Toddler 1s Lead Teacher
Jenn joined the staff at the Seed in 1998 and worked in a variety of positions, including PE specialist, classroom assistant and facilitator for a parent/tot music and movement program. After her youngest son was born in 2003 Jenn took a break from Seed employment and enjoyed adventures with her family, first living in The Netherlands and then St. Louis, Missouri. The return to Arizona and to the Seed in 2011 was a most welcome homecoming. This is her third year as lead teacher in the Toddler 1s classroom. Jenn holds a BA in Early Childhood Education. She is married and has three children (two Seed alumni and one current Seed). She loves to read, write, sing, take photographs, hang with her family and snuggle with her dog.
Toddler 2s Co-Lead Teacher
Tatiana grew up in Mexico and moved to Phoenix thirteen years ago after completing her degree in marketing from the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM). Tatiana and her husband Victor have three kids at the Seed: Nicolas, a 4th grader, Sofia, a 2nd grader and Isabel, in the Preschool 3s. This will be her 7th year as part of the Seed community and 4th year on staff. This is her second year as co-lead teacher in the Toddler 2s class. She was an assistant teacher in the Toddler 1s and PreK classes and taught Spanish in summer school. She first heard of the Seed through friends and was attracted to the Seed’s nurturing and inclusive environment. Tatiana hopes to contribute to the Seed’s rich multicultural environment through her diverse background and experiences as a mother striving to raise positive bicultural and bilingual Seedlings. In her free time she enjoys reading, cooking and spending time with her family.
Toddler 2s Co-Lead Teacher
This will be Jenny’s tenth year teaching preschool. After graduating from Cal State Long Beach with a BA in Child Development and Family Studies in 2004, she opened a preschool in her home in California. A job opportunity brought her family to Phoenix in 2009 where she continued to teach preschool. This will be Jenny’s second year teaching in the Toddler 2 classroom. She loves the nurturing environment and creative atmosphere of the Seed. Jenny and her husband, Daniel, have three children: Megan, Connor, and Mallory (who is currently a 3rd grader at the Seed.)
Preschool 2.5/3s Lead Teacher
The Seed has been Lyndsy’s home away from home since 2007 when she began her career here as an aide to a 4th grade student. She went on to assist in the Toddler 1s and Toddler 2s and was the lead teacher in the Preschool 2.5/3s two years ago. She is now returning after taking a year off to get married, travel, live abroad, foster and adopt dogs, and slightly improve her Spanish! Lyndsy graduated from ASU with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Human Development in May 2011. She has worked with children of all ages and abilities in various settings for twelve years and couldn’t imagine spending her days any other way. She’s found her home in the 2.5/3s class and couldn’t be happier to return to this magical age group! Her favorite thing about the Seed is our focus on educating children’s hearts as well as their minds.
Preschool 3s Lead Teacher
This is Krina’s second year teaching as lead in the Preschool 3s classroom. Prior to teaching, she worked eight years as a lifeguard, five of which she spent teaching swimming lessons during the summers. From there she focused on graduating with her Early Childhood Education certificate from ASU in December of 2011. During that time she spent two years studying here at the Seed as an intern and student teacher in both the Preschool 3s and Kindergarten classes. After being hired as an additional part-time assistant and personal assistant in the Kindergarten class she became the assistant in the 1st/2nd grade class for one year. Now she is overjoyed to say that she gets the opportunity to once again work with Saki in the Preschool 3s! When she’s not neck-deep in art projects with your children she likes to be making a fun mess at home with her two kids. Both of her children attend the Seed. Her daughter, Georgia, attends the Kindergarten class and her son, Jaxen, is in the Toddler 2s room. Krina and her fiancé, Chester, take the family to Missouri each summer to enjoy some country living before returning back to this amazing school and community.
Preschool 4s Lead Teacher
This is Deb’s eleventh year at the Seed and her ninth year as lead teacher in the Preschool 4s class. Her career at the Seed began the winter of 2004 when she was persuaded to assist in Mary Glover’s 4th/5th grade class. Her life at the Seed began when her children were young. Her son Hayden (age 13) and daughter Hannah (age 15), both proud Seed graduates, first attended the toddler class at age two and now work at the Seed as summer interns. In her former life, she worked as curator for many years at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art where she planned, organized and curated exhibitions and wrote about art and contemporary artists such as James Turrell, Wolfgang Laib and others. Deb’s art background influences her multi-disciplinary approach to teaching, at times turning the classroom into an immersive experience. Over the years, the preschoolers have delved into an array of subjects including the Middle Ages, food and culture of the world, the Ice Age, Amazon rainforest and, most recently, space. She earned her BFA in photography from the University of Arizona and has taught papermaking, book binding, and photography to children and adults. She has a passion for cooking, gardening, art, photography and yoga. The Seed is her family’s second home.
PreK Lead Teacher
Mindy, a native Arizonan, and has always had a passion for working with children. At fifteen, she was an assistant teacher at her family’s dance studio and by eighteen was teaching and choreographing for her own dance classes. In 2003, as a senior at Mountain Pointe High School, she volunteered her afternoons working in classrooms at an elementary school. Over the next few years Mindy continued her hands-on training as a classroom assistant at The Chrysalis Academy, a private school for children with autism. In 2009, she became a certified yoga instructor and in 2010 started her journey at the Seed teaching P.E. She has since been the toddler after school lead, assistant in the Toddler 2s, Preschool 2.5/3s lead and is now the PreK lead teacher. Mindy is in the process of completing her Child Development Associate credential through the Care Courses program.
K-1 Lead Teacher
Kerri Tornow is the Kindergarten teacher. She has been part of the Seed staff since 1984. She grew up in Michigan and is married to Roger. They have two sons, Andrew and Aaron. Andrew graduated from the graphic design program at ASU and Aaron is studying kinesiology as a Barrett honors student at ASU. Both boys started their educations as Seed preschoolers. Kerri graduated from ASU with a degree in art education and has an elementary certification and an early childhood endorsement. Kerri has many years of experience working with preschoolers through 2nd graders at the Seed. She also teaches art with the older Seed students in the summer program. Kerri enjoys art and children’s literature. She also loves to draw and create crafts, as well as camp, canoe, hike, and travel with her boys and their beagles, Dunkin’ and Daisy. Her focus is on providing a safe, happy classroom environment in which young children can explore their world and influence their own learning with rich oral expression, creative opportunities, purposeful experiences and strong social connections to their peers and teachers.
1st/2nd Grade Lead Teacher
Becky Lewis spent her childhood in small upstate towns of New York. She began teaching in 1969. She taught first grade for one year, and second grade for fourteen years at a school on Long Island, New York. Becky started working at Awakening Seed in 1987. She worked two years as an aide to further her understanding of education, and one of those years was with Mary Glover in a first grade class. This is Becky’s 27th year of teaching at the Seed. Becky has her Masters degree in Elementary Education from Adelphi University in New York. She is here because the school community is so supportive and nurturing. Becky never stops learning here. She has a passion for gardening and she enjoys helping her students grow vegetables that they eat for snack. Swiss chard and peas have been favorite ones. Her primary interest is for children to love learning and her main focus is for her children to love to read.
3rd/4th Grade Lead Teacher
This is Lesley’s second year teaching the 3rd/4th grade class at the Seed and sixth year as a Seed parent. Her daughter is in Kerri’s Kindergarten class, while her son, a former Seedling, attends their neighborhood school. Lesley received her Masters degree in Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University and her B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. Prior to joining the Seed, she taught fourth grade in a local school district for several years. She holds a state teaching certificate with an English as a Second Language endorsement. When not teaching, she enjoys photography, bike riding, reading, and spending time with her husband, Paul, and their two children.
Stephanie Peyton has worked at the Seed for fourteen years. Stephanie has been the Resource Coordinator for six years. She also has a wide range of experience teaching in almost all of our grade levels. She has a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters degree in Education. Outside of school, Stephanie has done extensive work with special needs children, especially those with autism spectrum disorders and visual impairment. She has presented her classroom model at several conferences sponsored by the Arizona Department of Education and works with the Seed teachers to support classroom management. She has taught special education classes at ASU for pre-service teachers. She also serves on the board for the Foundation for Blind Children. Stephanie and her husband, Justin, have two daughters. Sarah Beth, their oldest, is in the first grade at Hopi Elementary in the Life Skills Program and Hillary is in the Preschool 2.5/3s classroom at the Seed. Stephanie and Justin are expecting their third child in January.