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The Preschool Lab operates with a well-educated, experienced staff. Our staff includes a director with a doctorate in psychology, a head teacher with a bachelors degree in elementary education and certification by the Pennsylvania Board of Private Academic Schools, and a teacher with a bachelors degree in elementary and early childhood education. Each class also has a trained college aide who is part of the teaching team. Teacher-child ratios are 1:5 for the three year old class and 1:6 for the four year old class.


Mandy B. Medvin

Director, Westminster College Preschool Lab

Professor in Psychology

We care about your children...

The Westminster College Preschool Lab is dedicated to achieving excellence in early childhood education. Our goal has been to develop a model preschool for the western Pennsylvania region. As a developmental psychologist, I have been preschool director of our nationally accredited school since 1992.

The elements of our program include:

  1. Diversity: The themes of multiculturalism and community are an integral part of our classroom. Parents, individuals from the college, and others are brought into the classroom to share their diverse backgrounds and traditions.
  2. Staff development: Our teachers provide training workshops on early childhood education for other preschool teachers, and hold leadership positions in early childhood community organizations. Due to the uniqueness of our facility, and the availability of an observation room, other preschools are welcome to observe our classroom, and discuss curricular issues with our teachers.
  3. Parent-teacher relationships: We believe that parental involvement in our program, and clear communication between home and school, facilitates children's growth and helps in their adjustment. Our open door policy for parents to observe and discuss their child's development, parent programs, monthly newsletter, and information center help to forge strong ties between our families and our school. The personal relationships that develop from this partnership are ones we treasure for many years.
  4. College student involvement: We have an extensive volunteer program involving college students from many areas of the college. Our students help to facilitate our computer program, or volunteer a special talent. The preschool classroom, in turn, serves as a training ground for early childhood professionals.
  5. Research in early childhood education: We continue to explore the most optimal ways of facilitating children's growth in all areas.
In the end, our ultimate goal is to provide a warm and nurturing environment for our children.


Debi Roud

Head Teacher

You can teach a student a lesson for the day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity,he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
- Clay B. Bedford

I began teaching at the Westminster College Preschool Lab in 1990 and have enjoyed working in the field of Early Childhood since 1984.

As an early childhood educator, I recognize and emphasize the development of the whole child. By providing for children's socio-emotional, physical, cognitive and language development needs, a positive, age appropriate learning environment is created. Children learn exceptionally well when in an environment that encourages play and exploration. My curriculum is planned according to the children's interests and needs. Activities that are appropriate for one group of children may not be appropriate for another. By offering developmentally appropriate learning experiences, children play and learn at the same time.

Some of my professional memberships/duties include:

  • Jameson Hospital Board of Directors; Lawrence County Children's Advocacy Center
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC)
  • Lawrence County Community Action Partnership Early Learning Task Force (LCCAP)
  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Teaching Certificate

On a more personal note... I have been blessed with a loving husband and two wonderful children who never cease to amaze me. I am the varsity women's assistant golf coach at Westminster College and am active in my church, having served as both Elder and Deacon.


Melissa Moore


The important thing is not so much that every child should be taught, as that every child should be given the wish to learn.
- John Lubbock

I have been working in the field of early childhood education since 2007. I am a graduate of Clarion University where I earned bachelor degrees in both Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education.

I believe young children are special and unique individuals that learn in a variety of ways. In my experiences, children learn best through interactions with adults, peers, and the environment. My teaching techniques are rooted in social learning experiences.

Classroom instruction geared towards children's interests creates a motivated learning environment. I believe in giving children opportunities to take control of their own learning. As a teacher I interact, listen, question, and support children as they learn.

Creating a community of learners among children establishes a sense of belonging. This is among the most important goals I have set for myself as a teacher. I want children to feel comfortable, both physically and mentally, in the classroom.

Most importantly, I want children to look forward to being a part of my classroom. I believe learning begins with a spark, and I work hard to keep that excitement alive throughout the learning process. Every child is a special and unique individual that deserves to be surrounded with love, learning, and encouragement.

I currently live in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania with my husband Ned and our two children Ella and Peyton. I enjoy reading, the beach, the Steelers, and spending time with my family.