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My name is Ally Travis and I love being a part of the TotSpot team! I am originally from northern California, but I moved to Arizona in 2018. I have always enjoyed working with children and studied ECE at Hamilton High school prior to graduating during COVID in 2020. I’ve attended NAU and MCC and now I am at ASU studying Biological Sciences.
I am a proud dog Mom to a 1 year old mini schnauzer named Lainey. In addition to working at TotSpot, I have also coached gymnastics to preschoolers and enjoy being a nanny as well.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool in June, 2019)
Hello, my name is Amy Buxbaum and I am so excited to be teaching Pre-K again this year at TotSpot! Preschool plays such an important role in laying the foundation for future school success and beyond. The children are learning so many new things, both socially/emotionally and academically, and they are growing and changing so much along the way. I consider myself lucky to be able to share this time with them and be there to guide and support them as they go.
I am originally from Ohio, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. In 2010, I completed a post-baccalaureate program in Massachusetts and received my Early Childhood Teaching Certificate. In 2011, I moved to sunny Arizona, after having had enough of the rain and snow back East. I have taught kindergarten, second grade, preschool and pre-k. I joined the TotSpot team in January of 2021. I am thrilled to be teaching Pre-K at TotSpot again this year!
Hi! I am Kim Schemansky and I am super excited to be back for my fourth school year at
TotSpot this year! I was born and raised in Michigan, and lived there until seven 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 Huntington Beach.
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!
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)
Hi! My name is Lauren Marsteen and I am so excited for this upcoming school year! This is my
first year as an assistant teacher at Totspot and I am so honored and thrilled to meet all of the
Mon/Wed/Fri morning 3’s this year!
I am going to be a junior at the University of Arizona online program. I am majoring in
Psychology and also minoring in Adolescents, Community, and Education! When deciding on
my major and minor, I really wanted to do something that I loved to do. I finally decided on
taking the education route because I have always had a love for working with kids! Before
deciding to teach in the classroom, I was a gymnastics coach and I babysat for many family
members. Those jobs eventually led me to Totspot and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!
When I am not in the classroom, I am spending time with my family, whether it be in a friendly
game of tennis or going down to the mall. I also love to read and will never pass down reading a
good book, especially when it is for kids and of course, finishing up my studies, so I can
I am so excited for my first year with Tospot and again, I am so thrilled to meet and get to know
(Joined TotSpot Preschool June, 2023)
I am excited to be part of TotSpot Preschool this year and assisting Ms. Kim in the ocean room! I grew up in Portland, Oregon, but have called Arizona home for the last 10 years. I live in Chandler with my husband Jim and our three boys Ryan, Jack and Luke. We also have a dog, Maggie, and two cats, Sady and Toulouse. My family loves basketball and we enjoy going to Suns basketball games. In my free time I also enjoy hiking, paddleboarding and reading.
I received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Interdisciplinary Studies from Western Oregon University. Before moving to Arizona, I taught kindergarten through second grade in Oregon and California. I also previously taught PreK at a private preschool in Chandler before joining the TotSpot team this year.
I look forward to an amazing year with your child as they learn and grow in our positive classroom environment!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2023)
(Joined TotSpot Preschool June, 2021)
Hi, I’m Pradeepa Ganesh and this will be my second year as a teaching assistant at TotSpot!
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 working with TotSpot’s budding flowers to enrich their learning foundation!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2022)
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 all of our new students!
(Joined TotSpot in March, 2022)
Hi my name is Ms. Nelay and I am excited for another wonderful year at TotSpot! During my many years at TotSpot, I have taught the 2’s, 3’s and Pre-K classes! I even taught a virtual 3’s class during the 2020-2021 school year. Prior to TotSpot, I 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 recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We have three beautiful daughters: twins Ashlynn & Amara, who graduated from high school last year and our baby girl Bryssa-14. 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)
My name is Sydney Wade! This is my second-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!
(Joined TotSpot Preschool September, 2022)
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 after my children were in school.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool April, 2012)
My name is Tracy and I am so happy to have this opportunity to get back in the classroom! This will be my third 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)
I am ‘Miss Shirley’ Turley and working with children is one of the greatest loves of my life! I was born
and raised in Idaho but have lived in the Chandler/Gilbert area for almost 30 years now. I graduated
from Brigham Young University in Home Economics Education with a Secondary Education teaching
degree. Through my studies and raising my children, I have discovered that early child development and education is a passion of mine and is where I choose to invest my time and efforts. I have experience writing curriculum and teaching in the BYU preschool, teaching high school Child Development students, supervising a high school child development lab, and owning and directing a preschool in my home. I am a mother of 10 and a grandmother of 4. Over the years, I have enjoyed being a stay home mom as I’ve raised my children. My hobbies include traveling, cruising, playing the piano, and spending time with my family. I believe children should experience learning that is fun and rewarding and feel that they are capable of being successful and confident in the preschool environment. I am happy to be a part of the TotSpot team!
My name is Heather Hale and I am a proud Arizona native. I have been married for 24 years to my awesome husband Stephen and I have four pretty cool kids. My husband and I have raised our children in Chandler and we love it here and don’t plan on moving. When I am not at home with my kids playing card games, on a date with my husband or at work at TotSpot preschool you can find me out in the wilderness. I love hiking, backpacking for days and canyoneering. Arizona has so many hidden gems and I am always out in search for them. I love working at TotSpot with the kids teaching them and watching them learn and grow.
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!
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
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! 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)
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!
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)
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 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 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.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2019)
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.
(Joined TotSpot Preschool July, 2015)
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