We are so glad you've come to look at this page on our website! Our amazing educators make Discovery the amazing place that it is! Each teacher is fully qualified with a minimum of five years ranging up to 30 + years of experience in the field. Teachers at Discovery are life-long learners, open to learning and professional growth. As a Reggio Emilia inspired school, teachers have to be creative and observant. With all their combined experience and collaboration, amazing things are happening here at Discovery!

Susie Stakkestad Susie lives here in the Soquel mountains with her husband and  two children. She enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening, music, reading and spending time with family and friends.She has loved working with children, families and staff for 27 years now in various roles as a teacher, a curriculum specialist, a site supervisor and a program quaility specialist. She received her BA in Child Development from San Jose State University. She considers herself a life long learner and continues to develop her  skills and deepen her understanding of how children develop and what inspires them. In the words of Rachel Carson, a writer and naturalist, "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder.... he/she needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him/her the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Susie strives to be that person for each child. She looks forward to collaborating with each family, discovering the wonder of each child.

Susie Stakkestad

Susie lives here in the Soquel mountains with her husband and  two children. She enjoys hiking, cooking, gardening, music, reading and spending time with family and friends.She has loved working with children, families and staff for 27 years now in various roles as a teacher, a curriculum specialist, a site supervisor and a program quaility specialist. She received her BA in Child Development from San Jose State University. She considers herself a life long learner and continues to develop her  skills and deepen her understanding of how children develop and what inspires them.

In the words of Rachel Carson, a writer and naturalist, "If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder.... he/she needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him/her the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." Susie strives to be that person for each child. She looks forward to collaborating with each family, discovering the wonder of each child.

Nicole Grova Ms. Nicole has joined Discovery as our afternoon preschool teacher and to support our morning programs. She knows all of the children here at Discovery and works to build curriculum for children of all ages and interests. Her nurturing and fun spirited way with children makes all of us feel secure and happy to be in her presence. With a background in Montessori education and a BA in early childhood education, Nicole brings many ideas and perspectives to our teaching team. The children at Discovery love their Ms. Nicole and all that she provides in the way of learning experiences.

Nicole Grova

Ms. Nicole has joined Discovery as our afternoon preschool teacher and to support our morning programs. She knows all of the children here at Discovery and works to build curriculum for children of all ages and interests. Her nurturing and fun spirited way with children makes all of us feel secure and happy to be in her presence. With a background in Montessori education and a BA in early childhood education, Nicole brings many ideas and perspectives to our teaching team. The children at Discovery love their Ms. Nicole and all that she provides in the way of learning experiences.

Shaunna Gallagher Shaunna makes an excellent addition to our team of Bambini Teachers! She holds an ever growing passion for Early Childhood Education and is always excited to further her learning. Over the last five years Shaunna has had a diverse experience with children ranging in age between 0-5 years old. Shaunna's passion is working with two year olds, bringing rich curriculum and a nurturing care towards each individual child. She loves connecting with families and collaborating with coworkers to create rich learning experiences and procedures for the children. Shaunna is often seen using sign language with children and communicating calmly and quietly with children while observing their interests. Just recently Shaunna has moved here from Windsor, CA in Santa Rosa County. We are so fortunate she found us here at Discovery!

Shaunna Gallagher

Shaunna makes an excellent addition to our team of Bambini Teachers! She holds an ever growing passion for Early Childhood Education and is always excited to further her learning. Over the last five years Shaunna has had a diverse experience with children ranging in age between 0-5 years old. Shaunna's passion is working with two year olds, bringing rich curriculum and a nurturing care towards each individual child. She loves connecting with families and collaborating with coworkers to create rich learning experiences and procedures for the children. Shaunna is often seen using sign language with children and communicating calmly and quietly with children while observing their interests. Just recently Shaunna has moved here from Windsor, CA in Santa Rosa County. We are so fortunate she found us here at Discovery!

Isabel Gonzalez Ms. Isabel loves working with our youngest children in her kind, and nurturing demeanor. She is playful and calm in her approach with children. You will often see her playing make-believe games, reading or painting faces with the two-year olds. Her artistic ability and passion for working with small children shows in everything she does! Isabel is a fully qualified teacher, yet continues her professional development, taking classes at Cabrillo as a life-long learner!

Isabel Gonzalez

Ms. Isabel loves working with our youngest children in her kind, and nurturing demeanor. She is playful and calm in her approach with children. You will often see her playing make-believe games, reading or painting faces with the two-year olds. Her artistic ability and passion for working with small children shows in everything she does! Isabel is a fully qualified teacher, yet continues her professional development, taking classes at Cabrillo as a life-long learner!

Karissa Lagmay Karissa has been working with Discovery since it was a small in home preschool. Over the last five years Karissa has been working with young children under five while raising her own beautiful son. She currently works part-time to balance the work/ mom life and relates well to all the other parents dropping off their children here at Discovery. Her kind and nurturing presence helps all of the children feel loved and cared for. Karissa is excellent at giving children the patience and room to explore their interests and develop their confidence in their own capabilities. Outside of work, Karissa enjoys spending time with friends and family, writing, and volleyball! 

Karissa Lagmay

Karissa has been working with Discovery since it was a small in home preschool. Over the last five years Karissa has been working with young children under five while raising her own beautiful son. She currently works part-time to balance the work/ mom life and relates well to all the other parents dropping off their children here at Discovery. Her kind and nurturing presence helps all of the children feel loved and cared for. Karissa is excellent at giving children the patience and room to explore their interests and develop their confidence in their own capabilities. Outside of work, Karissa enjoys spending time with friends and family, writing, and volleyball! 

Ellie Hardin Ellie Hardin started her career in Discovery's home based preschool where she found her passion working with preschool aged children. She decided to go back to school to become a fully qualified teacher while she was on maternity leave with her son, Wesley. Ellie has returned to Discovery working part time, with her calm, nurturing and flexible demeanor. Ellie is a team player and loves working with the children. Ellie's love and commitment to the children and her co-workers here at Discovery is deeply felt and appreciated. In her spare time, Ellie loves spending time with her family, traveling, and being a mom!!

Ellie Hardin

Ellie Hardin started her career in Discovery's home based preschool where she found her passion working with preschool aged children. She decided to go back to school to become a fully qualified teacher while she was on maternity leave with her son, Wesley. Ellie has returned to Discovery working part time, with her calm, nurturing and flexible demeanor. Ellie is a team player and loves working with the children. Ellie's love and commitment to the children and her co-workers here at Discovery is deeply felt and appreciated. In her spare time, Ellie loves spending time with her family, traveling, and being a mom!!

Suzie Daily Suzie Daily has been a preschool teacher for over 20 years in a variety of types of childcare programs. She feels very blessed to be able to work with children, and considers them a gift of life and all that is good in it!  She feels that they are a  wonderful reminder of what is truly important, and what is truly valuable, and continues to be amazed and humbled by their joy, capabilities, curiosity and unique gifts.Something near and dear to Suzie's heart, as an educator, is to nurture children's natural compassion, and to encourage appreciation for the diversity and beauty of all the different places and cultures in the big world that we all share together.Suzie is honored and excited to be part of the Discovery Preschool Team!"

Suzie Daily

Suzie Daily has been a preschool teacher for over 20 years in a variety of types of childcare programs. She feels very blessed to be able to work with children, and considers them a gift of life and all that is good in it!  She feels that they are a  wonderful reminder of what is truly important, and what is truly valuable, and continues to be amazed and humbled by their joy, capabilities, curiosity and unique gifts.Something near and dear to Suzie's heart, as an educator, is to nurture children's natural compassion, and to encourage appreciation for the diversity and beauty of all the different places and cultures in the big world that we all share together.Suzie is honored and excited to be part of the Discovery Preschool Team!"

Lindsey Duran Ms. Lindsey is our wonderful closing teacher here at Discovery! She has been working in the community with children for the past 10 years, in children's theater and preschools! She is so fun to have around as she uses her humor and kindness to connect with the children. With her extensive theater background, she brings many fun ideas to our team of educators. She loves working with children because they are willing and excited to learn new things. Parents find her knowledgable and thoughtful as she takes notes and carefully observes each child in her care! We are lucky to have Lindsey here at Discovery!

Lindsey Duran

Ms. Lindsey is our wonderful closing teacher here at Discovery! She has been working in the community with children for the past 10 years, in children's theater and preschools! She is so fun to have around as she uses her humor and kindness to connect with the children. With her extensive theater background, she brings many fun ideas to our team of educators. She loves working with children because they are willing and excited to learn new things. Parents find her knowledgable and thoughtful as she takes notes and carefully observes each child in her care! We are lucky to have Lindsey here at Discovery!

Karen Venegas Karen brings her excitement and "kid-like" energy to Discovery everyday. Her wisdom, passion and creativity lead to some of the most amazing projects! As our preschooler's Atelierista, Karen enhances our days as the curriculum specialist/artist. Karen brings interesting provocations into the classroom with a multitude of small parts, sensory experiences, building opportunities and artistic models. She documents children's learning and displays the process of each child's experience. With her overall experiences of 25+ years, Discovery is lucky to have Ms. Karen!

Karen Venegas

Karen brings her excitement and "kid-like" energy to Discovery everyday. Her wisdom, passion and creativity lead to some of the most amazing projects! As our preschooler's Atelierista, Karen enhances our days as the curriculum specialist/artist. Karen brings interesting provocations into the classroom with a multitude of small parts, sensory experiences, building opportunities and artistic models. She documents children's learning and displays the process of each child's experience. With her overall experiences of 25+ years, Discovery is lucky to have Ms. Karen!