Lovely Day Staff
At lovely Day we are proud of our dedicated staff. They are wonderfully balanced in their skills, specialties and personalities but come together with one purpose - to help your child thrive in our classroom. While I (Mary Archin), oversee the program and its development, everyone in our space is a co-teacher and we really like the empowerment of that :)
I am the mom of three young children and in my short amount of time as a parent and teacher, I have learned that children are here to guide us in how best to guide them...if we only pause, observe and listen. In setting up Lovely Day, I wanted first and foremost to create an environment that allowed for each childs unique gift to the world to thrive. To me, that meant creating an environment that fostered the ideals of Attachment Parenting as well as healthy foods, balanced and talented teachers, a welcoming space, exposure to as many things art, language and music as possible and a holistic manifesto that encompassed the child and his/her parents and familys well being.
I hope you enjoy our space as much as I have enjoyed creating it!
Stefania (Steffi) is currently majoring in biology at Tompkins Cortland Community College and plans to go into the nursing program in the future. She is the oldest of 4 children and has been babysitting and nannying for over 5 years. When asked why she loves working with kids? Her response was "it gives me such a sense of accomplishment knowing that I've helped shape the minds of little ones, working with kids is very rewarding for me!"
After School Teacher
Yoshiko Hogg has worked in the field of early childhood for the past 15 years and runs our after school program here at Lovely Day. Yoshiko holds a certificate of nursery school and kindergarten from Japan and brightens our classroom with play based education that focuses on
math, social emotional, science and many field trips around town.
The mother of three children, 18.16 and 11, Yoshiko has been working in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) since 2009. In addition to ICSD, he has also worked with the GIAC after school program and with Cornell University's East Asia program as a lecturer on Japan.
When asked about her philosophy she replied, "my philosophy on education is that all children will shine their unique light in a safe, reliable environment. An educators responsibility is to provide this background setting carefully and with intention, in order to support each child’s development with nurturing, gentle discipline with play."
Hello, my name is Alan! I grew up near Erie, PA, and studied music at Edinboro University of PA. In 2006, my wife and I moved to Seattle, WA, and I have been working with young children since 2007. While in Seattle, I completed an Associate’s in Early Childhood Education and a Montessori Infant and Toddler Credential. In 2016, we welcomed our baby boy Archer! We decided soon after that we wanted to be closer to our extended families. Ithaca seemed like the perfect place for us, and in 2017 we decided to make this special community our new home. In the classroom, I focus on social/emotional health, practical life skills, problem solving, music and movement, sensory exploration, independence and an overall love of learning! In my free time, I enjoy hiking, making music, gardening, cooking and spending time with my family. I look forward to working with you and getting to know your family!
Constance Crognale has over 7 years of experience working with children and really enjoys the early childhood years as they are full of discovery and personality development. She has a Masters degree in Clinical Counseling which gives her deeper understanding of personality, psychology and developmental stages. When asked what she loves about working with young kids, her response was "I love to see language blossom in children and to share a piece of their life journey!"
Constance is also our in-house chef, creating wonderful meals for the children to experience. She is also the founder of Constance Fornah Holistic Life Coaching.
Kate Cushing has 8 children (including founder Mary Archin), and 17 grandkids to date! Her love of young children is all to apparent and the education she brings is that of compassion, presence and understanding that comes from a life well lived.
Kate is also an accomplished artist and musician, playing cello in her youth, she now plays viol de gamba with a group in Cortland, NY as well as harp, accordian (a preschool fav), bagpipes and piano. Kate also knits and sews and custom makes Kilts for bagpipes bands. As a painter, she creates the multi-layered, gold touched Icons of the Orthodox Church.
What does Mary Say? "as a child I remember the wheat grinder and the fresh bread. I remember the middle eastern food, community picnics, and long days spent outside in nature. I remember our HUGE gardem that was filled with season treats. Making maple syrup and feeding the chickens and sheep. The knit wool socks and blankets and the smell of firewood. My mom was the center of our universe, making sure that there was enough love for all" .