“Maris, can I have more play dough please?” Ava asked.
“Sure, here you go,” Maris responded.
“Thank you, Maris,” Ava replied.
“Ian? Can I have more play dough please?” Ava asked.
“Here…you can have all of it,” Ian answered.
“Thank you, Ian. I’m making a beautiful dress,” Ava said.
Through play, the children are exposed to a variety of educational opportunities that encourage social skill development, self-expression, communication, logical thinking, and problem-solving.
As we introduce a new year, I introduce new teachers at The Gillispie School. When you see them, please offer them a warm welcome to our family.
Fabiola Amaral has joined Kimberly Abrams in Prekindergarten Willow Room. In addition to holding her Teacher’s Permit and Early Childhood Credential, Fabi has two Bachelors Degrees, one from California State, San Marcos in Human Development and the other in Languages from Ibero Americana de Sao Paulo, Brazil. She has worked for over 15 years in both private and public school settings, and has been a one-to-one advocate.
Libby Grogan is teaming with Laurie Buttaro in Kindergarten, Room 19. For 15 years, she has taught both Prekindergarten and Kindergarten, more recently at St. John’s Episcopal School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California and at Avalon Elementary School in Pittsburgh. She has her California Credential and earned her Bachelors Degree from Westminster College. Her daughter Mckynzie is a new Prekindergartner at Gillispie.
Teaching in the Magnolia Room with our youngest students as well as assisting in indoor and outdoor learning for our Early Childhood program is Natalie Hair. With three years of teaching experience, Natalie has worked with preschoolers and second graders. In addition to holding dual certification in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education, she received her Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education from College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Jamie Knudsen joins Gillispie as a Grade 1 teacher. She received both her Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Bachelors Degree in Human Development, Family Studies, and Early Childhood from the University of Utah. With over ten years of teaching Kindergarten and first grade students, Jamie most recently taught at Jefferson Academy, an International Baccalaureate elementary school in San Diego.
Associate Teacher Ashley Ratelle partners Spring Swaney in Grade 2. Ashley received her Masters Degree in Teaching and Multiple Subject Credential from University of San Diego and a Bachelors Degree in Art History from San Diego State University. Her field study and work experience have included teaching at High Tech Elementary North County in San Marcos and at La Jolla Country Day School.
Gillispie is very fortunate to have added such a dedicated, talented, and experienced group of teachers!
Head of School
“Today we wanted to share with you a German tradition. On the first day of first grade, children in Germany receive a “Schultuete” from their parents. It is a big cone-shaped container filled with treats: back-to-school gear, candy, books (and in our case a Cinderella dress). Ella enjoyed her Schultuete a lot, and we thought you might enjoy seeing this tradition displayed in front of your school!” – Susanne F.