Amelia Singleton, Executive Director
Amelia Singleton, also known as Mia, grew up in Destrehan, Louisiana. The eldest of four children, she is also a fifth-generation teacher in her family. “I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. I am very passionate about making a difference in children’s lives. I believe that every moment is a teachable moment. Children learn so much through imaginary play, and I am so lucky to be a part of that every day.” One of Amelia’s favorite quotes is from Albert Einstein: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Amelia has an amazing knack for giving the best presents, and she really knows how to bring an event together and make it special. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Mia has spent the last seven years teaching infants and one-year-olds at Abeona House, and became the Executive Director in March 2020
Erin Regan, Curriculum Director
Erin Regan was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana. She is now a happy resident of St. Rose, Louisiana along with her life-long best friend/husband, Luke. They are excitedly expecting their first child in March 2021! In her free time, she is laughing with her four sisters and dad or fawning over her comically strange three cats.
Erin has worked in childcare for 10 years, but didn’t discover her fiery passion for the Reggio Emilia approach until she found her way to Abeona House in 2013. Erin shares:
“I fell into childcare by accident and it ended up being the happiest twist of fate yet. Life is so funny that way! I started my early childhood career at a traditional half-day, 3-day a week daycare- just as a way to make some money- and happened to be pretty good at it. My sister, Jaime’ (a beloved former teacher and director of Abeona House) was working here and told me about her magical ‘hippy dippy’ school. It didn’t even sound real! Child-led learning? No primary colors and stock borders? No loud nursery rhymes playing on loop all day? Getting dirty digging in the mud carefree? Meaningful and thorough conversations with the children? Individual portfolios for each child? I had to see this place for myself. I walked through that loud, black gate and could immediately feel the respect, joy and genuinity radiating between each child and staff member. It was 100% real and I wanted so badly to be apart of it. I walked into Abeona with wide eyes and a readiness to learn and never looked back.”
Erin carries a Child Development Associate’s Degree and continuous training under her belt. In her 7 year span at Abeona, she has been a hardworking assistant teacher in both the Rabbit Burrow and Fish Cove, and also a very successful lead teacher in the Rabbit Burrow and Fish Cove. Wanting to spread her influence to every classroom, she has graduated to our Curriculum Director role. She is a sucker for learning more about children any moment she can and sharing all of her golden tips with the teachers through classroom observations, meetings, hands-on training, planning our staff’s Professional Development and much more!
Courtney Hellenschmidt, Chef
Courtney was born and raised in upstate New York. She moved to New Orleans eight years ago to pursue her cooking career. She originally only planned to stay in New Orleans for eight months, but once she lived here for a while she knew it was home. She’s tried a lot of different cooking outlets such as high volume restaurants, pop-ups, catering, and even a few television shows. She is an avid reader who loves dogs. Courtney welcomed her son, Jaxon, in June of 2020. She is excited to join the Abeona team and can’t wait to bring some fresh ideas to our meal program.