TCLA Enrichment Center was founded by Virginia McDonald in 2010. After teaching gifted and talented students fro 27 years, she realized the importance of exposing all motivated children to the kinds of critical and creative thinking skills that were integral to her teaching strategies and methods as a teacher of G & T. Ms. McDonald spent several years developing and writing curriculum for TCLA students from kindergarten to high school. These lessons focus on literacy, problem solving, narrative and expository writing, vocabulary development and grammar instruction.
Students meet once a week in small groups for an hour. At the beginning of every class, a warm up activity involving problem solving or logical thinking is offered. After homework is reviewed, a new lesson is introduced. Short stories, both fiction and nonfiction, have been carefully selected to develop the larger theme. A writing assignment that dovetails with the story is assigned weekly.
Three ten-week sessions are offered throughout the school year: fall, winter and spring. A six -week summer program is also available.
Ms. McDonald and her staff enthusiastically teach her original curriculum and are enormously pleased with the positive results of teaching higher level thinking skills to all students.
Meet Our Teachers:
Virginia McDonald, the founder of TCLA, has been a teacher of gifted and talented students for over 35 years and is passionate about helping children develop critical and creative thinking skills. She has created innovative and stimulating curricula to help bright students achieve to their maximum potential.
During her career in public school, Ms. McDonald won the Monmouth County Superintendent’s Teacher Recognition Award. In recognition of her outstanding work and meritorious service at Marlboro Elementary School as the teacher of the gifted and talented, Mrs. McDonald was bestowed this honor by the New Jersey State Assembly.
Ms. McDonald is also the owner of TCLA (Turtle Creek Learning Academy) Preschool, a private preschool, located in Marlboro, New Jersey, which she founded in 1998. She brings the same devotion, passion and commitment to children at her preschool as she does to her enrichment classes.
Lynn Krachie, our master kindergarten teacher, has the most longevity at TCLA: over twenty years. She teaches the youngest grades at the enrichment center: kindergarten, first and second grades. She fully embodies the energetic and artful spirit of being a highly qualified teacher.
In 1999, Mrs. Krachie received her master of education degree from Rutgers. She makes such an impression on all of the students that she teaches that they come back year after year to tell her what a difference she made in their lives. She gives children great confidence and a deep and genuine love for school that will carry them forever.