Our Teachers and Parent Educator

Sarah Schmidt – Sprouts

Sarah Schmidt Teacher Sarah has worked with children from birth to elementary age for 17 years, the last 10 of which have been focused on preschool age children. Her teaching philosophy is based on following the children’s lead for play and learning (emergent curriculum), positive guidance, and facilitating problem solving rather than solving problems for them. She views teaching as facilitating a love for learning using fun and positive tools. She uses a strength-based approach to learning by focusing on each child’s skills and using them as a foundation. She gives children tools appropriate for their individual personalities, temperaments, and needs to help them achieve their highest potential. In doing this, a positive and loving bond is created between the children and the caregivers, helping the children build trust in adults and their peers.

Teacher Sarah uses music and movement to address developmental needs in children 12 months to 5 years old. She is a strong proponent of learning and gaining confidence through creative outlets and through playing freely with positive modeling from adults. When children are having fun and being freely creative they absorb more from their every day interactions.

Teacher Sarah is also a singer-songwriter, musician (guitar and piano), and a very proud single parent to an 18 year old boy!

Nur A. Greene – Seedlings & Saplings

2Teacher Nur is an emerging teacher who has been working with preschool age children on and off since she was a teenager, and more intensely this past year. She offers children the chance to enjoy self-directed play and exploration as a means of developing their cognitive abilities and cultivating their own styles of self-discipline. Her approach is to facilitate learning based on the child’s interests, expanding upon them as a class and individually through materials and fun activities. Teacher Nur provides a playful environment that allows children to be guided by their natural curiosity. Through movement, song, and theatre she hopes to weave an understanding of our world and our communities into something stimulating and developmentally appropriate. Social justice issues are an important part of her life and she seeks to share what wisdom she has gained, so that children can become aware of the choices we as a community are making and how it affects us all, apple, animal, and city. She believes in the power of experience to educate youth and wants to shower them with experiences that broaden their worldview from the tiny seed they are, into the shady tree they are becoming. Her personal philosophy includes an appreciation of those difficult moments that need extra problem solving, and that through struggle children do some of their most awesome developmental work. Through love and acceptance she strives to create a warm, honest, and respectful classroom.
Teacher Nur loves to learn just about anything and is excited to share that love of learning with others. No matter what differences in each child, she believes each brain, each body, each mind and heart are important masterpieces-in-progress. She hopes to encourage confidence in their creative expression. She feels that when we feel safe, loved, and honored for who we are, we can all be in a place of progress.
Teacher Nur is also a performance artist who uses movement & media to invoke a sense of healing in others.

Virginia Staron – Parent Educator

After teaching in a preschool, Ginny attended the University of Maine where she completed her Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies. She became familiar with parenting programs such as Parents as Teachers, Healthy Families, and the Teen and Young Parent Program when working as a graduate assistant for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Wanting to work with families, Ginny became a Home-Based Family Therapist in a strengths based program for Catholic Charities Maine supporting at-risk families. It allowed her to pursue her commitment to working with families and children to promote healthy development within the family system. It was through this work she was able to provide parent education at a clinical level. She was able to encourage and support parents as they developed the tools to parent positively and effectively, becoming resilient families. After moving to Pittsburgh, Ginny worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Allegheny General Hospital where she became involved in research to establish evidenced based treatment for children and adolescents diagnosed with PTSD. After relocating to Seattle, Ginny took time to raise a family. She has two boys, ages 6 and 9.