GCDS Family

Our Team



Glenwood Country Day School was founded by teaching professional, Cheryl Stradling, in 1986 in Ellicott City, MD. She believes that some of the most important learning experiences occur outside of the classroom. So, in 1999 she moved her private school for children ages two to thirteen to Glenwood, MD to be on forty beautiful wooded acres. She created a learning environment where children feel happy and safe. She believes that students are happier and learn more when they’re working at their full intellectual capacity. That is why Glenwood Country Day School places children into smaller learning groups based by their ability and not by age. Please come and visit our campus to make a difference in your child’s education!


P.E. Teacher

Michael Stradling, or Mr. Mike as the kids like to call him, started his teaching career in 1974 after getting a full ride to Temple University for Track & Field. He ran with the best and as a result his picture has been hanging up in their main gym ever since. Mr. Mike came to Maryland to teach because his wife was already teaching in the Howard County Public School System. He landed his ideal job teaching physical education at Centennial Lane Elementary School in Ellicott City, Md. He stayed there for 35 years. After retiring from this position, he realized that retirement was not for him. So, ever since he has been teaching physical education full time at Glenwood Country Day School. He loves the younger children! He says daily,“They always have a smile on their face and want to give you a big hug. The ages 2 to 6 are the best!!”


Head of School, Camp Director, and Teacher

Ever since I was little, I always knew in my heart what I wanted to do – be a teacher of young children. In high school, I tutored elementary-aged children. Growing up in New York, from the time I started working, every summer, I was employed at day camps. As an undergraduate, I studied at Towson University, in which I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. After graduation, I became a resident of Maryland and began my teaching career working in preschools / nursery schools. While working, I continue to further my education in Early Childhood by attending various workshops and conferences which helps me to help my students be very successful in school. It also helps me become the best possible teacher. I am very happy to be a part of Glenwood Country Day School. I enjoy teaching children new things and expanding on what they already know. My love for teaching will never change!


Teacher and Summer Camp Staff

Upon graduating from Frostburg State University in 1997, I began my career as a substitute teacher for Carroll County Public Schools. I substitute taught in 15 schools across Carroll County, working in pre-k through fifth grade. I also filled in for Music, Art, and Physical Education classes. During the summers, I worked at the YMCA as a camp counselor. I began working at Glenwood Country Day School in September of 2001 as the 4/5’s teacher. I also had the opportunity to co-teach with the other teachers, working with children of different ages, as well as teaching in the summer camp program. In 2010, I wanted to take an adventure to the west coast to Oregon where I lived for five years. While in Oregon, I took classes in Early Childhood Development at Chemeketa Community College and worked as a teacher at The Providence/Benedictine Child Development Center. While there I worked with infants through school age children. In 2015, I returned to Maryland and came back to Glenwood Country Day School teaching in the 2/3 year old classroom. This year, I have children who are 18 months through 2 years old. I enjoy teaching and working with children because I love watching them learn and grow. Their minds are like little sponges that absorb so much knowledge that is given to them. It never ceases to amaze me how much children learn from their teachers and peers. I love watching how children shadow what they see other children and teachers doing. For me, this means their little brains are hard at work learning new things all the time.


Director of Public School Program

I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and attended Northwestern High School in Prince Georges County. I graduated from Anne Arundel Community College with my Associate degree in Transfer Studies, and I am currently taking classes at Towson University/UMGC in pursuit of a Criminal Justice degree. I have been working in childcare for 14yrs and started when I was 15 years old and have worked every year since. I have worked and coached throughout the state of Maryland for the past 11 years. I enjoy working in childcare because I can make a kid’s day, whether it’s by doing a craft, an energetic gym game, or just telling some funny jokes. My favorite things to do outside of work are playing basketball, football, hiking, swimming, coaching, and officiating youth sports as well as watching the Redskins on Sundays.

We are blessed to have Mr. Dameon continue his journey with the Summer Adventures Camp team in 2022.  He will be leading our STEM (science, technology, engineer, mathematics) station.



After a year of being a frequent parent volunteer in my daughter’s nursery school classroom, I found myself inspired to make a career change.  To achieve this, I went back to school, attending UMBC, and took the classes I needed to receive my Maryland Certification in Early Childhood Education. Since then, I have taught Preschool and Kindergarten students in both public and private schools and received an additional degree from Hood College. I find teaching these youngest learners rewarding and fun and am excited to have the opportunity to work with them at Glenwood Country Day School during the year ahead.


Lifeguard and Summer Camp Teacher

Mr. Taylor attends Center College in Kentucky.  He was a part of the Columbia Association, where he was a lifeguard and training other lifeguards.  Mr. Taylor is life guard and pool operator certified.  He also is a soccer player and has coached 7 and 8-year-olds in soccer.


Summer Camp Teacher

Ms. Allison is a Junior at Towson University.  She has an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education.  Ms. Allison will be graduating from Towson University with a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Special Education.  She has interned at various child care centers, working with children between the ages of 2 and 6.  We are happy to have Ms. Allison be apart of our Summer Adventures Camp Team.


Summer Camp Teacher

Ms. Kayla is currently attending Towson University and will be graduated in May, 2023.  She plans to work in a daycare, specifically for children with special needs, and help them develop and grow each day.  Later down the road, Ms. Kayla plans to have her own daycare and help children around the world, in both general and special education.  She has worked with children ranging from ages 2 – 13 years old.


Summer Camp Teacher and Music / Drama Teacher

This is Ms. Frances’ 2nd year at Summer Adventures Camp.  Ms. Frances is currently a Music major at Towson University and will be graduating from Towson University. Currently she is student teaching. She has subbed at Glenwood Country Day School, working with children between the ages of 2 and 6.  She has experience working with children between the ages of 2 and 18.  Ms. Davis is very talented in that she owns and plays many instruments.  Ms. Frances’ hope is to be a music teacher after graduating from Towson University.



Ms. Allison was born and raised in Maryland.  She launched her first school year here at Glenwood Country Day School.  Ever since she was young, she knew that she wanted to teach.  Teaching has always been a huge passion.  Ms. Allison graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Family Science from Towson University and has taught young children for the past 10 years.



Ms. Melissa was born and raised in Howard County, Maryland.  Currently, Ms. Melissa lives in Baltimore County.  She graduated from Stevenson University with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.  Ms. Melissa likes to be outdoors, exploring new and historic cities, but will never miss the opportunity to hang out on the couch with her dog Bentley.  She is excited to be a part of the GCDS team.  She has several years of teaching experience and enjoys teaching young children new things.





Ms. Shareen grew up in Washington State and has resided in Texas for over twenty years.  She moved to Maryland with her family over a year ago.  Ms. Shareen received her degree in Teaching from Washington State University.  She has over 20 years of teaching experience and looks forward to working with the children and families of GCDS.



  • I read to these friends every Tuesday and they are the most polite, caring and attentive children for this age group that I have ever worked with. Jeannie
  • Love the place, they treat my kids like family. Nick
  • When Mrs. Poland gave me a tour of GCDS, I felt like she was the owner of the school. Her compassion shown through. Beth
  • Being a resident of Columbia, it was refreshing to place my child at Summer Adventures Camp. Lee
  • It was refreshing to have my child at Summer Adventures Camp on 40 wooded acres. Jonathan
  • Having a class size of only 6 is why my child goes to GCDS. Jennifer
  • I just want to thank you and the rest of your team for a great first day for Emma and Jack. They had a wonderful time and I just want to thank you for caring for them and keeping them safe in these trying times. Krystal
  • We want to thank you for your hard work in creating engaging lessons and meeting with students every day. As a teacher, I know how difficult it is to facilitate meaningful interaction with students in the current circumstances. Evelyn looks forward to circle time and loves watching your videos every day. Scott and Katherine
  • I've said it before to Mrs. Poland, but I'll say it again...my kids LOVE camp. I asked Ollie all kinds of questions on Saturday about it and he was getting very excited about everything he was telling me. He loves lunch outside. He also told me this weekend that he hurt his leg, but it was ok, Mrs. Harp would clean it and make it better at camp. Vivian usually dreads the idea of swim lessons, but because of camp, she thinks maybe she could handle swim lessons, and when I ask her if there is anything she doesn't like at camp, she told me she likes everything! Thank you for all of your hard work! Katie
  • I can't believe we're already signing up for the last week :( We are all so sad to see camp ending after next week. The kids really enjoyed it - they loved the activities and their teachers. Thanks for putting on a great camp, especially considering the pandemic! Erin
  • Ms. Poland, Following up with you via email after our parent/teacher conference last night. We want to thank you and the entire staff at Glenwood Country Day School (GCDS) for enduring the risk of the current pandemic by providing in-person education to our daughter. This summer, she was a rising Kindergarten student with learning delays with her speech. The virtual experience of the Spring of 2020 turned her off from learning and we saw her regress. We made the decision to enroll her in GCDS's Kindergarten program in the Fall of 2020 and it was the best decision we ever made. Our little girl, who was struggling with learning and turned off from the concept of online school, is now flourishing. Every day she is excited to go to school and most importantly her learning and comprehension is on par with other Kindergarten students. The other night, she read a sight word book to us and the look of pure joy and satisfaction on her face was something we will never forget. We are tremendously grateful to you and the rest of the GCDS staff for helping our daughter find her confidence and desire to learn. With many thanks, Matt & Tess Wiley Matt and Tess
  • Thank you for an amazing school year- the kids had a blast and learned so much! You guys are really awesome! Kristen
  • Thank you GCDS! When all other schools were virtual or hybrid this year, you made the courageous decision to go fully in person 5 days a week! And we made it through a whole school year with no COVID closings! On behalf of all working parents, THANK YOU!!!!! Darren
  • Hi Mrs. Poland, I wanted to let you know we are going to get a head start on our traveling for the 4th of July weekend. So the boys will not be at camp on Friday. I want to thank you & everyone at the camp! The boys are having a BLAST and we will definitely be back next summer!!! Stay cool, Kelly
  • Thanks to you and your great staff for once again doing a great job keeping our kids engaged and safe. Darren
  • I'm glad that Mr. Dameon will be continuing at the school. Our daughter talks about him a lot and it's clear to us that she really enjoyed being around him. Kudos to you, Ms. Poland and Mrs. Stradling, for putting together a rockstar team. Adam and Nicole
  • Hi Mrs. Poland, My son had a great experience at Glenwood Country Day Camp this summer. It was his first summer at the camp and he didn't know anyone. After the first day, he felt very comfortable and met lots of friends. He enjoyed swimming, crafts, and field time. He can't wait to come back next summer and I'm looking forward to my youngest child being able to enjoy camp at Glenwood as well! Thank you! Kori
  • Just a quick note to let you know how much my son is enjoying camp this week. When I picked him up on Tuesday, I asked him how his day was and he replied that it "was the best day ever." I learned that his best buddy (also a camper) told his mom the same thing that afternoon! Yet, when I picked my son up yesterday and asked him the same question, he answered that his day "was even better than yesterday". You all must be doing something right to keep these 7 year old's so happy! Thanks and keep up the good work, Beth
  • Hi Mrs. Poland, We're all sad that the kids are missing their last day this summer at Glenwood. I wanted to thank you for everything this summer, specifically for your help in making sure Clark's camp experience ended on a good note. We hope you have a great rest of the summer and we hope to see you again next year. Thanks again! Kori
  • Madison ranked her teachers… Kindergarten= 9/10 First=9/10 I asked her what a 10 was and she said. Mr. Dameon! Kara