At Kids Cottage, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality early childhood education available.  Our staff is carefully chosen to ensure our students enter Kindergarten with the skills and confidence necessary to excel throughout the remainder of their education.  Our teachers have college degrees and backgrounds in education.  To attract the best teachers, Kids Cottage provides significantly higher compensation than other preschools in the area, as well as a team-oriented philosophy.  Our extraordinary staff allows us to prepare our students with a solid Foundation of Excellence.

Both Lori Schell and Taryn Burris are the Chief Administrators/Owners of Kids Cottage. Our staff also includes a Director of Operations, 3 Administrative Managers, Teachers, Assistant Teachers, Supervisors, and Assistant Supervisors.

Kids Cottage business partners, Lori Schell and Taryn Burris, are native Delawareans and have traveled and lived in various cities. After living in different states, they have both returned to live near their families in Lewes, Delaware. Lori and Taryn are active members of the community.

All Lead Teachers must have a college degree and a background in education. Several of our teachers and Chief Administrators have a Master’s degree in Education and have satisfied the Delaware licensing requirement. All staff members are trained in CPR and First Aid and have successfully passed a Criminal Background Check. Most staff have been trained in TCIT and PCIT as well.

Number of Staff/Ratios
As required by the State of Delaware, the staff child ratio for mixed age groups will be that required for the age group with the largest number of children present in the group.

Age of Child Minimum Staff / Child Ratio Our Ratios
2 - 3 years 1:8 1:7
3 - 4 years 1:10 1:8
4 - 5 years 1:12 1:8
5 years and up 1:15 1:12


Staff Bios

Taryn Burris, Chief Administrator

Taryn graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She received a Master of Education degree for Special Education from the University of Maryland. She taught in Anne Arundel County in Maryland for three years as a special education teacher for grades K-5. In 2003, she returned to Delaware with her husband where she taught sixth grade language arts and reading for one year. Taryn is licensed and certified in Delaware in the areas of Elementary K-6, Middle Level Teacher 5-8, Teacher of Early Childhood/Primary K-4, Teacher of Exceptional Children-LD, SED, MH (Elementary 1-8). Taryn also has her Delaware Department of Education Administrator Credential, Director Credential, and is trained in TCIT and PCIT.

Lori Schell, Chief Administrator

Lori graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in Education and was later certified to teach Special Education (Elementary 1-8). She is a Delaware Department of Education certified Early Childhood Teacher and School Age Administrator. Lori started her career as a third and fourth grade teacher at Rehoboth Elementary School in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware where she specialized in Math and Language Arts. Lori also has her Delaware Department of Education Administrator Credential and is trained in TCIT and PCIT. Lori has always immersed herself in her work within the education field, and is dedicated to creating the most fun, innovative, and academically focused children's center in the area.

Sheri Mark, Director of Operations

Prior to starting at Kids Cottage, Sheri was the Regional Manager at Knowledge Universe/Kindercare Learning Centers where she was responsible for strategic planning, development, operations, sales, marketing, and customer service for 20 years. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education and her Master's Degree in School Leadership. Sheri is a life member of NAEYC, affiliated with DAEYC, and was recently a Delaware Stars Technical Assistant. She has also been trained in TCIT and PCIT.

Jessica Ryan, Teacher, Infant Program (4-12 months)

Jessica is originally from Howard County, Maryland where she worked as a Lead Teacher for 10 years. She recently moved to Delaware in September 2016 with her two children. She has been working with children for over 15 years, and is excited to be the Lead Teacher in the Infant Room at Kids Cottage where she enjoys watching the babies grow and develop.

Taylor Knotts , Teacher, Toddler Program (12 - 18 months)


Joanna Dersch, Teacher, Toddler Program (12-18 months)

Joanna is thrilled to be the Lead Teacher in the Toddler (Little Penguin) Room. She recently relocated from South Jersey and now lives in Lewes. She has been married for 17 years to her husband, Michael and has 2 daughters, Jenna and Leah. Joanna has worked in childcare for several years and is excited to be on the Kids Cottage team! Joanna has recently completed TECE 1 and TECE 2.

Laura Meredith, Teacher, Minnows Full Day Preschool (18 - 24 months)

Laura studied Fine Arts at the University of Delaware. In 2003, Laura moved to the Rehoboth area where she met her husband. After managing a local business, Laura realized that her dream was to work with children. As a mother of two young girls, Laura is very enthusiastic, loving, and nurturing. She has completed a second degree in teaching and is excited about her future as a teacher of young children. Laura is also our Infant/Toddler/Twos Lead

Jenny Mannon, Teacher, Sea Turtles Half/Full Day Preschool

Jenny was born and raised in New Jersey where she majored in Early Childhood Education. Her 10 year (plus) career started with toddlers, but has worked with children of all ages. Jenny has a love of learning and a passion for teaching! Her favorite part of teaching is the "ah ha" moments when you see a child truly developing. 

Mary Lagano, Teacher, Sandcrabs Half/Full Day Preschool (2 - 3 years)

Mary is a graduate of University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Science in Education and Associates in Arts. She was highly recommended by her student teacher placement in the Appoquinimink School District. We are pleased to have her as part of our team!

Nicole Cocciolone, Jellyfish Full Day Preschool (3 - 4 years)

Nicole has her BA in Psychology and has been teaching preschool for over 8 years. She recently moved to Delaware from Boston with her husband and dalmation. :)  Nicole has a passion for reading inside and out of the classroom and is super creative! 

Regina Kroll, Starfish Half Day Preschool (3-4 years) 

Regina and her husband Griff just made the move to beach-living year round from Baltimore, MD with their two children.  She graduated from Stevenson University with a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education. In Baltimore, she taught mostly Kindergarten at The Odyssey School, and worked with preschool and prekindergarten classes at Children's Manor Montessori School.  Regina is so excited to join the Kids Cottage team and bring her passion of teaching to young children in Delaware! 

Sarah Parent, Teacher, Marlins, Full Day Preschool (4-5 years)

Sarah grew up in a daycare setting and has been working with children for 6 years. She recently moved from Dover where she obtained her Child Development Associates Credential, and within the past year has earned her Early Childhood Preschool Credential through the Delaware Department of Education and is trained in PCIT and TCIT. She plans on furthering her education in the Early Childhood Field, and is excited to work in the Marlins classroom this year!

Kelli Trice, Teacher, Dolphin Full Day Preschool (4 - 5 years)

Kelli has been working at Kids Cottage since 2015 and has her CDA Credential. Kelli has worked in several classrooms here at Kids Cottage and has found her "home" in the Dolphin room. Kelli is a wonderful, fun-loving caregiver who loves her little ones!

Teresa Howerin,Teacher, Starfish, Full Day Preschool (3-4 years)

Teresa has lived and traveled throughout Europe and the US. She has studied Early Childhood Development since she was 19 years old. Her experience includes teaching in an Icelandic preschool, and Italian preschool, a Montessori school, as well as in traditional preschool settings. She has her TECE 1 and 2 an has taken an extensive list of ECE classes. Teresa loves working with children and seeing the children's faces light up when they are learning!

Jennifer Simonsen, Teacher, Seahorse Half Day Preschool (4 - 5 years) & Enrichment

 Jennifer has been employed at Kids Cottage since 2014 and has worked in childcare and schools for almost 10 years. During her years thus far at Kids Cottage, she has worked in the twos, threes, and Pre-K classrooms as an Assistant or a Lead, as well as the Drop In Supervisor. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, Isabella, and plans on continuing her education in the ECE field.

5star quality

Kids Cottage is Celebrating
its extraordinary high DE STARS scores,
earning the highest award as

What Others Say...

Thank you for our daughter’s scholarship. What a surprise and what an amazing help for us right now. She is so happy to be back. You guys are awesome! Thanks again!



Preschool Registration 2017-18

Preschool and Pre-K Registration begins Monday, January 16th at 8am for current students and siblings! Registration opens to the PUBLIC on January 23rd, so do not delay! We are anticipating a waiting list again this year!