Child Development Center Staff
The caring and professional staff of the JCC Child Development Center work together to offer your child the very best in early childhood educational programming. They possess the wisdom experience brings combined with professional expertise and a knowledge of the latest developments and research in the early childhood field.
Our staff ensures that your child's opportunity for growth is enhanced through interesting, thought provoking and developmentally appropriate activities.
Amy M. Smith is the site director and laboratory school coordinator for the JCC Child Development Center. She is a recent graduate of Walden University with a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Studies with a specialization in Teaching Adults in the Early Childhood Field. Her academic journey has also enabled her to earn her undergraduate degrees from Mount Olive College and Wake Technical Community College.
With over 12 years’ experience working directly with young children and their families, Amy has had the opportunity to combine her passion with the field with making a real difference in the lives of the children she serves. In her spare time, Amy enjoys being outdoors with her husband and two children, tackling “do-it-yourself” projects.
Sarah Ferguson – Teacher, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development from Tufts University in Boston, MA, as well as additional Early Childhood coursework from Pacific Oaks College and Pasadena City College, both in Pasadena, CA. Sarah has worked as an Early Educator full-time since 2003, with children ages six weeks up to twelve years old. After working in childcare centers that routinely hosted student teachers and interns, she learned that she loved working with teachers-in-training. The JCC learning Lab provides her the perfect opportunity to continue working with both adult and child students.
Lisa Rivera – Assistant Teacher for preschool classroom. Alumni of JCC who has worked in the field for over 10 years working towards her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Lisa is a mother of 3 beautiful children and enjoys drawing and watching movies to relax.
Heather Forster – Assistant Teacher for 2-year old classroom. Heather is a recent graduate of Meredith College earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development. She is excited to begin her career as an early childhood education professional at Johnston Community College. Heather has aspirations of pursuing a Master’s degree in child development to further her education and understanding in the field. She is also recently married and enjoys spending time with her family and relaxing at the beach.
Mary "Jodi" Harper – Preschool Teacher,graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Community Services: Early Intervention and Child Life in 2011. She is currently enrolled again at ECU to pursue her N.C. Birth-Kindergarten teaching license. Her love for children and teaching began as a student assistant working with young dancers at Massey School of Dance in Zebulon. From there her passion and love for working with children grew. At ECU she worked in the child development lab school on campus as part of the rigorous requirements for her degree. While there, she was able to develop her skills and practices for working with young children. Having had an amazing mentor during this experience, Jodi truly understands the responsibility of a teaching mentor and plans on giving back the same wonderful experience to other students in the profession. In her spare time, Jodi enjoys being with her husband, family and friends.