Meet the Staff
Our Early Childhood staff consists of degreed professionals and experienced caregivers. Each team member completes 20+ hours of professional development each year and some present at local conferences throughout the metro-Indianapolis area. We hold professional memberships to the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC.) Additionally, many of our staff participate in the Indy Reggio Inspired Educators Cohort (IRIE) and the Indianapolis Reggio Collaborative as well as hold leadership positions with Pop Up Play Indy.
Mrs. Ashley Flaumenhaft, Early Childhood Director
I wear many hats but when at home, I am mother to 3 boys, Sammy, Aden, Liam and a dog named Stormy that keep me on my toes! I graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Music Therapy and emphasis on early childhood. I have been with HHAI since 2011 and have enjoyed working both in and outside of the classroom. In addition to being the Early Childhood Director, I also teach music to the younger students in our program and lead the Indy Reggio inspired Educators Cohort. In 2018, I traveled with INAEYC to study the Reggio philosophy in Reggio Emilia, Italy. This life changing experience inspired many of our program's creative play spaces. When not working, I am an avid baker and enjoy singing. I look forward to welcoming you and your child to our Giving Tree Early Learning family.
Ms. Dawn Johnson, Maon Lead Teacher
I live in Indianapolis with my cat, Chloe. I volunteer with some local animal rescues and contribute partially by teaching fundraising yoga classes. As well as teaching fundraisers, I love practicing yoga outside and continuing my yoga studies in different environments. I hold a degree from Purdue University in Early Childhood Education. I have focused my career on working with infants and toddlers as well as coaching and mentoring teachers. I am very happy to be a part of an early childhood team that believes in collaboration as I strongly believe we are stronger together.
Mrs. Georgia Pappas, Maon Assistant Teacher
I have a love of life- I love sharing my joy of cooking, gardening and laughter with children. My family including my wonderful husband, John and our four fabulous children, the loves of my life, have inspired me to share these joys with other people. Reading stories to the children and watching their faces light up with joy is one of my favorite parts of the day. My true favorite part of being a teacher is giving hugs and love to each and every child every day!
Mrs. Batya Kogan, Peuton Lead Teacher
Born, raised, and educated in Israel, I am able to bring an authentic teaching style from over 30 years of teaching experiences in both Israel and the US. Coming to the United States with my husband and 2 children in 1992, I began teaching early childhood development at Moriah Child Care Center of Deerfield IL. For over 26 years with Moriah, I was able to be a part of each child’s development and growth while creating lifelong bonds and connecting with each family. I recently moved to Indiana to be closer to my grandchildren. I am pleased to find a community such as HHAI for me to share my knowledge and joy with.
Mrs. Nicole Mahern, Ganon Lead Teacher
I am the proud mom to Madeline and wife to Shawn. I graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, I began a preschool teaching job and was instantly in love with the world of early childhood education. I have continued to study and work in the lovely world of early childhood for the majority of my 25+ years of teaching. I completed my graduate degree in elementary education with a focus on elementary education and early childhood administration this summer.
Mrs. Marina Levin, Ganon Assistant Teacher
Ms. Lauren Schwartz, AfterCare Lead Teacher
I am originally from Flint, Michigan. My family moved to Indiana in 2011. I attended HHAI from 5th-8th grade. I now study Health and Human Science for Speech Therapy at IUPUI downtown. I am one of five. I have a twin brother, he is 9 minutes older than me. Then three younger siblings all attending HHAI. We also have a German Shepard named Thor. Our Aftercare classroom is made up of children 3 to 5 years old, creating a place where all of the kids can play and have fun together.