Our Staff

karen_kearse_crop_smallKaren Kearse is our Day School Director. Mrs. Kearse has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Long Island University and operated a successful before and after school program for many years. She has served as a substitute teacher for Virginia Beach Public Schools.  She is currently working on her certification in Early Childhood Development and has worked for the Day School for six years.  Mrs. Kearse feels blessed to be working with children during the first 5 years of life, because she knows that this extremely important time will set the stage for their overall developmental progress, future happiness and success.  Mrs. Kearse is married with three children and enjoys travel, reading and theater.


Judith Russo  (Judi) teaches our two-year-old classes. She has a  Bachelor of Science degree from York College in Elementary Education.   Mrs. Russo has an energy and passion for working with very young children. Most recently she worked as a teacher for 2 year olds at Holy Spirit Catholic Preschool.   Prior to that she was a first grade teacher at Parkway Elementary School in Virginia Beach. Mrs. Russo is married with children and lives in Virginia Beach.


teneshaTenesha Mack-Thorn is a teacher for our three year-old children. She is originally from Milwaukee, WI.  She has a CDA (Child Development Associates) in Early Childhood Education and years of experience teaching preschoolers. Most recently she taught at the New E-3 school in Norfolk.  Mrs. Mack-Thorn is married and has two daughters in college and a son who will be a junior in high school.  In her spare time she enjoys cooking with her husband and spending time surrounded with her family and friends.


brittanyBrittany McIver teaches one of our classes of four-year-olds. She is currently attending Norfolk State University where she is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a focus in Psychology. Ms. McIver has  previously worked as a lead teacher at La Petite Academy. She truly enjoys helping children reach both academic and social emotional milestones in preparation for their entry into kindergarten. She is also an adoring mom to her sweet little boy Micah. In her spare time she enjoys drawing and reupholstering furniture.


Donna Quinones is  a Teacher’s Aide in both of our two-year-old classes. Mrs. Quinones has previously worked as a teacher in one of our 4 year old classrooms, and before that as a substitute teacher for us.  She says that she particularly enjoys nurturing and  working with our two year old children. She is a doting grandmother and loves spending time with her young grandson who recently attended EEDS.  Her hobbies include reading and painting.


sandiSandi Reed teaches one of our classes of four-year-olds. Ms. Reed says that she knew early on that children were her passion.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development and has worked as a preschool teacher for the past 10 years. She places a great deal of emphasis on providing a safe, happy and comfortable environment for her students.  Her philosophy, when it comes to sensory and craft projects is, “the messier the better!”    In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with family and friends.


Nashawna Moore  teaches one of our classes of three-year-olds. She is originally from Detroit, Michigan. Mrs. Moore has a Career Studies Certificate in Child Development from Tidewater Community College. She has worked for four years at the faith-based Deep Creek Academy. Working with young children is a true passion for her, and teaching children during the first five years of development brings her the most satisfaction. Mrs. Moore is married with two children a boy and girl. In her spare time she enjoys a good book and spending time with her family.


Carmen Torres
is our Resource Teacher and  Director’s Administrative Assistant who leads classes in Spanish and Computers. She is also one of our wonderful substitute teachers.  This is her fifth year at Emmanuel and before that she taught for 3 years at Tender Touch Day Care and Learning Center in Virginia Beach. Originally from Puerto Rico, she now lives in Norfolk.  She enjoys listening to music, dancing, travel and spending time with her two teenage sons Angel and Yadier.


morganMorgan Walker teaches  one of our classes of four-year-olds.  She is finishing her undergraduate degree in Psychology and plans to continue her schooling  in order to obtain her Master’s in both Psychology and Elementary Education at Old Dominion University. Mrs. Walker is married with one  preschool-aged daughter. In her spare time, Mrs. Walker likes spending time with her family, running and playing Camogie. (An Irish game played by women, almost like the the game of hurling.) She’s planned many great learning adventures for her class this year!