Beanstalk Faculty

Beanstalk prides itself on working with only the most highly-qualified, certified, and enthusiastic lead teachers, in addition to an excellent support staff who love what they do. We exceed Pennsylvania Department of Human Services mandated hours of training, as well as being trained in First Aid, Fire Safety, and CPR. City, state, and federal background checks are required for employment. For heightened security, our facility also employs video surveillance in every room and locked entry.

Jamie Miller – Speech & Language Pathologist

Jamie conducts the special language development program at Beanstalk. She is a PA and NJ licensed Speech and Language Pathologist certified by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association with 15 years of experience providing speech and language services to children. The students at Beanstalk will receive language enrichment from Jamie, including conversational skills, reading comprehension, and understanding age-appropriate and advanced vocabulary. It is her passion to not only help families find functional learning and communication solutions for their children but to also help children excel in their communication abilities. She and her husband, have two preschool aged children and reside here in the Queen Village neighborhood. She understands the importance in being able to offer the best to your child and she is proud to be a part of making that happen.

Erika Magana, M.Ed. – Curriculum Support Specialist

Erika received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland and Masters of Science in Education, Culture and Society from the University of Pennsylvania. Erika works toward supporting great learning environments that incorporate children into the curriculum. She enjoys working with Beanstalk because she believes that Beanstalk provides an educational environment that supports the whole child. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Erica is excited to live and work in Philadelphia.

Joyce Belcher, PhD – STEM Consultant

Dr. Joyce Belcher is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Cabrini College where she teaches Biological Sciences, Human Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology. She received her Ph.D. in Anatomy & Cell Biology from Temple University in 2012 and completed postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), where she conducted research on mechanisms that regulate skeletal homeostasis. For her merit at UPenn, she was recognized with a Research and Academic Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Belcher has a profound dedication to early childhood and K-12 education. She seeks to introduce and nurture an interest in the life sciences to all young learners by exposing them to the science in the world that surrounds them. It is her vision that all children gain the foundational skills of teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which set them on a promising track to succeed in all aspects of academia and life.

Sheena Sood – Kids n’ Play Yoga & Mindfulness

Sheena carries much love, passion and commitment to mindfulness, holistic health, and social justice. On multiple occasions, she has journeyed to her homeland to learn about yoga and spirituality with her Guru-ji Yogi Sivadas at Kailash Tribal School. She views yoga as an ancient medicinal practice and a philosophical approach to living a revolutionary life in tune with nature and liberation. While Sheena is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in Sociology at Temple University, she intends to combine her passion for mindfulness, healing and social justice into building a healing justice research institute in the future. Sheena loves spending time with her family and friends, biking Philly’s streets and parks, gardening, cooking, dancing (especially to Bhangra), and involving herself in activist movements that seek to manifest a world that values collective liberation of all living beings and Mother Earth.

Vanessa Giordano – Tumbling Instructor

Vanessa has taught many forms of dance, acrobatics, tumbling and fitness classes to students of all ages and throughout the country. Over the past 15 years. She is not only passionate about teaching proper technique but also in providing a strong moral and educational foundation for her students. She explains each exercise and why it is beneficial in a way young children easily understand. She truly loves what she does and it shows! Some of her professional achievements include: Coaching at Browns Gymnastics, a junior Olympic training center in Las Vegas, being chosen to represent Sweat Fitness at the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader auditions and leading a warm up for the team hopefuls, getting rated “student favorite” on Takelessons.com and performing both dance and acrobatics professionally for over ten years.