Meet Our Staff
Tara Goitein - Owner
Tara has owned her in home child care for over thirteen years. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and has experience as a preschool teacher. Her favorite part about working with children is getting to know each child as an individual and helping them have fun while learning.
"I knew at a very young age teaching children was what I was meant to do. Caring and being able to learn from children every day is the best job in the world!"
Leah Hanlon - Owner
Leah has owned her in home child care for eight years. She has an MBA and a Bachelor's in Business Administration, as well as a degree in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys helping children learn and guiding them through the various stages of development.
"Owning a child care has been my dream job. I have always loved working with children and getting to make that my career is something I am forever grateful for. Watching them grow through the years is an unforgettable experience."
Eda Michaud - Director
Eda had been working with children for over 10 years and has a wide range of organizational, program management and teaching experience combined with her strong communication skills. Eda has two master’s degrees in Business Administration and Conflict Management and is fully credentialed as a teacher from Maryland Child Care Credential Program in both Infant/Toddler and Preschool and a certificate in Maryland Child Care Administration.
"The children are our tomorrow's stakeholders and I truly believe that giving them a positive experience built on love and trust in their early life will make a big difference in their future and the society as a whole!"
Rose Ann Calva - Program Quality & Administrative Officer
Rose Ann has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and has completed multiple trainings in early childhood education. She attained her teacher credential from Maryland Child Care Credential Program in both Infant/Toddler and Preschool. She has been working with children for about 5 years now and take special interest in helping children in achieving their age-appropriate developmental milestones through play and tailored activities. She is currently pursuing Administration training in child care and also working in improving her Spanish. She teach her students common Spanish words and incorporate it in our daily routines and activities when possible. She like spending time with her son and husband when she’s not at work. She likes to cook, read books and play board games with family & friends. She loves anything with rice. Her favorite is dark chocolate, and for her “coffee is life.”
“I love working with children because I see them as their own person. Everybody is unique with their own unique path so I take pride in supporting and guiding each of them in the best way possible. It fascinates me every day how innocent, authentic and how enormously capable and smart they are even from such a young age. And honestly - everything just feel so right and easy whenever I’m surrounded with them. And that’s why I love what I do and I do what I do best for each and every one of them.”
Gina Greene - Preschool Teacher
Regina is very passionate about making an impact in children’s lives. She takes pride in nurturing children in an environment that stimulates curiosity, creativity and imagination that develops their social emotional skills. She molds her students to be a critical thinker by offering them various opportunities through play and activities. She has completed her Child Development Associate (CDA) in Preschool and has her teacher credential from Maryland Child Care Credential Program in both Infant/Toddler and Preschool. She also have her Childcare Administration and Business Certificate along with her Event Management/Marketing from Montgomery College.During her free time, she likes to travel and do anything adventurous like zip lining and spending time with her two beautiful granddaughters – Ava and Alana. Regina’s favorite food is seafood.
“The reason I began to work with children is to have a positive impact in their lives. My goal is simple and my oldest philosophy is ‘To provide a loving, healthy, and safe environment.”
Amy Shuang Huang - Two's Teacher
Amy is originally from China where she worked as a Director of News Channel in a TV station for 22 years before moving here in USA with her family. They lived in California for 4 years where she finished her classes in Child Development Education at Saddleback College. Amy has a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese Literature. She speaks English and fluent Mandarin. She also worked as a Teacher for two and a half year with mixed age group [2 – 3 years old] where she taught Chinese language (Mandarin) before moving to Maryland with her family. She enjoys cooking for her family and hiking with her friends on her free time. She enjoy reading books and writing great memories of her life. She likes to collect notebooks and planners which she filled with fun stickers and great memories.
“I enjoy working with children because for me they are all angels – they are always full of love, excited to learn and experience everything. As a teacher, I also learn a lot from them so it’s been a pleasure to have this opportunity to take care and guide them. I love the hugs and kisses I get every day!”
Manal Elawad - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Manal is originally from Sudan, East Africa and her primary language is Arabic. She is happily married and have two healthy children. She has been working with children in Montgomery County for more than 10 years and had taken many early childhood education courses including Child Development Associate (CDA). She also has her teacher credential from Maryland Childcare Credential Program in Infant & Toddler. She loves to spend time with her family and enjoys reading Arabic books, drinking tea and different herbs. For her, “water is very important”. She also follows strict diet and prefer vegetables rather than meat.
“I enjoy working with children. I know that being a childcare provider is not an easy job, but it is certainly one of great importance with long-lasting effect. That is why I work hard to do everything I possibly can to help provide a healthy learning environment that motivates learning and growth.”
Renuka Weerawatte - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Renuka came from Sri Lanka where she worked as a Secretary in a government ministry before coming to USA with her family in 2015. She speaks two languages - Sinhala and English. She is a mother of two beautiful daughters – Kavindi and Minupama. She has been working in a childcare for 4 years now and has completed her teacher credential from Maryland Childcare Credential Program in both Infants/Toddlers and Preschool. She spends time playing music with her family when she's not at work. They are very passionate about music and Renuka play flute while her daughters play electric guitar and piano.
"I believe children can express themselves through arts so I enjoy offering multiple activities through crafts and painting. Working with children reminds me of the great memories I have raising my own two wonderful daughters. It is such a blessing being able to be a part of that. I am very proud to be a member of the Lily Pads community."
Rebecca Ramos - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Rebecca was born and raised in Maryland. She attended Churchill High and worked as a babysitter which influenced her in pursuing career in childcare. She has been working with children for over 7 years and is currently enrolled at Montgomery College for Early Childhood Education. Rebecca is a family-oriented person. She takes care of her mom whom she loves so much.
“I like working with children because I’m able to guide and help them to be their own selves. I believe that children really grow and learn more through free play so even at their young age, I offer them choices to support their social/emotional skills. And I just love it when they give me hugs and kisses!”
Anne Marie Muleka - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Anne Marie is a mother of two teenagers. She is originally from South Africa where she finished her associate degree in Fashion Design. She speaks 5 different native dialects aside from French and English. She have been working with children for about 13 years. She has completed multiple training in Early Childhood Education including CDA, Administration and has her teacher credential in Infant/Toddlers and Preschool from Maryland Childcare Credential Program. Ann Marie likes to travel with her children as much as possible. For her, French food is the best!
“I enjoy every aspect of teaching. One of my favorite things about teaching is that children can teach us as much as we teach them. I believe that Lily Pads is a great place for your children to grow - both academically and emotionally. We are a great team with incredible passion for each individual child. I feel very proud to be part of this great community."
Michelle James - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Michelle was born and raised in Trinidad & Tobago. She’s a mother of two wonderful children. She has completed her required trainings and has her teacher credential in Infants & Toddlers from Maryland Childcare Credential Program. She is currently working to take more classes in child care to advance her knowledge. Michelle loves Caribbean food and spend time with her kids. She loves to do shopping and cooking food for friends as well.
“For me, children are blessing and they give so much joy. Having the opportunity to have kids of my own has definitely helped me in deciding to become a care provider. I enjoy their laughs, how excited they get when they are learning something new and how confident they are when showing off their new skills. Being able to be a part of a positive loving and nurturing field is a joy. It’s a rewarding experience and I just love that I’m able to work with them because when they learn, I also learn.”
Shirley Chao - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Shirley was born and raised in the Philippines and speaks English and Tagalog. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and has completed multiple trainings in child care including Child Care Administration, ADA and Breastfeeding. She also has her teacher credential in Infants & Toddlers from Maryland Childcare Credential Program. Shirley has been working with children for over 4 years. She takes pleasure in taking care of them and nurturing them the best way possible. She is a family-oriented person and supports her family in Philippines. She likes to do shopping, watch movies and dine out with her husband. Her favorite foods are Filipino, Indian and Chinese.
“I am blessed to be in a position where I can assist in the growth and development of children. I enjoy the challenge of meeting each child's needs and enjoy watching them develop and thrive. It's very rewarding to share the moment when a child learns something new. I am proud to be a part of the Lily Pads community."
Bridget Chiagoro-Ojo - Infant/Toddler Teacher
Bridget is originally from Nigeria and have three beautiful children. Her native language is Yoruba. She has been working with adult and children with disability for 10 years now. She has completed 45 hours training in Child Growth and Development and pursuing continuous training in childcare. She also has an Associate degree in Business Management from Southern University. Bridget loves watching cooking channel on her day off and her favorite food is seafood.
“I enjoy working with kids since I was a child. I like that they love you unconditionally. I enjoy seeing their faces light up when they see me in the morning.”
Toddler & Two's Teacher - Floater
Andrew is from Massachusetts and has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He speaks English and Japanese. He has 5 years working experience with youth in mental health and care management. He likes to spend time in the gym, do arts and watch hockey sports. He likes anything with rice and cilantro.
“I like working in Lily Pads because not only I’m able to watch and take care of my nephew - Aaron [Preschool student] but I also get to show my goofy side when I’m around other children. I take special interest in Psychology and working here gives me opportunity to observe children and help them achieve their milestones by offering age-appropriate activities”
Infant & Toddler Teacher - Floater
Infant & Toddler Teacher - Floater
Vibha is originally from India and speak English and Hindi. She has two Bachelor’s degrees - in Education and English Literature. She worked as a teacher in Preschool and Middle school in India before coming to United States. When she’s not at work, Vibha enjoys poet and composition writing. She likes to read books, to cook and to explore new places.
“Working with children give me satisfaction and opportunity to work for my passion.”
Infant/Toddler/Two's Teacher - Floater
Yolande was born and raised in Grenada. She worked at the Embassy of Grenada for 9 years and eventually managed her own Licensed Family daycare in Montgomery County for 17 years. She is currently enrolled in an Early Childhood Education program at Montgomery College. Yolande likes to spend her time with her family and friends. She likes to offer hospitality in her humble home. She likes to travel and read books and loves everything about seafood.
"Having a children of my own encouraged me to love and care for other children. I enjoy learning and also watching the excitement of children as they make new discoveries and hit many milestones. I feel privileged to be a part of Lily Pads Early Learning Center and to work in a team that helps children learn and develop in a caring, safe and rich environment."
Kalysha grew up in Connecticut and worked in New York for 4 years where she taught music to 7th and 8th graders. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and can speak English and Spanish. Kalysha enjoys spending time with her nephew, reading books, writing, exercising and listening to classic music. She also play basketball whenever she can and she have special interest in football and baseball.
“I like to make impact in children’s lives. I like it when I see them learning something from me.”
Admin Support & Teacher Aide
Donna worked as an Office Manager in an Electrical Contractor for 10 years before working with Lily Pads. She had also worked as a Nanny for 15 years which encouraged her to work in a childcare setting. She had some college credits in Psychology and Business Administration. When she’s not at work, Donna likes to write and read novel books. She likes to travel and do camping with her family and friends. She’s a family-oriented person and her favorite foods are ribs and seafood.
“I love children! Being surrounded with them makes me happy. I like to watch them learn and grow.”
Infant/Toddler/Two's/Preschool Teacher - Floater
Sarah is from China and speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She has an associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Montgomery College and plans to finish her Psychology degree as well. She has been working with children for about 4 years and loves being around with children. Sarah likes to travel and play sports. Her favorite food is Pasta.
“I like being around children because they bring me joy and happiness.”