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.

Kitty
Kitty Wendt
Assistant Director

Kitty Wendt is an Assistant Director, and head 2s teacher. She has been working at St. Stephen’s since 1999. She has her Bachelor’s degree in education from San Diego State University. Kitty was born and raised in Marin. She and her husband have two children both starting their careers.

Liz Haughey Bookkeeper/ Administrative Assistant

Liz Haughey is the bookkeeper and administrative assistant for the Preschool, and the bookkeeper at St. Stephen’s Church. Liz joined the staff of St. Stephen’s Preschool in early 2014, and then with 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.

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.

Corrie Broughton
Corrie Broughton
Teacher
Assistant Director

Corrie Broughton is an Assistant Director, and a head teacher in one of 4s classrooms. She has completed all courses for Early Childhood Development 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.

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 our Distance Learning teacher and garden specialist. She and her husband lived for many years in Lafayette but now reside in Danville. All their grown children live in the area for now and they have 5 grandsons.

Melissa Silvestri Assistant Teacher

Melissa Silvestri has finished her coursework in Early Childhood Development at DVC. She is a teacher in the 3s classroom She has three children at St. Perpetua’s School in Lafayette and enjoys teaching fitness classes.

Carissa Hawthorn
Carissa Hawthorn
Teacher

Carissa Hawthorn is our science teacher.  She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from Chico State University and has taught Kindergarten Sunday School for over 15 years. 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.

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!

Will Brady
Nikki Balingit
Assistant Teacher

Nikki Balingit is currently a student at DVC working on her ECE degree and teaching credentials. Nikki grew up in Contra Costa County. When Nikki is not studying or working, she likes to hike, camp, or relax with her son and husband.

Will Brady
Christine Lavery
Assistant Teacher

Christine Lavery is a substitute teacher. She has a BA in Math from Boston University and is currently working on her ECE certificate. She is originally from New York, and has lived in Orinda for several years with her husband and 3 sons. Her youngest is in the 4s class. Her older boys attended St. Stephens and are in elementary school and middle school.

Mimi Khalili
Teacher

Mimi Khalili is a teacher who achieved her degree in early childhood education from Diablo Valley College and has been working with children since 2011. She also has a MA degree.She believes children will make the future of the world. To give children love and the chance to be creative, will prepare them to be more successful in the future.

Monica Torres
Assistant Teacher

Monica Torres is a teacher, she earned an Associate Teacher 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.