Letter from our new director

An introduction from Retha:

It’s official! We’ve appointed Xandra Wishnefsky as our new program director. I remember how stressed I felt to find the right candidate and to make sure we find the right person for Maple Leaf, but from the moment I met Xandra, I felt at peace. She is a fantastic fit for the team. Most staff have now met her and they found they had so much that connected them in philosophy and practice. Xandra’s first official day will be August, the 15th. Between Audrey, Emily and I, we will do our best to take care of the administration of the school, until she is able to settle into her new role. You will see many old team members returning to Maple Leaf to give of their time over the summer: Olivia Limlaw, Kitt Langdell and Evann Orleck-Jetter. A testimony to the happy place Maple Leaf has grown into! May you find the same joy at Maple Leaf every day, Xandra!

Xandra’s letter to you:

Hello Maple Leaf Families!

My name is Xandra and I am so grateful and excited for this opportunity. Retha’s shoes will be some hard ones to fill but I am hoping we can build upon what she has started. I have grown up in the Upper Valley and even attended Lebanon High School.

For my undergraduate degree, I studied Education at Southern New Hampshire University, on campus. I am currently continuing my path with Southern New Hampshire virtually as I work towards my master’s in child development. I have worked at many child care centers around the area such as Dartmouth-Bright Horizons, Dartmouth College Child Care Center, and recently a supervisor to the Hanover After School Program.

Last summer I worked as the Camp Director for Lebanon Parks and Recreation, seeing their need for a director and the children from my community in need hurt my heart so I agreed to help them again this summer. Knowing I was committed to the program for the summer put me in a difficult bind, as I recently became engaged and bought a house in the area. I knew I needed a full-time position that gave me the passion and the desire that Lebanon has had in the past. When I saw the position of director available I knew I had to apply. I understood the risk of not being available till the end of summer, but the Maple Leaf Child Care Center held similar teaching philosophy to my own. It was a risk I was more than willing to take. Then during my interview, my want for the position grew. I saw such a great team with passion and drive to make the center the best it can be. The way people communicated with one another even over zoom demonstrated such camaraderie. I knew the instant it was over that is the team I want to lead.

When I toured the center with Retha talking with some of the staff I can officially say I fell in love with the center. I left feeling so inspired! I know it will not be an easy path, but I know from the community I saw on that one Thursday that we can do this together. I appreciate you all waiting for me till August. I can promise that I am committed to you all and I am so excited to be your next Child Care Director. 

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