Leadership at Mighty Minds
They are our backbone, central to our daily operations, flexibility, and communications, between child, teacher, and parent. You can contact them here, using a form, or by sending an email to hello [at] mmlhp [dot] com.
Ghizlaine “Gigi” Taft, director & Founder.
Gigi founded Mighty Minds with a vision: to create a preschool where parents could drop off their children and leave with peace of mind, that is, knowing that their children would be loved well and guided through their educational experiences by caring, hand-picked teachers.
Her vision came to her in 2004 when her son Christopher was born, and even though she had already earned her BA in Elementary and Secondary Education, taught Montessori in Port St. Lucie, Florida, moved to Virginia, taught French and Spanish at Albemarle High School, and achieved her Master Degree in Psychology, it was not until motherhood that she realized the importance of safe, loving child care. She was determined to provide more than just a simple daycare.
She combined her education with her life experience growing up in Northern Africa, and spending her summers in France, to create child care and preschool experiences which would also provide foreign language immersion, exposure to global cultures, and classic early childhood education. Today, this vision has become Mighty Minds International Preschool and has improved the lives of thousands of parents and their children.
While Gigi has a talented staff to help her execute the requirements of running a preschool for your little ones, she is present daily in the office, loving and caring for every child who walks through her door.
Gigi lives in Green County with her husband Mike and her son, who will graduate from High School in 2021. Wow, how time flies.
Jen Crast, Assistant director
Jen serves as Mighty Minds’ Assistant Director, so she stays pretty busy. While handling day to day operations with Claudia, she supervises the teaching and administrative staff, ensuring classrooms are full and teachers are equipped with the materials they need to teach and care for Mighty Minds’ students. She has developed an extensive set of intra-office communication protocols and has established a team atmosphere through her leadership and employee training and development.
She is responsible for every facet of running a daycare and educational facility including a continuous effort to improve the management of the organization and building a strong team of educators and care givers. Yes, her time management and communication skills come in handy.
Jen has a Bachelors degree in Human Development with a Concentration in Child Care Administration which gets put to the test everyday, but it is always her love of children that keeps her focused and able to complete the tasks of her job. Jen has two of her own children too, ages 2 and 4.
Claudia Ogaz, Operations manager
Claudia serves as Operations Manager at Mighty Minds, which requires wearing a lot of different hats, but hey, that’s part of what she loves about her job. She has a degree in accounting and actually uses it, to handle all of Mighty Minds accounts, billing, and operational costs.
She also oversees our communications systems which keep our parents and teachers in constant contact, and she has developed many of the organizational procedures and systems required to keep the Mighty Minds train on the rails.
She was raised in Mexico and enjoys spending time, and speaking Spanish, with the students at Mighty Minds. She is proficient in all aspects of running a preschool, has a true love for children, and brings a special energy and enthusiasm which we could not survive without.