Meet the faculty & staff at awakening seed school
Edie Michelena | Toddler 1s Assistant Teacher, After School
About Edie: Edie was born in Phoenix and raised in Tempe. She married her high school sweetheart, and they have two wonderful boys, 15 and 19. She was able to spend thirteen years at home with her boys running an in-home day care. They always had activities going on: tie-die day, days at the park or zoo, and arts and crafts. She and her husband have always been very active in extracurricular activities, helping to coach t-ball and soccer. When the opportunity came for Edie to come on board at Awakening Seed, she couldn’t say no.
Education: Tempe High School.
Free time: In her spare time, Edia and her family love to connect and be together outdoors. They seize every chance they get to hit a dirt road wherever they are.
Alex Zapien | Toddler 2s Assistant Teacher, After School
Shannon Binder | Early 3s Assistant Teacher, After School
Chelsea Rusing | Preschool 3s Assistant Teacher, After School
About Chelsea: This is Chelsea’s second year at the Seed, and she is looking forward to spreading her roots to the Preschool 3s and bringing her magic to the school. She is an Arizona native, growing up in Scottsdale, as a tree climbing, fort building, big sister, animal loving, free spirit. She has always loved children, the arts, adventure, nature, exploration, and finding the best way to build a fort. Chelsea was the director of a Phoenix art gallery and has fifteen years experience as a nanny.
Education: Chelsea has a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Arizona State University.
Free Time: Chelsea loves hiking, camping, the great outdoors, creating art, reading, adventures, journaling, healthy cooking, traveling, playing games and all types of sports…..all with her fiancé and best friend, Scott! They have two furry side kicks, Pete and Moose.
Saki Nabeshima | Preschool 4s Assistant Teacher
About Saki: Saki unexpectedly fell in love with the world of early childhood education during a 12-month internship at a transitional housing program, offering preschool music and movement classes. Her passion for sensibly nurturing young minds and souls has developed through teaching in early childhood classrooms since 2006. This is Saki’s eighth year at the Seed.
Education: Saki received her master’s degree in theology from Valparaiso University in 2005 and her bachelor’s degree in music from Hastings College in 2002. She has received extensive training in early childhood music education from Musikgarten, 95-hour children’s yoga teacher training, and 200-hr yoga teacher training from Desert Song.
Free time: Saki finds balance in life through yoga, essential oils, and spending quality time with her husband, David.
Nicole Plehn | PreK Assistant Teacher
Cylie Krenkel | K-1 Assistant Teacher, After School Toddler Lead
About Cylie: Cylie is the second oldest of nine kids, six boys and three girls. Cylie has worked with children as a daycare assistant, a nanny, and as a teacher’s assistant in a special needs classroom. This is Cylie’s fourth year at the Seed as the K-1 assistant and after school staff member. Cylie served as the interim after school director during summers 2017 and 2018, and the 2017-2018 school year. She is looking forward to spending time laughing and learning with the students, and leading the toddler after school program. She is a hands-on learning who is always willing to learn and take on anything new. She enjoys teaching children as well as learning from them.
Education: Cylie is pursuing a degree in education, as she wants to become a teacher one day herself.
Free Time: In her free time Cylie enjoys camping, hiking, fishing, and spending time with family and her husband, Josh.
Amy Butcher | K-1 Assistant Teacher
Hannah Laugharn | 1st/2nd Grade Assistant Teacher, After School
About Hannah: Hannah graduated from Horizon Honors High School in 2017. She attended the Seed from the age of two through fifth grade, and interned in the Preschool 4s class for many years after she left. Hannah worked in the after school program at Horizon for a year and a half, and started subbing and working in the Seed’s after school program in 2017. The Awakening Seed taught her to be kind and compassionate. She is still friends with many of her Seed classmates.
Education: Hannah is attending South Mountain Community College working towards a psychology degree.
Free time: Hannah likes to spend time with friends, making art, and cooking.