It's time to get to know our two newest ECP teachers, Stefanie Albrecht and Lisa Crankshaw. This dynamic tandem co-teaches our youngest learners in the school – the two and three-year-olds who make up our ECP 2-Day classes!
Mrs. Albrecht (pictured left) attended the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she received an Ed. M with a focus on human development and psychology. She spent the previous five years as a pre-K teacher and diversity liaison at Hathaway Brown.
"Our family recently moved to West Akron, and I was thrilled to find a school community like Old Trail that shares my deep commitment to early childhood education," Mrs. Albrecht said. "And, after spending my childhood in Colorado, the opportunity to teach in a national park is an absolute dream. What a gift to allow our youngest learners to spend time in the beauty of the CVNP!"
While at Harvard, Mrs. Albrecht once took a course from the producers of Sesame Street and learned some great lessons about incorporating the all-important element of FUN into early education.
"I love that as an independent school, Old Trail allows me the autonomy and flexibility to be creative in my classroom," Mrs. Albrecht said. "Our play-based ECP program makes for an intellectually rigorous educational environment that is also nurturing and developmentally appropriate. It has been my experience that students learn best when learning is student-driven, and when students are able to construct their own knowledge through exploration, social interaction, and play."
Mrs. Albrecht is also an OTS parent with a daughter in the ECP 5-day class just above her own classroom!
Mrs. Crankshaw's diverse professional history includes time spent as a psychotherapist, a college counselor, and a college lecturer. She has a graduate degree in Counseling and Human Development and she is passionate about raising children in a supportive, caring, and safe environment.
"It is exciting to apply my professional training in human development, as well as my experience as a devoted mother," she said. "There have been so many advances in neuroscience in recent years, so I’m thrilled to be in a position where I can expand my knowledge of early brain development and apply scientifically based practices in the classroom."
Mrs. Crankshaw grew up with five sisters who spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking, baking, and experimenting. Through those experiences, she's come to believe that food is "an expression of love; a way to nurture others" and bring people together. In fact, prior to joining the faculty at OTS this fall, her assorted career also included time working in dining services at WRA and Old Trail!
"Old Trail is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside," she said. "I have fallen in love with the people who work here and feel privileged to join such dedicated, kind, and enlightened educators."
We are fortunate to have such a knowledgable and caring pair of individuals working with our littlest learners at Old Trail!