It is the people who make the leadership team of ImagiNation Learning Center. They have the greatest opportunity to fulfill the company’s vision and mission. The quality of the childcare experience provided by our centers is highly dependent upon the qualifications, skills, experience and attitudes of all those individuals on our early childhood team. Leading and managing this team effectively brings out the best in everyone, and has consistently led to good outcomes for children, families and staff.
Our management philosophy is based upon the belief that every member of our team has something positive to contribute. At ImagiNation Learning Center, the Center Director and Assistant Director work together as they oversee the daily operations of the center and serve our customers. The Executive Director and Board provide oversight and support, review and revise policies, and set goals for future initiatives.
Our leadership team is comprised of individuals with diverse backgrounds and strengths. Learn more about the ImagiNation Learning Directors:
Silke Duke has been the Executive Director of ImagiNation Learning Center since April 2007. Her primary responsibility is to oversee the operations of the entire company. Specifically, she is responsible for the management of company financials, human resources, program and curriculum development, support and development of the center management teams. Silke reports directly to the ImagiNation Learning Center Board of Directors. Prior to leading our company, Silke managed our centers as District Manager for a large national child care company along with five other centers in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Silke has over twenty years experience in the field of Early Childhood Education, including ten years experience as Director in various child development centers in the USA and Germany. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the Giessen University in Germany.
Born in Germany, Silke immigrated to America in 1995 and was proud to become a United States citizen. Silke lives in Alexandria, is married and has a teenage son, Alexander. “Leading ImagiNation Learning Center is more than just a great professional experience. It’s an opportunity for me to share my passion for early childhood education and to inspire others in making a difference in the lives of young children and their families.”
Lisa Matteson is the Director at Center 1. Lisa has worked for ImagiNation Learning Center since 1993, filling a number of different positions over the years.
Lisa’s long history with ImagiNation Learning Center is just one indication of the commitment that you can come to expect when you join our family!
Lisa’s primary responsibilities are leading the day-to-day operations at the center. Lisa excels at providing sound fiscal management, attracting and mentoring talented teachers, and is instrumental in the development and composition of our published materials.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology-Child Life from Utica College of Syracuse University in New York State.
Lisa has lived in Northern Virginia for over 20 years, and currently is raising her four sons. "The best part of ImagiNation Learning Center is that my three boys been immersed in an environment rich with diverse cultures and beliefs. I am amazed at how open-minded they are!"
Gina Davis has been with ILC for over 10 years. She started out as a teacher in the twos and preschool programs. Her outstanding managerial and customer service skills as well as her great attention to detail earned her the promotion to Center Director in 2006. As our company went through structural changes in 2015, new leadership opportunities were created throughout the organization. Gina was our first choice to be selected for a new positon, the ILC Director of Operations. In this role, Gina is now responsible to organize and execute all company-wide events and to support the operations at all our ILC locations. She reports directly to the Executive Director and assists her in many administrative tasks involving company business.
Gina has two children, Jaxson and Maddox who attend Fairfax County Public Schools. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Shepherd University. “I always wanted to become a leader in education. Throughout my career, ILC has provided me with amazing opportunities for new challenges, professional and personal growth. It’s a beautiful thing when a passion and career come together.
Sherry Kose has been the Assistant Director at ImagiNation Learning Center 1 since September 2001. Beyond her main responsibility of supporting the Center Director in day-to-day operations of the center, she organizes and manages all special events, creates and develops the company’s curriculum for all ages, and focuses on building positive relationships with current and future families and children.
Sherry started her career with ImagiNation Learning Center in 1992 while attending college. Upon graduation, she continued working for us as a preschool teacher for several additional years. In 1996, she took a position with Loudoun County working in the STEP Preschool Program. Missing the strong “family” connection, Sherry returned to ImagiNation Learning Center in 2000 as a Preschool Teacher and was promoted to the Assistant Director shortly after. Sherry has over twenty years experience working with young children in an educational setting. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from George Mason University.
Growing up in Northern Virginia, she currently lives in Manassas, with her husband and young son, Carson, who is attending our Preschool. “ImagiNation Learning Center has not only provided an excellent place for me to work, but an amazing early childhood experience for my son.”
Kara Cunningham fulfills the position of the Director at ILC Chanitlly, Center 2. In 2005, Kara started at ImagiNation Learning Center right out of college as a floating teacher. Due to her strong adaptability and sensibility, she mastered this challenging position that required her to step into any classroom at any time and quickly identify and respond to the needs of the children in any situation. She soon became a highly valued employee supporting everyone at the center, including teachers, families and the Center Director. In 2006, she earned the promotion to the Assistant Director. Kara’s ability of creating and nurturing strong interpersonal relationships and her “Can Do” approach to any challenge or task make her a great asset to the center and company.
Kara has over ten years experience in the field of early childhood education. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Ferrum College. Kara has lived in Fairfax County for over 25 years and attended local schools in the Chantilly area. She currently resides in Centreville. Kara enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and reading. “I couldn’t be more satisfied in my role as the Center Director at ImagiNation Learning Center. It is really rewarding to know that through my professional contributions I am touching children’s lives and making a difference!”