With over 17 years of experience in education, Dr. Marissa Kiepert Truong is set to lead St. David’s Episcopal Day School. The Wayne resident earned her master’s in psychology from Villanova University and her doctorate in educational psychology from Temple. In 2013, she created A First Foundation, which offers educational enrichment programs and services for young children and their families. This fall, SDEDS will open its doors to children age 2 through kindergarten, with the hope of expanding in the future.
MLT: How did you become involved with SDEDS?
MKT: I’d been running A First Foundation at various churches in the area. I connected with [SDEDS when] looking for a place to run A First Foundation. It just seemed natural to get involved in the process they’d started. We combined my educational expertise with their mission.
MLT: Tell us a little more about A First Foundation.
MKT: The mission is to promote healthy early childhood development through hands-on learning and to support families and the family network—which includes grandparents and nannies—as the child’s first teacher. I firmly believe that parents and the family network are partners in education. We offer parent-child programs, afternoon enrichment and summer camps.
MLT: What will be the focus of the SDEDS curriculum?
MKT: We’ll be nurturing child development—important academic skills, but also social, emotional and spiritual growth. Our curriculum will be enhanced with art, physical education, Spanish, technology and nature-based learning. We also have enrichment clubs with speech and language, cooking, and yoga.
MLT: What’s the significance of those offerings?
MKT: Character development and Christian values—individuality, diversity, kindness, citizenship, respect, perseverance and integrity—are going to be at the forefront of everything we do. These are things that build a child’s character, help them become leaders, and help prepare them for service in a diverse world.
MLT: What are you looking forward to in the first school year?
MKT: Making connections with families and the community, positively influencing children’s lives for years to come, and being in this collaboration with the church and fulfilling our mission together.