A message from the owners:
“As life-long members of the Virginia Beach community, we are honored to provide a leading early childhood educational environment to Hampton Roads. We have established a team of exceptional educators who apply the latest proven learning practices to meet each child’s needs. We are passionate about the continuous professional development of our educators, thereby increasing their proficiency to enhance the educational experience of each child. Ultimately, we look forward to inspiring your child(ren) to be independent thinkers, compassionate world citizens, and future leaders.”
– Chelsea & Tara
Owner & Director
Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. Married with three beautiful children, Vincent, Kennedy, and Sophia.
After graduating from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in STEM Education, Chelsea spent 12 years in Business Management across various CPG organizations. During her career she went on to further her education and obtained a Master of Science in Instructional Design & Technology and currently serves on the Board of the Directors at The Epic Education Foundation. It wasn’t until after having two children and struggling to find a quality educational establishment that she realized the extreme need for a preschool that offered a safe and open learning environment where children could explore, discover, experience risk and failure, innovate, create, and problem solve, thus marking the beginning of Baylake Academy. She looks forward to providing your child(ren) with the best early childhood education program in Hampton Roads!
Owner & Director
Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA. Married and the mother of three beautiful children, Colton, and identical twins Evelyn and Abigail.
Tara, Graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Park, Recreation and Tourism Studies with a focus on child program development. Tara has spent 10 years in business management and marketing for non-profit organizations and private small businesses. Growing up, Tara has always aspired to work with children in some capacity, everything from a CHKD certified childcare provider to volunteering for children’s summer camps. Today, having children of her own, she realizes a need for an educational environment in Virginia Beach that meets her high expectations in education, nutrition, and sanitation standards. Establishing a safe learning environment where creativity and innovation are nurtured, physical fitness and healthy eating habits are instilled, and problem solving and technological activities are promoted, is a high priority with a daily emphasis on kindness and mindful thinking.
Born and raised in Virginia Beach Ms. McDaniel lives with her fiancé and is a proud dog momma to a black German Shepard named Kobe. She has two beautiful nieces, Nola, and Natalie, and a handsome baby nephew named Cam.
After graduating from Radford University with a Bachelor of Science Degree with concentrations in Early Childhood/Special Education and Psychology, she began teaching Preschool students at St. Pius X Catholic School. From there, she furthered her career to become the Youth Development Director at a Licensed Child Care sports facility during the pandemic. At the facility, she produced new and creative ways to keep children engaged while following all the licensing requirements. Ms. McDaniel was in the National Honor Society in Education in college and has always had a passion for working with kids and helping people find their true potential. She has a huge heart and is super dedicated to education, organization, and helping grow Baylake Academy to its known and recognized great academy.
Ms. Fish is a Hampton Roads native from a Navy family. She loves being an aunt to her year-old niece and enjoys traveling, cooking, and museum trips in her spare time. She graduated with an Associates of Science in Early Childhood Development from Tidewater Community College and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Hollins University. She is aspiring to obtain her Master’s degree in early childhood education.
She has taught children of varying ages for over seven years in private school, day learning centers, and library outreach programs.
Ms. Fish is passionate about cultivating student’s curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving skills within her classroom. From her varying roles in the Early Childhood Education field, she has learned to be a leader who encourages and collaborates with fellow educators to develop intentional lesson planning and wholesome learning experiences. As a prior lead teacher at Baylake Academy, Ms. Fish looks forward to bringing her unique academic and professional experiences from the classroom and hopes to inspire a lifelong love of learning for staff and students.
Announcement is coming soon
2022-2023 Academic Year
Our teachers have a degree with an Early Childhood Education focus and/or extensive years of equivalent experience in a licensed educational setting. Teachers are CPR, First Aid, and AED certified; lead teachers also obtain a MAT certification. All teachers complete a minimum of 120 hours of professional development training annually to provide the best educational experience for your child(ren). Our teachers implement integrated learning approaches that incorporate STEAM, Phenomenon and problem-based learning, as well as individualized and differentiated instruction. Our teachers provide opportunities that encourage curiosity, exploration, and problem-solving appropriate to the developmental levels of the students. Look forward to an enthusiastic, energetic, self-motivated, supportive, and collaborative role model for your child(ren).
Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Ms. Wigfall is originally from Hampton, Virginia and attended school at Virginia State University where she obtained her Bachelors in Family and Consumer Sciences. She has worked in the mental health field working with children in the school setting starting in 2012. While working with children with developmental disabilities and mental diagnoses she grew a new love for education and in 2017 realized she wanted to make the transition into education. In 2017 she married and moved to Upstate New York for her husband’s military obligations when she decided to start on her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Wigfall completed her masters while continuing to work with children in the mental health field. Upon completion of her master’s degree and her husband’s retirement, her family returned to Virginia and she started her journey into the field of education.
Ms. Wigfall is extremely excited to excel in the classroom and spark new ideas for growth and development in the classroom. She has a huge desire to assist children in developing in the best way possible in all aspects of life. Ms. Wigfall is confident in her journey in early childhood education she will be able to touch so many lives and bring so much joy and excitement to education. Ms. Wigfall really enjoys crafting, music, dance, and all other forms of art and would love to share this with my students. She is excited to share these interests with her students and families throughout this journey.
Ms. Lang was born in Annapolis, Maryland into a Navy family. She has lived and travelled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Ms. Lang has two wonderful children, a son and a daughter. Her son presently resides in CA and has a successful business career, while her daughter lives in Virginia Beach working to shape global health policy at CHKD in Norfolk.
Ms. Lang earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and a Minor in Office Administration from James Madison University. Upon graduating from college, Ms. Lang worked in DC as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of an energy consultant firm. From there, her life as a military spouse continued the opportunity for travel and she also became a “stay at home” mom raising their two children. During these years, Ms. Lang volunteered in the Boy and Girl Scouts of America programs and Co-Chaired the After School Enrichment Program at Kingston Elementary. She and her family were honored to co-host a Moroccan child before and after surgery through Operation Smile, as well.
Prior to becoming a staff member at Baylake Academy, Ms. Lang tutored children in reading and writing both privately and in business centers. Recently, while working in the Virginia Beach Public Schools she was sought out to tutor reading (grades 1-2) and math (grades K-1).
Ms. Lang is pleased to be a part of Baylake Academy and feels blessed to have the opportunity to enrich the lives and learning of children.
Pre-K4 A Lead Teacher
Ms. Lutz was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a proud Second-Generation American with most of her family located in Chișinău, Moldova. She is also a dog mom to a wonderful 3 year old chocolate lab who keeps her busy with hikes by the bay.
While studying Biochemistry at Hollins University, Ms. Lutz quickly found a love for the real-life applications of the study of the brain and the body. She found her passion lay in the classroom instead of in the lab after getting the opportunity to work with students both in and out of the classroom. She has switched her academic focus to early education and special education, hoping to ensure that all students have the tools they need to successfully move forward in life. She is passionate and enthusiastic about working with the next generation of leaders and is very excited to see her students explore and thrive this year at Baylake Academy.
Pre-K4 B Lead Teacher
Ms. Harrison was born and raised in Hampton Roads and moved to the Virginia Beach area within the last few years with her 3 boys and husband. In raising her boys, she found her love of caring for children began operating her own home daycare for 12 years while obtaining her Associates of Science Degree from Tidewater Community College. Ms. Harrison quickly realized that teaching was what she was meant to do and worked as the Music and Movement/ Bible teacher for a local preschool for several years until she went on to teach at the private school her sons attended. There she spent the past 8 years in kindergarten, 1st grade and then eventually the Pre-K 3 classroom. She has had over 20 years of experience working with children and wants to continue her love for teaching here at Baylake Academy. Ms. Harrison is excited about bringing her knowledge and experiences to the classroom to excite, inspire, and cultivate not only learning but creative thinking in her students.
Pre-K3 A Lead Teacher
Ms. Burns was born and raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She has raised 3 beautiful children, graduates of Cape Henry and Norfolk Academy, and has been blessed with beautiful granddaughters.
Ms. Burns is well known throughout the community for being an incredible educator, bringing over 20 years of experience in teaching Pre-K3 students. Over the years, she has built long lasting relationships with her students and their families, watching them blossom throughout their educational journey. Ms. Burns has a magical way with children, inspiring them to learn using the tools available to them in their daily lives. Her hope for the student’s of Baylake Academy is to learn without pressure, enjoy the excitement each day brings, and encourage creativity and discovery.
Pre-K3 B Lead Teacher
Ms. Wyatt was born and raised in Cebu, Philippines. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. In her hometown, she taught in public schools from Kindergarten to Fifth grade where she had the opportunity to explore a variety of methods and strategies in teaching students from different indigenous backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses in the community. Ms. Wyatt moved to Virginia Beach in 2010 with her husband and this city soon became her second home. A year later she transitioned into early childhood education, a profession that she quickly fell in love with. She had the experience working with children from infants through Pre-Kindergarten. She has seen firsthand how children grow in the different stages of their development having taught a variety of ages.
As a preschool teacher, she focuses on individualized learning for each child. Not only will the children learn and discover new things, but they will have fun doing so. Her goal is to help each child get ready to move up to their next level of development. It gives her the utmost pleasure to be a part of their journey.
Pre-K3 B Associate Teacher
Ms. Hallenbeck is originally from upstate New York. She and her husband of 28 years moved to Virginia Beach approximately 4 years ago, after spending most of her life in the upstate New York area. Ms. Hallenbeck graduated from Cazenovia College with an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and then went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Alfred University. She has been working in the field of social work teaching, counseling, advocating, mentoring and nurturing children of all ages for over 30 years. After making the move to Virginia Beach, she decided to focus on teaching early childhood education. She and a co-volunteer ran a reading group called Beach Readers, a program to promote literacy for young adults with developmental disabilities who had aged out of special education services but remained interested in improving their reading skills. Ms. Hallenbeck spent the last (almost) 3 years teaching at a local licensed early childhood program before joining Baylake Academy. She is beyond excited to be part of Baylake Academy and their mission for their students. Ms. Hallenbeck has found that being an educator in early childhood has been the most rewarding experience she has had during her career. Education is a passport to the future….and she looks forward to sharing her passion for teaching, being a positive role model, and inspiring young inquiring minds. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Hallenbeck enjoys reading, traveling, gardening, yoga and walking her dog.
Pre-K2.5 A Lead Teacher
Ms. Moore moved to Virginia in 2013 from North Carolina. She is the mother of her beautiful daughter Emma Claire. She enjoys volunteering her time to outreach projects for families in need. She also loves fishing when she has the opportunity and spending time with her daughter.
Ms. Moore has always held a place in her heart for children. She enjoys nurturing them and providing love and care. In 2015 she began working as a childcare coordinator for a church and substituting at the preschool when needed. She then moved on to become the Children’s Ministry Director until January 2021. During this time her love for children flourished even more. She enjoys watching them learn, grow, and develop independence. She is engaging and enthusiastic about hands on learning with children. She loves nothing more than seeing their little faces light up when they discover new things through exploration.
Ms. Moore has been a lead 2-year-old teacher at different education-based facilities and now looks forward to working with this team of passionate educators to provide love and care along with the knowledge and skills needed to encourage every student to thrive. She is honored to be a part of molding our future leaders.
Pre-K2.5 A Assistant Teacher
Ms. Duran was born in Oxnard, California. Her parents were both Marines and moved around a lot while she was a child. In middle school her parents finally settled down in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Ms. Duran attended Southeastern University and graduated with her Bachelors in Organizational Leadership.
In 2018, Ms. Duran went on a mission trip to Thailand and gained a passion for children. She has been involved in her church’s children ministry since she was a senior in high school and has always had a passion for children. Ms. Duran and her husband met in high school and have been married for two years. Her husband is in the U.S Navy. They recently added a new furry addition to their family, a giant schnauzer puppy named Panzer. Ms. Duran loves to crochet, garden, and spending time with her family. Ms. Duran looks forward to working with your children and helping them learn and grow!
Ms. Jean Pierre
Pre-K2.5 B Lead Teacher
Ms. Jean Pierre was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. She is happily married to her husband and has a beautiful daughter Averie attending Baylake Academy. She has years of experience working with Virginia Beach City Public Schools and local licensed childcare facilities. Ms. Jean Pierre graduated from Tidewater Community College in 2017 with an associate degree in liberal arts in Early Childhood Education. She is currently attending Norfolk State University and looks forward to graduating in May of 2024 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Early Childhood Education PreK-6. At a young age, she began to show interest in teaching children and helping them achieve academic success. The foundation of academic success begins in early childhood. Her goal for the students here at Baylake Academy is to challenge them intellectually and show them how they can achieve all goals and future endeavors with patience, hard work, effort, and dedication. Also, ensuring her students know they will always have her support and encouragement on their road to success every step of the way. In her life outside of work she enjoys spending time with family and learning the basics of a new language. She also is the Student Chapter President of the NSU chapter of The National Leadership and Success Society and also has served as the organization’s co-membership outreach chair. She is ecstatic to be working with the amazing staff and students at Baylake Academy.
Network of Experts
We are fortunate to work with a network of well-recognized Experts that are highly involved in supporting our mission, curriculum and student development throughout the year. Our Network of Experts is continuously evolving, and we look forward to expanding this network.