Meet one of the most dedicated teams in early education in the Piedmont. Our teachers are leaders, friends, mentors, and role models. They are the ones we trust to introduce our little ones to the world.
Katie Southerland, Director
Katie became Co-Op’s Director in 2013, after working as the Lead Toddler Teacher for two and a half years. She earned her BA in English (with a minor in Studio Art) from UNCG in 2004, her Early Childhood Credential in 2011, and her Early Childhood Administration Credential in 2014.
She enjoys talking with children about their ideas and loves watching the learning process unfold, especially if it involves art. Event-planning and creative problem-solving are Katie’s favorite parts of her job. She also helps create a strong community of families and teachers at Co-Op and enjoys seeing everyone support one another.
When she is not at Co-Op, Katie enjoys trying different kinds of arts and crafts, which include recent projects in painting, collage, cross stitching, pyrography and fairy gardens. She also likes playing board games with friends, and going to coffee shops. Katie is happiest when she is in or near any body of water, and loves spending time with her husband Justin.
Daniel Moore, Lead Preschool Teacher
Daniel Moore is the Lead Teacher of the Preschool classroom. He earned his Early Childhood Credential from Guilford Technical Community College in 2014. He has worked at CHCC since 2012. Before coming to CHCC, Daniel served in the U.S. Army for 4 years, working as a Medic and a Chaplain’s Assistant. Daniel has also spent time volunteering as an adult leader in a local troop of the Boy Scouts of America.
Some of Daniel’s favorite classroom activities include story time, construction play, and outside games. He finds great joy in helping the children gain independence and prepare for kindergarten. Facilitating independence is one of Daniel's key goals, as he encourages the children in his class to do many tasks on their own and to help each other.
Mr. Daniel has a 12 year old son and together they enjoy watching movies and playing laser tag. Our preschool teacher is also a “retired” player of the coop kickball team and is currently their #1 fan; he can be found cheering for the team every Tuesday from the stands.
Madeline Church, Lead Toddler Teacher
Madeline joined Co-Op in summer 2019 as our Lead Toddler Teacher. She received her Associate’s degree from Brunswick Community College in 2015 and has worked as a teacher since then. Her future education goals include; earning her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.
Madeline likes to create art with her toddlers and work on craft projects where the kids can practice fine motor skills. She enjoys listening to children talk and tell stories because they are so imaginative. One of Madeline’s favorite things about Co-op is the child-led approach, where she is able to make lesson plans based on the children’s interests.
She spends most of her free time at home working on things she enjoys—sewing, painting, and playing video games are some of her favorites. Madeline was married in September of 2019..
Brooks Harris, Lead Infant Teacher
Brooks has worked at Co-Op since April 2019. She started as an assistant and within a month or so, accepted the position of Lead Infant Teacher. She has a Bachelor’s degree in textile marketing from UNCG and will work on earning her Early Childhood Credential during the fall of 2019. She has many years of experience in the hospitality industry and has also worked as a nanny.
In the infant room, Brooks can be found singing and talking to the babies as she works on forming a bond with each of them. Brooks loves getting to know the families and enjoys the sense of community created by parent involvement. One of her favorite activities to do with the infants is taking walks in the nearby park.
Brooks has a daughter named Daisy, who is a former Co-Oper. They plan to adopt a cat in the near future. In her spare time, away from Co-Op, Brooks loves to go thrift shopping!
Jasmine Darden, Fulltime Floater and Assistant
Jasmine joined the Co-Op staff in the summer of 2019 as our fulltime floater and assistant. She earned a degree in Liberal Studies from Greensboro College in 2013 and an Early Childhood Education degree from UNCG in 2018. After beginning her early childhood career as a nanny, she taught at Our Children’s Community School before joining Co-Op.
She loves reading to and completing puzzles with children and enjoys spending time with each age group at Co-Op. One of her favorite things about working with little ones is the opportunity to help “shape the minds and hearts of children.”
Jasmine has a loving extended family that includes her parents, an older brother, and lots of cousins. In her downtime, Jasmine enjoys Marvel and DC Comics, TV shows, and movies. She loves listening to music and is a big Drake fan and would love to meet him someday. Her dream vacation would be to Toronto, Canada.
Desiree Hilaire, Assistant and Substitute teacher
Desiree has worked at Co-Op since 2017 as an assistant and substitute. She attends A&T State University, working towards her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in child development. Her academic plans also include obtaining an Early Childhood Certification, as well as her teaching license.
Desiree’s favorite thing about Co-Op is the warm and welcoming environment. She enjoys dancing and engaging in music activities with the toddlers and preschoolers, and says she loves seeing “the energy children bring”. Her desire to help provide “a healthy, fulfilling, and fun environment for children,” makes her a great asset to our team.
When Desiree is not at Co-Op, she likes to spend time with friends, skating, watching movies, baking bread, and taking naps! She also loves growing plants and would like to one day, start her own urban farm or community garden. Fun Fact: Desiree has a twin brother!
Erykah Smith, Assistant and Substitute teacher
Erykah has been an assistant with us since January 2019 and was a YMCA camp counselor for 3 years before coming to Co-Op. She has worked part time with us, while she earns her Kinesiology degree at A & T University. She plans to go to Physical Therapy school after she graduates.
Erykah loves reading to children and playing games with them. She enjoys the children’s humor and what makes each of them unique and says, “It’s always nice to see how engaged and eager to learn they are.”
She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and has 2 older brothers. She is a proud aunt as well, and has 3 nephews that she adores.