Mary-Pat Soukup is the co-founder and teacher at Kaleidoscope School. She teaches the Upstairs Blue Class (the 2’s class–Tues/Thurs) with Nicki, in addition to filling the roles of teacher-mentor-and-support, general classroom support, administrator, janitor, office manager, sub, and all-around friend and resource to teachers, kids, and parents. Mary-Pat has a master degree in child development from Wheelock College. She started Kaleidoscope School in 1996 with Robin Anex in the basement of her mother’s house in Magnolia. Mary-Pat’s background includes teaching, directing, and teacher training in a variety of settings. She was raised as the only girl in a family with 6 brothers here in Magnolia. She currently lives with her wife (Terri), daughter (Aaliyah), and two dogs (Bubbles and Cail) in the Ravenna neighborhood.
Shawna Rouse teaches the Downstairs Blue Class (2s, Tue/Thur) with Riley and the Purple Class (4-5’s, Mon-Fri) with Bonnie. Shawna has grown up in Seattle and completed the Elementary MIT program at the University of Washington. As a teenager, she tutored a neighbor’s foster daughter for two years and that experience sparked a desire to teach and work with children. Shawna believes in the power of positive relationships to foster learning and seeks to know and support each child in a way that is “just right” for them. Her favorite place to be at Kaleidoscope is creating in the art area – she is continually amazed at what can be built using only boxes, tape and imagination! Currently, Shawna lives in Shoreline with one roommate, two fish and approximately 15 houseplants! In her free time, she enjoys crafting, photography, bird watching and long walks (or any combination of those).
Nicki Stein teaches the Upstairs Blue Class (the 2’s class—Tues/Thurs) with Mary-Pat, and the Upstairs Preschool Class with Riley. Nicki is a Seattle native, is married (Chris), and mother of two Kaleidoscope graduates (Mason and Maggie). Nicki has always worked in education, most recently as a middle school math teacher and School Placement Consultant for Rainier Scholars, an academic enrichment program for low-income minority students. Having children of her own opened her eyes to the importance of early childhood education and the joys of watching a little one’s daily discoveries. The philosophies that drive the teaching at Kaleidoscope School have benefitted both of her (very different) children immensely and she is excited to have the opportunity to learn more about these practices from the teacher rather than the parent perspective.
Jen Davis–teaches the Downstairs Red Class (3’s class, Mon/Wed/Fri) with Bonnie. Jen was born and raised in Washington and currently lives in Kirkland with her husband (Don), daughter (Anya) and dog (Strawberry). She has had several different paths through her life (administrative assistant, accounting, roofing and waterproofing inspector and clinic registrar at Bastyr University) but nothing that has fulfilled her as much as spending time with children. “I have had the privilege of being a stay at home mom for the last 17 years. When my daughter “graduated” from elementary school I wasn’t quite ready to leave myself, so I became a certified MonArt teacher and have been teaching art at her former school for the last six years. I have loved all stages and ages of my daughters development (except for the learning to drive part) but as I get further along on my parenting path I realize the preschool age has taken a firm hold on me. In my time at Kaleidoscope Preschool, I’ve been re-opened to the magical world of these little beings and I am grateful how the entire community of children and teachers have welcomed me.” Jen is also a student in the Early Childhood Education program at UW.
Bonnie Berg— teaches the Upstairs Red Class (3s, Mon/Wed/Fri am) with Jen, and Purple Class (Pre-K, Mon-Fri, 1:00-4:00) with Shawna. Bonnie grew up in Magnolia and she and her husband, Rob, live in Magnolia. They have three adult children. Bonnie graduated from the University of WA in psychology and elementary education. She taught 3rd grade and K-3 before taking a break to be home with children. For the past 22 years she has taught preschool at Creative Arts Preschool is a special time. She appreciates spending time with children and loves to see their wonder and interest in the world around them. She enjoys facilitating their friendships and helping them grow socially and emotionally. She is very happy to be part of Kaleidoscope School!
Riley Soukup teaches the Upstairs Red Class (3s, M/W/F) with Nicki, and the Downstairs Blue Class (2s, T/Th) with Shawna. Riley is an alumni of Kaleidoscope School! Since she graduated from the Pre-K Class in 1999, she went on to eventually earn her teaching certificate from Gonzaga University. She worked as a nanny, a camp counselor, a teacher at Illumination Station, and a Behavioral Specialist at Seattle Children’s Hospital before coming back to her roots, at Kaleidoscope School. We are delighted , and very lucky, to have Riley’s sunny, warm, calm, and loving presence at Kaleidoscope School!