Tracey Heller, Director / Lead Teacher
Tracey is in her fifth year at LPK as a teacher and her first as its director. She first got to know the school as a parent: her youngest son (of three) is an LPK alumnus.
Indeed, it was Tracey’s time as an LPK parent and LPK Executive Board President that launched a second career for her, into preschool education. Prior to starting her family, Tracey earned a Bachelors and Masters degree from the University of Maryland, College Park and worked for a research firm in Rockville. When her youngest son started kindergarten, Tracey went to work for the Howard County Recreation and Parks “My First School” preschool program. She enjoyed the job so much that she took on a 90-hour certification in Early Childhood Education at Howard Community College. From there, Tracey spent two years as the lead teacher of a two-year-old class in Ijamsville.
Tracey is active in the local community. She has taught religious education at St. Michael’s Church and she has served on the Executive Boards of the PTSA at Lisbon Elementary School, Glenwood Middle School, and Glenelg High School.
Tracey was thrilled to return home to LPK as its Assistant Teacher in 2018 and is excited to take on the lead position this year as LPK’s Director / Lead Teacher. She looks forward to meeting, playing with, and learning with our children each fall!
Ashley Trodden, Assistant Teacher for the 4’s Classes
Ashley has been an LPK parent, an LPK Executive Board President, and she is excited to now be the Assistant Teacher in both 4’s classes!
She received her undergraduate degree in American Studies at the University of Maryland and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Towson University. She taught kindergarten in Anne Arundel County Public Schools for six years and she is trained in many literacy and math programs and interventions that she will be able to put to use at LPK.
Ashley stepped away from the kindergarten classroom after her second child was born and has been involved at LPK ever since. Her son completed both the 3’s and 4’s programs; her daughter completed the 3’s program and will be in the 4’s class this school year.
Ashley loves to cook, exercise, listen to audiobooks, volunteer at her local elementary school, and spend time with her kids and her husband, Ray. She is honored and excited to be teaching again, especially at this incredible school!
Kirsten Gick, Assistant Teacher for the 3’s Class
Kirsten dreamed of being part of LPK since her oldest daughter attended the school eleven years ago, so this year she was delighted to come onboard as the Assistant Teacher in the 3’s class!
Kirsten graduated from Towson University with a degree in Elementary Education. She has taught first, second, and fifth grades. Before having children, Kirsten and her husband lived in England for six years. While there, Kirsten taught at the DODDS school on the base and tutored in the evenings, helping to bridge the gap between American schooling and British schooling.
When the Gicks moved back to Maryland, they settled in Woodbine and had two girls. Then, the week after their oldest child graduated from LPK, the family moved back to England for three more years. While there, she had the opportunity to volunteer as a teacher and a committee member in her younger daughter’s preschool.
Seven years ago, Kirsten and her family moved back to Woodbine. Since then, she has coached a variety of sports, substituted (both short- and long-term) for Kids Come First Preschool (now closed), and worked as a short- and long-term substitute at Lisbon Elementary School.
Kirsten keeps herself busy walking her two Goldens, driving her daughters to field hockey and lacrosse practice, and trying to get dinner on the table at a decent hour! She is thrilled to be part of the LPK team learning new things, singing songs, doing crafts, and encouraging imaginations in the wonderful LPK community.