(What is a pedagogista?)

Similar to the Reggio “pedagogista”, TLS is creating the role of mentor teacher. With our ongoing efforts to live the little in The Little School, we discovered that we could thrive just that much more with this role. Like the name suggests, they are there to work with the teachers, help them brain storm ideas, trouble shoot sticky patches, and be another set of eyes, ears and big brains in your building. We are hoping they will be a quick access point for teachers and parents alike. We are thrilled to see this dream in action.

Allison (Alli)

Alli grew up on Long Island, but her family’s yearly trips to Carolina Beach constantly made North Carolina feel more like home.  She always knew she liked working with children, but she discovered her true passion for early childhood education while earning her Bachelor’s degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill in both Education (Child Development and Family Studies) and Psychology.  Alli has been a teacher at The Little School at Duke since she graduated from UNC in May 2014.  Now in addition to teaching, she is also currently working on her Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology.  In any spare time that she has left, Alli loves to sing (timidly) and play guitar, ukulele, and the drums!


Marybeth was born and raised in Bayport, NY on Long Island and is the youngest daughter of 8 children.  She became an Aunt when she was 8, and growing up around young children helped steer her toward her current career.  Being part of a large family included always being surrounded by family and friends, which helped to instill the values of family and community.  Her love of children grew and she has been working in this field since 1998.  From the moment she peered through the windows at the original Little School, she knew this school was the right fit for her. She joined The Little School in 2010 when the Hillsborough campus at Waterstone was built and joined the family at Duke in May 2013. Her roles at TLS have included Lead Teacher, Behavioral Specialist and currently, Pedagogista for our Infants and Toddlers.

In her spare time she enjoys relaxing at the lake and spending time at home with her boyfriend and dog. She also loves visiting with family and friends and traveling whenever possible.