Thomas Beatty, director
Dr. Thomas Beatty has a bachelor’s degree in English from VCU, a master’s in curriculum and instruction and a doctorate in educational policy, planning and leadership from the College of William and Mary. Prior to joining the CDC, he served as an assistant professor in educational leadership in the VCU School of Education. He spent over 25 years in Richmond Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and central office administrator. Dr. Beatty loves to read and travel — especially to Jamaica.
Kellie Holmes, assistant director
Kellie Holmes earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Salem College and a master’s in family and consumer sciences with a concentration in child development and administration from Appalachian State University. Kellie has been with the CDC since 2015. She has over 18 years of experience in childcare settings.
Liliana Andanut, lead teacher
Liliana Andanut is originally from Romania. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in secondary education from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Liliana has worked for 29 years as a secondary education teacher, including special education, and over three years as an early childhood educator. She enjoys visiting museums, swimming, traveling and spending time with her daughter and her dog.
Nakita Battle, assistant teacher
Nakita Battle has a goal to continue pursuing an associate's degree in early childhood education. She has been working with young children since 2000. She loves working with children 16 months through 2 years of age. Her passion for teaching and level of patience are not to be underestimated; Nakita prides herself on being a good role model for her students. She enjoys singing and reading.
Ron Cardwell, assistant teacher
Ron Cardwell holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Life Christian University and an associate's degree in early childhood education from John Tyler Community College. He has over 12 years working in preschool centers. He is a singer, songwriter and musician, and he has also authored a few children's books. Other interests include art, photography, sports, camping, going to the beach, and spending time with his wife and two boys.
Louise Creef, assistant teacher
Louise Creef has a bachelor's degree in community arts from East Carolina University. She received her teaching credentials from Salem College. She brings a wealth of experience to the CDC as she has been working with young children for over 15 years.
Leonardo DiRusso, assistant teacher
Leonardo DiRusso has a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary liberal studies with a minor in elementary education from James Madison University. He is looking forward to working at the CDC and learning from the staff, as well as the children, while pursuing a master’s degree at VCU. In his free time, Leo enjoys cooking, camping, watching movies, spending time with his cats, and listening to music.
Lori Do, lead teacher
Lori Do earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from VCU. She has worked at the CDC for over 23 years. Her experiences here encompass every age level. Lori relishes biking, hiking and going to the movies with her husband.
Emily Eaton, assistant teacher
Emily Eaton earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Mary Washington College. Emily has been an early childhood educator since 2005. Prior to joining the staff of the CDC in 2011, she worked as a lead teacher at another child development center. In her free time, she enjoys riding and taking care of her horse, Boo. She actively supports the music ministry at her church by singing in the choir and praise band, and playing the violin and hand bells. She also loves to bowl, play board and card games, and spend quality time with family and friends.
Keyanna Levison, lead teacher
Keyanna Levison holds a bachelor’s degree in child care and family education as well as a master’s degree in early childhood education, from Jackson State University. Prior to joining the staff at CDC, she worked for over 11 years as an Early Head Start teacher with children ranging in age from six months to five years old. Her passion is to pour knowledge into children during the early years and then watch the transition as they grow and develop. She enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her son and family.
DaVanta' Morris, lead teacher
DaVanta’ Morris has an associate's degree in visual arts and science from Richard Bland College of William & Mary. He has been working with young children for over four years. He is an abstract artist who loves to paint and use his creativity to connect with children. He invests his free time leading a youth ministry with his wife, selling the art he creates, and playing outdoor sports.
Samaria Pryor, kitchen manager
Samaria Pryor has always had a passion for cooking. She especially enjoys the part of her day when she gets to see the children walking past the kitchen to go out on the playground. She truly loves watching the children eat and appreciate the meals she prepares for them. She enjoys reading, watching classic movies and walking her dog.
Emily Silvent, lead teacher
Emily Silvent has a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology and audiology from Longwood University and a master’s degree in communicative sciences and disorders from Hampton University. She works as an adjunct instructor in the Education Department at John Tyler Community College and spent 15 years teaching in the public school system as a speech therapist and early childhood special education teacher. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters.