“One of the best pre-schools around. Both of our sons attended and had Mrs. Simon as their teacher. She’s fantastic! I honestly could not imagine a better program with our two boys.”
Samantha Grab has a dual certification Master’s Degree from Bank Street College in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She was a teacher in New York and New Jersey elementary schools before moving into an Early Childhood administrative role. In addition to her position as director of Sprout House, Samantha is an adjunct professor in the College of Education at Kean University. Samantha is on the board of NJEEPRE (New Jersey Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia) and is a member of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her four children and one cat. In her spare time Samantha enjoys reading, traveling, and interior design.
Leslie started working at Sprout House in 1997 when her youngest child was enrolled in the first Rising Five Program. She has a BA degree in history and art history, and worked as a Human Resources manager at AT&T and Bellcore for many years. She loves reading and traveling in her spare time.
Laura holds two Bachelor’s degrees from Kean University in both Early Childhood Education and Psychology, and studied American Sign Language as a minor. She has been working in childcare centers since 2016, developing a passion for the Reggio Emilia approach to early education. Laura worked as a summer teacher at Sprout House during 2019 but has returned as the 2s/3s teacher in 2020. She lives with her cat and enjoys reading, house plants, and art of all kinds.
Susan Lanham holds a Bachelor of Arts from Hamilton College and is certified in Elementary Education. She has 25 years of Early Childhood experience tutoring and teaching pre–kindergarten and kindergarten. In her free time, Mrs. Lanham enjoys reading, hiking, gardening, and restoring furniture.
Nicole Von Hoffman
Nicole came to Sprout House as a substitute teacher last year and loved it so much she stayed on and is now with the Rising 5’s. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and East Asian Studies. Nicole used to live on a sailboat and loves everything related to oceans, weather, and islands.
Danielle joins Sprout House after spending the last several years working in the entertainment industry as a talent agent for both children and adults. She has always enjoyed working with young people and was involved in educational outreach for various arts organizations throughout the city, including The Ghetto Film School, a program designed to help teenagers from diverse backgrounds receive professional film school training. Danielle has also helped facilitate the summer horsemanship program for the Girl Scouts of Northern NJ and continues to volunteer at an equine therapy facility for children with disabilities. In her downtime, Danielle loves cooking (and eating), watching international films, camping in upstate NY, and horseback riding.
Carolyn San Filippo
Carolyn holds a BA degree in Early Childhood Education from Goddard College. She began working at Sprout House as the cook in 1985 and became the Rising 5s teacher in 1998. In 2017 Carolyn became the Sprout House PM teacher. Her hobbies include reading, American History, biking, and hiking. Carolyn has been on the Sprout House board of directors since 1987.
Jen Mathews began her career in children’s publishing in New York, then continued working with storytellers like screenwriters and directors in LA. More recently, she has been a Scout leader, a PTO Environmental Committee Coordinator, a Friends of the Library Board member, and helped other local organizations such as the Chatham Township Environmental Commission and the Open Space Committee. Jen has three children, two of whom attended Sprout House. In her spare time she enjoys listening to podcasts and audio books, and spending time outside with her family, friends, and sweet pup, Scout.
What the parents say
“So many fantastic memories! All three of my kids attended, and we had great experiences, friends, and learning. Thank you!”
“Amazing, small, nurturing pre-school that gave my son a wonderful start. We went straight from four years at Sprout House to first grade in a diverse public school in a another town, and he had an absolutely seamless transition. I believe the solid, caring base he had at Sprout House prepared him. He is now in middle school and thriving – open-minded, intellectually curious, kind.”