Jo Ann Young - Founder
Jo Ann Young, the founder of the Young School, began her love of children at an early age. Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Howard County, she was the oldest of four children and wanted to be a teacher ever since she can remember. She received a B.S. in Elementary Education from Salisbury University with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and taught in public and private schools for many years. After receiving a Master’s degree in Reading from Johns Hopkins University, she began tutoring young children with reading disabilities and was an adjunct professor at Howard Community College.
Considering a typical childcare program to be less child-centered than she liked, Jo created our “cottage” system which provides children a small, intimate world to grow up in until graduation. She trained with renowned “infant educarer,” Magda Gerber to research respectful, responsive caregiving for our youngest and most vulnerable children, our infants. The Resources for Infant Educators (RIE) philosophy forms the foundation of the Young School’s vision of all children as being competent and capable individuals even at the youngest ages. Jo also studied The Project Approach and The Reggio Emilia Approach to learning, traveling to Reggio Emilia, Italy to visit their early childhood programs. She believes that children construct their knowledge when working in close collaboration with teachers, peers and materials in meaningful learning experiences. She finds daily joy in observing the various ways in which young children investigate and derive meaning from the wonder of our world. While a balance of traditional and progressive best practices contributes to how she defines her philosophy of teaching, her strength lies in her connection with children. She believes that respectful interactions are necessary to reach each child and strives to create an environment where children feel empowered to be heard. At the Young School, Jo is very proud to be surrounded by like-minded educators who are thoughtful about their important work and committed to educating and caring for young children.
Josh Young - Founder
Josh Young is President and founder of the Young School, opening its first location in Columbia Maryland in 1988. Born and raised in Philadelphia, he earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Rider College in Lawrenceville New Jersey. Following college, he opened a retail Hobby and Craft store in downtown Philadelphia at the Gallery at Market East. After 3 years in retail, he sold the retail business and joined a colleague and company in the technology field in California while residing in Reston Virginia. After meeting JoAnn, and planning a family, he decided to retire from the high-tech field in order to develop and open their first preschool in 1988. With his desire to service the larger community and being aware of the need for a high-quality early education program, Josh began developing additional locations. Today he oversees all aspects of the day to day operations, business practices, polices, procedures, special programs, and business growth. Josh also oversees the facility enhancement team ensuring that all schools are maintained to its highest quality level. He is a member of a National Focus Group consisting of Independent Early Education Private School owners. Previously, he was a member and participant with “Child Care Marketing Solutions” based in Crested Butte Colorado.
Lauren Stockum – Director of Marketing and Communications
Lauren Stockum, the Young School’s director of marketing and communications, was born in Columbia, Maryland, and moved to Annapolis at the age of 10. After graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Economics, she worked as a project manager at a Washington, D.C., software company.
Lauren is the daughter of Josh and Jo Ann Young and is the reason the Young Schools exist today! She was the first infant to enroll in the school back in 1989. Because she grew up knowing so many of the school’s educators and staff, returning to work at the school in 2015 was a very special homecoming. She is excited to welcome her first child in January 2019! Fun fact: Her daughter will be attending the same school she went to!
Michelle Giove - Executive Director of Operations
Michelle Giove is the Director of Operations for the Young School. She first joined the Young School in 2002 as Waugh Chapel’s Assistant Head of School, moving on to open the Honeygo location in White Marsh just three years later. Michelle spent 13 years at our Honeygo location as the Head of School, during that time she built a strong team of teachers; many of them have been at the school for more than 10 years. Making the school a part of the community and spending time with the children and families was always very important to her. Recently, Michelle has transitioned into her new role with the Young School. As the Director of Operations she now travels between all six Young School locations supporting our administrative teams.
A Maryland native, Michelle was born in Montgomery County and grew up in Laurel. Pursuing her love for children, she began working in childcare while still in high school. During that time, a group of 2-year-olds stole her heart. She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and has worked with children for over 25 years.
As a mom of three, Michelle often looks through the eyes of a parent and has made the school a part of the community. All of her children have benefitted from the Young School’s approach to education. Her two sons are doing extremely well in their studies and she credits the school for their early learning foundation. Her youngest is currently in the school’s Pre-K program.
Brenda Coggins - Executive Pedagogical Director
Brenda Coggins, the Young School’s director of education, grew up in a military family and lived in many different places around the country. In 1997, she moved to Maryland with her husband and daughter from San Francisco. She received her Master’s degree in Education from the University of California, Berkeley in 1995 and has worked in early childhood education for more than 25 years.
Brenda joined the Young School family in 1998 at the King’s Contrivance location, eventually creating a new role as director of curriculum and environment. In 2005, she took on her current position, working to deepen the Young School’s Reggio-inspired practices at every location and strengthening the school’s focus on professional development at all levels. Her two children, Jess and Clay, are graduates of the Young School. Today, Brenda’s passion for excellence and respectful education spaces for young children continues to thrive at the school.
Laura Kirchner - Pedagogical Regional Director
Laura Kirchner is the assistant director of education and atelierista for all of the Young School’s five locations. An art educator and artist for more than 15 years, Laura earned her B.F.A. from Alfred University, an M.F.A. in painting from Boston University and her M.A.T. from Maryland Institute College of Art. She also studied and completed the Waldorf Education training, specializing in a holistic approach to education. She has taught a range of classes – from Pre-K to high school – in both public and private schools. Born in Baltimore, Laura was raised in Sparks, Maryland.
Laura first joined the Young School in 2011 as the Director of Curriculum and Environment. She loves that the Young School’s curriculum is a living experience and that there is no prescription to how a foundation project evolves. The Young School creates its own textbooks each year that offers new research, ideas, and honors the curiosities and theories of the children with each project. Laura enjoys collaborating with our teachers and gaining new perspectives from what they bring and contribute to the Young School. She loves seeing the transformation in new teachers and how they embrace our approach and philosophy. The most joyful part of her day is speaking to the children and listening to their stories and laughter.
Beth Snyder - Pedagogical Regional Director
Beth Snyder is currently a member of the Young School’s Pedagogical Department. She has been with the Young School for more than 20 years, teaching 3-year-olds, kindergarten, and third grade and moving on to serve as the assistant head of school. Her teaching experience also includes working in the Howard County Public School system as a long-term substitute and third grade teacher. Beth is a graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education, K-8, with a concentration in Psychology. She also completed graduate work with a focus on curriculum topics at Johns Hopkins University. Most recently Beth has served as the head of school at the Young School’s Kendall Ridge location, since 2006, before assuming her present role in 2018.
Born and raised in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Beth spent many summers traveling and camping with her family. Following her marriage, she moved to Columbia, Maryland. She is the mother of two children who are graduates of the Young School program. Most recently Beth’s daughter spent her college breaks working as an aide at one of our locations. In addition to building her knowledge in the fields of education, curriculum, and psychology, Beth enjoys music, technology, and crafting
Wendy Rippeon - Director of Human Resources
Wendy Rippeon is the director of human resources at the Young School. She began working at the school in August 1995, serving at the administrative director in the King’s Contrivance location in Columbia, Maryland, where she focused on payroll, maintaining staff and children files, center licensing documentation and other daily business-related duties.
In the fall of 1998, the Human Resources Department was created, consolidating all payroll and employee benefit programs into one central department. Since that time, Wendy has headed the department, managing and working directly with the Young School’s owners to create and implement company policies and procedures for all employees. She also maintains the bi-weekly payroll processing for each school location and employee benefit programs. Wendy enjoys the ability to utilize her organization skills and creativity to meet the department’s challenges and the opportunity to foster relationships with the school’s directors and employees. In her current role, she shares the day-to-day operational duties of the Human Resources Department with her assistant, Janet Murray.
Wendy began her career as a professional master floral designer/floral shop manager and owned her own shop in Carroll County, Maryland, for more than 16 years. Following the birth of her youngest child in May 1993, she decided to close the chapter in her professional floral career in order to devote more time to her children and family. Wendy joined the Young School family just as the school was expanding its educational offerings to grade school.
Wendy, a Maryland native, enjoys spending time with her husband, Jeff; visiting with her three adult children, Tim, Amy and Zachary (a Young School alumni), and grandson, Ethan; and playing mommy to dachshund Sophie. She loves traveling with her husband, gardening, cooking and quilting. And yes, every now and then, she is known to make a wreath or flower arrangement.
Kimberly Rhinevault - Human Resources Administrator
Kimberly Rhinevault is the human resource administrator for the Young School’s corporate office and six school locations. She joined the HR team in 2017, and is dedicated to timely and accurate payroll processing, in addition to working closely with Wendy to provide benefits, policy and procedure support. Kim received her B.S. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and has previous work experience in human resources, office management and multi-jurisdiction payroll.
Kim embraces the family environment at the Young School’s corporate office and keeps a box of doggie treats handy for any four-legged friend that often visits our location.
Justin Broadhurst - Property Manager
Justin Broadhurst, the Young School’s property manager, was born and raised in Rockville, Maryland, and lives with his wife, son and daughter in Woodsboro, Maryland. He attended Montgomery College and majored in advertising design.
After working for Jostens as a yearbook rep, he concluded that he missed working with his hands and joined the Young School family. With the school for 16+ years, Justin stays busy overseeing its five locations and working as a bus driver. He looks forward to the variety of challenges he faces every day and enjoys testing his ability to make necessary repairs. Justin particularly enjoys getting together with co-workers and making new friends at the Young School.
Adrian Dunlap - Facility Enhancement Team Member
Adrian Dunlap born in Reston, Va, moved to Columbia as a child. He joined The Young School in 2014, where he is apart of the Maintenance Facility Management team. His father owns the Corporate Cleaning Company that has been cleaning all of the schools for over 25 years and Adrian grew up helping his dad, so he has been around the Young Schools for years! His oldest son recently graduated from our Kings Contrivance location and his youngest son will be starting soon! Adrian enjoys biking, hiking, fitness and nutrition. He is currently pursuing a certification in Personal Training.