Preschool Staff '17-'18

Stephanie Boyer (Pebble Director) has been a part of the Mercer Island community since 2004. Her roots stem from Southern California but the Pacific Northwest has won her heart. Ms. Steph has a B.A. in Elementary Education, parent coaching certificate and years of preschool teaching experience to the Pebble. She has recently finished her Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Youth and Family at Fuller Theological Seminary in Seattle. When she is not with our Pebble crew, "Coach Steph" may be spotted in a parade or at a football game working with the MIHS Drill Team. Stephanie is passionate about a holistic approach to life and is excited to see God working in and through the families on Mercer Island. 


Susan Gallagher (Office Manager) is a native of Silver Spring, Maryland, but she has lived in the Seattle area for many years.  Susan started working with children when she taught fourth and fifth graders in Massachusetts, Missouri and California.  More recently, she has worked in an early childhood center, substituted in several preschools and tutored elementary school students.  Susan is very excited to continue in her job as the assistant in the Pebble office!


Heidi Lewan (T/TH Bears, MWF Bears, 3 & 5 Day Panda Pre-K) is a graduate of Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue, WA and Concordia University in Irvine, CA. Heidi earned her BA in both Early Childhood Education and Liberal Studies, with a Child Development emphasis, and she completed a fifth year of study to earn her Elementary Teaching Credential. In addition to a four-year Early Childhood degree, Heidi has also taken classes in Preschool Administration. She completed her student teaching in Pre-K, kindergarten, and fourth grade, and she directed and taught at Little Lambs Christian Preschool for three years. Heidi has been at the PEBBLE PRESCHOOL since it opened in 2001.


Dawn Gomez (MWF Lions, T/TH Bears) grew up in a military family and has lived in several places throughout the country, but she has proudly called Seattle her home for the last fifteen years.  She graduated for the University of Washington with a BA in Psychology.  While participating in the North Seattle co-op preschool program with her eldest son, she was strongly encouraged to apply for a preschool co-op teaching position.  She was elated to accept the position, and she taught within the North Seattle Community College Preschool program for four years in the toddler and threes classes.  In addition to teaching preschool, she also is the lead teacher for her church's Sunday Childcare program.  Dawn is extremely excited to begin another year at the Pebble teaching in the Lion and Bear classrooms!


Melissa Petersen (AM Alligator Pre-K) grew up in Spokane but has lived in the Seattle area for the past 20 years.  She graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.  After graduating, Melissa worked full-time at Early World Montessori on Mercer Island and part-time at the UW Parenting Clinic in Seattle.  During this time, she also volunteered at Special Olympics, Eastside Youth Community Services, and Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association.  As a stay-at-home mom of two boys (12 and 9), Melissa enjoyed participating in and volunteering for Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS).  In addition to MOPS, she taught skiing to children ages 3 to 8 years old.  Currently, Melissa volunteers in her sons' elementary classrooms and is actively involved with her church as a volunteer serving on two committees.  Melissa loves learning about God, watching her boys participate in sports, and engaging in outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing.  She also loves working with children, which is why she came to the Pebble three years ago to teach the Pebble Toddler Class. This year, Ms. Melissa joins Ms. Teressa in the Alligator class.

Caitie Buell (M/W and T/TH Toddlers) Is beginning her third year as our link between both M/W and T/TH Tigers. Caitie has been a long standing nanny for one of our Pebble families and comes with outstanding experience and knowledge of early childhood development. Trained in early education and family studies at North Seattle Community College. In addition to being a trained yoga instructor for kids, she has years of experience working at Bright Horizon and Valley Catholic Early Learning in Portland. Ms. Caitie is a perfect fit for our Pebble teaching team. Please take a minute to say hello to her in the Tiger Room.


Teressa Cooper (AM Alligators PreK) joined our Pebble team last year in our Toddler class, and this year she works with children in our Alligator PreK class . We are overjoyed with her presence and her love for our Pebble students. Teressa is taking a break from her program at Purdue University, where she was persuing a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education & Exceptional Needs. She has experience as a nanny and an elementary school aide, and she has worked at a childhood developmental center. Originally from Kansas, Ms. Teressa is enjoying putting down roots here in the Pacific Northwest. 

JJ Richards (MW and T/TH Toddlers) is a born and raised Islander. This is JJ’s third year with us in the Tiger Room and her joyful presence is a warm welcome for toddlers. Ms. JJ has her degree from the University of Washington in Speech Communications, early childhood education from Bellevue Community College, and experience as an art docent at Lakeridge Elementary School.

Katie Tobin (MWF Bears)