Angela Alsop – Teacher, Director and Co-founder of Jingle Bells since 2000
Born in Manchester, England, I studied a Bachelor Honours Degree in Primary Education between 1993 and ’97 in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire. Bradford being a highly multi-cultural city, my work in schools, with children from 3 to 12 years old lead to an interest in teaching children whose first language is not English. I found my specialist subjects of art, music, drama and dance very valuable when teaching all curriculum subjects in a multi-lingual environment.
After spending many summers visiting and taking part in voluntary teaching programmes in Central Europe, on completing my studies I moved to Prague to teach in an English Language Preschool. This allowed me valuable experience in the classroom but also sparked many personal ideas about the ideal learning environment for young children.
In collaboration with David Slonim, I had the opportunity to put my educational ideologies and experience into practice when opening Jingle Bells Preschool, after much planning and preparation, in September 2000. I believe that over the many years of life in Jingle Bells we have provided a consistently happy and warm learning environment whilst continually restructuring and improving our programme to keep it effective, fresh and current.
I particularly enjoy the friendly and relaxed family-like atmosphere of Jingle Bells and have a lot of fun with the children and my colleagues and enjoy sharing stories with the parents.
My daily duties range from interviewing new families, holding assessment meetings and other general managerial, organizational and financial concerns TO reading stories and singing songs, teaching numeracy and literacy, serving snack and zipping zips. It is all hands on deck at Jingle Bells!
My late afternoons are devoted to tutoring children from 4 to 18 years old a variety of subjects – reading and writing, ESL, upper level literacy, conversation, mathematics and singing. Many of these children attended Jingle Bells when they were younger and very much enjoy returning regularly to their old school.
Out of school, I am the singer with ‘soul, rock, jazz and blues’ band Duchess and the Kittens and perform theatre, often for children, with the international theatre company Krepsko. Conscientious of health and fitness, I enjoy walking and riding my bicycle while also attending regular classes of yoga, pilates, zumba and Thai kick-boxing.
David Slonim – Owner and Co-founder of Jingle Bells since 2000
Originally from the Czech Republic, I lived in Canada for two years when as a child, attending an English school for several years, giving me a solid foundation in English. I have travelled extensively since childhood, my English skills proving extremely useful.
|On returning to Prague I continued to study English with an Australian teacher, with whom I still maintain a close friendship with after 40 years and many miles! Eventually attending Charles University Pedagogical University, Philosophical Faculty I received an MBA. |
Seeing the opportunities and advantages a fluency in English had brought me, my stepson began attending an English preschool. Through this I gained a deeper appreciation for the personal satisfaction to be gained from working closely with children. So in 2000, in collaboration with Angela Alsop, I opened Jingle Bells Preschool.
I am the owner and administrator for Jingle Bells, in addition to his duties as activities coordinator. I really enjoy working closely with our team in a relaxed environment. I believe the atmosphere at Jingle Bells brings a great quality to the education of the children.
I am a big sports enthusiast, taking part in many events myself and those of my children. I also enjoy the Czech countryside and its nature and have a keen interest in Art, often visiting galleries and exhibitions.
Lisa Ament – Teacher at Jingle Bells since 2001
Originally from Birmingham, Michigan, USA, I received my teaching certification from Wayne State University, Michigan and taught middle school art in Austin, Texas from 1998 - 2001.
I joined the teaching staff of Jingle Bells in September 2001 and have enjoyed its open and friendly family atmosphere ever since.
Currently, I am responsible for art, literacy, numeracy, and life skills lessons at Jingle Bells. My art lessons are designed to relate to children of various cultures and nationalities. Recent projects include life-size Koinobori (Japanese Carp) Kites, Medieval Shields, and Picasso inspired abstract faces. I am also an ESL instructor and private tutor for students from 3 years to adult.
Regularly attending Hatha and Ashtanga classes in Prague, I have studied yoga for over a decade. An avid reader, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Scott O’Dell are among my favorite childhood authors. I also enjoy travel and have hiked in Switzerland, picked figs in Greece and petted tigers in Thailand, to mention just a few adventures.
Marc Cram- Teacher at Jingle Bells since 2006
I am from Central Florida where I lived until graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre. From 1995 to 2004 I lived in Atlanta, Georgia where I co-founded Dad’s Garage Theatre Company; a theatre specializing in comedy and comedy improvisation, which has enjoyed much local and international success and is now in it’s 15th season. While in Atlanta, I also worked at The Center for Puppetry Arts as an educator and puppeteer, performed in children’s theatre with Theatre Gael and also at Zoo Atlanta.
After several trips to Europe for improvisation tournaments, I decided to move abroad to pursue an obscure dream of being a country singer in Eastern Europe. To that end, in 2004 I moved to Brno where I worked at a preschool before moving to Prague the following year. In Prague, I worked in children’s theatre and at a couple preschools before landing at Jingle Bells Preschool in 2006. I referred to it as getting out of an old Lad’a and into a nice new Mercedes limo.
I enjoy the cozy, home-like atmosphere of Jingle Bells and playing music with the kids. My theatre background comes in handy with the kids in my Language Development, role-playing and music classes. I also do swimming, horseback riding and sports with the children.
In my spare time away from the school, I give guitar lessons to children from 5 to 8 years old. Also, I play guitar and saxophone in numerous bands and act in children’s theatre.
Tom Levecchia - Teacher at Jingle Bells since 2011
Beathe Linde - Teacher at Jingle Bells since 2012
Lucka Kulickova - Assistant at Jingle Bells since 2011
Kaimille Olit - Assistant at Jingle Bells since 2012