Our Staff

Our staff is dedicated to providing a rich learning environment to each child every day. SAND currently has 18 teachers, including a music & movement teacher, an atelierista, an outdoor education teacher and a literacy specialist.  Each classroom has a lead teacher and at least one assistant. All of our staff follow the Reggio philosophy and are CPR First Aid and Safe Sanctuary certified. Our staff members are also required to take an additional 10 training hours every year.
Emily Howard












"When a child takes your hand and shows you the world as they see it, know that you have been given a priceless gift"


Emily is the Director of SAND. She came to us in 2011 as a 2's teacher and has 12 years experience working in preschools.  Emily grew up in town but spent some time as an organic farmer and instructor at UMN in New Mexico. Emily has a B.A. in English and in History and loves the Reggio Emilia approach to education.  Her own creativity, coupled with an enthusiasm for a Reggio-inspired approach to teaching, provides an exciting foundation for the programs at SAND.  In her spare time, Emily raises chickens and loves gardening. 

Jonathan Smith
Family Ministry NDMUC
Jon Smith NDUMC.jpg
Julie Seckman
Assistant Director
Mary Miller
Outdoor Education
Joe Crabb
Katie Fullerton
Financial Manager













Julie is the Assistant Director of SAND.   With a B.A. in Communication Arts, Julie worked in video production for almost 20 years before changing course and following a dream of working with children.  She has been active at N. Decatur UMC since 2006, and joined the SAND staff in 2014 after working 8 years as a preschool paraprofessional.  She enjoys music, hiking, reading and spending time with her family.

Susan Willingham
Pre-K Team
Darcie Bou
Jenn Dover
Karuna Sharma
Ashley Midler
Three Year Old Team
Donna Sherrill
Christy Lucas
Two Year Old Team
Hannah Crews
Molly Estes
Caitlin Currier
Cristina Ferriera
One Year Old Team
Rebecca Drake
Quinn Roberts