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.


Izabela Chaves teaches both of our two-year-old classes. She is originally from Goiania, Brazil, but has been living in the United States for the past three years. She has a degree in Children’s Ministry with an emphasis in Preschool/Daycare Director from Johnson University in Knoxville, TN.   Ms. Chaves’ energy and passion for working with children extends beyond teaching at the Day School to her work with the youth at Forefront Church in Virginia Beach.   Ms. Chaves is fluent in Portuguese and English and her hobbies include reading, hand lettering and wood painting.



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Tenesha Mack-Thorn is a teacher for our three and  four-year-old children. She is originally from Milwaukee, WI.  She has a CDA (Child Development Associate) in Early Childhood Education and years of experience teaching preschoolers.  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.




Brittany 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. Mrs. McIver has  previously worked teaching pre-K children and 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.



Cartoon_bees_picturesbee_clipart_image_cute_cartoon_bee_278x300_jpg-798d100ba54a905917183709f3fdedc5 - Copy-001Sandi 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.




Lauren Scutt  teaches one of our classes of four-year-olds. Ms. Scutt has years of experience as a teacher for children ages 2-5. She has a passion for teaching and says she has been working with children for as far back as she can remember. She grew up in Alexandria, Virginia and lives in Norfolk with her cat Minnie and dog Callie. Her hobbies include reading, singing and dancing.


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. Originally from Puerto Rico, she now lives in Norfolk.  She enjoys listening to music, dancing, travel and spending time with her two sons Angel and Yadier.