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I am honored to be the director and teacher at CPS. I am actually a graduate myself. CPS is truly the best preschool I have been in. I have been working with kids ever since I turned 18. I have taught preschool and K-3rd special education. I have a masters in Early Intervention and a special education teaching license. Through all my experience I have found preschool to be my favorite age group.


When I'm not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family, I have two sons of my own. We like to hike with our two dogs and be adventurous.


 I'm happy to be a part of a preschool that fosters individual growth, confidence, and creativity. My children have loved CPS and I hope yours will too.

Emma Standish
Director and 2s Teacher


Hi, my name is Shannon, and I love teaching at CPS.  I'm originally from Washington state and earned my BS in Psychology and M.Ed. from the UW. In my 20+ years of teaching, I have taught several different grades at the elementary and preschool levels, but the preschool age is my absolute favorite. It's a wonderful challenge to create learning opportunities that children can experience simply as play. It's such a joy and an honor to work with preschoolers and see them blossom as young learners.


When I am not teaching, I love to spend time outdoors with my husband and children and our 2 dogs, Buddy and Alfie. As a family, we love to hike, ski and spend time at the coast.


I feel truly blessed to be part of the CPS community. It is a wonderful and supportive place to teach and learn. I hope you and your children will love it as much as my family has.

Shannon Tom
2s Teacher


I have been thrilled to join the amazing teaching staff here at Congregational Preschool! I have spent most of my life working with young children, starting at a young age babysitting neighborhood kids to teaching Preschool and everything in between. Before coming to CPS I taught at a local long-running Preschool here in Eugene for 5 years. While there, my passion was working with the youngest of kiddos, helping them (and their parents) transition into their first classroom experience. I am very excited to be able to continue to flourish in that role here in the 2's class at CPS. 


In my spare time I love to spend time with my family and cook/bake all kinds of goodies. I was born and raised here in Eugene, Oregon and have been married to my high school sweetheart for 8 years. We have two young children, including one who is attending her first year at CPS herself! It has been remarkable to see her grow and bloom in this safe, wonderful place that helps her explore and learn through play.


I was blessed with an extraordinary grandmother who was a Preschool Teacher at CPS herself some 60+ years ago. She instilled in me the passion to teach little ones through the freedom of play, open ended exploration, and getting dirty! I look forward to honoring her legacy and meeting all of you!

Jocelyn Stimac
2s Teacher


I am thrilled to be joining the team of wonderful teachers at CPS!  For the past 8 years, I have been volunteering in each of the classrooms as my own children moved from hummingbird to owl to otter.  Over the last year, I substitute taught in all of the classrooms, and found so much joy and satisfaction each and every time I was there.  I love fostering the development of the children - encouraging them to try new things, learn about being a friend, and experience the world through activities to excite and challenge them.    


When I’m not teaching, I am spending time with my husband, our three daughters, and two kitties.  And when I’m not going on adventures with them, I am often gardening, cooking, baking, hiking, running, reading, knitting, playing mahjong, doing crossword puzzles, and hanging out with friends.  


I feel so lucky to be a part of this community, and I’m looking forward to a wonderful year with your children!

Julie Grishkin
3s Teacher


I am so excited to be teaching preschool here at CPS. My professional and educational background is primarily in early childhood education, with experience as a preschool teacher, a center director, and a program supervisor for a local community recreation department. I grew up here in Eugene, and attended the UO where I earned my bachelor’s degree in education. I have also been a childcare provider in my own home for almost 8 years, which enabled me to also be with my own children during the day as they were in their early childhood years. I had the joy of caring for friends’ children during that time, and making new connections with families needing childcare.

My favorite thing about working with young children is seeing their confidence grow as they get to know and interact with their world. I love providing thoughtful and fun invitations for play, and seeing their curiosity take over. I also can’t get enough of the sweet, silly, and sometimes outrageous things they say! A developing brain is such an amazing thing, and being someone who can help nurture that development in these early years is an honor.

During my time outside of school, I love being with my husband and two kids, laughing and connecting with friends, cooking, baking, and most kinds of art. I especially love drawing, carving stamps, and creating my own greeting cards.

I can’t wait to get to know your children this year!

Jillian Hoy
3s Teacher


I’m delighted to have joined the CPS community. I studied Child Development in college, finding my true passion in education classes, and earning a Masters in Early Childhood Education. I've been teaching for about 10 years, with a break part way through when I stayed home raising my son and daughter (a different kind of education in early childhood development!). I've  taught 1st and 2nd grade and multiple ages in Preschool, in addition to volunteering in my own children's classrooms. My favorite ages to teach have always been these early years, when children's minds and bodies are developing so quickly and they're constantly learning and changing. I deeply value the individuality that each child brings to our classroom community and I love providing interesting activities, interactions, and supports to help them to explore their interests and learn more about themselves and the world around them. I also love being part of a greater school community where I get to collaborate with other teachers, our students, and their families to facilitate and nurture that development. 


When I'm not at school, I love spending time with my family and friends (especially outside!), cooking and baking, reading, singing, and sewing. Thank you so much for welcoming me into your community - I'm excited for a wonderful year!

Amelia Fox
4s Teacher


I'm excited to be a part of such a quality play based preschool. I have an A.A. and Early Education degree from P.S.U. and I bring more than twenty years of early intervention, special, and alternative education experiences. I have worked predominantly at my own childcare, Head Start, and U.of O.'s Early Childhood Cares program. I'm passionate about fun, creativity, life long learning, and encouraging self esteem.  Teaching preschool is such a personal joy! They are learning basic social skills, gaining independence, and free to be discovering themselves.


When I'm not teaching I'm gardening, DIY projects, long walks, hiking and creating lots of art, just for the fun of it. My adult daughter is a self employed local artist and inspires me. Everyday I appreciate the culture, community, natural beauty and resources that abound locally. 


This summer camp with your kids was really fun. I'm looking forward to playing again and sharing 'laughing' yoga with your children. Be well!

Cheryl Kelly
4s Teacher


 Being at work each day makes me happy – for so many reasons! I’m a mom of three, former preschool director, and I live a few blocks from Congregational. I enjoy getting to walk to work, connecting with families in our neighborhood and greater community, and spending my mornings providing meaningful play opportunities for our class of four-year-olds. My own children attended CPS and it has been so wonderful to stay part of something that was such a sweet part of our family's life for so many years. As I have watched my own and so many other children learn and grow and move on to elementary school and beyond, I love seeing how CPS’s play based philosophy helps nurture children to develop skills and make sense of the world. In addition to teaching, my play includes running, being outdoors, cooking and spending time with family and friends.

Jen Thoennes
4s Teacher, Otters Class


I am so pleased to return to Congregational Preschool, this time as a teacher, after being a former preschool parent when my two children attended the program many years ago. I love working with children and spent nine years volunteering as a classroom and library volunteer for 4-j schools, as well as teaching Sunday school for pre-K and elementary aged children, here at First Congregational Church! Early in my working years I provided chid care through the YMCA and created and led elementary school programs for the Museum of Flight in Seattle. 

This past spring I had the pleasure of volunteering in the Otter’s classroom. It was such a joy to meet your kids and see them exploring, learning and growing through play. I am looking forward to creating daily environments and programming where your child can continue to build a strong foundation for kindergarten. 

I hope to continue to learn and grow through my own play which includes spending time with my family, hiking, biking and paddle boarding around our beautiful city and state, gardening and learning to knit. I especially enjoy dance and hope to explore the joy of moving our bodies to music this coming year.

Tasha Loveness
4s teacher, Otters Class

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