seed and, throughout the years that seed has grown and flourished into what I feel and express to my little students and families on a daily basis Tender, Love & Care! I am also a mother of two wonderful young adults. I speak English & Spanish.

Infant Educator

Diah Rahayu

Fitler Square
My name is Diah Rahayu. This is my 4th year at Aspen Grove. I received my Bachelor’s degree with a major in Education from Adibuana University Indonesia. I have also attended many ECE trainings and seminars and have been working with children for 9 years. I am a mother to a 19 year old girl and 13 year old boy. I love working with children because I want to see their growth and help them achieve their milestones. With my patience, love, and ability, I will take care of your children like my own. I speak English and Indonesian.
Infant Educator

Esther Susanto

Fitler Square
My name is Esther Susanto. I have been at Aspen Grove for 4 years. I have been working in Early Childhood Education for 6 years and have a Child Development Associate (CDA). I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism from Indonesia. I believe in creating a safe and nurturing learning environment for our students. I speak English and Indonesian.
Infant Educator

Ana Shehu

Spruce Street
My name is Ana Shehu. I have been with Aspen Grove for almost 2 years. I am an experienced French and ESL Teacher. I have both a Bachelor and a Masters of Science Degree in Foreign Language. I also have my Child Development Associate (CDA). I am honored to be part of The Aspen Grove School and I am very committed to helping create a community that nurtures children’s growth in a positive, fun environment. I speak English, Albanian and French.
Infant Educator

Pamela Ojopi

Spruce Street

I have just joined the Aspen Grove team and have been working as an educator with children ages 2-12 years for 4 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Scientific Illustration with Pre-med Emphasis. I love working with young children and I appreciate the opportunity to be a positive role model and force in their lives. I speak English and Spanish.

Infant Educator

Elaine Farnum

Rittenhouse Square

I’m Elaine and I am originally from Birmingham, England. I hold a degree in Early Childhood Education and have over 25 years of background experience working with infants, toddlers, and school age children. Prior to my role at Aspen Grove, I owned and operated a licensed and certified ECE program for 21 years. My program received multiple Philadelphia Child Care Resources Awards as well as a PA State Representative Congratulatory Award for my service and commitment to the early childhood field. After retiring my business, I took on the roles of Assistant Teacher and Lead Teacher for 2 Keystone Star 4 and NAEYC accredited programs.

I believe being a part of programs whose mission and commitment is to maintain high quality standards and quality early childhood education. I also strongly believe in the African proverb that “It takes a village to raise a child” and have discovered a wonderful example of this village right here at the Aspen Grove School.

Young Toddler Educator

Mercedes Brooks

Fairmount Park

I am Ms. Mercedes Brooks. I have an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and am currently working to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education as well. I have been working in early childhood education for almost 8 years and have been at Aspen Grove for 3 years. I enjoy working with young children and taking care of them as if they were my own children. I am a mom to 4 children and am an animal lover at heart!

Young Toddler Educator

Anita Battle

Fairmount Park
I am Anita Battle and it has been a sincere pleasure working at The Aspen Grove school for the last 2 years. I have been working with young children for 7 years and absolutely love it! It is my mission to help ensure a safe and stimulating educational environment for our students. I cannot wait to share my passion for teaching and learning with you and your children.
Young Toddler Educator

Jalisa Davis

Belmont Plateau

My name is Jalisa Davis. I have been in Early Childhood Education for more than 5 years. I’m currently completing my Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification.

Young Toddler Educator

Symantha Jones

Bartrams Garden

My name is Symantha Jones. I am excited to be a part of the Aspen Grove team! I have 6 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and have a Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA) and have worked to build a solid foundation and passion for educational excellence. I love working with children and having a hand in molding them into the amazing individuals they are and will be one day.

Young Toddler Educator

Odessa Powell

Bartrams Garden

My name is Odessaa Powell and I have recently joined the Aspen Grove teaching team. I have 9 years experience in teaching young children. I obtained my Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA) from Manor College. I plan on continuing my education to obtain a degree in Early Childhood. I enjoy teaching my students something new as I enjoy seeing how happy they get when they start to connect the dots and have ah ha moments on their educational journey.

Young Toddler Educator

Raven Guinn

Laurel Hill

I’m Raven Guinn, I also go by (Gwen). I have a Bachelors in English with a minor in psychology. I’m a published author and experienced artist, dancer, and musician. I’ve worked with young children for over 6 years, with every age group from infants to preschoolers. My favorite part of working with children is watching them learn and experience something new. As a recent mother, learning how children think and experience life is now more important to me than ever.

Young Toddler Educator

Alexis Randell

Hickory Run

My name is Alexis Randall. I have a Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA) and I am currently in the process of completing a college degree program. I have over 14 years of experience working with children under five years. I enjoy working with younger children because they are eager to learn new things and I love watching them grow. I also have a 10 year old son.

Young Toddler Educator

Ashley Keating

Belmont Plateau

I’m Ashley! I have a Bachelors in English, 5 years’ teaching experience and many certifications in Early Childhood Education. Some of my favorites include trainings on picky eating, Positive Behavioral Intervention and supports, and my all-time favorite – a Growing up WILD nature-based training! I speak conversational Hindi and am learning Punjabi. I absolutely love the wonder and joy children naturally have towards life and learning. Even the simplest of things can be magical in the eyes of a child, and seeing the world through their perspective makes even the most mundane tasks fun and new. Even on my worst days these children never fail to put a smile on my face. Fun fact – prior to my teaching career I worked as a film makeup artist!

Older Toddler Educator

Octavia Coleman

Cedar Park
My name is Octavia Coleman and I have almost 10 years experience in early childhood education. This is my second school year at Aspen Grove. I am currently completing coursework to obtain my Child Development Associate Certificate (CDA). I always strive to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the children to excel in.
Older Toddler Educator

Haby Sow

Cedar Park

I’m Haby! I have a Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies and have just started my teaching career. I have a passion for working with children, especially in community based initiatives. I also speak some French and Fulani. There is nothing I enjoy more than being there when children discover new things and form bonds with one another. I love being the comforting person that they can talk to and hug! In my downtime I enjoy watching movies and listening to Brazilian samba.

Older Toddler Educator

Tanya Johnson

Love Park

My name is Tanya Johnson. This will be my third year teaching at the Aspen Grove School. I graduated from Walden University in 2020 with a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescence Developmental Psychology. I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Associates in Human Services. I have worked as an Early Childhood educator for over ten years. I look forward to getting to know you and teaching your little ones this year. I believe in creating a fun, safe, caring and positive learning environment.

Older Toddler Educator

LaShay Burroughs

Love Park

My name is LaShay Burroughs. I have worked for many years as a nanny, a group leader, and a teacher’s assistant. I have also had the pleasure of helping educate Kindergarten students with autism. This is my second school year at Aspen Grove and I look forward to getting to know you more as well as your children each and everyday.

Older Toddler Educator

Gloria Carr

Ricketts Glen

My name is Gloria Carr. I have been at Aspen Grove for 3 years. I have 7 years teaching experience in Early Childhood Education. I recently completed a Child Development Associate Certificate program (CDA). I love working with children and have found that my passion is helping them learn new things as well as watching them grow. In my free time I read books, eat good food and travel. I look forward to getting to know you and your child this year!

Older Toddler Educator

Erica Johnson

French Creek
I am Miss Erica to my class children. I have been teaching in the field of Early Childhood Education for almost 8 years now and I love it. I have been with Aspen Grove for 3 years and have an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood. Teaching early learners is what gives me joy.
Older Toddler Educator

Qonita Supriyatno

French Creek

I’m Qonita! I am originally from Indonesia and also speak Bahasa Indonesia. I have a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture but always had a dream to become a teacher from the time I was a child. Watching children, especially when they smile, teaches us to always be happy. I learn from children just as they learn from me and they motivate me to be a better person. I also have two children of my own.

Pre-School Educator

Fabiola Zamor

Dilworth Park

My name is Fabiola Zamor and I have been working at Aspen Grove for 3 years. I have a Master’s in Early Childhood Education and I am committed to the healthy growth and development of children with a passion for purposeful engagements. As an educator, I am highly dedicated to providing nurturing care and high-quality learning experiences to young children. I have always enjoyed supporting others and believe that my calling is to work with children early on in their life.

Pre-School Educator

Olivia McIlwaine

Dilworth Park

My name is Olivia Mcllwaine. I have worked with various age groups in early childhood and this is truly where my passion lies. I have an Associate’s degree in Art and Design. In my spare time I love baking, painting, watching Disney movies and spending time with family. I am a wife and mother of two girls.

Pre-School Educator

Alexis Gardner

Cherry Springs

My name is Alexis Gardner and I have been a teacher at The Aspen Grove School for 6 years, since its inception in 2017. I have taught children ranging in age from 1-5 years old. I have a dual Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education as well as Childhood Education from Fredonia State University. I am certified to teach children ranging in age from birth up to 6th grade. I am very excited to work with you and your children to build upon the skills they already have and continue to engage with their surroundings in a kind, curious, and considerate way. I speak English and Spanish (beginner level)

Pre-School Educator

Berenice Villanueva

Cherry Springs
My name is Berenice. I have been working with young children for 7 years and this will be my 5th year working in an early childhood center. I have a Bachelor’s of Arts in Education Studies from Arcadia University. I love to encourage curiosity and problem solving. As a teacher, I provide a loving, nurturing and safe environment for all my students to grow and learn. I speak English and Spanish.
Pre-Kindergarten Educator

Amy Phath

Ridley Creek
My name is Amy Phath. I have over 10 years experience working with children under 5 and have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education. I love watching children blossom and grow and helping them to unlock their creativity and hidden talents. I speak English and Khmer.
Pre-Kindergarten Educator

Terra Harvey

Ridley Creek

My name is Terra Harvey. I have been educating, mentoring, and molding young minds for over 12 years after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from West Chester University. I am currently in school for a Masters in Early Childhood Education at Chestnut Hill College. I believe it truly takes a village to raise children, and I look forward to building a strong village to surround your child and I look forward to having a productive school year!

Pre-School Educator

Emma Ditnes

Marsh Creek

My name is Emma Ditnes. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Art and Acting and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been teaching for over 10 years  and have over 15 years’ experience working with young children. I absolutely adore working with Preschool students and helping them to become well-rounded young people.

Pre-School Educator

Lena Puterbaugh

Marsh Creek

My name is Lena Puterbaugh. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing from Franklin & Marshall College. I have worked in environmental education and in Behavioral Health using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques. The pillars of my teaching are: respect, love, and guidance. I also believe in our innate creativity as humans, and I want to help children develop their independence and problem-solving skills early in life. I speak both English and Spanish.

Support Teachers & Staff

Arianna Fields

Support Staff

My name is Ms. Arianna. I have been a part of the AGS team for 3 years. I have over 8 years of experience in early childhood education. I’ve worked with children ages infants through 4 years old. Having the knowledge and creativity to help uplift children with confidence in their daily life is what inspired me to become an educator.

Support Teachers & Staff

Tierney Storm

Support Staff
My name is Tierney. I just started working at Aspen Grove. I have a Bachelor of Arts in German and some education training from Kutztown University. I am fluent in German and currently learning French. I have been working with children under 5 years for 2 years.The best thing about working with young kids is making them smile! If I can make a child happy, then I’m happy. I am married and we have two kitties, one dog, and a parakeet.
Support Teachers & Staff

Erica Bently

Support Staff
My name is Erica. I have recently joined Aspen Grove. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English from Arcadia University and I am currently earning my Masters degree in Creative Writing from Rosemont College. I have 6 years experience working with children, including those under 5 years. All children, but especially young children, have a very unique way of discovering the world that involves a sense of wonder and thought processes that can be wholly different from my own. Their curiosity, wonder, and humor never fail to bring a smile to my face.
Support Teachers & Staff

Haliymah Jackson

Support Teacher

I’m Haliymah! I’m currently a student at the University of Arts working towards my Bachelors in Fine Arts. I’ve worked with young children for 2 years and love the bonds I get to make with each and every child in the many classrooms that I support. The joy on their faces when I enter the room is very special! I speak a little bit of American Sign Language (ASL)

Young Toddler Educator

Chyenne Simko

Laurel Hill

My name is Chyenne (Chy). I graduated from Temple University in 2020 with a Bachelors in Fine Arts and Dance. I have been working in the field of education for 13 years now and 6 of those years in an early childhood setting. I am working to obtain my Child Development Associate (CDA) within the next year. My favorite part of working with children is observing the different personalities they all have. I love watching a child pick up a new skill!

Support Teachers & Staff

Wanda Patrick

Administrative Assistant
My name is Wanda Patrick. I have been in the field of education for over 30 years. My last role was as an Administrative Assistant at Eastside High School in Camden, NJ. I see myself as a central part of Aspen Grove School – as a hub of communication for the operations of the school and in assisting teachers and families with anything that you may need. I look forward to building strong relationships with you and your children.
Support Teachers & Staff

Khaleef Holmes

Custodian

I’m Khaleef. I have many years of experience in custodial services including cleaning, maintaining facilities and keeping spaces with children safe and organized.

Support Teachers & Staff

Jhelonick (Ace) Ventura

Custodial Support

I am currently a student in high school going for a degree in mechanical engineering and spend a few hours each evening at Aspen Grove helping the custodial team keep the school clean and beautiful. I also speak Spanish and enjoy the lively feel that young children bring into any space.

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