Young children and the fast pace of their development in the first five years of life change frequently. We believe a teacher that understands child development is most appropriate to educate young children. It is with great pride Garden State Academy can offer a program of certified and master level teachers that are specialized in child development. In the early years, children are not only learning academic based concepts, but largely life and social skills. It is with great understanding and planning that we embrace teaching children how to grow socially and emotionally. Our staff would not yell or belittle a child, as this can "break a young spirit". We redirect the child to an activity that embraces the excitement the child possesses. Our program does not teach the group, but rather engage the group in a common topic and stimulate each child individually. Our children will not be over or under stimulated. The staff of professionals can help your family with any areas of development you may need assistance with both at school and at home, Garden State Academy encourages parents to seek our professional opinion.
Our staff positions are comprised of the following: Program Director, Co-Director/Health Wellness Educator, Art Director, Montessori Teacher, Therapists, Master Level/Certified Teachers, Administrative Assistant, and Interns. See our staff profiles below.
Tracey Campbell House, MAT/CDS, is the Founder, Owner and Director of Garden State Academy. She has 20 years of professional experience in the field of education. Tracey received her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Stockton University and her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Preschool-Grade 3, from Montclair State University. She has completed the Supervisor Endorsement Program at Rutgers University. Additionally, Tracey is certified in the Music Together program and leads weekly Music Together sessions with the various classes at GSA. Tracey founded GSA in 2013 after her quest to find an amazing preschool for her 2 daughters was left unfounded. Garden State Academy was created with Tracey’s knowledge, determination, and passion for developmentally appropriate practices in the area of early childhood education. Her goal is to provide students with a learning experience above the rest and strives to create the “home away from home” feeling in her school. “We pride ourselves on the fact that all of our teachers are certified and all are masters in their trade. Most of our teachers also have a Master’s Degree in early childhood education. We provide smaller teacher to student ratios to ensure a program that meets the needs of each individual child.” Tracey’s experience includes teaching pre-kindergarten students in Atlantic City, as well as being an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. Tracey currently works as a faculty member at Stockton University.
Her work includes being an adjunct professor, as well as, a mentor to GSA interns that are placed via Stockton University Fieldwork Program. Tracey has been a therapist in the field of Early Intervention (Birth – 3 years old) for the past 10 years and in 2016, attended trainings to become a part of the Targeted Evaluation Team; who administer the Battelle Developmental Inventory to determine eligibility for special education and therapeutic services for children between birth and age 3. Additionally, Tracey provides professional development training to local Headstart preschool programs as a professional development trainer for the SRI/ETTC through Stockton University. Tracey’s vision is to create a well-rounded facility that becomes a professional resource to families and other professionals in Atlantic County and the surrounding area. Tracey’s leadership in creating a “Dream Team” has now expanded to a “Director Dream Team,” which will allow for growth and consistency in a high quality program. Tracey’s confidence and hard work will continue to make GSA a leader in the community of early childhood education. She continuously inspires the teachers on her Dream Team to build on their knowledge, believe in their abilities, and to push themselves outside of their “comfort zone.” Her example and direction are apparent and motivating to everyone who comes to Garden State Academy. She has also completed a 6 month leadership training program and provided the training for any member of the Dream Team who wanted to take part. Tracey encourages and provides continued learning and growth opportunities for all at GSA. Tracey is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the United Way Women’s Leadership Initiative. She is also part of the Galloway Business Association and South Jersey Network. Tracey enjoys being with her family, going on vacations, coaching All Star Cheer for her daughters’ team, doing yoga, and spending time with friends. Tracey is a resident of Egg Harbor Township, where she resides with her husband and two daughters. She and her husband also own Pork Island Grill in Ocean City.
Linda Pecchia, MAT, CDS, CHC, is the Owner and Director of Garden State Academy. She has 14 years of professional experience in the field of education. Linda has her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Montclair State University, as well as her Health Coach Certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Additionally, she has her BS in Business Administration from Rowan University. In 2015, Linda earned her certification as a Teacher of Children’s Yoga, ages 2-11. Linda has a wide range of experience in the field of education, spanning from preschool through high school, which has helped her to find her true passion of working with young children. Linda played a key role in the opening of Garden State Academy in 2013. She quickly realized how unique this school was and wanted to be a bigger part of the vision. In 2016, Linda became a partner and co-owner of GSA. Linda’s previous roles at GSA have included director and pre-kindergarten teacher. Linda excelled at providing interactive and hands-on activities for all areas of development. As GSA’s Health and Wellness Director, she also laid the foundation for the health and wellness program at GSA. She provides weekly nutritional snacks for the children to make as a group and enjoy eating. Linda constantly shares her passion for health and wellness with GSA students, their families, and the surrounding community. Linda’s favorite part about GSA is the “home away from home” feeling with not only the
children, but with their families and the staff. She loves being in a flexible environment that allows and encourages creativity, and is focused on teaching the whole child. Linda states, “We have an amazing team at GSA and it’s a wonderful experience to be able to learn from each of them." She continues to build on her knowledge of early childhood education as a therapist in the field of Early Intervention, where she works with young children with developmental delays in an individualized setting to give them tools they need to reach their developmental goals. Additionally, Linda works as a professional development trainer for the SRI/ETTC through Stockton University. She provides professional development training to local Headstart preschool programs. She has completed a 6 month leadership training program and provided the training for any member of the Dream Team who wanted to take part. Linda is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the United Way Women’s Leadership Initiative. She is also part of the Galloway Business Association and South Jersey Network. Her hobbies include running, yoga, bike riding, going to the beach, traveling, and being with family and friends. Linda has a private Health Coach practice, where she helps busy moms and families set and reach personalized wellness goals. Linda is originally from Galloway, but currently resides in Margate with her husband, daughter and son.