17 Oct Meet the Teaching Teams at Carkeek!
Erin & Tess, East
Ryan & Melissa, West
Jessica & Zinta, Central
Tess is the assistant teacher at Carkeek East and a native of the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Bellingham, Washington. She is a graduate from Huxley Environmental College at Western Washington University with experience as an environmental educator. She has always enjoyed the natural world and spent most of her childhood exploring the great outdoors. She enjoys hiking, exploring beaches and kayaking. On stormy days you’ll often find her by a warm fire reading a good book. She joined the Tiny Trees Staff in the fall of 2016 and has enjoyed getting to share her passion of the great outdoors with the next generation.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by. And that had made all the difference,” Robert Frost, The Road
Ryan is the lead teacher at Carkeek West and holds a BA in Earth Science and a BAS in Early Childhood Education. A large component of his teaching philosophy is building meaningful relationships with his students by creating a positive classroom environment and meeting children where they are by fostering development in multiple domains through intentional educational scaffolding. “This profession has changed my life and after several years in the field I cannot imagine doing anything else.” He lives near Greenlake with his wife Abigail who works as a behavior analyst. They can be found taking aimless walks through Seattle’s many fantastic neighborhoods, canoeing down a pristine waterway, or backpacking through the wilderness.
Melissa is the assistant teacher at Carkeek West and holds a bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has experience providing behavior therapy to children in their homes and communities and she has worked in public preschool classrooms with integrated student populations. She values research based curricula, movement, and play. She moved from a 1:1 therapy model to group settings to provide her and her clients with typical peer models. In her previous classrooms, outside time was her favorite part of the day, so she came to Tiny Trees to have it all day.
Zinta is the assistant teacher at Carkeek Central and is a dedicated outdoors enthusiast from Chicago, recently transplanted to Seattle. She has a joint associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Urban Planning, with the intent of continuing her education here in Seattle. She is fluent in Latvian, and is currently interested in learning to speak French as well. Zinta’s favorite activities with children are planting vegetables, getting her hands dirty in the mud kitchen, and using magnifying glasses to inspect the local bugs. When Zinta is not teaching or outside hiking, she is reading, cooking pasta, or playing board games.On any given day, she prefers being outside camping or hiking to sitting indoors.