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Teachers and Staff

Our lead teachers all have bachelor’s degrees or CDA’s (Child Development Associate Credential). Many of our support staff have a bachelor’s degree or are working towards it.  We pride ourselves in having highly educated staff members at our center. All of the teachers in our preschool/pre-k program have bachelor degrees and some with master’s degrees as well. All staff members participate in continuing professional development through trainings we offer and monthly staff meetings. Staff at SLC are required to complete a First Aid/Child CPR certification, background and reference check, TB test, blood borne pathogens training, and complete STARS basic training.

Lily Talley

LILY TALLEY- Owner/Executive Director

Miss Lily has over 15 years of experience working with children.  Her experience includes working with infants to high school-age kids. She is a state-approved early education trainer and a faculty member at Seattle Community College where she teaches behavior guidance, infant/toddler development, and special education. Miss Lily has a master’s degree in education from University College London, a diploma in business administration, and completed her 1st year of doctoral studies in autistic education before moving to America. She also has degrees in education, history, and economics from De La Salle University, Philippines.  Miss Lily is a certified teacher in the United Kingdom and Washington state. Miss Lily completed a course on the “Educaring” approach for infants and toddlers developed by Magda Gerber.  Miss Lily also has a daughter who is a graduate of SLC.


STACEY POPOWITZ- Multi Site Operations Manager 

Ms. Stacey has a Bachelors Degree in Elementary Education from Elon University as well as Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Early Childhood from George Mason University.  Stacey has been a preschool teacher (working with ages 2-5) as well as an Education Coordinator for over seven years. Stacey can think of nothing as rewarding as watching children grow and develop and knowing that you are a little part of that process is so meaningful. 


PATTY HURST- Executive Assistant

Bachelor’s degree in communication disorders from University of Redlands         

Montessori Infant/Toddler Teaching Credential and RIE Educaring Certified 


NATASHA HURST – Registrar and Bookkeeper                                 
Bachelor’s degree in psychology/family studies from Brigham Young University


Queen Anne Staff

Assistant School Director 

Miss Ashley has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Whitworth University. Ashley has two years of experience as a lead pre-k teacher and school administrator. Ashley grew up in Tacoma and after living in Spokane, she and her husband moved to Fremont in 2016.

Lead Garden Teacher and Program Coordinator

Miss Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in education from Northern Michigan University. She has seven years of teaching experience from all around the world including teaching in Korea, China, and the Czech Republic.

Lead Rainbow Teacher

Miss Terri has worked with infants and toddlers for over twenty five years. She has a CDA and continues to take courses in ECE. She loves children of all ages and has worked at multiple highly accredited centers. Terri strives to create strong bonds with the children and encourages family involvement as much as possible.

Lead Treehouse Teacher

Mr. Steve has been working as a pre-k teacher for over twelve years. He has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Indiana University. Mr. Steve loves teaching and seeing the ‘aha’ moments when children learn something new.

RYAN RUCKMAN                                                    
Lead Sunshine Teacher

Mr. Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Seattle Pacific University.  He has worked in various childcare settings for over six years, most of which have been spent as the Nursery Supervisor at Bethany Presbyterian Church.  He loves working here at SLC because it allows him to both observe and participate in play and be a partner in the child’s development.

DEREK VAJDA                   
Garden Assistant Teacher

Mr. Derek has been working at SLC for over two years as a substitute and support teacher in all classrooms.  Derek is completing his bachelor’s degree in psychology and philosophy from Seattle Pacific University.  He is fascinated by play and desires to explore playful approaches to promote confidence and foster communication skills.

KATLYN MOORE                 
Treehouse Assistant Teacher

Katlyn has a bachelor’s degree in history from Western Washington University.  She has ten years of experience working with kids through various babysitting, nannying, and childcare roles. Katlyn plans to further her career in teaching by getting a Master’s in education.

MARILYN TARUC- Support Teacher                   
Associate degree in Early Childhood Education   

Bachelor’s degree from SPU in Individual and Family Development

PERLA CUEVAS- Cook/Support Teacher
Certified CNA

TAYLOR MUNOZ- Support Teacher                                                 
Currently attending SPU  

RUTH RODRIGUEZ- Support Teacher
Currently attending SPU      

HANNAH EVANS- Support Teacher
Currently attending SPU

DANIKA MORROW- Music Teacher


CARLY KANO- Gym teacher
Currently attending SPU and member of SPU Gymnastics Team          

Montlake Staff

School Coordinator and Infant Teacher

Miss Gerelyn has over 20 years of experience working as a teacher and in childcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Cebu Normal University in the Philippines. She enjoys singing, cleaning, watching television, and doing crafts. Miss Gerelyn enjoys working with kids and watching them grow.   

Head of Toddler Class

Miss Betina has 10 years experience working with children from toddler to middle school age. She has a master’s degree in early childhood education from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY. She is fluent in Creole, French and proficient in Spanish. Miss Betina enjoys reading, traveling, watching movies, and going on walks. She enjoys working with children because it is rewarding watching the children grow while they discover their talents.

Co-Lead Toddler Teacher

Miss Tammy has five years of experience working with children from infant to school age. She graduated with a master’s degree in special education and has a bachelor’s degree in child development from Cal State University, Los Angeles.  Miss Tammy enjoys traveling, roller blading, biking, and road trips throughout America. She fluently speaks Cantonese Chinese and some Mandarin. She enjoys working with children because she can make a positive impact during the young impressionable years.

DULCE LOPEZ                   
Assistant Infant Teacher

Miss Dulce has been in the field working with children for eight years. Working with children brings so much happiness and joy to her life. She currently is attaining her degree in early childhood education from Seattle Central Community College. Miss Dulce likes to go on walks and hikes in her spare time. 

Support Teacher and Cook

Miss Marissa grew up in the Philippines and she speaks Filipino. She has three adult children and two grandchildren.  She worked at fast food chains as a cook before working at SLC.  She helps in the infant room and prepares the school’s meals from scratch.  She loves to travel and cook.

School Secretary and Toddler Support Teacher

Brandon is a graduate of Seattle Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He has worked in the banking and financial industry until he decided to work at SLC full-time. Brandon is in charge of managing SLC Montlake’s administrative paperwork and book keeping. He also takes care of the school building’s maintenance. Brandon is married to Miss Lily and they have a daughter who is a graduate of SLC. He loves to bike, hike, read books, and have fun in the outdoors.

CINDY BOYD- Support Teacher                
Currently attending Seattle Central College to complete her associate’s degree in childhood education