Elisa Pagán

Director

she/her

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin

Helping children learn and grow is my passion, and I believe that I have been called to do this at Faith Lutheran School. I consider Faith my second family and a place where I find a community of support, understanding, and integrity. As an educator, I hold a BAS degree in Child Care Management and Early Childhood Education. My degree includes a focus on Guiding Challenging Behaviors, Developmentally-Informed Trauma Practices, and Inclusive, Anti-Bias Environments.

 

Heather Bailey

Associate Director
Toddler Teacher

she/her

“Every morning starts a new page in your story. Make it a great one today.”
– Doe Zantamata

I was drawn to Faith Lutheran School because children are my passion and the values, vision, and mission of Faith strongly align with what I believe in as an early childhood educator. I am set to graduate with my BAS in early childhood education in June of 2021 from Lake Washington Institute of Technology, where I have focused on guiding behaviors, anti-bias education, inclusive environments, project-based learning, and much more. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy camping on my family’s property in Forks, WA, and exploring the Olympic Peninsula. I also have a passion for animals, my favorite being my birds which can often be seen on my shoulder while running errands or just hanging out with my family.

 

Jack Bailey

Toddler Preschool Teacher

he/him

“To engender empathy and create a world using only words is the closest thing we have to magic.”
– Lin Manuel Miranda

I came to Faith in search of a welcoming and supportive community where I could grow more as a teacher. When I first arrived for my interview, I could feel the care and love of each classroom, and I felt confident that this was the place I needed to be. I have always found teaching to be one of the most important parts of my life, and to be in a place where I can thrive alongside my students brings me so much joy. I am currently working towards my AA in Early Childhood Education and have plans to start publishing children’s books sometime in the near future. At home, I take care of my kitten, Tinkerbell, and my two rat boys, Quincy and Remy.

 

Jenn De Shaw

Multi-Age Preschool Teacher

she/her

“Play is the highest form of research and play is the work of childhood.”
– Albert Einstein

What attracted me to Faith was the feeling I got when I stepped into that first classroom. It was an environment of fun, learning, and faith. It felt like coming home. The reality of all that is what will keep me here and has me excited about teaching, learning, and growing with all the amazing children and staff. I am currently pursuing on my AA degree in Early Childhood Education.

 

Kelly Fairbanks

Support Teacher

Kindergarten Prep Teacher

she/her

“Teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”
– Robert John Meehan

I am so fortunate to be a part of such an outstanding group of educators, in such a wonderful community! Teaching children is my passion, and I am so blessed to be able to do it at Faith Lutheran School. Raising my three children has been the joy of my life, and my motivation to keep learning and growing as an individual. I am currently working on my AA degree in Early Childhood Education, at Lake Washington Institute of Technology. At home, I spend my time with my three amazing teenagers, my fiancé, and my wonderful friends and extended family. I also enjoy time outdoors with my two dogs, Wesley and Roxas.

 

Neha Kothari

Multi-Age Preschool Teacher

she/her

“Education is the most powerful weapon. Which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela

I joined Faith in 2021. It is an amazing experience for me. Faith is an excellent school for kids. I love teaching because I can impact childrens’ lives and watch them grow and learn. I enjoy working with children and especially love laughing and watching the children enjoy their childhood and school experiences. I have a passion for early learning, especially enriching young minds through play and mindful experiences. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce (B. Com) and a Diploma in Taxation Law. I have completed the Early Child Star Hours course.

 

Shaleena Latendresse

Multi-Age Preschool Teacher

she/her

“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
– Albus Dumbledore

I was drawn to Faith Lutheran school because I was drawn toward the warm and caring environment that I felt while touring the school. I come to Faith Lutheran with over a decade of experience working with children of all ages. I have my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, and I am currently pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood from Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Teaching has been a passion of mine for a long time, and I look forward to teaching children and seeing them learn and smile daily. In my downtime, I like to hang out with my friends as well as my husband, Josh, and my cat, Lilly.

 

Renèe Lee

Kindergarten Prep Teacher

she/her

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
– Fred Rogers

I began my career in Early Childhood Education in 2016. Since that time, I have enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program at Lake Washington Institute of Technology to begin my formal education in Early Childhood Education. I am working toward my BA degree in Early Childhood Education. My major areas of interest are child development; guiding behaviors; and child, family, and community partnerships. I believe in being a life-long learner. I strongly believe in “keep in mind, you will make it.” My philosophy in teaching young children is that all children can learn. No matter what their abilities are, they can learn. I believe every child is a unique and special individual who has the right to a safe, stimulating education regardless of race, gender, religion, ability, economic background, national origin, or ancestry. I enjoy helping children achieve their milestone goals in language, social/emotional, physical, phonological, fine motor, and cognitive development. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved in that process. My hobbies include organizing my yard, spending time with my family, hiking, and fishing. As for my future goals, I plan on continuing working in the Early Childhood Education field. I hope through continuous learning and study, I can improve myself, gain knowledge, and become the professional teacher I want to be.

 

Aidan Mitchell

Multi-Age Preschool Teacher

she/her

“If we give our children sound self-love, they will be able to deal with whatever life puts before them.”
– bell hooks

I am excited and honored to join Faith Lutheran School! I hold a BA in English Literature with a special focus on children’s media. I have served as a public school teacher, an education and events coordinator for the library, a presenter, student advocate, and behavioral health counselor. I am passionate about care work and building God’s beloved community through a justice-focused lens. I believe in engaged pedagogy. I love learning new things, illustration, and being outside in nature. In my downtime I enjoy having a cup of tea with my cat, Zora, and crafting.

 

Elaine Potter

Toddler Teacher

she/her

“Education begins the moment we see children as innately wise and capable beings. Only then can we play along in their world.”
– Vincent Gowmon

Faith is the most compassionate and community-driven school I have taught at. The teachers here all work so hard together to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for the children. I am so grateful to be a part of the amazing team here, and I hope to stay for a long time! I have completed the State Training and Registry System Child Care Course, and I have an AA Degree in Early Childhood Education from Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

 

Nidhi Sharma

Kindergarten Prep Teacher

she/her

“Every child is a different kind of a flower and all together make this world a beautiful garden.”
– Author Unknown

Faith is not just a school, but an institution wherein children are taught “how to think” not “what to think,” and children activate their natural desire to learn. I am very grateful to be a member of the Faith family. I completed my Bachelors in Education and Masters in Business Administration. In addition, I also earned certificates in Early Childhood Education from Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and I’m working toward adding more credits as I believe learning is a continuous process and not the destination.

 

Erica Lias Tanaka

Toddler Teacher

she/her

“It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.”
– D.W. Winnicott

I was born and raised in Brazil, and my first language is Portuguese. My husband, our two children, and I moved to the US in 2019. We were living in Georgia and relocated here. In the US, I worked as a teacher in a toddler classroom, and it was wonderful! I also worked as a therapist for children with autism.

I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a specialist title in Clinical Psychology. I worked as a psychotherapist for 15 years in Brazil, and I am really excited to work at Faith Lutheran School. Being around children is such a good experience! I love how curious, smart, and energetic they are!

 

Elizabeth Terry

Kindergarten Prep Teacher

she/her

“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.”
– Ignacio Estrada

Upon discovering Faith Lutheran School, I knew I had finally found my work home. I am thrilled to join such a knowledgeable and caring team of educators. Early Childhood Education is my passion, and my goal is to leave a lasting legacy in the field. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English, and a Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University, St. Paul.

 

Heather Wong

Kindergarten Prep Teacher

she/her

“Giving children encouragement and the gift of time allows them to grow and flourish in preparation for elementary school.”
– Author Unknown

God brought me to Faith for many reasons; most importantly to give children the gift of time – another year to grow academically, socially, and emotionally before entering kindergarten. As a teacher here, I appreciate the fact that we collaborate as a staff, and we have a supportive and caring connection with all of our families. It’s a blessing to see our students grow, mature, and flourish here at Faith Lutheran School! I have a BA in Elementary Education, with Minors in Early Childhood Education and Japanese, from Central Washington University.

 

Terri Heavener

Office Support

she/her

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
– Fred Rogers

I am at Faith by the grace of God. I honestly do not remember sending a resume or filling out an application. I received a phone call requesting an interview. I immediately felt at home and knew I would enjoy working here. I had worked for 25 years in another location and wasn’t sure I would ever find that feeling again. I truly appreciate the staff, parents, and children at Faith and hope to stay for many years. I have a BA in Education with Special Education Endorsement from Eastern Washington University.

 

Essence White

School-Wide Support

she/her

“Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
– Maya Angelou

I was immediately drawn to Faith Lutheran School when I stepped through the doors because I instantly felt the energy of a warm, comforting, and positive environment. FLS is a school where I can contribute to teaching children and gain a strong sense of fulfillment just from interacting with everyone! I have a background in mental health, but my main passion has always been working with children because of the joyous light they bring to the world. I am extremely family-oriented, and I love having movie nights and game time with my siblings. One fun fact about me is that I swam with dolphins in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! I enjoy creating fun makeup looks and binge-watching anything thought-provoking in my downtime. I graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor’s in psychology, so if you ever see me around, don’t hesitate to say, “Go, Cougs!”

 

Pastor Debbie Boyce

Pastor at Faith Lutheran Church

she/her

Pastor Debbie began her ministry at Faith in late October 2020. She is enthusiastic about both Sunday morning services and everyday opportunities to learn and worship. She is passionate about her calling as a preacher and providing many ways to hear and connect with God’s word. In her words: “I feel very traditionally Lutheran, but want to be innovative.” She’s excited by Faith’s desire to embrace change, even as we strive to identify what that means. Pastor Debbie and her husband, Bill, have raised five kids and delight in the joy of their six grandchildren. For her, they are the people who daily reflect the love and grace of God. Pastor Debbie welcomes the opportunity to visit and get to know you. Don’t hesitate to contact her.

 

Dana Dalassujgi

Kids Yoga Teacher

she/her

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay.”
– Dalai Lama

Since 2009, Ms. D has been devoted to sharing the art of yoga with children. She believes we can restore our connection with nature and the planet through the practice of outdoor yoga. In addition to being a certified yoga instructor, Ms. D is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). She uses her extensive training to provide safe outdoor adventures where kids can experience the wonders of nature. In addition to doing weekly yoga classes at our preschool, Ms. D offers outdoor yoga classes, summer camps, and yoga studio classes. Ms. D’s website is www.kidyogafun.com.

 

Katy Webber

Music Teacher

she/her

“Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child’s play.”
– Carl Orff-Shulwerk

Miss Katy grew up in Everett, WA, singing and dancing for anyone in the room. She found a love for jazz at 15 years old and in 1999 began earning her Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Cornish College in Seattle, WA. After graduation, she found early childhood music while working for Soundbridge, Seattle Symphony, and started her own business in 2005 along with discovering multiple performance mediums in jazz, variety stage performance, and British Pantomime. Recently she finished another round of school and is now a music therapist working with at risk youth, homeless veterans, and older adults in assisted living. Preschoolers will always have a place in her heart, though, and currently Katy works with several preschools and venues teaching family music classes. She is thrilled to be a part of Faith Lutheran School and to continue to work with children of all backgrounds to help support their development. Ms. Katy’s website is www.musikalmagik.com.