I’m A HopeMark Kid

Our Philosophy

kidswithblocks_1

At HopeMark, we believe that children learn best through play. Play enables children to better understand their world. Children enrich their social skills interacting with other children. Manipulative play allows children to problem solve and develop fine and gross motor skills in a safe and supportive environment. Sensory exploration offers children the opportunity to self-discover math and science concepts. Through art, children learn creativity and decision making. Dramatic play enhances social, emotional, and language skills.

Through play and activities, we prepare children with the academic skills needed for Kindergarten. From alphabet, number, color and shape recognition to concepts such as sequencing and opposites, to writing and pre-reading skills, we prepare your child for success in Kindergarten and beyond.

We also recognize the value of gross motor play. Recent studies are proving that reduced recess time at preschools and elementary schools is resulting in behavior problems and lower test scores. During unstructured outdoor play, children refine and strengthen large muscles while also developing social skills.

Children are able to release energy and regulate emotions, and are more able to pay attention in class when they have been given the opportunity to exercise.
Finally, we want to give your child the emotional intelligence which will help them succeed in school and in life. Our staff has completed the United 4 Children’s Social-Emotional Early Childhood Leadership project. Young children often struggle to regulate big emotions, especially frustration, worry, and anger management.
This project gives teachers extensive training that includes both theory and practical application for classroom strategies to help children work through these feelings and equip children with the verbal skills necessary to resolve conflict, ask for help and express their feelings.

When your child comes to HopeMark, they become a member of our HopeMark family! Our staff is comprised of loving, nurturing professional teachers who will take the time to get to know your child. We recognize that you as a parent are your child’s first and best teacher, and will take time to get to know you as well. Whether it is a casual discussion before or after class, email or telephone communication, by appointment, or at our biannual parent/teacher conferences, our teachers will work closely with you to enrich your child’s strengths and cultivate areas for improvement.

image2

Classroom Teachers

2978

Mrs. Donna Fernandez

Teacher, Kermit’s classroom
This is Donna’s 29th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Fernandez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from Fontbonne University, and holds a lifetime certificate in elementary education. She also is a private tutor for preschool through high school age children.
2973

Mrs. Leslie Higgs

Teacher, Kermit’s classroom
This is Leslie's 11th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Higgs holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Instructional Technology, both from Southern Illinois University. She has over twelve years of classroom teaching experience prior to her tenure at HopeMark.
2984

Mrs. Adrienne Beye

Teacher, Big Bird’s classroom
This is Adrienne's 7th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Beye holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from University of Missouri, St. Louis.
2969

Mrs. Jen Barber

Teacher, Big Bird’s classroom
This is Jen's 2nd year at HopeMark. Jen holds a business degree from Meramec Community College, St. Louis. Jen is actively pursuing a teaching certification in Early Childhood Education at Meramec Community College.
anon

Mrs. Nichole Ruggeri

Lunch Bunch Provider
This is Nichole's 3rd year managing our lunch bunch program. "Miss Nichole" was our first lunch bunch caregiver when we began the program in 2009, then resumed her position last school year. Nichole was instrumental in shaping lunch bunch into the great program it is today, so we are very excited tohave her back!
2971

Mr. Jacob Alspach

Music Teacher
This is Jacob's 10th year at HopeMark. "Mr. Jacob" is an animated, energetic musician with lots of experience teaching young children. In addition to his HopeMark position, he teaches music at a county preschool, leads children's music classes at the Folk School in Maplewood, and performs music for children at the St. Louis Zoo. You can also find him in the local jazz band, "The Gaslight Squares!"
2979

Mrs. Jeanne Ryan

Director
This is Jeanne’s 15th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of Missouri, Columbia, and has completed her certification in Early Childhood Education and at Forest Park Community College. In addition to the directorship, she will teach Pre-K two afternoons per week.

All of our staff attend a minimum of 12 hours of classes and workshops throughout the school year to remain current on developments in early childhood education.

2978

Mrs. Donna Fernandez

Teacher, Kermit’s classroom
This is Donna’s 29th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Fernandez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education from Fontbonne University, and holds a lifetime certificate in elementary education. She also is a private tutor for preschool through high school age children.
2973

Mrs. Leslie Higgs

Teacher, Kermit’s classroom
This is Leslie's 11th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Higgs holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Masters degree in Instructional Technology, both from Southern Illinois University. She has over twelve years of classroom teaching experience prior to her tenure at HopeMark.
2984

Mrs. Adrienne Beye

Teacher, Big Bird’s classroom
This is Adrienne's 7th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Beye holds a Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Early Childhood Education from University of Missouri, St. Louis.
2969

Mrs. Jen Barber

Teacher, Big Bird’s classroom
This is Jen's 2nd year at HopeMark. Jen holds a business degree from Meramec Community College, St. Louis. Jen is actively pursuing a teaching certification in Early Childhood Education at Meramec Community College.
anon

Mrs. Nichole Ruggeri

Lunch Bunch Provider
This is Nichole's 3rd year managing our lunch bunch program. "Miss Nichole" was our first lunch bunch caregiver when we began the program in 2009, then resumed her position last school year. Nichole was instrumental in shaping lunch bunch into the great program it is today, so we are very excited tohave her back!
2971

Mr. Jacob Alspach

Music Teacher
This is Jacob's 10th year at HopeMark. "Mr. Jacob" is an animated, energetic musician with lots of experience teaching young children. In addition to his HopeMark position, he teaches music at a county preschool, leads children's music classes at the Folk School in Maplewood, and performs music for children at the St. Louis Zoo. You can also find him in the local jazz band, "The Gaslight Squares!"
2979

Mrs. Jeanne Ryan

Director
This is Jeanne’s 15th year at HopeMark. Mrs. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from University of Missouri, Columbia, and has completed her certification in Early Childhood Education and at Forest Park Community College. In addition to the directorship, she will teach Pre-K two afternoons per week.

All of our staff attend a minimum of 12 hours of classes and workshops throughout the school year to remain current on developments in early childhood education.