Staff

Tracie Nelson
Tracie Nelson
Director
925 254-3770 x20

Tracie Nelson is the Director of St. Stephen’s Preschool and a head teacher in one of the 4’s classrooms. She has worked with preschool children for 20 years and has her Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. She attended California State University at Fullerton, USC and St. Mary’s College. After college, she did graduate work in child psychology. Tracie was born and raised in Southern California. She has raised two sons and two stepdaughters with her husband in Orinda. Her children are all starting their careers.

Corrie Broughton
Corrie Broughton
Teacher
Assistant Director

Corrie Broughton is the Assistant Director, and a head teacher in one of 4’s classrooms. She has completed all courses for Early Childhood Education and has worked with young children for many years. Corrie brings many gifts and talents to St. Stephen’s and is an integral part of our program. She and her husband have 3 daughters, two starting their careers and one in high school. In her free time Corrie enjoys working out and quilting.

 Liz Haughey Bookkeeper/ Administrative Assistant
Liz Haughey Bookkeeper/ Administrative Assistant

Liz Haughey is the bookkeeper and administrative assistant for the Preschool, and the Parish Administrator at St. Stephen’s Church. Liz joined the staff of St. Stephen’s Preschool in early 2014, and then began working at St. Stephen’s church in the summer of 2014. Liz worked for many years in the banking industry with a focus on serving non-profit entities. When not in the office, Liz enjoys time with family and friends, cooking and reading. She has two sons in college.

Laurie Smith (Art)
Laurie Smith
Art Teacher

Laurie Smith is a teacher in the 4’s classroom and teaches art. She graduated from USC and received her Teaching Credential from University of California at Berkeley. Laurie has been working at St. Stephen’s since 1996. Laurie was born and raised in Berkeley. She and her husband have five children and have been blessed with young grandchildren.

Nancy Parry
Nancy Parry
Teacher
Guest Speaker

Nancy Parry has spent many years in Early Childhood Education with more than 25 years as a preschool Director in Lafayette teaching 3’s, 4’s and 5’s. She is also a guest speaker and has taught classes at Acalanes Adult Education for twenty years. Nancy is a Mentor teacher and our garden specialist. She lived for many years in Lafayette but now resides in Danville. All her grown children live in the area and she has 5 grandsons.

Melissa Silvestri Assistant Teacher
Melissa Silvestri
Teacher

Melissa Silvestri has finished her coursework in Early Childhood Education at DVC and specializes in the Linda Mute Bell teaching theory. She is a pre-reading specialist. She has three children, one at St. Perpetua’s School in Lafayette and two at De La Salle. When she is not working she enjoys teaching fitness classes and kayaking.

Teacher Carissa Hawthorn
Carissa Hawthorn
Teacher

Carissa Hawthorn is our science teacher and a lead teacher in our 3’s program.  She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Chico State University. Her youngest child attended St Stephen’s Preschool for three years and is now in elementary school. Her two older children are also in school in Orinda. When Carissa is not working, she loves to travel.

Will Brady
Soraya Attar
Teacher

Soraya Attar is the head teacher in the 3s class and lunch bunch. Soraya got her BA degree in psychology from East Bay California. Because of her interest in children she took many classes relating to young children. Soraya was an elementary school teacher for 14 years in Iran. As an early childhood educator, she believes, it is her job to provide a warm setting that meets each child’s individual needs. In her free time she enjoys going on walks with friends, playing tennis, and gathering with her friends and family!

Nikki Balingit
Nikki Balingit
Assistant Teacher

Nikki Balingit is currently a student at DVC and has finished her Early Childhood Education certificate. Nikki grew up in Contra Costa County. Nikki has one son who attends St. Stephen’s Preschool. When Nikki is not studying or working, she likes to hike, camp, or relax with her son and husband.

Christine Lavery 
Assistant Teacher
Christine Lavery
Assistant Teacher

Christine Lavery is a 2’s and 4’s teacher. She has a BA in Math from Boston University and has finished her Early Childhood Education certificate. She is originally from New York, and has lived in Orinda for several years with her husband and 3 sons. Her boys all attended St. Stephen’s Preschool and are in elementary school and middle school.

Mimi Khalili
Teacher

Mimi Khalili is a teacher who achieved her certificate in Early Childhood Education from DVC and has been working with children since 2011. She also has a MA degree. She believes children will make the future of the world and enjoys giving them the chance to be creative. When Mimi isn’t working she enjoys spending time with her family.

Monica Torres
Teacher

Monica Torres is the lead teacher in our 2’s program. She earned an associate teaching certificate in Early Childhood Education at DVC and continues to work towards her K-12 teaching credentials. Monica was born in Mexico, and raised in Contra Costa County. She has a daughter and a son in grade school. On her days off, Monica enjoys practicing yoga as well as hiking and taking her kids to the beach.

Mary Kinane smiling at the camera
Mary Kinane
Teacher

Mary Kinane is a teacher in both 4’s classes.  She has a degree in Psychology from College of Notre Dame.  She has also taken all of her coursework in Early Childhood Education.  When she is not working Mary enjoys hiking, going to the beach and archery

Francisca Acevedo smiling at the camera
Francisca Acevedo
Assistant Teacher

Francisca Acevedo for 13 years she has enjoyed teaching and caring for children in public/private schools (K-5th) and childcare.  She enjoys helping children explore their creative side.  She finds it enriching and contagious. Francisca has specialized in teaching Spanish. In her free time she likes to sing and dance, and be silly with family & friends. Francisca is currently working on her Early Childhood Education certificate at DVC.

Kacie Ricksen smiling at the camera
Kacie Ricksen
Assistant Teacher

Kacie Ricksen is an assistant teacher in the 4’s program and a lunch bunch helper. She grew up in El Sobrante and currently lives there with her husband. She attended DVC and took classes in psychology.  Kacie is currently taking courses in child development through the UCLA Extension program.  In her time off she loves to camp and hike.

Kiersten Peddie assistant teacher
Kiersten Peddie Assistant Teacher

Kiersten Peddie is an assistant teacher in the 3’s classroom.  She is currently taking classes through the UCLA Extension program in Early Childhood Education. She has two daughters and one grandbaby. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and just being outdoors.