Connie Richard, Founder
Connie is the founder and Early Childhood Administrator of Hartly Family Learning Center. With a degree from Wesley College in Paralegal Studies she worked for 10 years in the legal field until the birth of her fourth child. This was when she found her true calling to educate young minds in early childhood. Connie returned to college for her Director Certification in Early Childhood and founded the former Hartly Early Learning Center. She found the need for quality care and education in the community to be so great that she expanded and renamed the center to its current location. Connie continues to further her own education and is currently working towards her National Director Certification with a projected completion date of May 2016.
Connie is a lifelong native of Hartly, where she resides with her husband, Michael, and their youngest daughter, Caroline. They also have an older daughter, Crystal, two sons, Brian and Brandon, and 6 grandchildren and counting! She enjoys working, gardening, needlework, reading, restoring antique items, and spending time with her family and pets.
“I believe every single person is created by God for a unique purpose and that it is our responsibility to nurture every child we meet to provide the foundation needed to support their individual growth and development, discovering their unique talents and gifts, enabling them to eventually meet their full potential and find their own God given purpose as they mature and grow into adulthood. I love the ability of children to live in the moment and I truly enjoy spending my time with them and joining them where they are on any given day. Children will always make this world a better place!”
Robin Lahnemann, ECE Administrator, Fiscal Duties
Robin moved from Poplarville Mississippi to Delaware in 2000. She first came to Hartly ELC as the parent of a preschool student in our program. Robin holds two degrees in Business Administration and Accounting as well as an ECE Administrator certificate from Delaware First, Department of Education. She assists the center with many responsibilities including bookkeeping, substitute teaching, and various other administrative tasks.
Robin is married to Rob, and has two children, Audrey and Christian as well as several pets. Her favorite things include the color purple, chocolate, shopping, playing games, and spending time outdoors.
“I love to teach because I like to play with the kids! I love being a bookkeeper because I like working with numbers and organization. My favorite thing about working at Hartly Family Learning Center is working with my friends which feels like my extended family.”
Jari Sadlowski, Lead Teacher – Four Year Old Room
Prior to coming to the center in 2002, Miss Jari ran a successful in-home child care center for 16 years. After continuing her education, she received her Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from the Delaware Department of Education. She continues to further her teaching education each year.
Jari lives in Smyrna with her husband of over 30 years, Ed, and their grandson Gage. She has three sons and four wonderful grandchildren who keep them very busy. Miss Jari enjoys traveling and vacationing in Disney World. She is passionate about animals and has one dog named Cinderella, as well as two cats, Salem and Tinkerbell.
“One of the most important goals I have each year working with my students to build trust, confidence, and good self-esteem in addition to giving them a great early educational experience. I look forward to working and having a lot of fun with your child this year!”
Amanda Wallace, Lead Teacher – Three Year Old Room
Amanda was born in Newark, Delaware and is now a resident of the Dover area. She graduated from Dover High School, where she took classes centered on Early Childhood Education. Amanda has been working at child care centers since she was 18 years old, and has been part of our staff team since January of 2017.
Amanda has four brothers and two sisters – she spends her time caring for her mom and being with her fiance and their animals. Amanda loves to eat pasta and chicken.
“I love that I’ve felt welcome here since my first day. I enjoy coming to work and teaching the kids. I like to watch them grow and become smarter every day. I chose to work in this field because I love being a part of the children’s growth.”
Holly Comegys, Lead Teacher – Two Year Old Room
Holly joined our team in February of 2012. She began her career as an assistant teacher for the school-aged after-school program before working with the preschool program. Now she is one of the lead teachers in the toddler room. She received her Early Childhood Teaching Certificate from Delaware Department of Education. Currently, she is majoring in Early Childhood Education at Delaware Technical and Community College.
Holly lives at home with her mother while she continues her education. She enjoys spending time with her boyfriend of 5 years, Bruce and their two dogs Cabela and Ivan. In her spare time she enjoys extreme couponing, making candles, and hunting. Her new favorite food is sushi.
“I love working with kids because I enjoy watching them laugh and grow. I have chosen this field because I love making a difference in the lives of children and families.”
Orelia Brown, Lead Teacher – One Year Old Room
Orelia moved to the United States a few years ago from the small Caribbean island of St. Kitts, located in the West Indies. While in St. Kitts, Miss Orelia worked for one of the best resorts on the island for over 30 years. Every afternoon after work she would open her home up to local school children in the third through sixth grade. In addition to providing homework help, she also enjoyed playing outdoor games such as soccer, cricket, and basketball with the kids. Always happy to help, Orelia also tutored adults from her village in reading, writing, and mathematics.
Orelia completed her Training for Early Care and Education at Polytech. Her goal is to contribute to the overall success of the children by cultivating creative learning in each of the developmental areas.
“I will be the best that I can be. Why? I love being with children, they are our future. A solid foundation will spark a bright tomorrow.”
Amy Swartzentruber, Lead Teacher – School Age
A gradate of Dover High School, Amy joined our center in September of 2016 and has been working with all classes as a floater since then. Amy has her para certification and and is majoring in birth to second grade at Delaware Technical Community College. She gained experience with children through babysitting frequently and teaching children’s Sunday school at her church.
Amy lives with her parents and two siblings in Hartly and enjoys reading, spending time with her friends, and playing volleyball on Friday nights. Her favorite food is french fries.
“I love working with children, and have always loved the idea of being a teacher. Teaching the children and watching them learn and grow is so rewarding.”
Erica Klapp, Teacher – One Year Old Room
Erica joined our team in the summer of 2013. She has worked with all age groups, but now she is in our one’s class regularly. Watching the children learn and grow is why she loves teaching!
When not working, Miss Erica enjoys spending time with her family which includes her mother, father, two sisters, a nephew, and her two cats. She also likes listening to Luke Bryan, eating crabs and going to the beach or the fair.
“I enjoy working at Hartly Family Learning Center because it is a positive, family oriented environment.”
Samantha Faulkner, Assistant Teacher and Kitchen Manager
Samantha, a Hartly native, began working with us in November of 2015. She has been a valuable staff member, working in many different classrooms and in a variety of settings. Samantha has worked in all classes, but now fills the position of kitchen manager, which is where she wants to be. She ran summer camp in 2016, and works with the children after school.
Samantha graduated from Dover High School and went on to pursue an education in childcare. She is now taking online courses to achieve her teaching certificate, and has taken classes to get her serve safe certification. Samantha prefers to work in the kitchen – often times, she will bake things with the school age children if she isn’t in the kitchen already. We love having her on our team!
Megan Dawson, Assistant Teacher
Megan was born in Dover Delaware and started working in childcare seven years ago. She joined our team almost two years ago, and loves the family atmosphere – that no matter what, everyone will make you feel welcome and comfortable.
Megan lives with her beautiful three year old daughter, one dog, and two cats. She enjoys spending time with her family, doing crafts, and going to car shows. Her favorite food is pizza.
“Working with the kids is a joy, and so is watching them get excited when they learn new things. They can always brighten your day with a smile or lots of hugs.”
Olivia Kreer, Assistant Teacher
Olivia was born in Dover, Delaware. She has lived here since and attended Hartly Elementary school through Dover High school, completing a pathway in early childhood and earning her assistant teacher certificate. Olivia began using her skills fresh out of high school at the center, and has worked here before in the past. She now takes classes at the local community college.
Olivia grew up with two siblings and has one dog named Bella. Her interesting hobbies include art, crocheting blankets, and cross stitching. Her favorite food is pizza.
“It’s fun working here, and it’s a great feeling when kids get what you’re teaching them. It’s fun seeing them grow up.”
Lauren Scotton, Assistant Teacher
Lauren was born right here in Dover, Delaware. She began working with children while in high school, and ever since then has loved her career. She has worked with children of all ages, and started on our team in February of 2017. Currently, she has completed college courses as an Early Childhood major and is working towards higher credentials. Staff and children alike love her sweet spirit and friendly personality.
Lauren and her boyfriend have been together for fours years, and they have an adorable two year old son. Their excitement keeps growing with the fact that they just recently moved into their own home. Her son has a dog named Tyson, and the pair are best friends. As a family, they love to go camping. Lauren’s favorite food is buffalo chicken pizza!
“I love watching the children grow and learn. Every day they are learning something new. I enjoy working at HFLC because it is such a positive environment. My son also attends HFLC, and he loves his teachers and friends.”
Renee Grob, Assistant Teacher
Maggie Talamantes, ECE Intern
Maggie moved to Delaware with her family from Boise, Idaho. A student at Dover High School, Maggie is in her third and final year of the Early Childhood Education pathway and has completed a dual enrollment course in child nutrition at Del Tech. She joined the center in February of 2017.
At home, Maggie lives with her younger sister Gracie, her mom, three dogs, and one cat. She enjoys reading, writing, painting, and bike riding. She also loves English and history classes. Maggie’s favorite food is sushi.
“I love working here because the environment is so much fun and different than any other job. I enjoy watching the children grow and learn every day. I’ve chosen this field to make an impact on children’s lives through education.”
Dawn Jackson, Administrative Duties
Born in Queen Anne Maryland, Dawn joined the center in 2007. She has held a variety of positions including office assistant, kitchen manager, assistant teacher, and lead three year old teacher. She completed her Training in Early Care and Education at Polytech and also has her kitchen manager certification.
Dawn and her husband have been married for 13 years and have four children and two cats. She and her husband enjoy biking, hiking, and camping together. She also loves reading and any type of seafood.
“I didn’t actually choose this job. It fell in my lap, and it was a perfect fit. I have been involved with children for 34 years. I love being around them – they are not judgemental and they can find joy in just about anything.”
Caroline Evans, Administrative Assistant
Caroline graduated from Polytech in 2016 and now takes classes at Delaware State University as an English Major. With plans to teach in secondary education in the future, she is also taking classes to attain teaching qualifications. She has been working with us since March of 2016 and served as a volunteer before that.
Caroline has been married to her high school sweetheart since July of 2017. They are currently working towards buying their first home. Her favorite ways to spend time are reading and hanging out with friends and family, and she loves Mexican food.
“I like knowing that everything we do here makes a difference for the children that enter our building. It’s exciting to be part of such a crucial point of development for the kids we see every day.”