Who We Are
PURPOSE AND MISSION STATEMENT
Little Eagles and Ravens Nest (LEARN) Child Care provides year-round child care and early learning for children birth through six years in a licensed center. The mission of LEARN is to offer high quality early education to children in a welcoming, creative and culturally-reflective environment. LEARN will foster imagination in its students, cultivate critical thinking skills and help its children develop healthy social and emotional maturity. Curriculum will be child centered, place-based, rich in movement and culturally responsive. While the curriculum will be flexible and fluid to accommodate each child, it will simultaneously align to the State of Alaska’s Early Learning Guidelines and demonstrate developmentally appropriate practices. LEARN is also committed to nurturing its employees to become life-long learners and high-quality early educators. LEARN understands the utmost importance of meaningful relationships and stimulating environments during the first years of life.
JAMIE SHANLEY, CENTER DIRECTOR
Jamie Shanley is the Child Care Administrator at LEARN Child Care Center. She oversees all operations of the center. Jamie has worked with children for as long as she can remember in various capacities, including elementary schools, after school and summer recreational programs. She previously worked for Tlingit & Haida’s Head Start as a Lead Teacher. While in this position she helped develop the mentor/coaching program which helped train and develop teaching staff. Most recently she opened and operated her own licensed home child care program, Taku Tots Preschool.
Jamie completed her undergrad studies at Western Oregon University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education with a double minor in Dance and History. She recently completed her graduate program through Pacific Oaks College and earned a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Development. She also currently serves as the Secretary on the Board of Director’s for the Southeast Alaska Association for the Education of Young Children.
Jamie is Aleut and Irish, born and raised in Kodiak, Alaska. Her maternal family originally comes from Chignik Bay and paternal from upstate New York. She has been living in Juneau for the past nine years, with her husband, Patrick and young daughter, Noelle. Becoming a parent changed her perspective on child care and helped her understand what parents really want and need when it comes to caring for our most important people. Jamie enjoys dancing and currently teaches ballet to all ages at Fusion Dance Company while also taking classes weekly. Dance has been, and always will be, a big part of Jamie’s life and she likes to incorporate that passion into her work with children.
She is excited about this next step in her career and to be a part in orchestrating a high-quality child care program in Juneau.
MARLENI MOJICA, LEAD EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR
Marleni Mojica is a Lead Early Childhood Educator at LEARN Child Care Center. She oversees three teachers and the preschool classroom. Her professional work with children began in her home country of the Dominican Republic. It was here she learned and grew to love the Montessori Method as a Teaching Assistant at the Maria Montessori School. Marleni immigrated to the United States in 2005 and began working at the Juneau Montessori School (JMS). She worked here as a Teaching Assistant for 14 years. During this time she worked with children ages three to six . She values the Montessori Method of encouraging independence and social skills. At JMS, she was in charge of preparing daily classroom activities, documenting observations of children’s interactions, and provided extra assistance to children with special needs. She is a Bilingual teacher and speaks Spanish and Italian fluently. She also knows some American Sign Language. She worked as a Para Educator for the Juneau School District where she collaborated with other teachers to develop and modify instructional materials for children with special needs.
Marleni earned 100 semester credit hours from the Universidad Autonoma De Santo Domingo in Clinical Psychology. She has also completed over 140 clock hours of early childhood education training towards her Childhood Development Associate Certification. She has also completed several courses and trainings in the Montessori Method and has plans to attain a Montessori Certification.
Marleni has lived internationally; from Dominican Republic to Italy, she finally settled in Juneau with her son Luis Alexander Medina Mojica. Luis is a recent Juneau School District graduate and aspires to attend a University and be recruited for baseball. Marleni comes from a big family and is the youngest of five siblings. Marleni has done ballet most of her life and she loves to dance. She also loves to hike and to watch her son play baseball.
Marleni believes that children are the most powerful humans in the world! In such a tiny body, they are capable to handle big things. They inspire her and she learns so much from them every day. Marleni trusts and adores children and feels joy and happiness in this work. Marleni believes children learn through play and exploration and she loves cooking projects and teaching children independent and social skills. She is excited to promote into the role of Lead Educator here at LEARN. She is deeply dedicated to its program philosophy and development.
ASHIA SKAFLESTAD, LEAD EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR
Ashia Skaflestad is a Lead Early Childhood Educator at LEARN Child Care Center. She oversees four teachers and the Infant classroom. Her work with children began in her hometown of Hoonah, Alaska. Being raised in a small town, she had the privilege of learning from her mother-in-law who was a Head Start Educator for 20 years and her own mother who was an elementary school teacher for 20 years, both of whom taught her and instilled a passion for working with children. While growing up, she spent time helping in their classrooms where she was given the opportunity to observe and learn some of the basic skills of educating children.
Ashia earned a Childhood Development Associate (CDA) Certification with a specialization in Infants and Toddlers, a national credential awarded by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition. She has also attended several hours of professional development through Thread and Better Kid Care. Ashia was one of the first graduates of the pilot project The CDA Academy, a partnership between Tlingit & Haida, and the Association for the Education of Young Children. Through the Academy, she completed an intensive course of training and portfolio development, while simultaneously working at LEARN.
Being raised in Hoonah, she learned the culture and language of the Tlingit people and was fortunate enough to participate in the Gaawt’ak.aan Dance Group throughout her childhood. She also took Native Arts and Language classes where she was able to spend time with the Elders of her hometown learning more about their lives and culture. Being a part of a community where they take care of one another has always been of value to Ashia. She currently lives in Juneau with her husband Kolbjorn, daughter Evalee and the newest member of their family, baby Joni. Both of her daughters also attend LEARN.
She has been with LEARN since before the opening of our Center and is thrilled to be promoted into the role of Lead Educator here at LEARN. She is happy to be a part of establishing a solid educational foundation that is integrated with our native culture. She hopes to continue her work in this profession so she can give back to the children and families of Alaska.
KRISTEN DUTSON, LEAD EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATOR
Kristen Dutson is a Lead Early Childhood Educator at LEARN Child Care Center. She oversees four teachers and the toddler classroom. Her professional work with children began as a Camp Counsellor at the Juneau Methodist Camp. After some time in the hospitality business, she spent four years at Discovery Preschool as Lead Teacher in the Toddler Room. During that time, she learned so much about young children. Through learning about child development and experiencing it firsthand, she also discovered so much about herself as an educator and person. She gained valuable expertise in classroom management, lesson and activity planning, problem solving, and child development.
Kristen currently holds a Childhood Development Associate Certification with a specialization in Infants and Toddlers, a national credential awarded by the Council of Early Childhood Professional Recognition. On top of this certification, she has also attended several hours of professional development through the Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC), Thread, and Better Kid Care. She is currently working towards and Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education though the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
Kristen was born and raised in Juneau with a passion for making a lasting difference in the lives of our young children. She spent some time in Arizona and Oregon but was always drawn back home to Juneau. She loves to explore the Alaskan outdoors and learn about our creatures. She has a small greenhouse where she grows vegetables. She just harvested her first ever crop of snap peas and she could not be prouder. Her and her girlfriend have two betta fish named Clive and Aoki. She loves kayaking, hiking, tide-pooling and spending quality time with friends and family.
Kristen strongly believes children deserve educated teachers who use intentional practices and she is determined to be that teacher. She strives to give children a positive space to be exactly who they are and allows them to discover all their craziness freely. Play-based learning is her preference and most children agree. She loves incorporating crazy art projects, science experiments, and wild dance parties at school! She is excited to join our team of educators at LEARN and she hopes to instill a great sense of self confidence and autonomy in the children she works with. She values self-expression and openness and she hopes to instill these ideals in the children she works with. She trusts when a child feels confident to explore their abilities, they can LEARN to do anything.