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For Early Childhood Education

Teacher Awardee Ms. CherylAnn DeStefano: ‘We Are The Teachers Building a Solid Foundation For These Children’

Our team at The Malvern School is incredibly proud that six of our teachers from across various school locations have been recognized as recipients of the 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Awards in honor of their dedication, expertise and commitment to providing high-quality early learning experiences. This blog is part of a Q&A series that will spotlight each of the awardees.

Over the last 14 years, Ms. CherylAnn DeStefano – preschool lead teacher at The Malvern School of West Norriton – has been recognized internally as a standout teacher. This year, however, she reached a whole new level by being handpicked from teachers all across the country as a Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award honoree.

We sat down with CherylAnn to learn more about what this honor really means and how she sets her preschoolers up for success.

TMS: What does being a recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award mean to you?

CD: Being a recipient of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award means that all the hard work and dedication that I put into the children entrusted in my care each day is well worth it. It makes me so happy to see these children thrive and meet their milestones. It proves that in the field of early childhood education, we are the teachers building a solid foundation for the future of these children. I am so thankful, proud, honored and humbled to have received this award.

TMS: What drives you and your approach to teaching?

CD: I love that each day in the classroom is different from the next. Some days are more challenging than others, but that’s what keeps me on my toes. I am always looking for new ways and techniques to improve my teaching skills so the children in my classroom can be as successful as possible. 

TMS: What’s your secret to success in the classroom?

CD: I believe my secret to success in the classroom is having a great deal of patience and a loving personality. I’m a child at heart, too. I love having conversations with the preschoolers in my class. They tell the best stories, put a smile on my face and make me laugh each and every day. I also love getting really involved in our lessons. I always try to have a mindset like them and think from their point of view.

 TMS: Why did you choose to dedicate your career to early childhood education?

 CD: Early learning is so important for young children because it sets the stage for their future. If they have a solid foundation from the beginning, it will set them up for success. They get to build friendships and learn how to follow daily routines. They also gain a love of lifelong learning from a very young age.

I chose to dedicate my career to early childhood education because it’s the best place for me to be. I love seeing these young children achieve their milestones, such as drawing a simple person, strengthening their fine motor skills or even something as simple as opening their own lunch containers. I love talking with them and cheering them on as they achieve those milestones. I’m so proud to be a part of teaching these young children, and I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.

Learn more about all of The Malvern School’s 2021 Terri Lynne Lokoff Teacher Award recipients here.


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