My association with Meekins goes back to 1984 when my son, David, entered the Meekins 2-year-old class. Meekins remains, to this day, his favorite school. Two years later my younger son, Gregory, became a part of Meekins as well. Co-oping was our way of life and we loved it. During the 1988-89 school year I had the opportunity to teach the Meekins 2-year-old program. At the end of that school year my husband, Rick, was transferred to Rochester, N.Y. We lived there for four years.
While in Rochester, I developed educational programs for church youth groups (ages 5 to 7). I also designed and implemented a read aloud program for 2-year-olds at the public library in our town. We moved back to Virginia in 1994 and I began to teach the 4-year-old class that fall – and I still am! I have to say that I have fun every day. I love children of all ages but the fourth year has always been a favorite time. The children are growing and learning so much and so quickly that it’s a pleasure to be with them. I enjoy the challenge of opening new doors for these children and I appreciate the education that they give me.
I have a BS degree in Education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and have attended workshops, seminars and conferences focusing on early Childhood Education with various organizations, NVCC and at UVA. I also take full credit college courses on a regular basis. These courses address many early childhood issues and keep me up to date on current legislation, trends in early childhood education and current thoughts on developmentally appropriate practices. In the past, I have tutored in an intensive summer reading program for children who have difficulties reading. Now, I tutor a few children year round. I focus on early readers and reading readiness.
My husband, Rick, retired from Eastman Kodak. He is on his second career with The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences. My sons, David and Gregory, are young men now who fondly remember their first educational experiences at Meekins. Meekins is a great place to be and I truly feel lucky to be a part of it.
I happened upon Meekins when I was searching for a preschool for my son Alex. I was so excited when he joined Mrs. Jarman’s class. I went on to spend the next eight years as a parent at Meekins, loving every minute of it. My children learned and thrived in Meekins’ wonderful play based curriculum and I became a better parent by watching the way my children’s teachers interacted with children and from the many parent education workshops that Meekins provides.
A couple of years ago I was offered the position as the Teacher’s Aide in the Blues/Reds class. I jumped at the chance to be back at Meekins on a daily basis. In 2010 I was lucky enough to step up to the position of the Reds Lead Teacher. I am looking forward to spending many years at Meekins. Each year brings new and wonderful challenges but I learn so much from each individual child that I have the privilege of spending a few hours a day with.
I recently completed my Bachelors of Early Childhood Education at Ashford University. I’m excited to bring to classroom the amazing things I learn in each of my classes. I also take classes regularly and attend workshops on preschoolers and developmentally appropriate practices.
My children are now in college and high school and still have many friends from Meekins. They have such fond memories of Meekins and each year they ask if they can take a day off from regular boring school to come and play with my kids at Meekins.
My family and I joined Meekins in 2006 when my oldest son was two years old, and it was the best decision we could have made. Not only is it a positive, nurturing place for children to develop new skills and make their first friends, it is a place for parents to bond and form friendships as well. My new friends and I formed a book club, did crafts and even exercised together! Thanks to the relationships I developed with other parents, even after my boys finished I never really left Meekins.
I’ve continued ‘co-op-ing’ as my boys matriculated into FCPS by volunteering weekly in their classrooms. My jobs there increasingly have been in teaching roles where I work one-on-one with children who need extra help or attention. My own sons have special needs, and while learning to work with them from books and professionals we’ve enlisted along the way, I’ve gained great insight and perspective on brain development, nutrition, and physical and cognitive development in young children. I try to bring this knowledge into the classroom, facilitating play that meets the needs of all sorts of learners.
I enjoy working with all kinds of people in every day situations. After earning my bachelors degree at Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, I began working as a human resource professional and later a technical recruiter in Corporate America. After about five years in the workforce, I began studying Early Childhood Education at Johns Hopkins. My oldest son was born during that time, and my focus turned to raising him until my youngest was born and then I had two. And what an education that has been!
What I love most about the Meekins play-based approach to learning is that it honors children’s wisdom, individuality, and intrinsic thirst for new experiences. I love being on a team with my co-teachers and Meekins families who all believe in fostering our children’s natural curiosity. Children inspire me. My goal every day is to find out what makes each one of my students excited to come to Meekins.
When we moved to Vienna in 2002, I started searching for a preschool for our 2-year-old daughter, Amelia. When I found Meekins, I knew the search was over. I was especially impressed that the Meekins curriculum was play-based, rather than teacher-led. In our overly competitive area, I know that there is a lot of pressure to push our kids to succeed, but I believe that leading kids rather than pushing them makes for happier children and better learning outcomes in the long run. Amelia entered the 3s class the next year and loved every minute of her time at Meekins. Her younger sister, Tallie, started at Meekins the following year and had an equally wonderful preschool experience. When I was in the classroom, I could see that every child was busy with a chosen activity and that all the children were learning something all the time. When both girls entered Kindergarten, they were well-prepared for the challenge of learning academic skills and have continued to be enthusiastic and creative students. I am convinced that their time at Meekins set the stage for their continued success in school and positive attitude toward learning.
I grew up in Sharon, Massachusetts, as the oldest of four children. I had always considered teaching or some type of human services field as a career choice. I graduated from William and Mary with a degree in Psychology, and followed that with a Masters degree in Special Education from George Mason University. I have worked with children with disabilities in many different settings: preschool special education classrooms here in Fairfax County, preschoolers with Autism in Massachusetts, even kids with severe disabilities in England for a summer. Although my students had special needs, I saw them first and foremost as young children and tried to provide them with typical preschool activities and experiences, so the developmentally appropriate approach that Meekins uses is second nature to me. Teaching special ed also taught me that everyone can participate in every activity, that everyone learns something from every activity, and that setting up the environment to allow children to learn is more successful than just telling them what they need to know.
We love living in Vienna. It reminds me of the small town I grew up in, where there was a feeling of belonging and community that we could sense, even as children. Meekins gives me that same feeling—its small size and parent involvement make it like a second family for the children (and the parents, too). I am excited about being part of such a wonderful community.
My experience with Meekins began in 1995 with my son entering the 2's. My entire family enjoyed our experience with the school and while my son is now a Senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, I still have many close friends and fond memories from our time at Meekins. I gave up full time work before my second son was born and have enjoyed a number of part-time employment and other activities that keep me engaged with young children. This culminated in spending the last several years as a substitute teacher at the Nysmith School for the Gifted working in classrooms with children from 3 years old to 8th grade. I have also been active as a volunteer reading with at-risk children on a regular weekly basis, teaching Grace Arts in the classroom, substitute teaching at Providence Baptist Preschool, working as a Nysmith school library assistant, and presenting book talks to promote reading during school book fairs.
To keep touch with my technical interests, I have also acted as a science fair judge for numerous science fairs for Nysmith School, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, and most recently represented American Society of Mechanical Engineers in the Virginia Regional Fair. I have a BS in Marine Engineering from U. S. Merchant Marine Academy and am licensed as both a Professional Engineer and merchant ship operating engineer. I spent my 20 year engineering career working for General Electric, Westinghouse, Edison Mission Energy Company, and as independent consultant for the electric power industry.
I enjoy the natural love of learning and sense of wonder that children posses, and believes that exposure to ideas and information is essential to their development. I enjoy providing the children with opportunities to think and watching them do so.
My association with Meekins began in 2002 when my daughter Elizabeth Ann (Anna) enrolled in the M2 class. In November of 2004, while Anna was enrolled in the M5 class, I was invited to join the Meekins staff as the M2 aide, while continuing my parent cooperative duties. Beginning in the 2005-2006 school year, I was given the additional staff duty of teacher liaison. I am currently working as the teacher's aide for both the M2 and M3 classes.
My experience working with small children began with my family. I was born in Mokpo, Korea, the seventh of 10 children and the oldest girl, where I assisted in the care of my two younger brothers and younger sister. After high school, I moved to Seoul and lived there for 20 years with my aunt and uncle who resided with their second son and his wife. During this time, I assisted in the raising of my niece and nephew. I graduated from Shin Heung Health College with an associate's degree as a lab technician. Afterwards, I worked 18 years for the Seoul City Government Public Health Center conglomerate as a lab technician, eventually becoming a lab supervisor. During this time, my duties involved interacting with people from all walks of life, including children.
I married my husband, Charles Buxton, in May of 1996. Upon the birth of Anna in January 2000, we both retired and then moved to Vienna, my husband's hometown, in November of 2000. For the past several years, I have taken classes in childhood development from the Korean American Family Counseling Center of Tysons Corner. I am grateful to be working at the F.B. Meekins Preschool, as it has significantly enhanced my integration into American society through the close interaction with children, parents and staff.
Anne Motz has been teaching music to the Vienna preschool world for six years and will be starting her fifth year at Meekins in the fall. She is a certified Music Together teacher and teaches for the Vienna Music Together center.
Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Frostburg State University and attends continuing education classes for Music Together throughout the year.
Anne believes that all children are musical, that music is a learned ability and is most successful when taught through play.
She lives in Vienna with her husband and two sons and Meekins is one of her absolute favorite places to be!