Kath Houlahan – Director (hired 2019)
I am pleased and excited to become Oak Lane’s Director and to join this lovely community. As a psychology major at Immaculata, I fell in love with early childhood education, which became my minor. An internship in an infant/toddler program led to my first teaching job and eventually to my first director position. I’ve worked as a teacher with all ages, from infants through school-age, and have directed daycare centers both here in the States and in Ireland. Oak Lane’s Quaker mission and goals are in line with my personal goals at this point in my life and I’m enjoying the opportunity to learn new ways to engage with children on a deeper level. As a life-long musician, I am enthusiastic about incorporating music into our program and my ukulele now lives at Oak Lane!
Lauren Mullin – Office Manager (hired 2019)
After graduating West Chester University with a Bachelors of Science in education, Lauren pursued a teaching career for 10 years. During this time, she earned her Masters of Education from Cabrini College and became a wife and a mother of 2 girls, Ava and Audrey. Lauren then decided to take time off to stay at home with her daughters. After 4 years of being home, she was excited to seek new opportunities in the world of education. Lauren started in September 2019 as the Office Manager of Oak Lane but enjoys getting to spend time in the classrooms as well.
Teacher Zara – Infant/Young Toddler Teacher (hired 2016)
I am a graduate of West Chester University with a degree in social work. I worked for Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Families (Adoption/Foster care) for many years before moving on to the field of Early Childhood Education in 2008. I am a firm believer that a child’s early years lay the foundation for all that is to come. I have always loved working and being with children, so I feel that I have chosen the right occupation! On the personal side, I’m a mother of one — my daughter, Parissa, is 28-years-old and lives in NYC. I am originally from Iran and came to the U.S. in 1985. I am a resident of West Chester and have lived here for the last 30+ years!
Teacher Mirla – Infant/Young Toddler Teacher (hired 2021)
My name is Mirla, I’m married, I have two daughters, I am from Honduras in Central America. I have lived in USA for 7 years. I have worked with children for more than 6 years. I decided to join the Oak Lane family because I love working with children and because everybody at Oak Lane is very nice.
Teacher Hannah – Infant/Young Toddler Teacher (hired 2021)
My name is Hannah, and I am super excited to be a part of the Oak Lane family! I am a junior at West Chester University studying nutrition and dietetics with a minor in psychology. My goal is to become a pediatric dietician and help kids with tummy problems learn more about food and build a healthy relationship with it. I have a cat at home named Lenny who I love more than anything and I live with my three best friends in a house in West Chester. I have worked with kids my whole life from a babysitter to working in a preschool. When I got to college, I took time off to focus on school, but I just could not take it anymore and I needed to work with kids again! That is when I found Oak Lane and I could not be more grateful to have such an amazing, positive work environment surrounded by kiddos that just never fail to make me smile! I look forward to meeting everyone and being a part of your little one’s day!
PS After a month of working at Oak Lane, Hannah has decided to become a teacher and has just changed her major to Early Childhood Education!!
Teacher Rachel – Older Toddler Teacher (hired 1995)
Rachel has been working at Oak Lane since 1995. She started out in the Infant / Young Toddler room and then moved on to the Older Toddler room. Over the past few years she has been taking turns teaching the Older Toddlers and Preschoolers. She enjoys both age groups and welcomes the change from year to year. Her creativity becomes evident when she involves the children in a range of art projects. She believes in the importance of spending as much time outdoors as possible and doesn’t shy away from dressing all the children in their winter gear to go play in the snow. Born in Syracuse, NY, she now lives in West Chester with her 4 children. Jacob, Alula, Zane and Chloe have all attended Oak Lane.
Teacher Sandy – Older Toddler Teacher (hired 2021)
I am a graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in social work. I started babysitting when I was 12 years old and always wanted to work with children. I did my field work with a Head Start/Home Start Program in Hagerstown, MD. Also, I started working for a car dealership at 15 years old learning all about accounting which leads to the 30-year detour I took as an automotive/controller after I graduated from college. In 2006 I quit my job to become a caregiver for my mother until she passed in 2008. I decided it was time to fulfill my dream of working with children. I found a job working as the Director/Teacher of a Mother’s Day Out Program at St. Alban’s Church in Newtown Square. I took a few courses in ECE at DCCC and worked with 18 to 36-month-old children in a mixed class setting. I enjoyed every day of the eleven years I was there, until the coronavirus happened. We closed for a while and then the church decided to close the program. I took some time to decide what to do next. Do I retire? Well, here I am at Oak Lane Day Care, very happy to be teaching children again. I am married to a wonderful man, Tim. I never had any children, but we have 4 grown children, 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. I have lived in West Chester for 37 years. I love spending time outdoors and traveling. We do lots of hiking out west and even tried hammock camping.
Teacher Trish – 3-Year-Old Preschool Teacher (hired 2021)
My name is Teacher Trish, I am so thrilled to be a part of Oak Lane Day Care School Family. I live in Chadds Ford, PA with my two daughters; Brayden-20, Morgan-17. We love the beach, hiking, playing games and keeping up with our golden retriever, Ripley and kitten, Chance. I grew up in North Wilmington, went to High Point University, NC and then graduate school at Wilmington University. I have a Masters in Early Education and an undergrad in Physical Education and Recreation. I have taught preschool-Kindergarten for 16 plus years and 1st/2nd grade for 10 years. I started my teaching career at Wilmington Friends School which was an introduction to the Quaker values. I look forward to morning meetings, embracing each of your child’s unique qualities and having our inner Light shine. I am eager to get to know your cherubs, watch them blossom, and learn to appreciate the discovery of school using hands-on experiences.
“We are reminded through our work with children that learning emerges and builds on a variety of experiences; that learning is actively constructed; and that learning develops within a community.”
Teacher Megan – 4-Year-Old Preschool Teacher (hired 2020)
Hi everyone! I am so excited to join the Oak Lane family as the newest Owl teacher! I grew up in Downingtown and still live there with my husband Sean and my new son, Everett. It has been my goal in the past couple of years to get back into the classroom! I previously worked in a daycare as Pre-K teacher for 3 years and then nannied for over 4 years until my son was born. I am a graduate of Penn State with a degree in Rehabilitation Services and also hold a degree in elementary education from Immaculata. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to get back into the classroom and Oak Lane is already starting to feel like a wonderful fit for me and my family!
Teacher Lisa – Preschool Assistant Teacher (hired 2021)
Hello, My name is Lisa and I am happy to be assisting Teacher Kerry and Teacher Megan with the 3 and 4 year-olds. My husband and I recently moved to West Chester to be closer to our daughters. I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Elementary Education. Over the last 30+ years I have worked and volunteered in preschools & elementary schools, I have been a nanny, I have been a stay-at-home mom with my 3 children and I have owned a pet sitting business. With my own children grown and out of the nest I am so excited to get back to teaching 3 and 4 year-olds because every day they have opportunities to play, to explore, and to learn something new. Even though I have only been at Oak Lane a short time, I can already tell I am going to love spending my mornings with the children.
Teacher Maddie – Preschool Afternoon Teacher (hired 2021)
Hello friends! My name is Teacher Maddie and I am coming to Oak Lane as a part-time teacher this fall! I will mostly be spending time with our kiddos in the afternoons with an additional morning shift on Thursday. How exciting! I’m arriving right to Oak Lane from a neighboring daycare where I spent four years in the infant room caring for our tiniest friends! I absolutely LOVE the babies, but am happy to work with any age group! I am also currently a student at WCU and am majoring in Developmental Psychology, with hopes to focus my career on something child-oriented (still deciding!). I have a research position this fall about child development and social reformation, which will hopefully get my “occupation wheels” turning. In my spare time, I enjoy most anything outside! I love long nature walks and runs, playing with my puppy (Poppy), spending time with my special people, reading, and painting watercolors! I’m truly looking forward to my time at Oak Lane and meeting new faces and friends! See you soon.