A privately-owned preschool that feels like family.

We provide a safe, inclusive, and friendly learning environment for children to grow at their own pace. Our experienced teachers nurture creativity and social-emotional development. We value working with parents and families to create joyful experiences for our students. 

TPA Leadership Team

Melissa Pezzella


Michael Pezzella


Brittany Marn

Assistant Dean of Students

Michelle Masters

Staff Administrator

From Then ... To Now

The construction begins!

Our story began in 2008 .

My husband, Mike Pezzella, and I partnered with my parents, Toni and Wally Nolker to purchase the land at 3311 Hampton Highway. By the end of that year, we broke ground and my dream came to life!

May 2009

Mike was on site every other day between his shifts at the Fire Department while the school was being built. He was instrumental in overseeing the construction phase and helping ensure the building was ready by October.

Making progress...
Leaving their mark!

July 2009

We wanted our children involved in our family business, so the day the concrete was poured, the children left their mark on the front sidewalk.

October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009, The Peninsula Academy opened its doors for the very first time. My dream was now my new reality!

Living the dream!
A perfect partnership

October 2009

My mom, Toni, began this adventure with me. I handled the staff, students, and curriculum and she handled the business side, including tuition and payroll. This was a beautiful partnership as my mom had prior experience running a successful business, and I had the educational background to run a school.

Accredited by NAEYC in 2013

I chose to pursue the NAEYC accreditation due to being privately owned. I wanted an outside source to ensure TPA was providing quality early childhood education. My team and I received the highest rating and remained accredited through 2018.

Proud of our team!
The Dream Team

2014: Teachers become leaders!

At this point, TPA was running successfully and I added to my leadership team. Brittany Marn and Michelle Masters became my full time assistants helping to manage the day to day operations of the school.

2018: Merging marriage and management

Toni retired from TPA and Mike retired from the Federal Fire Department. Mike now shares his day with me at TPA and handles tuition, payroll, and running the business side of the school.

Partners in life and business
Adjusting to pandemic life

In 2020, continuing in crisis.

TPA remained open during the pandemic for essential personnel and first responders. The staff and children adapted well to our new normal. During this time, Michelle and I made the decision to pursue and receive a rating from Virginia Quality.

Facing the future in 2023!

Michelle, Brittany, and I made the decision to continue participating with VQB5. We have found the coaching and support to be instrumental in providing a quality program. The three of us are committed to this field and are excited for what lies ahead!

Looking toward the future!

Melissa Pezzella

Michael Pezzella

Brittany Marn

Michelle Masters