Teaching Staff


Born and raised in Olympia, I grew up on the southernmost part of the Puget Sound on a multi-generational family property. My grandfather instilled in me an appreciation of nature and The value of hard work, My grandmother taught me how to cook and bake, and my great grandma taught me how to garden and to embrace my artistic side. I absolutely love the outdoors, and to spend my time near the water or in the gorgeous back country of Washington state. I do a lot of urban hiking (exploring the streets of Seattle) and pretending to be a macro photographer.

I’m passionate about bringing creativity and nature into the classroom and hope to encourage the same love in every child. I’ve been at Hutch Kids since 2015 and have spent my tenure teaching in the toddler classrooms. I recently stepped out of the teaching role and into center support as I begin to plan my next big adventure in life. I am thankful to be part of the Hutch Kids community and grateful for all the little (and big) friends I’ve made here over the last few years.


Student Staff

Hello! My name is Amberley and I am excited to join the team at Hutch Kids! I am a rising senior at the University of Washington majoring in Early Childhood and Family Studies(teaching and learning) and Psychology! In my free time I enjoy doing various crafts such as crochet and playing guitar. I have a passion for working with children and families and hope to become an Elementary school teacher one day!


I was raised in rural eastern Washington and moved to Seattle in 2017 to attend the University of Washington. I have always enjoyed school and knew early on that I wanted to work in the field of education. I began working with Hutch Kids as a student support staff member in March 2018 and have loved being a part of the Hutch Kids team since. This June, I graduated from the University of Washington with my B.A. in Early Childhood and Family Studies and now I am honored to teach in the Tree Frogs classroom. I am eager to learn more about each child and their family and work with you to support your child’s development and learning in their first year of life. When I am not at Hutch Kids, you might find me gardening, baking sweets, dancing, spending time with my pets, or roller skating at Greenlake.

Becca E.

I have been living in Seattle and working at Hutch Kids since the summer of 2017 and I have truly enjoyed my time here. I have my B.S. in Zoology and I am currently working on my Masters in Early Childhood Education. I’m originally from the Chicago area and have a background as a Naturalist and taught nature based and outdoor educational programming at a Nature Center for many years. I enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, and spending as much time outside as I can. I’m looking forward to growing and learning with your children this year!

Becca J.

I started in the early childhood education field when I was just teenager by becoming a nanny. That is when my passion for children was born, and why I owned and operated an in-home childcare center for 20+ years. I have worked at three other centers filling positions from lead teacher up to stand-in director. I have an AA in early childhood education. I moved to Seattle full time when I started at Hutch Kids in December 2017.


I am a native of the Seattle area and have my Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.  I started working at Hutch Kids in 1999.  I have worked with infants, waddlers,  toddlers and two’s, and am always amazed at how fast they grow from babies to big kids.


Hello Hutch Kids Families!

I have been privileged to work with the Hutch Kids community since early 2014. I have worked with each age group and have loved every minute of it. I am originally from Mooresville, Alabama, but call Seattle home. I have my BA in Human Services from Western Washington University, as well as my State Certificate in ECE from Seattle Central College. While not at Hutch Kids I enjoy learning new recipes, enjoying the Seattle weather (rain or shine!), and spending time with friends and family. I look forward to seeing all of our families each day and getting to know you all!


Hello! My name is Danielle and I am so excited to be working with the infants here at Hutch Kids! I’ve been working in the early Childhood education field for about 5 years and am continually learning so much from my colleagues and children. I’ve worked with all ages but my expertise is with the Infant and Toddler age. I grew up all over the West Coast; Washington, Oregon and California and attended 7 different schools, which has helped me learn to “go with the flow” pretty easily and also has helped me understand the importance of stability in young children’s lives. When not working, I love to go out and explore new things with my boyfriend; food, music, sports, I love to experience different things! My favorite book is The Great Divorce by C.S Lewis (also my favorite author) and my favorite poem is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. My favorite place to travel is Disneyland (we go once a year) and my favorite food is pretty much anything spicy!

I received my CDA in Infants and Toddlers March 2019 and am working on getting my Early Childhood Education degree.


Hello, my name is Earnestine. I grew up in a small town, Clarksdale, Mississippi and attended Coahoma Junior College in Friar Point, majoring in Elementary Education. After moving to Seattle in 1989, I worked at Mercer Island Child Care Center for 11 years in many capacities (Infant & Toddler Teacher, as well as Assistant Director and Director), while also attending Seattle Central Community College, majoring in Early Childhood Education. I have my CDA and have taken continuing education classes in early education. I joined Hutch Kids Child Care Center in 2002 and have worked primarily as an Infant Teacher during my time here. Coming from a large family, I enjoy working with and taking care of children. Children are a gift. They have the ability to always bring laughter to those around them. In my free time, I enjoy making gift baskets and flower arrangements; quilting; cooking; and spending time with my children, grandchildren, husband, and church friends.


Hi there! My name is Emmalea (pronounced like Emily). I moved to Seattle from Northern California in 2017 and began working in child care. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Studies from the University of San Francisco. I currently have a state certificate in Early Childhood Education and pursuing an MS in Early Childhood Services.


Erica has been with Hutch Kids since 2015 and teaches in the Trailblazer classroom. She has worked with many different age groups and loves working with preschool the most. She is currently working towards her associates in early childhood education at Bates Technical College. Erica is originally from the greater Seattle area and currently lives in West Seattle with her husband and her cat. In her off time she enjoys camping, hiking, riding motorcycles, and fussing over house plants.


Erin started working at Hutch Kids in June 2015, shortly after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Early Childhood and Family Studies. Erin has worked with young children for over a decade, and loves their creativity and unbiased exploration of the world around them. She grew up in the Seattle area, and now lives in the city. She loves TV shows, movies, video games, and spending time with friends!


Student Staff

Greetings! I am a student at the University of Washington, and I am pursuing a B.A in English Literature and a minor in Education. I am originally from Santa Barbara, California, and recently moved to Seattle for school. In my free time, I play piano, knit, and write short stories. I am honored and extremely excited to be part of the staff here at Hutch Kids, and I cannot wait to learn and grow through this experience.


Hello Everyone,

My name is JJ (Jasper), I am a 27-year old Aquarius and I am beyond thrilled to be joining Hutch! I’ve been in Early Childhood Education for 2 years and have loved every minute of it. I became a teacher because I wanted to be a place for little ones to be themselves, and feel safe exploring the world while learning as much as they can. I also became a teacher to be a place for parents! It’s hard work being a parent, I love to help in any way I can. While I’m not teaching, you can find me inside any bookstore, nearby restaurant with said books or park with said books/food! I enjoy the simple things in life. I live in Capital Hill with my 9-year old spunky Pomeranian named Eggs (Edgar) who also enjoys a nice stroll in the park! Looking forward to meeting all of you and continuing my passion for kids here at Hutch Kids!


Hello, my name is Javier. I’m from Spain, I have recently moved to Seattle with my wife, and I’m excited about being part of the Hutch Kids community. I graduated from Alicante University in Spain with a degree in Teaching + Foreign Language Education. I have worked with kids for over fourteen years, but the last three ones as a pre-k teacher in Spain. Additionally, I try to be updated by learning new methodologies and finding new dynamic ways of teaching.  During my free time, I love practicing different sports: soccer, running, hiking, going to the gym, and doing yoga with my wife. When I need to relax, I like going to the cinema, watching TV series at home, and cooking healthy recipes.


Preschool Mentor Teacher & Library Manager

Jessica is the mother of two young men and has two grandchildren. She has been a teacher at Hutch Kids since March, 2008. Her time spent at HK in mixed age preschool classrooms has added to over two decades of teaching experience. She has her AAS in early childhood education and is currently working toward her BAS. Jessica has experience working with children ages 3-5 and feels that she shines best in a preschool/pre-k classroom. Her teaching philosophy is child-centered and focuses on aspects of social and emotional development. Jessica believes that harnessing social and emotional skills at an early age will prepare the children for success as they build new skills, face new challenges, and learn to become productive community members.


Waddler Mentor Teacher

I have been working at Hutch Kids since 1991. During my time at Hutch Kids, I have worked with preschoolers, toddlers and infants. I am currently teaching in the Sea Turtle classroom with older infants/young waddlers. I have a BA degree in Child Development.


Hello! My name is Karen Okada. I was born and raised in the Seattle area! I stayed in the Seattle area for college and I graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a bachelors in Special Education. I hope to further my education to be a speech therapist. I also love baking and hiking! I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to join such a wonderful team and am so excited to get to know you all!


I am thrilled to be returning to Hutch Kids! Since I last worked at HK, I have been at home with my own two boys and also earned my BA in Education from WWU. I love time with my kiddos, reading, walking, camping, and caring for an obscene number of plants in my house.

Lauren G.

This is Lauren’s 14th year working in child care. She holds an AAS in Early Childhood Education and is going to continue her pursuit in higher education and get a BAS in  ECE. She believes the early years are crucial to building an excitement and foundation for learning. You can naturally find math, science, writing, etc. in any kind of life experiences. Her favorite parts of the day are imaginative free play, movement, and reading time- anything that gets the body and mind going, one will be able to make connections and learn organically. She is in the process of publishing her first fictional children’s book starring her and her brothers.

Lauren L.

Parent Education Coordinator

Hi, my name is Lauren. I grew up in the Greater Seattle area and went to high school at Holy Names Academy on Capitol Hill and graduated from Gonzaga University with my B.A in Psychology. After graduation I worked at Seattle Children’s Research Institute on the Walking School Bus study which promoted children’s physical activity by encouraging children to walk to school. In May of 2016 I returned to Seattle after receiving my M.S in Child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee and I am thrilled to be back in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Promoting children’s healthy development and early learning has always been a passion of mine. I have experience working at various early childhood education centers including a Reggio Emilia inspired center and a center specializing in caring for young children who were prenatally substance exposed. I believe parents and early learning professionals working as a team best supports children’s growth and development. When I am not working with children and families, I enjoy hiking, sailing, cheering on my favorite sports teams, and enjoying life with my family and friends.


Leah’s background ranges from theater and English to ecological restoration and biology, and now she combines those skills and interests with psychology and learning theory to teach kids about the complexities and wonders of the world in a warm and secure environment.  Kids are the best scientists and storytellers!  A native of Seattle, Leah loves our mountains and waters, and the indigenous Salish cultures of this area that stewarded these lands for millennia.  She loves to bike-camp-hike-explore Washington’s beauty, visiting as many libraries as possible on the way.  Her favorite children’s author is Ruth Heller, and her favorite carnivorous plant is Nepenthes rajah, the “shrew loo!”


I grew up in the Greater Seattle area but have lived in Oregon state the last 5 years. As a recent graduate, I have since moved back to the Seattle area to be closer to family, friends and to begin my new career at Hutch Kids. I am a graduate from Chemeketa Community College with an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and certificates of completion for infant/toddler care and education and preschool care and education. I have previous experience working with infants and toddlers as well as at-risk children experiencing social disarray. I have special interest and passion for the social and emotional development of very young children and supporting secure attachment with significant adults in their lives. My training has been focused on child-centered, process-based creative learning. When I am not working with young children and their families, I can usually be found spending quality time with my good friends and family and being a proud aunt to my niece Odessa. Some of my hobbies include crafting, travel, and watching a good movie. Being a new member of the Hutch Kids team, I am looking forward to being able to work in partnership with some wonderful families and be a part of a team that will have the privilege of watching your child grow.


Hi there, I’m Melanie! I am originally from Bellingham and moved to Seattle in September 2017. I grew up on three different islands here in the Puget Sound, and one island on the Coast of Maine. When I’m not spending time with children (my favorite kind of people) I can be found doing one of these three things: homework (I’m a part time online student at Oregon State University) doing yoga with my cat, or if weather permits, spending time at the beach. I’m excited to be a part of the Hutch Kids community, and getting to know you  and your kiddos!


Hello Hutch Kids Families and Staff Members! I’m excited to be the second Co-Teacher in The Tree Frog Room. A few things about myself: I graduated in 2004 with my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Overall, I have been working in child care for almost 18 years now. My Hobbies are running, yoga, painting and photography. I’m close to my friends and family. I’m also the youngest of two older sisters and we grew up in Northern California. It’s been a great journey as I explored the Great North West. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone at Hutch Kids.


I’m Ms. Misti, and I am so excited to be working at this school and in your classroom. To get acquainted, here’s a bit about me: I am a New Englander turned Texan turned Seattleite. I am brand new to this city (January, 1st, 2020) by way of Austin, Texas, and I am very excited to familiarize myself with this amazing city! I studied Education / English at St Francis University in Brooklyn, NY, and completed my studies at Texas State University. I set out with the belief that I wanted to teach High School, but quickly learned that both my calling and my passion lies within the rich, wondrous realm of Early Childhood Education. I have taught a wide range of ages in every state I have lived in, but the commonality is always finding my way back into an Early Childhood classroom; I could not be happier to be here. In my spare time, I am a cat mom, nature enthusiast, voracious reader, cinephile, and self prescribed foodie who is currently going through an intense “I must sous vide everything” phase. I am looking forward to getting to know you and your families and have all the best hopes and wishes for this year!


New Hire Coordinator

I am happy to be one of the Teachers in The Rainforest Class. I grew up in the greater Seattle area and graduated from Washington State University where I earned a B.A in Human Development with a certification in Early Childhood Education. After graduation I started at Hutch Kids where I was a co-lead teacher in the Wildflower class. After the school year, I moved to the Bay Area where I worked as a Behavior Therapist providing ABA services with children who were on the Autism Spectrum for 2 years. I was thrilled to return back to the PNW and return to Hutch Kids for the 2019-2020 school year. This will be my second year in the Rainforest class and look forward to a special year with your kids! During my free time I enjoy reading, cooking, traveling, and spending time in the outdoors with my dog, Kona! I look forward to    having memorable experiences with your child!


Hello! My name is Mykalah McCoo, I was born and raised in Washington state but spent my high school years in Arizona state. I moved back to Washington to be closer to my family. I am currently going to school to get my Associates in Early Childhood education and have spent the last two years as an infant/toddler teacher at a daycare center in Arizona. I love Disney, traveling, and reading books! My types of books are fiction and adventure books, because the magic helps motivate me to create a little magic of my own wherever I go. I am so excited to join the awesome team at Hutch Kids!


Toddler Mentor Teacher

I am originally from Montgomery, Alabama.  I’m a wife, the mother of three awesome children; Ashley, Allen and Terrance and a proud “Glam Ma” of 4 beautiful grandchildren, Au ’Brielle, Le’Brian, Braylon and Saquaya. I have been employed with the Hutch Kids family for almost 12 years. Through the years, I’ve gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding of how wonderful and unique a “Hutch” kid really is. I also have the honor of being the Toddler Mentor teacher– coaching the toddler staff at HK.  I am very proud to be a part of such a great community.  I have been in the childcare profession for over 25 years. Along with experience, I completed Early Childhood Education courses at Alabama State University and obtained my Early Childhood Education certification from North Seattle Community College.  I am currently pursuing an Early Childhood Education state certification from Bates Technical College. In my spare time, I enjoy watching cooking shows and home improvement projects on HGTV. I am so excited and I look forward to a magnificent, fun-filled and rewarding learning experience with your child.


My name is Phonthip; I graduated with an associate of applied science degree in early childhood and family studies and a bachelor of applied science degree in applied behavioral science. I am so excited to join the Hutch Kids Child Care Center team! I was adopted at the age of five-and-half from Thailand. I am both a U.S. and Thai citizen. I have about five years of experience working with preschool-age children. I believe in exposing children to the many aspects of diversity (culture, religion, gender, physical and mental ability, choice of self-expression, language, etc.). I believe children learn from one another and benefit from an environment that is inclusive in all forms. I am so incredibly thankful and excited to grow and learn with my co-workers and the children and families at Hutch Kids Child Care Center!


Hello! my name is Rachael, pronounced like Raquel. I am an infant/ toddler lover, boy mom and Puget Sound native! I started at Hutch Kids in October of 2015, after pursuing nursing and being a CNA for a few years. I have my Child Development Associate certificate in infants and toddlers, deep rooted patience, and an appreciation for beginning of life milestones. I am currently working toward my degree in Early Childhood Education. Hutch Kids aligns perfectly with my personal philosophy that child development is child led with love. Outside of work you can find my son and I hiking with our dog, cooking or doing fun things outside. I look forward to meeting you and your family!


Hello, my name is Sean Allen, and my pronouns are he/him. I am currently working on my master’s in teaching and am very excited to be working in the dolphin room. I cherish deep meaningful connections with our community of learners and am very excited to teach them about the world. As a person I am ever growing, and I welcome all feedback with open arms. I am a huge foodie and love hearing about new places to eat and recipes to try. In my free time I love to bike, rock climb and I like to play video games.


Hello, my name is Sharaya Lee. It is a joy to be working here with your children and I hope we can get to know each other as the year progresses. I received a BA in psychology from UW and have experience as a birth doula. I’m looking forward to using my knowledge in an early childhood educational setting. I really enjoy hiking, visiting museums, cooking and all types of arts and crafts.

Sharon H.

Hello!  My name is Sharon Hendrickson and I’ve been working at Hutch Kids since May 2011.  During that time I was support staff for two years and have been a Toddler Teacher since 2013.  I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Seattle University in 1985, as well as obtaining several ECE credits from North Seattle Community College.  I have been teaching young children full time since 1987.  In my spare time I enjoy reading, walking, crocheting, reading, and church activities.  Since being part of the HK community, I have valued the relationships I’ve made with children and families. I look forward to meeting you!

Sharyn S.

I have worked full-time in child care centers with children 1 month through 10 years old since moving to Seattle in 1985.  I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying French and Women’s Studies and am currently working toward my ECE Short Certificate.  I have been part of the Hutch Kids staff since 2004, working as Support Staff, Starfish Teacher and, since 2013, as Assistant Teacher in the Sunshine Kids class. I enjoy supporting children as they grow and am always amazed how much they teach me. As a three-time cancer survivor, I appreciate the opportunity to support the Hutchinson Center mission by being part of Hutch Kids. I am an avid reader, artist and nature lover.

Tanya T.

Infant Mentor Teacher

My name is Tanya. I have been working at Hutch Kids since 2005. I have a Child Development Associate (CDA) certificate and am currently working toward my ECE State Certificate. I have been devoted to this field for many years and I’m looking forward to building great relationships with you and your children. I’m delighted to be working at a center that reflects my personal values and philosophies.


My name is Toni. I’m happily married and live in Auburn, WA. I enjoy exploring Seattle with my husband, photography, a good movie, and spending time with my family and church friends. I so enjoy being a “groupie” for my husband who plays piano like a pro, by ear! I have been working in Early Childhood Education for many years. At an early age, I discovered a passion for children while helping my mother care for foster children in our home. I have taken courses in high school and college, specializing in child development and early childhood education. In early 2002, Hutch Kids Child Care Center was introduced to me, where I happily joined in. Many memorable years later, I look back on my experiences as both support staff and classroom teacher roles with peace and joy in my heart knowing I’ve made a positive difference in the lives of the young people I’ve worked with.


I have been working at Hutch Kids since December 2017. I was born and raised in Seattle, WA.  I am currently enrolled at Bates technical college to obtain my Associates Degree in ECE. I looked forward to working in the young toddler class again. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and reading books.


My name is Victoria. I’ve worked childcare for the past 6 years and plan on going back to school for my associates in early childhood Education. Early education is a passion of mine because I enjoy helping children learn social emotional skills that they will continue to develop throughout life. I recently moved to Seattle from my home town Bellingham and I’ve had so much fun exploring the city. In my spare time I enjoy being outside as much as possible weather it’s hiking or going to a park with friends. I’m glad to be joining Hutch Kids and look forward to getting to know all the amazing families.


My name is Vivian. I am from Guatemala, Central America, I speak my dialect called Garifuna, English and Spanish. I grew up in Bronx, New York, I’m a wife the mother of one amazing 20-year-old son Maxwell. I worked at the YWCA for eight years and with Kinder Care for six years as a young toddler teacher. Coming from such a big family is where I realized that teaching and helping others is my passion. I have a Child Development Associate (CDA), in my free time I enjoy cooking, listening to music while dancing with my husband Ty.


Hi! My name is William Suastegui, and I am from a small town known as Omak, Washington. I am a recent graduate of the University of Washington. I am the oldest of five and have been changing diapers since I was born. In my free time I enjoy drawing, outdoor activities, listening to music, and spending time with friends and family. I am excited to be working at Hutch Kids and can’t wait to see what new adventures await!


I grew up in Seattle, Washington and have been in the field of Early Childhood Education for 15 years, working with children of all ages. I have been at Hutch Kids since 2005, working primarily in the infant rooms. My hobbies are reading and attending the symphony.