Mimi Ackers joined the Goshen Friends School faculty as a Preschool teacher in the fall of 2011, however, her relationship with the school began when her daughter, Anna, started Preschool in 2008. From 2010 to 2011, Mimi served as the clerk of the Goshen Parents Community.
Mimi graduated from Roanoke College in 1993 with degrees in History and International Relations. Her career began in print news as an editorial assistant and reporter. She then moved to public relations, marketing, and advertising. After the birth of Anna in 2004, Mimi began a freelance writing and editing business. Before coming to Goshen Friends, Mimi was a Preschool teacher at the West Chester Area YMCA where she taught 2 and 3 year olds and enrichment courses for children ages 3 to 6.
Tr. Mimi has participated in several professional development programs, including Educators New to Quakerism at Pendle Hill and a seminar on Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders. At Goshen, Tr. Mimi serves on both the Diversity Committee and the International Week planning committee.
Mimi loves to cook and read, particularly non-fiction and historical fiction. She is an enthusiastic football fan who supports the Baltimore Ravens, but can rally a cheer for the Eagles, as long as they're not playing Baltimore! Tennis is also a passion for Mimi, but these days she just gets to follow it closely on television. Totallly random fact, she can read Russian! As the youngest of nine children and the mother of Anna, GFS '16, and Owen, GFS '20, Mimi calls her family, which includes husband Keith, "my favorite hobby. They are my greatest love and source of happiness."
Patty Darden joins the Goshen family via Northern New Jersey, where she grew up, and Southern California, where she raised her own family. She moved to the West Chester area in 2005, after living on the West Coast for more than 25 years.
Tr. Patty graduated from Wayne Hills High School and attended Long Island University, Southhampton Campus, for two years. While in California, Patty worked as a PARA educator and volunteer at Stowers Elementary School. She was also a manager at Robinson's Department Store in Torrance, California. In January, 2009, Patty joined the Extended Care staff and since 2012 has been assisting in Room G . She is always willing to lend a hand, by opening a door or staying for hours after her day has ended to help with a picnic or project.
If you have been lucky enough to be on campus when Patty has shared her rosemary scones, then you know that baking is more than a hobby for her! Patty also enjoys reading and traveling--she has skied in Austria and studied in South America during her college years.
Dierdra Mazurek joined the GFS staff in 2003 as a substitute teacher and later that year she became Extended Care Director. After seven years in that role, Dierdra transitioned to a classroom setting, teaching the five's program in the Grange.
A Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Delaware (B.S.). She has attended the Quaker based workshops "Educators New to Quakerism" and "Mindfulness in Education". "The Mindfulness in Education is a workshop that I know will have a positive effect on my classroom. Its principles are designed to help children to be in the 'moment' both in their work and play. I will work toward their understanding of peace and quiet reflection." Dierdra has also completed workshops focusing on sensory integration, including "Practical Strategies for Working with Sensory Integration(SI) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)".
Before arriving at GFS, Dierdra worked as a health educator and ran an in-home child care when her children were small. While at Goshen, Dierdra has been active as both a staff member and as a parent (her daughter Alex attended the lower school and son Harry graduated in 2011, having arrived when he was 3!). She served on the search committee for our present head of school and was a member of the 2011-12 Curriculum Committee. During her first two years at Goshen, Dierdra coordinated Goshen Giving and has served as classroom representative in her "parent" role.
To say that Dierdra loves to exercise is an understatement. She teaches water aerobics, cycling and core exercise classes at the YMCA. Another passion of Dierdra's is the beach where she enjoys spending quality time with her family (husband Steve and daughter Maddie round out the bunch).
Joyce Nichols was born in Philadelphia and has lived in West Chester since 1977. She earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Masters Degree in Reading from West Chester University. She previously taught in the Interboro School District in Delaware County for eight years as a 2nd grade and 3rd grade teacher.
In 1992, Joyce joined the Goshen Friends staff as a Lunch Bunch assistant. She next served as a teacher's assistant for the Lower School staff followed by working as an assistant in two Preschool rooms. Tr. Joyce began teaching a four year old class in 1998, later adding a class for three year olds. She currently teaches four year olds and assists in the fives program.
Tr. Joyce attends many Friends Council on Education and Chester County Intermediate Unit workshops. She has served on several committees at GFS including Spiritual Life, Playground, Admissions, and the General Committee. All three of Joyce's children, Jeff, Steven, and Jennifer, were Goshen Friends Preschoolers.
Kim Prann is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a degree in Textiles and Design. Her work as a fabric designer entailed extensive travel--London, Paris, Milan, Florence, Brussels, and Dusseldorf. After fifteen years in the fashion industry, Kim settled in Pennsylvania. Her two children, Logan and Maren, attended Goshen Friends, and Kim joined the Extended Care staff in 2008.
Kim is the lead teacher in Room A, working with some of the youngest students at Goshen Friends. She brings creativity and enthusiasm to her role and enjoys working with children in a classroom setting. Before arriving at Goshen, Kim substituted for the WCASD (Kindergarten-12th grade) and taught preschool enrichment classes at the West Chester Area YMCA.
Kim is an artist: she paints, draws, and designs jewelry. She is also an avid reader. Kim enjoys volunteering at Glen Acres Elementary School and she has taught Sunday School for more than twenty years at Westminster Presbyterian Church..
Donna Teti joined the Goshen Friends staff in 2009, working in the Extended Care program as a Lunch Bunch assistant and as a substitute, filling in wherever she was needed. She now has a permanent spot with Teacher Joyce as the morning assistant for classroom C. "One of the reasons I was drawn to apply for a position at GFS was because I love the Quaker practice of a kind, respectful, and verbally safe learning environment for children."
Primarily a stay-at-home mom for her three children, Donna also had a floral design business, ran an in-home day care, and worked for Aramark at Exton Elementary School. She is a religious education teacher at Saints Peter and Paul in West Chester. "It seems all of my employment has either been focused on creativity or children. Both bring me great joy!"
A published inspirational writer and poet, Donna's works and awards include the following:
* "Twin Rainbows" published in Guideposts magazine 2007
* Recognized by the Guideposts Writers Workshop contest for "Rainbows, Butterflies and Purple Balloons" 2008
* "The Question" published in Cecil Murphey's book "Christmas Miracles" 2009
* "Balloons of Hope" published in "Chicken Soup for the Soul...Book of Miracles" 2010
Donna is a great source of quiet inspiration for all of us at school. We are blessed to have her on staff. When she is not at Goshen, she is often signing books at authors' events at local bookstores or delivering inspirational messages to civic and religious groups.
Amy Watson is a graduate of King's College in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. After receiving a BS in Finance, she was employed by the Vanguard Group in various capacities and stayed there for almost eighteen years! Amy began her career at Goshen Friends as a substitute teacher in the fall of 2011. She has taught nearly every grade, with the exception of 4th and Kindergarten, even filling the shoes of the Music, Computer and Spanish teachers on occasion!
At her children's school (daughter Ava is a GFS Preschool alumna), Amy serves on the Wellness and Community Service Committees. She also organizes the Chess Club after-school program. Amy teaches religious education to 5th grade students at SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church. Interesting tidbit—Amy spent the summer of her high school sophomore year in Kaneohe, Hawaii where she attended Punahou Academy, President Obama's alma mater!
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