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Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 261

May 24, 2016

As we enter into the summer season, our Bug Squad becomes busy representing Doodle Bugs! in the community on evenings and weekends. The Bug Squad is made up of teachers who are our best “cheerleaders” and help to promote the Doodle Difference in the various communities we serve.

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The Bug Squad, in their lime green shirts, pop up at parades, festivals, 5k races, community days of play and many other family-focused events all year round. At the events they inform prospective families about the Doodle Difference, greet current families with a warm welcome, make a child’s day by painting their face and more!





These “cheerleaders” are the faces of Doodle Bugs! in our community and we truly appreciate their spirit and dedication.  Hats off to all of our Bug Squad members. If you see them out this summer, make sure you say hi!

If you’re interested in where the Bug Squad will be next, visit our community calendar!

Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 260

May 10, 2016

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This year, in order for us to dedicate a full week to our amazing teachers (and not to distract from our mothers), we’re celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week a week later than the national event. As a part of the celebration, we’re giving families the opportunity to put the spotlight on a spectacular team member by completing a Smile Award. The Smile Award is a way to show the entire doodle community about the ways that your child’s teacher makes him or her (and you!) smile!

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It’s been said that a good education can change anyone, but a great teacher can change everything! Thank you, teachers, for the lasting impact you have on the children and families in your community. If you haven’t had a chance to post an award yet, we encourage you to consider it.




Doodle Bugs! Team Tuesday: Issue 259

May 3, 2016

For this week’s edition of Team Tuesday, we’d like to recognize Chelsea Heins, a Teacher Assistant at our Clarence, NY Center. Miss Chelsea has been selected as our Employee of the Month for May.


Miss Chelsea has been a strong source of support and a ‘cheerleader’ for our Clarence location!  Chelsea continually demonstrates that she is a true team member and willing to take on any task assigned to her.  Whether she is needed in a classroom or at the front desk, she is always adaptable.


Chelsea is always willing to ask for, accept and use feedback to continuously grow in her roles.  She greets everyone with a friendly smile and warm welcome and her positivity is contagious!

Our front desk team is stronger with Chelsea as our nightly closer and we are so fortunate to have her! Way to go, Miss Chelsea, you rock!

And, we’d be remiss not to send a HUGE shout out to each and every one of our teachers today–Teacher Appreciation Day! It is our pleasure to thank our amazing faculty for the dedication and expertise they demonstrate every day. Thank you, teachers!





Wall of Smiles – A Community Art Initiative

May 2, 2016

The Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo is creating a large scale mosaic for display in the lobby of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY. The Community Art Mosaic will be made from thousands of individual works of art created by the hospital’s patients, families and children across all communities served by the Women & Children’s Hospital.



The hospital is a tremendous asset in our community and Doodle Bugs! is thrilled to support this WNY fixture. Our donation allowed Pre-Kindergarten and School Age students from our six Buffalo-area locations to include their self-portrait in the art installation.





Up close you will be able see each individual drawing; from a distance they will unite to create one large image that will celebrate Western New York in a creative way. The hospital expects this fundraising initiative to become the centerpiece of the new John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital.

If your child drew a self-portrait, you will be able to see it on the Oishei Children’s Mosaic website just by entering their name. You can also take a look all of our portraits here. Submissions are still being added– keep checking back!

Kaleida Heath says “It’s a wall of smiles to help lighten the burden of a visit to the hospital. It is a way for children and adults to make a personal investment in the new hospital through simple, creative art.” We are so excited for this collaborative project to come to fruition and are thrilled that the Doodle Community is a part of it.



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.




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.



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.



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.


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.


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!


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!




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!



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?”


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


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.


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!


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 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.


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.



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.



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