Each Hilltop staff member has earned Maryland Child Care Credentials. These credentials recognize the achievement, training, experience, and professional activities they have undertaken. This is a unique distinction recognizing those who go beyond the requirements of state licensing. We hold our staff in high regard and offer the best possible conditions for our staff as well as our children. We have very low staff turnover which provides consistency for the children and the quality of the program.
Meet our Staff
Jessica Keppley, Director & Teacher
Caterpillar’s Class (2 1/2 – 4 yr olds)
Jessica has been a part of the team of educators at Hilltop for 10 years and has worked across many facets of the early education field for 15+. Jessica cherishes her time as a classroom teacher, creating exciting new challenges for students, providing a nurturing environment and watching the students grow with each day. As Director, her continued hands-on work in the classroom allows her unique insight to ensure that the overall program maintains the integrity and devotion to providing the highest levels of care. She has an Associates of Arts degree in Education and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a concentration in Child Development from UMBC. Jessica has also earned and maintained a Level 6 Credential from the Maryland State Department of Education. She is trained and certified in the implementation of the Maryland Model for School Readiness, the MSDE recommended assessment tool for Early Education.
Jessica lives in Sykesville with her husband, 2 children, and their dog, Bailey.
“I am excited to be a part of such a nurturing and positive environment as Hilltop and look forward to welcoming your child and family to our center.”
Marissa Bishop, Lead Teacher
Marissa brings wonderful enthusiasm and energy to her classroom and students. She has been an exciting addition to the Hilltop team. Marissa specializes in developing activities and lesson plans to build Kindergarten Readiness skills and ensures that children are met with challenges designed specifically for their needs. Marissa has earned her Associates Degree in Education and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education beginning with courses from Howard Community College with plans to transfer to Towson University. Marissa has earned and continues to maintain her credential from the Maryland State Department of Education.
“Hilltop is a wonderful school to be a part of and I am looking forward to getting to know your child and family!”
Lori Shifflett, Teacher
Caterpillar’s Class ( 2 1/2 – 4 yr olds)
Lori has been part of the team at Hilltop for over 10 years. She has worked in the education field for 20 years with children from pre-school to school age. Lori brings energy and an excitement to the classroom. She is especially skilled in working with children that may be a little shy as they enter school for the first time. She is Senior Staff Qualified, Group Leader Qualified and is credentialed through the Maryland State Department of Education. She continues to take annual training courses in early childhood development. Lori lives in Ellicott City with her 15 year-old daughter.
“I am looking forward to meeting you and your child!”
Bumblebee’s Class (4-5 yr olds)
Cortney is originally from Central Texas. She has worked in the education field for more than five years. Most recently, Cortney worked as a preschool English teacher in Sasebo, Japan. Cortney enjoys getting to know each child and their family. She quickly discovers activities and interests of the children to help with transitions and create an exciting learning environment!
Cortney has her Bachelors of Arts in history and political science from Abilene Christian University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband.
Samantha Romero, Assistant Teacher
Caterpillar’s Class (2 1/2 – 4 year olds)
Samantha joins the Hilltop team of educators with an enthusiasm for caring for young children and being a part of their early learning experiences. Ms. Sam previously worked in the Howard County Public School System as a Para-educator in the Special Needs MINC EL- RECC Program. She was also a figure skating Coach for children ages 3 – 5 years old. Ms. Sam’s experience in diverse educational settings allows her to recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of each child. Ms. Sam continues to pursue professional training within the Early Childhood Education field.