Our Staff

NICOLE SPAINHOWER
2’s Teacher

Nicole (she/her) has over 15 years of experience working with children from infants to 6th grade. Preschool aged children are her favorite age group. She believes children learn best through play. She’s committed to making each child’s early experiences with school fun so that they can grow into life-long learners.

Nicole received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Studies and Master’s Degree in Education with an emphasis in Special Education from California State University, Fullerton. She graduated Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude respectively. Nicole has one school-aged daughter and lives in Durham.

Hobbies: running, going to the beach, reading and spending time with her family.

BETSY FERNEY
2’s Teacher

Betsy (she/her) has over 18 years of experience working with young children, most of that spent collaborating with her favorite age group: toddlers and twos. She sees her role as working alongside and supporting very young children as they search for meaning and relationship. Betsy also brings an enthusiasm for books, stories, and the natural world to her work.

Betsy received her Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a minor in French from Linfield College in Oregon, then after finding her passion was working with young children, she earned over 36 credit hours in early childhood education at Durham Technical Community College. She recently completed a Master’s degree in Innovative Early Childhood Education through the Colorado University Denver, Boulder Journey School partnership. Betsy lives in Durham with her husband, two school-aged children, and two dogs

Hobbies: baking, knitting, hiking, biking, camping, and spending time with her family.

 

LAURA CANFIELD
 2’s Teacher

Laura (she/her) has always known she wanted to become a mom & a teacher (well, and a ballerina princess, if she’s being honest). She’s been with Durham Community Preschool since 2019. She has a BA in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from George Mason University in VA.

She has taught kindergarten and special ed in public schools. She has been a nanny, babysitter, gym childcare worker and since becoming a mom – she’s been teaching preschool! These early years are her favorite age group to teach! 

Laura lives in N. Durham with her hubby of 20 yrs, kids aged 8, 11, & 18 years old, & her tabby cat.

Hobbies: sudoku, family games, puzzles, and burn boot camp.

 

HEATHER WALTZ
 3 -5’s Teacher

Heather Walz (she/her) has worked in the Early Education Field for ten years. She first started as a volunteer when in high school before transitioning into a teacher’s assistant role, and then a teaching role.

Heather has worked with ages from infancy through kindergarten, and loves working with preschool aged children. She believes learning as a two-way street, and that teachers should be learning with and from their students, too. Teachers don’t know everything and if they take the time to listen, they can learn amazing things when talking to a three year old.

In 2019, Heather graduated with a Bachelor’s of Applied Sciences in Early Childhood Education and Development from North Seattle Community College. After graduating, Heather moved with her husband and tiny dog to the Durham area to be closer to family and friends. 

Hobbies: Writing, Painting, Reading, playing board games with family and friends, and waiting on her tiny dog hand and foot.

 

SAFFRON DUNCAN
3 -5’s Teacher

Saffron (they/them) has worked in the half-day preschool world for three years. They find that music and dance are great forms of self-communication! They are looking forward to the new adventure of preschool outside…and learning more about bugs!

Hobbies: Handmaking jewelry

 

ROSE VOLPONI
Executive Director

Before joining the preschool as a toddler teacher in 2006, Rose (she/her) was a playgroup organizing, parenting book reading, stay-at-home mom. She really enjoys these first five years and the enormous opportunity for magic, fun and learning that takes place! She became the Executive Director of DCP in 2010 and helped navigate its first few years standing on its own as a secular preschool. Rose is passionate about providing the best preschool experience to children, to engaging families of all types, and to supporting innovative and nurturing teachers. She strives to provide a firm, organized foundation for all these components to thrive in our preschool community. Rose has been a member of the Durham Orange Preschool Association since 2011 and joined the Early Childhood Director’s Forum at Project Enlightenment in 2013. She attended the Conscious Discipline summit in Chapel Hill in June 2017, a week long immersion into the program that Dr. Becky Bailey developed for educators, administrators and parents alike. Our preschool is taking a journey together to learn about and practice Conscious Discipline in our community. She’ll be back at the Conscious Discipline summit in July 2021 as a helper to those who are new to Conscious Discipline.

Rose has a B.A. in Inter-Cultural studies and her family hosted over ten exchange students in her house while growing up. This experience along with being an exchange student herself in three other countries, helped to shape her worldview of inclusivity, openness and innovation. She is inspired every day by the close school community that DCP embodies!

Hobbies: Painting, reading, walking, eating vegan gluten-free food, drinking tea.