2s Preschool Teacher Laurel Leonetti » Laurel Leonetti

Laurel Leonetti

3s Preschool Teacher

I earned my Master of Science in Elementary Education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. I studied sculpture and Italian language and culture at California State Monterey Bay, where I earned my BA in Visual and Public Art. I also studied figure drawing and printmaking for a year in Florence, Italy at l’Academia di Bella Arte. I have been teaching in early care and education for 13 years, working with infants up through five-year-olds in university preschools. I have also worked for the past two years as a mentor to other teachers, inspiring and leading workshops about Reggio Emilia inspired methods and philosophies. 

I believe children are capable of many things, and that it is my job to provide them with the materials, time, and safe space to imagine new stories, make discoveries, test theories, learn how to work together, and how to learn from one another. I have a strong connection to natural outdoor play where children can engage in a way that awakens the senses, focuses their attention, inspires inquiry, and encourages creativity. It is in this moment of magic and awe that I feel called to listen, nurture, guide, and support the child’s innate sense of wonder. I also strongly believe in creating a loving and respectful community of learners. 

I first learned about Virginia Chance School at my husband’s poetry reading eight years ago, where I met a long time teacher from the school. I was a substitute teacher for a short time at Chance before I found a full-time position elsewhere in Louisville. I have since lived in Georgia and had two children before finding my way back to this fantastic school. I am excited that my three-year-old daughter will attend school as well in our first year here.

Outside of teaching, I am an artist and a dancer. I spend most of my time with my family and enjoy traveling, exploring small towns, camping, gardening, discovering new bugs, tasting different flowers, painting, building sculptures at the river, singing and playing music, reading and telling stories, and cooking together.