Meet TNCS’s After Care and Summer Camp Director, Lydia Provencio!

20190713_001613 (1) Lydia Provencio joined The New Century School on August 5th to begin training for her new dual role. Less than 2 months in, she reports that, although there’s a lot to absorb, things are going well so far. “I’m learning,” she says, “and I like to do things in order of priority, which can be challenging for this kind of job because there are so many different aspects to be aware of.”

It’s worth reiterating that, for the first time, the After Care and Summer Camp Directors will be one and the same person, which brings all kinds of advantages, such as year-round access for parents, continuity for children, and fewer learning curves for Ms. Provencio!

Getting to Know Ms. Provencio

Ms. Provencio comes from Los Angeles, California, where she lived her whole life until moving to Baltimore 12 years ago with her family. She loves the East Coast, most notably for offering four seasons instead of just summer and spring.

Since the age of 17, she has worked with young, at-risk children. “I love kids,” she said. “I love kids. Period.” Her whole career until TNCS, in fact, has been with at-risk children, such as those in foster care and others. When she arrived on the East Coast, she started working for the daycare The Primeron in Odenton, MD. The owner asked her to establish a certified kindergarten/1st-grade program, which project she heartily embraced. “I love challenges,” said Ms. Provencio. “I had it done within the year.”

From there she became an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) teacher for unaccompanied minors traveling from South America. “My job was to acclimate them to the educational system because many of them never had a formal education, or maybe had teaching through only about second grade. So I would try to help get them up to par grade level for their age. I taught in both English and Spanish.”

That’s right, Ms. Provencio is bilingual, which makes her ideal for TNCS. Back to her ESOL teaching, though, that program’s funding was cut off, and that’s how she arrived at TNCS. “I take care of my grandson and needed income, so I decided to venture out and see what new endeavors I could find.” She has six grandchildren, in total, with five of them living in California, as does most of her family. She is one of nine siblings and goes back west regularly to visit her parents, brothers and sisters, and other relatives.

Goals at TNCS

As mentioned, she is settling in well. Her approach is all about safety—adhering to protocols, maintaining a clean environment, and vigilantly supervising the children at TNCS. “We’re here to keep them safe,” she said. “We want to make a safe, enjoyable environment for them.”

As far as programs go, extracurricular activities (ECAs) for quarters 1 through 3 were already nailed down, which gives Ms. Provencio a bit of space to really get in step at TNCS. She can, however, bring some new life to winter and spring camps. “I want to bring in more art and maybe invite someone from the historical society to come talk—there’s so much history here. I want to find engaging ways to break up the day for campers and introduce them to new things.” She has begun bringing new programs into after care, such as Pets on Wheels, a pet therapy non-profit that brings happiness to people (and kids!) “one lick at a time.” Kody, a 4-year-old African mastiff mix, was a very welcome visitor indeed!

Although not a regular, ongoing program like Pets on Wheels will be, some other four-legged friends also visited after care students, making for a very exciting afternoon!

Then, in early winter, she’ll start working on always popular summer camp at TNCS, cementing summer 2020 offerings.

Final thoughts from Ms. Provencio about her work?

I want to make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, and that is enriching and educating these children while keeping them safe. I really want them to take away something from camp. I want them to remember their experiences. I also want parents to know that I’m open to suggestions. I’m not infallible, so if anyone has any resources, please bring them to my attention, and I will reach out and see what I can do to bring that inside our little world.


When not taking care of students in after care at TNCS, she enjoys reading up on history and about other cultures. She also loves being outdoors and camping. Trying new foods as well as cooking—she’s half Italian, half Mexican—round out her pastimes. Ask her about her pumpkin ravioli with lemon garlic sauce . . . yum!

Meet Candace Moore—TNCS’s New Summer Camp Director!

For summer 2019, The New Century School has brought Candace Moore on board just as the second half of the school year started.

Background and Experience

candace-moore-joins-tncs-summer-directorBefore coming to TNCS, Ms. Moore had been a short-term associate kindergarten teacher at McDonogh School, where she was standing in for a teacher on maternity leave, as well as teaching 2- and 3-year-olds at the Goddard School. Prior to that she taught reading literacy and art and did some mentoring at Lindhurst and Cherry Hill Elementary schools. She has taught students from age 2 through 8th grade.

From the breadth of her experience, you might think Ms. Moore has been teaching for years, but, in fact, she’s a recent graduate of the the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She is from Baltimore, born and raised, and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA), graduating in 2012. If you are starting to sense a theme, you would not be off base—the arts are extremely important to Ms. Moore. “I’m an artist first,” she says, “so I always put that out there.”

As for what my medium is, that’s kind of hard to put into one thing. I’ve been dancing since I was 3. So, I am a dancer and I’ve studied dance, but my major in both high school and in college was theatre. BSA’s curriculum was very strict so it was just theatre focused, but my college is a Liberal Arts institution, so I was able to take classes in child psychology, brand and behavior, and cultural dance—Spanish and African—as well. Overall my art expertise is dance, theatre, and painting and other visual arts.

Is there anything this superwoman doesn’t do?! Yes—she confesses to not being a sports person. Despite her technical training in modern and contemporary ballet, she says she does not have the coordination that sports require. (We can overlook this tiny evidence of her humanness.)

But don’t get too comfortable—there’s more. As to how she got involved in education, she says that career focus is a recent shift: :In my senior year of college, I didn’t really know exactly what I wanted to do, because I do have experience with a lot of different things. From one perspective, it can seem like, ‘oh, wow, that’s great,’ but then from another perspective, it’s like, ‘okay, what do you do with what you know?’ So you have to put it somewhere.”

Art and Education: Tying It All Together

She began reflecting on education. Her first job was camp counselor at McDonogh, and her mother has been an educator for decades.

So I literally have always been around it, and I’ve seen the impact she’s had on people, specifically with special education and just really being a great teacher. She also taught me everything I know. So, my focus changed, and I realized that I wanted to teach the importance of emotional and social well-being through art. That’s kind of where I am now—developing relationships and fundamentals so I can move into incorporating that into a program of my own. That is one of my goals that I’ve set for myself. I don’t know specifically what it will be or what it will be called, but what I have in mind would use art as the resource to build social connections with teachers, students, and parents and would emphasize the need to express through art as a way to learn more about yourself and how to communicate better with others.

Using art in this way, to communicate, to tell a story, is something she personally has always done.

Art came into my life really when I needed an outlet to express. I’ve been doing it my entire life, but I started acting when I was 11, and a lot of people around that age are going through a lot. You don’t really know how to talk about your feelings to your parents or even your friends. All of these changes are happening and you’re growing up. Even now I recognize that it’s starting at an earlier age for middle schoolers and not really knowing how to release what it is that they are feeling. I learned through creating stories, my own stories, and creating characters as a veil to show and express what it is that I’m feeling but not really having to do it as me. Being able to use a character to say how I feel really helped me to see that I’m releasing it, I’m letting it go, and then I’m able to understand a little bit more about how I feel. Even through dance, the physical connects to the mental. A lot of the movement that I’ve learned is about connecting how you feel and releasing that through movement.

Candace Moore at TNCS

Directing summer camp at TNCS will be ideal practice for Ms. Moore’s intriguing approach to art and education. She has already been giving a lot of thought to how she will bring her ideas to bear in summer camp as well. She hopes to build a diverse community of educators who each have different ideas and perspectives that, taken together, will provide something beneficial to every student. Her primary focus right now, though, is learning the administrative ropes and developing best practice standards.

Overall I want the community to know that I’m here to support them, not just the students, but the families in every way possible as well. I want families to be just as comfortable about approaching any issues or changes in their lives or situations for the summer just as much as during the school year. I really want to reinforce the need for communication with everyone within the school as well. I plan to have a few meetings before the summer starts so all of the teachers know the expectations and everyone is on the same page and making sure all of the parents have all of their information as well.

Other Responsibilities

Because she is already employed full time, Ms. Moore has taken on additional roles within the school while she readies for summer. While Monica Li is temporarily back in China, Ms. Moore is assuming some of her billing and office tasks. Another big part of her job currently is being the point person for Chinese exchange students, interns, and families. She is also teaching the students English As a Second Language (ESL).

Although I haven’t worked directly teaching ESL, I know that the purpose of the class is to get students to communicate, and much of theatre is about communication. A lot of the warm-ups and other activities are about group effort—working together and communicating, not just with your voice but with your body as well. Both verbal and physical communication are really important. It’s also really important to understand how to communicate physically because cultures do that differently. So, I think bringing that to them will be beneficial and help them feel more comfortable in the short amount of time that they’re here, especially for their ages. The oldest is 10 and the youngest is 7, and they will probably be a little shy. Let’s make it fun.

Let’s make learning fun. What a great note to end on! And welcome to the TNCS community, Ms. Moore.

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Meet Brittany Jackson, TNCS’s New Summer Camp Director!

Summer camp at The New Century School is always exciting, but summer 2018 promises to be extra special. Not only is this year’s camp lineup the best yet, but TNCS welcomes a new Summer Camp Director to oversee daily operations!

Brittany Jackson is a native Marylander, from Chesapeake City in Cecil County. “I grew up there and spent most of my childhood on the water, especially since that area is known for its water-based recreational activities, such as fishing and crabbing,” she said. After graduating from Bohemia Manor High School, she attended Salisbury University. There, she participated on the cross country and track and field teams and double majored in English and Secondary Education. She then went on to obtain a Master’s of Education from Loyola University in Educational Administration and Leadership.

She began her teaching career at Dulaney High School in Cockeysville in 2015. “I have had the pleasure of teaching all levels of English and Language Arts as well as Journalism and AVID, and I will be returning to Dulaney for the foreseeable future,” she said. Lucky for TNCS, however, she lives in the Fell’s Point area and had become familiar with the school: “The past few summers, I have worked closely with families who have either attended TNCS or who know of others who have, and I have only ever heard great sentiments about the experiences they had here. When I initially applied, I had no idea if they were still hiring or not, but I figured if not this year, maybe next year. I knew that TNCS was a place I wanted to get the experience of working at eventually.”

When Ms. Jackson was approached about her application and met with a few members of the current administration, everyone agreed that she is a great fit to take the summer helm. Her initial goal is to acclimate to the TNCS environment, by familiarizing herself with the classes and curriculum offered. “I want to immerse myself in the learning and experiences that the students are offered so that I can speak better to it,” she explained.

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She also feels it’s important to connect camp curriculum and activities to the local community. “I want to find attractions, shows, exhibits, museums, and even restaurants that go hand-in-hand or build upon a topic that students were exposed to in their camp and send that information out to parents in a weekly newsletter. I think that could be a neat way to involve the families in the community and for the students to see what they are learning and doing translated into the ‘real world’.”

That goal aligns perfectly with the TNCS ethos of being an active part of the city, and Ms. Jackson’s enthusiasm will ensure a wonderful summer camp experience. It will probably be a fun change for her, as well, to temporarily work with younger students rather than high-schoolers and to be in a city rather than county school.

“Simply put,” she said, “I am eager to work with the TNCS community and to learn all that I can about the learning experience of the students.” Welcome to TNCS, Brittany Jackson!