Meet The Team


Mrs. Tássia

Owner / CEO

Mrs. Tássia- Owner / CEO

Tássia is a Brazilian-American who has lived her childhood in countries around the world (such as Germany, Poland, Italy, South Korea, and more.) Since she was 5 years old Tássia has been volunteering in the Early Childhood Field in some capacity. Her volunteering in her youth was so extensive that in High School she was named Youth of the Year for Boys and Girls Club of America for all of Korea and Asia and was the only overseas representative at the National 4-H Conference.

As soon as she graduated High School, she began a career in early childhood working with ages 0 to 18. And after relocating to Charlottesville, Virginia, Tássia eventually realized the majority of the childcare options did not meet the quality level she strived for. And when her son of special needs was born, Tassia felt forced to start her own program. First as an in-home and then less than a year later she transitioned to a center licensed for over 100 students. After just three years of starting Playful Learners Preschool, Tássia’s program has been recognized in the community and won multiple awards for Best Daycare in Charlottesville.

“Throughout my career in childcare I have been passionate about providing the highest-quality care. I have countless experience assessing the social, intellectual, emotional, and physical capabilities and needs of children enrolled in the classroom; developing engaging activities based on assessed needs and interests of the children.
I am passionate about connecting children with nature, offering play-based learning activities, and providing individualized care.”

Tássia now lives with her three children and a dog. In the past Tássia dabbled in a variety of hobbies to include piano, flute, medieval sword fighting, belly dancing, and photography. Currently, she loves attending concerts, hiking national parks, laying on the beach, and visiting Disneyworld.


Monica Parsons


Hello Everyone, 

  My name is Monica Parsons, I have been hired as the Director here at Playful Learners Preschool.  I wanted to share a little about myself.  My husband and I have three wonderful, amazing children, two dogs and a huge garden.  I am a big fan of the outdoors and love to go camping, hiking and paddle boarding with my family.  I grew up in Northern Virginia, but we’ve settled down in beautiful Madison County.  In my early adulthood I attended Longwood University where I studied History and Communications.  However, when my second child was born 13 years ago, I discovered my true passion for early child development and education.  Having a neurodivergent child opened my eyes to the wonderful world of inclusion.  This is one reason why I believe in Tassia’s mission for Playful Learners and feel so privileged to be a part of her growing legacy.   I have worked in early childcare and education for the past twelve years and have been a program director for the last seven.  Currently I am working towards my bachelor’s in EC Administration and look forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to this position.  I am truly so excited to be part of the Playful Learners community, to meet all of you and to be a part of your child’s care.  Please feel free to stop by and say hello, or to reach out in any way if there is anything I can do for you! 

Thank you, 


Monica Parsons 


Mrs. Kimberly

Assistant Director

Hello! My name is Kimberly. I am very outgoing and kind-hearted. I have been working in childcare facilities for five years and was a nanny for a year before that. I am almost done earning my CDA in infant/toddler and studying Early Childhood Education. I currently have one daughter who is 2 year old. She is so precious and always smiling! In my free time, I love trail rides, even though I haven’t been able to go recently. I am always looking for more opportunities for furthering my education.

I look forward to seeing each child reaching their milestones and helping them along the way. I know it is hard for parents to leave their child(ren) during the day, and it is especially hard to find those you can trust your most precious babies with. I know that Playful Learners already has an outstanding, trustworthy team and I love working along-side them in serving the parents and children by being trustworthy, professional, and safe for their little ones.


Mrs. Ashley

Infant - Toddler Supervisory Lead

Hello, my name is Ashley! I have been working in childcare for the past 6 years now. My specialty is infants and toddlers specifically. I went to school at the University of Alabama where I obtained a bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Working with children is a passion of mine. I am happy to be in a position now where I can aid teachers in excelling in their rolls as teachers and caregivers. With the right tools and support I believe teachers can excel and be more fulfilled in their rolls. I enjoy homesteading in my free time and spending time with my husband. We have a garden that keeps us busy during the summer. We also have goats, chickens, and ducks that keep us busy all year round! I look forward to working with all of your children and all of you!


Ms. Isabella

Preschool / Pre-K Supervisory Lead

Hello Wonderful Families! I am so pleased to have been given this opportunity to become a bigger part of Playful Learners. I am 23 years old, have worked with children basically my whole life, and a big mix of Montessori and Reggio Emilia teachings. My goals with accepting this position is to provide continuous support for our teachers, curriculum, and for our families. I will be focusing on the overview of all our lesson plans and stronger family engagement, I am so excited to grow more within my relationship in this company and develop a stronger bond with you and your child/ren. If you guys ever need anything, please do not hesitate to send me a ProCare message, email, or just stop me in the hall! I am so excited to start this journey with Playful Learners and with all of you guys. 



Mrs. Quinn

Infant 2 Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Hope Simmers, I am originally from Buckingham, VA, where I graduated in 2017, but I moved to Madison at the beginning of 2020. In my free time I do a lot of drawing or doing other creative works, before working here I attended 2 years of art studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Working at Playful Learners is my first “real” childcare job but I have been babysitting and caring for children since I was a pre-teen. I have always loved children and working with them; I have fond memories of some of my teachers and hope to have the same effect on at least one child. I plan on staying in this career and nurturing and teaching young ones for a long time. I am currently in school at Piedmont Virginia Community College for Early Childhood Education and will be completing my certification this fall 2022 and I am sure I will continue my education even after that. I have been here since January and I have enjoyed getting to know the children and the families! I am always available for contact if needed and am happy to help!




School Age Supervisory Lead

Hi there, my name is Jessica Winget! I am 30 years old and have a little over a decade’s worth of experience working in childcare. I moved to Charlottesville back in June of 2021 from Woodbridge, VA where I worked in the SAC room as the virtual learning coordinator and the lead teacher of the two-year-old room. I also have a background in teaching beginner level gymnastics to toddlers ages five – twelve. Currently I am the School age supervisory lead and run the school age 2 room. I also work part time at Bath and Body Works. In my free time I enjoy reading and going on hikes with my significant other.


Mrs. Kristen

Toddler Lead Teacher

I grew up in Greene County, Virginia and graduated from William Monroe High School in 2018. I am the middle child out of 3 and the only girl! I have 4 dogs and enjoy spending my time adventuring around in my truck, going to the beach and spending time with my boyfriend. I’ve always had a passion for working with children and cannot wait to watch your children grow, succeed and hit their big milestones!


Alexis Morris

Pretoddler Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Alexis Morris and I have been working with children for about 6 years now. I enjoy working with infants particularly as they reach so many milestones at that age. It brings me joy to watch them grow and learn and being a part of that process. My hobbies include music, art, spending time with my dog, and curling up with a good book. I look forward to working with each of you and your children. as they reach so many milestones at that age. It brings me joy to watch them grow and learn and being a part of that process. My hobbies include music, art, spending time with my dog, and curling up with a good book. I look forward to working with each of you and your children.


Mrs. Terry

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Let me tell you a little about myself. I am a native of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. I moved here following the love of my life, Dennis my husband of 30 plus years, as he pursued an employment opportunity. We have one adult son, Hunter, who lives and works in the area also. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Hampton University.

My journey working with young children began over thirty-seven years ago, working with many different ages in many different venues.  For over ten years I worked at an elementary school in the York County Public Schools System as a teacher assistant for a reverse inclusion special education classroom that included at risk and typical students.  In 2018, I started working at a private preschool as lead teacher in the four-year old classroom.  I loved working with this age group. After the move to the area, I began yet another leg of my journey here at Playful Learners.

I believe childhood is a magical time. I want to help children explore, grow and learn about all the wonderful things around them. I want to open their eyes to the possibilities that life holds. I believe that children learn best through fun engaging hands on activities and experiences. I believe in doing, getting messy, questioning, investigating, playing games, imagining, creating and exploring. I want to create an environment where your child feels safe, loved and where they will succeed.



Julia Bala

Pret-toddler Lead Teacher

Hi, I’m Ms. Julia and I’ll be the Lead Teacher for the Pre-Toddlers class. I am originally from Colorado and moved to Charlottesville recently! I graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in Speech Language and Hearing Science with a minor in Education. I’ve worked in many different childcare settings ranging from toddlers to 5th graders and I’m excited to be with pre-toddlers now! I enjoy walking, yoga, paddle boarding, and reading. I’m excited to be closer to the beach and visit more of the East Coast. I look forward to hanging out with your kiddos and a wonderful school year!


Mr. Maxwell Hamner

Center Float

My name is Maxwell Hamner (Mr. Maxwell) and I am a new assistant teacher working at Playful Learners Preschool. I have been working in childcare since my early teens doing babysitting, then at Kindercare. My hobbies are singing, watching movies, and spending time with my loved ones. My goal in teaching is to provide an environment where kids can feel understood and cared for.


Ms. Liz Yates

Early Preschool Lead Teacher

A little bit about Ms. Liz, My two beautiful girls and their father are my world. We are big Caps fans. I have a middle schooler and a 1st grader. I have about 4 years’ experience in the classroom, as well as 10 years of childcare outside of the classroom. I have been involved in Girls Scouts for about 6 years now. In my free time I enjoy hiking and spending time with my family. During covid I learned how to do acrylic nails and my girls love it! I’m really excited to be a part of the Playful Learners family/community. 



Majestii Bryant

Preschool Assistant Teacher

My name is Majestii. I’m from Charlottesville, Va. Some things I enjoy doing include cooking, writing and lots of online shopping. I attended Old Dominion University where I took a psychology and early childhood development class. Children have always been a part of my life. I’m the second oldest out of five kids and come from a family that is constantly full of babies and children, so working with and learning about children has become second nature to me. I have babysat kids from ages newborn to twelve. I also worked for a school year at Agnor Hurt Elementary School as an EPED assistant. I became interested in working at Playful Learners when my sister, Emajin, who also works for Playful Learners, would come home and rave about the work she does here. I was hoping to join a team that valued the connections they made with the children, the parents and also employees. So far, that is what I’ve found here. I am beyond excited to be a part of this team!


Mr. Kian Wood

Infant Floater

Hi, my name is Mr. Kian and I am new to our school this year. I am 19 years old (soon to be 20) and was born and raised in Earlysville, Virginia. This is my second time working in childcare and this is my first year working with infants, but I am super excited to teach your children this year. I graduated from Albemarle high school in 2022 and am a proud dog dad of my dog Felix. In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my friends and spending time outdoors. I look forward to getting to know your family more throughout the year. Let’s have a good year!


Emily Colvin

Infant Assistant Teacher

My name is Emily Colvin, and I am excited about this new journey at Playful Learners. I just finished college in May and got a certificate in Early Childhood Development. I have 5 years of experience with children from newborns to 8 years old. 

A few things about me is that I played softball for 12 years and also played volleyball for 6 years. I have a 5-month-old Chocolate Lab named Roy, and a horse named Tango that lives on my granddad’s farm. I helped in Preschool ages 3 and 4 in high school and that is when I learned that one day, I want to be a teacher and help children further their education. 

I am so grateful for this opportunity to work at Playful Learners and doing what I love most which is working with children!”



Emily Colvin


Aisha Washington

Toddler Assistant Teacher

Hey everyone! My name is Aisha and I’m of course the newbie!

I’m 24, soon to be 25 years old and I just recently got married. I was living in Nashville, TN but I moved back to Virginia last year. I have my degree in general education and ministerial leadership/music. So as you may assume that I either play an instrument or I love to sing but it’s both! I used to play the piano and I was a worship leader for 2 churches. Some little fun facts about me- my favorite color is green. I love sharks. I have a 9 year old Pitbull and she’s the sweetest pup you’ll ever meet and I have 4 kids in the house! That being said, you should know that I love kids. I used to babysit at my house all of the time and when I wasn’t babysitting, I was volunteering at my church’s daycare. Outside of children, I worked in healthcare with hospice and I worked with kids with special needs. All in all, I just enjoy being able to help others and bring some kind of joy to their lives. Excited to meet all of you and be with the kiddos!!


Justice Lane

Kitchen Supervisor

My name is Justice Lane ad I am the Kitchen Supervisor here at Playful Learners Preschool! I have always been inspired to work with children by my grandfather and his life-long charity work with terminally ill children. He dedicated his spare time to give children a once in a life experience and made personal connections with each family he met, which I was lucky enough to be a part of!  It helped me grasp the value of life at a young age and taught me how each child is unique and special in their own way. I have 10 years of experience in the restaurant business and worked directly under Executive Chef Michael Ritenour and Chef Justin “Zane” Taylor at my previous positions, which included pizzaiolo, smoke- master, and lead cook. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, baking, making art, and spending time with my loved ones. I cannot wait to make new experiences and connections with our students here at Playful Learners Preschool!


Kieonna Fleming

Pretoddler Assistant Teacher

My name is Kieonna. Most of my students call me “Ms. Kiki.” I grew up in Louisa, VA. After I graduated high school, I moved to Staunton, VA, where I have resided for the last three years now. I find pleasure in spending time with my family and friends. I am very excited to be welcoming my first child next year in January. I enjoy being outdoors, hiking, and catching sunsets. In addition, I like to read and write poetry in my free time. I have a big love for children. In high school, I participated in a teacher for tomorrow program, tutored elementary students, and even picked up babysitting. Shortly after I graduated, I took my first job at a daycare center, where I worked for about a year. There, I gained experience working in the infant, toddler, and preschool classrooms. As a child, I always had the dream of becoming a teacher and promoting learning across all ages. I am happy to say that dream is now my reality.


Briauna Yount

Early Preschool Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Bri Yount. I am 19 years old, and I have lived around Charlottesville my whole life. Currently, I am a junior in college attending PVCC and studying nursing. Most people would describe me as very outgoing, determined, and generous. Throughout my whole life I have babysat children of all ages, but my first time in a childcare facility was October of 2022. The first two facilities I was at I worked with the infants and absolutely loved it. Now that I am with Playful Learners I am working with early preschool, and I am really enjoying the change in energy levels and atmosphere. Some fun facts about me would be that I graduated high school being a part of the national society for high school scholars. Also, I went to Ferrum college for a year where I played softball and cheered. Finally, I am a major animal lover and currently own two dogs, five cats, two goats, and a ton of chickens. I am excited to be working at Playful Learners because I have heard amazing things about the facility before I started and since I have been here everyone has been so welcoming.


Jay Madison

Infant Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Teacher Jay and I’ve been working with children for the last 8 years. This is the 3rd daycare I’ve worked in and my 2nd time as an infant teacher. When I’m not working I love to make lots of different kinds of art. I also really love singing and hanging out with my kid. I just moved here from Washington state to be with my family and I’m so excited for the new school year!


Rahel Lema

Infant Lead Teacher

 Hello! My name is Rahel Lema, I am 20 years old and I am originally from California, but I’ve lived here in Virginia for about eight years. I have two younger siblings who are five and ten years apart from me, and I love to spend time caring for and spending time with them. I absolutely love to go to the beach, be outdoors and play sports! I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, whether it’s just be a night in and watching movies or going out to dinner and doing something fun together in my free time. I also like cooking and baking, decorating, and reading! I previously worked in a childcare center where I was a 2 year old teacher, however, I am very excited to begin working with your tiny loved ones!


Mr. Noah

Pre K Assistant

Hello playful learners parents! My name is Noah Johnson, and I am going to be a teacher’s assistant in your child’s pre K class room. I am extremely excited for the opportunity to teach and learn from your kids. My main passions and Hobbies outside of work are the great outdoors and plants, I have over 12 types of succulents and even some aquatic plants. I go hiking and camping as much as humanly possible, I aim to one day hike the Appalachian trail. I hope I can help the children in our class develop a deep appreciation for nature and to help keep them curious to the wonders it can hold for them.



Mrs. Michelle

Preschool Lead Teacher

My name is Michelle Saxon. I have a son, Landon. My husband and I live in Orange, Virginia. I have an Associates in Medical Assisting as well as my CDA in the preschool age. I am also working on my CDA in infants and toddlers as well as getting my Associates in Early Childhood Education. I have worked with children ranging in ages 6 weeks to 8 years old for 27 years. I love teaching young children because of their love for learning and it’s rewarding to know that what I teach will carry with them throughout their lives.
I collect Angels, my favorite food is fried chicken and I love animals. I want to travel to Paris one day. I am very excited to get to know each and every one of you and your children.



Mrs. Wanda

Infant Pod Floater

HI! I am Wanda. I have a daughter and two lovely grandchildren’s ages 9 years old and 3 years old. To them I am (Mimi) they love staying in the night with me playing games and reading books. For my hobbies I love riding my 6r Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle when I have spare time. Along with my daughter, I also love watching my grandson play baseball and football. I have been doing childcare for 28 years while working in a variety of locations. I worked for Playful Learners in 2021 and took some time off from childcare but have returned because I enjoyed working here. The atmosphere was great and everyone was treated like family.


Caryn Wheeler

Infant Teacher

Hello my name is Caryn wheeler. I have been working with children for about 7 years now. This is my first time in a facility and I am excited for this new opportunity. I enjoying working with infants the most because it brings me joy to watching grow into their own little personalities. My hobbies include hanging out with my baby chicks, listening to music, and I enjoy taking walks outside in nature. I look forward to working with each of you and your little one.


Elizabeth Oswald

Center Float


Cierra Jones

School Age Lead Teacher

HI! I am Wanda. I have a daughter and two lovely grandchildren’s ages 9 years old and 3 years old. To them I am (Mimi) they love staying in the night with me playing games and reading books. For my hobbies I love riding my 6r Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle when I have spare time. Along with my daughter, I also love watching my grandson play baseball and football. I have been doing childcare for 28 years while working in a variety of locations. I worked for Playful Learners in 2021 and took some time off from childcare but have returned because I enjoyed working here. The atmosphere was great and everyone was treated like family.

Are you passionate about early childhood education?

How Old Is Your Child?


0 - 16 months


16 - 36 months


3 - 4 years


4 - 5 years

School Age

3 - 10 years

Summer Camp

5 - 12 years