Sarah Vandersea: Director for Finance and Management
Sarah is originally from Maine. While she grew up in the Oxford Hills area, she spent a lot of time in Portland visiting grandparents and extended family. Summer time meant BBQ’s, tennis and exploration at Portland Headlight. She spent her free time running, volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and as a camp counselor at a local camp.
Sarah graduated from the university of Main at Farmington (UMF) in 2000 with a B.S. in Community Health Education. UMF is a school that she has been proud of as it often gets recognition for being a great teaching school. Her internships at the Samoset Fitness Center and the Rumford Hospital gave her experience in fitness and nutrition. While she is certified to teach K-12, she has spent most of her career teaching grades 6-10.
In 2010 Sarah and her husband, James, moved to Poolesville when they were expecting their first child. In 2011, Jacob, their first born, became a student at St. Peter’s MDO program and each of the Vandersea boys have attended MDO. Sarah found that the MDO program was an invaluable resource being a stay-at-home mom and not having family around to help out. In 2012 she started serving as a MDO board member and from 2014 to 2017 she served as the director of the program.
In addition to her work with MDO and ECP, Sarah has helped out with various events at St. Peter’s. She has also served two terms on the MOM’S Club of Poolesville board.
Beth Watt:Lead Teacher
Ms. Beth’s family has lived in Poolesville since 1973. She spent many high school weekends and summers babysitting for families in town. She attended Towson University and completed a degree in Early Childhood Education.
Upon graduating, Ms. Beth worked with 3-4 year olds in Potomac while living in Germantown. In 2001, she married and moved to New Mexico and volunteered with several different organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters. In 2010 she and her husband moved back to Maryland in the 2010, and lived near Annapolis, where Ms. Beth worked with children ranging in age from infants to preschool. One of her last positions was the Preschool Coordinator at Kids’ Farm in Davidsonville, MD.
In June of 2016, Ms. Beth moved back to Poolesville after the death of her husband, and rejoined the community at St. Peter’s. Early in 2017, the rector broached the idea of establishing a preschool as a mission and outreach to the families of young children in the Poolesville area, and asked Ms. Beth to serve as Director. The vestry approved and she began to work with the county and state organizations to establish St. Peter’s Early Childhood Program.
Ms. Beth has always been an avid reader with wide-ranging interests. She enjoys reading out on the porch or beside the fire where she is often joined by the family cats.
Bettie Dansby: Lead Teacher
Bettie graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) in 2003 with a BA in
Political Science. After working for the Rules Committee in the House of
Representatives helping to educate new staffers about the legistlative process, she
decided that her true calling was in education.
Bettie worked at the Butterfly House, a Montessori Preschool in Alexandria, Virginia,
before she was called to teach at D.C. Prep, in Northeast Washington, D.C. She taught
Reading and Social Studies to 4 th and 5 th grade students.
It was during this time Bettie completed her Master’s in Elementary Education from
American University. Bettie is very proud of her experience at D.C. Prep as it is still
considered to be the best charter school in D.C. according to the Washington Post. She
learned there how education can truly make a difference in a child’s life.
Bettie has 4 children. They live on a small farm in
Barnesville, MD with several animals.
Kyra Wiley: Lead Teacher
Kyra graduated in 2014 from Towson University with a degree in elementary education.
She discovered her love for preschool aged children working every summer between
2008 and 2014 at The Little People’s Center, a county summer camp.
She is also the office administrator for St. Peter’s, and has experience teaching technology classes to elementary aged students.
Ana Hernandez: Assistant Teacher
Ana grew up in the south of Mexico, and has a bachelors's degree in graphic design from a university in Puebla. She has a passion for Mexican folklore dancing, which makes her an enthusiastic Zumba teacher at the local gym. Ana has experience working with preschool age children at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Silver Spring. Ana and her husband have two daughters who are occasional volunteers here at SPECP.
Kathy O'Reilly: Assistant Teacher
Kathy grew up in cold and snowy Buffalo, New York. She graduated from Purdue University in Indiana with a BS degree in Engineering, and then moved to Maryland to work for the DOD.
Kathy and her husband are the proud parents of three children, one daughter and twin sons. It was having her own children that helped change Kathy's focus to making a positive impact upon the lives of the children in our communities. She then began her work teaching at both MDO and preschool in this area.
Now, after twenty plus years, Kathy enjoys every day caring for and helping to educated the littlest members of our community here at St. Peter's.
Kathy loves traveling to Buffalo to visit her family, and also to North Carolina, Ohio, and upstate New York to visit her children as often as possible.