This is Lori’s 12th year as Director of Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool. She first became involved with Preschool as a devoted parent helper in daughter Kaysia’s class, then joined the staff as a teacher in 2003 before becoming Director.
Lori enjoys kids of all ages and has taught middle and high school biology and coached high school and college sports. She was a founding board member of the Southeast Enrichment Resource School (SEER School), a multi-age learning community providing educational options for the kids of Sitka.
Lori as B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California - Davis and earned her teaching certificate at Sonoma State University. She has also completed a Masters in Public Administration and Non-Profit Management and continues to take classes in Early Childhood Education.
Lori has lived in Sitka for 20 years and in Southeast Alaska for 25 years. She is also owner of Rose Fisheries, a seafood marketing business. Lori enjoys yoga, hiking, gardening, animals, building things and especially having fun with her sixteen-year-old daughter Kaysia.
KATE JOHNSON - Teacher
Kate brings songs and stories to the children of Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool. She is a parent alumni of two creative & active daughters. Often Kate will start the day with our students singing songs and will end the day with them bundled up for outside play.
Kate's background in early childhood education started in 1998. After a couple years of studying psychology she discovered playing & doing projects with children was much more fun than studying their behavior. From that point on she completed her degree from University of Alaska Anchorage in Early Childhood Education. Kate has been working and playing with young children since then.
Outside preschool Kate can be found on the beaches and hiking the trails with her husband Luke & daughters Isabel & Amara. Often they are picking berries to make jam or camping to enjoy the coastal life of Sitka. Kate is a voracious reader and has passed on the gene to her children. If you need book ideas for your children or something for yourself, she is our on-hand book version of Siskel & Ebert.
TONI OLSON - Teacher
This is Toni's sixth year teaching at Mt, Edgecumbe Preschool. Toni came to Sitka in 1993 to pursue her dream of commercial fishing. She owned and operated the salmon trollers F/V Magic and F/V Melody S before teaming up with her husband Paul Olson in 2004. They now spend their summers fishing together on the F/V Valient Hunter.
When Toni became a grandmother to grandson Orion she discovered a passion for playing, teaching and joining with children as they discover the world around them. She thrives in the ongoing challenge of learning and growing with the kids and continuously strives to find new ways to enrich the preschool experience. Toni is excited to teach at Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool and she participates in ongoing education in Early Childhood Education.
CHRISTY WILLIAMS - Teacher
Christy teaches in the afternoon class at Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool. Her favorite things to do with kids include messy projects such as finger paint, clay, cornmeal, water play and shaving cream. Singing with and reading to children bring her joy. She enjoys exploring art, block building, and dramatic play as she learns from and with your children. Christy recommends the National Institute for Play's website as a good resource.
Christy has taught in preschools and children's centers for thirty years. She has a degree in Elementary Education and has completed graduate course work in Early Childhood and Human Development.
Christy says that Sitka is a great place to grow up! Christy grew up in Sitka and has raised her sons Peter and Trevor here. Her parents, Frank and Ruth Roth and sisters Gwen and Jessica live here as well. While nationally children aren't outside enough (and suffer from nature deficit disorder), Sitka kids have every opportunity to explore an incredible natural world.
Christy is married to Stan Schoening. Stan is an artist in wood and clay, and is especially interested in Northwest Coast art forms.
ERIKA KNOX - Office Manager
Erika first came to Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool in 1977 with her brother when it was located across the bridge on the "island." That year her mother helped the preschool transition from an informal group of friends offering preschool-like experiences to an official licensed facility with IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status.
The school continued as a place of exploration for her own children Kobi & Anan who are now alumni. Even though they both graduated from preschool they enjoy coming back to school to spend time with the currently enrolled children.
Erika offers a tiny desk for visitors during the day while she pays the bills and keeps things going behind the scenes. Young visitors have been know to "supervise" copy machine repair people or just sit to listen to audiobooks or classical music.