Our Staff

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Michele Saunders

Lead Teacher

Michele attended Western Washington University where she acquired a BA in Interdisciplinary Child Development with a minor in Psychology as well as her teaching certification.


Michele has taught age groups varying from Pre-K through 2nd grade over the past 15 years. Upon first visiting Sunnybeam four years ago and seeing the beauty in the space, the warmth of the families, the community of the teachers and the passion in the children she was delighted to have found her new home. 

David Weston

Lead Teacher Science Room

David studied Geology at the University of Washington. 

He has taught at Sunnybeam since 2001. His compassion and love for children is well known in the Sunnybeam community.  

David recognizes what a special time pre-school is in a child's life and enjoys seeing and fostering new challenges and discoveries for them each day. He loves sharing in their accomplishments and helping them problem solve and experience successes on their own.

Mary Ann Haney

Special Projects

Mary Ann has been with Sunnybeam for the past 29 years, and is considered one of the backbones of Sunnybeam.


She has a love and enthusiasm for children that is rare and genuine. Mary Ann has taken on many roles during her tenure at Sunnybeam.  She was the lead teacher in the Science room for 10 years. For the current school year, Mrs. Haney will join Sunnybeam for special projects in our Caterpillar classroom.

Mary Ann loves teaching pre-schoolers and having the opportunity to spark their curiosity and build their self-esteem. 

Liz Carson


Liz joined Sunnybeam in a new position as Director in 2016. 


Liz's three children all went through Sunnybeam and she was on the Board for four years as Registrar, Vice President and President. Sunnybeam is much a part of her life and she is excited to be back in the school house. She graduated from Bucknell University with a BA in English & Art History and from University of Washington with an MBA.  


She loves visiting the classroom to see all the wonderful Sunnybeam students and their families. 

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Jennifer Alam


Jennifer has a BA in Cultural Geography with a minor in International Relations from the University of Minnesota. She also studied Graphic Design at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle and photography at Photographic Center Northwest.


Jennifer has spent the past 10 years on Mercer Island raising her three boys, volunteering at their schools, and substitute teaching primarily at the elementary level within the Mercer Island School District.

She gravitates towards working with children, and loves to use her creativity to make learning fun while teaching the importance of kindness, compassion and patience.

Maggie Taylor


Maggie began as a substitute teacher at Sunnybeam in 2014, and thoroughly enjoyed working with both the Caterpillars and Butterflies whenever the opportunity arose. She is thrilled to now be a full-time member of the Sunnybeam teaching team.

Maggie enjoys watching the excitement in children as they explore, learn and develop a love of learning through interactive play. Preschool years are formative years that Maggie believes are magical and invaluable. 

President:  Tricia Jaffe

Secretary:  Emily Arnsdorf

Treasurer:  Maura Velamoor

Treasurer:  Hilarie Galloway

Communications:  Kirsten Duell

Special Events, Caterpillars:  Laura Schaps

Special Events, Butterflies:  Samantha Noonan

Fundraising:  OPEN

Capital Improvements:  Carolyn Robbs Bilanko

Co-Grounds/Building Maintenance:  Sharon Woo-Tzeng

Registrars: OPEN

Please contact the President if you are interested in a volunteer or board position. 

Parent Board

A volunteer Parent Board of Directors help run Sunnybeam in conjunction with the Executive Director. The Board's purpose is to hire the teachers and oversee the operation of the school while preserving the building in its historic state. Fundraising activities and continued community involvement provide the financial and moral support for this ongoing effort.