Our People

Founding Director

Stacy Steyaert

Stacy Steyaert (she/her) specializes in arts experiences for ages 0-10, and firmly believes that play is the heart and driving force of all learning for the young. She has received local, national, and international recognition for her work and arts advocacy, including a Presidential Citation from American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE) and honors as a Steering Committee member of the inaugural American Theatre for the Very Young Digital Festival. Stacy has also mentored drama instructors and aspiring educators across the world, most notably working with educators from America, Canada, China, India, and Turkey. Prior to founding Soaring Starts, Stacy worked as the Early Childhood Program Coordinator at Imagination Stage, overseeing 20+ classes a semester, mentoring hundreds of artists and school educators, and teaching thousands of students in the DC area. Her work has also been seen at institutions such as Adventure Theatre MTC and Chicago Children's Theatre, spanning over a decade's worth of experience in teaching and program administration across the Denver, Chicago, Hartford, and DC Metro areas. She holds a M.Ed in Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University, and a BFA in Theatre Management from DePaul University.  Now also a proud Arlington mom, Stacy founded Soaring Starts Early Learning & Arts in early 2021.


Faculty & Staff

Daisy Rudin, Education Program Specialist

Daisy Rudin (she/her) holds a Theatre Studies degree from Ithaca College and is always looking for opportunities to bring arts education to people of all ages. Daisy loves the values that Soaring Starts upholds, and she brings a positive attitude and a plethora of games with her to every class. She was named "Most Confident Teaching Artist" during her time working with students ages 4-18 at Nashville Children's Theatre. When she isn't teaching, you can find Daisy flying through the air at an aerial arts studio or going on hikes with her dog. 

Jamie Borris, Education Program Specialist

Jamie Borris (she/her) is overjoyed to be on the Soaring Starts faculty, and while this is her first formal teaching position, Jamie has been working and volunteering with young children since she was 10.  Jamie loves watching kids' faces light up when they connect with an activity or concept.  When not brainstorming fun new activities, you might catch Jamie at a photoshoot or on a runway as a fashion model, and she also likes to cook, bake, and pet sit in her spare time.


Jessica Poole McCurdy, Education Program Specialist

Jessica Poole McCurdy (she/her) has been working with students as young as 3 months old through high school age for the last 14 years. Jessica has a master's degree in Early Childhood Education, with years of experience teaching Montessori, teaching theater along with the occasional theater job. She spends the majority of her time chasing after her own two children and getting to watch her studies in development before her own eyes. She loves how Soaring Starts is a fun integration of learning and playing, rooted in childhood development and interests and led by theater and songs to catch the interest of a variety of ages of children.


Teaching Artists


Kelsey Brown, Liv Dinter, Leigh Lolos, Madeleine Barry, Stania Shaw

Founders Circle

Soaring Starts would like to thank the below individuals for going above and beyond for us as we strengthened and solidified our organization in our inaugural year. We are forever grateful for the support and guidance this compensated committee of educators, advocates, and business professionals provided for us, and we cannot wait to show you just how far we will soar next.

Anna South, Kelsey Brown, Toni Goldberg, & Wendy Bable