Maria is thrilled to join the Columbia City Preschool team this Fall! She has been an elementary school teacher for eight years before taking time off to raise her own kids. Working with little kids is the best job she could ever dream of, but she also loves working with parents on their parenting journey (Oh the joys and sorrows!!). She is a Parent Educator for Families of Color Seattle where she leads various parent support groups. She has a Masters in Elementary Ed. and a B.A. in Fine Art and a B.A. in Psychology. She loves to infuse art, sensory play, and mindfulness into her lessons. She lives, works, and plays in Columbia City with her two daughters and her husband, a local architect. You may see her playing with her family in the backyard, or tending to her chickens in the garden .
For over a decade, Benjamin has worked with human beings ranging in age from newborns to seniors in a variety of settings: teaching English as a Foreign Language in Nong Khai, Thailand, and later at The Evergreen State College; counseling at a group home for teenage foster boys in Lacey, Washington; organizing activities for a day shelter in London, England; as well as five years of classroom experience as a preschool teacher here in Seattle. Education is a passion, be it teaching or learning (sometimes it's hard to tell the difference). Other passions include music, art, conversation, imagination, and a good old fashioned game of baseball. He studied Educational Practice, Developmental Psychology, and Consciousness Studies at The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington.
Jasen is a community organizer, father, early childhood educator, and social justice advocate based in Seattle. Along with directing Columbia City Preschool of Arts and Culture, he is the co-founder of Kids & Race Seattle, which has been featured in Parent Map Magazine and on NPR's Seattle affiliate KUOW; the program served over 2000 people to date, and rising every month. His various actions around race and social justice have made front page news in Seattle and have been featured on the local news on numerous occasions. He has 15 years of experience working with children in various capacities.
Hannah Hong Frelot thrives on sharing her love of intersections between culture, racial and social justice, theory and practice. Her family and loving communities give her hope, life, and purpose. Working with children, education, and race, Hannah utilizes a critical eye towards art, media, and the construction of motherhood in order to create a better society for her family as well as the good of all. She supports mothering as a superpower and writes for radical healing and transformation.