OUR STAFF

FOUNDER/TEACHER LAURIE

Laurie Smith opened The Secret Garden Preschool in 1998. She is the Director, as well as a teacher, at The Secret Garden. Laurie has a BS in Zoology, both an MS and a PhD in Microbiology and received her teaching certificate from the University of Washington as well. Because of her science background, Laurie loves working with the kids on science projects and introducing them to some basic scientific concepts.

Laurie loves her work at the The Secret Garden and finds that the children are still able to teach her new things after all these years. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Greg, and her three children: Gemma, Max and Emily.

DIRECTOR OF ADMISSIONS DEBBIE

Debbie taught at The Secret Garden since 2008 and has now taken on the duties of admissions director. She has been a part of the school, as a parent, since its beginning. She has worked with children in a variety of roles including as an assistant teacher for a Pre-K school and as a reading advocate for a Capitol Hill K-12 school. Debbie's experience as a teacher and parent make her a valued resource to the school.

Debbie has a BA from the University of Florida and lives in Seattle with her husband, Bob, their three children Shannon, Connor and Tierney and their dog, Jack.

TEACHER AMY

Teacher Amy brings with her a love of both art and literature. She worked in architecture before her children were born and then joined forces in her husband’s freelance video business once she became a mother. She brings years of volunteer experience at her daughters’ schools as well as experience as an assistant to the art and library teachers at a local elementary school.

Amy lives in Seattle with her husband Kevin and their two daughters, Sylvia and Lydia. She started teaching at The Secret Garden in 2009.

TEACHER EMILY

Emily has a B.S. in Psychology and Family Studies and a M.Ed with an emphasis on School Counseling.  She has worked at Childhaven, a day treatment center for abused and neglected children.  Her Secret Garden journey started with being the nanny for the Smith family.  She was their nanny for three years and slowly worked her way into the preschool.  She taught for 3 years from 2002-2005 at the Capitol Hill location.  After that she took some time off to start her own family.  She never went far and was happy to come in and observe children and help where needed. Emily returned to the Secret Garden as a full time teacher in 2014.

When not teaching Emily is a taxi service for her three children to all of their activities and social obligations. Occasionally she sneaks away to the soccer field.

TEACHER EMIKO

Teacher Emiko has over 13 years of experience in early childhood education.  She has worked as a teacher, program supervisor, and assistant director at different schools.  Her experience working with children who have disabilities and behavioral problems is especially a valuable asset for her while working with young children.
Emiko focuses on hands on and personalized learning with children based on a child’s personality and interest.  Her educational philosophy is that learning is most effective when it comes spontaneously from children’s interests and ideas, and each mind is very special.  Emiko’s goal is to support her students’ unique ways of thinking and to bring joy to the learning process. 

Emiko has a BA in English and Education.  Emiko grew up in Japan and has enjoyed exploring Seattle for 17 years. This will be her 6th year at the Secret Garden.

TEACHER BREAUNAH

Teacher Breaunah graduated from Eastern Washington University with a BA in Children's Studies. While in college she spent her time volunteering in order to gain experience working with diverse groups of children such as a children's hospital and a day camp for CODA's (children of deaf adults). Teacher Breaunah is passionate about the importance of play and believes it is the first step to the learning process of children. She has plans to pursue an MEd. within the next couple of years.  This will be her 3rd year at the Secret Garden.

TEACHER KIELAUNA

Teacher Kielauna has 3 years of experience as a teacher at the Secret Garden. She has an Associate's Degree in Arts and Sciences from Bellevue College and graduated with a BA in Elementary Education from Western Washington University. Growing up in the Central Seattle area she is familiar with the area and is eager to teach children during their important fundamental learning stages. Kielauna enjoys creating and engaging in art projects and reading books aloud to the children. Kielauna believes it is important to put the children's interest and creativity first. Kielauna’s goal is to create a positive learning environment while also providing additional support the children's different learning needs. Kielauna lives in Renton with her parents and has been friend with Teacher Breaunah for about 10 years. 

 

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