Toddler 1s Lead Teacher
This is Jenn’s eighth year on the Seed staff. Her work at the Seed began in 1998 when she was hired as the P.E. specialist, which she taught for five years. During that same time, Jenn also worked as an assistant in several classrooms and taught a parent/tot music and movement program. Jenn took a break from Seed employment after her youngest son was born and she and her family lived in The Netherlands and St. Louis, Missouri where she taught movement and music classes at The International School of The Hague, and worked as Director of Education at Emerson Chapel, respectively. She returned to the Seed an assistant in the Toddler 1s class for the 2011-2012 school year. Jenn has an extensive background in education and the performing arts. Her career as an educator began at age 16 and this is her 31st year of teaching! She is thrilled to be the Toddler 1s lead teacher this year. When she’s not teaching, Jenn loves to spend time with her family, take photographs, read, write, and snuggle with her dog. Jenn is married and has three children (2 Seed alumni and 1 current Seed).
Toddler 2s Lead Teacher
Jamie began working at Awakening Seed in the after school program in the 2004-05 school year. She worked for two years as the P.E. teacher and this is her sixth year teaching the Toddler 2s. Jamie graduated from ASU in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Development. Jamie and her husband Erik have a son, Jeremiah, who is attending the PreK class, and a daughter, Payden, who is attending the Preschool 2.5/3s. They are also expecting another baby boy in December. Jamie’s love of becoming a “mommy” has helped spark an enthusiasm for caring for and teaching the toddlers. The Seed is her home.
Preschool 2.5/3s Lead Teacher
This is Lyndsy’s fifth year at the Seed and her first as a lead teacher. Lyndsy came to the Seed in 2007 as an aid to a fourth grade student. She went on to assist in the Toddler 1s and Toddler 2s. She has worked with children of all ages and abilities in various settings for ten years. She graduated from ASU with a degree in Family and Human Development in May of 2011. During the school year she spent away from the school it became clear that the Seed is a part of her and that it is where she needs to be. Her favorite thing about the Seed is how we focus on the whole child. When she’s not working she’s reading, hiking, cooking, spending time with loved ones and planning her summer 2013 wedding!
Preschool 3s Lead Teacher
Kaylee was born and raised in Gilbert, Arizona. Prior to her employment at Awakening Seed, she provided habilitation services to children with special needs where she became aware of the importance of early intervention. She decided to take college courses to pursue this new found interest and quickly developed a passion for early childhood education. In 2008, Kaylee came to the Seed for an observation and instantly fell in love with the school’s philosophy. Within several weeks, she was hired to work as an assistant in the 3rd/4th grade classroom. This is her fourth year at the Seed and her first year as a lead teacher of the Preschool 3s class. When she isn’t at the school, Kaylee treasures her time with her 4-year-old daughter, Tobie, who has attended the Seed since her first birthday. Together they enjoy spending time outdoors through activities such as hiking and swimming. Kaylee anticipates another fulfilling year at the Seed where she can foster her students’ sense of self as well as their valuable role in the world around them.
Preschool 4s Lead Teacher
This is Deb’s eighth 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 11) and daughter Hannah (age 13), both Seed graduates, took their first steps toward independence in Sarah’s toddler class at age two. In her former life, Deb worked as curator for many years at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. She has published numerous essays on art including several catalog essays. She has a 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, Resource Coordinator
Stephanie Peyton has worked at the Seed for twelve years. This is her first year back in the classroom after four years as the resource coordinator. Stephanie will continue to serve as the resource coordinator on a part-time basis. 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. Stephanie has several additional trainings and certifications that enhance the school’s resource program. Stephanie and her husband, Justin, have two daughters. Sarah Beth, their oldest, attends the Foundation for Blind Children and will be in the PreK class at the Seed on Fridays. Hillary, their youngest, will start at the Seed in the Toddler 1s class in December.
K-1 Lead Teacher
Kerri Tornow is the K-1 teacher this year. 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 beginning kinesiology studies as a Barrett honors student at ASU this year. Both boys started their education as preschoolers at Awakening Seed. Kerri graduated from ASU with a degree in art education. She also has an elementary education certificate and early childhood endorsement. Kerri has many years of experience working with preschoolers, kindergarteners, 1st graders and even 2nd graders at the Seed. She enjoys art and children’s literature. She also loves to draw and create crafts, as well as camp, canoe, hike, bike and travel with her boys and their beagles, Buddy, Dazee and Dunkin’. 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, 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 she taught second grade for 15 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 24th year of teaching at the Seed. Becky has her Masters degree in Elementary Education from Adelphi University in New York. Becky is here because the school community is so supportive and nurturing. She 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 has been a favorite one. 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 Danielle’s second year as a lead teacher at the Seed. She was an assistant in the Toddler 1s and PreK, and was the lead for the Preschool 2.5/3s class last year. She is certified to teach K-8, with an endorsement in Early Childhood Education. Prior to coming to the Seed, Danielle taught four-year-olds for one year, and kindergarten and first grade for five years. After leaving the classroom, Danielle worked as an instructional coach and consulted on the development of her school’s improvement plan. Danielle is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Allegheny College with a degree in Psychology and Elementary Education. Danielle is currently working on her master’s degree in Educational Leadership through Northern Arizona State University. She is thrilled to be part of a school where children learn rich academic content as well as how to be compassionate citizens of the world. Danielle looks forward to the learning this year will bring and hopes her prior experience will be an asset. Danielle’s husband, Eric, is a school principal and their children, Madeleine and Connor, both attend the Seed.