Meet the Staff

Sheryl Nelson

Director

Sheryl Nelson

Director

Welcome to City Kids School (CKS). Our school has been excelling in educating preschool age children since 1998; and since 2008, we have offered the same excellent education to students in kindergarten.

CKS considers the early years the most important period of development in a child’s life. A child’s work is their play, and therefore children learn best when they engage in activities that encourage choice making, exploration and discovery, hands-on experiences, and authentic learning opportunities. Within our educational structure is the framework to come alongside parents in their efforts to raise children of strong character who will become world-changing young people.

We invite you to join our school community; join us in a journey of excellence and virtue. For more information or to schedule a tour, please contact me by phone or e-mail. I look forward to meeting you!

 

Sheryl Nelson, MIT
School Director

(425) 739–1227
sheryl@citymin.org

Kristy Lara

Assistant Director & Preschool Lead Teacher

Kristy Lara

Assistant Director & Preschool Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Kristy Lara. I have an earned bachelor’s degree in Children’s studies from Eastern Washington as well as an earned CDA (Child Development Associates) and love to keep learning. I have a sense of humor, love to guide children to new discoveries, am teachable, enjoy interacting with parents, and love God with all my heart.

My classroom is colorful, fun, and safe for the inquisitive 2.5 – 3-year-olds. We have age-appropriate activities that invite a child to play and learn through hands-on activities.

One of the most exciting things in my classroom is watching children learn through play. It is not hard—it’s natural. I love to put a new activity out and watch as the children discover it, test it out, play with it, and get ahold of the “concept” without even trying.

My favorite verse is Philippians 4:6-7:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Malia Isenhart

Preschool Lead Teacher

Malia Isenhart

Preschool Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Malia Isenhart. Teaching young children is the most fun and fulfilling profession I can imagine for myself. I love what I get to do every day because it is always an adventure! I am a graduate of the University of Washington where I earned my Bachelor of Art degree in Sociology; and also a graduate of Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney Australia where I earned a certificate of Pastoral Leadership/Children’s Ministry. Most recently I got to use my passion and skill as a Children’s Pastor for five years.

There is nothing more thrilling than to walk beside children as they discover more about the incredible world around them. Learning should be an adventure filled with curiosity, playfulness, creativity, laughter, and music. My goal is to create a classroom environment where children will experience God’s unconditional love and develop a passion for learning at an early age.

Joining the outstanding team at City Kid’s School has been a dream come true! I love the community of staff and parents who I get to partner with in seeing children learn and grow in their gifts and become who God has made them to be.

One of my favorite scripture verses is Ephesians 3:20-21 (MSG):

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.”

Bonnie Anderson

Preschool Lead Teacher

Bonnie Anderson

Preschool Lead Teacher

My name is Bonnie Anderson, and I am excited to be joining the teaching team and specifically the 3-day teachers at City Kids School! I have an earned bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Warner Pacific College in Portland Oregon.  I love children and I have 5 adult children of my own.  I am delighted to be a part of the thriving community at City Kids School!

I have found that children learn best when they are having fun. I believe a classroom should be inviting and full of exciting hands-on activities. My desire is that every child will know they are unique and greatly loved by God and that they will make new friends while exploring both God’s Word and the world in which we live.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6 (TPT):

“Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions.  With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make.

Ashley Kelly

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Ashley Kelly

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Hello! My name is Ashley Kelly. I am honored to teach preschool at City Kids School. The joy and fun that fills each classroom as students learn and grow is absolutely lifegiving!

I am passionate about learning and I love school! I earned my Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a Minor in Urban Education from Santa Clara University in 2008. To pursue my teaching career, I went on to gain a multiple subject teaching credential in 2009 from San Diego State University and a Master of Education degree in Teacher Leadership from Seattle Pacific University in 2015. Prior to CKS, I taught second and third grade in the Lake Washington School District.

My classroom is full of hands on, purposeful play. Students will be loved and celebrated for being uniquely created by God. One of my favorite parts of teaching is learning how each child is unique, so I can better serve their interests and growth as a learner. My hope and intention is to facilitate a classroom environment that inspires curiosity, exploration, friendship and authentic learning. I want your child to be excited to enter the classroom each day because of all the fun he/she is having!

One of my favorite scriptures is:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Bonnie Schwindt

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Bonnie Schwindt

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Bonnie Schwindt. I have been a preschool teacher since 1999 (both as a Pre-K teacher and a Kindergarten Assistant). I am excited to continue sharing my passion for teaching young children in a loving, Christian environment at City Kids School. I enjoy messy fun (most of the time), exploring with all our five senses. I want to foster each child’s unique gifts and abilities. Fostering confidence in each child will promote a willingness to try new things. My favorite scripture is, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Tami Duryee

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Tami Duryee

Pre-K Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Tami Duryee. I am extremely excited to be teaching the Full Day Pre-K class at City Kids School.  I have been teaching in Early Childhood since 1990.  God has always had His hand on my life, and I am delighted for my adventure at City Kids School. I really love the Pre-K/Kindergarten age as they genuinely like learning new things. I specialize in HANDS ON LEARNING as I find hands-on-activities to be the best way to connect to the learning.

Because GRACE and FAITH are especially important in my life, I will share my favorite verse: “For it is by GRACE you have been saved through FAITH.” EPHESIANS 2:8

Tami Kowal

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Tami Kowal

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Tami Kowal and I teach Kindergarten at City Kids School.  I have an earned Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Wayne State University in Detroit and worked in marketing and advertising for several years before realizing my true calling was teaching. I earned my Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from University of Washington in 1998 with endorsements in Elementary Education (K-8) and Early Childhood Education (P-3).  I then taught kindergarten in the Shoreline School District and Bellevue School District, and 3rd grade in the Highline School District.

One of my biggest hopes for your child is to  ignite a lifelong love of learning. My goal is to create a real sense of community in our classroom, where every child feels valued and safe, so that authentic & joy-filled learning can happen. I like to keep learning as hands-on and as fun as possible, incorporating movement, song, routines, repetition, and creative projects. Kindergarten is a year of tremendous growth. It’s rewarding to watch a child master a difficult task they once struggles to do. I  love to nurture a  relationship with God, letting  each child know God loves them unconditionally.

One of my favorite scriptures is: “Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

Dina Pan

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Dina Pan

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

Hello my name is Dina Pan and I teach our amazing Kindergarten class! I am a graduate of the University of Washington where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with an emphasis on Culture, Literature, and the Arts. I also earned a Washington State Teaching Certificate in Elementary Education. Prior to coming to City Kids School I taught in the Northshore School District and at Bright Horizons.

From an early age I wanted to be a teacher. I grew up with parents who were both educators and their love for teaching inspired me. Now I feel so privileged to be teaching at City Kids School and working with such an amazing teaching team.

My goal for students is to make learning fun. I love to teach using songs, movement, repetition, and creative activities. One of the most rewarding things about teaching is watching a child have his/her “aha” moment. When a child finds understanding or accomplishes a task that they have been working diligently on such as writing a letter or number correctly I love to see the “aha” moment and this without doubt brings joy to my heart.

One of my favorite scriptures is Philippians 4:13:

“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”