Our original campus, The Village Academy, was founded in 1981 as Children’s Village Developmental Learning Center.
The Village Academy has grown to a 4-acre campus that provides nearly 17,000 square feet of educational space for the nurturing and development of your child – academically, physically, emotionally, and socially. Our facilities include dedicated playgrounds for each age group, two swimming pools, a theatre arts room/multi-purpose room, a game room, and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Lab. we offer Preschool, Pre K, Enrichments, First Aid Swim Lessons, and a spectacular After School and Summer Camp program for school age children.
Our family of learning academies has grown to include Village Academy North, located on US-1 north of the St Augustine airport, and Palencia Montessori Academy, located at the front of the Palencia development. All are nationally accredited by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation – a standard of excellence that is specified in Florida State statutes.
The common thread between The Village Academy, Village Academy North, and Palencia Montessori Academy is our emphasis on preparing children to be a success in Kindergarten and beyond. Each year we receive strong, consistent, positive feedback from teachers in the St Johns County Public Schools about how well prepared our graduates are, and their eagerness to learn and excel.
We are particularly proud of our early childhood development staff, which is the most highly trained and qualified of any child care facility in St. Johns County. They are dedicated, caring professionals who earn your trust every day.
Your child’s safety and security are of paramount importance to us. Our schools feature the latest technology in security and video monitoring systems. We maintain strict sign-in and sign-out procedures to ensure children’s safety is of utmost importance. In addition, our staff are aware and well-trained on the importance of keeping children with food allergies safe and each of our schools are peanut free. Lastly, all of our learning academies use safer, eco-friendly alternatives to conventional cleaning products. The Village Academy, Village Academy North and Palencia Montessori Academy use Green Seal cleaners and are committed to providing a bleach free environment.
Pre K Learning Environment
Babette Weaver is the Founder and Owner of The Village Academy. Babette taught in at the St. Augustine Deaf & Blind School for eight years prior to founding The Village Academy, originally Children’s Village, in 1981. Babette’s educational credentials include a B.S. from Northwestern University and a Master’s in Education from UNF. Babette holds teacher certifications in Deaf Education, Elementary Education, and Elementary Education Administration and Supervision. She also has the Advanced Level Florida Child Care and Education Program Director Credential.
Curt Weaver is the co-Owner of Village Academy North and Palencia Montessori Academy. Curt was a pilot in the US Navy for 8 years, before beginning a 14 year business career with AT&T. He subsequently opened Internet Commerce Strategies, a strategy and management consultancy with a global clientele from start-ups to the Fortune 50. Curt closed his consulting business and joined Babette in the early childhood education industry after their marriage in 2006. His educational credentials include a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Albion College, a Masters in Public Administration from Syracuse University, and he has completed most of the course work for his PhD in Marketing from the University of Phoenix.
Teri L. DeLucca, PhD
Vice President of Operations
Dr. Teri DeLucca is the Vice President of Operations, and is responsible for the success of all three of our learning academies. Dr. DeLucca has a dual PhD in developmental psychology and educational psychology from the University of Florida. Her research and expertise are focused on cognitive and socioemotional development during early childhood with an emphasis on the aspects of development that are important for school readiness and academic achievement. She enjoys translating research into methods and practices that teachers can easily understand and use in their classrooms to best prepare children for kindergarten success. Dr. DeLucca oversees the daily operations and curricula of our schools, extended day programs, and summer camps and provides leadership, training, and coaching to our teachers and staff so that we may continue to provide the highest quality early learning experiences within St. John’s County.
Director, The Village Academy
Ms. Rachel Sledge is a “Village kid” from birth and has many fond memories of her childhood growing up at The Village Academy. She attended Florida State University and has her B.S. in Child Growth and Child Development with a minor in Deaf Culture. She started working at The Village Academy in January of 2005 as a 2-year-old teacher and a Florida VPK teacher. Rachel started in administration at The Village Academy North in 2007 as the Office Manager and came to The Village Academy as the Director in summer of 2009. She is also responsible for our swimming program and is a certified Red Cross Lifeguard and WSI (Water Safety Instructor).
Director, Village Academy North
Mrs. Linda Fielder recently joined the Village Academy family as the Director of our Village Academy North school. Her leadership skills and knowledge of child development and teaching have proven invaluable. Linda has a Bachelors Degree in Marketing and several years of administrative experience as well as over 13 years of preschool teaching experience. For the past ten years, she taught at Accotink Academy by the Sea in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fl. Linda has taught 2’s and 3’s, 4- year-olds, Pre-Kindergarten, VPK and even physical education. She has worked as a mentor and coach and enjoys providing teachers with extensive classroom preparation and support. Linda loves being with the children and meeting their families. Linda has been married for twenty-six years and has two college-aged boys and two dogs. She enjoys running, working out, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Director, Palencia Montessori Academy
Ms. Megan Merlini earned a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and has experience as a School and Program Director. She also has over seventeen years of teaching experience. Ms. Merlini worked as a Head Teacher responsible for curriculum in Montessori methodologies, lesson plan development, and preparation of Montessori materials. She is North American Montessori Center (NAMC) certiﬁed, and has completed coursework towards her American Montessori Society (AMS) certiﬁcation. In addition, she has been trained in differentiated instruction, classroom management, and behavioral intervention. Ms. Merlini brings a unique set of skills to our school including language immersion in a Montessori environment (Mandarin and Spanish), special needs education, and she has a specialized background in math, language arts, healthy cooking and nutritional counseling.