April 2019 Student Spotlight – Christine Lombardi

My career in early childhood came quite by accident.  It began when I interviewed at Green Chimneys Child Services Inc. for a volunteer opportunity at their Farm and Wildlife Center while taking time off, contemplating a change in career path. I received a call back instead asking if I’d be interested in working part time in the after-school program as a Teacher’s Aide at their nursery school on campus, Nature’s Nursery.  I accepted and my love for and commitment to children grew the longer I stayed.  I worked with all the age groups we served, from preschool to school-age.  Along the way, it became clear to me that this is where my heart was, where my talents lied and where I wanted my future to be.   

After working with the preschoolers for several years, the opportunity arose for me to be considered as a Lead Teacher for the three year old classroom.  I didn’t hesitate.  In 2015, I enrolled in CCEI’s online training program to receive my CDA credential through the Council for Professional Recognition and successfully achieved my credential in November of 2016. 

My three years as Lead Teacher have been an incredible experience.  I love this particular age group because they are so excited about learning and making new discoveries.  Being one of the many people in their lives that gets the opportunity to introduce them to so many wonderful things is so personally gratifying. Our nursery school has a very unique nature-based program and coupled with my love for animals and being outdoors, provides me with endless possibilities in bringing a rich and educational program to the children. Having said that, my favorite time of day and activity with the kids is when we visit our Farm and Wildlife Center.  Priceless moments of joy!

I continue to take online training through CCEI and I have just recently enrolled in the Council’s CDA renewal program, again receiving my training through CCEI.  I would definitely recommend CCEI to others.  It’s a wonderful sponsoring organization, enabling students and staff alike in meeting training requirements as well as for those in pursuit of a CDA and/or other early childhood certificate programs they have to offer. Also, I have had a great training coach, Charlisa Dixon, who was so encouraging and helpful the first time around and she’s my coach for the renewal process again – lucky for me! 

I live in Carmel, NY with my husband, son and very sweet beagle, Ginger.  My interests include gardening, cooking and baking. Click here for a short essay written for the Green Chimneys Gazette about my position as Lead Teacher.