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 also serves on the Leadership Board of the Bainbridge Healthy Youth Alliance, along with committees of Raising Resilience and Bainbridge Prepares.
Julia grew up assisting in her family’s home-based childcare program, and knew from a young age that she wanted to work in early childhood education. Familiar with Waldorf and traditional programs, Julia was trained in Primary Montessori Education through Edmonds Community College, and has taken courses in Child Psychology. She has worked with children on Bainbridge Island and in Kitsap County for more than 14 years; in schools and through outreach programs. Julia has been a part of the Peacock community for a few years, in different capacities; and brings her experience and passion into her role as Childcare Director.
Nature Nuts Program Director
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.
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!
Amy Prentice: Preschool Team, Lead Teacher
Amy is so happy to be back in the classroom after taking a few year hiatus to home-school and travel with her three teenage daughters. They went to 29 different states and 6 countries. Amy has been teaching a variety of youth classes from creative dance, tap and ballet, to gardening, and clay for many years. She most recently taught at the Madrona Waldorf School and was their handwork, games, and clay teacher. When she is not teaching Amy loves sailing, traveling, painting, and adventures with her family.
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.
This is an egg.
Alexander recently relocated from Florida to live here on Bainbridge Island. Grounded in the Waldorf Schooling philosophy, his background includes experience as an Au Pair, Nanny, and most recently helping with the aftercare services at the Madrona School. Alexander is currently in the process of becoming a certified Waldorf Teacher through the Sound Circle program in Seattle.
Rachel Knudson: Preschool Team Teacher
Rachel has spent most of her adult life facilitating art with kids, and helping to ignite a creative spark with humor and imagination. She spent six years as a Toddler and Art Enrichment Teacher at a Reggio Emilia inspired school in Berkeley, CA, then went on to found her own creative reuse art studio, Sticky Art Lab, in Berkeley, CA, and also Scrappy Art, on Bainbridge Island. She is back to teaching at the preschool level, connecting with Island families, and writing a chronicle of her experience doing scrap art with kids. Her own kids are 16 and 18, she loves digging in the dirt and planting natives, paddling a canoe, drawing, painting, and making hominy stew in the slow cooker!
Nature Nuts Instructor and PreschoolTeam Teacher
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.
Tanya comes to us with a great deal of experience and expertise with children, spending her school year with the Bainbridge Island School District as a kindergarten para educator at Ordway Elementary. Tanya is also a Nia Black Belt Teacher, offering classes at the Bainbridge Dance Center, Island Fitness, and the Madrona House for Senior Living.
Throughout her career, Corwyn has focused on creating meaningful environmental and social impact through communication and education. For 8 years, she provided communication support for NGOs working on a range of global health projects. In 2015, Corwyn changed careers and became a Registered Behavior Therapist, working 1:1 with children across the autism spectrum. Through this work, Corwyn learned the value of naturalistic teaching and how to create opportunities for children to learn and fall in love with the outdoors. Dedicated to teaching and sharing information that will improve individuals, communities, and our environment, Corwyn received a Graduate Certificate in Education for Environment & Community from IslandWood School in the Woods, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in education from the University of Washington.
Corwyn loves living on Bainbridge Island with her husband, two cats, and chickens. When she is not having fun with students and colleagues, Corwyn is crafting, biking, doing house projects, and dancing.
Originally born in New Mexico, Sam Holzer has lived in Bainbridge Island for the past 12 years. His youth development experience includes volunteering at Holmes Elementary School in Spokane and working as a volunteer with Nature Nuts in 2017. Sam currently attends Whitworth University where he studies computer science and math. As an active learner, Sam strives to inspire curiosity in the participants he works with. Outside of Nature Nuts, he enjoys playing guitar and piano, dancing ballet, hip-hop, and jazz, exploring the world with friends and family, and trying new things.
Currently taking a seasonal break from her work as lead teacher at the Kitsap Community Resources Head Start Program, Phoebe is a versatile teacher with a Bachelors degree in Human Development from Washington State University, as well as a certification in Early Childhood Education.
Riley currently attends the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she is studying Sports Management. Riley comes to us with enthusiasm and experience caring for young children, as well as coaching little athletes in the BI Youth Soccer Club.
Aside from being great with kids, Isobel is also a certified CPR, First Aid, and AED instructor, as well as a Wilderness First Responder. She has volunteered at Helpline House, Island Center Rehab, and for the Virgin Island Search and Rescue. After the summer, Isobel will be attending the UW engineering department to pursue a career in bioengineering or medicine.
Gene has lived in Washington her whole life, growing up surrounded by nature and always adventuring in the outdoors. She loves helping kids share those natural experiences in her position as an intern Nature Nuts instructor. Her childcare experience includes working at Bethany Lutheran Church’s nursery for several years, as well as volunteering regularly at Kids In Concert, a musical after-school program for children.
Jamie has been nurturing and teaching children for most of her adult life, as an eldest sibling, preschool teacher, high school teacher and children’s librarian. Her passion is helping youth tap into their imagination & pursue their interests. While living and working in Hawaii for more than a decade as an elementary school librarian, she also completed her Yoga Ed kids’ yoga training on Maui in 2010. She is currently studying at Port Townsend School of Massage, Northwest School of Animal Massage and craniosacral therapy at Bastyr University.
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!