Aurélia Sanders, Lead Teacher
Aurélia has been teaching preschool since 2002. She has worked with children all of her life, and is happy to be doing the thing she loves most. Her many other passions include science, rock climbing, dancing, trapeze, and exploring the mysteries of nature.
Aurélia started the school with her husband Tim, who is a graphic designer and playwright. He shares Aurélia’s dream of creating and operating a fun, unique in-home Montessori preschool, and enjoys substitute teaching at Stepping Stone from time to time. Tim's other interests include volunteering, poetry, and taking Blue, the family dog, on walks through nearby Woodland Park. Aurélia, Tim, and the assistants are each trained in infant, child and adult CPR, as well as first aid and the prevention of blood-borne pathogens.
Aurélia’s Training and Experience
The State of Washington requires that early childhood educators enroll in annual training on topics related to caring for young children. Feel free to ask
Aurélia about the variety of training she receives. She’s happy to share any useful tips or insights with families in the Stepping Stone program.
Aurélia’s education and experience includes:
• Bachelors of Science in Environmental Geology and a Bachelors of Arts in Costume design
• Montessori training through Montessori Education Institute of the Pacific Northwest in 2004
• Trained in Early Childhood Education and Positive Discipline
• 5 years experience teaching as a Lead Teacher at The Learning Tree Montessori preschool, as a National Association for the Education of Young
People (NAEYC) accredited teacher
• Experience leading workshops in Montessori education
• Current Secretary for the Pacific Northwest Montessori Association.
Kristen Hansen Steele, Co-teacher
Kristen is excited to start her third year co-teaching at Stepping Stone! She and her
husband Paul and daughter Imogen live in Ballard. Kristen and Imogen started coming
to Stepping Stone when Imogen was in preschool, and Kristen taught clay classes or
subbed for one of the teachers. Imogen is starting Second Grade in September.
Like Aurelia, Kristen grew up in Wisconsin. She attended Luther College in Iowa and
earned a B. A. in Art and Art Education. She started making pottery in college in 1988.
After graduating and traveling she joined the Lutheran Volunteer Corps and moved to
Chicago. She and Paul moved to Seattle in 1997.
In 2000 she completed the Early Childhood Montessori Credential through the MEIPN
training program in Seattle. Kristen worked at The Learning Tree Montessori preschool
for ﬁve years and at Woodinville Montessori School for two years. She met Aurelia while
working at Learning Tree in 2003.
Kristen has continued her work in clay all the years since college. She works in her studio and runs a small pottery business. She sells her pots and teaches classes. Kristen also enjoys family bike rides, yoga, books on tape, movies, singing, drinking tea and living in Seattle.
Veronia, Montessori Intern
My name is Veronica and I am very excited to be a part of your community! I live in the Green Lake neighborhood and have lived in Seattle for nearly five years, which is certainly different from where I used to live in Arizona. I moved to Seattle with my partner Edwin, in hopes of fulfilling each other’s dreams of helping children. I am currently completing my Montessori t teacher training at the United Montessori Association in Seattle. Previously, I worked for two years at Wedgewood Montessori as a Spanish and Assistant teacher and also worked two years as lead teacher at a conventional preschool in Ballard. While doing this, I also nanny! When not teaching or being a student I love enjoying the outdoors, hiking, camping, poetry, cooking, music, and volunteering for Thornton Creek Elementary and Hearthstone Retirement center in Green Lake. My long-term goal is to someday open my own Montessori school.