Our teachers are loving, educated, and committed individuals who are knowledgeable about the development of preschool-age children.
Ms. Marian Rutkowski, Founder & Owner
Marian Rutkowski is the founder and owner of Discovery Days Preschool has over 24 years of experience in the Early Childhood Education field. She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of South Florida, earned an Advanced Directors Credential, and holds a National Childhood Associate certificate. She serves as an advocate and mentors offering parenting classes to at-risk families in the community, as well as facilitating women’s small group book studies. Discovery Days Preschool fulfills her dream to create a boutique preschool that provides an exceptional early childhood educational experience for children and their families.
Ms. Donna Washko, Director
Ms. Donna has an impressive background in Early Childhood Education, having worked for over 25 years with children of all ages. As a proud advocate for young children's quality education, she is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and has held positions in both the local and state affiliates. She is also a mentor and trainer to other educators in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) field. Donna oversees the daily operations of Discovery Days, including our fantastic summer camp program. She is committed that our school is safe, fun, nurturing, and a positive environment for your child.
Ms. Amber Paris, Co-Director
Ms. Amber is a Sarasota native and a former graduate of Discovery Days Preschool. She received her Bachelor's degree from Syracuse University in Communications and is tasked with bringing a fresh new perspective to Discovery Days. Her career started at Discovery Days as a summer camp assistant at the age of 12, an assistant teacher at the age of 15, and the lead after-school teacher at the age of 22. As the resident photographer, she is regularly seen taking pictures and uploading them to share with the parents. Deeply inspired by children's energy and joy, she enjoys spending time in the classrooms and watching each child grow and learn. Amber's role as Co-Director includes PR & Marketing, community outreach, and involvement, digital media, classroom assistant, and school-wide special events and celebrations.
Ms. Shelley Zvonik, "The Pre-K"
Ms. Shelley is our Lead Teacher in our Junior/Senior Pre-K Classroom. A veteran teacher with over ten years of experience, Miss Shelley has a Bachelors's degree in Elementary Education, with ESOL and Gifted Endorsements. She has taught at various levels from Kindergarten through 5th grade, but attests that preschoolers are her favorite! Her love of reading inspires a full integration of literature throughout her curriculum areas including math, science, social science, and art. Guided by her nurturing ways, she helps each child become more self-confident, and independent learners who can problem-solve by way of practicing their critical thinking skills.
Ms. Noelle Quiceno, "The Bears"
Ms. Noelle is our Lead Teacher in the four-year-old "Bear" classroom. She has her Associates's Degree in Early Childhood Education and is currently working towards her Bachelor's Degree. With over fifteen years of experience working with children ranging from 6 weeks to 5 years old, Miss Noelle has found her calling! Her passion for teaching was inspired by her second-grade teacher who showed her that when you 'teach' you are not just teaching the child, but inspiring the soul. She promotes independence in her classroom and allows the children to explore with hands-on learning. Improving language, letter, number, and shape recognition, as well as enhancing body awareness and balance are all skills her Bears practice daily.
Ms. Ida Schell, "The Busy Bees"
Ms. Ida is our Lead Teacher in the three-year-old "Busy Bees" classroom. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and raised in Atalanta, Georgia Ms. Ida comes to us with over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. With her Director Credential and Child Development Associate Credential, Ms. Ida has experience as both a Lead Teacher and Director leading centers with over 100 students. One of her favorite things about three-year-olds is their excitement or hands-on learning! Ms. Ida enjoys science, arts and crafts, and music and movement activities with her students. Building their vocabulary skills, strengthening fine motor skills, and working on peer-to-peer socialization skills are just a few of her goals with this energetic group!
Ms. Jenny Stuart, "The Bunnies"
Ms. Jenny is our Lead Teacher in the two-year-old "Bunny" room. Born and raised in Sarasota, she grew up owning and showing American Quarter Horses. Her first experiences working with children was as a Girl Scout assisting younger scouts on their quest to achieve skill badges, and by coaching novice equestrians. It was through these experiences that she discovered her passion for teaching. Helping a child identify and achieve a goal, no matter how big or small continues to be a thrilling experience! A believer of "play" learning, Miss Jenny encourages our two-year-olds to explore and discover their environment. Entering her fifth year of preschool teaching, she continues to pursue her Florida Childcare Staff Credential.
We are devoted to your child's early development and well-being!