Welcome to Kindergarten! Mrs. Cunningham has taught for over 25 years in elementary and preschool education. She has been a kindergarten teacher and the FDE Garden Lab Coordinator/Designer since the opening of FDES in 2012. Previously, she taught preschool at St. James Preschool for four years, developed and taught nature classes for young children at Ida Lee, and coached runners for the past 25 years. Before moving to Leesburg, she was a third-grade teacher in both the regular and Spanish Immersion classes for seven years and a kindergarten teacher for two years in the Arlington Public School System. Along with teaching, she continues to give school garden presentations, professional development, and workshops with Pop, our garden lab expert, who is her dad. She is a Peterson Young Naturalist teacher who focuses on outdoor education and nature journaling. She has developed curriculum with the Smithsonian and with a program for gifted upper elementary students. Mrs. Cunningham has an undergraduate degree from George Mason University in Mass Communication and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Marymount University. She is currently working on a second master's degree in Environmental Education through Mary Baldwin University.You can follow Mrs. Cunningham on Instagram at mckinderteacher which she originally started for her students and families when COVID closed the schools. She continues to share her discoveries in nature and the garden, explore fun experiments, and more.
Mrs. Cunningham lives in downtown Leesburg with her husband. She has two sons. Jimmy is a recent graduate of Christopher Newport University and works as the media/communications manager for the Virginia Living Museum. Her youngest son is currently a student at Christopher Newport University. She loves teaching, gardening, farming, running with her dogs, paddle boarding, reading, and exploring nature. She is looking forward to a fantastic year of learning with your children!