Schneider Children's Center
Meet Our Staff
Sara Stearns, Center Director StearnsMS@sou.edu
Sara earned a Bachelor's degree from SOU in 1983 in Elementary Education (with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education). She taught kindergarten for a year, as well as 1st and 2nd grade for a year, before focusing her attention on preschool programs. Sara has worked at both the Medford and Ashland YMCA's most recently as the Director at the Ashland location. Additionally, Sara worked as a parent educator for Community Works. She is currently taking Master's level coursework in Management at SOU. Sara has been at SCC since 2006.
Ellen Hoover, Cook
Ellen has over 20 years of cooking experience, including 12 years of home-style institutional cooking and 8 years in restaurants. She has a commitment to the children to keep them healthy and growing with proper nutrition. Ellen has been at SCC since 2000.
Janelle Chapman, Office Assistant
Janelle received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology in June 2011, and is currently in the Master's Degree Program in Mental Health Counseling at SOU. In her spare time she enjoys camping and other adventurous outings with her son.
Pink Room (six weeks to young toddlers)
Kathy has worked at Schneider Children’s Center since 1996. She earned graduate certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health from Portland State University in 2010. She also has a B.A. in Sociology and an A.A degree in Early Childhood Education.
Green Room (Toddlers and Two Year Olds)
Nikki Heun firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki has a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Child Development and Family Relations from the University of Arizona, and in 2010 received a Graduate Certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health from Portland State University. Nikki began working in the field of Early Childhood Education in 1982. She also worked as a family advocate for SCC for four years, has volunteered for WinterSpring Centre for Living with Loss and Grief, and teaches infant massage. In addition, she maintains the SCC web pages. Nikki has been teaching at SCC since 1991.
Trina has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from SOU. Trina worked at the SOU Pre-School (on campus) and did her practicum in a 1st and 2nd grade classroom. She went on to work as a center based preschool teacher for one year, and operated a child care business in her home for five years. Trina began at SCC in September 2008.
Katie received a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She worked in university child care while attending college, and went on to work with children of all ages with special needs.She also helped start a successful preschool program in Idaho. Katie began working in the Early Childhood field in 2000. She began working at SCC in January 2012.
Blue Room (Ages 2-5 year old)
Donna Jones email@example.com
Donna has earned a C.D.A. (Child Development Associate) from Rogue Community College, and is currently working on a Bachelor's degree in Family Services. Her experience working with children comes from a variety of settings including in-home child care, preschools and volunteer work. She also worked as a family advocate at SCC for four years. Donna has been teaching at SCC since 1994.
Kristin has a B.A. in Social Science from Southern Oregon University. She is a member of the Oregon Association of the Education of Young Children and the Southern Oregon Alumni Association. She has been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1986. Kristin has been teaching at SCC since 2000.
Sophia Kristi Rychener
Sophia joined SCC in the fall of 2011. She comes with 6 years of experience in the field of Early Childcare form the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Sophia received a BA in Alternative Education for Evergreen in 2006.
Purple Room (Ages 3-6 year olds)
Joanie Keller-Hand firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanie has a B.S. in Child and Family Services with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from the University of New Hampshire and is registered with the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education through PSU. Joanie has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1979, and has been teaching at SCC since 1993. She has also worked for the Ashland School District, and currently volunteers as an ASPIRE mentor at Ashland High School. Joanie is working towards a Master's in Management degree at SOU.
Jaimie Bernhagen email@example.com
Jaime has a B.A. in English and Creative Writing from the University of California, Davis. Jaimie began working with children (child care, volunteer work, and as a teacher's aide) in 1992, and began teaching at SCC in 1998. Along with her work in early childhood education, Jaimie serves on the Board of Directors as an Executive Administrator for a nonprofit organization, Natives of One Wind Indigenous Alliance, focusing on diversity education, community outreach and dismantling oppression/racism within marginalized indigenous minorities in Southern Oregon.
Julie Kasiah has been involved with SCC since 2005 when she began working as a substitute in each of the classrooms. She continued as a sub for four years, until 2010 when she was hired as a teacher in the older preschool. Julie also has volunteered in local elementary schools and has worked in one other preschool prior to coming to SCC. She is currently taking coursework and workshops to enhance her knowledge in early childhood development.