May Company-Wide Teacher of the Month

Summer is just around the corner and all of our schools are preparing for these busy months ahead.  We had a month full of pre-kindergarten graduations, saying good-bye to children that have been with us since they have been infants, but also welcoming new families!  Little Sunshine’s Playhouse is full of educated teachers who truly care for each of their students and want them to succeed in kindergarten and life.  The following teachers were nominated by their Program Directors and Assistant Directors for this achievement:

  • Valerie Flynn, Ozark
  • Mary Hatfield, Springfield I
  • Ben Drobny, Colorado Springs
  • Heather Baker, Southlake
  • Bing Domnick, Rogers
  • Jess Fellerson, Gilbert
  • Bailee Harris, Scottsdale
  • Annie Buescher, Leawood
  • Bianca Claybon, University City
  • Linda Effinger, Lakeway
  • Brittany Holloway, Springfield II
  • Amy Phipps, Littleton

Congratulations to all of these nominees! We are very thankful for all you do for the children in your care every day!

Our May 2016 Company-Wide Teacher of the Month is Ellen Simmonds from our Springfield III location.  Ellen is the lead teacher in the pre-kindergarten classroom.

Ellen’s supervisor, Shelly Gardner, had the following to say about her:

“The Cardinal location chose Miss. Ellen for May’s Teacher of the Month. Miss. Ellen has been a wonderful asset to our LSP team for almost seven years. She delivers phenomenal instruction to her Pre-K students that enables them to grow and develop in every aspect. Ellen doesn’t just provide children with kindergarten readiness but instead works on life readiness skills so children are successful in school and in life. She cares deeply for her students and shows them daily by providing lots of hugs and through positive interactions. One example is her compliment corner. This is where Ellen takes each child aside daily to tell them something positive about them, building their self-esteem and confidence. The family connection is likewise important to Ellen, so she takes time building relationships with all her families by providing continuous communication with them through daily personal conversations. We are so fortunate to have Ellen on our team, and feel that she is very deserving to be selected as May’s teacher of the month.”

Ellen received a degree in ministry but during her junior year is when she started really getting into the child care industry. She thought working with kids would be a great, fun experience and has been doing it since 2008.

What Ellen enjoys most about working for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse is the family connections she has created over the years. To this day, she is still close to several families whose children graduated years ago and she still cherishes those relationships and loves that she is still a part of their lives.

Ellen works in the Pre-Kindergarten room and absolutely loves this age. “The kids are really becoming more aware of their own feeling and the feelings of those around them.” Ellen truly enjoys focusing on their self-esteem and kindness. The “All About Me” curriculum theme in August is Ellen’s favorite project that she has done in her classroom. Every year, she has each child make an “All About Me” book that they work on every month. “It’s fun to see how much each child has grown and changed by the end of the month!”

Outside of work, Ellen enjoys going to the movies! She loves to celebrate other filmmakers and their work. She often writes her own scripts, produces, and act in films. You can also find Ellen downtown performing improv on the weekends.

Something that people may not know about Ellen is she collects antiques like glass soda bottles, wooden soda crates, and Morton salt merchandise.