Teachers & Staff

Each class, led by a single teacher (or two teachers in our Pre-K class), is supported by parent and caregiver volunteers working in the classroom. Our teachers are dedicated, experienced, creative, and fun. Every year our teachers attend the WAEYC Conference to continue their education and bring fresh ideas to the classroom. In addition, each class is assigned a professional Parent Educator who attends class several hours per month in order to observe and offer resources to teachers, parents, and students.

If you are interested in joining our teaching team, please contact our Vice Chair of Personnel at vc.personnel@magnoliacoop.org.

Teachers

Adele Anderson

Adele began teaching at Magnolia Co-op in 1979, after spending several years participating with her three children. During that time she chaired various classes, served as Chair of the school and created and ran the Multi-Age Classroom.

Adele’s training in Early Childhood Education has continued in classes at Seattle Central Community College, and through 34 years of conferences with the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She completed training with Jean Illsley Clarke on Self Esteem: A Family Affair, and taught the series for several years.

In addition to teaching classes, Adele serves as the School Operations Advisor and works with committees to produce the Auction, the Toy and Clothing Sale, the Spring Fun Fair and other events throughout the year. Adele serves on the Executive board, and acts as liaison between our organization and the Magnolia United Church of Christ (our landlord) and Seattle Central Community College (our Parent Ed affiliate).

Sara Olson

Sara Olson will be returning to the co-op at the start our 2017-2018 school year, having attended with 3 of her children and later working as one of our teachers before taking time off to focus on parenting.  For the past 12 years, Sara has been teaching preschool at Villa Academy.  She looks forward to returning “home” to the Magnolia Cooperative Preschool.

Sara is a graduate of Bowdoin College and has pursued post graduate work at the University of Utah, Duke University, Seattle Pacific and Seattle University.  She has attended the Washington Association of the Education of Young Children (WAYEC) for 20 years, completed her Pro Teach and is STARS certified.

Sara is the mother of four boys and lives with her husband Bill in Magnolia.  She enjoys spending quality time with family and friends and many hobbies, including gardening, scrapbooking, writing and water aerobics.

Diana Wagner-Boyd

Diana has been teaching at the Co-op since Fall 2014. Diana started teaching co-op in 1997 after attending a co-op preschool with her two children.

Diana taught the 3-5s and Pre-K at Ingraham Cooperative Preschool, as well as the Pre-3s and Toddlers. She also taught the Tots 2 and the Infant Baby Sign Class at Queen Anne Co-op, and the Northwest Toddler Class at the NSCC campus. She is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in Theater and prides herself on bringing creativity to the classroom.

Diana enjoys playing her guitar, gardening, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, and roller-skating. She lives in north Seattle with her Husband Ed, her cockatiel bird “Frisbee”, and “Missy” the cat.

Gina Sheh

Gina came to the co-op in 2008. She is devoted to teaching our youngest students – the Toddlers! Gina’s association with Magnolia Co-op Preschool began in the early 2000s when she and her family moved to Magnolia. In those early years, she could be found learning with her three little sons, enjoying the wonderful classes and community the co-op offers.

Gina holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Skidmore College (NY) and is a certified Talaris Institute Parenting Counts Educator. She has also taught elementary and high school students Art, Ballet, and English as a Second Language.

Melrose Benefiel

Melrose joined the Co-op staff in 2012. Melrose has worked with children from various cultures and age groups as a babysitter, nanny, dance instructor drama teacher and preschool teacher. She brings her endless energy and enormous heart into the classroom with our 2 year olds.

Melrose earned her BA in Sociology at Silliman University in the Philippines. She is married and has 3 daughters.

Seth Essmeier

Seth Essmeier has been a part of the Enrichment class since 2014 and brings his love of science, math and cognition in a developmentally appropriate practice.

He is the primary care giver and proud father of two children who both attended the coop with him from toddlers to Pre-K. During that time he found inspiration in teaching with children and is currently taking his Bachelors of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education at North Seattle College.

Seth enjoys spending time with his family and hobbies include hiking camping grilling and amateur home brewing.