We are proud of our teachers at Grace Garden. Not only do they possess a wealth of experience, but they are also incredibly committed to our school.
Ms. Tammy - Little Ladybugs (2's)
Growing up in small town Virginia, it never crossed my mind that I would one day be happily living in Austin, TX. Nor did it ever occur to me that I would become passionate about early childhood development. Motherhood, to my surprise, led me to my newest passion, teaching young children. While watching my two daughters flourish during their years at this precious school, I came to know what a special place Grace Garden is. I just had to be a part of it and share in the community spirit here at Grace Garden.
My goal for the year is to have fun learning new things.
I am happiest when my kids are laughing.
Ms. Shannon - Little Ladybugs (2's)
Happily transplanted from Houston, Texas, I live in the Allandale neighborhood with my husband and three children, all of whom attended - or are attending - Grace Garden. I have a rich experience in child development, working in several licensed and home settings dating back to high school. My main goal in the classroom is not only to provide a loving environment for the children, but to also enrich their lives with learning while having fun.
I became a teacher because I love kids! I like to get messy and explore! I am a hands-on kind of person.
My favorite thing about GG is the great group of teachers and kids. The feeling of warmth and love emanates through the halls.
Ms. Susanna - Rockin' Robins (2's)
The mother of four beautiful daughters, I was fortunate to have been able to stay at home for several years to nurture them and watch them grow. Three years ago, I joined Grace Garden and was amazed by the amount of love and support that is found in this wonderful preschool. I am blessed and thankful for the opportunity to work in a nurturing environment where children can learn and experience new challenges that will help them build their confidence. Working with the two year old age group, I realize how special these early years are and the positive impact we have on their growth. I have had the opportunity to work alongside an amazing teacher for the past three years, as well as an incredible staff. I look forward to continued success at Grace Garden.
My goal for this year is to make every day a day full of smiles.
Ms. Sasha - Rockin' Robins (2's)
Shortly after graduating from the University of Houston with a bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts, my future husband and I moved to Austin. In 2002, I left my job as Director of Communications at a non-profit organization for the most important job I would have to date - fulltime mom. My new desk was the floor. Spreadsheets transformed into abstract art drawn with crayons. Newsletters were now more colorful, filled with stories from my son's imagination. As I begin my fifth year at Grace Garden, I am reminded of what I enjoy the most: the community feeling that exists here and the way parents and teachers work together.
My favorite thing about being a teacher is witnessing the growth within one child from the beginning of the year until the school year has ended.
Ms. Melissa - Dazzling Dragonflies (3's)
I started out at Grace Garden as a substitute teacher and immediately loved getting to know the children while watching them grow. I became a teacher because I love seeing a child gain their independence by learning to accomplish new things.This will be my fourth year here and I am very excited to be teaching the Younger Threes class! My family and I are originally from Corpus Christi, but have happily called Austin our home for three years. My husband, Rudy, and I have four beautiful children. Our youngest child will be graduating Grace Garden this year.
I am happiest when I hear the children's laughter throughout the classroom.
Ms. Arleen - Dazzling Dragonflies (3's)
I’m so excited for my first year here at Grace Garden! I am working on my certification for Early Childhood Education and this opportunity fits my goals perfectly! I am one of three children, with one older brother and one younger brother. I grew up in Laredo, Texas spending a lot of time in my mother’s classroom, where she taught Kindergarten for almost twenty years. Growing up in her classroom made me realize my calling and my passion for working with children. I attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas and have been in Austin for almost a year and a half. I am eager for this school year and excited to watch your little ones grow and flourish. I am also thrilled to be joining this amazing team of dedicated teachers.
Ms. Stevie - Busy Bees (3's)
I am excited to begin my first year at Grace Garden. I first learned about this wonderful school when I worked as a teacher in Grace Garden’s summer program. What an incredible experience getting to know many of the children and families before school started! I grew up in a small Texas town, the oldest of three siblings. From an early age, I was comfortable taking care of children. After babysitting throughout high school and college, I began work as a nanny for six years. The joy I get from spending time with children is a blessing. I look forward to getting know each of you and your little one. It’s going to be a fantastic year!
My favorite thing about Grace Garden is all the great teachers I work with.
Ms. Jessica - Busy Bees (3's)
I am so excited to be starting my fifth year at Grace Garden! The mother of two, I love nothing more than watching my children learn new things and to experience life. I bring that same enthusiasm to the classroom at Grace Garden and am so thankful to have the opportunity to be part of these precious children's lives. After doing what I love best - spending the summer with my kids - I am thrilled to be returning to Grace Garden. Not only are the children amazing, but the staff is also the greatest to work alongside. It really is the best job in the world!
My goal for this year is to enjoy every minute I have in the classroom.
I am happiest when I am with my family.
Ms. Katie - Creative Caterpillars (Pre-K)
I grew up in the Seattle area and attended undergrad at Western Washington University, where I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative Writing. My college years provided no clue that I would eventually end up a teacher. When I was offered a job teaching piano and music at a private school I accepted it with hesitation, thinking I’d only do it until something else came along. Despite the fact that I had never formally taught before, I was amazed to find how much I loved it, and how rewarding it felt to be part of my students’ discoveries and successes. When I moved to Austin in 2000, I enrolled at Texas State University to earn a Master of Education degree in Early Childhood Education. After graduating, I taught Kindergarten in Del Valle ISD for three years before taking time off to stay home with my son, William, who is now in Kindergarten at Brentwood Elementary. I am excited to being my sixth year teaching the Caterpillars and feel blessed to have the opportunity to help the students in my class cultivate a lifelong love of learning, a sense of compassion for their peers, and a strong foundation for literacy and success in school.
Ms. Eleanor - Creative Caterpillars (Pre-K)
I am a Registered Nurse and a Certified Child Life Specialist with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from Florida State University. I taught preschool for two years in Delaware while my children attended. I founded “The Gleep Show”, a literacy-based puppet theater which toured libraries and schools in the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and in Washington, D.C. After moving to Florida and working as an art teacher for a year, I returned to school and earned my Nursing Degree and Child Life Certification. I moved to Austin in 2006 and have been substituting at Crestview United Methodist Preschool for two years. I am delighted to have found a home with the Grace Garden family. My teaching philosophy is that every child is an individual, and that play is the best way to learn. I cannot wait to see what the Caterpillars and I shall discover.
A ministry of Saint John's United Methodist Church