Meet Our Staff...
“Making a Difference, One Child at a Time”
REICHEL AINSWORTH – PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR
For as long as she can remember, Ms. Reichel has always wanted to work with children. She worked as a legal secretary for 8 years, but in her heart she knew that teaching children was what she wanted to do. She earned her Early Childhood Education certificate as well as home daycare certificate and is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has over five years of experience teaching in all preschool level classrooms. Before she began working at The Academy of PDCPC, Ms. Reichel ran her own home daycare which she operated for three years until she and her husband welcomed their own three children. She was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest child reached preschool age and attended The Academy.
JANELLE BREWER – TRANSITIONAL KINDERGARTEN AND KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
Ms. Janelle has over seven years of teaching experience in preschool classrooms, ranging from 2 years old through Kindergarten. She loves to see the growth and development of her students throughout the academic year. Ms. Janelle thoroughly enjoys incorporating science into the curriculum and watching the students’ excitement as they perform scientific experiments. Before moving to Palm Desert in 2012 to teach Kindergarten at The Academy, Ms. Janelle lived and taught in the San Diego area. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and outdoor activities with her husband.
LESLIE ESTEP – PRE-KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
Ms. Leslie has taught at PDCPC Preschool for 30+ years. During that time, she has served as a teacher, assistant director and director. She received her AA Degree in Early Childhood Education, a Director’s Certificate and a CTA Child Development Teacher’s Permit. Ms. Leslie is well-known for making literature come alive for children. She believes that every lesson can include children’s literature as a key element of success, and she addresses this topic at teacher conferences. Ms. Leslie would be the first to tell you she continues to enjoy teaching now as much as she ever has. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading, cooking, and spending time with her husband (a high school English teacher) and their three children.
ALICE MEDINA – PRE-KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
Ms. Alice has been a preschool teacher for a total of 16 years. Four years ago she chose to go a different direction in careers but somehow she found her way back to doing what she loves- teaching preschool children! Ms. Alice finds great joy in being part of the lives of young children’s early development. She believes that each child learns by getting involved in everyday activities and incorporating their five senses in the process. She also loves to inspire children to learn through music, rhythm and movement. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, jogging, spending time with family and friends, and of course, playing the drums!
DEANN WOLFE – 3’s TEACHER
Ms. DeAnn is currently a lead teacher in the 3’s classrooms. She has been teaching at PDCPC Preschool for over 12 years in both the 3’s and the Pre-Kindergarten programs. Ms. DeAnn is also the music teacher for all The Academy classes. She enjoys bringing her love for music and the creative arts into the classrooms. Ms. DeAnn is married, with a son in college and a son in high school. In her free time she enjoys singing, cooking and watching her sons play sports.
NORMA JOHNSON – 3’s TEACHER
Ms. Norma was born and raised in Texas and has four children- three sons and a daughter. She earned her Early Childhood Education Teaching Certificate and served as a Head Start teacher for fifteen years. Subsequently, she taught child studies, adult education and most recently she was the activities director for a children’s camp at a local hotel in the desert.
SYDNEY BENEDICT – 2’s TEACHER
Ms. Sydney is the lead teacher for the 2’s classroom. She has over nine years’ experience in preschool education. Ms. Sydney’s classroom experience spans from teaching 2 year olds through Kindergarten students. She comes from a large family and is comfortable handling a classroom full of little ones. She can incorporate a combination of play and education with ease and especially enjoys the fun of messy, hands-on activities.