Meet Our Staff
When Barbara Mayor applied for a job at Creative Beginnings in 2008, she made it clear that the infant room was her first love. Formerly, director of the St. Mary’s County Parks and Recreation Infant Program, she wanted to continue doing what she has always loved best – loving and caring for infants. She likes to watch her babies grow and likes making a difference in their lives. Her upbeat personality, smiling face and gentle manner give our babies a warm and nurturing environment. Barbara’s four children and growing number of grandchildren fill her after-work hours.
Carrie Paul began working at Creative Beginnings in 2001 as a high school student. Over the years, as she attended college then became a mother, she continued teaching both full and part time. Almost finished with her degree in Human Development, she is assigned full time to the infant room. Carrie has a high energy level when she is busy putting away toys and cleaning up messes. Then her relaxed, calm personality kicks in as she sits and plays with, sings to, and enjoys her babies. In her spare time, she and her partner, John, spend time with their five children.
LuLu Christian’s career as a preschool teacher began in 1987. She worked from Virginia to Florida to Spain as she accompanied her navy husband to his postings. When her husband retired from the Navy in 1997, she joined the Creative Beginnings team and has been a valued teacher ever since. Again and again, former patrons ask if Miss LuLu is still with us – they have been told that their children simply must be in Miss Lulu’s class. Active in her church, she also enjoys reading and gardening, her children and her grandchildren.
Kristy Fandrick has been interested in working with children since receiving her BS degree in 1990, in Early Child Development, from California State University, Fresno. She taught preschoolers and infants in California and Waldorf, Maryland, but staying at home to raise her daughter was her primary vocation until her daughter began middle school. After working at Creative Beginnings as a substitute teacher, we were lucky to hire Kristy as a full-time teacher in 2018. She has quickly become a most valued member of our teaching staff with her loving and nurturing temperament. Kristy spends her spare time playing with her dogs, reading and enjoying family time.
We were delighted to welcome Brandi Johnson to our staff in 2018. Moving to St. Mary’s county motivated Brandi to apply to Creative Beginnings after having taught in her home county of Calvert for five years. Her former employer said the Brandi was a loyal and hard worker as well as a fabulous teacher, and we all agree. A wife and mother of four, Brandi is a vivacious young woman who loves spending time with her family. Going to the beach, family picnics and cookouts are her favorite spare time activities. Her enthusiasm for teaching, as well as her knowledge of early childhood education, make her a welcome addition to our staff.
After graduating from Shippensburg University in 2017, with a BS degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education, Eden Rycyzyn moved to St. Mary’s County. Eden joined our staff as a substitute teacher, and we were so impressed with her skills that we hired her as full-time teacher as soon as an opening occurred. Eden never comes to work without her wonderful smile. Her soft spoken, sweet demeaner and the incredible energy and professionalism she brings to her classroom have made her an immediate favorite with staff and parents, alike. She and her husband, a St. Mary’s county sheriff, enjoy spending time with their growing family.
Sarah Long has lived in St. Mary’s County all of her life. Brought up to believe that children are a blessing from God who should be nurtured and cared for in a loving environment, she has worked with children as far back as she can remember. She maintains a warm relationship with children she cared for many years ago. After attending the College of Southern Maryland where she earned an Early Childhood Certificate, she began working at Creative Beginnings in 2002. Sarah has decided to further her education and is currently pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has a twin sister and is devoted to her two nephews and niece. Sarah is active in the community as an election judge, enjoys writing, playing piano, scrapbooking and being an active member of her church.
Lindsey Bush began teaching at Creative Beginnings in the summer of 2016 as part of her College of Southern Maryland internship. We were so very impressed with her teaching skills and her innate ability that we hired her as a full time teacher. A busy mother of four, Lindsey worked for five years as a family child care provider developing her teaching abilities. During these years, she became skillful at planning activities, developing good relationships with parents and capably directing a group of children. Lindsey is an energetic caregiver and an experienced teacher. She has completed her AA in Early Childhood Development and is working towards obtaining her BA degree.
As a navy wife, Wanda Barr worked in the child care field as coordinator, site-supervisor, home monitor/trainer, teacher, and director in California and Hawaii before settling in St. Mary’s County. With an AA degree in Early Childhood Education, Wanda was a welcome addition to the Creative Beginnings staff in 1995. She has worked most of that time as our three/four-year-old teacher where she has prepared countless children for kindergarten. Wanda loves being outside, especially in her pool or riding behind her husband on his motorcycle. She also enjoys visiting her grown daughter in North Carolina.
Vicki Coombs joined our team in 2005. Her husband, Danny, retired from the Air force and the family settled in Calvert County to be near extended family. Vicki spent her career as a family day care provider at Travis AFB, Kessler AFB and the RAF in Mildenhall, England. Using her experience as a family care giver, Vicki quickly became an exceptional teacher. She is devoted to the prekindergartners in her class and combines a very gentle demeanor with expertise and skill. Her children and grandchildren absorb her spare time.
Nikcole Russ was attending the College of Southern Maryland, majoring in Early Childhood Education, when she came to work at Creative Beginnings in 1999. With a sincere, friendly demeanor and inborn gift for working with children, Nikcole is an accomplished teacher. Throughout her career at Creative Beginnings, Nikcole has worked in all of the classrooms and is currently assigned to the three/four-year-olds. She has the unique ability and resilience to be upbeat in the face of the most daunting challenges. She always has a huge smile on her face and a friendly word to everyone! Nikcole has decided to further her education in Early Childhood education and is busy with her coursework. In her spare time, she purses her photography hobby.
Marge Tennity began her career at Creative Beginning in 1993. She taught our school age children after having directed St. John’s Catholic School After School Program in Charleston, SC. When she decided to change course and teach prekindergarten, she found her niche. Obtaining a certificate in Early Childhood Education from the College of Southern Maryland, she has continued to develop her skills to become a successful and talented teacher. Marge is an avid reader and enjoys working out at the gym. However, her family is the center of her life. Spending time with children, grandchildren and extended family of sisters, nieces and nephews is Marge’s principal joy.
Alice Liston, has her BA in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Gwynedd-Mercy College and her MA degree in Education from Arcadia University. She chose to be a teacher at a very early age because of her amazing first grade teacher. She wanted to be that teacher – the one who cared so much about her students that learning was fun. We are extremely lucky that Alice decided to be a mostly stay-at-home mom with her children Brett and Michelle. Working 9-noon gives her the time to volunteer at her children’s elementary school and gives us the benefit of her 19 years of teaching experience. Her family enjoys traveling, boating, and skiing. The rest of their free time is spent at the soccer fields and ballet studio. She loves working at Creative Beginnings because of the friendly, supportive parents and the children who come in each day excited about learning.
Cindy Robinson’s two grown sons attended Creative Beginnings over 20 years ago and she has been a fan of Creative Beginnings and beloved teacher ever since. Cindy’s skill as a teacher was rewarded with the Southern Maryland Association for the Education of Young Children Outstanding Early Childhood Teacher award, and her professional accomplishments include 10 years of service as a NAEYC accreditation validator. She has a BA degree from West Chester State College and fills her spare time directing the youth tennis camp at Breton Bay and giving private tennis lessons. She also enjoys spending time with her grandchildren. She and her husband, Pete, are active members of the community and their church.
Lauren Sevilla started working at Creative Beginnings in 2012, while she was a senior at Great Mills High School. She has worked in most of our classrooms and quickly became one of our most trusted young staff members. She is attending the College of Southern Maryland and plans to purse a degree in Elementary Education. Lauren enjoys traveling, movies and scrapbooking.
Rebecca Hawes grew up in St. Mary’s County and still resides in Mechanicsville. A 2013 graduate of St. Mary’s College of Maryland, Rebecca gained her experience working with children through college placements at Spring Ridge Middle, Esperanza Middle, Mechanicsville Elementary and Lettie Dent Elementary schools. Miss Rebecca worked as a nanny after college and received such a glowing reference that we were delighted when she agreed to join our staff. Her love of camping, football and singing silly songs have quickly made her a favorite teacher.
Susan Paul earned her Master of Science degree in 1976 from Virginia Tech and directed centers in Blacksburg and St. Mary’s county before deciding that the only way to have a child care center good enough for her own children and future grandchildren was to open one of her own. In 1982, she opened the doors of Creative Beginnings and has been owner/director ever since. As director, her most important task was to assemble a team of outstanding teachers and that is her most successful achievement. Being named Southern Maryland’s Director of the Year in 2002 was one of the high points of her career. Susan absolutely loves to come to work each day and finds joy and fulfillment in her life’s work. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband as well as kayaking, swimming and biking; and, of course, spending lots of time with her grandchildren.
Gay Jones moved to the county with her family in 1984, and began teaching at Creative Beginnings in 1985. As a young air force wife and mother, she had taught part time preschool in Alabama and found her calling. While teaching full time, she also attended school and secured her BA in 2003. Gay left the classroom in 2002 to become Creative Beginnings’ Curriculum Specialist and Assistant Director. She lives in Leonardtown with husband, Doug and spends time with their children and grandchildren. Her hobbies include enjoying live music, scrapbooking, and kayaking.
Ronda Oliver’s smiling face is the first one you will see upon entering Creative Beginnings. As our office manager and administrative assistant, , Ronda is responsible for welcoming you to our center and for almost everything else related to the running of the center. She comes to us with a BS from East Carolina University and an impressive work history in the social service and child care field. Ronda enjoys reading in her spare time, but she and husband, Mike, spend most evenings spoiling their beloved dog, Weston.