Our Staff

Darla Depew

DIRECTOR (Owner)

 

Hello, my name is Mrs. Darla Depew and I am the owner and Director of Sunshine House Preschool. I attended the University of Kentucky and Florida Southern College where I studied Business & Marketing. I received my Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Development from Daytona State College.  In addition, I hold a Directors Credential in the state of Florida and a National Credential for Early Childhood Development. I am the mother of an amazing son that I am very proud of.

 

At Sunshine House Preschool, I am an innovator, entrepreneur, educator and creative spirit working to make a difference in the lives of children across our community. I am driven by a passion for igniting curiosity and a joy for learning. I believe I can provide a solid, loving foundation to inspire children to become the authors of their own unique learning stories.

 

It is my distinct honor to have the opportunity to serve you and your child. My personal belief is that every child can learn. It is my responsibility to provide each of them with an equal opportunity to succeed in school and to fully prepare them for kindergarten. My success is based on your child’s success. I am fully committed to this job and will work collaboratively with my staff to ensure each family and child has a positive early educational experience at Sunshine House Preschool.

 

I will always leave my door open for you. I am fully committed to quality education and have dedicated my life to serve the children and families here in Edgewater. I look forward to getting to know you and your child.

Alex Shank

TEACHER (VPK)

 

Hello, my name is Mrs. Alex Shank. I am originally from Cleveland, Ohio but have lived in Florida since 2007. I live in Port Orange with my husband of over 10 years and we have 3 beautiful children to keep us busy. 

 

I teach VPK here at Sunshine House and love the challenge of getting my students ready for the rigors of kindergarten.

I have worked with children of all ages from 6 weeks to high school. I earned my CDA through the apprenticeship program and completed my Associate of Arts degree in May 2020. I am now working toward my BS in Elementary Education at Daytona State College. My courses help me bring new ideas and perspectives to the classroom each day.

 

I have taught students from every walk of life: impoverished, wealthy, unhealthy and healthy home situations. Each child I’ve worked with shares some of the same needs. Each child needs to feel safe, valued, and wanted. My goal every day is to satisfy those needs. A major part of my job responsibility is to help develop these small humans into capable and well-rounded individuals and I take it very seriously.

 

Fostering a solid relationship with my students makes the academic part of our classwork a much easier task! My classroom is filled with music, dancing, and messy, interactive learning activities! Come join us and we can dive into learning together!

DeAundra O'Polka

TEACHER (Preschool)

 

Hello, my name is Mrs. DeAundra O’Polka. I am a mother of 2, originally from New Smyrna Beach but raised in Titusville and Edgewater.  My favorite pastimes are shopping and going to Disney World.

I’ve been a preschool teacher for 15 years and 13 of those years at Sunshine House Preschool. I earned my education at Daytona Beach Community College in 1996-97, with continued education from the Department of Children and Families.

I’ve always loved working with children and felt I could make a difference in their lives.  I recalled the impact my own teachers had on me growing up - both good and bad.  I understood that not every child came from a stable home environment, and wanted to provide them with a safe place where they could feel nurtured and loved.  Every child deserves a quality education.

“I believe the children are our future; teach them well and let them lead the way.”  Whitney Houston.

 

Debbie Sopko

TEACHER (Toddlers)

 

Hello my name is Mrs. Debbie Sopko and I am the toddler teacher at Sunshine House Preschool.  I have worked with all ages of preschoolers but have found my true calling working with the toddlers.

 

I graduated from Daytona State College with an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and have continued my education through the Department of Children and Families.  I have been a preschool teacher for 20 years and 16 of those have been at Sunshine House Preschool.

 

Throughout my life, I have dedicated a lot of my time to taking care of children and I must say I enjoy every minute of it. I have one daughter, a son in law and two grandchildren that are the joy of my life.  Just like I have a love of children, I also have an affinity for animals and have many pets. I am very happy to be a part of Sunshine House Preschool team.

 

Betty Hollis

TEACHER (PR & Substitute)

 

Hello, my name is Mrs. Betty Hollis. I received my degree at Massey Business College in Jacksonville, FL and furthered my education at Daytona State College and certified through the Department of Children and Families.

 

I have worked at Sunshine House Preschool for 10 years. Formerly, I retired after 28 years as an administrative assistant at Polk County School Board. I have worked with all ages of children from high school, middle school and now preschool.

 

I love kids and enjoy surrounding my life with the joy children bring. I have two daughters, one lives in KY where my son in law is the President of Owensboro Community College. My other daughter is the owner and director of Sunshine House Preschool.

 

I have one grandson who is in high school and owns his own lawn care business. As you can see, my family and I are very involved in education and have a true love for children.

Melissa Taylor

TEACHER (Toddler)

 

Hello, my name is Mrs. Melissa Taylor and I live in Edgewater, FL.  I am a mother of 3 kids. I have 2 sons and one daughter who keep me very busy with their extracurricular activities.

 

I graduated from New Smyrna Beach High School and have continued my education at Daytona Beach State College and certified through the Department of Children and Families. I love working with my toddler class and I’m happy to be a part of the Sunshine House Preschool team.   

 

My goal is to give your child a loving and safe environment and provide plenty of fun learning activities. I look forward to meeting you and being the caregiver of your child!

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