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The Teaching Team at Mt. Airy Daycare & Learning Center! 

Staff Biographies

Michelle Rippeon – Director- Credential Level 6

Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Virginia Tech and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education from George Mason University.  She taught elementary school for 6 years before starting a family.  Michelle has four children of her own.  Michelle has worked in early childhood education since 2014.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cheering for her children at sporting events, and exercising.  

Patti Hill – Administrative Assistant – Credential Level 5

Patti has been a resident of Mt. Airy for the past 12 years.  Retiring after 30 years from Montgomery County Public Schools in support staff positions, she is excited to now have the opportunity to work with preschoolers.  Patti loves spending time outside in her flower beds and vegetable garden, attending events in downtown Mt. Airy and in Frederick.  She is currently pursuing her associate degree in early childhood education and child development to become the most successful preschool educator possible.  Her greatest joy is seeing the world through children’s eyes.

Room 1 – MWF Pre-K 4’s:

Daniella Linck – Teacher – Credential Level Pending

Hello! My name is Daniella Linck and I am going to be the PREK 4’s teacher in Room 1! This will be my first-year teaching at Mount Airy Daycare and Learning center, but I have taught Early Childhood since 2009 (I took the past 3 years off staying home with my youngest). Over the years I have taught ages 2-4. I have taught at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Columbia, and Mt. Airy Goddard Schools and most recently St. James Nursery School. I absolutely love working with the 4s and I have an almost 4-year-old son myself. He will be attending MADLC with me in Room 4.

I have my Associates Degree in General Studies with majority of my electives in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. I have my 90-hour and 45-hour and ADA certifications. I have many other certificates in various aspects of Early Childhood Education, I love continuing learning and growing!  I am also a Cheer Coach for Winfield Cavaliers Cheer. I am coached for this program for 2 years and I absolutely LOVE spending time with my athletes. Watching children challenge themselves and find confidence in themselves is my greatest joy. I cannot wait to learn and grow with your kiddos.

My husband and I have lived in Mount Airy, MD since 2012. We both grew up in Montgomery County. We have three children, 2 girls and a boy! Charlotte, Eleanor and Jasper.  The girls attend Winfield Elementary (5th and 1st). We have a dog, hermit crabs and a bunny.

In my free time I love spending time in the garden. I love taking care of my house plants—I can’t wait to bring some in to come live in our classroom. I also own a small design business. Creating and crafting is one of my most favorite things ever. Finally, I enjoy watching movies and listening to music. I look forward to sharing my hobbies with your children and learning about what sparks joy in their lives!


Cindy Johnson – Asst. Teacher – Credential Level 1

Cindy has lived in Mt. Airy for the past 11 years and was born and raised in Baltimore. She holds a Dual Bachelor's of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where she also minored in Dance. Cindy worked as an Environmental Scientist for a Government Contractor for 7 years before staying home to raise her oldest daughter. She later returned to work as the Recycling Program Manager for Frederick County until the birth of her twins. Cindy's oldest daughter is in middle school and is an avid competition dancer for her dance studio. Her boy/girl twins are beginning kindergarten this Fall. In her spare time, she loves watching her son play soccer and both of her daughters dance. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially at the pool and the beach. Cindy is very excited for this new adventure of Assistant Teaching alongside many of the preschool teachers her children have been nurtured by and learned from. She cannot wait to be a part of that tradition for other families in our community.  Ms. Cindy will be helping out on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Room 1 – TTH Pre-K 4’s:

America Wheat–Teacher –Credential Level Pending

America has lived in Mt. Airy with her husband and 4 children since 2001.    She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Marymount University and has completed all but one course for her Master’s degree in early Childhood Education from Towson University.  America has worked as an early childhood educator in Maryland since 2015.  She is current in CPR and First Aid training as well as her ADA certification.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and watching her sons play football and wrestle and her daughters dance and do poms.

Haleigh Piccolo – Asst. Teacher – Credential Level Pending

Ms. Haleigh joined us this summer and worked in Rooms 3 and 4 with our Summer Program.  She is student teaching this year in Carroll County, and hopes to sub whenever she can.  Haleigh enjoys lacrosse and spending time with her friends and family.  Ms. Haleigh will earn her teaching degree next Spring in Elementary School Education.


Room 2 –Preschool 2’s and Preschool 3’s :

Nikki Davis – Teacher – Credential Level 4

Ms. Nikki grew up in North Carolina.  She moved to Maryland 12 years ago and settled in Frederick County to raise her son.  She has an AA degree in General Studies, her 90 hour Early Childhood Education, and her 45 ours in both Infants and Toddlers and Preschool Certification.  Nikki has obtained numerous other certificates all for Early Childhood.  She has been working in early Childhood Education since 2015.  Her son Alex is in 7th grade, and is an avid baseball player.  When she has time, Nikki loves to spend time curled up with a book and her cat, or cooking up something new and exciting in the kitchen.

Christine Christner – Teacher – Credential Level 1

Christine grew up in College Park, MD and moved to  Carroll County with her family in 2006.  Christine has three children, one  who just graduated from Towson, one  who just graduated from South Carroll, and  one that is going to be a junior at South Carroll.  Ms. Christine worked in the public school system (CCPS) for several years as a paraprofessional with children grades K-8.  She has continued her education over the last year and achieved her 90 hours in Child Development and Preschool Curriculum.  Christine will be adding more to her credentials this fall.  In her spare time, Christine enjoys her photography business, loves the beach, hiking and spending time with her family.


Room 3 – Preschool 2’s and Preschool 3’s

Sandy Strunk – Teacher – Credential Level 4

Ms. Sandy has been employed at Mt. Airy Daycare and Learning Center since 2004, and she is qualified to teach all of our Preschool classes.  She has completed the 90-hour Child Development and Curriculum classes, as well as the Infant and Toddler class.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, crafting, photography and spending time with loved ones.

Margie May – Asst. Teacher – Credential Level 3

Ms. Margie has worked in the Early Childhood field for over 20 years.  She has experience with all age groups, but her absolute favorite is the infants and toddlers.  She is married and has 2 children, whom she loves to spend time with.  Margie volunteers at her church for many functions that they have throughout the year, as well as working in the nursery with the children.  Ms. Margie believes that when she works with children, she wants to make sure they have the best day by providing them with a positive experience.  She believes that children learn through play, and she wants to provide a loving and nurturing environment for them to grow.

Jessica MacBride – Asst. Teacher (MWF) – Credential Level Pending

Ms. Jessica has worked with children for nearly 15 years from Infant to School Age.  Family is very important to Ms. Jessica.  She has a family of  5, which includes 1 son, Gavin, Rhyan and Mason  She loves teaching kids and feels like this is where she belongs.  Ms. Jessica enjoys doing arts and crafts and photography.

Devyn Watkins  – Asst. Teacher 

Devyn has lived in Mt. Airy for her whole life with her parents and one older brother.  She is currently a senior at Towson University and will be graduating in the spring with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Family Studies.  She enjoys reading, going to concerts, exercising, and spending time with her family and friends.  Devyn has the most experience with preschool and is very excited to be joining the MADLC team, getting to work with the wonderful staff and getting to know the kids and see their awesome personalities.



Room 4 – Preschool 3’s and Pre-K 4’s:

Maggie Surbrook – Teacher – Credential Level 5

Ms. Maggie has her Associate’s degree in early Childhood Development.  She began working with children as a nanny, then moved into early childcare preschools and centers where she has been for over 20 years.  She has worked with all ages, from infant to school age, and has been a part of admin in varying capacities for over 15 years.  In the classroom, Ms. Maggie focuses on the children’s interests, enjoys making messes while creating science, sensory and art experiences and reading stories to facilitate and inspire learning through play.  Ms. Maggie lives in the Westminster area with her husband and three of four sons.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching movies and going out with her family.  

Brenda Jackson – Asst. Teacher – Credential Level 4

Ms. Brenda has been employed at Mt. Airy Daycare and Learning Center since 2000.  She is qualified to teach all of our preschool classes.  Ms. Brenda has completed the 90-hour Child Development and Preschool Curriculum classes, as well as the 45-hour Infant and Toddler Class.  She is married with three kids.  Ms. Brenda loves spending time with her family- especially her grandkids!  Ms. Brenda also enjoys shopping and riding horses.


Room 5 – Preschool 3’s

Lynne Colantoni – Teacher – Credential Level 3

Originally from New England,  Lynne now calls Carroll County her home.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Business with a concentration in Accounting.  She worked in accounting and finance several years before starting a family.  Since that time she has become interested in early childhood/preschool education.  She completed the MSDE Child Care certification coursework and continues to take classes to further expand knowledge in the field.  She has experience working in preschools as a substitute in Carroll County Public Schools, and served as treasurer of the PTO board at her children’s school.

Alexis Wisooker – Asst. Teacher – TTH – Credential  Level 5

Alexis graduated with her Associate’s degree at Carroll Community College in 2012 with a focus in Business and Marketing and returned to school to pursue Early Childhood Education in 2018 after she began her family.  Her accolades include achieving her 90 clocked hour Early Childhood Education Certificate, 45-hour Preschool Certification and maintaining credentialing each year.  Ms. Alexis has 3 years of teaching experience with a natural skill set to make others feel welcomed, encouraged and included.  She has a deep passion for uplifting others and giving back to the community.  Her goal is to provide educational practices and innovations all while being conscious of each child’s personal needs.  Alexis strives to build a strong social/emotional foundation for students.  Alexis is dedicated to bringing a positive, warm energy in the classroom while using engaging material.  Alexis stays active with her family, riding and competing horses with her daughter and designing small batch candles.

Jennifer Vona – Asst. Teacher – MWF – Credential Level 2

Jen has lived in Mount Airy for 18 years.  She is a mother of 3.  Her daughter is 19 and is attending college for Digital Animation.  Her two sons are in elementary school entering 1st and 3rd grades.  She enjoys spending time with her family, going for walks, and watching her sons play in their soccer and baseball games.  Jen homeschooled her youngest for Pre-Kindergarten during the Covid-19 pandemic and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of every aspect of his education, preparing him for Kindergarten, and seeing the excitement and pride that he felt while developing an understanding of new concepts and skills.  After homeschooling her son, she decided to receive the 90 hour Early Childhood Education certification through Howard Community College to pursue a career in early Childhood Education.  As a parent of a child with debilitating health impairment, she recognized the need for a supportive and accessible education for children and decided to also obtain the “Including All Children & the ADA” course certification through Howard Community College to be more prepared to support preschool aged children and their individual needs.


Room 1 – School Age

Caitlin Moreland – Teacher – Credential Level Pending

My name is Caitlin Moreland, and I am currently a Junior at Towson University. I am majoring in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and have been passionate about working with children since the age of 13. I started to babysit with my mom and instantly fell in love with reading, playing, and completing crafts with children and new I wanted to become a teacher one day. I have made that dream a reality and have worked in before and after school childcare since 2018. I have classroom experience with ages 2 to 11 years during the school year and during summer camp as a camp counselor. When I am not teaching you can typically find me with a book in my hand, painting, or partaking in an art or craft project. I live in Westminster, but I have been coming to the Mt Airy Library for many years and even interned at Parr’s Ridge Elementary my Senior year of High School at South Carroll. I am excited to be in the School Age room and bring some fun ideas into the classroom and further grow my passion and love for teaching!!!!!


Aide/ Substitute – All Classrooms

Kathryn Janiga – Aide /Substitute – Credential Level 4+

Kathryn holds a BS in nursing from the University of Maryland.  She has been married 41 years with two grown children.  She received her 90 Early Childhood Education certification from Carroll Community College.  Kathryn began teacing pre-school in 2005 after practicing nursing for 25 years.  While nursing, she specialized in pediatrics.  She loves music, gardening, and arts and crafts.  Kathryn also is an avid scrap booker.  She is very excited to join the MADLC teaching staff.

Donna Barber – Aide /Substitute  - Credential Level Pending

Donna is a life long Marylander. Donna has called Frederick County her home the past 28 years. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in Advertising and Design from the University of Maryland, as well as an Associate's degree in nursing from Frederick Community College. Donna worked in Marketing for a Biotech company for several years before going back to school to get her RN. After receiving her nursing degree, she worked as a NICU nurse. Donna has 8 years of experience working as an aide in the preschool environment. She is married with 2 grown children and 1 granddaughter. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, baking...and when time allows, curling up with a good book.

Michelle May – Aide / Afternoon Assistant

Ms. Michelle is a rising Senior at South Carroll  High School.    She will  be joining us in the afternoons after school helping  with our extended care classrooms.  Michelle is studying early childhood development at South Carroll and would like to be a teacher.  She is excited to be working with her mom, Ms. Margie.  Michelle likes to play video games in her spare time.

Abby Christner – Aide/ Afternoon Assistant

Abby is a Junior at South Carroll High School.  She is pursuing a career in early childhood education.  She is participating in the Teacher’s Academy program at the Career and Tech Center.  She njoys the beach, snowboarding, and hanging out with friends when she is not hanging out with her family.  Family is big to Abby, so they are always her number one!  She really enjoys doing crafts with kids and hanging out with them because they remind her of when she was younger.  Abby is excited to help us in the afternoons with all our age groups.

Athena Codd – Aide/ Afternoon Assistant

Ms. Athena goes to Linganore High school and is a senior.  She LOVES running, writing, and being around little kids!  She plans on going to community college next year to study early childhood education.  Ms. Athena will be helping us in the afternoon with all age groups.


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