Our staff is made up of 14 professionals who each have years of experience working with young children. Head teachers and assistants are well-versed in guiding students in nonviolent conflict resolution, which is a focal point of each child’s social and emotional development throughout their time at Swarthmore Friends Nursery School.  Teachers set the stage in each classroom for a school year full of friendship, learning, and exploration.

 
 

KIM BERNAUS

Director
Science Teacher
Assistant in On Our Way to K class

My route to teaching was not a traditional one.  I began with a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen’s University in Canada, and spent many years in Sales and Marketing.  When my children were young I developed a children’s program based on charitable giving.  Once my family moved to Swarthmore more than 16 years ago, I had the good fortune to begin teaching in a local preschool part time, which inspired me to become accredited in early childhood education, and eventually lead my own classroom.  My son attended SFNS, and now I have the pleasure of reconnecting with the school in a new way.  

 

Lisa Wallace

Co-Teacher
Pre-K 3's

I have had the pleasure of working with young children for over 25 years.  I continually delight in children’s exploration and discoveries.  I love the enthusiasm they express when they are able to accomplish a challenging task or discover something new.  

 

KATE WINWARD

Co-Teacher
Pre-K 3's

My love for Swarthmore Friends Nursery School began as a parent of a student here.  I have been teaching at the school for 10 years.  My time at school is balanced with my family (husband and three kids), pets, a love of reading, and cake.  

 
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JONI O'CONNOR

Head Teacher
Morning Pre-K 4’s

I have been teaching and working in education for the past 15 years, the last 6 of which have been at Swarthmore Friends. I have an undergraduate degree in English and a Masters in Library Science.  As a former children’s librarian, I truly believe that the most important gift we can give our children is a lifelong love of reading and learning.  I also feel passionately about incorporating recycled and repurposed everyday objects into our projects to teach environmental consciousness.  

 

JENN D’AMBROsiO

Assistant Morning
Pre-K 5's

My journey at Swarthmore Friends began over 10 years ago.  I take great pleasure and joy from working with young children.  When I’m not at school I enjoy fitness, vacationing with my family (wonderful husband and amazing daughter), zip lining and reading.

 

REBECCA BALL

Head Teacher
Afternoon Pre-K 4's

My experience at Swarthmore Friends dates back to my own enrollment as a student here.  My love of learning continued through college as I earned a degree in Secondary Education English and Social Studies.  I spent 8 years teaching at Strath Haven Middle School.  Now, when I’m not at SFNS, I spend time with my husband and 3 sons.  

 

LYN GOFF

Head Teacher Pre-K 5’s

Many years ago all four of my children attended Swarthmore Friends.  I actually started teaching in the Pre-K class over 20 years ago when my youngest was in the four year old class.  I took a short break from SFNS and taught Kindergarten in Chester for 5 years.  I LOVE teaching 4 and 5 year olds because they are so excited about learning.  My favorite part of the morning is our circle time when I can read (especially silly books), and we can dance and sing.  I also love to go on walks to explore “our” beautiful campus – the fish pond, the magic tree, the big chair, and the amphitheater.  

 

Kathy Healy

Assistant Teacher Pre-K 4’s

As I move into my 20th year at Swarthmore Friends, you could say I am an “oldie”, but hopefully also considered a “goodie”. My education includes Bloomberg University and Philadelphia College of Textiles and Sciences.   I love teaching preschool because we are usually children’s first school experience and we can lay the groundwork for a love of learning.  I find great joy with the unexpected things that preschoolers will say – from the very sweet to the utterly hilarious.  

 
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Kim Peichel

Head Teacher
Kindergarten Enrichment

I am thrilled to be spending my days with kindergarteners once again. While I may be new to Swarthmore Friends, I am not new to kindergarten.  I taught first grade and kindergarten in the Wallingford- Swarthmore School District for twenty years. I took a break from teaching to allow my own children a chance to grow taller than me. Now our two teenage children keep my husband and I busy running to practices, games, lessons and concerts.

 

GINGER SMITH

Assistant Teacher
Kindergarten Enrichment

I love watching the children discover new ideas in science and I am always amazed at how much they already know. Before SFNS, I was at home with my 3 children.  My background includes a BJ and an MBA, 15 years working in advertising, as well as teaching Sunday school, Pioneer Club, and Scouts.

 
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KIM SCOTT

Art Teacher

My background is in illustration and design. Before teaching pre-school I was a decorative painter and mural artist. I have been lucky enough to work with children of all ages doing various forms of art from the Fifth Grade Art Project at SRS to helping children paint murals with Philadelphia Mural Arts.  One of my favorite things to observe is the look of pure joy when a child looks at a blank piece of paper that has been transformed into something amazing.

 
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Melissa Hoy

Creative Movement Teacher

Swarthmore Friends Nursery School felt like home the instant I peeked into the Whittier Room during our prospective family visit (in a storm) and saw students bowling on the massive rug! While my children attended SFNS I loved becoming part of the community of families and caring teachers. My sculpture and art therapy background have influenced my ‘creative problem-solving’ approach to life. You will most certainly find me playing catch with my sons, running, or dancing in my kitchen.

 
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Dylan Davis

Assistant Teacher Kindergarten Enrichment (PM)

My connection to SFNS began when my daughter and son were students here and I volunteered in their classrooms.  Prior to my time at SFNS, I taught special education in the Philadelphia public schools.   I have my undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware, my law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and my masters in education from Chestnut Hill College.  I am also trained in the Orton Gillingham method, which is used to teach reading to children with learning differences.

 
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Audrey Molineux

Head Teacher in On Our Way to K

Assistant Teacher Science and Art

I have been a member of the Swarthmore Friends Nursery School community since 2011 when I returned to the Philadelphia area from Chicago and enrolled my oldest child in the 3yr old program. While in Chicago, I worked as a Development Officer at the main children’s hospital in the city; I also volunteered at the hospital by walking therapy dogs around the floors to visit with and cheer up the kids during their respective stays at the hospital. Earlier in my professional career, I taught at both the high school and elementary grade levels which I did following my undergraduate training in English and Education.