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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 six years before starting a family.  Michelle has 4 children of her own.  Michelle has worked in early childhood education since 2014, including teaching the Preschool 3’s and PreK 4’s.  Her hobbies include spending time with her family, cheering for her children at sporting events and exercising.  This summer she completed the Orton- Gillingham program.  This is a Multi-Sensory approach to phonics and early literacy.

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 and Tuesday/ Thursday Pre-K 4’s:

Daniella Linck – Teacher – Credential Level 3

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 bunnyIn 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 – Assistant Teacher – Credential Level 3

Cindy has lived in Mt. Airy for the past 12 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 in elementary school.  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.


Room 2 –Preschool 2’s:

Nikki Davis – Teacher – Credential Level 5

Ms. Nikki grew up in North Carolina. She moved to Maryland 13 years ago and settled in Frederick County to raise her son. Nikki has been working in early childhood education since her son started kindergarten in 2015. She has an AA degree in general studies, her 90-hour Early Childhood Education, and her 45-hours in both Infants and toddlers and preschool certification. Nikki also has numerus other certificates all for early childhood and was just Credentialed at a Level 5 through the Maryland Child Care Credential Program. Her son Alex is in 8th grade this year and is an avid baseball player, so the majority of her free time is spent on the bleachers cheering him on. When she has extra time, Nikki enjoys spending it curled up with her cat Georgia and a Book.

Christine Christner – Teacher – Credential Level 3

Christine grew up in College Park MD, and lived in Montgomery County prior to moving her family to Carroll County in 2006.  Christine has three children, ages 24, 19 and 17.  Christine began working with school aged children, K-8, in the public school system (CCPS) more than 10 years ago.  She was a  paraprofessional in the BEST program at the middle school level, and in the autism program at the elementary level. Christine decided to change lanes and expand on her love of teaching children, deciding to leave the public school setting and begin working in the early childhood education industry.  She is entering her fourth year of teaching this year.  Christine has continued her education over the last few years to achieve her 90 hours in child growth development and preschool curriculum, as well as her 45 hours in infants and toddlers and is working towards increasing her credential level again this year.  In her spare time, Christine enjoys photography, loves the beach, hiking and spending time with her family.

Suzanne Green - TTH Aide

Suzanne holds a bachelor's degree in Family Studies from the University of Maryland.  She has lived in Mount Airy for nearly 20 years with her husband and 4 children.  She enjoys spending time with family and friends, crafting, cooking, and especially loves watching her children play baseball and softball.

Morgan Verdin – Aide – Credential Level 3

Morgan has lived in Mt. Airy most of her life with her Dad, older brother and 2 dogs.  She used to work with children before as a babysitter and Assistant Teacher.  She plans to go to school to become a preschool/ elementary school teacher.  During her free time, she likes to play with her dogs, hang out with friends and paint!


Room 3 – Preschool 3’s:

Lynne Colantoni – Teacher – Credential Level 6

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 for several years before starting a family.  Since that time, she has become interested in early childhood education.  She completed the MSDE Child Care certification coursework and continues to take classes to further expand her knowledge in the field.  Lynne has experience working in preschools, and just completed teaching her first year as a three’s teacher.  Lynne worked and volunteered in CCPS, and served as treasurer of the PTO board at her children’s school.

Sandy Strunk – Assistant Teacher – Credential Level 4

Ms. Sandy has been at MADLC since 2004. She has completed the 90 hours, the Infant and Toddlers course and the medical administration course as well as many other classes. In her free time she enjoys reading, photography, crafting and is a huge Disney fan. 

Jennifer Vona – Assistant Teacher – Credential Level 2

Jen lives in Mount Airy with her husband and 3 children. She enjoys spending time with her family, snuggling with her dog Libby and playing with her family’s parakeets; Marshmallow, Kiwi, Blueberry, Willow and Reindeer! Jen homeschooled her youngest child during the pandemic for Pre-K, and thoroughly enjoyed preparing him for Kindergarten, and seeing the excitement and pride that he felt while developing an understanding of new concepts and skills. Afterwards she decided to pursue the courses needed for the 90-hour Early Childhood Education Certification as well as many other early childhood education certificates. She is currently continuing her education, working towards an AA in Early Childhood Education. As a parent of a child with a debilitating health impairment, Jen recognizes the need for a supportive and accessible education. She loves spending time in the classroom and hopes to help make preschool a fun and rewarding experience for each child she has the privilege of working with.


Room 4 – 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.  

Devyn Watkins  – Assistant Teacher - Credential Level 3

Devyn has lived in Mt. Airy all her life with her parents and older brother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Family Human Services from Towson University. She has been working with children since she was in high school whether that be babysitting or working at a center. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading books, exercising, and going to concerts.


Room 5 – Preschool 3’s and PreK 4's:


Haleigh Piccolo - Preschool 3's and PreK 4's Teacher - Credential Level 3

Haleigh has lived in Mount Airy her whole life.  She attended Shepherd University and played college lacrosse.  She is trained in the Orton-Gillingham Multi-Sensory approach to phonics and has a passion for early literacy.  This is Haleigh’s second year in the classroom.  This year will be teaching the Preschool 4’s, and she is excited for the year ahead!

America Wheat- Assistant Teacher - Credential Level 6

America has lived in Mt. Airy with her husband and 4 children since 2001.  She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Marymount 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 since 2015.  She is current in CPR and First Aid training as well as her ADA certification.  She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and watching her sons play football and wrestle and her daughters dance and do poms.


 School Age:

Caitlin Moreland – Teacher – Credential Level 4

My name is Caitlin Moreland, and I am currently a Senior at the University of Phoenix. 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



Skyllar Tanner – Aide-  Credential Level 1

My name is Skyllar Tanner and I recently moved to Maryland from Arkansas.  I graduated high school last year, and I am working towards continuing my education with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.  While this is my first experience in an early childhood educational program, I have had experience working with children since I was 11 years old.  I look forward to the school year, getting to know your children, and having FUN!

Margie May – Aide- 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.


Donna Barber - Aide - Credential Level 1

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

Michelle May graduated from South Carroll High School. She will be starting at Carroll Community College in the fall and will work towards an Early Childhood Education degree. While in high school, she participated in the Teacher Academy of Maryland through CCTC. In her spare time, Michelle enjoys playing video games and watching Marvel movies.

Abby Christner – Aide/ Afternoon Assistant

Abby begins her senior year at South Carroll High School in the fall, and has begun her second year here with us at MADLC working after school and through the summer with all age groups.  Abby has completed her course work in Honors Teaching as a Profession and Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction in the TAM program at CCCTC and will embark on an internship at Winfield Elementary in the spring.  Outside of work, Abby enjoys the beach, snowboarding, and hiking.  She’s obsessed with old cars and trucks, music, and hanging with her family and friends.

Sydney Knauss - Aide/ Afternoon Assistant

Alexis Wisooker  – Substitute- Credential Level 5

Alexis is a Mt. Airy naive who has been teaching since 2019. She obtained her Associate's Degree with a Business and Marketing focus at Carroll Community College and returned to school to complete Early Childhood Education coursework, which includes a 90-hour Early Childhood Education Certificate and a 45-hour Preschool Certification, in 2018 after starting her family. She is credentialed through MSDE at a level 5 and completes yearly continuing education. Alexis' teaching goal is to bring a positive learning experience through hands on educational activities while supporting each child's individual needs. Alexis stays active spending time with her family, riding and competing horses with her daughter and designing small batch candles.

Jessica MacBride- Substitute

Jessica has worked in childcare for over 15 years.  She has a family of 4.  In her spare time, Jessica loves photography.

 Kaia Wolfe- Substitute

Kaia is a junior at South Carroll High School. She is on the schools lacrosse team and POMS team. When Kaia graduates she wants to attend Towson University. She enjoys skiing, live music, and spending time with her family. Kaia is looking forward to working after school and after practices.

Athena Codd – Substitute

Athena graduated from Linganore High School this year.  She earned her 90-hour certificates in early childhood education.  She loves running, photography, and hanging out with her friends and family.  She is attending Frederick Community College this fall.



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