Gizem I., Director

Welcome to The Cary School!  My name is Gizem and I am the Director and owner.  I received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and Bachelor of Science in child development from Meredith College.  I have a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago.

I have worked with children and adolescents in a variety of settings, including public schools, preschools, early intervention programs, and clinical/therapeutic settings.

I also traveled abroad to Italy and studied cross-cultural aspects of children’s play and approaches to education.  I was introduced to The Project Approach and the schools of Reggio Emilia.  I found this to be an innovative approach to teaching preschoolers and kindergarteners.  This educational approach has become the heart of my work with children.  From the design of our environments, opportunities for family involvement, to our documentation of children’s interests and projects, you can be sure that your child is receiving a high quality, early childhood experience.

I look forward to forming a partnership with the families in our community, as we believe this is a critical element in a child’s early education.  I encourage you to explore our website, and learn more about our programs, our mission and philosophy, and what makes our school unique.  Thank you for your interest in our preschool.  I look forward to meeting you!


Cigdem Y., Program Coordinator

Hello, my name is Cigdem and I am the Program Coordinator at The Cary School.  I have a Bachelor of Science in birth to kindergarten licensure from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro and Bachelor of Science in economics from Anatolian University.  I was a preschool teacher for eighteen years prior to working at The Cary School.  My experiences taught me that all children are ready to learn and improve their skills. However, I realized that these skills do not develop automatically. At this point, a child’s family and teacher(s) are very important factors in helping children learn.  Through a partnership with parents, I hope to instill in each child a genuine curiosity and love of learning.  I look forward to meeting with you and working together as a team to support your child.

Kaelyn S., Lead Teacher

My name is Kaelyn and I am the lead teacher in the Infant Classroom.   I am originally from Charlotte NC, but I lived in Boone for four years because of college. I graduated from Appalachian State University with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. I moved to Raleigh once I graduated to enter the field of Early Childhood Education!

Some things about me to know are that I love to be outside, and I love to try new things! I have a 95 pound, wonderful therapy dog named Cooper, who also loves to join me on my adventures!  Child Advocacy is my passion, and I would eventually like to go back to school to become a Social Worker in Foster Care.

Infants are like sponges; absorbing their surroundings constantly. I believe the best way to enhance their knowledge is through environmental play, intentional nurturing, and physical exploration for the development of motor skills. If they are happy I am happy!

Margorye P., Lead Teacher

Hi, my name is Margorye and I work with the wonderful children in the Young Toddler Classroom.  I have 11 years of experience working as a teacher.  I was born in Venezuela.  I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master of science degree in behavior guidance. I love to dance, enjoy the beautiful landscapes of nature, and go to the beach.

I incorporate visual, auditory, and textile learning approaches to my teaching style in the toddler classroom. We sing songs, use finger puppets, read books, and feel different textured materials.  I focus on helping each child reach important developmental milestones including gross motor, cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills through creating a warm, nurturing environment and by providing hands-on activities.

Marihenia D., Lead Teacher

Hi, my name is Marihenia and I am the lead teacher in the Older Toddler Classroom. I have an associate’s degree in early childhood education. I also have 10 years of experience as a teacher. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I love to go to the beach, spend time with my husband and my family.  I love working with children because everyday is a new, fun and exciting experience.

I truly believe that children learn best through play and hands-on activities.  I like to implement teaching approaches that foster play and songs. They learn best when they are having fun and are engaged in different opportunities such as art, sensory, and building activities. I also utilize Spanish and sign language throughout the day, especially while transitioning activities, reading books, and singing songs.

Giovanna M., Lead Teacher

Hello!  My name is Giovanna and I am the lead teacher in the two year old classroom.  I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Puerto Rico and studied Early Childhood Education at Wake Technical Community College.  I have six years of experience in the field of Early Childhood Education and more than ten years of experience combined in tutoring, summer camp settings, art schools, and babysitting.  I believe that children learn best through play because they can develop social and cognitive skills, mature emotionally, and gain the self-confidence required to engage in new experiences and environments.  In my free time, I like to cook, bake, garden, travel, and spend time with my family.  So far, I have traveled to Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Virgin Islands and I would love to go next to Alaska and Cuba.  I look forward to getting to know you and your child!



Shelbie F., Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Shelbie and I work primarily with three year old children.  I love the adventurous and endlessly inquisitive nature of this age group.  My goal is to assist young learners in discovering and exploring their interests in a safe, friendly, and nurturing learning environment.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a K-12 license from Meredith College. I first recognized my passion for working with children while I was a nanny for three families in the area.  I also taught swim lessons for two years as a youth coach for The Aquatic Club of Chapel Hill as well as beginning Spanish for one year as a middle school teacher.

I believe teaching and reinforcing social-emotional skills in preschool children is essential. Skills such as being able to communicate, connect with others, resolve conflicts, and cope with challenges are crucial for school readiness. I teach children how to use words to identify and express their emotions so that they learn to relate with their peers. During a conflict, I ask the children to explain what occurred, how they felt as a result, and to think of solutions that could make the situation better.  I praise the young learners as they practice and demonstrate prosocial behaviors.

Elle S., Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Elle and I am the lead teacher in the Pre-K Classroom.  I have been teaching for 20 years.  I have taught every age group from Infants to High School.  However, Pre-K is my favorite! I am thrilled to be part of such a high-quality Center like The Cary School!

I have a BA in Family Studies and a teachers’ license from the state of North Carolina.  I am currently working towards my master’s degree in early childhood education.  In my free time, I sew, garden, Yoga, and spend as much time outside as possible!  I have three grown children as well as three grandchildren. I feel like I am doing the most important job in the world, and the most fun one.

I am a true believer that children want to learn, and that each child will show me the best way to help them learn. All of us now need to be life-long learners,. My job is to make learning enjoyable and self-driven. I also know that we are part of a society that needs to build relationships, work together, and make the world a better place. Social skills, respect, and positive attitudes are learned at this age. I feel a great responsibility to support the growth of the next generation

Edward C., School Chef

Hi, my name is Edward.  I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I received my Bachelor of Arts in graphic and studio art design from the University of Pittsburgh.  My previous experiences include working with school-aged children and as a chef at a restaurant.  I enjoy cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables as well as adding my own personal touch to meals.  I also work and teach at the Cary School of Creative Arts on the weekends as an art instructor and have my own free-lance business as a graphic designer and illustrator.  I enjoy using my background in art to come up with creative activities for students.