Our teachers and staff are at the core of the magic that happens each day here at Peacock. Please come visit us and meet our teachers whose high levels of education, life experience, and training support our program’s excellence.
STAFF CREDENTIALS AND SUMMARIES
All of our teachers and staff are certified in Infant & Child CPR, First Aid, and HIV/Blood-Borne Pathogens, have a negative TB Test, and have cleared the Department of Early Learning’s highest background check.
Kathy’s diverse professional background in education includes, supervising educational facilities, leading teams of teachers, and designing multidisciplinary curricula. Before coming to Bainbridge Island, Kathy was part of the leadership team of Teton Science Schools where she coordinated its Jackson Campus, a multi-faceted facility with a residential environmental education program, family and conference center, as well as its own pre-K – 12 school.
Her published curricula have been circulated globally and translated into several different languages. Most recently, Kathy has worked toward cultivating the educational capacity of Bainbridge Island’s arts and culture efforts through her position at Arts Humanities Bainbridge. She and her husband are proud parents of three incredible young adults. Kathy values her time with family, gardening, bird-watching, and travel.
Since arriving at Peacock Family Services in 2015, Kathy convenes Peacock’s Alliance of Bainbridge Childcare Directors (ABCD), and and serves on the Leadership Board of the Bainbridge Alliance for Youth, along with committee work with Raising Resilience and Bainbridge Prepares.
Val received her BA in History and Jewish Studies from UW and has found her true vocation in teaching and education. In childhood, she developed a strong connection to nature and since has allowed that love to shape her life. She is thrilled that she gets to spend her days outside, guiding youth in their own discoveries and helping them develop their own deep connection with the natural world. She has taught a variety of ages, including leading babies and toddlers (along with their parents) on hikes and outdoor excursions, years of youth summer camp work, and as a Girl Scout leader. She has also worked as an organic farmer and is currently the Director of the Religious School at Congregation Beth Hatikvah in Bremerton. Most recently, she’s been an outdoor instructor at REI where she taught dozens of courses, as well as trained new instructors and staff, led outings, wrote guidebook copy, and designed curriculum for the entire Co-op.
Val is an avid camper, backpacker, and beachcomber. When not leading Nature Nuts kids on adventures, she can still be found in the woods with her preschool daughter or parked in front of a campfire with a good book.
Eliza Lane is a recent graduate of Western Washington University, with a degree in Theatre Management. Many of Eliza’s work experiences have been in places filled with children, including Sous Chef at a French language summer camp, dance teacher at the Bainbridge Dance Center, and a retail position at one of Seattle’s busiest toy stores. Eliza is excited to once again hear their happy voices all around her. When not at Peacock, you can find Eliza walking her dog at various parks on the island, or working backstage at Bainbridge Performing Arts.
Kieva has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education for over 20 years and counting. Her professional career began as a teacher in a large child development center, serving children from a variety of backgrounds and with an array of needs. After moving to San Francisco in 2000 and teaching in a small center serving typically developing children, she realized her passion was in working with all children. In 2004, Kieva founded a small preschool serving children ages 2 – 6 years old. Offering a well-developed curriculum utilizing a variety of methodologies, a full organic vegetarian meal program, and focusing on individuality, over time the school expanded into two locations and a play space. The school also developed into a fully inclusive program serving both typically developing children and those with special needs equally. Working closely with therapists, the school district, and private providers, and agencies, Kieva helped families navigate the systems to gain appropriate services that would best enable children to thrive. Kieva moved to the area two years ago with the desire for a smaller place to call home. Kieva is excited to join the Peacock team.
In her spare time, Kieva enjoys spending time with her 2 children, cat, and dog, as well as reading, hiking in the woods, and walking on the beach.
Therese is very happy to be a part of Peacock! Having been one of our Classroom Teachers, Therese knows the Peacock children well and is thrilled to have a position that will impact all of Peacock’s classrooms, staff, and programs.
Therese has earned a degree in Elementary Education Pre-K through 6th grade from Manhattan College and has worked with children for a number of years, in a variety of settings – as a preschool teacher, kindergarten teacher, before and after school program counselor, home daycare provider and most recently as a elementary school librarian. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her husband and son, playing with her dogs, and traveling.
Nannette has enjoyed working in early childhood education here on Bainbridge since 1995, most recently at Doreen’s Place as an assistant lead teacher for 11 years, and then transitioned to lead teacher the final year before Doreen’s Place closed in 2015. Prior to that, she worked at Hazel Creek Montessori. Nannette is the proud parent of two Bainbridge High School graduates who are now successful adults giving back to the world. Nannette finds joy in photography, cooking, gardening, running and music.
Lauren is from the Bremerton area where she is currently attending Olympic College focused on a degree in Social Work. Lauren’s aim is to work for the Washington State Child Protection Services in the future. She has studied American Sign Language for 3 years and has experience working for the YMCA as a Childcare Site Leader, and most recently Site Director. Some of Lauren’s favorite hobbies are yoga, reading, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.
This is an easter egg. Surprise!
This is an easter egg. Surprise!
This is an easter egg. Surprise!
Rob began his teaching career in 2002 at the Little Anchor Child Care in Seattle, WA. While there, Rob earned his Associates of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education. After 10 years teaching in Seattle, Rob and his wife moved to Keyport, where he took up a teaching position at the Jackson Park Child Development Center in Bremerton. Rob was thrilled to have joined Peacock’s full-time teaching team in the summer of 2018. In his spare time, he enjoys playing volleyball and basketball, along with studying meteorology and going storm chasing.
Sandy Spears recently moved to the island with her husband from Texas. Sandy has taught early education for 15 years and has participated in training and workshops through NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children), Kindermusik and Neuhaus. She earned her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the University of Houston. She also completed the 10 week Association Montessori Internationale program for 3, 4 and 5 year olds and the Rice University Cultural Literacy Story Telling Project for developing pre-literacy skills.
This is an egg.
Elsa grew up on Bainbridge Island and recently returned to the area after graduating from Whitman College with a degree in psychology and a degree in music theory. Many of her professional endeavors have involved children. Between spending a summer as a developmental psychology research assistant, developing and implementing children’s programs at the Walla Walla Public Library, and organizing a Rock n’ Roll camp for kids as an intern at the Walla Walla Symphony, Elsa realized how much fun it is to work with kids. She plans to further explore this professional trajectory next year while teaching English and music in Spain, and is incredibly excited to be learning new skills as a summer staff member at Peacock until then! In her free time, Elsa can be found at the piano bench, at the gym, or simply lounging around with her large feline friend, Bella.
Breanna Caruso: Support Staff
Breanna is an east coast transplant originally from the coastal shores of New Jersey. She found her way to the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland where she attended a small undergraduate institution, Washington College and got her B.A. in Environmental Studies.
Breanna is a current graduate student at the University of Washington pursuing her Master’s in Education. She recently just finished up her teaching residency right here on Bainbridge Island teaching environmental education at IslandWood. When not teaching Bre’s favorite things include chocolate peanut butter ice cream, exploring tide pools, and any water-based sports.
Zoe grew up on Bainbridge Island and has since returned after getting her Bachelor’s degree at UW and her Masters Degree in environmental education from Miami University. She has an on-going passion and love for the environment and has joined both the Preschool and the Nature Nuts teams to expose our children to nature and the wonders of our beautiful island.
Zoe’s past work experience has included working for the education team at Woodland Park Zoo, as an educator for COASST, and with the sales team at Bon Bon Confections here on the Island. You can find Zoe on her days off spending time with her family and her corgi pup, walking the beach, exploring our forests, or cooking.
Jess is thrilled to be working at Peacock. While she is new to early childhood education, Jess has always been passionate about making children smile and encouraging them to think. Jess recently moved to Kitsap County from Bellingham, and is loving exploring the area. In her spare time, Jess enjoys needlework, hanging out with her cat, and listening to podcasts.
Larkin is a recent PNW transplant and is excited to be joining the Peacock team. She has been providing childcare much of her life, and especially loves working with toddlers and preschoolers for their curiosity and openness. She believes in the power of getting dirty outside, and especially loves dress-up.
Larkin graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2010 with a BA in English and is currently pursuing her Masters in Divinity from Starr King School with the goal of becoming a hospital chaplain. When not studying or playing with littles, you’ll find her exploring hiking trails on the island and peninsula with her partner and dog, singing in the Threshold Choir, or curled up with a cup of tea and a novel.
Abby is currently a senior at Bainbridge High School, where she is an athlete playing both soccer and lacrosse. Abby also spends time coaching youth lacrosse here on the island. Coaching has taught her many skills about working with kids in large groups while bringing out her love for teaching. Having always enjoyed being with kids, Abby’s goals include a career as a preschool or kindergarten teacher. She is very excited to be working and contributing to the teaching team at Peacock!
Debra Leader: Chef
I am so pleased to be a member of the staff at the Peacock Family Center. It is a joy to cook for the children. I am impressed with the fact that they like healthy food and are very adventurous eaters.
I wasn’t always a cook. I have an Applied Sciences degree in Early Childhood Education and I was a preschool teacher for over 20 years. I have worked with low-income families and I had a home daycare when my son was a baby. I worked at First Years childcare center here on Bainbridge for about 10 years and know many island families. During this time I became an adjunct faculty member at Olympic College in Bremerton. I taught weekend classes for STARS, which is a continuing education program for teachers and caregivers in the early childhood education field.
I’ve always had a love of cooking. I have enjoyed cooking for friends and family and I even taught cooking to my preschool class. I have been a short order cook for the Sons of Norway social club, cooked at a childcare center in Silverdale, and at Pegasus Coffeehouse on Bainbridge. This experience has helped me to plan and prepare nutritious, good-tasting meals for the children at Peacock Family Center.
I have been married to Mark Leader for 30 years and we have lived on Bainbridge Island for 20 years. We have two children: Shawna and Kyle. Both graduated from BHS. Shawna graduated from Western Washington University in Bellingham and is living and working in Seattle. Kyle is a sophmore at Evergreen State College in Olympia. My hobbies include photography, bird watching and of course, cooking!