Our Faculty

Mary Lee Nickel

Early Childhood Director


At WES Since: 2001

What is your philosophy on teaching?
Children learn best through the power of play and exploration. Let them take ownership of their learning, model to the best of your ability, but learn to listen, observe and encourage.

What motivated you to become a teacher? 
It’s the best job ever! Each day is new, filled with challenges, surprises and often a feeling of accomplishment. Also the laughter of children is contagious and there is no better way to experience joy!

I have worked in early childhood education for more than 40 years, and, for the last 20 years, Washington Episcopal School. I have taught all grades and levels up to the third grade, as well as serving as teacher mentor, head librarian, reading teacher, and administrator. I graduated from the University of Virginia, where I received a B.S. in education. I am also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, The Directors’ Exchange in Washington DC, and the MAESA Early Childhood Conference Planning Committee. I have been married for 46 years and am the proud mother of two young men, and was most recently been promoted to grandmother with the birth of my granddaughter on May 6.