Ms. Arielle Ignacio
Red Robins Teacher
Hello! Im Ms. Arielle, I have been working at the Children’s Center as the Red Robin’s Teacher since 2015 but I have been in the field of early childhood education since 2012. I graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's in Psychology. I found my passion for working with kids through interning at a psychiatry clinic that had a program for children. Working with this age group is so much fun and it's so special to be a part of their learning and growing. My hope for every class that I work with is for them to feel inspired to learn by providing them with a fun, engaging environment and ultimately help them grow happier and healthier. Outside of work, my hobbies lie more in the artsy category. I love arts and crafts as well as playing music. I enjoy playing the guitar and piano! One interesting fact about me is that I was actually named after the little mermaid by my older brother. He loved the movie so much that he asked my mom to name me after Ariel. As it turns out, I grew up loving The Little Mermaid too!
Emily West Ugartechea
Afternoon Preschool Teacher, Marketing Coordinator
Hello! I am Emily and I started working at the Children's Center in September of 2016, first as a sub and then took over permanently as an afternoon preschool/pre-k teacher. Recently, i also added the task of social media/ marketing coordinator.
I first took interest in Early Childhood Education before my son was born in 2011, i started classes at EdCC then changed my path to nursing/healthcare. After my son was born i took a break from school and when i decided it was time to go back i realized ECE was the best fit for me, i loved seeing the way children learn and grow and helping support them. When my son turned 4 we enrolled him at the Children's Center! I knew this was an amazing school and i was so glad he got to experience it before heading off to Kindergarten, it made a HUGE difference! I feel so blessed to be a part of this great school and watch the children transform throughout the year. I believe that it is so important for children to be able to learn through play, explore nature and be allowed to get messy and be creative!
My husband, son and i live in Bothell with our two dogs. We all love spending time outdoors, hiking and camping are a few of our favorite things! We recently have been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling and our family got a condo in Mazatlan so we will be spending a lot of time there in the future!
Ms. Heather Bruno
I was fortunate to discover and come to work at the Children’s Center starting in 2000. I landed here through my son, Noah, who started preschool here when he was just 2 ½…he is now grown and living in Oregon! It’s been my privilege to serve children and families for the majority of my life in a wide range of roles. I hold a B.A. Degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies and I am working toward an endorsement as an Infant-Family Specialist.
I am a member of Edmonds United Methodist Church and working at the Children’s Center has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career, in part because of the strong sense of community that exists among the families, staff and congregation. I am a life-long learner so my passions and projects are many and ever-changing but I especially love plants, nature and outdoor adventures!
As the Director I always try to be flexible and compassionate and to ensure a nurturing, inclusive and positive experience for every child and family who we serve. As parents and educators, I love that we have created a culture at the Children’s Center where we continually learn from, and support, each other with much laughter, love, and respect.
Ms. Julie Steed
I live here in Edmonds with my husband, Chris, and three kiddos (Kiana-19, Devon-18, and Cooper-15), one dog and four chickens. I LOVE the Seattle Sounders and play in a women's’ soccer league year-round. I also enjoy doing artsy things in my spare time. In college I wanted to be a park ranger and graduated from UC Santa Barbara with degrees in Environmental Studies and Geography (instead I ended up working for many years in wastewater treatment and water quality positions). I stopped working full-time when Kiana was 3. Six years ago I started working again, but this time as a preschool teacher. One of the things I love most about my job is that every day is different. “My Little Peeps”, as I call them, keep me on my toes and encourage me to think outside the box every day. I strive to provide an environment where they can expand their thinking and explore their world in ways that make sense to them and see my role as that of a facilitator rather than a director.
My own children (Anthony, Dylan and Paige) brought me to the Children’s Center in 1998 when my middle child was in pre-school. My oldest was in our school-age program and quite a few years later my youngest child also attended preschool here. She is now a high school student! I am a Washington native and I enjoy going to the beach, walking and hiking, gatherings with family and friends, skiing, watching movies, golfing and watching my daughter play volleyball.
I am truly blessed to be a part of this community where, as the Program Supervisor, I work and play with amazing families, children and staff, providing support and guidance to ensure the best experience Prior to my role as a mentor teacher I taught in the 4 year old class for 14 years! I hold a certificate in Early Childhood Education and will graduate with an Associate’s Degree this year.
I believe that relationships are central to all we do, both personally and professionally. When we build trust with children we create a space for them where they are safe to explore and grow. Children need guidance from loving, educated adults who care passionately about them and can help them realize their greatest potential.
Cook & Center Assistant
Hi! I am Lacey Snyder and I have been at the Children’s Center since 2004... during all this time I have had held many different positions! These days I am with the school agers in the morning and drive them to school before starting my day in the kitchen. I love being the cook and providing nutritious family-style lunches and snacks for the children to enjoy. I work with the teachers to incorporate fresh, seasonal, local foods and create menus that balance what we know children like with introducing new foods for them to try! I also do all of the shopping for the center as well as take care of many details to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
My husband, Cameron and I have a son who attends the preschool here. Outside of my work at the Children’s Center I enjoy spending time with my family, gardening, chasing my 3 year old son (!) and taking trips. Hawaii is one of my favorite places to go! I also enjoy baking yummy treats...and sometimes I bring them in for the staff!
Ms. Ronni Hyde
Assistant teacher, Substitute teacher
I happily joined The Children’s Center 9.5 years ago when my own children were “leaving the nest”.I have a BS in marketing and an MBA in finance from Southern Methodist University. While at The Children’s Center, I have taken numerous continuing education classes with an emphasis on early childhood literacy. My early education philosophy is that preschool should provide an environment where children are happy, successful and can develop a love of learning and exploration.I live in Lynnwood with my husband, Scott, I am the proud mother of two amazing human beings Elizabeth and Cameron. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, hiking, cooking, and reading.
Ms. Shawn Thompson
Hello my name is Shawn Thompson and I’ve been with The Children’s Center for 8 Years. Before working here I was very fortunate to be a stay at home mom for my two amazing girls, Anna (16) and Emily (12). During that time my oldest daughter attended The Children’s Center where Miss Heather and Miss Kim were her teachers.
We had such an amazing experience that I knew that someday I wanted to be a part of the C.C. Before that I spent 13 years at Nordstrom buying and managing mainly in the kids department. I truly love being around and working with children! I believe in mentoring, caring for, learning through play and exploration, and helping to build a positive foundation.
In my free time I enjoy dinner with friends, spending time with my girls, hiking, camping, and frequent visits to the beach! I am a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle where I studied fashion merchandising.
Ms. Tresa Thistle
My name is Tresa. I’ve worked at the Children's Center since July of 2012 and altogether I have over 12 years experience working with children. I graduated from Edmonds Community College with an Associate's of Science Transfer degree in Early Childhood Education. I recently returned to EdCC to begin my Bachelors of Applied Science in Child, Youth and Family Studies.
I have a beautiful daughter named Jazmyne who attends Mariner High School. She plays volleyball, basketball and track and field; I am her biggest fan! So between work, school and raising an amazing human being, I run on coffee and very little sleep but i wouldn’t change it for a thing! Even with this busy schedule, i always have an open door for my Sprouts and their families!