2023 National Teacher of the Year

At Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and Preschool, we are firm believers that our preschool teachers are the game-changers. They show up each day eager to educate, connect with and inspire their students.

To continually honor our passionate educators, we identify and award a National Teacher of the Month each month. This award is highly regarded among our staff and is just one way we continually invest in our educators who make Little Sunshine’s Preschool loved by so many families across the nation.

After receiving hundreds of nominees throughout the year and a ton of great feedback from families on the Teacher of YearMs. Heyley, 2023 National Teacher of the Year Nominees, we are pleased to announce Ms. Heyley as the 2023 Little Sunshine’s Playhouse National Teacher of the Year.

Ms. Heyley is from our The Woodlands, TX location. She started in January 2020 as a toddler teacher. Ms. Heyley currently is a twos teacher in our Ashdown Forest classroom.

When asked what inspires her Ms. Heyley responded, “sparking a child’s hunger for learning and exploration is a huge goal for me. I know that no matter HOW they learn, what matters is that they ARE learning – watching that love of learning is my biggest inspiration. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to care for so many little ones! I am also inspired by many of the wonderful teachers who I work with every day. So many of them do such a phenomenal job and I am humbled to have been selected to be Teacher of the Year – especially when in the company of so many amazing educators!”

Here’s what The Woodlands, TX Program Director, TK, had to say about Ms. Heyley, “Ms. Heyley has a passion for education and for her students – it is very inspiring. Since starting with us, Ms. Heyley has gone from being more of an assistant teacher in a toddler classroom to taking control of her own very busy twos and threes room. She is one of our go-to teachers when we are doing in-classroom training with new staff. She will be the first to volunteer to take a new staff member under her wing and show them the ropes. Parents love her! Heyley is always one of those teachers who is willing to come in early, stay late, goes the extra mile, and will step up to any challenge that we have for her.  She has a HUGE heart and goes out of her way to be kind and show love to everyone – kids and adults alike. Her hugs are legendary! We are always impressed with the creative ways she comes up with to keep her kiddos engaged and loving to learn. Heyley truly embraces the nature of Reggio Emilia and will often stop what she is doing to greet prospective families when we are touring to explain loose parts and why we use them. She loves encouraging her kiddos to “use their noodles” and inspires them to use their imaginations and think outside the box. We are so excited that Heyley is receiving this award – it is very well deserved, even though she will tell you that there are other teachers who she thinks are more worthy. We are so proud of our Little Sunshine’s Rockstar!”

Congratulations, Heyley! Thank you for all you do for your students and their families. It is evident how much you are truly cherished. We are very grateful your path led you to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse!