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Ryemarkable Amy Mancini

Name: Amy Mancini

Family info: Married, one daughter

Pets: one unbelievably fluffy Scottish straight-ear cat

Name and description of your business:

I am the Director of Rye Playschool.

Playschool is a school for children ages 12 months through 4 years old. We provide a nurturing environment where children learn to socialize as they engage in art, music, reading, and free play. Learning through play is our motto! For many students, this is their first experience in a school environment. Our main focus is to support this important process.

Before working on this, what was your career?

I have been teaching for over twenty years. My first teaching experience was at the age of 16 when I started my career in Recreation by coaching figure skaters. Four years later, with a college degree in Therapeutic Recreation and Administration, I went on to direct ice skating programs at various rinks in Westchester.

Realizing how important teaching is to me, I continued my education and earned a Master of Arts in Elementary Education. I taught 4th and 5th grades at the Stanwich School in Greenwich, CT before going on to develop my entrepreneurial skills. I opened a tutoring business where I worked with students of all ages who needed support in the language arts, study, and organizational skills.

How would you describe your work?

Completely fulfilling and rewarding! There is nothing more gratifying than witnessing the moment the light goes on when a child learns something new or hearing the sounds of their laughter. Working with children makes my heart happy. Whether on the ice or in a classroom, the magic of children is what keeps me going.

How did you get involved with your current work?

While building my business, my own daughter was starting her preschool years. After researching and visiting multiple preschools, I selected Rye Playschool. I instantly knew the warmth I felt when I walked into Yvonne’s office was the right fit. My instincts were confirmed year after year while watching my daughter grow socially, emotionally, and academically. Rye Playschool is a hidden gem!

I joined the Board of Directors and remained there even after my child began kindergarten. There was always something about Playschool that felt warm, inviting, and right for me. I guess fate plays a role too. I co-directed with Yvonne last year as she readied to retire. She taught me well and has passed the torch. I am beyond thrilled to be taking the driver’s seat and keep Playschool moving forward. My passion for this place is obvious. I am thrilled to be leading this amazing team of dedicated teachers, and I feel blessed with this opportunity.

Teaching is in my blood. My mother, a recently retired school administrator and teacher taught me more than I could have ever imagined. My father, a business owner, gilded my way while opening my tutoring business. The combination of the two has brought me to where I am today. I hope to bring my love of teaching, my business sense, and my true passion and belief in Playschool to this position.

What is the thing that has surprised you?

I think I am most surprised by the amount of energy it takes to run a preschool!

Your best tip for moms?

I think, as a working mom, I always feel like something is falling apart. If work is good, I feel as if I am not doing enough for my child and vice versa. So, I have learned that I can’t do it all and do it all to the degree I strive for, but everything can be “good enough.” It is gratifying to try my best and show my daughter that doing my best is good enough.

TRUST your instincts. So many times, as moms, we second-guess ourselves. There is so much knowledge out there, and we want to research everything to find that perfect solution. But, in the end, we know our children and must trust that we know what is best for them.

What are some alternative careers you would have liked to have?

I have always loved art, and in high school, I wanted a career in fashion, designing skating dresses, of course. I even entertained the idea of going to the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Other fun details about you: favorite books, Netflix, fun facts, or other:

My daughter is the light in my life. Her energy, creativity, and compassion for others is contagious. She pushes me to be the best I can be.

I still am directing the skating programs at Ebersole Ice Rink. It is my home away from home, and I absolutely love to produce skating shows. The ongoing joke with my family is in July, I start with ideas for the skating show that won’t happen until the following March.

I am also a cat lover. Mr. Cotton Socks entered our home last year and is warming our hearts every day.

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