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 finished her degree in Human Development, she continued teaching part time, then joined us as a full time teacher. Carrie has a high energy level combined with a relaxed and calm personality, as she as she engages your children in learning and fun. In her spare time, she and her partner, John, spend time with their five children.
At age 11, Summer Jacobs knew that she wanted to be an early childhood educator when she grew up. So, she took early childhood classes in high school and began working at Creative Beginnings as a high school senior. Coming from a family with 7 children, Summer had a wealth of experience with children and has shown great skill, patience, and energy as she graduated from aide to teacher. Summer loves to draw and work on puzzles in her spare time.
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.
Rekeyiah Harrison joined our staff immediately after graduating from Leonardtown High School, in 2011. At Creative Beginnings, she quickly became a most valued teacher’s aide. Although busy with children of her own, Keyiah worked hard to complete her required college classes, and we were thrilled when she completed the requirements to become a teacher. Keyiah’s quiet demeanor and gentle manner is makes her a favorite with children, parents, and coworkers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As soon as she graduated from high school in 2013, Kaylie Glenn began working at Creative Beginnings as a teacher’s aide. As one of our most skilled and capable aides, we were thrilled when she decided to take the classes necessary to become a teacher. Kaylie’s serene demeanor keeps children in her classroom calm and happy. In her spare time, Kaylie loves reading, hiking and running.
Faith Shepherd-Thomas began working at Creative Beginnings during her 2020 senior year in high school. Very quickly, her energy and skill with children convinced us that she would grow into a fine teacher. She completed all required courses and is now a qualified and trusted teacher. She loves playing softball and spending time with family and friends.
Tiera Height’s big smile and sunny disposition have welcomed children to Creative Beginnings since her senior year in high school, 2016, when she was hired as an aide. Deciding that teaching was her true calling, she completed all necessary classes, and we were thrilled to welcome her as a teacher in 2021. Tiera has deep roots in the county and spends her free time with her large family.
In 2019, Rayven Harris began taking childcare classes during her senior year in high school and is currently working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education. After working for two years at a local childcare center, we were delighted when she agreed to accept a job at Creative Beginnings, in 2021. Warm, loving, knowledgeable, Rayven exhibits all the traits that we seek in our teachers. Rayven loves traveling, reading, and crafting.