Patrick Snyder
Head of School & Elementary Lead Teacher

Patrick has been teaching since 2002. He began his career as a music teacher in inner city public schools. He went to Japan, taught English for a year, then joined the Montessori School of Tokyo. Seeing the happiness and independence of the children within the Montessori environment, he knew he had found his vocation.

He moved to Italy, to study at the original training center for Montessori elementary teachers, Fondazione Centro Internazionale Studi Montessoriani. He took the opportunity to observe various schools throughout Europe, including Italy, Norway, and Switzerland. Afterwards, he returned to the Montessori School of Tokyo. All in all, he spent over a decade there, teaching children at every level.

He met his wife, Pin, in Japan, and they had their first child. They decided to work towards founding their own school. They continued to teach while visiting international and local schools around Asia and the United States. In 2016, they moved their family to the US, and Patrick worked in Delaware public schools.

Patrick & Pin founded Little World IMA in 2017 together, with the idea of incorporating the best educational practices from around the globe.

Montessori Diploma - Elementary (Ages 6-12) Association Montessori International (AMI)
Early Childhood Administrator DE Dept. of Education, Delaware First
School-Age Administrator DE Dept. of Education, Delaware First
Early Childhood Teacher (Birth – Grade 2) DE Dept. of Education
Elementary Teacher (Grades K-6) DE Dept. of Education
Elementary Teacher (Grades K-6) NJ Dept. of Education
Music Teacher (Grades K-12) DE Dept. of Education
Music Teacher (Grades K-12) NJ Dept. of Education
Music Composition M.M. New School University - Mannes College of Music
Music Composition B.M. Johns Hopkins University - Peabody Institute
Pin Snyder
Assistant Head of School & Preschool / Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Pin grew up in China where she studied broadcasting and worked in radio. She moved to Japan shortly after college. There, she worked for a Japanese education company, planning new schools to be opened in China. She traveled back and forth between Japan and China, translating, researching educational styles, and finding what local communities needed.

While in Japan, she also taught Chinese to numerous students, including children, college students, and businessmen. After finding Montessori, she shifted her main focus to teaching all subjects within a classroom setting. She dedicated herself to early education, obtaining her Montessori Diploma, and teaching in Japanese preschools and kindergartens.

After 12 years of living in Japan, she moved to America in 2016, to found Little World IMA with her husband.

Montessori Diploma - Casa dei Bambini (Ages 2½-6+) Association Montessori International (AMI)
Early Childhood Teacher DE Dept. of Education, Delaware First
Communications and Broadcasting B.A. Jilin Academy of Art
Hanh Dang
Toddler Lead Teacher

Hanh currently focuses on the youngest children at Little World, but she can be found doing yoga and other activities with all of our students.

Hanh grew up in Vietnam. After receiving her degree in English Linguistics and Literature, she began teaching Vietnamese at Singapore International School. She moved to Pennsylvania and taught in International Montessori Schools while pursuing another degree in Early Childhood Education.

Although her original plan was to move back to Asia after her studies, she fell in love and got married. She now lives with her husband in Delaware.

Early Childhood Education A.S. Camden County College
English Linguistics and Literature B.A. Vietnam National University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Grace Dispoto
Assistant Teacher

Grace is a Delaware native who has worked in local child care since she was a teenager. She graduated from the College of Charleston with her B.S. in Special Education with a concentration in learning and emotional disabilities. She has known her whole life that she wanted to work with children and is excited to be a part of the Little World community.

Special Education (Grades K-12) (pending) SC Dept. of Education
B.S. Special Education (LD/ED) College of Charleston
Kelly Starrick
Assistant Teacher

Kelly holds a degree in Education with a focus on work with the visually impaired. After completing her education in Pennsylvania, she moved to Lewes to be near family.

In addition to working with children, Kelly enjoys singing, spending time at the beach, and raising her dogs.

Education B.S. Kutztown University
Cheyenne Dally
Assistant Teacher

Cheyenne has worked in childcare for two years and is currently pursuing a degree in Elementary Education.

In her free time, she volunteers for the SPCA.

Janey Dean
Administrative Assistant & Floating Assistant Teacher

Janey is an accomplished educator and artist.

She has been an art teacher for all ages: pre-school, elementary, junior high, alternative high school and adult high school. Throughout that time, she always emphasized connections between art, and all subject areas. She has coordinated and created community murals, and exhibited and sold her art. She does graphic design and illustration for print.

In addition to teaching art, Janey has worked in various classroom settings. Before joining Little World IMA, she was an assistant in a classroom for children with special needs.

Janey practices yoga, meditation, and frisbee with her border collie.

Teacher of Art NJ Dept. of Education
Bachelor of Arts Stockton University
Laura Muhlbauer
Art Teacher

Laura spends Friday mornings at Little World IMA, offering individualized art instruction and support.

Laura has over 28 years of experience teaching art to elementary and preschool students in a Montessori environment. She is a presenter at conferences and professional development workshops, and has exhibited and sold her work as a private artist.

Bachelor of Fine Arts The Maryland Institute College of Art
Gayle Rush
Teacher Naturalist

Gayle visits Little World IMA, focusing on hands on science lessons about nature.

Throughout her career, Gayle has been a Director, Division Head, Curriculum Coordinator, and Lead Teacher at various schools. Her long list of accomplishments includes working with Mother Teresa in her orphanage as a Child Development Specialist in Calcutta, India. She has been a Master teacher (a teacher of teachers) in the Early Childhood Divisions of both Delaware and Pennsylvania.

An avid naturalist, Gayle raises various animals (butterflies, turtles, frogs, etc) and all kinds of plants. In 2016, she developed an early childhood program for a local nature center. She brings this program, her vast experience, and her love and respect for children to Little World IMA.

Child Life Specialist Washington DC Childrens' Hospital
Child Development and Early Childhood Education B.S. University of Illinois
Dawnyel Furlong

Dawnyel has been a nurse for a number of years, often working with the pediatric population in surgical environments.

Dawnyel has two children at Little World IMA, and has been involved with the school since the beginning. She currently works as a nursing clinical educator at Beebe Healthcare, while also substituting at Little World.

Registered Nurse State of Delaware
Nursing Education M.S.N. Wilmington University
Nursing B.S.N. Wilmington University
Exercise Science B.S. University of Delaware
Joan Grady

Elementary Teacher (Grades K-6) NY Dept. of Education
Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
Speech Pathology M.A. Columbia University
Education B.S. State University of New York