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.

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Jennifer Koski, Director/Head teacher

My name is Jennifer Koski and this will be my thirteenth 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 18) and Jack (age 15).

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.

Contact: director@bdcp.org

Max Hoff, Teacher

Hi, I’m Max Hoff, and I am thrilled to be 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 Felton with my wife Hallie and daughter Annalivia. 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.

Katie Stanton, Teacher

Hello! My name is Katie Stanton and this will be my first 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.

 

 

Hi, I’m Melissa Avilla and I’m so happy to be returning to teach at Bonny Doon Community Preschool this year! My husband Dan and I have lived on this mountain for 22 years with our 3 boys Dylan (16), Hunter (14), and Logan (12) who all attended BDCP and BD Elementary School.  Before children and while raising them, I have worked on a part time basis to gain over 14 years of experience teaching and caring for young children.  Much of that experience was gained right here in Bonny Doon!  

In between my early Preschool teaching experience and starting a family, I had a very fulfilling career in Human Resource Management and Administration.  Though I enjoyed my career in HR, after having children of my own, I realized that the early work I did with children and my educational focus in college was where more in line with what I enjoy and find truly rewarding.  I was given the opportunity to return to the ECE community as an occasional substitute teacher in 2005 when my eldest son started school at BDCP. I’ve been substituting here ever since.

I hold a BA in English Literature with a minor in Child Psychology from San Jose State University.  I have 11 units of post graduate work in Education and have passed the CBEST.  I am currently enrolled in ECE courses at Cabrillo College to further my education.

When people ask me why I like to spend my day with young children I have a pretty simple answer; no day is ever the same, you can almost watch the growth during the Preschool years.  Children are growing faster during the Preschool age (and up to 8) than any other time in their development.  We teachers are part of something wondrous every day as the foundations of their self-esteem, social skills, and moral compass are being set, not to mention the development of their cognitive abilities.  I also appreciate that preschoolers require us to constantly adapt our thinking and be willing to change our ideas at a moment’s notice.  You have to have an enthusiastic approach to life and have a decent sense of humor to succeed in this career and I think I have both.

I’m a big reader so that love for language and the written word will find its way into the classroom in many ways.  I am a collector of children’s literature and love to read to kids.  I am fascinated by stories children create themselves and love to document these.  I hope to someday write my own children’s books.   I live in a house full of “scientists and engineering minds” so though I’m not a “science mind” myself, I’ve learned to love introducing early science concepts to children.  Children are by nature “wiggly” and I love to find ways to work with that amazing energy.  I like to incorporate movement into circle activities and try to find ways for the children to let their physical energy out inside the classroom.

When not working, spending time with my family, or volunteering for my son’s schools, I train in Tae Kwon Do and Kickboxing (with my husband and sons).  I also enjoy reading, gardening, watersports and time with friends.  I’m thrilled to be working with the families of Bonny Doon again and look forward to building positive relationships with each family.