Academy Teachers are dedicated and enthusiastic educators. Their goal is to build each student’s self confidence, while providing them with the tools necessary to continue their education in a confident and positive manner.
MORNING PRESCHOOL TEACHER
My name is Sue Klemm and I am the preschool teacher at Mukilteo Academy. I have taught preschoolers for many years and have found them all to be very engaging and wonderful. Young children are full of energy and wonder which translates into fun and excitement here at school. My love of the classroom and the children I teach continues to be a rewarding profession for me.
I am also the music teacher at Mukilteo Academy. It is my pleasure to have each grade level joins me for 1/2 hour of singing and music each week. We have fun learning new songs, singing old ones and playing instruments from around the world.
I am married and have 3 children, 2 daughters and a son. I have lived in the Seattle area all my life and have enjoyed its beauty. I enjoy hiking in the great state of Washington. In more recent years my extended family has grown and includes 7 grandchildren! My time away from school is busy with my family who give me a lot of joy!
Hello, my name is Kelly Defernez and I am the All Day Preschool Teacher at Mukilteo Academy.
I have been here for 3 years and I’m so blessed to work with the most amazing people here at school. My love for children began early on. My first job at 17 was a Preschool Teacher at Chestnut Preschool in Mt. Shasta, CA and I loved every minute of it. While there I earned my AA in Early Childhood Education.
Preschool is an adventure everyday which I why I love it so much. I’m passionate about kids having fun while learning to respect others and advocate for themselves. Being a Preschool Teacher is really a great joy of mine and I look forward to seeing the kids smiling faces every day.
I am married to an awesome man named Roy and we have 3 children: Tyler, Daisy and Isabelle. We love to hang out together and do art projects, go to the beach or hiking. We have 2 dogs, Pickle and Cassie and a puffer fish named Buffy.
I’m so excited to be a part of your child’s Preschool life!
My name is Anne Musquiz and I am going into my second school year at Mukilteo Academy. I love this school and feel so blessed to be part of the school community here.
I have been working with children and families for over twenty years in many different educational and recreation settings. I’ve been an early childhood teacher for infants, two-year-olds and preschoolers. I have been an administrator and a lead teacher for out of school time programs like summer camps and before and after school care. I have worked with literally every age group of children—but the four and five-year-olds have always been my favorite group.
When I am not teaching I enjoy my time with my two daughters. We love to vacation, travel and camp as a family. I also enjoy my garden, cooking, spending time with friends and reading a good book.
I look forward to working with your child at Mukilteo Academy making memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
Hello, my name is Kristi Gilbert and I am one of the All Day Prekindergarten Teachers at Mukilteo Academy. I have been teaching here since 2005 and am so thankful to be a part of such a wonderful team!
Prekindergarten is such an exciting year of growing and learning. The goal of Prekindergarten is to give the children all of the tools they need to be successful Kindergartners. We focus on a letter of the week through activities, math, science, art, pre-reading and sign language. Also, each month we have a special art docent project. I have always had a love for children! Even in high school I worked at a childcare center after school. I then moved to Japan where I worked at Camp Zama preschool and childcare center. After having my first child and moving back to the U.S, I was a stay at home mom for 7 years.
I am married to a wonderful man named Mike and have 3 children: Louden, Madison and Mackenzie. We love to travel, being outdoors, and spending time with our family and friends.
I look forward to being a part of your child’s educational life.
My name is Nicole Mayville and I have been teaching at Mukilteo Academy since 2013. I graduated from University of Montreal, Canada (Arts and Sciences) in 1995. I also hold a Bachelor’s Degree of Special Education from University of Montreal, Canada, and graduated in 1998. After teaching 5th grade for 8 years with children with behavioral issues and learning disabilities, I decided to stop teaching and start my family. During that time, I kept myself engaged through an online education program and graduated in 2005 from University of Quebec, Canada, and have a Diploma of College Studies with a specialty in Psychology. We moved to the Seattle area in 2005 and decided it was a great place to start a family.
Philosophy about Teaching and Classroom Goals
Teaching is my passion. I embrace every challenge given to me and love to see children grow socially, emotionally and academically. I teach the “whole” child to ensure a good solid foundation. It is my responsibility to empower children to become confident individuals. My range of skills and attributes emphasizes empathy and all aspects of interpersonal relationships. I consider myself to be a kind, helpful, patient, and enthusiastic teacher. I enjoy having fun during lessons and have a great sense of humor that promotes exciting learnings. I motivate and sustain children’s interests through active learning and play. I am strongly committed to continuous improvement, based upon a fundamental motivation to inspire student success.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also love running, exercising and travelling.
Hi, my name is Diana Kastner and I am an assistant and teacher at Mukilteo Academy. I love working with the students, families, and staff at our school.
I graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1985 with my K-8 teaching certificate. I always wanted to be a teacher. I taught at Brighton, a private school in Lynnwood for 18 years. It was an honor and privilege to teach so many students over the years. I always tried to instill in each student a love and joy for learning. I loved teaching both Kindergarten and First Grade during that time.
I have been married to my husband for over 30 years and we have 2 wonderful children. My hobbies include reading, cooking, traveling, and many outdoor activities with my family. We especially love to spend time at our beach house on Whidbey Island.
Teaching continues to be an exciting and rewarding career for me. I feel that Mukilteo Academy is a very positive learning community. I am excited about this upcoming school year and am looking forward to working, sharing, and growing with the team at our school.
Hi, my name is McKenna Southey and I am a classroom assistant in the preschool and pre-kindergarten classes at Mukilteo Academy. I’m also the lead teacher for our aftercare program that we offer to families at our school. I graduated from Kamiak High School in 2012, and I’m now currently attending Edmonds Community College to earn my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. I have always had a love for children even when I was young. When I was 13 I took a babysitting class through Swedish Medical Center to become a certified babysitter and have been babysitting ever since in my free time.
Outside of work and school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and my dog Stella. I also enjoy walking, getting lost in a book, and the beach.
I feel very blessed to be able to work with children everyday. They touch my life in more ways then one all the time. It’s the start of each new school year, I look forward to what new and exciting experiences the year will bring.
My name is Braden Hansen and I have worked in Academy Kids before and aftercare program at Mukilteo Academy for 3 years. I graduated from Kamiak High School in 2016, and I am currently enrolled at EvCC. I hope to continue and pursue my education further at the University of Washington. I am so thankful to have gotten the opportunity to work with such an amazing staff, and an incredible group of kids over the last couple of years. What I love most about working at the Mukilteo Academy is being able to learn from your kids. I feel like they have taught me so much about myself that I never would have known without working with them. In my free time I enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. Mukilteo Academy has given me a whole new perspective on teaching and I am excited to see where it will take me in life.
My name is Heather Dunston, or better known as Ms. Heather around the halls of MA+. I have had the privilege of being a part of Mukilteo Academy since 2006. I have my Associates of Arts from Peninsula College and Bachelor’s degree from CWU. The early childhood age group is my absolute favorite population to work with. As a mother of two amazing kids who love school, I realized how important their early years were and the positive impact Mukilteo Academy hand on their growth. After my own children attended Mukilteo Academy, I was offered and excited to take a position as the Administrative Assistant and Classroom Support Assistant. I feel that I am the luckiest staff at MA+ because my position at school begins with enrolling new families and allows me to get to know each and every one of our students and families from the beginning experience with our Mukilteo Academy family through to the end of their enrollment at our school. Together with our team of amazing and creative teachers, I am committed to providing your family with a loving and developmentally sound foundation for a lifetime of learning. At Mukilteo Academy, we know that play is a child’s most important work, and we strive to create and maintain an environment where your child can grow and thrive while exploring the world around them. Thank you for sharing your precious children with us.