Our Staff

Our staff is dedicated to providing a rich learning environment to each child every day. SAND has staff of 24 teachers, including two music & movement teachers, 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 are trained in the Reggio Method and are CPR First Aid and Safe Sanctuary certified. Our staff members are also required to take an additional 10 training hours every year.
Ms. Emily












"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. 

Ms. Julie














" I believe that music and movement are a vital part of every child's development"




Julie is the Assistant Director of SAND and leads our music and movement program.  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.

Ms. Josie















"Teaching makes me happy because I love exploring different things with
the children! I love turning messes into creativity!"




Josie is our Pre-K teacher.  She joined us in 2014 with the start of our pre-k program.  She has 5 years of experience in Early Childhood Education and also working with special needs children.  She is from South Africa and is currently working on a degree in Early Childhood Education. Josie enjoys gardening, fishing, and shopping for antiques.