Meet the Lotts: Three Generations of Educators
School has always been an essential part of Carolyn and Jeff Lott’s life. First, the husband and wife team — both native to Jacksonville, Florida, met in middle school. They’ve raised and educated their three children, gaining valuable experiences and wisdom to pass along to young families. Lastly, Jeff received great inspiration from his mother, who was the head of a private school, and his grandmother, who was a teacher. For the Lotts, owning a PreSchool is a natural fit, and education is their mission.
“Education has everything to do with providing trajectory in our lives,” says Jeff Lott, “if we can bring a unique offering, I think you’re going to get an increased outcome from the children. They can be successful and also thrive.”
Jeff and Carolyn Lott are opening their first of four new Ivybrook Academy pre-schools in Florida. The first location is St. John’s County, outside of Jacksonville. Being from the area, and raising their three children there, has given them a unique perspective.
“We are parents to three children, two in college, Spencer and Sarah, and our youngest, Savannah, who’s still in high school. We recognize that each one of our children has their own personality and their own learning style. They have their own strengths and weaknesses. I wish we could have had this type of PreSchool for our children when they were younger,” says Carolyn.
Carolyn felt fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom for many years while her children were younger. She was active in the PTA and other volunteer school activities. Parent involvement is a very important part of the Ivybrook Academy philosophy and why the Lotts are pleased to open this school and provide this progressive learning opportunity to young children in their community.
Jeff Lott says having been through this stage in their life gives them both the opportunity to share their wisdom, “Our kids are older. We’ve been there. Ivybrook presented a wonderful outlet to focus on growth and family. Families with little ones are learning how to parent, how to be married, how to be a unit. What’s really, really important here is we saw Ivybrook as an opportunity to grow and nurture young families.”
Carolyn and Jeff believe very strongly in providing a program that encompasses the whole family. Their Ivybrook Academy location will be the first of its kind in the state, and Jeff says it’s very much needed. “At this age group, you have daycare — which is all day. Then you have half day. Inside those, you have a play experience. Or you can do something that’s designed to be Montessori and Reggio Emilia. This allows children to experience all of that. It prepares them for their future, teaching them how we engage and learn as adults.”
The importance of the Ivybrook Academy approach is that the curriculum is geared toward each child in a safe, loving, and nurturing environment. And the Lotts will be very hands-on dealing with families, with Carolyn serving as the director of admissions.
At Ivybrook Academy, the Student is the Top Priority
Ivybrook Academy provides a curriculum that appeals to a child’s strengths, which allows them to explore and discover, creating a positive learning environment as compared with a more rigid structured curriculum.
Ivybrook Academy provides children the freedom to grow, learn and share their experiences. The impact of early childhood education on cognitive development is well-documented. As the awareness of early childhood education’s impact on behavior and health grows, so does the need for institutions that value and nurture children’s natural curiosity.
Click here to find out more about classes offered at Ivybrook Academy in St. John’s County, Florida.