Stephanie Smith has served as the assistant head of school at the Young School’s Kendall Ridge location since 2012. She began working at The Young School in 1996 as an assistant; moved on to Infant Care, Twos and Preschool teaching positions; and served as the Ocean Cottage director prior to assuming her current role.
Born in Montgomery County, Maryland, she lived in the Rockville/Silver Spring area before moving to Columbia where she attended middle and high school. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies with a minor in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Howard Community College. Stephanie loves working with children and is an avid fan of comics and superheroes. She puts Batman at the top of her “all time favorites” list.
Toni Gary, the Pedagogical Director and Assistant Head of School at Kendall Ridge, was drawn to the school 18 years ago when she was searching for a quality preschool program for her then 3-year-old and a teaching position for herself. After teaching in a Two’s classroom for six years, she moved to the Pre-K classroom where she enjoyed developing relationships with children and their families and partnering with fellow teachers. In 2012, she took on the role as the Sky Cottage director – a position that she thoroughly enjoyed for six years, mostly because it allowed her to fulfill her inner desire of helping others. As the Pedagogical Director, Toni is looking forward to fulfilling that same desire in a larger capacity, working on intentionality and building relationships with the entire school community to highlight the wonderful education and care within our program.
A Maryland native, Toni obtained her Lead Teacher certification from Baltimore Community College. She continues building her skills by attending training sessions and pursuing additional certifications in Early Childhood Education.