Staff Bios

  • Sheri Smartt

    Director

    I love this church and I love the joy of discovery that is inherent in young children; I feel so blessed to be able to work where my two loves intersect-Saratoga Kirk House Preschool!  As a young mom, I helped open the preschool in the early 1990’s and two of my three grown children attended this preschool!  Now my husband, Brian and I are adjusting to being empty-nesters.  I look forward to work each day since the Lord is always challenging me to learn something new from the best teachers- the children, staff, and families!

  • Rachelle Krulee

    Teacher

    I have been married since 2006 and now we are keeping up with our two beautiful and spirited daughters.  I sing and lead worship at my church and I play the guitar. Most days at school you can hear me on my walks with the children leading songs and silly chants.  I have been teaching ages 3 to 5 since 2009 and I believe every child is special and worth pouring love and time into.  I love getting messy in the classroom, laughing, and being silly with the children all while discovering wondrous things together along the way.

  • Michele Snyder

    Teacher

    I have been with the preschool now for 7 years and I love watching the kiddos explore and discover new ideas and materials. I have worked with older 4-5 year olds as well as the younger 2-3 year olds. I have been asked which age group I prefer and honestly can’t decide!  I just love kids! I am happily married and have a thirteen and an almost twelve year old. They keep me on my toes!  My hope for teaching is to bring in as many experiences as possible as to the children and have the love of Jesus fill our room each day.

  • Christine Markus

    Teacher

    I have been a substitute teacher at Saratoga Presbyterian Preschool (currently Saratoga Kirk House Preschool) since 2015.  I was hired as the permanent Jr. K teacher this year. I have been teaching preschool age children for several years, taking some time off to raise our 3 boys.  One is out on his own, one is in college, and the youngest is attending Saratoga High School. Teaching young children is the greatest profession.  I especially enjoy being witness to those instances when immediate and genuine understanding occurs through an experience-something not found in a textbook! In recent months my family has been attending Menlo Church-Saratoga.  We have enjoyed the messages, the contemporary music and the overall welcoming feeling we receive on Sunday mornings.  In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, dance fitness, ziplining, and perusing Pinterest for my crafting obsession!   

  • Judy Peden

    Assistant

    I have been working at this preschool, now called Saratoga Kirk house Preschool for 9 years. I love working with preschool aged children and getting to know their families. I have had the privilege of working with most of the teachers and have been delighted to work with all the ages of preschool children.  My husband Larry and I have 3 adult children and 2 grandsons, aged 10 and 12. In my spare time, I love to garden, read cook and simply hang out with dear friends, many who have worked at this preschool too!

  • Lennie Traina

    Assistant

    I started working as a teacher’s aide at Saratoga Kirk House Preschool in August 2016 when my youngest daughter was entering her senior year in high school.  Circumstances and connections along with God’s clear intervention brought me here where I have found a complete enjoyment working with these beautiful little ones along with a very talented group of teachers that have quickly become my dear friends in Christ.  Prior to Kirk House, I have been blessed and very fortunate to have spent the past 22 years as a stay at home mom raising my son and daughter, who are now safely in college. I also spent several years teaching Sunday school at West Valley Presbyterian Church.  When not working, I love playing with my two dogs, reading, visiting the ocean, and figuring out how to cook for two people again.

  • Joanne Strickland

    Assistant

    It is a pleasure to be a part of the Kirk House Preschool Family!  My husband and I have lived in Saratoga the past 32 years where we raised our two daughters. I always enjoyed being actively involved at their schools when they were young and served many years on their elementary school parent’s association board. I am currently a member of the Santa Clara University Women’s Club and my hobbies include cooking, hiking and spending time with my family. I am excited to have the opportunity to watch and engage with your children!

  • Gizi Lee

    Assistant

    Although it’s my first year on staff at Kirk House, our family spent 5 happy years here. My kids, 9 & 7, attended preschool at Kirk House and loved every day of it. I have been involved in my church Sunday School and other bible studies. But I love preschool because learning is so much fun! I am a proud South Bay Area native and can’t live without the beach. When I’m not mom-ing or teaching kids, I love to try new restaurants. I’m passionate about photography, scrapbooking, and memory making.