Staff

Christopher Hallaren, Director

Christopher Hallaren, Director

Christopher D. Hallaren, a nine year native of Virginia graduated from William & Mary with his MBA. He is the administrator for Grace Church and is also the Director for Grace Child Development Center. Chris enjoys trying new things, watching movies, playing or watching just about any sport, and making food disappear.

helen

Helen Darata, Teacher

Helen was born in the Virginia area, has lived in Carolina, and returned to the Peninsula in 2013. She has run a childcare development center in the past and is enjoying getting back into child development. In her past she has also volunteered as a teacher in children’s church, in the kitchen during church conventions, doing administrative duties, housing people, and helping wherever and whenever she had time to give. She is a very giving individual and is investing in children’s lives here at GCDC.

Tatiana DeLara, Teacher

Tatiana Hallaren, Teacher

Tatiana recently graduated form Denbigh High School, and is currently attending Thomas Nelson Community College. Tatiana enjoys watching children learn and grow. Tatiana is very excited to be a part of GCDC.

Heidi Strauss, Substitute Teacher

Heidi Strauss is an RN by profession, and started her career caring for premies and very sick babies in the VCU NICU. She’s always loved kids, from babies and on up! She and her husband, Charles, have been involved together in children’s ministry since they were married in 1998, and Heidi got a “package deal” with Charles’ daughter Rebekah. God also blessed their marriage with an adopted son, Caleb, in 2010, and some friends recommended they look into Grace Child Development Center when it was time to find a loving, Christ-centered preschool for him. The family soon started attending Grace Church as well, and when an opportunity came up for Heidi to join the GCDC staff, she was honored and happy to accept!

Jaye Hadley, Teacher

Jaye first became interested in becoming a part of GCDC when she saw the tremendous growth her Son had within the program. He entered the Center scared to make new friends and not using any words, he is now beyond ready for kindergarten. Jaye strongly believes GCDC is a great place for children to begin their educational journey both academically and socially. GCDC has an amazing team with an immense passion for each child’s development. She is proud to be a part of such a great group of teachers and enjoy the opportunity to see our GCDC crew grow and flourish.
Our newest teacher is Vanessa Booton. She has lived in VA for many years. She was privileged to work for a company that provided training and support for her development as a teacher of young children. As a result she was able to assist teachers and parents of children with special needs. Because of her desire to see families succeed Vanessa also worked with a few local shelters in the area. Vanessa finds joy in serving others and we are so thrilled to have her be on the team here at GCDC!

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