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 Parent 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. 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. She initially began working as a Toddler Teacher and Nursery Supervisor, then shared classroom and administrative responsibilities as she added Assistant Director to her title. Lisa was also a classroom teacher for Twos, Preschoolers, and Kindergartners. In 2001, Lisa was promoted to Director of Center 2; and most recently became the Director of Center 1 in 2003. 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 18 years, and currently is raising her three sons and four cats. "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!"
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.”
Gina Davis has been the Director of ImagiNation Learning Center at Newbrook Drive since 2006. Prior to working for ImagiNation Learning Center, Gina taught Private Kindergarten and directed a center in Herndon. Her journey with our company started in 2005 as a Two’s teacher at Center 1. A year later, she transferred to Center 2 taking over the role of the Lead Preschool Teacher and the Center’s Program Coordinator. Within the same year, she was promoted to the Assistant Director and became the Center Director shortly after. Gina has over ten years experience in the field of early childhood education. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Shepherd University.
Besides fulfilling her responsibilities of leading the day-to-day operations of the center, Gina’s greatest contributions are her ability of developing productive and effective teams, organizing and preparing the company’s professional development days, and implementing high quality educational programs for all children at her center.
Gina has lived in Fairfax County for over 25 years and attended local schools right here in the Chantilly area. She currently resides in Centreville. She is married and has two young children, Jaxson and Maddox, who also attend ImagiNation Learning Center. “Through my role as the Center Director I can fulfill my professional desire of creating the best possible child care environment for our families, children and staff. At the same time, I have a direct impact on the education and care of my own children. I could not be in a better position as a full-time working mom!”
Kara Cunningham fulfills the position of the Assistant Director at 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 and has continuously fulfilled those support responsibilities since then. 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 eight 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 right here in the Chantilly area. She currently resides in Centreville. Kara enjoys spending time with her family and friends, teaching dance, and reading. “I couldn’t be more satisfied in my role as the Assistant 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!”