Our Teachers and Parent Educator
Maggie Darlow – Samaras
Teacher Maggie has been working with young children for over 20 years. Her first experience with co-op preschool was as a parent when her oldest child was two years old. She loved it so much, she decided to center her career around co-op! She appreciates the connections and opportunities that co-op gives to kids and adults.
Prior to her work in preschool, Maggie had a career in biological sciences. She uses her love of science to foster inquisitive and creative problem solving in children. Teacher Maggie sees her main role as teacher as helping children develop their ability to name and manage their emotions and create meaningful connections with their peers and community. She also brings these values with her when she volunteers at many local nonprofits.
When she has time to herself, Maggie loves knitting, going for long walks and runs, and reading.
Jennifer Mayton – Sprouts/Seedlings
Teacher Jennifer has been working and caring for children aged birth to 17 for the last 20 years, in a wide variety of settings. Her teaching style focuses on a child led classroom, and she loves the coop model of teaching and learning as it provides an ideal environment for children to lead and explore with adults as their assistants, and guides when needed. Jennifer loves to be silly and taps into a childlike state-of-being to connect with children – she finds this lends itself well to the principles of teaching the whole child. By utilizing the practices of emotion coaching and emergent curriculum she believes the classroom can become a magical place where big learning happens in a subtle and authentic way. She sees children as capable people ready to contribute to the world around them and aims to have the classroom be a supportive and loving place where the inherent potential of each child is encouraged to bloom and grow.
In accordance with her history with SPP, Teacher Jennifer has a strong commitment to work in the areas of social justice and environmental stewardship. She sees the social and emotional development of children as a pathway to progress for the many issues of our day. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Sciences and believes strongly that through play outdoors and the incorporation of lessons from nature we can teach our children about the importance and beauty of diversity and inclusion not just in the natural world, but in all living things. She also has a background of working with people of differing abilities and loves to embrace, celebrate and investigate the many ways that our minds can process information. Keeping a growth mindset is important to her and because she strives to live what she teaches, she is constantly trying to learn more and know better–one of her favorite quotes is: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou
Teacher Jennifer is also the mama to two lovely, lively kids aged 4 and 6, caregiver to her brother who experiences life through the lens of Autism, and is partnered with a devoted mate. She loves going camping, getting out on her bike, and is in the process of learning to play the guitar.
Ximena Grollmus, M.Ed. – Parent Educator
I am from Concepción, Chile, but I moved to Seattle on 1997. In Chile, I worked as a teacher for 7 years. Later in Seattle, I went to graduate school at the University of Washington in the School Psychology department and became a School Counselor. After graduating I spent some time raising my 2 children (now 14 and 11), I dedicated time to study more about Adlerian psychology and Positive Discipline. When I started working again, I was providing counseling services to children and their families in a local counseling agency. I later, worked as a therapist doing FPS (Family Preservation Services) with families that have been reported to CPS. I started teaching parenting classes in 2008 and I became a certified PD trainer on 2012. Since then I have been training people in Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica and Seattle area. I had worked with groups of parents from different cultures, in different countries, and with teachers and school personnel from the big Seattle area. The work with parents is one of my passions. The positive changes that I see families experiencing when they take small steps toward change gives me a lot of satisfaction.