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Preschool Staff

We are proud to have some of the kindest and most experienced preschool teachers around.

Our school has two Directors as well as owners who are truly dedicated to ensuring the happiness and development of every student.

Every member of staff has completed the following training: First Aid / CPR for Infants & Children, Preventing SIDS, Shaken Baby Syndrome, Safe Sleep for Infants, Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse & Neglect, Communicable Diseases, Food Handling and Emergency Preparedness Planning.


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – Stephanie holds two degrees in addition to her Director’s License. She manages the overall business of Golden Acorn Academy and shapes the future of the school. In addition to raising two boys, she has been working with, and advocating for, children of all ages for almost two decades.  

DIRECTOR – Penny Leaver holds a Director’s License and manages the daily operations of the Preschool. Penny has worked with children for almost 15 years. Her experience includes working with children with special needs and most recently, teaching younger children at preschool for the last 5 years.

PRE-K TEACHER – Whitney is an eminently qualified teacher and a former Dallas ISD Special Education and ESL teacher – so not just certified to teach but with many years of experience teaching special populations. She is such a soothing but firm force in the classroom and she makes teaching preschoolers American Sign Language seem easy. It is probably from raising her own daughters that she has learned to be so “zen” and caring.

PRESCHOOLER TEACHER – Sabrina brings more than 10 years of preschool teaching experience in both Texas and Arizona to her class.  She has studied early childhood education and been a teacher and a Director. Her creativity in delivering her planned lessons is impressive.

SENIOR TODDLER TEACHER – Lydia joined Golden Acorn Academy after running her own in-home childcare business for almost 20 years.  She is amazing with the children in her class and is the school's potty training guru.  She helps out with all age groups from infants to after-schoolers, and is beloved by all.  Lydia is a force of nature!

JUNIOR TODDLER TEACHER – Malena brings a youthfulness and deep caring to our young toddler group.  She uses her own experiences as a mom to deliver fun learning experiences to the students in her class. Her students love her.

INFANT TEACHER – Misty is a sweet and caring infant teacher.  She uses her mom skills (including having had multiples herself) to remain unflappable.  She is so good at "narrating the day" and ensuring floor play time for everyone.  She really loves the babies and it's clear they love her right back.

ENRICHMENT TEACHER – Gloria has been teaching and caring for young children for more than 6 years.  She brings all the love, patience, and experiences she has learned raising her own little girl to her classroom. Her energy is boundless, her passion is evident, and her joy is amazing.

MANDARIN TEACHER – April is our Mandarin teacher. She has been a teacher for well over 20 years with the last 18 years specializing in English and Mandarin, in China and the US, to both adults and children. Her talent for getting young children learning and singing (and sometimes even writing) in Mandarin is remarkable.

ADMINISTRATOR – Connie has a Masters in Finance from UNT and a passion for children. She loves nothing more than coming up with amazing and fun math games and activities for our Summer Camps and helping our After Schoolers with homework. Connie, a native Mandarin speaker, shows a special empathy for students struggling with language.

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