A midwest native, I grew up romping in the deciduous forests around our family home and swimming along the shores of Lake Erie. In the fall of 1999, I attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Subsequent years were spent teaching in small democratic based elementary schools, working on farms and in bakeries - and traveling a fair bit around our country from Maine to Maui. In 2008, I found beloved Portland. I worked as the kindergarten teacher and Aftercare Director at Trillium Public Charter School and then transitioned to their preschool program. After three years with Trillium I took a one year sabbatical and lived at Yasodhara Ashram in the Kootenay Mountains of British Columbia - studying yogic philosophy and practicing karma yoga. As serendipity would have it, on my first night back to Portland from the ashram I attended a potluck graced with teachers from Helen Gordon Child Development Center. Over the next three years, I taught preschool alongside these teachers and simultaneously attended Portland State University to receive my Masters in Sustainability Leadership, Policy and Education (LSE Program).

It’s been my dream to open a preschool for over 10 years. Since the dream was conceived I’ve spent the better part of these past years preparing for this journey by learning skills and trades that allow me to feel capable of owning and directing a preschool that I can proudly stand behind. One where children are encouraged to create their own theories of the world, spend time in the ecological environment around them and learn how to navigate conflict with compassion and awareness. One where families feel a part of a greater community. And one where teachers, families and children know they are held and supported by one another.

 

It’s been my dream to open a preschool for over 10 years.

morning lead teacher

Rachel L.

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I was born and raised in Lafayette, California, a smallish suburban town in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up searching for tadpoles in the creek and climbing all the trees on our property. My four brothers and I practically lived outside. There were plenty of gardens to grow, worms to find and mud holes to dig. The five of us were very adventurous, and I was the oldest of the crew.

Just a few years out of highschool, my mentor asked me to apply for a preschool teaching position at her nursery school - I never imagined the path it would lead me on. Lafayette Nursery School (LNS) was wonderful Parent Cooperative preschool, with amazing teachers who were passionate about Early Childhood Education. For two years, I was the Director's Assistant which gave me an excellent foundation for a healthy, nurturing early childhood experience.

While teaching at LNS, I started to take classes at the local community college in Early Childhood Development. Not long into these studies, I knew I had found my passion. I transferred to a four year school in Portland, Oregon so I could finish my bachelor's degree,  while teaching at the on-campus preschool.

In Portland, I also met my supportive and optimistic husband, Joe. Joe and I have two adventurous boys. We “adventured” from Portland to Whidbey Island where we raised our boys for the first 6 years of their lives. We kept busy kayaking, hiking the beautiful Ebby’s bluff, whale watching, raising chickens, and falling in love with our small town community.

Joe’s career brought us back to Portland in 2013. We missed our quiet island life, but we were happy to be back in our beloved Portland, Joe's hometown, the place where our boys were born, and where I had many good friends and connections. Once Caleb was in Elementary school fulltime, I began to look for a part time job. That is when I took the two year position as lead teacher for Little Lark Preschool - a small parent co-op in inner southeast. 

Finding Portland Play Project is like finding my heart's vision for preschool.  What Meg is creating is what I have always longed to be a part of, and I consider it a privilege to serve as a co-teacher at PPP this year.


afternoon assistant & aftercare lead teacher

arissa S.

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I grew up in Valley Center California on an organic orange and avocado orchard. I always loved being outside and working with plants. From a young age I knew that I wanted a career that allowed me to have the freedom to work outdoors. This prompted me to attend Oregon State University and get a degree in ecological and sustainable horticulture. Throughout my time in college I worked on many farms and educated communities about the importance of holistic food production. I have a personal interest in nutrition and would like to help others understand the importance of a healthy diet as this makes for strong, healthy people. In my spare time I enjoy doing many types of arts including painting, drawing, and wood burning. I also enjoy practicing yoga, going on hikes, and camping when possible. I love nature and am so thankful to live in the Pacific Northwest. I hope to be able to excite children about our outdoor world and teach them about the importance of preserving it. 


Our Program

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