Director of Education
Lani Douglas joined the IPCP community in February 2012 as the Assistant Director and became the Director in April 2014. She came to IPCP with over eight years of experience in informal education, including positions in the education departments of two zoos. She has a lifelong passion for nature, animals and education and loves that she can inspire children to enjoy nature at IPCP. Lani has a Bachelor’s of Arts in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education from the University of West Virginia. She and her husband Toby welcomed their first child in April 2016, a daughter named Tayla. Lani knows many fun animal facts including the difference between a monkey and an ape and how long a giraffe’s tongue is. She is also an avid college basketball fan who cheers very loudly for the Tar Heels.
Sarah Davies is excited to be starting her third year as Assistant Director, although she has been a part of the IPCP community since 2006. She brings a unique prospective to her position, having been a lead preschool classroom teacher for 5 years, as well as a Board Member from 2006-2009, while her son attended IPCP. Prior to being a lead teacher, she taught Music Enrichment classes at IPCP as well as the Clifton Schools. Sarah holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Ithaca College and The New England Conservatory in Music Education and Voice Performance. She has performed with the Atlanta Opera’s Educational Outreach program and has taught music privately since 1999. When she’s not at IPCP, she loves spending time in her Grant Park home cooking with her husband, gardening with her son in her community garden, and coaching and competing in CrossFit.
Laura Lancaster Archer
LLA has been a part of the IPCP family for more than 15 years. During that time she has worn many hats, including: Parent, Board Member, Substitute Teacher, Teacher (T1), and now Office Manager.
She has degrees in Psychology and Theatre Arts & Speech from Sewanee: The University of the South. When not tracking down 3231 Immunization Forms and processing ExtendedCare Request Forms, she enjoys reading, cooking, knitting, and going to sleep crazy early. Originally from East Tennessee, LLA has lived in Inman Park for 24 years, where she shares a house with her husband, Mahan; a cat named The Commissioner; and Reba, the world’s bossiest corgi. Her son, Miles – an IPCP alum, graduated from Grady High School and just started his Freshman year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Mildly interesting facts: LLA appeared on the game show, Jeopardy! with Alex Trebek and once was employed as a truck driver, which she says was the “Best. Summer. Job. Ever!”
Kori is excited about her new role as Multi-Classroom teacher at IPCP after having been an assistant teacher in the preschool. She has worked with children in various capacities for almost a decade. Her parents are both elementary school art teachers, and she received a BFA in visual arts and creative writing at Goddard College. Before joining the IPCP community, Kori was an Afterschool Teacher at The William Penn Charter school working with 4 – 6 year olds. Before that, she was Program Director at Camp Dark Waters in Medford, New Jersey. These experiences have made fostering children’s innate creativity one of Kori’s greatest strengths. Her belief in learning through play and for teaching empathy make her a great fit at IPCP.
Lead Caterpillar Teacher
Christina “Kristie” Pursley is beginning her 3rd year as the Lead teacher for the Caterpillar class with our youngest students. She has over 8 years of experience teaching toddler and preschool children, with two of those years as an assistant director and curriculum coordinator. Kristie has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Anthropology from Georgia State University. She is passionate about the nature and play based curricula at IPCP. When Kristie isn’t teaching she can be found exploring and photographing old buildings or playing with her cat “Boogers”.
Assistant Caterpillar Teacher
This is Lisa’s second year as the assistant teacher in our Toddler 1 classroom. Lisa came to IPCP with over 11 years of experience educating toddlers and preschoolers. She has a Child Development Associates degree. Lisa loves IPCP for its friendly community, great staff and families, and wonderful little people! Lisa’s favorite TV shows are Matlock and Friends, and has been known to sing 90s R&B when she thinks no one is listening!
Lead Ladybugs Teacher
Desirai Finley or Ms. Des, as she likes to be called, is excited to start her first year as the Lead Toddler 2 teacher for the Ladybugs class. She started at IPCP as a substitute teacher before becoming an Assistant Teacher in our Preschool program for the last 2 years. Desirai has a Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies from Ohio State University and has also completed her Child Development Associate Credential. She has over 10 years experience working with preschool aged children, infants, and toddlers. Her commitment to play-based learning and the family participation are just some of the reasons why Des loves the IPCP community. In her spare time, she loves playing dress up with her 3 year old daughter, Ja’el, and blogging about personal style.
Lead Butterflies Teacher
Janea Hatcher is originally from Bridgeport, CT and has lived in the Atlanta for the last 6 years. She relocated from Norfolk, VA where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Norfolk State University in 2010. She spent her first 3 years at IPCP as an Assistant Teacher working with the children in the multi-age classroom. This is her third year as Lead teacher in the Toddler 2 Butterflies class. She is using her experience to help children foster a love for learning. Janea is also passionate about Conscious Discipline and implements many of its structures to connect with children, teach them new skills, and build a school family in her classroom. Two fun facts about Janea: she loves to laugh until her tummy hurts and she has a twin sister who is also a preschool teacher.
Multi-Age Preschool Teachers
Lead Robins Teacher
Emily Howland has been part of our IPCP community since 2005, first as a parent and board member, as the (once) outdoor classroom educator, and finally as s multi-age teacher for the last 6 years. She has experience teaching at The Children’s Garden in Grant Park, The Glenn School, and Morningside Presbyterian Preschool. She loves the community and outdoor focus at IPCP, and considers herself incredibly fortunate to have spent so many years surrounded by such wonderful children, teachers, and families. Emily has a degree is in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Rochester. An Atlanta native, she lives in Grant Park with her husband Dave, Principal and founder of Kipp Atlanta Collegiate High School, and children Gabe, Leigh, and Miles – all IPCP alums. Emily and her family enjoy spending time camping in the mountains.
Lead Dragonflies Teacher
Toni Lonon is returning to IPCP after a few years working at other preschools and GA PreK programs. Toni was a lead teacher at IPCP for the 2011-12 school year and has returned every summer since for our summer camp program. She has over 15 years of experience working with toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarten students. Toni has a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Kennesaw State University. Her favorite thing about IPCP is its dedication to the social and emotional well being of each child. A Georgia native, Toni has recently discovered the amazing outdoors and loves spending time hiking with her amazing husband, 2 chatty preteen girls, and handsome Boston Terrier.
Kate Stubbs Lesser
Assistant Dragonflies teacher
This is Kate’s first year at IPCP, and she is honored to be an integral part of the community and is looking forward to begin her journey with the IPCP children, staff and families. Kate comes to us with previous teaching and cooperative experience. Kate was one of four lead teachers in the 2’s room at The Willow School, a Reggio inspired school in Decatur, for the 2015-16 school year. From 2012-2015, Kate had the privilege to be lead teacher of the 2’s and 3’s at Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool (OCP) in Decatur. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Georgia State University. Kate is a native of Atlanta. She currently lives in Avondale Estates with her husband, and their three children. Kate also loves the sound of a good rain on a tin roof, a long walk with her dogs, and cherishes the serenity a beach brings to one’s soul.
Lead Sunflowers Teacher
Kiah has been at IPCP since 2009 with a brief hiatus to teach Kindergarten at Kipp Vision Primary for a year. She has been a lead preschool teacher for most of the years she has been at IPCP. Kiah believes that children thrive and develop best when have freedom to learn at their own pace and in a way that’s fun for them. Kiah has a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development from the University of Georgia and is currently pursuing a Master’s in education. Kiah has seen every episode of The Golden Girls and Downton Abbey and is also a self-proclaimed lover of ranch dressing!
Assistant Sunflowers Teacher
Emily started at IPCP last school year when she moved to Atlanta from Brooklyn, NY. In NY, she worked as an assistant teacher at a cooperative preschool. She has experience in a play-based environment in addition to experience working with children with special needs. Emily has a BA from New York University in the artistic representation of imperialism and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education, Severe and Multiple Disabilities at Georgia State. She feels strongly that children should be allowed to explore and be the scientists that they naturally are. Every day is an adventure at IPCP! In her spare time, Emily loves to paint with watercolors and do embroidered illustrations. Her happy place is anywhere near the water!
Lead Inchworms Teacher
Jenny is returning for her second year at IPCP as a new Lead Teacher in our Preschool. Last school year, she worked as an assistant teacher in the Robin’s class. Prior to coming to IPCP, Jenny taught in Philadelphia in various schools and served as the program coordinator for a play-based education program at Russell Byers Charter School. Jenny has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the College of Wooster and holds an Early Childhood Education License in Ohio. Jenny believes strongly that play-based learning benefits children socially and intellectually. Jenny’s hobbies include knitting and singing with the Atlanta Women’s Choir.
Assistant Inchworms Teacher
Leah is excited to begin her teaching journey with IPCP as an Assistant Teacher in the Inchworms class. After four years of working as a Senior level Executive Assistant, she left the corporate world to chase her dreams of becoming an Early Childhood Educator and is currently enrolled at Georgia State University. Leah is passionate about working with children and helping them find ways to use their social, physical, and cognitive skills to develop a life long love for learning. Leah is originally from Florence, Alabama, but since 2011, she and her family have made the Atlanta neighborhood, Kirkwood, their home. In Leah’s spare time, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, reading, or scrap-booking.