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Our Team



Anitra Grove has been involved with UCP since 2014 when she taught in the Turtle Class as her youngest child was in the Frog class. Anitra also enjoyed two years as a Frog teacher here at UCP. Aside from being part of the United Church community since 2012, Anitra has also served as Director of Children’s Ministries here at United Church since 2017. This place is home for her in so many ways. Anitra earned a B.S. degree in Child Development from Meredith College, a Birth-Kindergarten teaching license at UNC-CH, and has more than 25 years experience nurturing children and families in our community. Anitra feels strongly in creating a safe space for children to grow, be curious, and develop social and emotional skills that will enhance their ability to navigate our ever changing world. At UCP, we want each child to know they are valued and loved, just as they are! Anitra‘s family includes her husband, Neil, children, Anna and John, and their dog, Sadie. Her children are both competitive athletes so they spend a lot of time on a baseball field or in a jump rope gym. Anitra also loves going to Burn Bootcamp, walking, hot yoga, delicious coffee, and spending time with her family and friends.


Turtle Class Teacher

Lara has been part of the UCP family since 2017, when her twin daughters started the fish class.  She has a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature and Criticism from Jordan. She grew up in Jordan and moved to the United States in 2004 with her husband. She has four daughters who keep her very busy. She is excited to begin her new journey in teaching preschool since her youngest daughters started fourth grade. She loves to read, play sports, hike, and to grab a coffee with her best friends. 


Duck Class Teacher

Chitra moved to Chapel Hill in 2013 with her husband and son. She became part of UCP family when her son joined UCP as a Turtle in 2014. UCP has special place in her heart. When she decided to return to work, after her son settled down in his middle school, she reached out to UCP. She started as a substitute teacher and, currently, is a fish teacher. She is excited to join the Turtle and the Duck class for the 2023-2024 school year. She was a trainer and researcher in India for more than a decade before moving to Chapel Hill. She has a Doctoral degree in Development Communication, and studied early childhood education and child psychology courses in her bachelor’s degree program. Outside of UCP, she is actively involved in her son’s after school activities. She loves to cook, organize family get together, and visit places.


Fish Class Teacher

Megan has been a part of the UCP family since 2016, when her daughter started as a Turtle. Both of her children are UCP alums, and she is so excited to to again be a part of this amazing preschool. Megan is a pediatric nurse but has been staying at home with her kids for the past few years. She is looking forward to sharing her love of the outdoors, books, and learning through play with the Turtle classes. She enjoys reading, going to the public library, rock climbing, and exploring new places with her family and friends.


Fish Class Teacher

Liz graduated from Connecticut College, where she played tennis and majored in psychology.  She grew up in Wisconsin and moved to Chapel Hill with her husband, Chris, in 2010. Before children, Liz did event planning and also coached middle school and high school athletic teams. Liz joined the UCP family in 2017 when her daughter, Olivia, started in the Fish Class. Her son, Henry, started as a Turtle in 2019. UCP has been a special place for her family, and she is excited to join such a wonderful team of teachers. In her free time, Liz loves to play tennis, read, and cheer on the Tar Heels. 


Frog Class Teacher

Liz has been involved with UCP since 2005—as a parent, board member, and substitute teacher—and has been a teacher here since 2017. She uses books, songs, art, and activities to make her classroom a joyful place to begin a lifetime of learning. All four of her children are UCP alums who to this day maintain friendships they first made here at the preschool. In her free time, Liz enjoys walking, reading, and spending time with her family.


Frog Class Teacher

Ellen started at UCP in 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and studied speech therapy for two years in graduate school. Ellen has been an instructional helper at her children's elementary school and also teaches at Duke School in the afternoons. She enjoys reading, movies, and bike riding and loves spending time with her family and friends.  Both of Ellen’s children are in traveling sports, which keeps her very busy! The Stillson Family loves the Chicago Cubs since her husband grew up just outside of Chicago. Go Cubs!

Teacher Richard .jpeg

Music Teacher

Richard Younger is the new music and movement specialist here at United Church Preschool.

Richard has just relocated to Durham from his hometown of New York City, where for 

more than twenty years, Richard has worked at preschools, libraries, and hospitals in the NYC area. In addition to his skills as a singer and guitar player, Richard has developed a keen ability to work with every class, teaching them all manner of songs, fingerplays, dances, and introducing them to a variety of instruments (percussion instrument, bells, his autoharp, uke, kalimba and various flutes). He readily admits that he’s not very competent on many of them, but as he tells the children, it’s important to try. Prior to his work with children, Richard played in several NYC bands, put out a few records, and performed from Greenwich Village to London, from Denmark to Chad. (Wait for the book!)


Richard is thrilled to call Durham his new home, and to have UCP as one of his new schools.

Feel free to contact him for any inquiries or questions on 917-738-7213.

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