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Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 258

April 26, 2016

This past weekend, nearly 200 incredible faculty members from our corporate locations participated in Doodle Bugs’ Sixth Annual Conference, #BestDayEver! On Saturday morning, we gathered at Samuel’s Grande Manor in Clarence, NY for a day filled with helpful workshops, collaboration, recognition, appreciation and fun!

Our Center Ambassador Committees, made up of faculty members from various Doodle Bugs! locations, played an important role in this year’s conference. They promoted the event to their peers, planned a pep rally (with unique Doodle Bugs! cheers!), solicited and facilitated workshops, and created a survey to gather post-conference input from attendees. This year’s event was truly a team effort.

Attendees were welcomed with the red carpet treatment; snapping photo booth-style photos on the red carpet as they entered.

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Our emcee for the event was ‘careELLEN’; very similar to, but not to be confused with, Ellen Degeneres. Of course, we used this opportunity to take lots of Oscar-inspired selfies.

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After an exciting, high-energy morning, we headed off to several workshop sessions for an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with peers from various Doodle Bugs! centers.

Our faculty members did a wonderful job facilitating workshops that spanned topics including: communication, cultivating kindness, technology, meaningful classroom traditions, play, resilience and relationships, and more! We are so thankful for our amazing presenters; we all benefitted from their willingness to share their time and talents.

 

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To close out the day, we celebrated so many success stories from the past year.  We recognized those with milestone anniversaries (including a couple with tallies in the 20s!), the Leadership 101 graduating class, mentors and Bug Squad members. The individuals in each of these groups are vital to the success of Doodle Bugs! and we cannot thank them enough for their dedication.

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At the beginning of 2016, Doodle Bugs! leadership selected five exceptional doodle team members as the nominees for the 2016 Employee of the Year: Jessica Green, Brittany Wachowiak, Angela Frost, Stephanie Fuqua, and Emma Hartman. These individuals were selected because they are tremendous examples of how to live the Doodle Bugs! Way and we are so proud of each of them.

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During the conference, we asked attendees to cast their vote. It was an extremely close race; Jess Greene, a School Age Teacher from our Henrietta location, was chosen as our 2016 Employee of the Year! Congratulations to Jess and to each of our nominees— our community benefits from your excellence every day!

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A few months ago we began asking families to show their appreciation for our teachers by donating a gift basket. Wow! Thanks to our generous community of parents, each of our attendees left the conference with an amazing gift!

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It was truly a pleasure to celebrate this remarkable group last weekend. Doodle Bugs! is a better place because of the entire team’s shared dedication to our mission: Happy Children, Happy Parents, Happy Teachers!

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 257

April 12, 2016

We are proud to announce our nominees for the 2016 Employee of the Year! Faculty members will be voting later this month at our 2016 Annual Conference: #BestDayEver. We are thrilled that each of these ladies are a part of the Doodle Team!

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Angela

Angela Frost, Director Assistant, Clarence Center
Angela Frost has been with Doodle Bugs! for 2 1/2 “magnificent” (her words!) years. In addition to her work experience, she has an impressive educational background which includes: a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood and Childhood Education; a Master’s Degree in Education and post-graduate work in Special Education.

Whatever Angela is doing, she commits 100%. She prides herself on being organized and loves to cross things off her “to-do” list. It’s clear that she is passionate about early childhood learning. Angela says she has wanted to teach since her first day of second grade!

Angela believes that she has the best job ever because she gets to smile all day long! She loves that every day is different but always includes love and learning. “The children, families, and teachers that I get to work with are OUTSTANDING! Who could ask for more?”

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If you had to be trapped inside one giant food and the only way to escape was to eat your way out of it, which food would you choose?
A HUUUUGE plate of spaghetti, with extra sauce!

What’s your secret talent?
Doing the “Tooty Ta”; starting “Drop Everything and Dance” Parties; creating Doodleisms (Doodletastic, Doodlerific, and Doodley); empting the Bumps and Bruises folder!

Did you have a childhood nickname?
Yes! Angie Pantz

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Stephanie Fuqua, right

Stephanie Fuqua, Pre-K Teacher, West Amherst Center
Stephanie has been with Doodle Bugs! for 8 years. She began her tenure as a Preschool Teacher Assistant, then decided to pursue teaching and went back to school full time. After completing her coursework, she returned to Doodle Bugs! as an Infant Teacher. In 2012, she moved to the preschool level and in 2014, she took the role of Pre-K Teacher, her
current position. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science in Biochemical Pharmacology; Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry; Minor in Education; and a Masters in Childhood Education.

Stephanie loves to inspire creativity and curiosity to encourage kids to become lifelong learners who show compassion for the world around them. She is most passionate about science. “Raising guppies as class pets, learning about volcanoes and tornadoes with hands-on experiments, creating straw rockets, learning about weather through a weather station, cloud experiments; these are some of my favorite science memories in the classroom”.

Stephanie prides herself on each day, entering her room with an open mind and ready to learn something new from her students. She continuously challenges herself to grow as a teacher through self-reflection. She loves to have fun with all that she does; and makes a habit to smile often, laugh, give hugs, admit mistakes, and just be herself.

For Stephanie, Doodle Bugs! is the best job ever because she gets to work with amazing children, families, and co-workers everyday!  She asks herself daily how she can make a child’s day the best day ever? When she accomplishes that goal, she considers it a success!

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Stephanie Fuqua, left

If you had to be trapped inside one giant food, and the only way to escape was to eat your way out of it, which food would you choose?
Strawberry cheesecake Greek yogurt because it is my ultimate favorite healthy dessert!

What’s your secret talent?
I have always loved art, and can create a classroom wonderland based on the children’s interests or themes. Some of my favorites are a Toy Story themed classroom complete with Buzz Lightyear’s Spaceship and Woody’s Round-Up; a Star Wars theme with a light saber dual scene and Darth Vader photo op; and a Teddy Bear picnic fantasy land theme.

Did you have a childhood nickname?
Growing up, my Grandmother would always call me Stephka.

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Jess Greene, right


Jess Greene, Lead School-Age Teacher, Henrietta Center

Jess has been with Doodle Bugs! for 4 1/2 years. Prior to this position, she graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a degree in Secondary Education and a concentration in social studies. A few years later, she discovered Doodle Bugs! and now her heart is with younger kids!

Outside of Jess’ passion for early childhood education, she is “obsessed” (her word!) with Disney World and “ I basically know everything there is to know about it”.  She is also “mom” to a miniature dachshund named Elephant— who is number one in her life!

For Jess, Doodle Bugs! is the best job ever because she loves how much her kids teach her about themselves and the world around them. She truly enjoys getting to know each of their unique personalities. Jess says, if you don’t know their favorite color, favorite food, and their grandma’s cat’s name, you don’t know them well enough!

If you had to be trapped inside one giant food, and the only way to escape was to eat your way out of it, which food would you choose?
Definitely macaroni and cheese. I’ve made over 100 different mac and cheese recipes in the last year and a half- it’s an obsession.

What’s your secret talent?
I can walk through Disney World with my eyes shut and know exactly where I am based on smells!

Did you have a childhood nickname?
Jessie bird! I’ve been singing since before I could talk!

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Emma Hartman, Closing Manager, Teacher Assistant, McCandless Center
Emma has been a part of the Doodle Team for 2 years. Prior to Doodle Bugs!, she was born and raised in Britain. She began higher education in Zoology, but soon realized that what she really wanted was to be able to see the world. In Britain, Emma had worked with children and loved it— so she decided to look into CHI Au Pair, a program that would allow her to travel to the United States for 1 year and live with a family while caring for their children. In 2011, she began her journey with a family in Northern Virginia. She completed 2 years with the program and although it was incredibly hard, she loved seeing the influence that she had on the two children she cared for. “I learned so much, it was an adventure that really did shape who I am today.”

Emma is in the process of becoming a US Citizen and will celebrate 5 years in America this June! She is passionate about being creative and loves any opportunity to bake, paint or perform!

Emma says that the people she works with make her job, the best job ever. “I love working with amazing men and women, I love the individual relationships I have with each family and I adore watching the children develop and grow!”

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Emma Hartman, middle

If you had to be trapped inside one giant food, and the only way to escape was to eat your way out of it, which food would you choose?
A huge bar of Cadbury’s chocolate. I miss British chocolate!

What’s your secret talent?
It’s a secret!

brittany

Brittany Wachowiak, Teacher Assistant, Clarence Center

Brittany has been with Doodle Bugs! for 5 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University at Buffalo and plans to pursue a master’s degree in a psychology-related field.

First and foremost, Brittany is passionate about early childhood education and taking care of the children in her care everyday. She takes pride in watching them grow and succeed, knowing she was able to play a vital role in their development. Personally, she enjoys trying new things. She thrives on learning, and growing, and appreciates being able to take away something useful from each experience. Brittany also loves: finding quotes that inspire her; reading books by a poet, author, and photographer, Tyler Knott Gregson; and the HBO show Game of Thrones.

Brittany thinks she has the best job ever because she is able to work with a talented group of teachers not only in her center, but companywide. She feels thankful for all of the amazing children whose paths she has crossed during their education at Doodle Bugs! “I learn so many valuable things from each person I meet!”

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Brittany Wachowiak, third from the left

If you had to be trapped inside one giant food, and the only way to escape was to eat your way out of it, which food would you choose?
I would definitely choose watermelon. I am obsessed with fruit and constantly say I could live off of it if I had to! I think being trapped inside a watermelon wouldn’t be so bad, you’d get to eat and drink at the same time and hopefully not get too full too fast!

What’s your secret talent?
I have talents so hidden that I don’t even know about them…. but if anything, maybe drawing. I don’t think that I’m really great at it at all but some of the teachers I work with are still trying to convince me otherwise.

Did you have a childhood nickname?
My childhood nickname between my Grandpa and I was always “Beepa.” I called him Beepa because I couldn’t say Grandpa so when I was little that’s what he used to call me too. Everyone else called me “Bits” because I was such a skinny little girl!

Congratulations to our nominees! The doodle community is a better place because of you!

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 256

April 5, 2016

For this week’s edition of Team Tuesday, we’d like to recognize Danielle Dowell, a Lead Infant Teacher at our West Amherst, NY Center.

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Danielle is one of our veterans, she has been a vital part of the Doodle Bugs! team for 12 years! Her love and commitment to our littlest friends is contagious and evident as soon
as you walk in her classroom. She establishes open and honest relationships with the parents of all the children in her care— giving them confidence that their little ones are safe and in good hands.

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Outside of the classroom, Danielle participates on the Morale Committee of our Center Ambassador program and is a Mentor for new team members. Her efforts help to foster a solid understanding of the Doodle Bugs! Way every day. Thank you, Danielle, for your commitment to build a community of happy children, happy parents, and happy teachers. The doodle community is a better place because you CARE.

 

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 255

March 22, 2016

Doodle Bugs! is proud to host our amazing team at the corporate center’s Sixth Annual Conference: #BestDayEver! This full-day of professional development and fun will feature workshops led by early childhood professionals and many opportunities for teachers to take home special gifts as a thank you for their commitment all year round!

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The conference is a great opportunity to bring our faculty together to collaborate. Throughout the day, early childhood professionals will conduct engaging workshops including: Cultivating Kindness in the Classroom; Nonstop Play: The Educational Way; Building Your Bounce: Resilience & Relationships and more!

In addition to professional development, we will be taking the time to recognize our incredible teachers. During the conference, we’ll announce 2015’s Employee of the Year, congratulate our Leadership 101 graduates, celebrate all the ways our faculty “lives the Doodle Bugs! Way” everyday and more!

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Like you, we are incredibly proud of our teaching team. We want each and every Doodle Bugs! teacher to be equipped with the best possible skill set,  so we can continue to deliver the highest quality care and education for your children.

As a gesture of appreciation for our teachers, we are asking families to donate gift baskets. Items to be added to baskets are also welcomed; we will happily create a basket for you! If your family would like to contribute, simply drop off your donation at your Doodle Bugs! location by April 15 and we’ll take it from there. Questions? Email kate.bogdan@doodlebugs.com.

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Thank you for your commitment to building a community of happy children, happy parents and happy teachers.

 

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 254

March 15, 2016

For this week’s Team Tuesday, we’re pleased to feature four Doodle Bugs! team members. The individuals highlighted today have recently been recognized by their peers for their efforts to go above and beyond—one of the key elements in “living the Doodle Bugs! way”.

 

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Awesome Attitude/Fabulous Friend

SHERI BOVA recognized by DAWN M SUTER

Whether she’s creating art with the babies, covering a break, or working in a classroom, Sheri always does so with a smile. She has a positive can do attitude. Sheri is also a big part of our Sunshine Club and helps to make staff birthdays extra special. Thank you for going above and beyond, not only for myself, but also for the center as well. I am proud to call you a co-worker but most importantly my friend

Feeling Welcomed

DANIELLE MARIE DOWELL and JENNIFER CILIP recognized by LISA SCHMITT

Thank you Danielle and Jen for making me feel so welcomed in your classrooms! I have two infants that are moving up to my toddler classroom in a couple of weeks and it is important for us to get to know each other. This will help to make the transitions easier for the girls. Thank you for sharing your classrooms!

A True Teammate

ABBEY KERNICK recognized by LAURA WALZER

Abbey took the time today to proactively help Miss Joanne in her room and in turn, help me as well! Joanne called down to have her laundry put in during nap time and her garbage taken out and by the time I got down to her room, Abbey was already in there switching the garbage & the laundry was already in! This was a huge help for both me and Joanne. Joanne said to me “Isn’t Abbey so great?!” Abbey, thank you for taking the time to help others, even if it’s not a task of your own – it makes a difference to those teachers and on us up front as well.

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Thank you to Sheri, Danielle, Jennifer and Abbey for these examples of the many ways that our faculty members go above and beyond for their Doodle Community. We also extend our appreciation to Dawn, Lisa and Laura for taking the time to spot and celebrate these examples of team members demonstrating “the Doodle Bugs! way” — together, we’re building an amazing community of happy children, happy parents, and happy teachers!

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 253

March 1, 2016

Happy March and happy Team Tuesday, Doodle Community! Today we are taking a moment to recognize Sarah Angerer, Front Desk & Teacher Assistant at our Lake Worth, FL Center.

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Sarah is a vital part of the Doodle Difference in Lake Worth. As a Front Desk & Teacher Assistant, Sarah is responsible for opening the center and classrooms  each morning and ensuring a smooth day for children, families and faculty. Sarah makes it a priority to greet every parent and child warmly. In fact, parents often tell us, Miss Sarah’s greeting is the highlight of their child’s morning. She is always happy to assist in a classroom and has a knack for anticipating issues before they arise.  We appreciate that we can always count on Miss Sarah to follow up in a timely manner with answers to all parent or faculty questions. She truly lights up our front office!

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 While only taking over Front Desk duties in August, she has been instrumental in growing the Doodle Difference at Lake Worth.  Thank you, Miss Sarah for your contagious, positive attitude, the Doodle Community is a brighter place because you CARE.

Throwback Thursday: West Amherst Edition!

February 25, 2016

We’re celebrating Throwback Thursday here today– get ready for some old photos!

Miss Lani, an Education Major at Buffalo State College, started at our West Amherst location this month as a Teacher Assistant! Yay Miss Lani!

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But, this isn’t Lani’s first time at Doodle Bugs! Back in 1997, Lani was a toddler in the Doodle Bugs! program. Her teacher? Miss Dawn, a Toddler Teacher Assistant for the last 20 years (!!!) here at Doodle Bugs! Here they are almost 20 years ago.

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Lani makes one cute M&M, doesn’t she?

Today, Miss Lani and Miss Dawn are back in the classroom together, but this time as co-workers! My goodness how time flies.  We feel so fortunate to have loyal teachers like Miss Dawn who have been with us since the beginning. And, we are so excited to welcome a Doodle Bugs! alum to our faculty.

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Happy Throwback Thursday, doodle community!

 

 

 

 

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