OUR TEACHERS & VOLUNTEERS
Say hello to our caring, enthusiastic teachers!
We are proud of the diversity of our teachers’ educational & professional backgrounds and the array of talents they bring to the Well. Our staff is committed to reaching the required annual training and professional development hours. We encourage teachers to be creative with their continuing education so they can hone their skills and learn more about subjects they are interested in and passionate about. teachers are all up to date with CPR, First Aid, SIDS/SBS and Child Abuse & Neglect trainings and certifications.
Seedlings (6 Weeks – 1 Year Olds)
Roberta Prasciunas, Lead Teacher: Miss Roberta holds a BFA from the College of Design at Iowa State University. A lover of animals, nature and the outdoors, she taught skiing for 8 years, specifically coaching young downhill racers. This past winter, she renewed her PSIA (Professional Ski Instructor of America). She has over 15 years of nannying experience for children from infancy to preteen. Dependable, responsible and prompt, she enjoys the challenge of motivating children to be happy and healthy in a creative environment.
Saplings (1 Year Olds)
Geovanna Agobian, Lead Teacher: Ms. Geovanna holds a BS in Dentistry and has three years of childcare experience. She loves listening to music and enjoying life in general! She delights in being in the infant class, as well as supporting other projects around the school. She is the parent of a Willow!
Blossoms (1 Year Olds)
Rebecca Meza, Lead Teacher: Miss Becca has master’s degrees in psychology and educational policy studies. She first began teaching in West Africa through the Peace Corps and has since tutored or taught elementary, middle, and high school students. She is particularly passionate about science and storytelling and aims to create a learning environment where students can make meaningful connections with each other and the natural world. When she isn’t teaching, she’s exploring the outdoors with her dog.
Sanda Steele, Lead Teacher: Ms. Sanda holds a BFA in Studio Art with combined coursework from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She took graduate courses at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota to earn her Art Teacher license. She also took graduate courses to earn her Special Education Teacher license from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. Through a state-run program, she studied to teach the visually impaired and blind. She has taught children from the ages of early childhood to adolescence for over 13 years: Special Education, Art, Beginning Spanish, and the visually impaired. Her 5 children inspired her to become a teacher. In her free time, she enjoys creating art, growing orchids, and nature walks with her husband and their two Scotties, Zeus and Luella.
Willows (2 Year Olds)
Patrick Hickey, Lead Teacher: Empowered by a conviction to effect positive change, Mr. Patrick left a career in sales to study Community Psychology. Over the past few years the work he has done as both a student and researcher have informed his belief that the health of the individual and the collective are inter-dependent. Patrick says, “Every human being is worthy of dignity, care and help. Recognizing and serving the developmental needs of each of our children helps the individual, the family, the society that child will enter, and – in fulfilling my wish to be a positive male role model with a mission to serve the greater good – helps me, too.” In addition to holding a Psychology degree from Truman College, Patrick is a more-than-amateur-less-than-professional actor, singer, comedian and cartoonist who feels that creativity and fun are essential tools to engage, inspire and inform the young mind.
Redwoods (3 Year Olds)
Analia Theo, Lead Teacher: Analia, or “Miss Lia,” has 2 years of childcare experience working with 3-4 year old children. She’s excited to advance her career in a forward-thinking preschool that challenges her and that helps move Early Childhood Education forward.
Vijaya Shree Pitchumani, Lead Teacher: Vijaya, or “Ms. Viji,” has a bachelor’s degree in Physics, as well as a masters degree in Human Resources Management. She has an extensive background in IT, however, having two kids of her own has grown her interest in pursuing a career that will allow her to stay connected to kids. She is passionate about being a nurturing presence in the classroom.
Sequoias (4 Year Olds)
Maria Vasilev, Lead Teacher: Ms. Maria is not only a Sequoias teacher, she practices yoga with our young yogis. She has been teaching yoga for 3 years, and holds her BS in Sport & Physical Education. She also enjoys practicing gymnastics, which she has done since she was a child.
Thistle Pettersen, Lead Teacher (photo coming soon!): Ms. Thistle has a passion for incorporating music and Spanish in her teaching! She holds a master’s degree in Spanish from the University of Michigan and bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. She has been a preschool teacher for the past 3.5 years at another local Madison school, and has additional teaching experience from other positions at Madison Montessori and Centro Hispano, as well as lecturing at the college level.
Mariana Coughlin, Nutrition Coordinator: Ms. Mariana holds her BS in Nutrition & Dietetics from UW-Madison and is currently working towards finishing a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition. She enjoys working with families to meet their healthy lifestyle goals and trying out new ways to incorporate fresh, local ingredients in her cooking. She has experience as a volunteer for the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Dane County as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. Mariana’s favorite thing about working at the Well is getting feedback from the kids and she is always happy to share recipes!
Fabiola Alva, Float Teacher: Miss Fabiola has been working with children for 8 years, most recently in assistant teaching positions at Dane County Parent Council and Reach Dane. She considers it a privilege not only to teach young minds but to also learn from them. As a teacher, she loves supporting students in their social, emotional, mental and physical development. She has three children of her own, and a dog.
Courtney Holman, Float Teacher: Miss Courtney is currently pursuing her associate’s degree in Library & Information Services at Chippewa Valley Technical College. She is with us part-time in a floating teacher role, supporting all classrooms (especially our cuddly infants!) daily.
Aubre Poole, Substitute Teacher: Miss Aubre has her BS in Rehabilitation Psychology from UW-Madison. She’s worked with children for 6 years, and children with disabilities for the last 2 years. She has also worked at MSCR, Playgrounds, and the Waisman Center. She is currently pursuing her graduate’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She enjoys listening to music, watching Netflix, hiking, kayaking, and playing basketball.
Deena Grass, Learning & Curriculum Volunteer: Miss Deena is a retired elementary teacher who taught for 30 years and now shares her knowledge, expertise and resources with our teachers. She also finds us really great learning materials! She holds her BA and MA in Education. She is a proud grandmother to 9 grandchildren.
Want to volunteer?
We are always looking for wonderful people who love working with kids! Whether you want to read books to the children, do art projects, cuddle infants, lead science experiments or just get on the ground and play, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to join our team?
Click here to view open opportunities.