Patty Christensen: Founder and Director
Welcome to Urban Nature Preschool, teaching young children is my passion! My first teaching experience was through the Murrieta Valley School District in Murrieta CA, where I was a co-teacher for 5 years in their State Preschool Program. Because of the joy that teaching young children brought to me, I quickly realized that it was my calling. I later earned a degree in Early Childhood Education from Lake Washington Institute of Technology in WA state, where I also taught as a lead preschool teacher in their Early Learning Center for 6 years. In addition to leading a class of 20 preschoolers, I also had the opportunity to train college students going into the field of ECE by mentoring and assisting them in the professional application of best age-appropriate practices in Early Childhood Education. My next opportunity was as a lead teacher for 4 years at Denise Louie Education Center in Seattle. Denise Louie Education Center is a non-profit multicultural early learning and family support program. At DLEC I had the joy of implementing a bilingual curriculum and working with a diverse population of students. It was at DLEC that I experienced the power and importance of community when it comes to working with young children and their families. In 2018 I heard about the Outdoor/Nature Preschool concept because of Tiny Trees Preschool in Seattle. I then decided to become a substitute teacher at this amazing innovative non-profit organization. I immediately fell in love with Nature-based Early Childhood Education. As a substitute teacher I was able to travel to several of their locations throughout King County and embrace their philosophy for over 2 years. There I had the privilege of meeting other professionals who were also very passionate about Nature -based preschool. At the same time In 2019, I also began my role as a substitute teacher at Little Cubs Preschool an Arts and Nature preschool in West Seattle. It is the compilation of all my experiences and the knowledge I’ve acquired from working with so many highly devoted educators in my journey as a teacher of young children, that has inspired me to create the Urban Nature Preschool experience in West Seattle! Along with my Family, I have been a resident of West Seattle for the last 10 years and I look forward to exploring the green spaces in our community with your little Urban Nature explores.
Anne Churchill: Lead Teacher
I am a West Seattle mom originally from Denmark where I earned a Bachelor degree in Social Education and worked as a preschool teacher until I moved to Seattle in 2009. I home-schooled my daughter until she started Kindergarten and I had the opportunity to be one of the founding teachers of Tiny Trees Preschool. I love being outside with the kids every day rain or shine, exploring nature, playing with sticks and mud, finding bugs and making art, and it broke my heart when my classroom at Camp Long had to close after 4 years. But I am now excited to turn a new leaf and start at Urban Nature Preschool with Patty.
Sarah Klages: Lead teacher
My name is Sarah Klages. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and moved to Seattle when I was 18 years old. I fell completely in love with the PNW and Seattle and have lived here for most of my adult life. I am newly embarking on a career in education and am currently enrolled in a Master’s of Arts in English Education program. Prior to my decision to become an educator I have been a business owner, an organic farmer in Snoqualmie Valley, an environmental activist and habitat restoration specialist through the WA Dept of Ecology. I have worked extensively in the Pacific Northwest region to protect and develop native ecosystems as well as combat invasive and destructive plants, wildlife and human impacts on our wetlands, forests and coastal regions. I am very excited for the opportunity to work with students in an outdoor classroom where I can encourage them to engage with their environment and develop a connection to nature and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest