A team of teachers staff our school, with one serving as Director. Each member of our staff has completed Early Childhood Education coursework, is credentialed and has years of experience working with children. The teachers also act as advisors and consultants to the parent board. Selection of the staff is made jointly by the parent group and the school district administration. Our teachers are responsible for the school’s program as a whole and the maintenance of professional standards.
Director and 3s Teacher
Jennie began her career in education in 2002, teaching 7th grade science. She went on to teach kindergarten, first and second grade. With the birth of her children, Jennie took time off from teaching and joined our program with her daughters in 2010. Entering the world of preschool as a parent was life changing. This experience helped her discover a passion for teaching within early education, and in a co-op preschool environment where she can work with preschool children and their families. After three years as a CCNS parent, Jennie transitioned to our teaching staff as our 3s class teacher in the fall of 2013.
With four fulfilling years of preschool teaching underway, Jennie was inspired to create our Big Trees program. Exploring nature with young children is something she considers to be magical and incredibly rewarding. In 2017, she excitedly led the first of many sessions of Big Trees families on local nature experiences in beautiful outdoor locations surrounding Cupertino Co-op. In 2018 Jennie was awarded a Teacher Award for the creation and launch of Big Trees from the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS).
Jennie serves on the Board of Directors of CCPPNS in the position of Finance North. She enjoys connecting with other co-op teachers, directors and families as she works to support the amazing co-op preschools from all over the state of California.
Jennie was born in Redwood City, raised in Fresno and lived in San Luis Obispo, Goleta and Ventura before settling in Downtown Sunnyvale in 2007. She resides there with her husband, daughters (born 2006 and 2008) and two dogs. She considers the Bay Area to be an amazing place to live and raise a family, with so many wonderful places to explore. In addition to her passion for co-op preschool life, Jennie savors live music, time with family and friends, traveling, hiking and delicious beverages.
Kate joined CCNS as a working parent in 2017 and served on the CCNS Board of Directors in 2018-2019. She loved the supportive community and profoundly child-centered program that had her daughter begging to go to preschool every day. She is joining CCNS to start up the new 2s program.
Kate grew up in south Louisiana and trained as a marine scientist in Florida and then in environmental government at Indiana University before working in air quality planning with the State of Texas for many years. During that time her goal of saving the world shifted to a more personal scale, so she trained as a mental health counselor with St. Edwards University in Austin. A sudden move to California and the birth of her special needs daughter again shifted her path unexpectedly. When her daughter was ready for preschool she sought out a play-based co-op school and ended up teaching there for 6 months before joining the CCNS community the next fall.
As a teacher, Kate uses a lot of her counseling training, skills, and lessons to help her students build the foundations of the resilient, secure, creative, and confident adults they can become one day. You know, once they learn to pee in the toilet and wash their hands afterwards. And dry their hands. And put the used paper in the trash can. Kate’s counseling training focused on attachment, resiliency building and trauma recovery, neurobiology and self regulation, and generally helping adults recover from the things that went awry in their childhoods.
Kate, her husband of more than 20 years, her precocious daughter, and their charming albeit grumpy dog call Sunnyvale home.
Calla joined the CCNS community as a parent in 2017, served on the Board of Directors in 2018, and became the 4s class teacher in 2019. Her professional motivation has always been to understand how people learn, and to use that understanding to help people along their journeys.
She has a BA in Biology/Neuroscience and an MA in Developmental Psychology, both from the University of Chicago. She has continued her training beyond her degrees with coursework in birth and postpartum doula support, childbirth and parent education, and early childhood education. She is passionate about the benefits of CCNS's community-based model of preschool, and strongly believes that the most effective way to learn (at every age!) is to play.
Calla was born in Ohio, raised in Kansas, and schooled in Chicago -- a Midwestern girl at heart. Transplanted to California 3 months before her first child was born, she sent down roots in Sunnyvale where she lives today with her husband (since 2005) and her three children (born in 2013, 2014, and 2021). Calla spends her personal time in voracious engagement with any and all fiber arts, cooking, amateur photography, reading, writing, playing piano, and yoga.
Big Trees Teacher
Holly McCullough joined the CCNS community as a parent in 2017 and completed our program with her two children. She was excited to find a supportive community where parents and children could learn and grow together. She joined the CCNS Board of Directors in 2019 as the Parent Education chair, and was thrilled to become the Big Trees teacher in 2021. Holly has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Santa Clara University, and worked as a behavioral therapist for children with autism.
As a child, Teacher Holly spent weekends looking for birds in the bay lands, wading in creeks under redwood trees, and following trails of ants in her grandparents' backyard. As a parent, Holly found her family's most peaceful and productive days were spent on those same trails. As our Big Trees teacher, Holly hopes to encourage families to prioritize time outside and feel confident exploring nature together. She prepares a classroom without walls including a location to explore, information to share about what might be happening outside and activities to help young minds grow and small bodies learn new skills.
Teacher Holly was born and raised in the Bay Area, and currently resides in Sunnyvale with her husband and two elementary aged children. When she is not exploring local trails, Holly loves cooking up new recipes, growing vegetables and native plants in her garden, and embracing her community.