Our Teachers

Annette Miller

B.S. Urban Horticulture

Project-Based-Learning Teacher and Reading Teacher ~ 8th year at Bellevue Discovery

With a lifelong passion for plants, Miss Annette earned her degree from the University of Washington in Urban Horticulture. After working in that field for several years, she took time off to be a stay-at-home mom. Work with her own son and daughter led Annette to focus on her other lifelong passion: children. She joined the staff at Bellevue Discovery as a Science Lead Teacher, with a focus on outdoor learning. Over the years, one of her favorite things has been watching children make discoveries in our preschool garden.

Annette enjoys gardening, skiing, reading, hiking and camping, and loves sharing many of these experiences with her kids.

“Bellevue Discovery’s students are such fun to teach – it’s an amazing learning environment. I have always enjoyed working with children who share with me their inquisitiveness, honesty, and fun-loving natures as well as their joy and excitement about the little things in life.”

Erica Goodman

B.S. Speech and Language Therapy, M.A. Special Education, teaching certificates in PreK-12 special ed. and K-5 regular ed.

Math Games Teacher and Reading Teacher ~ 9th year at Bellevue Discovery ~ Alumni parent

Miss Erica has taught regular and special education. After spending time at home with her children when they were very young, Erica returned to the classroom at Bellevue Discovery Preschool.

Erica and her husband have three sons. Her youngest is an alumnus of Bellevue Discovery.  She enjoys reading, cooking, hiking and running.

“I enjoy working with the wonderful students and their families at Bellevue Discovery.”

Jerry Soules

B.F.A. Theater, with an emphasis in Acting

Drama Club Teacher and Outdoor Lead ~ 7th year at Bellevue Discovery ~ Alumni parent

After growing up in New Jersey and graduating from the University of New Mexico, Mr. Jerry moved to Seattle to pursue a career as an actor. To support his acting habit, Jerry worked in customer service management for 13 years. Jerry was a stay-at-home dad for several years, volunteering at his daughter’s school. Jerry joined the staff at Bellevue Discovery as our dramatic arts specialist, outdoor lead teacher and guitarist in 2011.

Jerry enjoys playing soccer and ice hockey and playing guitar. He loves reading history, watching movies, and spending time with his wife and kids.

“I enjoy working at Bellevue Discovery because the entire staff comes together on a daily basis for the sole purpose of giving children an interesting, creative and nurturing experience, while simultaneously preparing them for the next step in their education…and we have fun doing it!”

Kasia Fryczka

M.A. Fashion Design, two-year degree in Interior Design

Art Specialist, School Skills Teacher and Project-Based-Learning Teacher ~ 8th year at Bellevue Discovery

After graduating from the Academy of Fine Art in Lodz, Poland, Miss Kasia moved to the United States to be with her husband. Because she loves art and design, Kasia studied and worked in the field of interior design after moving to Bellevue. She taught elementary age children for ten years at the Polish language school in Seattle, and worked as an art specialist in a local Montessori preschool before joining Bellevue Discovery.

Kasia and her husband have a daughter at university. Kasia loves to hike, raft, study architecture and spend time with her family. “Traveling with my family is my favorite thing.”

“I love to be around the children at Bellevue Discovery. It always brings me great joy.”

Melissa Pendleton

B.A Social Ecology, Early Childhood Advanced Core Certificate

Project-Based-Learning Teacher ~ 4th year at Bellevue Discovery

After growing up in California and Massachusetts, Melissa attended the University of California, Irvine and studied Social Ecology with an emphasis in Human Behavior. She continued her studies with post-graduate work in Education. She has taught both preschool and kindergarten for many years and volunteered in the Lake Washington school district, leading reading and math groups for grades 1-5. She also taught at a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool program. From this Reggio background, Melissa brings experience with the inquiry process and a love for the project approach to learning.

Melissa and her husband have two sons who are both in high school. When she is not teaching, Melissa loves to spend her free time hiking with her family and dog, reading, cooking, watching Sounders games, scrapbooking and cheering for her sons at their various sporting events.

“I love being a part of the teaching team at Bellevue Discovery! I am drawn to the inquiry process and the project approach and am inspired by how it encourages children to think on a deeper level. I love the sense of wonder and excitement that accompanies young children as they discovery something new…it is simply magical.”

Shyamala Mathan Sankar

M.B.A., M.A. Marketing, Early Childhood Certification

Science Lab Teacher ~ 3rd year at Bellevue Discovery ~ Alumni parent

Miss Shyamala graduated from the University of Nottingham and worked in the field of market research before moving to the United States. When her daughter attended Bellevue Discovery Preschool, she was a frequent volunteer. Through her volunteer work, she discovered the joys of teaching and supporting children. Thus, she pursued an early childhood education certification and took a part-time teacher’s assistant position. Once she completed her degree program, she became a full-time teacher with Bellevue Discovery.

Shyamala likes spending free time on art projects with her daughter. She is learning to play the piano. She also appreciates the outdoors, new restaurants on the food scene, and family travel.

“I enjoy coming to Bellevue Discovery every day. I look forward to interacting with each and every child as they each provide their own sense of joy, purpose, and wonder. This puts a smile on my face. I get to step into their own worlds and be a part of their life experiences.”


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