This is Lori’s 14th year as Director of Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool. She first became involved with Preschool as a devoted parent helper in daughter Kaysia’s class, then joined the staff as a teacher in 2003 before becoming Director.
Lori enjoys kids of all ages and has taught middle and high school biology and coached high school and college sports. She was a founding board member of the Southeast Enrichment Resource School (SEER School), a multi-age learning community providing educational options for the kids of Sitka.
Lori as B.S. degree in Biology from the University of California - Davis and earned her teaching certificate at Sonoma State University. She has also completed a Masters in Public Administration and Non-Profit Management and continues to take classes in Early Childhood Education.
Lori has lived in Sitka for over 20 years and in Southeast Alaska for nearly 30 years. She is also owner of Rose Fisheries, a seafood marketing business. Lori enjoys yoga, hiking, gardening, animals, building things and especially having fun with her eighteen-year-old daughter Kaysia.
KATE JOHNSON - Teacher
Kate brings songs and stories to the children of Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool. She is a parent alumni of two creative & active daughters. Often Kate will start the day with our students singing songs and will end the day with them bundled up for outside play.
Kate's background in early childhood education started in 1998. After a couple years of studying psychology she discovered playing & doing projects with children was much more fun than studying their behavior. From that point she completed her degree from University of Alaska Anchorage in Early Childhood Education. Kate has been working and playing with young children since.
Outside preschool Kate can be found on beaches and hiking trails with her husband Luke & daughters Isabel & Amara. Often they are picking berries to make jam or camping to enjoy the coastal life of Sitka. Kate is a voracious reader and has passed on the gene to her children. If you need book ideas for your children or something for yourself, she is our on-hand book version of Siskel & Ebert.
TONI OLSON - Teacher
This is Toni's 8th year teaching at Mt, Edgecumbe Preschool. Toni came to Sitka in 1993 to pursue her dream of commercial fishing. She owned and operated the salmon trollers F/V Magic and F/V Melody S before teaming up with her husband Paul Olson in 2004. They now spend their summers fishing together on the F/V Pacific Flyer.
When Toni became a grandmother to grandson Orion she discovered a passion for playing, teaching and joining with children as they discover the world around them. She thrives in the ongoing challenge of learning and growing with the kids and continuously strives to find new ways to enrich the preschool experience. Toni is excited to teach at Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool and participates in continuing education in Early Childhood Education.
BERNADETTE RASMUSSEN - Teacher
Bernadette came to Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool after spending time with the Wooch.een Head Start Preschool & as an Americorp Volunteer at Baranof Elementary School Kindergarten Classes.
Most locals will recognize Bernadette as the avid baker & business owner of the Backdoor Cafe of 18 years. When Bernadette's daughter was young she cared for her and several other children at home. Bernadette has been part of the Sitka community since 1980 with her partner Darryl.
When she's not listening to children tell their stories at Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool, Bernadette spends her time baking, volunteering everywhere in the community & traveling the world.
CHRISTY WILLIAMS - Substitute Teacher
Christy is a substitute teacher at Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool after spending many years as one of our key teachers. Her favorite things to do with kids include messy projects such as finger paint, clay, cornmeal, water play and shaving cream. Singing with and reading to children brings her joy. Christy recommends the National Institute for Play's website as a good parent resource.
Christy has taught in preschools and children's centers for 30 years. She has a degree in Elementary Education and has completed graduate course work in early Childhood & Human Development.
Christy says Sitka is a great place to grow up! She was raised in Sitka and then continued by raising her own sons Peter & Trevor here. Her parents Frank & Ruth Roth and sisters Gwen & Jessica live here as well.
Christy is married to Stan Schoening. Stan is a local artist in wood & clay and also a part-time comedian on our answering machine.
RACHEL PILCH - Kindergarten Transporter Liason
Rachel, her husband Nick, new addition baby Willa and their Boston Terrier Rocky are returning to Alaska and excited to play in Sitka.
After earning a B.S. in Natural Sciences from University of Alaska Anchorage, and minor in communications, Rachel substitute taught in Anchorage for several years in a wide range of classrooms. She earned an Early Elementary teaching certificate and taught preschool in Tacoma, WA while coaching high school swimming with the Steilacoom Sentinels.
She enjoys plays, music, swimming, board games, reading, and being outside. This year she hopes to improve her tennis skills at the harbor-side courts of Sitka, swim at Sea Lion Cove and explore the community.
She looks forward to joining and collaborating with the community of Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool!
ERIKA KNOX - Office Manager
Erika first came to Mt. Edgecumbe Preschool in 1977 with her brother when it was located across the bridge on the "island." That year her mother helped the preschool transition from an informal group of friends offering preschool-like experiences to an official licensed facility with IRS 501(c)3 non-profit status.
The school continued as a place of exploration for her own children Kobi & Anan who are now alumni. Even though they both graduated from preschool they enjoy coming back to school to spend time with the currently enrolled children.
Erika offers a tiny desk for visitors during the day while she pays the bills and keeps things going behind the scenes. Young visitors have been know to "supervise" copy machine repair people or just sit to listen to audiobooks or classical music.