Siukey Payne is the both the founder and the director at our school! She was born and raised in Venezuela, and this is where she experienced the Reggio Emilia approach. Before coming to the U.S. Siukey spent five years as a preschool teacher in Venezuela. Her time in Reggio Emilia schools inspired her, and after spending over fifteen years in the U.S. she decided it was time bring her passion for Reggio Emilia to Texas. While she planned out her dreams she worked as a dedicated nurse and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Phoenix in Health and Business Administration. She was an OR surgical assistant nurse. After the birth of her daughter Mrs. Payne felt that it was time to start pursuing her dream. The school began as a Kinder Care franchise, but once Siukey was ready to make her dream a reality she de-franchised and Thinker Garden was born!
Mrs. Payne is married and has one daughter and five dogs. The students at Thinker Garden look to Mrs. Payne as a second mother. They love her endlessly, and she loves them the same. She shows each child respect but has high expectations for them. These expectations challenge the children to grow every day and to learn new things. They love her energy, eagerness to be outside, and how she is willing to get dirty and play with them. Mrs. Payne is the heart, brain, arms, and legs of our school, and we are able to flourish because of her.
Terra Campbell is our Assistant Director as well as one of our teachers! Ms. Campbell was born and raised right here in Houston. Her passion for kids started at a young age, and has only grown from there. Terra has spent lots of time working with children in her church, through jobs, and the internships that she had throughout her college career. Terra graduated from Baylor University in December of 2018 with her BA in Religion and Child and Family Studies. Ms. Campbell is now back in Houston permanently. She has three dogs at home (Shipley, Bella, and Maddie) and two beautiful godchildren (Logan who is four, and Kensington who is two).
Ms. Campbell first realized her love for preschoolers when she was 16, and they have quickly became her favorite people on the planet. She has an incredible way of communicating with preschoolers in a way that captures their attention and gets them excited about learning! Ms. Campbell's outgoing personality, genuine enthusiasm, and nurturing nature all work together to make her a favorite among the kids. She has a "hug first, ask questions later" policy, and is a big believer in the growth mindset.