Educational Support Team
Peggy McCarthy-Hughes, B.S.
Education and Curriculum Advisor
s. McCarthy-Hughes has been at the company since 1996 and has been in early childhood education since 1998. She holds a B.S. from Mary Washington College, and has completed graduate studies in Occupational & Technical (STEM) Education at Old Dominion University.
Ms. McCarthy-Hughes is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to our Kid Steps curriculum at her assigned schools. Additionally Ms. McCarthy-Hughes assists in the development and implementation of teacher training. She also developed and oversaw the Junior Kindergarten, PREP (Preschool Readiness Enhanced Program), Curriculum Advocate, and Mentor Programs for the company.
Ms. McCarthy-Hughes holds the National Administrators Credential (NAC) and Preschool Certification from the North American Montessori Center. In addition, Peggy is active in Virginia’s Star Quality Rating System, trainer for ECERS, ITERS, & SACERS instruments, CSEFEL trainer/coach and a presenter at local and state conferences.
Lori Marano, M.S.
Montessori Program Coordinator
Ms. Marano holds both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from C. W. Post/Long Island University, New York. Trained in Montessori, Ms. Marano received her certification from the North American Montessori Center. She worked in a private Montessori school in Port Washington, New York, for seventeen years where she served as a teacher and administrator. It was in Port Washington where she gained the knowledge and experience providing a quality Montessori education to the young child. Ms. Marano was instrumental in introducing the Montessori philosophy to our preschool program where it has since flourished. She is currently the Operations Specialist/Montessori Administrator, responsible for training, mentoring, and providing ongoing support to the Montessori teachers.
Myra Sawyers, M.Ed.
Education and Curriculum Advisor
Ms. Sawyers has over 15 years of teaching experience. Prior to teaching, she worked as an aide on Capitol Hill for a Member of the United States House of Representatives. Myra began teaching first grade in 1999 while attending the University of Virginia, Curry School of Education where she earned her Master of Education degree. In 2005 she took a position at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) as an Adjunct Professor and taught courses in Early Childhood Education. In 2010 she joined colleague, Dr. Rosemary Burton, to develop a STEM based kindergarten program. While in the classroom, Ms. Sawyers worked with colleagues to develop STEM curriculum and methodology that incorporates children’s literature and the Engineering Design Process into daily lessons and projects. She and her Kindergarten teacher colleagues have presented their program at Virginia Association of Early Childhood Educators (VAECE) state conferences. She also focused on developing and expanding the Morning Discovery preschool literacy program.
Ms. Sawyers joined the Education team in 2011 and is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to our Kid Steps curriculum at her assigned schools. Ms. Sawyers is a member of several professional organizations and is on several committees that are working on bringing more STEM programs into early childhood and primary grade classrooms.
Victor E. Everhart, Ph.D.
Education and Curriculum Advisor
Dr. Everhart received a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education from Southwestern in Fort Worth, Texas. He received a BA in Education from Centenary College of Louisiana and a Master’s degree in Education from Southwestern. He has 25 years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education, and has a background working with education advisory committees and working on curriculum development. He was on staff at Virginia Commonwealth University for six years working as an Education and Curriculum Specialist with the VCU Head Start Program and on staff at the VCU Child Development Center. He has worked as a three-year-old teacher, Center Director, and an Education Specialist; and he is committed to involving children and their families in the most recent researched-based educational practices. Dr. Everhart is an Education and Curriculum Advisor responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators related to the Kid Steps curriculum at his assigned schools.
School Age Program Support Specialist
Yolanda Parker has more than 20 years experience with School Age Care Programs. She attended the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA. Yolanda is a Red Cross certified CPR Instructor.
Ms. Parker joined our School Age Care Program as an enthusiastic teacher, prior to being promoted to School Age Care Director and then School Age Care Field Director. In that capacity, Ms. Parker evaluated and assessed the quality, effectiveness, and compliance of 9 before and after school programs, interviewed, hired and managed more than 35 employees as well as developed and implemented employee training.
Ms. Parker transitioned to the Education team in 2016 as a School Age Care Support Specialist, responsible for providing training and support to lead teachers and school administrators. Ms. Parker is an engaged, collaborative, and goal-oriented program supervisor with demonstrated success in creating and delivering quality before and after school programs with an emphasis on program quality and industry standards. She strives to improve the quality of programming for the Youth Zone programs. She works with staff to facilitate activities that spark the children’s interests and make them excited to be part of our programs. She provides trainings and guidance to help staff with classroom management, implementation of lesson plans and the use of alternate activities, time management, reinforcement of positive social skills, and creative ways to think on their feet and redirect, if an activity is not going as planned. Trainings include team building, dramatic play, arts and crafts, science and technology, homework/quiet time activities, and options for full days.
Ms. Parker truly enjoys school age students. She loves how their views of fairness, friendship, and play grow during their Elementary School years.