Erin’s interest in teaching and helping children grow goes back further than she can remember. She has been teaching for over sixteen years, with the majority of her time focused on preschool. For the last seven years Erin has been teaching in the Reggio style, and her passion for this approach to teaching motivated her to create her own preschool. Erin feels that the flow of education in the form of “play” speaks to her own style of learning, and has seen this echoed in the educational growth of children in the classroom.
Continuing education has always been a focus for Erin through her entire teaching career, including studying Early Childhood Education at Western Oregon University. She currently takes continuing education courses in Child Development offered by Multnomah County Childcare Resource and Referral, Mount Hood Community College and Portland Community College.
Healthy eating and staying active are very important to Erin. Her hobbies include gardening, kayaking, walking and hiking, knitting, camping, home canning and preserving, and volunteering for local groups.
Emily has worked with children since 1996 as an assistant and after school leader at The French-American International School. She became an assistant and then a teacher working with children birth to age 5 with special needs and their families, earning her teaching certificate in 2000.
Before staying home with her children, Sam and Cecelia, she worked at a small preschool, and was inspired by the Reggio approach to creating a thoughtful and child-led community. She believes adults have as much to learn from children, as children from adults, and very much enjoys the process of wonder and discovery all can learn from each other.
While caring full-time for Sam and Cecelia, Emily continued to volunteer with organizations supporting children, both at the Children’s Relief Nursery in St. John’s, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, advocating for children in the state foster care system.
Emily enjoys spending time with her family reading silly stories, hiking, and walking and playing with their dog, Hugo. Emily and her family especially enjoy farm stays, where they can commune with the trees, streams, donkeys, and goats.
Darin has been part of the school from day one. He is a key member of our teaching staff who acts as daily support for teachers and children when needed. As an extra helping hand, Darin is always available when our school is taking on larger projects. He enjoys time with the children, as well as documenting projects through pictures and the daily journal. He is our substitute teacher, handyman, creator of structures and objects in our indoor and outdoor environments, and loves taking a hands-on approach to the development and evolution of our school.
Darin graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Fine Arts, focusing on computer graphics. He thrived on his experience so much he stayed for another year and earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). Darin has always had a keen eye for design and enjoys technical and structural problem solving. He is a self-taught woodworker, electrician, repairman, and loves taking on MacGyver-level projects. Creating something new and original is a challenge he thrives on.
Darin loves spending time with family, keeping up with technology, projects for the school, skiing, running, rock climbing, geocaching, kayaking and writing electronic music.
Mo, Our Music Specialist
Mo joins us weekly and is able to sing with the whole school at least twice a month. He has become a very special piece of our teaching staff because he helps the children express their emotions and ideas in songs as well as helping us write our own music! Mo’s dedication to education through music is apparent in the way he presents each idea and topic during our sessions. We all love getting to see Mo around town performing and rocking out with the whole Portland community!
When not doling out the goods to the young set, Mo is a husband, a dad, and a really slow but mostly dedicated soccer player. And of course lover and supporter of the Portland Timbers.
When not making bands with the youngest rockers, Mo performs interactive shows of his own that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to “understand”, and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciat. He combines a fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin’ out.
-For more about Mo please check out his website: www.mophillips.com