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The 2020-2021 school year is our 67th 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

    TEACHERS: Ms. Gallagher
  • Melanie Tofte (formerly Gallagher) (PreK) has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and an endorsement in Early Childhood Education from Washington State University. She previously taught Kindergarten for the Issaquah School District (Maple Hills Elementary). This is Mrs. Tofte's 12th year teaching at Highlands Preschool. (She was previously known as Ms. Gallagher.) She is our PreK (4s) Head Teacher. Mrs. Czerwinski

  • Katie Czerwinksi (PreK) has a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Louisiana Tech University and previously taught Kindergarten in Louisiana and for the Renton School District (Hazelwood Elementary). This is Mrs. Czerwinski's ninth year teaching with us. Mrs. Lembra

  • Katie Lembra (PreK & PS) has a bachelor's degree in Education with endorsements in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education from Central Washington University. We are excited to have Mrs. Lembra returning to Highlands Preschool for her ninth year. Ms. White

  • Connie White has been with us for 27 years! She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from Bellevue Community College and came to us with previous teaching experience. She is our Preschool (3s) Head Teacher. Mrs. Mac

  • Shannon MacGillivray (PS) also known as "Mrs. Mac," has a bachelor's degree in Humanities and Liberal Studies from Western Washington University, trained with us, and has now taught at Highlands Preschool for 18 years. Mrs. Mac is our E3 ("Early Threes") Head Teacher.

  • Molly Gershon returns for her second year as our Teacher Assistant (TA). "Miss Molly" was previously our Substitute TA and served on our Board of Directors. She has a degree in Liberal Arts from Seattle Central Community College.

    ADMINISTRATION: Mrs. Beckman Householder
  • Karen Beckman Householder is our Administrator and Registrar. "Miss Karen" holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Washington with a concentration in Human Resource Management. This is Miss Karen's 20th year with Highlands Preschool.

    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!