Lead Teacher, Amelia Singleton
Amelia Singleton grew up in Destrehan, Louisiana. She is currently working on obtaining her Child Development Associate Credential (CDA). In January, she plans to continue her studies at UNO, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She has worked at Abeona House as an assistant teacher since May 2012. 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.
Full-Time Assistant Teacher, Anastasia Wallace
Anastasia “Ana” joined the Abeona House teaching staff in 2017. She was born and raised in southeast Louisiana. Her passion for teaching began at an early age, always eager to lend a helping hand with her younger siblings. Ana has 6 years of experience in an early childhood education setting and has plans to obtain her CDA. Her favorite thing about teaching is witnessing each child develop, grow, and blossom into their own unique personalities. When she is not at Abeona House, she is delighting in being a mother to her young son.
Afternoon Assistant Teacher, JaNae’ Chambers
JaNae’ N. Chambers is a mother of 3, a community birth doula and breast feeding advocate. She first developed a passion for early childhood learning in 2007 when she began working at her family owned and operated child care center. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to develop a holistic approach to early childhood development and is passionate about creating and implementing strategies that incorporate a total care approach. She continues to work to ensure that families have better birth outcomes and access to whatever resources necessary to make their children successful.
Lead Teacher, Kyrstal Henderson
“Krystal’s afternoons of caring for the toddlers in my foster mom’s daycare mixed my love of play, reading, and service; and inspired her quest for understanding the process of learning. She continued to work in toddler care and youth development: as an Au Pair, tutor, camp counselor, and middle school academic interventionist and librarian. After moving to New Orleans in 2014, Krystal spent some time living the start-up life, but, like the undertow of the tide, she was being pulled back to learning development. She’s currently completing a post-baccalaureate in pursuit of a graduate degree in Applied Educational Psychology. Her goal is to to develop into an expert philosopher of learning, and language and motivation development. Her superpower is alliterative aliases. Hers is “Curly Karaoke Kook”.
Full-Time Assistant Teacher, Liza
Part-Time Assistant Teacher, David Patrick Israel
David was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. The youngest of 3 siblings, David has always been extremely passionate about the pursuit of education. He is currently attending Delgado Community College, pursuing a Transfer Degree to complete his BA in Education and Political Science at the University of Loyola. He has always loved children, coming from a very large extended family filled with young children, and has always valued understanding and love above all else. David loves to read and write and is incredibly excited to be a positive influence and an understanding friend to all of the little ones of Abeona House!
Lead Teacher, Angie Nikolovski
All the way from Empire, Louisiana (A.K.A. down the road), Angie is the only one in her family that was born in the U.S. Her mother (Marija), father (Zoran), and sister (Lorita) came here from Croatia in the early eighties and moved to the small fishing community. Her dad worked as an oyster fisherman and her mom stayed home and took care of the family.
Angie attended and graduated from Buras High School. Afterwards she attended Nunez Community College where she received her Associates Degree in Care and Development of Young Children. After working at a traditional school for 6 years, she decided it was time for a change and came to Abeona House in 2014. She joined the Fish Cove as part time assistant and is now the full time assistant in the Rabbit Burrow.
“Children have always been my passion. Spending time with children makes me happy, but nothing makes me happier than being a part of their lives, and most importantly, their learning . I believe that children learn through play and have the power to brighten up your day.”
Angie enjoys spending her free time with her family, Elmer and Binta, and also her fur babies Mimi, Ali, and Lil Boy.
Full-Time Assistant, Patrice Battiste
Patrice was born in New Orleans and absolutely loves it here. She grew up with her father, two sisters, and a brother. Her mother died from cancer when Patrice was 13. She was blessed years later with three beautiful children to take the pain away from losing her. Her son Tyren is 13, her daughter Destiny is 6, and son Clarence is 2. She proudly attended L. E. Rabouin Career Magnet, majoring in Nursing for her high school, graduating in 2002. She has completed her Child Development Associate as well. Patrice has worked happily at Abeona House since 2013. Before working at Abeona, she worked for other centers gaining an impressive amount of experience. She loves her career path and sees herself doing nothing else but working with children. She chose to work with children because it is a fun way to learn about them and help them at the same time. “I absolutely love the feeling I get when I am the one who teaches them something new. Kids give me a sense of pride and accomplishment.” Patrice loves to laugh, and she is an excellent cook (as Abeona potluck attendees can attest to).
Part-Time Assistant Teacher, Zoe Stone
Zoe was born in raised in Louisiana. Monroe to be exact (a yankee). She comes from a family of teachers and spent some time working on a Secondary Education degree with a concentration in English at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana before transferring to the University of New Orleans two years ago where she is now working on a BA in English. She has always loved little ones, and after her first interview at Abeona she realized her calling was in early childhood education. She loves playing guitar for the kids and putting on puppet shows for them during snack. She’s very happy to be a part of the Abeona family!
Lead Teacher, Anna Fesmire
Anna comes from a family of educators. Raised in McComb, MS, she began babysitting at the age of 11, after completing a SafeSitters course at the hospital. She attended Mississippi State University receiving a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, Educational Psychology, as well a certificate in Gerontology to complete the life span. “I never thought I would be a teacher, but when I first joined Abeona House in June 2011, I was met with a whole new approach to teaching and learning and I couldn’t get enough of it.” Anna was the lead Fish Cove teacher from it’s inception and looped up each year with the kids, within the same classroom. In August 2014, she left Abeona House to travel and explore the world a bit. After some time in North Carolina and Colorado, she returned to Algiers Point in 2016 to welcome a baby boy, and has now happily returned to the Abeona classroom! “I love to see the wheels turn and lightbulbs light up when a child figures something new out on their own. It spurs me to help find more that is interesting to them!”
“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards.”
– Loris Malaguzzi
Full-Time Assistant Teacher, Brandon Fisette
Brandon was born and raised in Connecticut. He went to college at Central Connecticut State University where he earned a BFA in Theater. He got his start in working with youth right after college when he moved to Olympia, WA and worked with the Olympia Family Theater. After that he worked at a summer camp in California before moving to New York City. In New York, Brandon joined an experimental theater company and also began creating original performance work. He moved to New Orleans to be closer to his mom (who lives here) and to join the exciting artistic community that this city holds. He still creates performance work and is excited to be working with youth again.
Part-Time Assistant Teacher, Carmen Lasagna
Carmen Lasagna was born in Providence, Rhode Island and grew up mostly in Southern Maine. She has been fascinated with caring for young children from an early age and started babysitting when she was twelve. Later, while in high school, this interest led to working in the children’s section of her town’s public library and holding numerous volunteer positions helping children from Maine’s Somali refugee community practice English. After attending a college at Bard in New York, where she pursued E.L.L. (English language learners) teaching, Carmen moved to her favorite city she’s ever been to, New Orleans, in 2012. She began nannying full-time immediately upon moving to the south. Through nannying, Carmen got connected to the magical and inspiring community that is Abeona House, where she is now the part-time assistant in the Fish Cove. “I am so moved by the level of respect and caring that is ever-present in every interaction here at Abeona. I have always been attracted to approaches in childcare that focus on patience, love and high regard for the importance of children’s feelings and perspectives. And this is exactly the type of environment I have been lucky enough to find myself in here!” Since living in New Orleans, Carmen has also dedicated much time to helping provide free childcare for the weekly meetings of social justice organizations in town through the Crescent City Childcare Collective, both as a volunteer and a core organizer of the collective. She is passionate about seeing that children without privilege receive the quality care that all kids deserve and that loving support is available for parents in need. Carmen loves her neighborhood in the 7th ward where she lives with her best friend and a very special cat named Witchy. She loves to ride her bike and find new nature spots to explore!
Lead Teacher, Shannon Yancone
Shannon grew up in Upstate, New York. Being the oldest child and cousin she naturally become the babysitter for the whole family, and eventually the neighborhood. Nannying and babysitting has always been in her life even throughout her moving around. Residing for a few years in Tallahassee, she graduated from Florida State University with a BA in Recreation, Leisure and Service Administration. She developed a side passion for Events and Music Event Production. Living in New Orleans for now 7 years, she worked, and still works, at some festivals around the city; for example curating and running the Kids Stage at the Bayou Boogaloo. Although she still loves music and events, she decided that her passion was with assisting day to day with the social, physical and cognitive development of children. This made her the happiest and gave her a true sense of real worth in this crazy “thing” we call life. This is her first year working with Abeona House, as the Assistant Teacher in the Garden Room. She is thrilled and so excited to be a part of this loving team, and looking forward to helping spread love, light and positive growth to the little people of the big loving home, Abeona House!!
Lead Teacher, Laura Kinkton
Laura Kinkton is from Jacksonville, Florida and recently relocated back to the New Orleans area. Laura has three children aged 27, 24 and 7 and three grand children aged 4,3 and 1. Laura has been in childcare for over 28 years with experience as both an administrator and teacher but knew she was ready return to her true passion of educating young children. She currently holds an Associate of Arts degree and will be finishing up her bachelors with a major in Supervision and Management and a minor in Early Childhood Education. She also holds a CDA as well as a Florida directors credential. Laura enjoys reading and is always looking for new and exciting ways to inspire children to explore the world through literature. “You can take a child anywhere they want to go with a good book! Inspiring a love of literature opens up the world to a young mind.” Her goal at Abeona House is to have a classroom that is filled with messy projects, interesting conversation and joyful learning.
Afternoon Assistant Teacher, Emily Karlik
Born in San Francisco, California, Emily moved with her family to the East Coast and grew up in Connecticut. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in English and Television/Film Studies, but has been working in the education field for the past 7 years. She has worked extensively in Early Education classrooms, and absolutely loves working with children. She has always had a passion for teaching and believes in the importance of creativity, empathy, and kindness within a classroom. She believes that the first five years of a child’s life are some of the most important, and is
constantly amazed by the incredible and imaginative ways that children see the world. She is thinking of eventually going back to school to obtain her degree in Elementary Education or Early Childhood Education. Emily has just recently moved to the New Orleans area and is excited to make the city her new home.
Our Substitute Teachers