Owners/Executive Directors: Linda and Mario LaGrotte obtained a “dream” location to live, raise a family and open a school (just across the driveway) in the summer of 1980. Carousel Farm’s Educational Center began as a summer program serving the educational and recreational needs of children with developmental disabilities.
The second floor of the bank barn was converted into classrooms, while several farm animals and a pony lived in stalls beneath. In the Fall of 1987, they left teaching positions in the Philadelphia School District, and opened Rainbow Academy for Little Scholars, as a private academic school for early childhood education. Classrooms were added downstairs, new playgrounds were built, additional pools were put in, and the pony and her friends were moved to another part of the property. For the past 35 years, they have had the privilege and pleasure of sharing in the growth and love of many, many children and their families at both Rainbow Academy and Carousel Farm.
Director: Dan LaGrotte continues the traditions and love for Rainbow Academy. He joined in the administration of both school and camp after teaching in the Philadelphia public schools for seven years. Dan graduated American University with a degree in Elementary Education and Temple University with a Master's Degree in Special Education. He comes to school every day with Cooper, a slobbering bloodhound, who spends dog days next to the goat/sheep paddock "kicking back" and enjoying the children! Dan's knowledge about young children and dedication to the field of education is honorable. The children simply adore Mr. Dan!!! Dan is available from 8:00 -- 5:00 (or after) each day.
Director: Cheryl Duffy has been a part of the Rainbow Academy family for the past eighteen years, serving as a pre-school and kindergarten teacher, as well as Director. She has a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Temple University. Cheryl feels strongly about social based learning, and that a child’s job is to learn how to play and feel confident in his/her abilities. Her gentle ways and calming disposition are enjoyed by all! She is available at school from 8:30 – 5:00 each day.
Office Manager: All of the families know Elly Spiewak for her infectious smile, welcoming voice, and personality. She has managed the office at Rainbow Academy for the past twenty-three years. No job is too much to ask her – and she will go to endless lengths for everyone. Feel free to call the school office for any questions or information about Rainbow Academy and Elly will pleasantly assist you between 10:00 - 5:00.