Meet the Teachers

Staff photo

 

trishaTrisha Christmas – M/W/F 2’s Teacher

I began at the Co-op in 2013 when my daughter started the 3s class, and it was then that the seed was planted in my heart to become a teacher. In the past three years, I have fallen in love with Kids’ Co-op as I’ve worked as a parent, teacher sub for all classes and fundraising chair. I am working toward my degree in Early Childhood Education at CSN and have attended many classes and conferences pertaining to the subject. I am beyond grateful to have the knowledgeable and experienced teachers at the Co-op as my mentors.

Before I began my journey to become a teacher, I had a career in customer service and showroom management with companies including Freeman and International Market Center. My husband, Ross, and I have been together since we were teenagers and are blessed with two beautiful children – Giavanna and Roscoe.

I’m extremely excited for this teaching opportunity and can’t wait to PLAY!

 

 

Bonnie TothBonnie Toth – T/Th 2’s Teacher

I have been teaching in the early childhood field since 2001, and became a Mommy in 2008. I began working as a preschool teacher while I was in school for my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Science Education. However, as I neared the end of my program, I realized that I wasn’t ready to give up the joy I found in teaching younger children. I went back to school, and received a Master’s in Elementary Education in 2009. I am still passionate about science, and find myself incorporating science into my everyday teaching. I have found teaching young children particularly rewarding because my students are constantly teaching me. They remind me to look at this world with wonder and excitement, to love unconditionally, to embrace the moment, and to laugh, play, run, and read every day.

My husband, Joey, is my high school sweetheart and a man of many talents: an entrepreneur, a devoted daddy, an amazing cook, and a source of endless patience; I am grateful for all the support that he has given me. The birth of our daughters changed our lives forever. I never knew how much love I was capable of holding until I met these wonderful girls! When it was time for my oldest to go to school, I wanted her to go to a preschool that reflected my own beliefs about learning: I needed to find a play-based school where children were honored and their needs were respected. I spent many hours looking for a school where I felt my children could flourish. When I found the Co-op, I fell in love. I was amazed at what a perfect fit it was for us. Joey and I are so grateful for the experiences that our children have had here. I believe that the love of learning and home-school connections forged at the co-op create the best possible foundation for future learning, and I am profoundly grateful that my teaching journey has led me here. From 2014-2016, I had the honor of serving as the Director of the Co-op.

 

 

Teri JohnstonTeri Johnston – Monday-Friday 3’s Teacher/Love and Logic Facilitator

I have double Associates Degrees in Early Childhood with emphasis in Preschool and Infant Toddler. My career includes home day care, work at traditional child care centers, and at a college lab school, all in Las Vegas. I began teaching in 1987, started at the Kids’ Co-op in 1996, and took on the added responsibility of the Director position from 1999 to 2014. My education and experience in all areas of my professional development have given me an all-inclusive understanding of the needs of a Parent Cooperative school. I have built relationships with children, families, community partners, and have invested myself both personally and professionally in the school’s success.

Additional training, experience, and skills that I have acquired over the years include:

  • Member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
  • Member of the Nevada Registry for early childhood education/training which includes numerous recurring training and certification requirements (15 hours of annual classroom or conference training, CPR, First Aid, etc.).
  • Member of the California Council of Parent Participation Nursery Schools (CCPPNS).
  • A certified facilitator for the Love and Logic Institute, Inc teaching:
  • Becoming a Love and Logic Parent, and
  • Early Childhood Parenting Made Easy
  • Several times a year at the Kids’ Co-op and around the community.

On a personal note, I am married and have three children and three grandchildren — two who have been through the Co-op program. We had the amazing opportunity to experience involvement in the Kids’ Co-op as parents during the early years of our daughter and grandson. I see the benefits of this program every day in both of them. My life is so enriched by the encounters I have had with families that have passed through the Kids’ Co-op doors. I have made life-long friends and work with an amazing staff.

 

 

Lisa FitzLisa Fitzgerald (a.k.a Mrs. Fitz) – Monday-Thursday 4’s Teacher

I have a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in Early Childhood Education. I’ve been teaching at the Co-op since the fall of 1994 and have taught Kindergarten, 4’s, 3’s and 2’s programs. I have seen the Co-op grow and stretch into the phenomenal program it is now.

I began my Co-op journey when my daughter, Katie, started preschool in the 2’s class in 1992. I was the class co-coordinator and the vice president before I was hired as a teacher. My son, Adam, and I began preschool together when he was two, and here I am… still in pre-school!

My husband, Greg, a retired captain for the Clark County Fire Dept., and I have been married for 20+ years. It seems as though the Co-op has always been a big part of our lives. I will always be thankful to the Co-op, and all the children and their families, who have blessed my life with friendship, patience, wisdom, and strength for the journey.

 

 

Suzanne MendozaSuzanne Mendoza – M/W/F 4’s and T/Th 3/4’s Teacher

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA where I lived for 21 years. I then moved to Queens, NY where I spent the next 3 years, and I have lived in Las Vegas for the past 12 years where I began my career in early childhood education. I have worked in a wide variety of early childhood programs ranging from state funded to casino/corporate to non-profit. My main focus is providing a meaningful and developmentally appropriate early education experience where each child’s unique style of living and learning is respected and fostered. This is my passion!

 

 

Vicky ThompsonVicky Thompson – Office Administrator & Teacher Support

I have a BA from NAU in Business Administration with an emphasis in data processing and have taken several seminars in early childhood education. Before coming to the Co-op, I worked for Pepsi for fourteen years in the computer department.

My husband, Curt, and I have a son named Matt, who attended the Co-op for three years and is now a student at UNLV. I have worked as a working parent, a teacher sub, served on the Board and taught the 2’s class for three years. I am currently working in the office, primarily serving as the teacher support position.