Charlestown Playhouse Administration

Laura Sacco, Head of School

Laura and her family reside in Exton, Chester County. Laura holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership as well as a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education and a Special Education certification. Laura’s life’s work has been supporting children and families from birth-middle school and she has supported educators through staff training and presented informational sessions for local preschool programs. Growing up as a daughter of a Health and Physical Ed Director of a YMCA and a summer camp director, Laura learned the importance of community and from a young age was drawn to spending her days with young children.

With a background in Early Childhood Education and a solid understanding of the value of an outstanding play based program, Laura was sold by the sights and sounds that greeted her on her initial tour of Charlestown Playhouse as a parent. The community, village atmosphere of Charlestown Playhouse was an immediate draw for her and her husband and they both feel that it was the greatest gift they ever gave their children. Laura’s youngest child attended Charlestown Playhouse and jokes that her two older children experience “Playschool Envy” as a result. Her children’s passions include reading, drama, dance and baseball/softball. As a family, they enjoy those fleeting evenings together as the teenagers’ schedules become even busier than ever before!

Amy Saia, Ed. D., Education Director

Amy holds a doctorate in curriculum development in child and youth studies and joined our staff in 2007. Amy’s role at Playschool is to support the teaching teams, to build and facilitate curriculum, and to promote a strong alliance to our families at Charlestown Playhouse. Amy’s work in early childhood education, specifically in professional development, takes her regionally, statewide, and nationally.

In addition to her role at CPH, Amy is the Coordinator of Education at Community College of Philadelphia, as well as an affiliate instructor at Drexel University School of Education and an instructor with the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education’s Penn Literacy Network, and in 2012 Amy co-authored an article with Dr. Marylou Hyson for the peer reviewed journal Teaching Young Children, “75 years of Play--A Parent Cooperative Model”.

With over 40 years in the profession of early childhood education, Amy is an advocate and activist in the field of early childhood education, but her most import role is the mother of her five grown children. Amy and her husband Jimmy reside in Phoenixville.

Farewell from Faith Koons

Administrative Director, 2008-2019

Dear Friends,

It has been such a joy to serve on the staff of Charlestown Playhouse for the past 27 years. As many of you know, my life has been deeply intertwined with the Playschool community since I began as a student here in the “Twos” room as a toddler. When I became a parent, I eagerly sent both of my daughters to Playschool. Since then, I have served the community as a parent, a volunteer classroom helper, League President, Yellow Room teacher, and for the past 11 years as the Administrative Director alongside my esteemed partner, Amy Saia. I have been so privileged to help preserve the legacy left to us by Miss Betty and to use my life’s work to maintain the integrity of the play-based early childhood program she started so many years ago.

As I look toward my retirement, I’ve been reflecting on all that I have gained over the years. Teaching in the Yellow Room for 16 years will always be among my favorite jobs in my lifetime. I still really miss being in the classroom and falling in love all over again with each new group of children. Even in my role as a Director, I always relished the opportunity to read a book to the Blue Room or join another classroom for singing. And in my time as a Director, I have been continually humbled to work and learn alongside our master teaching staff as they contribute their gifts of creativity, presence, patience, and ingenuity to our children’s learning and social/emotional development. These past 27 years have continually confirmed for me how vital and unique Charlestown Playhouse is for our children and the larger community. We have something incredibly special here, and it has been an honor to help continue that story.

As we enthusiastically welcome Playschool parent alumna Laura Sacco as my successor, Laura brings with her almost 30 years of experience as an educator and advocate for children and working families, and we are excited by the breadth of perspective and experience that she brings to the position. Moreover, she and her husband, Christopher, have a deep experiential love for the school and its traditions, having worked as volunteer helpers during their family’s years at Playschool. Laura is well-positioned to lead Playschool into a bright future, secure in the play-based, nature-focused, child-centered learning strategies that have sustained us for over eight decades.

Charlestown Playhouse has been my educational and professional home for as long as I can remember. Though I’m retiring from my role as Administrative Director, I will remain a committed member of this incredible community that has nurtured me and my family for generations. This is not goodbye. Rather, I just plan to keep saying hello to you all at the Charlestown Sale!

I look forward to watching Playschool continue to grow into a bright and beautiful future. May the next 83 years be as pathbreaking, community-building, and youth-focused as the first. See you at the Sale!

With love, Faith