Laura Kirchner has been an art educator and artist for over fifteen years. She has earned her BFA from Alfred University, MFA in painting from Boston University and her MAT 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 in both public and private schools teaching a range from PreK to high school-aged students. Since joining the Young School in 2011, Laura has taken an administrative role, initially as Director of Curriculum and Environment and currently as the Assistant Director of Education and Atelierista for all six school locations. In addition to her role as the Pedagogical Regional Director, she is currently the Interim Head of School at our Kendall Ridge location.
Laura has been drawn to the arts integrative approach to the Reggio Emilia philosophy and its understanding and metaphor of the 100 languages of children. It is with this appreciation and value of the child’s capabilities that brought Laura to the Young School. Laura continues to be active as an artist, she is a regional landscape painter and finds her inspiration from nature and through her traveling experiences. She enjoys spending time with her husband and four children outdoors.
• Toni Gary, the Pedagogical Director at Kendall Ridge, joined the Young School in October 2000. She was drawn to the school 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.