What An Amazing First Year At Center Stage! – Letter From Don Alley

Making a Difference at Center Stage!

Master Alley with the students.
Master Alley with the students.

When I decided to open Center Stage Preschool in Ashburn, VA, I knew that we could do an amazing job. I knew that Heather Carboneau, my director, would outdo herself and turn a great idea into an incredible reality that would blow people away. That she would hire teachers and assistants who cared, not just about having a job and teaching curriculum, but about making a difference in children’s lives, and instilling in them the skills and tools they would need to be a good citizen and a good friend. Someone who would know how to make good choices…most of all, how to be compassionate. How to share. How to play well with others. Values that would carry forward for the rest of their lives.

Making Jungle slime!
Making Jungle slime!

Why We Strive For Excellence?

We teach ages three to six…it’s the absorbent phase. Everything that they touch, see, experience, hear, feel, etc. stays with them forever. They remember it all. We know this. And it’s why we strive for excellence in every area, because what we do sticks with them. Forever!

What we do matters. It matters a lot. The actions that we take at Center Stage Preschool are bigger than just three years of learning. Choices and decisions that we make in our Ashburn preschool provide a foundation on which the children entrusted to us will stand upon as they enter kindergarten, school, work, and life, and we accept this responsibility with humility, and also boldness. Futures are at stake. Legacy is at stake.

One Year Here At Center Stage!

No it hasn’t. It’s been nine months. I’d like to say it’s been an easy and a fun ride. That it’s been nothing but rainbows and unicorns. But that’s not the truth. The truth is, it’s been tough. And awesome. It’s been the kind of tough that we welcome. Striving for excellence isn’t easy. Sometimes you do things that aren’t easy because you know it will make a difference for good in the long run. On the business and marketing side, I’ve had a lot of fun. But it has certainly stretched me. I was able to use what I knew would work, as well as trust my instincts with new ways to attract and engage customers, and fill our school. We did it. We are full, with a waiting list.

Creating memories with the students!
Creating memories with the students!

On the director’s side.

Every Thursday/Friday, when I have meetings with Heather and her assistant, Anica, it’s obvious to me. They gave their all that week. And they do it week after week. Both of them are amazing achievers, and refuse to settle for mediocrity. For 12 hours per day, they are greeting parents, writing and responding to emails, answering the phone, prepping food, blogging, planning curriculum, serving the teachers behind the scenes, cleaning up poop, updating Facebook and Instagram, dealing with DSS, unclogging the toilet, and a myriad of other tasks, often and most always overlooked and unseen. But they do them. Because they’re committed to these kids. To our school. To the vision of Center Stage Preschool.

Creating a bottle full of "snow"!
Creating a bottle full of “snow”!

And then these amazing teachers!

They have their own struggles and celebrations. They have accepted the responsibility to be on the front line and love these kids. Anyone with a teaching degree or certification can legally teach. Loving the children, caring for them, and disciplining them in ways that grow and strengthen, versus tearing them down, is something completely different. Our teachers at Center Stage have gone above and beyond. When I walk in and watch classes sometimes, I see happy children, I see growing children. I see boys and girls singing and playing and learning, who are being nurtured and made to feel safe to be themselves. Sometimes it overwhelms me. I love it, I love what I see, and I love what we have created for these kids.

Sure, it’s been tough. So what?

Anything worth having and doing right will be tough. Nine months later, this has been incredible. To those parents who have entrusted us with the most precious beings in their lives, all I can say is thank you, and commit to you that my team and I will continue to honor you with our best.

Doesn’t this sound like a great way for your child to spend their day? Find out more about our Center Stage Preschool, Ashburn by scheduling a tour! You can also follow us on Facebook and get updates of what we are up to!


Watch Your Child Take Center Stage In Their Learning