Trinity Preschool of McLean


A cluster of parents stand outside the door to Trinity Preschool of McLean. They are surrounded by a sweet little garden, planted and tended to by their own children. Butterflies that their children raised dance off a bush to their right, and ripe strawberries hang in a raised bed to their left, while a colorful row of watering cans lines the windowsill. The joyful sounds of children’s laughter waft in the Spring air from the playground. The parents smile and chat while they await the end of their child’s preschool day, ready to receive them and hear all about their adventures. One mother tells Preschool Director Emily Yosmanovich, “Some days my daughter doesn’t want to leave her classroom to go home! I know her teachers love her. She feels special here and she has so much fun. It’s a lovely community.” Another mother chimes in, “The teachers here are really remarkable. They are experienced with this age group and they are always smiling. I watch them generously dole out hugs and encouragement to all of the kids here. I think that’s why the kids don’t want to go home.” They have a laugh together as the door swings open to welcome them inside for dismissal time, and one says to Yosmanovich, “Time to try to pry her away from her favorite place!”

Trinity Preschool of McLean has a history of being a favorite place for many toddlers now grown and flown in McLean. The school’s veteran teacher, Janine Whitfield, has been there for over 20 years. She says, “I run into my former preschoolers at the grocery store now, and they are college graduates! They still remember our class time together!” Trinity is almost a hidden gem in the community. Nestled through the back entrance of Trinity United Methodist Church, and surrounded by mature trees, you might miss it driving by. But Trinity Preschool of McLean is not a place to be missed! Formerly known as Trinity Parents’ Day Out (PDO), the program began as a co-op among local parents in the 1970’s and evolved into a three-room preschool by the 1990’s. In fact, Emily Yosmanovich attended the PDO program as a toddler herself, and even returned to teach the toddler class briefly while she worked on her Master’s in Education at George Mason University. She says, “When I moved my young family back to McLean, I knew I wanted my children to have the Trinity experience, full of warmth and curiosity and imagination! I enrolled my children here, and somehow wound up running the school!” She chuckles at that, recalling that she sort of fell into this little part-time job in 2019 and it quickly became a full-time passion project. The church that oversees the program acquired new permitting to allow the preschool to grow. The unexpected pandemic curveball put the expansion on a new timeline. “We had the space and the ability to open safely in Fall 2020. Once we realized we could do that well, it was a no-brainer to open more classrooms at a time when other schools had to remain closed.” The preschool expanded and rebranded. It doubled in enrollment size, added before and after care, and began offering Kindergarten. 

Children at Trinity are engaged in creative, hands-on, and social play. They explore early concepts in math, literacy, science, art and culture through play themes. They develop a sense of self and empathy for others through cooperative experiences. Uniquely, the school also offers its curriculum bilingually in English and French. “Exposing young children to a different language develops the brain to understand multiple perspectives and approaches,” says Yosmanovich. “Several of our teachers speak exclusively French to our children.” Children also participate in weekly Music and Movement classes, as well as Chapel Time with the church’s pastor. Rain or shine, children at Trinity enjoy ample outdoor time on the school’s big playground and even “hiking” through the tree groves on campus. Teacher Jenifer Abi-Najm explains, “observing nature, its changes and its wonders, is paramount to the curriculum. It teaches children to be gentle and patient stewards of our Earth and relate to change with acceptance and flexibility.” 

Trinity Preschool of McLean hosts family socials once a month to build community, and several times a year the children practice confidence by performing a concert for the parents. Young Trinity graduates even act in a play that they write together as their final project at the school. “It’s hard to graduate from Trinity,” a mother of two former students writes. “The kids were very ready for their next step in elementary school, but we have not again found the intense sense of love and belonging that we knew at Trinity. It is a special place.”

“Over the years, The Trinity Preschool of McLean has become an extension of our home and a key part of our village. Our daughters have grown in leaps and bounds because of feeling safe, loved, and seen every day in a joyful and curricularly rich environment. We are so thankful for the teachers’ warm hugs at drop-off, the friendships created, the class photo albums that share learning in action, the imaginative assembly performances, the French immersion component, the children’s vibrant art portfolios, the aftercare community – the list could go on. Most importantly, the teachers’ devotion to early childhood education shows not only in their lessons, but also in the kindness they demonstrate in every interaction. Our eldest was well-prepared for navigating kindergarten this year, and we are so grateful our youngest will have one more year with Trinity. We will miss Trinity dearly!”

Camille and Mauricio Paredes

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