Meet our Preschool Educators
Leah Thomas, Director
I have been in the education field for 10 years and am a graduate of Winston Salem State University, where I studied Early Childhood Education/Administration and Leadership. I enjoy imparting into the lives of children and I believe it is our job to fill them with as much knowledge, experience, and exposure as we can to help create a strong foundation in order to take on the world that awaits them. Every moment in life is a teaching moment. I am fulfilled the most mentoring, supporting, and training teachers to find their confidence and passion within the field as well so they can be a difference in a child's life.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling and watching football. I am originally from New Orleans and am a huge Saints fan! I look forward to getting to know you, building with you and partnering with you to create the best experience possible for your family.
Lisa Rynkewicz, Assistant Director
I have been in childcare for 21 years and have worked both as a Pre-k Teacher and in an administrative role as 3rd in charge. I have an associates degree in child development and have two North Carolina credentials: Admin I and II.
I was born in Gastonia and still reside there today. Community is very important to me. I enjoy volunteering and working with children at the Epilepsy Association and I'm also a youth minister.
Veronia Elaine Cummings
My name is Veronia Elaine Cummings; I am 32 years old, born in Fort Orr, California. I've worked with children of all ages for 14 years. I started out in Charlotte Mecklenburg School System, working with third graders. I have been with Gateway Academy for a total of 8 years. I have my teaching certification through Stanley Community College. I enjoy teaching 3 years olds, and watching them grow! I am a newlywed since October 27, 2015! My husband and I look forward to having our own children of our own to teach, and help them grow in the future!
I've been at Gateway for 10 years. I come from a big family. I have 3 boys at home, and 1 grandson. I love to read and enjoy traveling and shopping. I enjoy working with children watching them grow into their own person. Helping them to learn and play, getting them to interact throughout the day. Being a teacher has made me a better mother to my 3 boys and a grandma to my grandson.