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The 2015-2016 school year will celebrate our 62nd year! Highlands Preschool was organized in 1953 as an independent preschool. This means that we are not affiliated with, or supported by, any church, government or other organization. In 1967, Highlands Preschool was granted official 501c3 non-profit status. This is a unique combination for a preschool - independent of any parent organization, with education as our primary focus rather than profit. This allow us to dedicate ourselves to giving preschoolers of all backgrounds a positive first learning experience to prepare them for kindergarten.

A Child Learns By Doing
Our philosophy of education centers around "play." Through play, many important behavior and social skills are learned and practiced: the development of independence and self-esteem, sharing, taking turns, accepting limits, using self-control and following directions.

Your child will learn by exploring and experiencing open-ended art projects, stories, songs, games, music, dramatic play, free play, outdoor play and circle time. The curriculum is woven seamlessly into these fun and lively activities so your child is always learning through active play.

Our curriculum surpasses national standards. The depth and extent of the curriculum are appropriately adjusted by age level, and include the exploration of:

  • Letters and Numerals: how they are shaped differently, how letters have different sounds and how they are put together to form words; how different numerals show different amounts.
  • Shapes, Colors and Sounds: through activities such as matching, patterning, graphing and charting.
  • Science and Math: hands-on learning by measuring, weighing, estimating, counting and experimenting.
  • Language Skills: through stories, songs, poems, guessing and acting out.

    Please visit our Curriculum page for a more in-depth outline of curriculum activities by age level.

    Our Staff
    Our staff consists of our teachers and two part-time administrative positions. All staff must pass both national and state patrol background checks. Teachers must also be certified in CPR and first aid. Many staff members have had children attend Highlands Preschool in years past.

  • Connie White - Connie has been with us for 23 years and holds an AA degree in Early Childhood Education from Bellevue Community College. Connie also came to us with previous teaching experience. Connie is our Preschool 2 & 3 (3s & Early 3s) Head Teacher.

  • Melanie Gallagher - Melanie has a Bachelor degree in Elementary Education and endorsement in Early Childhood Education from Washington State University. She previously taught Kindergarten for the Issaquah School District (Maple Hills Elementary). This is Melanie's seventh year teaching at Highlands Preschool, and she is our Preschool 1 (4s) Head Teacher.

  • Shannon MacGillivray - Shannon, also known as “Mrs. Mac,” has a Bachelor degree in Humanities and Liberal Studies from Western Washington University, trained right here at Highlands Preschool, and has now taught with us for 13 years.

  • Katie Czerwinksi - We are thrilled to welcome Katie back in her fourth year teaching at Highlands Preschool. Katie has a Bachelor degree in Early Childhood Education and is a former Kindergarten teacher, both in Louisiana and for the Renton School District (Hazelwood Elementary). Katie has also volunteered at the preschool as our Board of Directors President and Vice President.

  • Katie Lembra - Katie has a Bachelor degree in Education with endorsements in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education. Katie trained in local elementary schools, including Tukwila and White Center. We are excited to have her back in her fourth year with us.

  • Karen Beckman - Karen is our Administrator. Karen holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from the University of Washington. This is Karen’s 14th year with Highlands Preschool.

  • Elizabeth Dompier - Elizabeth is our Teaching Assistant (TA). Elizabeth holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from Central Washington University. This is Elizabeth's seventh year with us as TA; she also previously served as our Bookkeeper and volunteered as our Board President and Vice President.

  • Erin Kleiber - Erin joins us for her third year as Bookkeeper at Highlands Preschool! Erin holds a degree in Environmental Science from Washington State University and has several previous years of experience in bookkeeping for schools.

    Our Board of Directors
    Parents and guardians of enrolled children are automatically members of the Association. Government of the Association is conducted by our Board of Directors, which is similar to a PTA. The Board is made up of parents of preschool children who perform various volunteer tasks, set policies and financial goals.

    See what other parents have to say about Highlands Preschool by visiting our Guestbook!