Katie, Lead Mentor Teacher & Staff Support Liaison
Email: mentor@h4kelc.org
I am so excited to have been chosen to be part of the already awesome team here at Hope 4 Kids Early Learning Center!  I have been working with children and families ever since I can remember. I began my career working with young children at the age of 12 as a babysitter caring for the child of a family friend. I remember feeling so much pride being granted the responsibility of caring for this family's loved one. I have enjoyed working with children ever since! 
I began attending Santa Barbara City College soon after high school and realized the wonderful opportunity to use my gifts and talents in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program.  I studied in the ECE program, including Administration of Early Childhood Programs as well as Development of Infants and Toddlers, while completing a year of student teaching at Kinko's Early Learning Center (ELC), the lab school at city college (now referred to as Orfalea Early Learning Center at SBCC).  This is where I gained my foundation of the ECE principles as well as to build my personal teaching styles and methods.  I then accepted an internship at Kinko's ELC, which I loved so much I continued for a second year as an intern.  My experience at Kinko's ELC gave me the opportunity to work with and learn from a multitude of families. My range of experience varies from supervising a daycare facility at a gym to working with preschool-aged children at a variety of centers. I also completed the Outdoor Classroom Specialist training through Eric Nelson's Outdoor Classroom Project. There I gained excellent techniques to apply to children's learning in our fabulous outdoor areas.

In my position as Lead Mentor Teacher, I co-teach with incoming preschool staff to ensure they are acquainted with our policies, procedures, regulations, philosophy, and guidance techniques. You might see me working alongside a teacher in a classroom for several months at a time while also partnering with other teachers in the implementation of Outdoor Classroom Project guidelines. I also meet with all incoming staff to conduct our orientation process to assist the newest members of our amazing team here at H4K.
I am blessed with a wonderful son, Caleb, who was enrolled and flourished here at Hope 4 Kids from age 2 to 5 and is now enjoying a great start in elementary school!  I feel lucky to have found a place where he was so well cared for! I have loved living in Santa Barbara since 1997.  In my spare time, I enjoy being with my family and friends, watching the latest movie, and singing karaoke.
I feel so blessed to have found a career that allows me to care for and love children and at the same time utilize my passion for serving families. I am looking forward to partnering with your family!