Maria is originally from North Bergen, New Jersey. She has three brothers and two sisters. Being the oldest girl helped Maria realize that working with children was something that came naturally to her so she began babysitting her younger siblings and cousins as often as she could. When her parents adopted a 2 month old little girl in the summer of 2009, Maria took care of her until she was 5 months old. After her sister, Alexa, was put in daycare, Maria decided she wanted to continue to care for infants. She began working in childcare when she was a 17 and a senior in high school. She worked in a center for four years before she came to us here at TLS. She graduated from Riverside High School in 2010 and is still working on her college degree. She has recently decided she wants to pursue a career in occupational therapy! During her spare time, you’ll find her with her brothers and sisters, Alex, Luis, Alberto, Lesley, Alexa, her parents, or her friends. She loves music and local restaurants. Maria has enjoyed working with the age groups of infants, toddlers, and pre-k. To her, the most rewarding thing about working in childcare is knowing you’ve helped children learn new things everyday and watching them grow.
Ruth was born in Los Angeles, California and came with her parents to Durham at six months of age. She felt like a Durham native as she lived in Durham ever since. Children and their well-being was a constant topic of discussion at home growing up with her Duke Pediatric Cardiologist dad and UNC Pediatric Pathologist mom. She completed her undergraduate education at West Virginia Wesleyan College earning a B.A. in Psychology. She then attended UNC Greensboro and received a B.S. in Community Health. Shortly after, she married her high school sweetheart and they now have two lovely children together. Ruth stayed at home for several years to raise them while working part-time as a substitute teacher at Duke School for Children. During this time of her life she became aware of the important role childcare givers have in the eventual well-being of the adult. Once her children were older she went back to school at UNC at Chapel Hill for a Master's Degree in Teaching Birth through Kindergarten and became state certified passing the Praxis Exam. Ruth finds herself gravitating toward children, their enjoyment of life, and discovering new wonders in their everyday experiences. She always has a great time teaching and learning from her students.