401 SE 15th Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
Philosophy, Mission and Staff

Mission & Staff

Who Can Participate:
Children 22 months to kindergarten.

Contact: Corey Thiel, Principal
(954) 463-6051

Pre K-2 and Pre K-3                 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Pre K-4/Kindergarten              8:40 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.
Early Care and After-Care      7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.


It is the purpose of Happyland Day School to provide a quality, Christian environment for the children of this community. We strive to create an environment of love and understanding that will follow a child through his or her lifetime. We value the families of the school and work to maintain strong relationships with all family members.

Through creativity, discipline and individualized learning, our goal is to provide programs of educational activities, social development and personal growth as a basis for future success.

After graduating from Happyland, we are proud to report that our children continue on their educational journey by attending the following fine schools in Broward County:

  • American Heritage
  • Bayview Elementary School
  • Christ Church School
  • Harbordale Elementary School
  • Pine Crest School
  • St. Anthony’s Catholic School
  • St. Mark’s Episcopal School
  • University School
  • Virginia Shuman Young Elementary School
  • Westminster Academy


Happyland Day School is governed by the Happyland Board of Directors.

  • Rev. Patrick H. Wrisley, Senior Pastor
  • Rev. Nicholas Merchant, Associate Pastor for Children and Families
  • Corey Thiel, Principal
  • Cindy Vason, Director of the Children’s Ministry


It is the mission of Happyland Day School to provide a quality Christian education program encouraging the social, emotional and intellectual development of each child while focusing on academic advancement in a safe and nurturing environment.


Happyland is licensed by the Florida Department of Children & Families and the Board of County Commissioners of Broward County, and is an eight-time recipient of the Gold Seal Award. Our school boasts a tradition of over sixty years of excellence in preschool education and child care.


Corey Thiel, Principal
Emily Owen, Assistant Principal

Pre K-2 Teachers

Amanda Ceely

Veronika Charland

Chy Anthony

Pre K-3 Teachers

Veronika Charland

Luisa Rosendahl

Berenice Sanchez

Pre K-4 Teachers

Cari Cregan

Michelle de Ojeda

Amy Merchant

Susan Kennedy

Kindergarten Teachers

Kristin Arch

Doreen Gil

Specials Teachers

Gina Goldsmith, Science

Gabriella Grof, Music

Terri Wilson, PE

Teacher Assistants

Sara de Ojeda, PK-3

Kim Genovese, PK-4

Jeannie Harley, PK-3

Francy Hernandez, PK-2

Karen Kinzer, Kindergarten

Nevi Krasteva, PK-3

Emi Maldonado, PK-2

Jaime Punjabi, PK-2

Veronica Sazera, Kindergarten

Extended Day Staff

Jackie Anthony, Aftercare Coordinator

Siedah Altidor

Samantha Sanchez

Bentley Utset

A Letter from the Principal

Happyland Day School has been nurturing the growth and education of children ages two to Kindergarten for more than 60 years. Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale in the historic Colee Hammock Park neighborhood, Happyland Day School is Fort Lauderdale’s and Broward County’s premier Christian Day School.

At Happyland Day School each child is encouraged to learn at his or her own pace and is treated as a special individual with unique needs and God given talents. Your child’s positive self-image is as important to us as it is to you.

We encourage…

Our classrooms are loving environments. You can feel it the moment you walk through our doors. Friendly colors and shapes fill the rooms. Faces are smiling and thoughtful as children explore letters and numbers and expand their knowledge of the world around them.

For over sixty years, First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale has provided a loving, nurturing Christian preschool for children of all faiths. At Happyland Day School, your child will participate in activities that are both fun and educational. We encourage you to visit us and see for yourself how our program may benefit your child.

Corey Thiel, Principal
(954) 463-6051