Great Grads 2024

May's Great Grads

a monthly message from Executive Director Deb Green

Spring is really in the air! PIC trees have bloomed, birds have returned to our nature playground, new sand and mulch have been delivered, and most importantly, our children are spending chunks of time outside.

May is a month of graduations, and this year we celebrate the completion of degrees of several PIC teachers.  A huge shout-out to Deniz Cakir (full-time Flex teacher), Mimi Pantothlet (part-time Bumblebees Classroom Assistant/soon to be full-time Wild Things Assistant Teacher) and Christel Ürményházi (Lead Teacher) on the completion of their associate degrees from Community College of Philadelphia, Dieynaba Diaw (Lead Teacher) on the completion of her bachelor’s degree from Arcadia University, and Leah Lafferty (Assistant Teacher) on the completion of her bachelor’s degree from Eastern University. We are so proud of their accomplishments!

Many of our teachers pursuing degrees have been supported by PIC’s partnership with the PA state-wide TEACH (Teacher Education and Compensation Help) program. The program covers 90% of the cost of tuition, books and transportation, and PIC and the student each cover the remaining 5% cost.

Dieynaba shared, “I’ve been in school for the past four years as I’ve pursued my CDA credential, Associate degree, and now my Bachelor’s degree. This journey has meant a lot to me. I am the first person in my family with a college degree, and I wanted to send a message about the importance of education to my three daughters. I learned so much about how I can infuse the cultural identities of the children I teach (and my own culture) in my classroom.”

Deniz shared, “In coming to PIC, I realize how much I have learned from my PIC colleagues as well as from my college coursework. I learn so much from my colleagues every day, and their individual styles and educational pathways have very much inspired my own. In my current position as a Flex teacher, I get to see the trajectory of how children grow and learn and expand their world across so many classrooms. That has been wonderful!”

In addition to our current graduates, we have another twelve  teachers who are currently pursuing credentials and degrees in the Early Childhood Education field.

It is not insignificant to work full time in this field and at the same time, complete credentials and degrees (and for many this also includes parenting young children.) We applaud the commitment, the sacrifices, the determination, and the tenacity of all of our teachers who are pursuing being the very best teachers they can be!

As we embark on Teacher Appreciation Week, this is a perfect time to shout from the hills how much we appreciate our exceptional PIC teachers!