Tracie Nelson is the Director of St. Stephen’s Preschool and a 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 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 is finance and admin 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 one son in college and one son starting his career.
Laurie Smith is a head teacher in one of the 4’s classrooms 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 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 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 Carondelet and two at De La Salle. When she is not working she enjoys teaching fitness classes and kayaking.
Carissa Hawthorn is our science and artist teacher. 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.
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!
Christine Lavery is a 3’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.
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 is a lead 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 is our Spanish teacher and teaches in our 2’s program. 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 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 is an assistant teacher. She has two daughters and one grandbaby. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and just being outdoors.
Roxanne Eldred Wieber is a Teacher’s Assistant in the 2’s and 4’s classroom. She is is a native Orindan who just loves being around children, engaging their natural curiosity and imagination. She has two grown children and one three year old grandson (so far!)
Roxanne has trained and worked at a local Montessori school and is currently taking Early Child Development courses. ( She earned her BA in Dramatic Arts from Mills College, and an MFA from ACT. ) Roxanne has worked as a nanny for many local families for the past 10 years.
Madisen Smith is an assistant teacher. She is currently taking classes through the UCLA extension program in early childhood education. Previously, she worked as a Registered Behavior Technician and an after school teacher. She has one daughter and in her free time she enjoys white water rafting, cooking, and spending time with her daughter.
Jaime Punjabi is an assistant in the 3s class. She graduated from Indiana University and taught 3rd grade in Georgia for 8 years. Then she taught preschool in Florida and South Carolina before moving to California this summer for her husband’s job. She has a second grader and twins in kindergarten. When not working, she’s taking her kids to lessons or exploring the area. She loves hiking the Briones trail and loves the beach. She is also a photographer specializing in children and families.