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My name is Melissa Axman. My little family lives in Queen Creek with our two dogs Phoebe and Chandler. I have lived most of my life in Arizona being born in Tucson, living in Flagstaff during elementary school, and moving to the Valley of the Sun in 2005 after graduating college. My husband, Jesse, and I moved to Queen Creek in November 2018. Jesse and I have one daughter, Charlotte, born in March 2021.
I went to the University of Washington for my bachelor’s degree in communications in Seattle, WA. After eight years in the non-profit industry working in community relations and fundraising, I decided to pursue my passion for teaching and go back to school. I attended Arizona State University’s iTeach program obtaining my teaching certificate and master’s in education. I have taught 1st grade, 2nd grade, and fourth grade reading. I am excited to join the pre-k team at TotSpot!
As a teacher, I have a deep commitment to student growth, fostering teacher-to-student relationships, and passing on a passion for learning. I am dedicated to creating a positive, engaging, and calm learning environment where students feel safe, supported, and heard. I can’t wait to begin my pre-k journey with all the students in the Ocean room!
Hi, my name is Alegra Hernandez and I am excited to join the TotSpot team! I graduated from Hamilton High School in 2017 where I gained experience working in a day care for the Early Childhood Education program. After high school I attended Chandler Gilbert Community College and earned my Associates of Arts. I then transferred to Arizona State University where I graduated in May 2022 with my Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology. Throughout my school years I worked as a nanny and currently am a respite/habilitation provider for kids with autism. It’s is through these jobs I learned my passion for working with children!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool September, 2022)
My name is Sydney Wade! This is my first year teaching at TotSpot and I’m so excited! I’ve worked with children in past occupations, so I’m no stranger to working in fun and energetic environments! I have 3 nephews and a niece all under the age of 5 with whom I am able to play with quite often. I also worked as a respite and habilitation care provider for autistic children and helped teach them many important skills. I got married in May to my high school sweetheart and I am looking forward to this new adventure at Totspot!
Hi, I’m Patti Forristall and I’m so very excited to be teaching your preschool
children here at TotSpot Preschool!
I was born in Massachusetts and have lived here in Arizona since 2007. My family
spent 25 years in the U. S. Air Force which gave me the opportunity to teach
preschoolers in Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and
California during my 30+ years of teaching preschool.
My husband, Rick, and I have 2 adult daughters—one lives here in Arizona and the
other in Portland, ME. We have 4 grandchildren who also live in Arizona.
We have 2 pets–Bongo, our Bloodhound/German Shephard mix and Tuck, our
adopted desert tortoise.
I find it a joy and pleasure to be given the opportunity to spend time with your
children. It’s a wonderful gift to watch them explore and discover the world
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2022)
I am looking forward to starting my new adventure at Totspot Preschool as Ms. Amy’s assistant in pre-k! My favorite part of working with children is seeing the excitement on their faces when they learn something new!
Hi, I’m Pradeepa Ganesh and I am so excited to join the TotSpot team as a teaching assistant this year!
I have been living in Arizona for the past 16 years with my husband and two amazing kids, a teenage girl and a tween boy. I love spending time with my family and hanging out with friends. I love cooking and my hobby is to discover new recipes. My husband and kids are the first taste testers:-)
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Applications and a master’s degree in Business Administration. With these credentials and along with 4+ years of
working experience as a teaching assistant, I am happy to dedicate myself to making a difference in TotSpot’s future stars.
I have a closer connection with TotSpot since my son is an alumni of this wonderful preschool. I am looking forward to work with TotSpot’s budding
flowers to enrich their learning foundation!
My name is Candacy Syphus and I have lived in Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Southern California. My family and I have lived in Chandler for over 15 years. We have three daughters, ages 21, 18, and 15 and 2 spoiled dogs. I love spending time with my family, exercising, and reading lots and lots of books.
I initially earned a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Teaching from Brigham Young University. Years later, I earned a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Grand Canyon University. I have worked as a teacher for over 20 years teaching Spanish and ESL to elementary, high school, and college students. I enjoy being in the classroom and especially working with children. Teaching is my passion!
I love being a member of the TotSpot community and I look forward to getting to know our new students in the Jungle room!
(Joined TotSpot in March, 2022)
Hi! My name is Shelby Crane and I am so excited to be back for another year with TotSpot!
I’m currently going to school and majoring in Early Childhood education. I have been coaching gymnastics for kids from 18 months to 12 years old for two years now. I also spent some time teaching dance at my local dance studio that I have been involved in since 6th grade. This is where I spent many years on the competitive team while being a part of the dance program at Perry High school, where I graduated from in 2021. Since graduating high school, I have spent time traveling to some of my favorite places and I am always planning my next vacation spot! Aside from traveling, I also love going to the lake, attending concerts, and spending time with my family and friends.
I love the preschool age and I am so happy to be in the 3s class here at TotSpot!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool in June, 2021)
Hello, my name is Lynette Wheeler. I have been with TotSpot for 6 years, both as a Pre-K teacher and a substitute.
I am a native of New Mexico and a moved to Chandler in 2014. I have been happily married for 39 years and have two adult children and two adorable grandsons. I graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Elementary Education. I have been a kindergarten teacher for 8 years, second grade for 1 year and assisted in a preschool special education classroom for 3 years.
I enjoy working with this age because the children are so excited to learn! I love being part of a classroom atmosphere that helps children develop independence, compassion, fairness, and a solid academic base!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool 2016)
Hi! I am Megan Wiley and I am the Lead Pre-K teacher at TotSpot!
I have lived in Arizona six years and have previously lived all over the United States, as we are a military family. My husband, BJ, and I have two
boys, Sean and Jackson, whom fill our lives with love, laughter, and lots of soccer! I also have three puppies that you will find me
snuggling with in my free time!
I graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with a degree in Early Childhood Psychology. I have been working in early childhood
education for fourteen years and I have taught both three’s and Pre-K! I am NAEYC certified as well as trained in Conscious Discipline. I feel
truly blessed to be a preschool teacher and to be able to share my days with your children. I want them to feel loved, feel safe, and to
enjoy coming to school! I will provide a classroom that encourages independence, creative thinking, compassion, and hands-on fun! I look
forward to working with the children, parents and the incredible team of teachers at TotSpot to make this a great year!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2017)
(Joined TotSpot Preschool in June, 2022)
My name is Tracy and I am so happy to have this opportunity to get back in the classroom! This will be my second year at TotSpot Preschool, and I can’t wait to see what the three year old’s have in store for me!
I am originally from Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and that will forever be where my heart is! I am everything Wisconsin, especially the hometown sports teams!! I moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State where I earned my Bachelors of Interdisciplinary Studies in Business and Communication. I met my husband, Seth, at ASU and have been here ever since. After I graduated I decided that I truly belonged in the classroom. I took a position at Frye Elementary teaching and tutoring reading and working with Special Education. During this time I also coached club volleyball. I stayed at Frye and coaching until my daughter Sara (16) was born. Then it was stay at home momming for me. My son Wesley (almost 12) was born a few years later and they haven’t slowed down since! I have been a huge volunteer at all of their schools both in the classrooms and as Art Masterpiece coordinator. We are always at some sporting event between Sara’s volleyball and Wesley’s baseball, football and volleyball. I returned to coaching club volleyball again this year as well! Our family also includes a lovable Giant Schnauzer named Walter.
Outside of the classroom I love to read, attend all the sporting events, and spend time with my amazing friends! I’m looking forward to being back in the classroom with your kiddos this year! Can’t wait for this journey to start!!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2021)
Hi! My name is Sara. I joined the TotSpot family in 2014 and taught in the 3’s classroom for 5 years. I am from Albuquerque, NM, where I graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Elementary Education. I have spent the last 7 years teaching PreK and have a passion for early childhood! I currently teach during the school year at a nearby elementary school, but am always happy to return to TotSpot each summer to see familiar faces and help out!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2014)
Hey, my name is Tammy Suing! I am a mother to three amazing kids. I have lived in Chandler a majority of my life and love it. I graduated from Basha High in 2007 and then headed to Brigham Young University after graduation. I ended up choosing to go to Cosmetology school and soon met my husband. We moved back to Chandler when I was pregnant with my first child. We love it here and how welcoming people are here. I truly enjoy young children and helping them learn and grow. It is so interesting to me how their minds work and watching them figure things out. I look forward to helping and teaching at TotSpot and helping your children!
Hi! My name is Debbie Crismon and I’m so excited to be teaching at TotSpot Preschool! I have taught every age group at TotSpot and I love watching children learn new skills through play, hands-on activities and the social interaction with each other. I also love watching children develop their talents and interests at an early age. They blossom with confidence when they learn new skills!
I earned an Academic Certificate in Child and Family Professional Development-Preschool from Rio Salado College.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool April, 2012)
My name is Shania Pablo. I graduated from Vista Grande High School and I am currently attending Central Arizona College. I recently completed my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. I enjoy working with toddlers. Seeing their creative minds and discovering how much they can learn at such a young age is remarkable. One of my favorite things to participate in with the children is the process art. I love to see their creations! I was introduced to TotSpot through my required volunteer hours for my Early Childhood Program and was thrilled to be asked to join the team as a Pre-K Assistant. I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn alongside such educated and experienced teacher at TotSpot. I have gained so much knowledge as an assistant teacher with all of the various age groups and now I have been a Head Teacher in the 2’s classroom for several years. I look forward to meeting all of my new students this Fall!
(Joined TotSpot in 2016)
Hi my name is Emmy Beeson! I am the youngest of 6 kids and was born and raised in Utah. I’ve been Iiving in Arizona for 11 years now and love it! I graduated from Benjamin Franklin High School in 2017 along with my twin sister. Throughout high school I played all types of sports and loved it! From there I pursued the beauty industry where I attended EVIT throughout my senior year of high school. I worked in the cosmetology field but found out it wasn’t the right fit for me. I’ve always had a love for children and have loved my time at TotSpot. I’ve had the experience of assisting at a preschool when I was younger and really enjoy working with kids! I’m excited to help further your children’s education and watch them grow!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool June, 2019)
Hi! I am Kim Schemansky and I am super excited to join the TotSpot family this year! I was born and raised in Michigan, and lived there until four years ago when I moved to Arizona. I live in Chandler with my husband Kevin, and our dog Cobi. I have two children, a son who lives in Denver and my daughter who lives here in Arizona.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University and my graduate level Early Childhood Endorsement from Eastern Michigan University. Before moving to Arizona, I taught preschool and worked for the state of Michigan helping early childhood programs make quality improvements. I also previously taught PreK here in Chandler for two years before joining the TotSpot team this year!
I truly love teaching PreK and will offer your children a warm, loving environment, where they feel valued and respected. Our goal every day will be to learn and laugh, while fostering a love of being in school as we prepare for Kindergarten. I look forward to getting to know every family as we work together to make this a great year!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2020)
Hello! I am Ms. Erin and I am so very excited to be part of the Teaching team here at TotSpot Preschool.
A little bit about me: I was born and raised in Southern California and lived there until 2011, when my family and I relocated to Arizona. Now I live in Gilbert AZ with my husband, two children, and our two golden-doodles.
I have a bachelors degree in Business/Accounting but found my love & passion for teaching when we moved here to Gilbert. I began my preschool teaching career as a Pre-K 4/5’s Lead Teacher at a Private Christian Preschool, where I taught for 5 years. I then took some time to support our local schools and became a Substitute teacher in the Chandler Unified School District. In 2018 we had a surprise baby girl addition to our family, and now I get to have the privilege of watching her flourish and grow here at TotSpot Preschool.
This School year is going to be full of fun and exciting new learning adventures for your children and I look forward to coming along side them as they bloom and grow here at TotSpot Preschool.
(Joined TotSpot in January 2022)
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2018)
Hi! My name is Heidi Sanchez and I’m so excited to be teaching at Totspot! I am originally from Yuma, AZ but at a young age moved to Las Cruces, NM where I was raised. I moved back to AZ four years ago and am glad to be home! I graduated from NMSU with a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. I taught kindergarten for 5 years at Los Lunas Public Schools before I decided to stay at home when my second child was born. Since, I have been very fortunate to be a stay at home mom and have enjoyed every minute of it. I have missed being in the classroom and feel like Totspot is the perfect place to get back in my groove again. I especially love preschoolers and am amazed by their curiosity and excitement to learn. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy being a mom and wife. I also enjoy staying active and running when it is cool outside. I am so excited to embark on this journey with you and your little ones!
I taught pre-k in person at TotSpot for 2 years and then was a substitute teacher for TotSpot as well as CUSD. I am excited to begin a new adventure of Virtual Pre-K Teacher!
Hello, I am Bhumika “Bhumi” Patel. I am so happy and excited to be teaching at TotSpot! I was born and brought up in India. I have been living in AZ for 7 years with my husband and two awesome kids.
I have experience working with toddlers and preschoolers for over six years and have enjoyed creating fun and interactive activities. I have a credential in Human Development and a Diploma in Computer Applications. Currently, I am working on my CDA certification and am in my last year of completing my degree in Early Elementary Education. When I am not teaching, I have a passion for cooking, crafting, reading, gardening and in particular, I enjoy going out with my family & friends and spending time with them.
The most amazing part of being a teacher for me is to see or hear one of my students apply the skills that they have been taught and see the excitement on their face.
Hi! My name is Gillian McGill. I was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was there I earned my SVQ 2 and HNC in Childcare and Education (the equivalent of a bit more than an associate’s degree in the states) in 1997. I also went back to school to study Midwifery in 2002. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2007 due to my husband being relocated with work. Prior to moving here we spent some time in Portland, Oregon and Dublin, Ireland. I have 2 children of my own and I absolutely love working with children and am very excited to be part of TotSpot Preschool.
Throughout the years I have had the pleasure of working with children in various childcare settings. After I joined TotSpot Preschool I taught in the 3’s classroom at the Gilbert campus for several years and I have also been the Assistant Director at the Chandler campus. I am putting my teacher hat back on and jumping into the classroom in the Pre-K class for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. It will be a year of fun and learning in the Fairytale classroom!
My name is Emmalee Lowis I have been at TotSpot for over 9 years and I am overjoyed to be Ms.Megan’s Assistant in the wonderful Jungle Room. I am looking forward to a year of learning, fun and discoveries. I am excited to learn all about you, but for now I will share a little about me.
My love for teaching and adventure has opened many doors for me throughout my life and continues to provide opportunities to help me learn and grow.
In the summer of 2012 I traveled to Chennai India with Rising Star Outreach an organization that works with those effected by leprosy. Alongside local doctors, I was able to participate in minor medical procedures. I was also able to help with the construction of on campus teacher housing, and work at the Peery School for Rising Stars specializing in math and emergent readers. The school was exclusively made up of children from the leprosy colonies who where unable to attend their local schools due to the stigma of having a parent with leprosy or having once had it themselves.
Upon returning home, I met my husband and after being married for only a few months, we decided to move to Voronezh Russia for a semester. I spent my time there as an English teacher working with first year English students aged 4-9.
In 2017, I used the Totspot school break to travel to Kibera, Kenya and volunteered at The Star Of Hope School. I worked with ages 5-9 on all subjects.
I feel especially grateful for all of the experiences I have had with many diverse groups of students with varying backgrounds and abilities be it at TotSpot or abroad. I am looking forward to the year ahead with your child.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2011)
Hi my name is Ms. Nelay and I am excited to start our year off on this wonderful journey of learning and exploring new activities together teaching the virtual 3’s classes. During my many years at TotSpot I have taught the 2’s, 3’s and Pre-K classes! I have also taught for the Mesa Public Schools as an Elementary School Teacher for six years. I am an Arizona native, grew up in Mesa, and attended Northern Arizona University. I graduated from NAU in 2000 with a Degree in Elementary Education.
During my first year of teaching I met my husband, Nathan. We are celebrating seventeen years of marriage this July. We have three beautiful daughters: twins Ashlynn & Amara-14 and our baby girl Bryssa-11. Our family LOVES to watch cooking shows and cook all together in our home kitchen. Some of my hobbies are baking cupcakes, hiking Arizona, and taking beach vacations.
One of the many ways I build a connection with your child is to bring in my love for baking/cooking into our preschool classroom throughout the year. Enjoy the rest of your summer break and I will see you soon!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July 2010)
Hello, my name is Connie Bennett. I was born in Erie, Pennsylvania though I call Arizona home as I have been here since the 80’s. I married my best friend and better half in Jamaica on 7.17.17. I am a mom to four wonderful kids (3 boys and 1 girl), a very proud Navy mom, a mother-in-law and have added 3 bonus daughters along with their families. I am truly blessed to also add the title “Memaw” to my resume. To date, that title has grown to 6! Family is extremely important to me and has taught me many lessons throughout my life.
I would have to say my biggest accomplishment have been raising my children. My oldest being born blind, autistic and mentally challenged he has taught me more in life than I think I could ever teach him. I have experience in working with many children and adults with learning and physical disabilities.
During any “free” time I may have, you could find me working my side-gig, Color Street, seeking out an adventure and traveling with my husband or family, antiquing or of course doing ANYTHING with my grandbabes and growing family. I’m extremely excited to be an assistant teacher here at TotSpot Preschool. I can’t wait to jump in full speed to enrich your children’s lives while they continue to teach me about life.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2015)
Hello! I am Nicole Cameron and I’m very excited to begin another year with TotSpot! Let me share a bit about myself…I am a native of Arizona, growing up mostly in the suburbs of Chandler and Ahwatukee. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, reading and spending time with my family. My husband and I are proud parents to our four sons who fill our lives with joy and lots of soccer!
I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and I earned a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University. Before working at TotSpot, I have taught kindergarten and worked as a substitute teacher and reading tutor. This is my 3rd year teaching PreK at TotSpot. I love to teach and share the joy of learning with children. I’m looking forward to doing both this year, with you, as we embark upon a new adventure with TotSpot’s Virtual Academy!
Hello ! My name is Swati and I’m very excited to be a part of teaching staff at TotSpot! I have lived in Chandler since 2007. We have 2 wonderful daughters aged 10 and 6.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. I have previous experience volunteering and working with preschool-age kids at New Vistas Center for Education and Spondeo Preschool.
I am professionally trained in and also teach classical Indian dance of Bharat Natyam. Besides dance, I enjoy cooking and spending time with my family.
I love working with preschool kids and take personal interest in their education and development. I’m looking forward to working with the 3 year-olds and TotSpot staff!
(Joined TotSpot Preshool in September, 2019)
Hello. My name is Audra Pettit and I was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona. I live in Chandler with my wonderful husband and four kids. In my spare time I love to read, work in our garden, and plan our next family camping trip.
I enjoyed staying home with my children for 13 years. During this time I have worked with young children and youth through my church, provided child care in my home at various times, and enjoyed working with different moms over the years doing play group and preschool co-ops together. I have a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. A highlight of my education was a year-long internship as an elementary school counselor in Gilbert helping children navigate some of life’s challenging experiences. Here I gained a deep appreciation of the importance of play in a young child’s academic, social, and emotional education.
Prior to joining the TotSpot team, I enjoyed working as an Assistant Teacher at my daughter’s preschool in Queen Creek. I look forward to continuing to work with energetic young learners here at Totspot.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool June, 2016)
Hi! My name is Jenna Pein. This is my second year at TotSpot. I am an Arizona native and I graduated from Chandler High School in 2016. I am a mother of two cats and one dog, whom I love very much! I attend Rio Salado Community College and I’m currently working towards a degree in Early Childhood Education. I grew up volunteering every summer at a preschool where I discovered my love for working with children. My favorite part about working with the 3 year old class is seeing their vivid imagination shine through play and through their academics. I enjoy learning from my students just as much as I enjoy teaching them!
My name is Madison Caldwell. I joined TotSpot Preschool at the end of the 2012-2013 school year as a substitute teacher and now I am excited for a new school year to begin! I have lived in Queen Creek for the past 3 years, but my family and I have lived in several other states. I am a student at Chandler Gilbert Community College and I hope to eventually be a Diabetic Educator. I am the 2nd of 4 children and I am the only girl.
I have really loved working with the children at TotSpot every day. My favorite thing is watching the children learn new things. I look forward to this upcoming year.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool April, 2013)
Hello, I’m Briley Brown. I’m currently a sophomore at Arizona State University studying political science. I’m a huge sports fan. I love traveling and learning new things!
I have had some family members work at TotSpot Preschool and told me it was a great place to work, and I have absolutely loved it! Helping children reach their full potential is why I enjoy working at TotSpot so much! Each child is so unique in their learning styles and personalities. I love helping each little one figure out what works best for them. Watching them learn and grow is amazing to see and I’m grateful to be a part of the TotSpot team.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool May, 2019)
Hello! I am Miss Allison and I am so excited to be your teacher this year! We are going to have so much fun learning, exploring and discovering together.
I graduated from Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame with a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish as well a minor in Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language. I came to Arizona after graduating from college. I taught Bilingual and English as a Second Language At Risk Preschool and Kindergarten in the Scottsdale Unified School District. I also taught All Day Kindergarten in the Kyrene School District. I hold a current teaching certification in the State of Arizona.
I enjoy teaching Art Masterpiece and Religious Education classes, volunteering in my children’s classrooms, and being a substitute teacher in both Kyrene and Chandler school districts. As you can see, I am very passionate about sharing the love of learning with others.
I grew up in the Chicagoland area, but currently live in Chandler with my husband Chris and our four amazing children. All of our children attend school in the Chandler School district. Matthew will be a Senior and Tim a Junior at Perry High School. Andrew is entering the eighth grade at Santan Junior High and Katherine will be in third grade at Santan Elementary School. With four busy children, you can usually find us at the hockey rink or the dance studio. We are a family that loves all things Disney, loves to travel to the ocean, we enjoy playing games, swimming, and just having fun together.
Each child is unique and special and I look forward to helping each one shine bright. I am so excited that I get to be a part of your child’s journey at school.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2019)
My name is Eileen Hedelius. I was born in Logan, Utah and grew up in Australia, California, Utah and Wyoming. In 2005 my husband and our small family moved from our home in Paso Robles, CA to Arizona to continue to raise our family. We have 4 children ages 19, 16, 14, and 12. My youngest of which attended Totspot!
I have previously taught at Totspot Gilbert in the 2’s class and I am very excited to be returning and working with this amazing staff! Before working at Totspot I worked as a dental assistant in family dentistry in Santa Maria, Sunnyvale, and Paso Robles, Ca. After moving to Arizona I was at home with my children and worked as a volunteer at CTA Liberty.
The 2’s class is an adventure for all of us! It is my pleasure to be able to be a part of your children’s earliest education experience as we play, learn and grow together! I look forward to meeting each family and being a part of your child’s journey.
Hi my name is Becky. I am an Arizona native. My husband and I have been married for 16 years and we have three boys ages 9, 11 and 13. They keep me busy and I enjoy volunteering in their classrooms and teaching Art Masterpiece. I taught at a Fine Arts preschool for many years and also various enrichment classes through city programs. I have experience teaching all ages, but really have a passion for working with the preschoolers. I love watching them learn and grow! Preschoolers hold a special place in my heart and I am so glad to be here at TotSpot working with them!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool September, 2016)
My name is Bonnie Stone-Awong. I am a retired veteran educator with over 26 years in education,
including classroom (K-8th) and administrative (K-12th) experiences. I believe in connecting with
each and every student. Forming a bond creates a positive learning relationship. I have found
children will move mountains for you if they know you believe in, love, and care for them. This to be
true with all ages of children. I love to see the light bulb glow when a new concept is understood and
processed. There is nothing more satisfying then teaching, the opportunity to plant a seed and
watch is grow is a blessing.
In addition to my educational training I am an experienced volleyball coach having coached for over 15 years, 10 to 18 year olds. I am
married and my husband and we have a truly blended family, which includes; my son (phlebotomist), his wife (PA) and
granddaughter (they live nearby in Gilbert), two step kids, one in college and the other a high school senior, my 87 year old
mother who lives in a suite in our shared home. I currently take care of my 3 year old granddaughter full time, when she isn’t at TotSpot.
We have two dogs in our home, one named Valkyrie and the second Tiger. I am looking forward to a great year at TotSpot!
Hello, my name is Fatimah Tyiska. I am excited to join the TotSpot Preschool team for the upcoming school year!
I moved to Arizona from California 11 years ago. My family and I recently moved to Chandler after my engagement to the man who is the love of my life. I am a proud mom of three amazing children. My oldest son is in high school and my daughter and youngest son are in elementary school. I have an outgoing, caring personality and a heart for adoption. During my free time I enjoy crafting, going to the movies, and spending time with family and friends.
I have had over 20 years experience working as a preschool teacher at preschool centers. My educational focus has been in Early Child Development and I have taken many classes at Mesa Community College and Los Angeles Southwest College.
I am looking forward to enjoying a truly wonderful school year.
My name is Esmeralda Pena. I joined the TotSpot family in 2014. My husband owns an auto body shop in Mesa and together we enjoy spending our free time with our son and daughter and our extended family. We also love to camp and travel.
I have really enjoyed the opportunity to work as an assistant teacher with such amazing teachers. The students are so adorable and keep me entertained! After spending the last two years at TotSpot, I have found my passion in Early Childhood. In High School I received my Certificate in Early Childhood, but I have now decided to go to college to obtain my degree in Early Childhood. I am grateful to learn and grow from working with the students at TotSpot and take the skills I have learned home to my son. I look forward to one day completing my courses and becoming a teacher.
Hi, my name Gabriele Larson and this is my twelfth year in the classroom and my fifth year teaching Pre-K at Totspot!
My family moved to Arizona eight years ago from the Philadelphia suburbs, but I grew up in Utah, so I’m happy to be living in the West once more. We have three sons and a daughter, ages 20, 18, 14 & 14. (Yes, twin boys!) Our favorite family activities are traveling, cooking, skiing, reading and camping.
I recently completed my Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University. Go Sun devils! I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University and taught elementary school for six years before staying home to be with my children.
Teaching is my passion and my joy. I love using children’s literature, music, movement and exploration to bring learning to life. Being with youngsters keeps me young, so thank you for sharing your little ones with me!
My Name is Silvia Hartman and this is my third year at Tot Spot. I was born and raised in Southern California. I graduated from BYU with a degree in sociology. After my husband graduated from the University of Utah we moved to Arizona, his home state. We’ve lived all over Arizona and settled in Chandler two years ago. We love it here and hope to never move again. I have four kids ages 15, 14, 12 and 8. I enjoy volunteering in my children’s classrooms and being involved with the PTO. After 12 years of staying home with my kids, after my youngest went to kindergarten, I made the decision to jump back into the working world. I am so happy to be able to do that at Tot Spot and to be a small part of preparing your children for kindergarten.
My name is Theresa Heckert and I am excited to be part of the TotSpot Preschool staff. My husband, son and I moved to AZ from Wisconsin and we are loving the warm weather here. We also have a granddaughter who we enjoy spending time with!
For 12 years I was a stay at home Mom, and when our youngest entered 1st grade I began working at a private preschool in Green Bay as an assistant in their 3 year old room . I was an assistant for 8 years and then for 4 years I was a head teacher.
Many moons ago, I earned my AA as a Legal Secretary, but I actually found my passion in Early Childhood after I was hired to teach the 3s & 4s classes at a local private school in Green Bay, WI. In addition to my 12 years of experience in teaching preschool, I have also been working toward my Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Human development.
I am very excited to be working with your children and getting to know all the parents over the course of the school year. I love to watch how the children develop over the course of the school year and see their love of learning grow.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool August, 2014)
Hi! My name is Mrs. Amy and I feel privileged to join the great staff at TotSpot Preschool. I am a 4th generation Arizona native (a true desert rat!) and I love this great state. I graduated from Arizona State University in Graphic Information Technology and worked at ASU for five years.
My husband and I currently live in Chandler with our four children ages 13, 11, 9 and 5. After staying home for 13 years with my kids, my baby went to Kindergarten this year. I have taught preschool co-op over the years with my own children and I am very excited to help teach your little ones this year. I especially love that children stop to smell the roses and appreciate the wonder of our world!
My name is Angie Critchfield and I’m looking forward to having you in my preschool class this year! To help you get to know me a little better, here are some things about me!
I’m married and have 5 children. My oldest daughter, Madeline (19) is leaving in November to live in Denmark. Next, I have daughters Hannah (17) and Chloe (15) that are in high school, Abigail (10) is in 5th grade, and my only son, Burke (4) will be a student at TotSpot this year.
Some things I enjoy doing are going to the movies with my husband & kids, playing games, cooking, doing crafts, and traveling. My family goes camping on the beach 1-2 times a year and we love it! I love music! I enjoy playing the piano and listening to my daughters sing, play their violins and the string bass. My favorite color is red and I love Diet Dr Pepper! Around town, you might find me shopping at Target or Costco, or out to eat at Café Rio or getting a soda at Circle K. My favorite treats are chocolate, yummy breads or almost anything lemon flavored!
I’m new to TotSpot this year and am super excited about teaching your child and watching them grow. They will not only learn through fun, hands on activities academically, but also important things socially like making friends, taking turns and expressing themselves.
Hello! My name is Jennifer Fowler and I’m excited to be joining the TotSpot family teaching 3 year olds! I grew up in Loveland, Colorado. I have my bachelor’s degree in English and Elementary Education from Colorado Mesa University. I moved to Arizona 17 years ago for my first teaching job and taught grades 3-5 for seven years.
Today, I live in Chandler with my husband and our three children. My daughter attends TotSpot too! I love to read, decorate, attend our son’s sporting events and spend time with my family. I also enjoy volunteering at the elementary school and serving in children’s ministry. I’m looking forward to instilling a love for learning in your child’s early education years.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool March, 2018)
At the time of enrollment, an enrollment fee in the amount of $150.00 is charged and an amount equal to ONE MONTH tuition. The $150.00 enrollment fee is non-refundable. The one month tuition is non-refundable after July 1st. If you need to dis-enroll your child for any reason during the school year, you must submit a 30-day written notice to the front office and the one month tuition that was paid at the time of enrollment will be applied for the last 30 days your child attends TotSpot.
TotSpot Preschool charges a yearly tuition. The tuition is divided into 10 equal payments (Aug. – May) and is due on the 1st day of every month. TotSpot Preschool follows the Chandler Unified School District calendar for breaks and holidays. I understand that the monthly tuition will remain the same each month regardless of breaks, holidays, illnesses, field trips, parent teacher conferences or personal vacations & there are no makeup days.
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My name is Kristine Brown and I am proud to be joining the TotSpot family. I have four wonderful children, ranging in age from 13 to 23, and two precious grandchildren. I am originally from Southern California, which is where I met my husband. After a couple of moves, my family and I settled in Chandler 12 years ago. We love it and have found it a great place to raise our children. I have enjoyed being involved in my children’s schools throughout the years. Three of my children attended parent co-op preschools in which the parents shared responsibilities and worked in the classroom on a regular basis. I served on the board of the preschool as well as co-president of the PTO at our elementary school. I thoroughly enjoy working with children and look forward to getting to know the youngest of our TotSpot students!
Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2016
Hello, my name is Roberta and I was born and raised in Brazil. I’m a bilingual and completed Vocational High School focused on Early Childhood Education in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. My family moved to the U.S. and I lived in Massachusetts for over 10 years. Due to my husband’s job relocation, we moved to the beautiful state of Arizona in 2011. I’ve been married 16 years and have two beautiful and healthy Daughters. For many years, I worked at Intel Corporation as an administrator where I acquired the skills to perform well and excel in a fast pace work environment. In Arizona, I worked as a Paraprofessional Educator within the Gilbert District. We as family, love to travel and have visited over 15 countries exploring new cultures, cuisine and educate myself on other languages. I love sports, especially soccer where I was heavily involved in my early childhood. I’m a New England Patriots fan but also support Arizona teams. Love hiking and spend time photographing people, nature and animals as my favorite hobby. I’m currently pursuing and enhancing my education in Early Childhood and look forward to working as an Assistant here at TotSport Preschool. I feel honored and blessed to have joined this amazing team of Educators.
Hi, my name is Annette Weidenbach and I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share my love for teaching at TotSpot Preschool.
I’m originally from Brooklyn, NY and left in 1992 to attend Northern Arizona University. I graduated from NAU in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and married my college sweetheart 2 months later. We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary in Feb. and have 3 wonderful daughters together.
In 1996 I received my first opportunity to introduce education in a fun, exciting way to a classroom of 4th graders. I continued teaching for the next 7 years in Mesa Public Schools and experienced grades 4th, 1st and 3rd (student teaching in Kindergarten). I decided to take a break from teaching when I was expecting my 2nd daughter. I wanted my children to have beautiful memories of me being home with them and I didn’t want to miss out on being a full-time Mom.
As time went on I discovered a way to fulfill my passion of teaching and also enjoy the experiences of being home with my children. I started a preschool from my home and was blessed to see 50 children pass through my home in the 6 years of teaching preschool. If I’m not teaching children the next best place to look is the kitchen, as I love to cook. Did I mention I’m 100% Italian? We do 2 things very well… cooking and eating and I managed to bring that into the classroom as well. I look forward to the wonderful journey your child and I will have as we prepare for Kindergarten.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2012)
My name is Penny Meskill. I graduated from ASU with a degree in elementary education and early childhood education. For 15 years I operated a private preschool and in 1994 I was hired by the Chandler Unified School District. I am currently teaching kindergarten at Navarette elementary.
The summer of 2011 I was hired to join the staff at TotSpot Preschool. I teach summer and intersession camps in the 3-6 year old classroom. I love teaching young children and I never tire of the joy I get from helping them grow and develop! They truly keep me young at heart!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool June, 2011)
Hi my name is Lisa O’Neill. I currently live in Chandler, but grew up in Chicago, IL. I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Merchandising. Before settling down in Arizona, I also lived in Seattle and San Diego. California is where I met my wonderful husband, who at the time flew helicopters for the Marines.
For the last 7 years I have been a stay at home mom taking care of my two incredible children. My children would probably describe me as the silly mom who loves to dance! My daughter attended preschool at TotSpot and we ALL just loved the amazing teachers and positive atmosphere at this school. I frequently volunteer at my children’s school to help out the classroom. I really enjoy spending time with children, I am always amazed at their imagination and creativity. It’s hard not to be overjoyed when you see a simple smile on a child’s face. I feel blessed to be able to join such a terrific team at TotSpot Preschool, and I am looking forward to meeting all the parents and children this year!
Hi, my name is Laree Fuller. I am an Arizona Native. I attended ASU and graduated in May 1992 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech and Hearing Science. During that time I spent 1 year at ASU studying Elementary Education. I have lived in the Chandler-Gilbert area for the last 15 years. I have 4 children with the oldest being 12 and the youngest being 5 and just finishing kindergarten. My youngest attended TotSpot Preschool during the 2010-2011 school year.
I am very excited to be teaching at TotSpot! I love working with the kids and thoroughly enjoy coming to work every day! My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the joy in a child’s eye when they have accomplished something they did not think they could do and that moment is priceless. I love all the kids so much!
I love adventure in everything and teaching is a great adventure to me. The kids and the personnel at TotSpot help me come to “play” every day.
Hi my name is Gretchen Peterson. I grew up here in Tempe, Arizona. I earned my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Development from UVSC. I have also studied French and recently went back to school to study British and European History. Prior to joining TotSpot, I loved being home with my three children.
I have enjoyed working with young children again and using my education more formally. Young children are so much fun to work with! They are so loving and eager to learn. You can see the excitement in their eyes as they learn new things and make sense of this incredible world we live in.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool April, 2009)
My name is Teressa (Tess) Dulle and I would also like to tell you a little about myself! I am originally from New Jersey and moved to Arizona about 15 years ago. My husband Bobby and I have 2 amazing little boys named Landon and Hudson & a NEW baby girl Elena. I received a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University and I am continuing my education every day!
I taught for many years in the Gilbert Public Schools and then at TotSpot. I now work closely with all the TotSpot Head Teachers over seeing the classrooms and curriculum. It is my goal, together with Shannon, to make sure that we have the best program available for our students and that our teachers are well trained and confident as they provide a top notch quality education.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2015)
My name is Myrna Malimban. I am a mother of four children, all whom I home-schooled.
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The George Washington University. I worked for several years in the field of finance as a loan specialist, but chose to leave the corporate sector to care for our first child full-time. I then went on to home-school all my children in all subjects until the oldest started high school. My two oldest children are now pursuing their undergraduate degrees at Brown University.
I discovered my passion for teaching through our home-schooling experience. Since then, I have taught children ranging in ages from pre-school to middle-school. My teaching experience has been in various small settings: Home-school, cooperatives, churches and pre-schools.
It is such a delight to work with the children at TotSpot! I enjoy helping the children develop a sense of wonder and a love for learning.
I am excited to join the TotSpot family as an Assistant Teacher. I have worked with TotSpot for several years as a Summer Camp Teacher before I left to serve a mission for my church. I am one of 6 SIX sisters in my family and most of which (mom included) have taught at TotSpot. Many of you are familiar with my big sister Emmalee who is also an Assistant Teacher on the Pre-K team. I have really enjoyed getting to know each one of my students and helping them have the best Preschool experience possible.
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