Our staff is carefully selected in order to provide the best possible care and education for your child. We employ people who are warm and nurturing, who understand child development and can apply their knowledge in the classroom. Our staff is committed to meeting the developmental needs of your child in a caring and safe environment and is committed to the NAEYC Code of Ethics.
Jennifer Koski - Director/Master Teacher
My name is Jennifer Koski and this will be my fourteenth year at Bonny Doon Community Preschool. Over the course of my time with BDCP I have enjoyed both administrating and teaching in the program. In May 2006, I earned a Bachelors degree with honors in Child Development at Mills College in Oakland. Professionally I have worked both as a business manager for over a decade for Kinko's Inc. and with children as a nanny in Germany and Italy and a preschool teacher in the States. In 2009 I was honored and privileged to become a California Mentor teacher. This distinction enables me to provide a site to students studying ECE at Cabrillo to complete their practicum at our school, under my tutelage. Prior to my time at BDCP, I spent a year teaching at Rising Star Montessori in Alameda, CA. My husband Darius and I live in Santa Cruz with our two sons Matias (age 19) and Jack (age 16).
I have spent many happy hours observing young children and have learned a great deal about how they learn social, emotional and academic skills through the play process. I have come to understand how effectively children learn when they are given the chance to explore quality curriculum at their own pace and in their own unique style. I also learned about the need for teachers to understand each child's boundaries and limits in order to ensure both his or her emotional and physical safety. I am a firm believer in guiding children toward confident problem solving; giving them the tools to learn self-control.
I have always found working with young children is a perfect fit for me and I am really enjoy working with the children in Bonny Doon.
Max Hoff - Lead Teacher
Hi, I’m Max Hoff, and I am thrilled to be starting my fifth year as a classroom teacher at Bonny Doon Community Preschool. I began working with young children more than twenty years ago as an environmental education intern—first at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills, and then at Camp Joy in Boulder Creek.
In 2009 I began taking ECE courses online with the intention of becoming a preschool classroom teacher, and in 2009 I was a student teacher at the Cabrillo College Children’s Center. I worked as an aide at the Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center for almost a year before my first classroom teaching position at the Children’s Center of San Lorenzo Valley, where I worked from April 2010 to May 2012. Now, in addition to working at the preschool, I am the music teacher at Bonny Doon Elementary School.
I have a lifelong passion for music, language, and the arts, and I feel that the preschool classroom is the perfect setting for me to share and explore these interests in a way that is beneficial to the community and the world. I like to think of the classroom as the world in miniature, and as a teacher I seek to model the kind of pro-social behavior that I would like to see more of in the world.
I live in Boulder Creek with my wife Hallie and daughters Annalivia and Isabel. My favorite things to do are spend time with my family and music (I play sax). I’m very happy to have the opportunity to teach and care for children at Bonny Doon Preschool.
Erica Sumner - Teacher
Hello families! My name is Erica and I’m excited to begin teaching and get to know you and your children! I am from Ojai, California and have two daughters, Phoebe and Angie, ages eight and thirteen. I began teaching preschool in 2006 and have since worked in a variety of programs, each with their own style and strengths. I feel Bonny Doon Community Preschool is truly wonderful and unique and am fortunate to be a part of this team of teachers.
I believe in child-centered learning through play in a setting that provides the right blend of structure and flexibility with ample opportunity for exploration of the natural world. The first preschool I worked at was the onsite child development center at the headquarters of Patagonia Clothing Company in Ventura, where a high emphasis was placed on time spent outdoors. The teachers modeled gentle, respectful communication with children that helped them learn to problem-solve and become increasingly self-reliant. After that, I worked for Bright Horizons at Amgen Pharmaceutical Company, where I gained experience with extensive curriculum planning according to the emergent interests of the children. I then worked with Easter Seals Tri-Counties where I worked with children with developmental disabilities and most recently with Coastal Community Preschool in Santa Cruz, where I taught part-time for the past three years while attending the University of California Santa Cruz.
My education in early childhood education began at Ventura College, after which I earned an associate’s degree in natural science from Sierra College and then a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with highest honors from UCSC. I am eager to bring the joys of the natural world into the classroom and begin our journey! Please feel free to bring your natural treasures to the classroom and we can explore questions about the natural world together.
Katie Stanton - Substitute Teacher
Hello! My name is Katie Stanton and this will be my second year at the beautiful Bonny Doon Community Preschool. I am so excited to start the school year and meet the community of Bonny Doon.
This year there is a lot of new for me. Over the summer my family and I moved back to Santa Cruz County after living in Los Angeles for the last 7 years. My husband, Benton, and I met here and always felt like we left a piece of our heart behind when we moved to Los Angeles. If feels great to be back and it feels even better that our boys Connor (6) and Mason (4) get to experience a slower paced life and all that Santa Cruz County has to offer.
The first year we lived in Los Angeles I took a class in Child Development which sparked an interest that turned into a passion. I could not get enough knowledge about early childhood development and not long after I landed my first job in the field at Los Angeles Harbor College Child Development Center and Lab School. I instantly knew this would be my career path. Since then I have also worked as a head teacher at First Lutheran Early Education Center in Torrance, CA and as an assistant teacher at Town and Country Nursery School in Palos Verdes, CA. All three schools are vastly different and gave me a great perspective on what I think a great program should look like. Since starting school in 2009 I have completed over 40 units in Early Education, attended and volunteered at numerous conferences and workshops and will continue on that path for as long as I can. I feel that being a great teacher also means continuously learning, connecting and growing so I can always be fine tuning my craft.
My love of reading has opened up a huge love of storytelling in the classroom. Using props and puppets I try to invite every child into an experience to further engage them and hold their interest. Creative art experiences are also something I hold dear to my heart. Offering open ended projects that a child can build into their own creation helps build the ability to think outside of the box. Engagement and excitement in play based experiences creates a foundation for every child to feel confidence in their abilities and succeed in what ever the task may be. I can’t wait to be part of the Bonny Doon Preschool staff and share my love of teaching with the children of this great community.